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Equipping the Bike - what's the best gear? Anything to do with the bikes equipment, saddlebags, etc. Questions on repairs and maintenance of the bike itself belong in the Brand Specific Tech Forums.
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  #1  
Old 11 Nov 2003
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Motorcycle Chains

Hi Guys,
Wanted to know your experiences with your chains with the bike fully loaded up. My trip from Singapore to UK, i lost a few links, snapped my chain once and have used 4 chains so far. No kidding! Maybe i was overloaded and should have used proper O ring Chains. This was on my dommie. I used KISS heavy duty chain (3 altogether) and one bought in Iran. I should have listened to people who said get an O ring chain. Now i will. Whats ur experiences? Is DID the way to go, what about regina and the others. Is it worth paying the higher price. For me i think it would have been better, then i need not adjust my chain every other day. Thats the only thing that really was messing and irritating, playing around with the chain.
Cheers
Dalbir
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  #2  
Old 12 Nov 2003
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Hello.
After years of off-roading and hair-scrambles, the issues with chains and sprockets has always been a hot topic between and my fellow bikers. Here's my two cents: Always buy the best o-ring chain!D.I.D. x-ring are the best, but any o-ring chain will be far superior. As far as lubrication goes, its far more important to keep the chain clean. O-ring chains have the grease sealed inside with an, you guessed it, an o-ring. I like to clean my chains with WD-40 and a rag after i lightly wash the dirt off with water and a gentle scrub. WD-40 drives out all the moisture and cleans off sand and dirt that can damage the o-rings. Try to use a chainwax spray which doesn't attract dirt, or a light penatrating oil daily in small amounts. Don't use oil or grease! This attracts dirt and grit making things worse in the long run. And finally, unless your sprockets are stainless steel, change them at the same time. Old sprockets prematurely wear out chains. Stainless steel never wear out, but are very heavy and not available outside the dirt-bike market. This is what i have discovered over the last 20 years, and it works well for me. Does anyone else have an opinion on this topic?
Good Luck!
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  #3  
Old 12 Nov 2003
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I always get an X-ring if possible & keep it clean & well lubed. I quite often squirt some WD40 on to a rag, wipe the chain with it to free off any crap & old lube, then re-lube the rollers & then run an old toothbrush with lube on over the o'rings. You need to keep the o' rings lubed to prevent them from perishing & then letting the inner roller grease out.

Just because a Dommie is not that powerful, does not mean it will not eat chains in the wrong conditions. Big singles have big power pulses through the transmission - too low a gear & the chain has a hard time. I've also read or heard that WD40 itself is a good chain lube in sandy conditions - makes sense to me? Always replace chains & sprockets as a set where possible, old sprockets will soon wreck your new chain.

Never heard of KISS chains, you'll be okay sticking with DID, EK or Regina.

Steve
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Old 12 Nov 2003
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All the above advice is very sound and accurate, but I have one question. Do you adjust the chain as per the manufacturers instructions? When fully loaded I would recommend adjusting the chain so that it has a bit more slack in it.
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  #5  
Old 12 Nov 2003
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Dalbir,

I rode the other way last year on my Dommie. I had a D.I.D. X-ring chain fitted and that lasted me all the way from the UK to Singapore with a diversion including Laos and Cambodia. Didn't change/fix either chain or sprockets until it was shipped back to the UK. I also had a ScottOiler fitted. Chain was a bit tired by the end but probably due to the rubber chain guide having snapped earlier in Thailand.

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Dave
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  #6  
Old 12 Nov 2003
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Thanks guys,
You have convinced me. I did more worrk with my chain. Occasionally i would clean it with petrol and soak it in hot grease. End of the day, i was using a lousy chain. Its DID for me now on. Wheres a good (cheap)place to get a set and sprocket here in UK?
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  #7  
Old 12 Nov 2003
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Try M&P Accessories on 08705 - 703030 / www.mandp.com , mail order, based in Swansea. Ask them to at least send you a catalogue, it's very useful.

Also try:

B&C Express in Lincolnshire, mail order, on 01522 - 791369 / www.bandcexpress.co.uk

Trade Direct, mail order, on 08705 - 134859.

B&C are very useful should you wish to try alternative sprocket sizes or aluminium rear sprockets.

