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Old 01-27-2018, 11:30 AM   #1
burrhead
 
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I need chain advise.

Iím a returning rider after a couple of decades of absence and need some chain education. Bought an 08 KLR a few months ago with 6,000 miles on it and an unknown history.

Iím losing O rings from the chain. Iím guessing itís the original chain, I keep the tension in spec, clean with diesel and lube with 90 wt gear oil every 500 miles or sooner, and changed the front sprocket to a 16 tooth about 500 miles ago. The rear sprocket looks fine.

My plan is to replace the chain. Should I go ahead and replace the rear sprocket? Does my chain maintenance make sense? O or X ring? Riveted or clip master link? Any advice is appreciated.
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Old 01-27-2018, 11:43 AM   #2
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Re: I need chain advise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by burrhead View Post
I’m a returning rider after a couple of decades of absence and need some chain education. Bought an 08 KLR a few months ago with 6,000 miles on it and an unknown history.

I’m losing O rings from the chain. I’m guessing it’s the original chain, I keep the tension in spec, clean with diesel and lube with 90 wt gear oil every 500 miles or sooner, and changed the front sprocket to a 16 tooth about 500 miles ago. The rear sprocket looks fine.

My plan is to replace the chain. Should I go ahead and replace the rear sprocket? Does my chain maintenance make sense? O or X ring? Riveted or clip master link? Any advice is appreciated.
Loosing O rings is due to age, or a cleaner/ lube that attacked the rubber
or mismatch in sprocket / chain size/pitch

Diesel and 90wt should not deteriorate the rubber but who knowns what was done before you.

General wisdom is to replace sprockets and chain as a set, as a worn one will shorten the life of the other.
If the front sprocket shows NO wear (possible, but with a chain that bad, not a given)
Replace the rear sprocket and chain... if in doubt, replace all three.

Consider a actual chain lube vice the 90wt... Chain lube goes on fluid but has additives that make it go sticky as the carrier evaporates.. Leaving more lube on the chain, less spun off.

I'll post two brands that works, not saying best, only, ect...just i know it works.
PJ1 Black label http://pj1.com/i-19004729-pj1-heavy-...t-wt-5-oz.html
MAXIMA CHAIN GUARD http://www.maximausa.com/product/syn-chain-guard/
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Old 01-27-2018, 03:19 PM   #3
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Re: I need chain advise.

Thanks for the info. I just ordered a D.I.D. 520 X ring chain with a clip link and a Sun Star sprocket. I'll look into a more modern lube.

Thanks again
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Old 01-27-2018, 09:27 PM   #4
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Re: I need chain advise.

O-ring chains are already lubed, hence the O-rings. The biggest factor I have found in extending their life is to keep them clean and do NOT let them get any rust on them. Rust is like grit, and it will wear down the O-rings.

If you ride on the street, chain lubes are good because they will help keep water off the chain and prevent rust. If you ride in the dirt, the stickiness of the chain lubes is not good. Dirt will stick to the chain and eat away your O-rings. I prefer NOT to lube my chain on my KTM. It stays cleaner that way. I also don't put it away wet. Mud that gets on it while riding generally flings off while riding. If not, I'll clean it before putting it away. I will spray a rag with WD-40 and wipe the chain down. DO NO try to use a rag on the chain with the bike in gear and the engine running! I have seen pics of the aftermath of that option and they were pretty gruesome...
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Old 01-27-2018, 09:54 PM   #5
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Re: I need chain advise.

TM, that all makes sense and I hadn't thought about that. 80% of my riding in on pavement but I live 4 miles down a dirt road and do putt around here and there on the dirt. Rust really isn't too much of a problem in the desert and I'll start hosing it off when I get home. Well, sometimes.

Thanks for the info.
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Old 01-27-2018, 11:45 PM   #6
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Angry Re: I need chain advise.

Scott, will definitely remember not to put away wet. Came home last week from medina 250 to my sloppy 2 mile driveway. Hosed off the calichie and parked it. Discovered rust on chain and disks later last week. Steel wool-ed the disks and cleaned chain with soft steel brush. Still some external rust on chain but acceptable. I use that DuPont spray wax and usually hit before every ride.
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Old 01-28-2018, 02:36 AM   #7
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Re: I need chain advise.

There was a teflon spray that dried quickly and did not have the stickiness of most chain waxes. I can't recall if it is DuPont brand. But, I seem to recall that it did well at NOT holding dirt on contact. So that would help in dry conditions. If you are riding in wet/muddy conditions, your chain is just going to get nasty. The only thing that will help is cleaning it and getting any water off it before it has time to rust.

