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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi Folks,
I'm curious about your chain life and maintenance experience.

To the best of your memory please reply with:
1. Bike model, year, and Miles on your chain.

2. What tic mark your chain adjuster's currently at: (start at '1' counting tics from front of swingarm).

3. Level of abuse on scale(1=Sunday driver, 10=race only).

4. Level of maintenance on scale(1=none, 10=OCD).

=======================================
Here's my experience.

1. Bike1: SV650, 2003 naked, 15,782mi, original chain
2. Chain adjuster tick mark: 7.75
3. Abuse: 3, daily driver, no track or racing
4. Maintenance: 2, cleaned never, lubed twice(?)

1. Bike2: SV650, 2007 naked, 820mi
2. Chain adjuster tick mark: 5.5, factory new, never adjusted
3. Abuse: 1, just broken in. ;D
4. Maintenance: 1, never been cleaned or lubed.

Thanks for you replies!
-TeeRiver

Edit: Please include bike model also.
 

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1. 2003 SV650S, 14k on original chain, 8k by me rest by PO
2. 6
3. 6 agresive dail driver and lots of twisties on the weekends, no track or racing
4. 4 when i got it the chain was DRY DRY DRY...i cleaned it once when i got it and then just lubed it every about 1k PJ1 blue
 

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Hi Folks,
I'm curious about your chain life and maintenance experience.

To the best of your memory please reply with:
1. Bike model, year, and Miles on your chain.

2. What tic mark your chain adjuster's currently at: (start at '1' counting tics from front of swingarm).

3. Level of abuse on scale(1=Sunday driver, 10=race only).

4. Level of maintenance on scale(1=none, 10=OCD).

.


1. nekid red 99 SV650
average miles before chain & sprocket replacment 35,000..... front sprocket is toast, chain & rear sprocket barely show wear

2. who pays attention to tic marks

3. abuse..... lots of engine braking, gravel roads, snow, slush and salt

4. maintenance... refill scottoiler every 7500 miles other than that zero, chain gets adjusted by dealer when I buy a new rear tire

___________________
1. 07 V-Strom 1k
14k miles before replacement with oem 525 chain .... 20k miles with 530 chain

#s 2, 3, 4, same as above
 

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Bump for this thread cuz my chain is starting to show rust on the sides and some stiff links but I still have less than 10k miles and I've lubed more or less religiously every 600mi (but only *cleaned* it 3-4 times in 8k miles; I'm not sure what happened for the bike's first 1800mi). I'm hoping to learn of others' experiences.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
greencountry,
After reading most of the posts in the Workshop forum over the past year, most folks report in the neighborhood of 15k mile chain life. I don't think I've seen anyone with a shot chain in < 10k miles, and if you get near 20k then you've done well.

Randy is exceptional, but he's using an automatic oiler. :)
 

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greencountry,
After reading most of the posts in the Workshop forum over the past year, most folks report in the neighborhood of 15k mile chain life. I don't think I've seen anyone with a shot chain in < 10k miles, and if you get near 20k then you've done well.

Randy is exceptional, but he's using an automatic oiler. :)
So do you think I should just ignore the stiff links (I already tried lubricating them generously and working on the stiff links one-by-one) and the rusty sides for a little more? The stiff links aren't totally frozen, and they show as like a 20 degree bend (or less) in the straight section of the chain run. I'm taking a 3k mi trip soon and not sure if I should wait till after to replace the chain.
 

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To the best of your memory please reply with:
1. Bike model, year, and Miles on your chain.

2008 SV650SF, stock chain had 13000 miles, sprockets showed little wear but chain was starting to make noise

2. What tic mark your chain adjuster's currently at: (start at '1' counting tics from front of swingarm).

I didn't really pay attention to the tic marks, but about 3/4 back if 1/2 was the middle

3. Level of abuse on scale(1=Sunday driver, 10=race only).

6-7?

