Motorcycle chain tech

This is an archive of any information relating to MC drivetrains.

Motorcycle chain tech

Postby big bad » Tue Aug 06, 2013 7:49 am

There are really two main types of chains: O-Ring chains and Non-O-Ring chains. O-Ring chains have, as you would guess, small O-Rings built into them. The O-Rings are used to keep grease and lube inside your chain (between all the moving parts). Non-O-Ring chains do not. Back in the day when O-Ring chains came out, many people believed the O-Rings created high levels of drag. However, that is not the case. A well-maintained O-Ring (X-ring, Y-ring etc) chain provides less drag, requires less maintenance, and lasts a heck of a lot longer.
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A chain that is ignored will eventually fail, typically by breaking. A broken chain will many times ball-up around the countershaft and front sprocket. When this happens, your chain will rip and tear its way through your soft aluminum motor and will always result in engine damage (either from the chain flailing around or from the motor coming to an immediate stop) Sometimes a chain will get caught in the rear wheel, resulting in an immediate rear wheel skid. Rarely, somebody will get lucky and the chain will fly off the bike without making contact with anything while the rider coasts to a stop (this is rare). In either case, you will be stranded. More than likely, you will have some damage, be it be minor or major.

When your chain is without lube, it will build up a lot of heat and result in the chain stretching. Without lube, your O-Ring will also be exposed to the harmful ozone and ultraviolet rays, causing them to dry out, crack, and even fall off.

If your chain requires adjustment, your owner's manual will have the information you need to tighten/loosen it as there are many different types of adjustment. You will probably need to start by loosening the axle to allow the wheel to move. Then you can turn the adjuster screws, ¼ turn at a time, until you reach the proper adjustment. I like to turn the left one, and then turn the right one the same distance to maintain wheel alignment. Slack Measurements are different between manufacturers, cahin size, chain length and use.
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A common misconception with chain replacement is to change you chain and sprockets at the same time. This is only true if you use aluminum sprockets. If you use steel or factory sprockets, the rule of thumb is two chains to one set of sprockets. That is, of course, if you replace your chains before they are so bad they damage the steel sprockets. Unless you wish to change your gearing when your chain wears out, simply replace the chain. A good chain costs about $100, and a rear sprocket can run around $75 or more. Even if the second chain wears out a little bit faster than the first chain, you'll still end up saving a grundle of money without compromising safety.
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How to Properly adjust a motorcycle drive chain. This process is the same for all recreational vehicals, sport bike and cruiser alike
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImnippEEVNA[/youtube]

Cleaning a motorcyle chain properly
Kerosene is a good cleaning agent, many people use it including me
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80CESYb6bbM[/youtube]
big bad
 
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Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2008 10:15 am
Bike: 1800 f vtx 05

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