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when to change chain?

Old 09-22-2006, 01:07 PM
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when to change chain?

I know it has allot to with how the bike has been ridden but i was wondering if there was a mileage that determined when to change the chain. The bike has what appears to be the original chain and the bike has 9,500 miles on it. The tensioner is only about 1/2 used but the chain is a little loose. just wondering. Thanks
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Old 09-22-2006, 05:01 PM
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There is no mileage that dictates when to replace the drive chain. The left side of the swingarm has that little guide that tells you to replace it when the red zone gets to the end of the swingarm. The chain "streches" because each pin develops some play as the plates repeatedly pivot. This can add up to several inches. This changes the link-to-link spacing and it no longer snuggly fits the sprocket, causing the acceleration force to be concentrated on less teeth on the sprockets. This causes the sprockets to wear as the chain wears. So, it is wise to consider replacing sprockets when you replace the chain. A new chain will not correctly fit the worn sprockets and if installed on worn sprockets, it will again concentrate the load on a few links of the chain and cause the new chain to wear much faster. Chains last much longer than they did in the old days. I think the o-rings keep the crud out of the pins and keep the lubricant in, so the wear is decreased. I used to replace them all the time on my 1972 CB500-4. Things have changed for the better.
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Old 09-22-2006, 05:15 PM
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guess i need to research chains and sprockets. my choices are between 530/520 and stock vs. aftermarket spockets (in terms of teeth I mean).
Hesitant to replace the sprockets for those with more low end b/c i like the power now - but to be fair i have never felt the lower gearing first hand.
i'll do some research on this one. thanks for the input.
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Old 09-22-2006, 07:21 PM
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Like you said, it all depends on how your ride and maintainence too.

Anyhoo, it seems high torque bikes are on the low end, of course, and I see a lot of 12-14K miles quotes thrown about. Lower power, easier riding figures go all the way up to nearly 30k!

Fer instance: a local klr650 rider had 16k on a chain with plenty of adjustment left but he switched to an identical new chain/sprockets for a trip to Alaska. It didn't make it back. It ate itself (literally) in Kansas with only about 18 teeth left on the rear sprocket!!!! The coarse dirt roads up north and lots of rain turned it to toast in under 11k miles.
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Old 09-22-2006, 08:20 PM
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At the very back of your driven sprocket grab the chain and pull it straight back. If you can see light between the chain and sprocket, the chain is worn out, even if it is not stretched out.
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Old 09-23-2006, 04:15 AM
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Originally Posted by jschmidt
At the very back of your driven sprocket grab the chain and pull it straight back. If you can see light between the chain and sprocket, the chain is worn out, even if it is not stretched out.
good to know. i'll do it today.
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Old 09-23-2006, 10:37 AM
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My stock chain lasted 25000 miles. This is using a Scottoiler. I then went to a 520 combo with stock ratios and a Vortex rear Al sprocket. The Vortex wore rapidly and I replaced it with an Afam at 38000. The chain shows zero indication of wear. If you plan on keeping the bike for a while I recommend the Scottoiler. It will pay for itself in 15000 miles.
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