4. Level of maintenance on scale(1=none, 10=OCD).

2-3 I usually just wipe it down when i change the oil
 

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Discussion Starter #8
So do you think I should just ignore the stiff links (I already tried lubricating them generously and working on the stiff links one-by-one) and the rusty sides for a little more? The stiff links aren't totally frozen, and they show as like a 20 degree bend (or less) in the straight section of the chain run. I'm taking a 3k mi trip soon and not sure if I should wait till after to replace the chain.
Stiff links on an o-ring chain usually mean the o-rings have failed. That would explain the kinks and the low mileage failure too. The rust color you see may very well be the residue from the internal grease that has leaked out due to bad o-rings. That turns the chain a dark brownish red and can look like rust. Someone else just posted about rust on their chain and it turned out to be grease residue.

I'm guessing the previous owner cleaned the chain with a strong solvent which is a big no-no since it will damage the rubber/silicon. Once the rings are shot, the chain won't last long.

If you're embarking on a 3,000 mile journey I would absolutely replace that chain.

Man, I'd love to go on a 3k road trip. Where you going? :)
 

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Stiff links on an o-ring chain usually mean the o-rings have failed. That would explain the kinks and the low mileage failure too. The rust color you see may very well be the residue from the internal grease that has leaked out due to bad o-rings. That turns the chain a dark brownish red and can look like rust. Someone else just posted about rust on their chain and it turned out to be grease residue instead.

I'm guessing the previous owner cleaned the chain with a strong solvent which is a big no-no since it will damage the rubber/silicon. Once the rings are shot, the chain won't last long.

If you're embarking on a 3,000 mile journey I would absolutely replace that chain.

Man, I'd love to go on a 3k road trip. Where you going? :)
I'm pretty sure it's rust though, I've cleaned the chain a couple times since it appeared. Most of it scrubs off, but some remains even on the unlubricated, freshly cleaned chain (when it *really* looks like rust :) ). By the time of the next cleaning, there's more of it.

In any case, the stiff links definitely make me feel like changing the chain is a small price to pay for the peace of mind and possible safety hazard.

Cross fingers, I'll be going to Glacier National Park in July. ;D
 

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Discussion Starter #10
...
In any case, the stiff links definitely make me feel like changing the chain is a small price to pay for the peace of mind and possible safety hazard.

Cross fingers, I'll be going to Glacier National Park in July. ;D
I agree. Even if you didn't have kinks, if there were any question, I'd change it out before a trip like that. Brand new tires might be a good idea too depending upon how they look. Lots of long straight miles square the tire profile quick and make the bike handle like crap when you get to the twisties.

I really hope you get to go, and I'm officially jealous. ;D A motorcycle trip to Alaska has been on my to-do list for the past 30 years. Before kids, my wife and I manage a month long trip from LA to Key West and back by way of Yellowstone, camping out in National Parks along the way. We almost didn't do the trip and that would have been a big mistake. Best of luck to you!
 

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Well, Here is mine...


1.- 2005 SV650 stock 525 chain 10K miles.
A.- DID Gold X Ring 520 chain 5K miles. (Chain Rollers Fail)
B.- RK Gold WX Ring 520 chain Unknown miles. (Chain started to get a couple kinks.)
C.- Tsubaki Gold X Ring 520 chain Unknown miles/
2.- Irrelevant... Whatever amount to have 3/4 to 1 inch of slack.
A.- Same. I did installed a longer rear shock changing swing arm angle. Chain must have been too tight and caused failure...
B.- Changed slack 1 to 1-1/2 inch of slack.
C.- Same.
3.- LEVEL 5. Spirited riding with hard acceleration, Lots of Canyon rides with fast friends in super sport bikes and occasional wheelies...
A.- Same.
B.- Level 7. 50/50 Canyon rides and track days.
C.- Level 9. Track days ONLY... Amateur racer level.
4.- Clean and Lubricated every 600 to 1000 miles.
A.- Same.
B.- Chain lubricated every other ride, and cleaned every other time it gets lubricated.
C.- Chain lubricated before every event, and cleaned every other time.

Luis
 

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1. SV650, 2006
1st chain: 21500
2nd chain: 8300 (I slacked on the lubing)
current chain: 7300 (showing small signs of wear)

2. 2nd tic (kinda relative tho - have a 44 rear sprocket)

3. Level of abuse: 7 - year round daily w/ moderate revs but lotsa rain riding

4. Level of maintenance: 7 (clean once a year, lube every 600-800)
 

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1. Bike model, year, and Miles on your chain.
SV650SF, 2009, 5000+ miles

2. What tic mark your chain adjuster's currently at: (start at '1' counting tics from front of swingarm).
Just recently adjusted the chain slack. The adjuster was set to 1 from the factory, but mine is now set to 1.75. :)

3. Level of abuse on scale(1=Sunday driver, 10=race only).
5: commute to work 2-3 days out of the week, weekend canyon rides every other week.

