Chain worn question

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by tennyis, Jun 29, 2020.

  1. tennyis

    tennyis Been here awhile

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    So it seems the most common way to check a chain is to pull at the rear sprocket . Some
    Sites say if you see any daylight it needs replacing others say more then half a tooth.
    I’m supposed to leave tomorrow for a trip that’s about 500 miles, if I pull the chain I can see daylight but not much. Should I chance it or take my car
    #1
  2. Grinnin

    Grinnin Forever N00b Supporter

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    Kinda depends on how long chains last on your bike. Did it take you 1,000 miles to get to "some daylight but not much" or did it take 20,000 miles?

    Are you leaving for 500 miles of dusty trails with occasional stream crossings? Or 500 miles of paved roads?

    I expect you'll be fine for 500 miles no matter how you answer the above questions, but I can't give a guarantee.
    #2
  3. tennyis

    tennyis Been here awhile

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    Bike has roughly 18,000 miles, 2018 vstrom 1000. I’ve seen reports of people getting anywhere from 12-30k miles.

    420 miles paved, 80 miles dirt roads that are passable in my sedan (I think lol)
    #3
  4. tennyis

    tennyis Been here awhile

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    Also 1000 miles ago I couldn’t see any space between sprocket and chain if that helps
    #4
  5. Grinnin

    Grinnin Forever N00b Supporter

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    Do you whack the throttle open pretty often or are you more interested in smooth riding than in drag racing?

    My questions aren't intended to get more info so I can tell you if it's OK; they're intended to get you to think about your chain and how it got to its current state. (State being worn, but not IMO totally shot.)

    I still think it will probably be OK.

    For me a sight of daylight means it's time to buy new chain and sprockets to have on hand for soon/later. For my usual chain life, I wouldn't worry about a 500 mile trip.

    EDIT: when my chains are really shot, it's usually the countershaft sprocket that's the biggest indicator.
    #5
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  6. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

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    At 18K miles, if you are suspicious of the chain, I'd replace it and the sprockets. I suspect if you look closer, you're going to find some missing O-rings and possible a stiff link or two as well. If you don't have time before your trip, 500 miles isn't going to cause it to self destruct, as that's just a single lube interval, but put it on the ASAP list when you get home.
    #6
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  7. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

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    B-I-L rode from here to home ~3200 miles with a worn and squeaky chain on his DL1000.:-)
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  8. tennyis

    tennyis Been here awhile

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    I do tend to whack the throttle open but will certainly avoid that on this trip. I tend to do it more when riding the gravel roads, I like to get the rear sideways haha. It's only a couple bolts to get the sprocket cover off, so I'll pull that and have a look before I leave just to be safe. The rear sprocket actually looks decent.

    Thanks! I'm going to replace it for sure, I have a trip coming up of about 3k miles the end of the month and I'll want the new one on before that trip! I was more worried that seeing any amount of daylight meant do not ride, its completely shot and going to break. Looking at other pics/videos my chain is not nearly as bad as the ones they show haha.
    #8
  9. tennyis

    tennyis Been here awhile

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    perfect i'll be good for sure then, I don't have any squeaks yet haha. I was really dreading having to take the car because this is trip is just meant for an ADV bike. Lots of twisties and about 100km of "rough gravel roads" to get into a back country campsite! I could do it in my car, but i'd rather chance it on the bike haha.
    #9
  10. victor441

    victor441 Long timer

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    A quick check if you have good chain access is to measure 24 links pin center to pin center, a brand new chain will be exactly 15", 15 1/8" indicates about 0.8% elongation, 15 1/4" is about 1.7% etc. A spec in some old MC manuals is to replace at 2% while a 1% spec is common in the bicycle world...I generally split the difference on my motorcycles.

    (FWIW 24 links of bicycle chain is 12" and the common wear spec is 12 1/8" for 1% elongation and that has worked well for me)
    #10
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  11. Donkey Hotey

    Donkey Hotey De Jo Momma

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    That right there would scare me off. The fact that it suddenly went off the cliff suggests that the internal lube is spent.

    If it had gradually gotten to this point it might be normal wear. Sudden, accelerated wear tips the scale for me.
    #11
  12. katbeanz

    katbeanz earthbound misfit, I Supporter

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    I had a Regina o-ring, and a knockoff "primary drive" go to $hit in a hurry. I agree with 1-2% on a bike, 3% is wear limit for industrial chain IIRC, many get ran way past that. :dunno
    #12
  13. Grinnin

    Grinnin Forever N00b Supporter

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    How much daylight can you see?

    Another poster says this is a sudden change. I read your description as it now shows daylight, but not much. I.e. it's a change from 0 to some. Is it a change from 0 to a tiny bit or from 0 to a lot?
    #13