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Discussion Starter #1
I'm sure everyone has had a friend or heard a story about chain breakage....but how common is it really? I have a used chain on my bike and recently the local shop told me that I should change it within the next couple hundred miles.

Can't afford it just yet, but still want to ride. Am I seriously endangering myself?
 
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Discussion Starter #2
Re: how common is chain failure? (Red900SS)



The main concern is that it can jam the chain between the output sprocket and the engine case.

It can break the case, bend the output shaft to the transmission, damage the clutch slave, clutch push rod, the shifting spindle, rear fender, and the left exhaust can.

It can stop the engine so fast it can bend the crank, hopefully not when you're leaned-over. On the other hand, sometimes it just cleanly exits out the back.
 
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Re: how common is chain failure? (Red900SS)

Change the chain, in addition to the aformentioned case damage there is a chance you could go down if it lets go, or shoot it at the guy behind you
 
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Discussion Starter #4
Ditto what everyone else said. When properly maintained it's very rare.

When it does goes you have no warning and if it does wrap up be prepared to meet the pavement.

replace your sprockets as well at the same time.
 
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Discussion Starter #5
Re: (dizzyg44)

Clip master links fail MUCH more often then the rivet type
 
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Discussion Starter #6
Re: how common is chain failure? (Red900SS)

Red900SS said:
...I have a used chain on my bike and recently the local shop told me that I should change it within the next couple hundred miles...
Wow, it's amazing that they can see it'll fail in such a short time.


Seriously, what did they say was wrong with it? Can you post a pic?

You should never use a clip master link, always use a rivited chain. I've seen the effects of broken chains on people's bikes and bodies, and it's usually not pretty - unless you're very lucky and it just shoots out the back.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
Re: how common is chain failure? (JeffKoch)

They didn't say any detail as to what is wrong....but here is a pic:



 
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Discussion Starter #8
you're [email protected]#$%^g kidding right? from the pics it looks like that pos chain is the cleanest area on the bike. change it, maintain it. repeat.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
Re: (duc572)

OMG.....that chain looks bad....clean it first.
 
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Discussion Starter #10
Re: how common is chain failure? (Red900SS)

I dunno, looks incredibly dirty but not obviously destroyed, unless... Is that grey stuff grease or corrosion? Assuming it's not rotten and falling apart, the way to check a chain for wear is to look in your owners or service manual and find out what the spec is for maximum chain stretch, then measure it. If it's streched too much, or rotten and falling apart, then it's time to scrounge up that hundred bucks or so and buy a new chain.
 
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Discussion Starter #11
Its not rotting or falling apart. The white stuff is some kind of lube the shop put on. The pictures make it look worse than it is. I don't know how you can make the comment that its the cleanest part on the bike when you see nothing else but the chain and sprocket....
 
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Discussion Starter #12
Re: (Red900SS)

look at the teeth on the sprocket too .. i'd say it's time for a new set up ..
hit up jason and get some new stuff !!
 
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Re: (04749s)

No offense to anyone, but Red, remember that this board is frequented by a lot of folks for whom a typical exchange might be:

"Which slipper clutch is the best for my bike?"

"Whichever one is the most expensive."

I replaced mine because I had no idea how old it was, and I noticed that some of the links were stiff, even after lubricating the chain. What I didn't realize until after I replaced it was that all that noise my bike made when I was just rolling it around the shop or whatever was coming from the chain!

After the new one went on, the only noise I could here was the slight rattling of the full-floating rotors up front. It was like night and day.

And yeah, it makes some sense to replace sprockets at the same time, but really...unless you have missing teeth, it's just a matter of the sprockets developing a nominally new wear pattern. To me it's kinda like replacing all the pulleys in your car when you put new belts on.

I'm sure I'll get slammed for that, but I'm married with a kid and a house payment, and I can't afford to replace everything that isn't shiny anymore. I just like to ride the damn thing. Besides, my bike just turned 27,000 miles, I've never had a mechanical failure, and I do all my own maintenance. That's where the rubber meets the road, if you get my meaning.

And I'm sure your bike is very clean!
 
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Discussion Starter #14
AHHH. I like that logic! Tjhat's exactly where i'm coming from!!
 