I often spray my chains with WD-40 if I don't have time to really clean them and they are wet. Basically, the WD-40 just gets the water off the chain (and is messy). There is some debate about the WD-40 penetrating the O-rings and degrading the grease. However, I have used both chain waxes/lubes and WD-40 on different bikes and have seen no significant difference in chain life when using just one exclusively versus the other. I did the wax/lube thing on my VFR 800s for years (100K miles of riding). With the KLR 650, Vstrom 650 and my KTM 530, I have mostly done WD-40. I still get about 15-20K out of a chain depending on the conditions in which I ride. That said, I know there are people out there that can squeeze upwards of 50K miles out of chain, usually with super anal attention and a Scott-Oiler system (also incredibly messy). The cost of a quality chain and set of sprockets is low enough, and they are easy enough to change, that I don't get real worked up about trying to squeeze every last possible mile out of them.

A really BIG and OFTEN overlooked factor in chain life is keeping the proper adjustment on the chain slack. Being overly tight or loose can ruin a chain and sprockets quite fast. Misalignment of the rear wheel/sprocket can also cause premature wear. Once those O-rings break down and/or the grease inside them degrades (or is just gone), chains will generally "stretch" very quickly. They don't actually stretch in the sense of stretching like a spring or rubber band, they just wear so bad that the effect is for the holes in the links to go out of round from wear and for the pins to wear down to smaller diameters, in effect making the chain longer. I have had a chain go from good to bad in a day. I was lucky to make it home and had to stop repeatedly to take out some slack on the way. All it takes is one O-ring going bad because your chain is only as strong as its weakest link

It is not rigorously accurate, but I have developed the habit of taping my chains with the toe of my boot before riding. I tap it side to side, not up and down. If you have missing O-rings, you will usually hear the plates rattling against each other. If I hear that, the chain gets a closer inspection and is usually replaced. Of course, this would require that more than one or two O-rings have gone missing or you wouldn't get enough movement in the plates to make noise. Measuring the slack on a regular basis is also a good way to keep an eye on the chain. If it starts to change, then its a good bet that the grease is gone even if the O-rings are still intact.
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Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Eph 4:29 (NIV)
Think before you post. Leave out the vulgarity, personal attacks and foul language!

Quote:
"However lofty the goals, if the means be depraved, the result must reflect that depravity." - Leonard E. Read

Lies are fragile. They require constant attentiveness to keep them alive. The exposure of a single truth can rip through an ocean of lies, evaporating it instantly. - Brandon Smith

If you want government to intervene domestically, youíre a liberal. If you want government to intervene overseas, youíre a conservative. If you want government to intervene everywhere, youíre a moderate. If you donít want government to intervene anywhere, youíre an extremist. ó Joe Sobran

It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a Ďdismal science.' But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance. Ė Murray N. Rothbard

When one possessed of the Truth suffers from a heavy heart he is susceptible to a more dangerous affliction ó the craving for power to eradicate error, to cause Truth to triumph by force. - Frank Chodorov

Where politicians flourish, long history has harshly taught us, people and their liberty wither. Where the state is god and the "public interest" worshipped, individual man will be found bleeding upon the altar. - Karl Hess

The accepted wisdom is that without the state, society would collapse into lawlessness and crime. In fact, lawlessness and crime define the very nature of the state and the society organized by it. - Bionic Mosquito

But the myth of the rule of law does more than render the people submissive to state authority; it also turns them into the state's accomplices in the exercise of its power. For people who would ordinarily consider it a great evil to deprive individuals of their rights or oppress politically powerless minority groups will respond with patriotic fervor when these same actions are described as upholding the rule of law. - John Hasnas
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Old 01-28-2018, 07:50 AM   #8
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Re: I need chain advise.

The factory front KLR sprocket is usually the first part that wears out of the three components. Aftermarket front sprockets don't have the big rubber buffer, but don't need it anyway. I would suggest ordering a replacement front as well, and also spend another ten bucks to get a prevailing torque sprocket nut. The locknut eliminated the need to have the bent washer between the sprocket and the nut.

Your bike doesn't have the miles to show bad wear yet, but it is getting there. Many of us, myself included, replace both sprockets along with the chain.

By the way, I have a chain breaker and a chain press I can lend you. The press doubles as a rivet setting tool if you went for that option on your chain. Let me know if you want them and I can drop them off on my way to or from town, or at your office.
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Old 01-28-2018, 10:21 AM   #9
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Re: I need chain advise.

Ed, I changed the front sprocket to a 16 tooth to lower the RPMs about 500 miles ago, before I knew I should change everything as a set. The chain I ordered comes with a clip master link and I plan to install it and RTV it. I’m back and forth on the wisdom of a clip vs rivet link. Thanks for the offer though; I may change to a rivet if the thought of the clip freaks me out on the way to Alpine someday.
As to the whole chain/sprocket longevity subject, you know this area just destroys everything made of rubber/plastic. I’m pretty maintenance conscious but I don’t expect getting high or even average mileage out of whatever I do. It’s just the cost of living in paradise.
Thanks for your help, Jim
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Old 01-28-2018, 02:15 PM   #10
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Re: I need chain advise.

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Iím back and forth on the wisdom of a clip vs rivet link.
Rivet master links are better utilized on higher-performance machines. A clip master link is just fine for a more anemic bike such as the KLR.