If you can afford it & intend keeping the bike, I'd go for DID Extra Heavy X-Ring. If selling the bike, just get an ordinary O-Ring.

I would recomend a chain with soft links rather than split links but that's a personal preference.

Steve
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  #8  
Old 12 Nov 2003
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Also recommended to use are Tsubaki chains. Known for a good resistance and reliability. Tsubaki is a good alternative for more expensive D.I.D in high-end chain line.

http://tsubakimoto.com/products/chai...cle_chain.html

Margus
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  #9  
Old 13 Nov 2003
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I'd agree with all that. Even slightly used sprockets seem to have an adverse affect on a new chain! I don't know what other people's experiences are, but I'd avoid Iris chains (with an RS stamped on the side) if I were you! I wrote one off in less than 3000 miles, on a Transalp, even with a Scottoiler on full blast! Try www.gear4bikes.com for chain and spockets, they list the 110 link chain by DID for £55.12.

Stig
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  #10  
Old 13 Nov 2003
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Used two DID520VM's (X-Ring) on my Amsterdam - Capetown trip and must say these are the best. Did not do too much maintenance and still goes about 20.000km on a Honda Dominator. And even still when the chain starts slacking you can do a another 8000km or so, taking links out as a last drastic measure but it worked for me. One time the joining link snapped but replacement was lonnnggg due, skipping on the rear sprocket etc etc....

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  #11  
Old 14 Nov 2003
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hello out there,

have been driving regina, rk and did chains for years on different bikes.
my personal experience is that there's not much of a difference. even the chains from one company seem to vary in their life expectance.
of course, it's imperative to use o-ring chains, but the best thing you can do is to put some oil on it EVERY DRIVING DAY. a good method is to use regular motor oil and put it on the chain with a brush.
another good manner is to start slow and get out of the first gear as soon as possible...but i'm sure you know about that.

good luck to everyone
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  #12  
Old 19 Nov 2003
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I've been using a DID X-ring chain and JT sprockets on my Dakar with good results. After initial run in and adjustment (about 1500 k's), I have hardly touched the adjuster's in the last 10,000 ks, sprockets are still in good order. I do not have a scottoiler fitted, but use Belray Superclean chain lube reguarly, excellent stuff.

Join chain with endless link supplied and you'll have no problems, most chain failures are due to the use of a "clip link" to join the chain, they will always part company at the most inconvenient time, normally with disasterous results.

As above, any of the "branded" o/x-ring chains will last much longer than any roller chain, you get what you pay for. Good quality chain/sprockets + regular maintenance = long distances between replacements.
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  #13  
Old 21 Nov 2003
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RK make a chain with what they call "X/W" rings, one up from x rings i guess! are RK any good?

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  #14  
Old 6 Dec 2003
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I am currently using a regina gold x-ring chain on me bandit12 engined gsxr-750, this chain has been severely abused and is still as good as the day i fitted it about 20,000 miles ago... But, i do use renthal sprockets(aluminium rear) and replace at first signs of wear!!
Any good chain (Did,tsubaki,regina) will return good mileage with little maintenance if run on good quality sprockets, they're as important as quality chains!!
Just be carefull what you clean your chain with on o or x ring chains though, most solvents will perish/melt the o rings
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  #15  
Old 13 Jan 2004
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I use RK or DID O-rings, whichever happens to be cheaper at the time.

I've never snapped a chain and I'm not entirely sure how people manage to do so, unless they're running the chain too tight or using a cheap, nasty chain.

My mechanic insists that cleaning an O-ring chain is probably counter-productive - as long as there's no sand or accumulated debris that will interfere with the sprocket engagement, a film of oily crud stuck to the chain will merely prevent non-oily (and therefore more abrasive) crud from sticking to it.

With that in mind, I do not clean my chain, only apply a light lube regularly (either an O-ring suited aerosol spray if I have access to it, otherwise 80W-90 gear oil applied via a dropper bottle, one drop per link) and if it has obvious accumulations of dirt, I poke them off with a stick/brush/finger/cable tie.

My bike has just clocked up 20,000km, most of that in dirt, and I'm literally taking a break from changing its first chain and sprocket set as I type this, so I think I'll continue with not looking after my chain "properly"!

------------------
Rob
99 DR650SE
Bathurst, NSW
Australia
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