Chain tensile strength vs longevity question - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 21 Old 06-09-2017, 09:48 AM Thread Starter
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Chain tensile strength vs longevity question

I'm at 20K miles. Many of my miles are on a fully loaded bike ready for camping. I don't generally speed, but like to get to speed quickly, so my cush rubbers were shot @ 17K and change. Roostering on the trails does also not help. It's almost time for a new chain/sprockets. Looking at SprocketCenter.com I see 900cc chains and 1300cc chains which means the tensile ratings are much stronger on the 1300cc rated chain.

So, I am wondering if I should not try a 1300cc rated chain this time? It makes sense to me that a heavier/stronger chain should last longer compared to a lighter chain, or am I throwing the extra $53 out the window? Or, will the heavy chain just beat up the sprockets faster?
525 Chain Kit - JT Sprockets Steel Sprocket Set with Your Choice of X'ring Chain - SUZUKI DL 650 V-strom '07-16 - DL 650 V-Strom 2007-2016 (all models) - Suzuki - STREET

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post #2 of 21 Old 06-09-2017, 10:01 AM
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It isn't tensile strength that determines chain life but quality and retention of lubrication including O or X rings that retain a good seal between the plates. I've come to the conclusion that cleaning may be hard on seals. Side plate or pin breakage of chains is practically non existent unless a chain has long ago shown signs it should have been replaced. That's where a difference in tensile strength is going to be evident.
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Pat- 2007 DL650A was ridden to all 48 contiguous states. I didn't quite make it to 17,000 miles on the 2012 DL650A.
Nicknames I use to lessen typing, Vee = 2002-2012 DL1000s. Vee2=2014-2016 DL1000s. Wee = 2004-2011 DL650s. Glee = 2012-2016 DL650s
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post #3 of 21 Old 06-09-2017, 11:01 AM Thread Starter
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I don't clean my chains and try and lube at every tank. I agree breakage is rare but my riding habit tends to be rough on the drive train.

'15 DL650XT
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post #4 of 21 Old 06-09-2017, 11:43 AM
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My stock factory chain lasted the longest on my Wee.38,000 miles with a 10,300 mile trip to DeadHorse and over 900 gravel. I do not clean near as much as average but oil a lot more.When I oil I use regular motor oil and at every gas or other stop put at least a run down back of rear sprocket and a run on inside bottom run most the time. When I do clean use kerosene and a old rag. With a plastic glove on run rear wheel around a bunch of times holding rag around chain.then another clean rag and then heavy motor oil like 70 weight. Never had a street bike chain fail in 50 years.This is all so with ten years of drag strip fun.
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post #5 of 21 Old 06-09-2017, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greywolf View Post
It isn't tensile strength that determines chain life but quality and retention of lubrication including O or X rings that retain a good seal between the plates. I've come to the conclusion that cleaning may be hard on seals. Side plate or pin breakage of chains is practically non existent unless a chain has long ago shown signs it should have been replaced. That's where a difference in tensile strength is going to be evident.
(emphasis mine)

I had a side plate break on a chain I had on my KLR. Definitely not common, but it can (and does) happen. This was with a cheap no-name chain, and was probably due to a manufacturing defect rather than the strength of the steel or how hard it was ridden. Lesson learned - buy all driveline components from reputable companies.
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post #6 of 21 Old 06-09-2017, 10:44 PM
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On a high horsepower sport bike with a 520 chain, tensile strength matters. On a V-Strom...not enough horsepower to make a big difference. Pick a chain with the highest quality o-rings, or x-rings, or whatever.

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post #7 of 21 Old 06-24-2017, 03:00 PM
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Tensile strength is largely irrelevant in the range of V-Strom horsepower.

However, it is sometimes one indication of a higher quality and potentially longer life if you're looking at a reputable brand name chains.

If you're looking at cheap no-name Chinesium chains on fleaBay, then the tensile strength numbers are meaningless because they're just made up anyway.

In general, I've found that if you stick with good x-ring chains from known name brands (Regina, EK, DID, Sunstar, RK, etc.) you'll be fine. There are a few "house" brands that aren't too bad.

Personally, I prefer chains with a gold finish because they resist surface rust a lot better, and the shiny gold makes it easier to tell when it's time to clean and lube the chain. My bikes are generally filthy other than nice shiny chains.

To be perfectly honest, I've noticed that chain lube brand, type, or regimen doesn't make a lot of difference as long as you do... something with the chain every so often and run it slightly loose. If you live in a very dry climate, doing nothing with the chain can be a viable option, but for the rest of us forced to ride in the rain sometimes, it helps to have some sort of substance on the chain to protect it from moisture and help prevent surface rust.
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post #8 of 21 Old 06-24-2017, 03:18 PM
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After over 30 motorcycles in over 50 years as main means of travel I do not use regular chain lube any more.Motor oil. My new CB750 using the factory chain oiler got just as good if not better chain life.70w seems best but any w if out of the heavy.On our Alaska trip my Wee spun so much better when we cleaned and lubed them every night that the other wee started using it on his.We put new chains on both the 1000s but both Wees made it back home the 10,300 miles in good shape.That factory chain was best ever for me with 38,000 when I put a new one on.A little more dirty but a wee is not that much to look at to start with.
Agree about a good chain.Put a cheap one on to see after that great miles on the first and after 12,000 the old one at 38,000 was lots better when took off.Put new sprockets on with third one.Agree on more slack is way better than too tight.I usually put a little motor oil on top of rear sprocket and bottom inside run before pulling out.This seems to work good and Wee being tall makes it so easy.
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post #9 of 21 Old 06-26-2017, 11:05 AM Thread Starter
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I appreciate all the input....still have not made a purchase yet...............

'15 DL650XT
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post #10 of 21 Old 06-28-2017, 07:49 PM Thread Starter
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