Ideas on what would cause "spontaneous" chain tigh - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 11-26-2006, 10:52 AM Thread Starter
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Ideas on what would cause "spontaneous" chain tigh

My chain had perfect slack when I left for my killer SE Ohio ride yesterday morning. I could just touch the bottom of the swingarm with the chain, which is just how I like it. Adjustment nuts (lock nuts) were snug and the axle bolt was torqued properly. The chain had the same amount of slack throughout it's entire run.

Somewhere in the first 200 miles the chain got so tight that when I rechecked it in Marietta it had maybe 2mm of slack. I could barely move it. All the bolts were in the same position and the chain had the same amount of lack of slack throughout it's entire run. I readjusted the chain.

The riding was about 70% street, 30% gravel or dirt roads. The only "off road portion" was a small boulder I rode on and then jumped over twice, a half dozen curbs, and a small hill climb that actually was too techinical for me; the front wheel kept getting air and pitching me off the back. Three tries at that and I gave it up. I don't really know if the riding style would have some effect on the chain tightening but thought I'd submit all the information I had.

After I got home, 400 miles later, the chain had not moved from it's re-adjusted position. What gives?
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post #2 of 13 Old 11-26-2006, 11:37 AM
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I've seen that happen too. I have some theories including the stiffness of the gasketed chain on the KLR's but couldn't prove it if I had a government grant. :lol: The problem with most my theories is that in reality they should cause the chain to loosen not tighten up. The only one that doesn't is heat. Heat causes metal to contract but how it would cause the chain to tighten that much? And even then once cooled you should have ubiquidous play in the chain. Maybe HC has an idea?

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post #3 of 13 Old 11-26-2006, 04:24 PM
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Time for a new chain.....

Mine did that to me while I was out west. I would adjust it, a few miles down the road I would have to loosen it because it was too tight. The next time I checked it it was way too loose, I did this several times before I decided to loosen it up and ride on. Once I gotr home I cleaned it with kerosen and wd-40. Put it back on and adjusted it. Same problem, too tight after a ride, or too loose. A new chain solved the problem for me. :cry:

I ordered one off of E-bay.

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post #4 of 13 Old 11-26-2006, 05:53 PM
 
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Seems kind of silly to mention it, but if the bike was not in neutral when checking your chain, you would get a different chain tension everytime you checked it.
Loose axle bolts wil give ya bogus reading too.

(I sold a bike awhile back to a guy. I saw him about two weeks later and the chain was fanbelt tight! I asked him what was up with the chain tightness.. He says: "When I got the bike from you it was too loose, so I tightened it real tight". AAAuughh!! And this guy was an engineer!!
I set him straight... and he ended up having to buy a new chain.)
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post #5 of 13 Old 11-26-2006, 11:48 PM
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I also wonder if as the chain wears out the extra stiffness causes it to kink making it seem tight with the kink in it but loose after hitting the sprocket? :|

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post #6 of 13 Old 11-27-2006, 03:09 AM
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Hey Meef,not to hijack your thread,but did you guys go north on route 7 out of Marietta? My daughters boyfriend said he saw a couple of bikes headin north.Wish you would of givin me a shout,I would of met up with ya in Marietta.Thats where I work.

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post #7 of 13 Old 11-28-2006, 10:07 AM Thread Starter
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Well, the Marieta thing was pretty spontaneous; I took a personal day off work at the last minute and hooked up with a V-Strom rider from ADV who lives nearby that morning.

We weren't on 7, we were on 60 mostly in that area. We crossed into WV just to do it and then crossed back. We had lunch at the Levee House, ever eaten there? Good food, nice river view, I liked it. I saw a TON of bikes Saturday, everyone was trying to get in "one last ride".

I'll let you know in advance the next time I'm down that way.
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post #8 of 13 Old 11-28-2006, 01:38 PM
 
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what are the suggested chain replacement intervals in the book??
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post #9 of 13 Old 12-03-2006, 11:16 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alpin'Dave
what are the suggested chain replacement intervals in the book??
20,000 miles
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post #10 of 13 Old 12-03-2006, 09:22 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daddyjoe
Time for a new chain.....

Mine did that to me while I was out west. I would adjust it, a few miles down the road I would have to loosen it because it was too tight. The next time I checked it it was way too loose, I did this several times before I decided to loosen it up and ride on. Once I gotr home I cleaned it with kerosen and wd-40. Put it back on and adjusted it. Same problem, too tight after a ride, or too loose. A new chain solved the problem for me. :cry:

I ordered one off of E-bay.
excatly!!! Guys when your chain starts to do this it is time to replace it!!

Buildit is partially right, heat is a major factor, and this is because the chain joints start to seize up, and slightly kink. Causing your chain to be alot tighter. I have seen this several times, especially running wd40 as a lubricant!! Lots of bikes go in and out of my shop, and some do have this problem. The first thing I ask is what lubricant and how often to you lube it? Constantly lubbing your chain with any good lubricant, and your chain will not kink up. But once you get some time on your chain( to the point of replacing) plus not lubbing it constantly, then it will heat up an seize. Usually because the o-rings are cracked or missing.
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