The main thing is making sure the sprockets and chain correctly match one another with regard to size, pitch, etc. For example, mismatching 520 and 530 components will cause you to have a bad time, such as O-rings flying apart, etc.
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Old 01-28-2018, 09:07 PM   #11
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Re: I need chain advise.

The clip is fine on a KLR. The press is still handy for getting the plate on all the way, making clip installation pretty simple. That newer sprocket should be fine. I would count this as putting on a set.
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Old 01-29-2018, 10:19 AM   #12
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Re: I need chain advise.

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The clip is fine on a KLR. The press is still handy for getting the plate on all the way, making clip installation pretty simple. That newer sprocket should be fine. I would count this as putting on a set.
A mini press to get the side plate on and clip pliers ..make your own or buy a pair from Motion Pro.

You don't need either,,,but using them both makes the job faster, easier and less chance of damaging the plate or clip
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Old 01-29-2018, 11:25 AM   #13
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Re: I need chain advise.

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...You don't need either,,,but using them both makes the job faster, easier and less chance of damaging the plate or clip
And then a dab of RTV over the clip helps keep it in place. Easy to peel off RTV when you do need to remove the clip though. I use the Ultra Black, resistant to heat and oil.
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Old 01-29-2018, 11:29 AM   #14
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Re: I need chain advise.

To each his own
Iíve never seen a non damaged or worn clip installed correctly come off.

I have seen a lot of them installed backwards and come off or used well past their service life and come off.

And or brand new ones that are mangled upon hammfisted install and then come off
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Old 01-29-2018, 11:41 AM   #15
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Re: I need chain advise.

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Rivet master links are better utilized on higher-performance machines. A clip master link is just fine for a more anemic bike such as the KLR.
Being a newbie on replacing chains, what is the approximate HP and torque needed to start using a riveted chain? My 1250 Bandit makes about 90 hp and I enjoy the abundant torque regularly.

Do the clip master links have O-rings? If not, do they need replacing before the chain?
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Old 01-29-2018, 12:15 PM   #16
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Re: I need chain advise.

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Originally Posted by Zephyr View Post
Being a newbie on replacing chains, what is the approximate HP and torque needed to start using a riveted chain? My 1250 Bandit makes about 90 hp and I enjoy the abundant torque regularly.

Do the clip master links have O-rings? If not, do they need replacing before the chain?
With the long service life anticipated from that new chain and sprockets a Rivet link that will last the length of the chain (vice clip links that often are worn out long before the chain) I would suggest a rivet link..

As for a HP number, well, I suppose it might make a difference, but Ive seen plenty of Mega HP drag bikes use clip links>>
SO I base it on use and bike type..

If it has a chain guide (dirt and DS) clip links get worn as the pass though the slider. ..Chain life is also shorter and more likely to want to remove the chain during its service life... So I use clip types and have a spare, replacing if it is removed or clip is observed worn

If the chain is on dirt bike with chain guide and it needs to be ultra reliable (adventure bike Im sending to cross US or non US ride)it gets a rivet link installed and a clip type sent for spare.

Street bikes regardless of HP get a rivet link
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Old 01-29-2018, 12:49 PM   #17
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Re: I need chain advise.

Excellent information and advice. I'll follow it. Thanks!
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Old 01-29-2018, 12:53 PM   #18
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Re: I need chain advise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zephyr View Post
Being a newbie on replacing chains, what is the approximate HP and torque needed to start using a riveted chain? My 1250 Bandit makes about 90 hp and I enjoy the abundant torque regularly.

Do the clip master links have O-rings? If not, do they need replacing before the chain?
To answer your other question--yes clip master links have o rings. On that subject, the master link on a clip type o-ring has to be "pressed" together so the clip can be installed. There is a inexpensive press tool widely available to accomplish this, or there are several effective home mechanic work-arounds to get it done correctly.

On the subject of rivet vs. clip, I have seen many home mechanics buy a rivet tool off of Amazon or wherever and then proceed to ruin their new link (and chain sometimes) by having no idea how to do the job properly.

My 950 Adventure came with a rivet link and I replaced the chain with a clip link, simply because that is my personal preference and I know it works perfectly fine. I am not about to get in a debate about what is better and I don't care to hear everyone's horror stories about the time Billy Bob's chain threw a link. I get it.

As with everything else, i have assessed the strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities and I sleep well at night with a clip link on anything I own.
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Old 01-29-2018, 02:22 PM   #19
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Re: I need chain advise.

This isn't my thread but I have three bikes with original equipment chains. I appreciate your confidence with the master link, John. That's all we had back when I was young. The Bandit is due a new chain soon. I feel a lot better about changing them now. Going to buy the master link tool and spare links for the KLX, probably have a complete chain tool set before it's over.
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Old 01-29-2018, 02:27 PM   #20
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Re: I need chain advise.

A proper chain tool while not needed makes the job much easier and quicker than the home methods I did prior to acquiring the proper tool for the job. As for rivet vs clip. It's personal preference. I prefer the rivet link personally.
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