When do you replace your chain?


8 replies to this topic
  • msteele

Posted October 27, 2007 - 07:51 PM

#1

I have told by a motorcycle mechanic that when you can pull your chain off the back of your rear sprocket and see daylight between the sprocket teeth and the chain, it is time to change your chain. Does anyone else follow this as well? When do you all normally replace your chain?

I have a Primary Drive chain that I have had for less than three months and it has stretched to the point that I can pull it back about a 1/4 inch off the sprocket. This seems like very premature wear to me.

  • grayracer513

Posted October 27, 2007 - 08:37 PM

#2

That's one approach. It's not as accurate as some others, though. The chain should be replaced once it has "stretched" to more than 1.5% longer than it was new. Actually, the stretching is most always caused by wear at the pins and bushings, which lets the chain stretch out farther under tension.

If you own a pair of vernier calipers, draw the top run of chain tight and measure the distance between the inside of 11 rollers. New, this should be 5.85". When it gets to 5.94", the chain is too long. Be sure to measure 10 or so sections to be sure there isn't an excessively worn zone in the chain.

An alternative is to remove the chain and lay it out on the floor, pulling it out as long as possible. Count out 101 pins and measure the distance between them using a tape measure. A new chain will measure 62.5" this way. When it gets stretched 1.5%, it will measure 63 7/16".

If the chain has worn beyond this, it starts wearing the sprockets at a higher rate, and if they show too much wear, they have to be replaced as well.

3 months is an unacceptably short time for a chain to wear out in, but with lower grade chains and poor maintenance, it's entirely possible.

  • msteele

Posted October 27, 2007 - 08:44 PM

#3

So, is the Primary Drive chain considered low grade? I see that a lot of people recommend them in these forums. I keep good care of my chain. I lube it every time I ride and I clean it immediately after each ride. i also check and and adjust it to the proper chain tension every other ride.

  • tmckeown

Posted October 28, 2007 - 02:59 AM

#4

There is difference between chain and chain. More money you're willing to put on chain better they last. I'm using currently DID 520 VM and have nothing bad to say about it. You should also change sprokets sametime.

So if you start with as short chains as possible and you go all the way you can tight them up. Those chains are finished as well as sprokets.

Timo McKeown

Visit the ThumperTalk Store for the lowest prices on motorcycle / ATV parts and accessories - Guaranteed
  • grayracer513

Posted October 28, 2007 - 08:53 AM

#5

So, is the Primary Drive chain considered low grade? ... i also check and and adjust it to the proper chain tension every other ride.

How much did it cost compared to a premium chain? Did you think you could get something for nothing? No harshness intended, but when everyone can sell PD chains cheaper than anyone sells Regina or DID, it tells me something.

It's good that you check the chain regularly, but the fact that it needs so much adjustment attention indicates that it's wearing too fast. Be sure that you are following the tension guidelines in the manual. Running the chain too tight can make it wear faster (among other things). Also, lube the chain at least 8 hours before you ride, so that the carrier solvents will have time to evaporate, and the lube will stay put. If you lube right before you ride, it will just fly off.

The Regina ORN6 on my '03 is over two years old now, and has been adjusted only 3 times since I installed it. Quite a difference, no?

  • 2fastRR

Posted October 30, 2007 - 11:59 AM

#6

Which chain is kindof like the which oil question but yes like said above 3 months even if ridden almost daily is way too short.
It's most probably, without knowing any more information about your bike, that the sprockets are worn causing this kind of stretch.
I hear a lot of people on here liking the Regina but I've had very bad results with them on my roadrace bikes so I'm gonna stick with the higher end RK's myself. The Regina's I used didn't stretch much but started binding almost immediately.
Hopefully you'll get enough opinions here to help you.

  • 01426

Posted October 31, 2007 - 04:01 PM

#7

I have an 01 426 that I just bought about 3-4 months ago and I dont think it has ever had the chain replaced, until recently when it snapped!

  • jw yama 76

Posted October 31, 2007 - 04:14 PM

#8

I have told by a motorcycle mechanic that when you can pull your chain off the back of your rear sprocket and see daylight between the sprocket teeth and the chain, it is time to change your chain. Does anyone else follow this as well? When do you all normally replace your chain?

I have a Primary Drive chain that I have had for less than three months and it has stretched to the point that I can pull it back about a 1/4 inch off the sprocket. This seems like very premature wear to me.


All chains stretch....:worthy: I use mine till they are NEAR the end of the adjustment. Unless you have any obvious kinks, or worn sprockets your good...:worthy:

  • grayracer513

Posted October 31, 2007 - 05:14 PM

#9

All chains stretch....:worthy:

Most people would find that a reasonable statement. However, by actual measurement, the 2+ year old ORN6 on my '03 only measures 0.6-0.7% longer than when it was new, and is stlll free enough that you can spin the wheel and get it to coast for about two revolutions before it stops. Then again, I guess that is technically stretched, isn't it? Oh, well.

What is worn is the top and bottom edges of the plates from running over the dirt and sand on the chain guides for all that time. The top edges are worn down flat, and near flush with the O-rings. It looks like that's what will finally cause it to be taken off the bike and replaced.





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