Master Link Trouble - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
1987 to 2007 Wrenching & Mods For maintaining, repair or modifications of Generation 1 KLR's. 2007 and earlier.

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post #1 of 12 Old 11-21-2019, 01:25 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Nov 2019
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Master Link Trouble

New motorcycle owner here and learning about wrenching. I have a background in working on bicycles (the ones you pedal) and some light auto maintenance. This forum paired with YouTube University and my Clymber book has been very helpful.

When I picked up my 95 (22,000-ish miles) a few weeks back I knew it has a slight oil leak. I thought maybe it was just the previous owner never riding it so I changed the oil and rode it a bunch. The leak just got worse so I changed the counter shaft seal, collar, and o-ring. The leak seems to be gone, a little more time and riding will tell.

However, when I got my chain all tensioned up it made a horrible clunk as it goes through the sprockets, pretty sure it didn't do it when I first bought it. I noticed it was only making noise as the master link goes around each sprocket. The chain and sprockets seems to be all in good shape, unknown millage on them though, they don't look like they are from 1995. I have my chain pretty loose now and it doesn't make a clunk any more but still doesn't go smoothy through the sprockets. Any thoughts? Thanks
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post #2 of 12 Old 11-21-2019, 01:43 PM
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The drive chain Must Be left Loose Enough so as to be Able to gently lift the lower run UP to just touch the rear tip of the rubber underslider.

Too many home mechanic installations of press fit master links can be overly Compressed on the o-rings. Do you have a vernier caliper to measure the total side plate width of the master link as compared to other links? Do you have a chain tool to press it back apart a bit? Maybe the installer didn't grease the rivets & o-rings as they installed it?
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pdwestman
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 85,000+ miles & counting
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post #3 of 12 Old 11-21-2019, 02:18 PM Thread Starter
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The chain just barely touches the under slider. I am pretty confident the chain tension is right where it should be. I will have to get my caliper out and do some measuring. I am just stumped because the entire chain and master link feel well lubed and move nicely and smooth.
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post #4 of 12 Old 11-21-2019, 06:03 PM
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Any tight spots on the chain as you rotate it?
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post #5 of 12 Old 11-21-2019, 06:21 PM Thread Starter
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No tight spots. The chain looks and feels pretty new, minus when the master link passes through either sprocket
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post #6 of 12 Old 11-21-2019, 06:24 PM
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Honestly this sounds a bit odd. Just makes a noise when the master link goes over the sprocket.

A little stumped.

Does the master link seem extra tight? Is it stiff?
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post #7 of 12 Old 11-22-2019, 05:26 PM
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Does it have a clip type link or a rivet link? Standard or o/x-ring chain? If a rivet style check that the connecting links on both ends of it are as free as the chain links themselves. If the plate was pressed to tight and/or the rivets over mushroomed they will do that. If a ring style chain make sure all the o rings are present, if all aren't present there is some 'hammering" that can happen. Other than that it would be odd that at didn't do it before.
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post #8 of 12 Old 11-22-2019, 05:31 PM Thread Starter
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I don't have a lot of experience with motorcycle chains but it seems to be in pretty good shape. All links moves with easy up and down. Not side to side play. I just cleaned and lubed the chain up. I didn't have time to get my calipers last night as I was working on a different project. My guess is that it is some how more worn out from not being installed properly right off the bat. Also maybe the master link maybe lost one of the o-rings or something? I would have to look as I don't remember but would the master link clip being installed backwards cause something like this?

I am also pretty stumped. That is what brought me here hoping someone else has had the same experience.
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post #9 of 12 Old 11-22-2019, 05:38 PM Thread Starter
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I don't have a lot of experience with motorcycle chains but it seems to be in pretty good shape. All links moves with easy up and down. Not side to side play. I just cleaned and lubed the chain up. I didn't have time to get my calipers last night as I was working on a different project. My guess is that it is some how more worn out from not being installed properly right off the bat. Also maybe the master link maybe lost one of the o-rings or something? I would have to look as I don't remember but would the master link clip being installed backwards cause something like this?

I am also pretty stumped. That is what brought me here hoping someone else has had the same experience.
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post #10 of 12 Old 11-22-2019, 06:16 PM
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The clip being installed backwards would make no difference, but if it is get a new one and install it correctly. Missing a "rubber" certainly would make a bit of a difference. If you used the swing arm marks to adjust the chain, don't. I suggest taking a look at the chain/rear sprocket as you spin the rear tire. You should see the same distance side plate to sprocket on both sides. Check your front sprocket and insure that the splines are good too.

I recommend changing at least the rear sprocket when changing chains.
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