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Old 25 Sep 2008
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One chain or two, sir?

I have an XT600E farkled with a DID gold X2 ring chain and a Scottoiler to lube it.

On my up coming 20-25,000 mile trip through Africa and SE Asia to Australia, should i take a second chain or just connecting links?

Advance thanks to the wise,

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Old 25 Sep 2008
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At that sort of distance you are going to need a new chain unless you are lucky and very light on the throttle. I still wouldn't carry one though. I assume at some point midtrip you'll stop for a rest? Why not get it DHL'd from home to the hotel/campsite/post office or if say in South Africa or Australia just buy one locally? Even where big bikes are uncommon industrial chain in the right size isn't. A replacement bought from a hardware store might only last a few thousand miles, but it will get you to where you can get the spare sent to you.The links are a lot lighter than chain and sprockets.

A comment about the Scotoiler. Personally I don't rate them. I never had one that kept working and didn't need constant primeing and messing about with. If you didn't already buy one, look on e-bay for the Riders For Health guy. For £2 he'll sell you a set of plans to make a much simpler version that won't fail. If you've already got the vacuum tapped thing you need to work out how to disable it when you meet sand. Sand plus oil equals grinding paste, which will wreck your chain. Better to run it dry and give it a clean once a day. Sorry if I'm teaching granny to suck eggs.

Enjoy your trip

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Old 25 Sep 2008
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Hi Andy,

Thanks for your advice.

I have read about not oiling the chain when riding in sand, so i respect your advice; however, Dave Lambeth told me to keep it oiled as at speed the chain chucks the sand off. In his view, the chain O/X rings need constant lubrication, particularly in high temperatures to stop them failing.

For another view, i'll speak to Si Pavey this weekend at that Touratech event in Ystradgynlais. He's done Dakar enough times to give an answer. But then Dave Lambeth's got rally raid experience and is an engineer!

Will post back Si's advice on Monday...

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Old 25 Sep 2008
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alternative --#2

My two pence here as well..

I would do as 3WB suggests and get a chain posted or if you are already in SA or AUS you can just pop to the local yammy dealer and grab one.. (they are cheaper in AUS compared to the UK too.

AS for the Scottoiler ... again I would have to go with 3WB..I have just taken the one off my bike.. i hated it.. it did two things great.. leak oil on my garage floor and give me head aches.. It never worked well.. Now that i have taken it off i also believe that is messed with my vacuum system enough that it effected performance and fuel economy.

I am of the school that in sand you do not want a drip system unless you drip a lot! so with the scott you will have to turn it way up or off. Personally I don’t think that Scotts are NO good for overlanders. IMHO they are designed for "same condition riders".. AKA Fair weather riders... We (tourers) ride in way to many conditions and need to adjust the drip rate far to often, so if you have one place it somewhere easy to get to. E.g. when hot the oil is thinner so you drip too fast, when cold the opposite, when cold and wet you run a dry chain (because it drips slow and gets washed off), Off road you get paste..

HOWEVER I love the idea of a feed system so that the chain stays nice and lubed, with out too much daily checking. .hence I just installed a new system called pro-oiler (Pro-Oiler, the ultimate automatic chain oiler, microprocessor-controlled, pumped, economical, hassle-free, fit and forget, the future of chain maintenance.) the concept is much easier (in my mind to deal with).. it is a little 12v pump that pumps the oil at the rate you chose..(nothing attached to your engine at all.. just a power feed) and they have it set up so that the pump is disabled when the wheels aren’t moving so you dont waste oil either. The nicest part is there is a control (on the dash/handle bars) where you can instantaneously adjust the drip rate, for all the conditions that we may face.. from OFF (0 drips/min) to environmental terrorist rates. And they have a off road setting as well (which may be 2X the environmental terrorist rates (i dont know). But it give you the control that is needed, for riders that are not fair weather riders. The one thing I did not like about the pro-oiler was the oil tank was quite small, but with there help I modified the scott-oiler’s touring tank (which I already had) and that gave me lots of oil…

Talk to the engineer guy at the TT meeting and see what he says…
2000 Africa Twin

Last edited by Xander; 25 Sep 2008 at 10:53.
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Old 25 Sep 2008
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Again 3WB has given good advice.

WRT oiling the chain. I was raised in africa and spent 20 years riding around the dirt roads. My experience and understanding of O rings (my opinion based on experience so take it with advisory) is that if you oil them too much you run the risk of dissolving the grease and leaching it out past the o-rings rendering the technology pointless and worse because the o-rings now prevent oiling the pins. The rollers however do need to be lubricated, I found a synthetic wax lubricant spray worked best, or a grease spray. If in doubt less oil is better. In the end I found the most important thing to chain and sprocket longevity was chain tension. I found that a cheap o-ring gave as good return on money for miles as a more expensive X ring. On dirt roads this equated to roughly 12000km trouble free after that a steady deterioration as you would expect from a standard 520 chain. Maybe squeeze 16000km. Correct chain tension is paramount on dirt if you want longevity, especially when you start hitting corrugated roads. Too tight or loose and your chain stretches like bubblegum. I wore one out in less that 1000km by being lazy.

You also only mentioned chain. I would argue that you should replace both sprockets when you change the chain. Especially if you ride the chain to the last. The two tend to wear in uniform. i.e. if you put a new chain on worn sprockets you will very soon wear the chain out too.

I would take a spare master links and a link splitter.
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Old 25 Sep 2008
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If your chain is quite new I wouldn't bother. You'll be able to get one as soon as you get to Australia for sure and I would have thought in a big city in SEA. I got a DID chain for my XT in Istanbul no problem. It's a lot of weight to carry around. If the worst comes to the worst and your chain breaks you can (with care) use the chains on those little 125s they sell everywhere. You need to go VERY easy though and it won't last very long.

I haven't got a Scottoiler and don't fancy them. I think it's quite good to have to remember to oil your chain on a regular basis, as it gets you into the habit of checking other things while you are at it, like chain tension, tyres pressures, oil level etc.

IMHO split links are completely cr*p. I carry one as a 'get me home' just in case, but they are no substitute for a proper riveted link. The only problem with riveted links is that a chian splitter is (again MHO) really too much to carry around with you.



*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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Old 25 Sep 2008
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Chain and rings

If you're in Oz you might do well to look up stuff from these guys.
Chain Gang
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Old 5 Oct 2008
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Forget about the agricultural chain........ trust me.
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