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Discussion Starter #15
Re: how common is chain failure? (Red900SS)

If your chain is dorked up, replace it.

The last track day I attended, two people went off track with broken chains. One guy had the master link clip come off, and I'm not sure what happened with the other one.

I've also been behind a control rider on a "control rider" sighting lap, and watched his chain come off, destroy the tailpiece, hole the engine cases, and dump oil all over the track in a critical turn.

Don't take a chance. Buying a new chain is cheap insurance. What is more affordable...replacing the chain...or replacing bodywork, engine cases, and paying for medical expenses in a worst case scenario?
 
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Discussion Starter #16
Re: how common is chain failure? (998R)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD>Quote, originally posted by 998R »</TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">If your chain is dorked up, replace it.

The last track day I attended, two people went off track with broken chains. One guy had the master link clip come off, and I'm not sure what happened with the other one.

I've also been behind a control rider on a "control rider" sighting lap, and watched his chain come off, destroy the tailpiece, hole the engine cases, and dump oil all over the track in a critical turn.

Don't take a chance. Buying a new chain is cheap insurance. What is more affordable...replacing the chain...or replacing bodywork, engine cases, and paying for medical expenses in a worst case scenario?
</TD></TR></TABLE>


I agree...just be safe....don't be that GUY and run the risk of having your name all over the place as the "I can't afford a new chain guy".


Yeah the machines are nice to drive and very tempting, but they need maintenance too...IT'S NOT A PUMP AND DRIVE VEHICLE
 
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Discussion Starter #17
Re: how common is chain failure? (BlackHawk)

Red, how many miles on the chain? A well maintained one should go 15-20,000 miles. Are the sprocket teeth visibly hooked? Grasp the chain at the rear of the rear sprocket and pull back. Can you pull it far enough to see light under the chain, between it and the sprocket? If so, replace asap. And definitely replace the sprockets at the same time. Do NOT use a clip master link.
Joe
 
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Discussion Starter #18
1) Put the bike in gear and have someone push it forwards or backwards to tighten the chain and remove all slack.
2) Carefully measure the distance across 16 chain pitches with a good metric ruler - it's most accurate to measure from one edge of a pin to the other.
3) If this length exceeds 256.5 mm (number from my 916 manual, I'm sure it's the same for a 900), the chain is stretched too much and should be replaced. If it's close, try rotating the chain to a different position and re-measuring.

If some of the links are stiff, you might be able to restore the chain by cleaning it, though to do this properly you'll have to remove it and soak it in chain cleaner.

I'm kinda with DesmoBob here, it's possible to be too paranoid and spend too much money, though chains are critical safety items. You might ask your shop *why* they think you have to replace the chain immediately - truth is, some shops are more interested in making money than in saving it for you, and they can turn a dirty ugly chain into a "serious safety issue" very quickly, especially if you don't seem to be mechanically inclined yourself. I've seen this in my wife's interactions with local auto repair shops - funny, their whole attitude changes when they're dealing with me.
 
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Discussion Starter #19
Oh how timely this thread is.

I told a customer of mine not two weeks ago to skip the new carbon front fender and do the quick change conversion new chain and front sprocket because while I was doing the frame sliders I noticed I could lift the chain off the rear sprocket enough to see daylight between the links and sprocket. One week and 1500km (about 700 miles) later I get a call. Now his very pretty 748 sits here with bent counter shaft, broken cover and cases, bent clutch rod, ruined flywheel (Nickols) and stator. We are now in search of a low milage 748 motor because it will be less expensive than replacing all his broken parts. His summer is probably done.

I consider chains and sprockets like oil and filter. It is cheap insurance compared to ignoring it and dealing will the broken parts.
 
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Discussion Starter #20
ok....I'm not THAT cheap...just not trying to replace something that doesn't need it.

It is dirty and greasy, you cannot see daylight by lifting off t he sprocket from the rear, the sprockets look fine.

However, now that everyone has thoroughly freaked me out....I'm having new chain/sprockets put on. This one has about 13k miles on it.

Should I now replace the original brake lines before the burst and make me plow into a bus? How about my front tire with 1k miles on it? I might hit a patch of cold blacktop :)
 
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