S'plain me something 'bout my chain please - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 17 Old 10-11-2009, 06:37 PM Thread Starter
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S'plain me something 'bout my chain please

This morning I put the Wee up on the center stand to clean and lube the chain. Took a rag and some mineral spirits and would clean about ten inches at a time then roll the tire to get more.

Well I noticed that my chain would alternately feel tight then loose as I rotated the tire.

This is the original chain with just over 20K miles on it.

Do I have . . .

a. an out of round sprocket?
b. a chain stretched only in places?
c. a bent or misaligned axle?
d. some other condition?

How long has it been like this? I have no idea. I bought the bike with 10K on it and, until this last trip to Mammoth, it has been ridden only on the street so I've only cleaned the chain once or twice.
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post #2 of 17 Old 10-11-2009, 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted by iamsmiling View Post
Well I noticed that my chain would alternately feel tight then loose as I rotated the tire.
Clue ...

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Originally Posted by iamsmiling View Post
This is the original chain with just over 20K miles on it.
A-ha.

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Originally Posted by iamsmiling View Post
Do I have . . .

a. an out of round sprocket?
b. a chain stretched only in places?
c. a bent or misaligned axle?
d. some other condition?
Probably (d); specifically, I'd guess stiff links due to corrosion. At that mileage, it's time for a new one. Make sure you replace the sprockets, too; they should always be replaced as a set.

Cheers! -d
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post #3 of 17 Old 10-11-2009, 07:51 PM
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Yes, agreed on the stiff/seized links. It takes only a tiny change in the angle of each link to make the chain tight.

This is an indication that there no longer is adequete lube in the roller and time to swap out the chain.

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post #4 of 17 Old 10-11-2009, 08:00 PM
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Splain to me gain Loosey.

While we're 'splainin:

I've got 16k miles on my 07's chain and sprockets. There's no noticable issue with how it moves around the sprockets, but I cannot get the damn thing to stay adjusted. It's been on the 3rd hash mark from the back since I got the bike. There was too much slack, so I adjusted it carefully with a pal sitting on the bike. I torqued the axle to the factory spec, but by the time I rode home from my friend's house, the axle was exactly where it started, and the chain was just as loose as it was before. The next weekend I did the same thing and got the same results. I never had this problem with 15 years worth of chains on my Harley. WTF am I doing wrong?

Go hakafugu yourself.
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post #5 of 17 Old 10-11-2009, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by kenneth_moore View Post
While we're 'splainin:

I've got 16k miles on my 07's chain and sprockets. There's no noticable issue with how it moves around the sprockets, but I cannot get the damn thing to stay adjusted. It's been on the 3rd hash mark from the back since I got the bike. There was too much slack, so I adjusted it carefully with a pal sitting on the bike. I torqued the axle to the factory spec, but by the time I rode home from my friend's house, the axle was exactly where it started, and the chain was just as loose as it was before. The next weekend I did the same thing and got the same results. I never had this problem with 15 years worth of chains on my Harley. WTF am I doing wrong?
Ok first of all, if you move the adjusters, the axle can't go back where it was. It sounds like your chain needs replacing.

Is it possible your adjusters are stripped or not locked?

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post #6 of 17 Old 10-11-2009, 08:53 PM
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Is it possible your adjusters are stripped or not locked?
Or, like me before I wised up, maybe it's you? I finally realized that I needed to be careful to make sure the conditions were identical each time I checked it: same suspension preload, same weight on the bike, and roll the bike back against the transmission so all the slack is on the bottom.

Once I did all that, weirdest thing happened: the chain stayed where I put it.
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post #7 of 17 Old 10-11-2009, 09:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenneth_moore View Post
While we're 'splainin:

I've got 16k miles on my 07's chain and sprockets. There's no noticable issue with how it moves around the sprockets, but I cannot get the damn thing to stay adjusted. It's been on the 3rd hash mark from the back since I got the bike. There was too much slack, so I adjusted it carefully with a pal sitting on the bike. I torqued the axle to the factory spec, but by the time I rode home from my friend's house, the axle was exactly where it started, and the chain was just as loose as it was before. The next weekend I did the same thing and got the same results. I never had this problem with 15 years worth of chains on my Harley. WTF am I doing wrong?
Check to make sure your adjusters are not worn. These are the parts that slide inside the ends of the swing arms. Also check your "plate washers". If they are "ovaled", you will need to replace them.

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post #8 of 17 Old 10-11-2009, 09:18 PM
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I will guarantee each of you a "Sticky Bun", or "Poppy Seed Muffin" if you don't find tight spots in all of your chains. That includes brand new ones.

Put your bikes in neutral, roll them up on their centerstands and slowly rotate the rear wheel. You will find tight spots in all of your chains, including the new ones.

This is why I am an advocate of adjusting your chain while the bike is on its centerstand. The ONLY reason Suzuki doesn't say to do this in the service or owner's manual is that, the V-Strom does not come with a centerstand. So, they will have you adjust the chain on its sidestand.

When adjusting the chain, rotate the rear wheel until the tightest spot is found in the bottom section of the chain. Adjust to that point. Leave more slack then Suzuki suggests for adjusting on the sidestand. When you roll the bike back down off of its centerstand, the weight of the bike on its swingarm will tighten the chain to the appropriate amount.

2007 DL-650 (I gave away in 2012 with 111,000 + miles)
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1942, Beryl Markham: "West With the Night"
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post #9 of 17 Old 10-12-2009, 12:22 AM
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Originally Posted by iamsmiling View Post
Took a rag and some mineral spirits and would clean about ten inches at a time then roll the tire to get more.
When you replace your chain, you should replace your chain cleaning method, too.

Use kerosene or diesel to clean your chain, mineral spirits can't be kind to the o-rings...





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post #10 of 17 Old 10-12-2009, 12:37 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Lab View Post
I will guarantee each of you a "Sticky Bun", or "Poppy Seed Muffin" if you don't find tight spots in all of your chains. That includes brand new ones.

Put your bikes in neutral, roll them up on their centerstands and slowly rotate the rear wheel. You will find tight spots in all of your chains, including the new ones.

This is why I am an advocate of adjusting your chain while the bike is on its centerstand. The ONLY reason Suzuki doesn't say to do this in the service or owner's manual is that, the V-Strom does not come with a centerstand. So, they will have you adjust the chain on its sidestand.

When adjusting the chain, rotate the rear wheel until the tightest spot is found in the bottom section of the chain. Adjust to that point. Leave more slack then Suzuki suggests for adjusting on the sidestand. When you roll the bike back down off of its centerstand, the weight of the bike on its swingarm will tighten the chain to the appropriate amount.
This may explain those odd adjustments where sometimes it seemed I had loosened rather than tightened the chain.

I'll be changing this chain soon in any case (all I need is about $350 worth of tools) but I think I'll check my new chain and see if it does have a "tight spot". If so, I'll mark that spot and always make sure I adjust the chain in the tightest position.

Hmmm, chain breaker/riveter, torque wrench . . . still beats the dealer price,
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