4. Level of maintenance on scale(1=none, 10=OCD).
5: Clean and lube every 600 miles.
 

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what I would be interested in is how much money/time is spent on chain maintance vs. just replacing the chain and spockets every xxx miles with very minimal maintance. I honestly didn't do much to my stock chain/sprockets and got 13,000 miles out of it and even then it wasn't in very bad shape. The sprockets still looked good (no curved teeth) but the chain was starting to kink/stretch a bit. I'm sure I could have rode a lot longer on it too.

It only cost me about $150 to replace it with a 520 chain and sprocket setup.

From what I gather most people that reallly take care of their chain get about 20,000 miles out of it. For those people how much money do you spend on chain cleaner/lube and how much time do you spend cleaning/lubing it?

I'm just curious about how much time and supplies you spend, since for me I factor in time and supplies. when I hear people talk about working on their chain every 600-1000 miles I would have to do that once a month.
 

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I think that it is hard to determinate at which point a chain needs to be replaced... Do you replace the chain when you notice more than a couple kinks? Or you you expect to run it until it snaps?

For me, my bike is a toy... I enjoy working on it, as much as I enjoy riding it... I make a plan to replace my chain when I notice more than a couple kinks during rutine cleaning... I clean my chain with kerosene until the kerosine runs clean... Then I lubicate my chain well with good chain lubricant with teflon...

My chains should last a lot longer But I do ride my bike pretty hard, and by the time it eats two aluminum rear sprockets it is time to replace the chain too...

I usually buy 2 Gallons of kerosine $10.00 each, 2 bottles of chain cleaner $8.00 each and 2 bottles of Chain Lube $18.00 each That is about $72.00 a year

Luis
 

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I just replaced my stock chain and sprockets (thanks Nexus!) at 18,138 miles. I think my case was a little unusual. The chain still had plenty of adjustment left, no stiff links, and the rear sprocket looked good, but while I was lubing it a couple of weeks ago, I discovered a crack in one of the side plates going all the way from the outside of the plate to one of the pins. That particular pin had also lost its o-ring. When I pulled the front sprocket, it was in pretty poor shape too.

1. Bike: SV650, 2000 naked, 18,138 on the stock chain
2. Chain adjuster tick mark: No idea
3. Abuse: 4 - mostly commuting, some touring, a little time in the twisties
4. Maintenance: 3 - cleaned and lubed about every 500 miles
 

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I was looking at my chain today, I need to tighten it, which I will do tonight, but looking at my service manual, it says the service limit is 12.6 inches between 21 pins. My chain is 12.5 inches between, so I need to change soon? How much do you pay attention to the measurement?

I have about 16,500 miles on the bike, I assume the chain is stock since I bought it at 8,500 and the chain still looks good. I have cleaned it about 2 or 3 times this year and I lube it every 500 miles.
 

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'05 SV650 20,000+ miles and I just had a new chain put on 2 weeks ago right at 20k miles. I ride daily during good weather, some times hard riding on the weekend. Maintenance... I'll clean it off every now and again. At 20k miles... I had no more room to tighten it though.
 

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I can only speak to my 1250 Bandit, and I got 22,000 miles from the chain!

I lube it with Dupont w/Teflon (Wonderful stuff!) every 300-500 miles,
douche it with WD-40 periodically,
clean it with Kerosene once in a great while,
run it on the loose side.
 

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This is probably a stupid question but I'm new to motorcycles and looking to clean the chain on my SV for the first time. It seems like in order to clean/lube the chain you really need a stand for the rear wheel so you can spin the wheel to move the chain. Is it possible to clean the chain without this and only having the side kick-stand? I'm guessing I need to go ahead and invest in getting a wheel lift at some point but I'm not even sure where to go to look for one. Thanks for helping out the clueless new guy.
 
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