Strange noise from chain - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 07-21-2014, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
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Strange noise from chain

I'm getting weird noise from, what it seems, my chain. I can hear it well when in 1st or 2nd gear, 2nd especially. It's less noisy at higher speeds, or it's probably more difficult to hear it because of wind noise. It seems like it struggles at certain point as the chain is spinning and makes grinding sound. I've been cleaning and lubing chain on regular basis. When I put bike on center stand, and rotate tire slowly with my hand, at one point chain almost gets stuck and I need to apply more force to make it spin. I'm not sure if it could be one of the links. I inspected them all, and they seem to be fine. Sprockets seem to be fine too. I've been putting lot of miles lately and had to do chain adjustment quite often. What's the problem/solution here and is there any immediate danger other than annoying noise?
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post #2 of 10 Old 07-21-2014, 08:55 PM
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How many miles on the chain?? If you are doing chain adjustments "quite often" like you say your chain is likely on the way out. I had exactly the same symptoms before I replaced mine.

My Kaw Barn - 2004 KLR, 2006 Concours (sold), 1997 Bayou 400.

"It's a friggen motorcycle, it's not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you shit your pants every now and then. "

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post #3 of 10 Old 07-21-2014, 09:09 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by klr4evr View Post
How many miles on the chain?? If you are doing chain adjustments "quite often" like you say your chain is likely on the way out. I had exactly the same symptoms before I replaced mine.
You might be right. Even though I don't see any wear to it, don't know what else could it be. I have 17k miles on the stock chain.
So what happens if I keep on riding like this? Would it start wearing out the sprockets? Any danger other than noise? I'm in Nicaragua now, and it's really hard finding parts here. I've been looking for rear tire and speedo cable for last week, and no luck.
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post #4 of 10 Old 07-21-2014, 09:16 PM
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I had about 18 - 19,000 miles on my chain.

I found I had to tighten the chain about every 300 miles. It was getting loose faster each time I tightened it. You don't want the chain to come apart or jump of a sprocket. I would be looking for one. You should replace the sprockets too. Can you get stuff sent there from the USA?

I thought you had a tire sourced?? I would't worry about the speedo.

My Kaw Barn - 2004 KLR, 2006 Concours (sold), 1997 Bayou 400.

"It's a friggen motorcycle, it's not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you shit your pants every now and then. "

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post #5 of 10 Old 07-21-2014, 09:29 PM
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Renimus -

What you're probably experiencing is extreme wear on the roller pins. See the pictures in this post.

The two hollow pins in the center of the photo show the wear that occurs on the roller pins. These are the pins that the rollers ride on. The chain can look perfectly good, but this wear often occurs only in some sections of the chain and gives you that 'tight-loose-tight' situation. It's a progressive disease, as there is similar wear happening to the inside of the roller, too. Eventually you'll start losing rollers and the chain will break.

The 520 chain is quite common and should be available at any motorcycle shop down there.

The front sprocket and the rear sprocket may be a bit of a problem to find, as they are used on only a handful of Kawasaki models; they are not generic as the chain is.

No matter, if you're in a bind and can't replace the sprockets at least get the chain replaced before it breaks. You can replace all the components at a later date.

Tom

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post #6 of 10 Old 07-21-2014, 09:44 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Tom Schmitz View Post
Renimus -

What you're probably experiencing is extreme wear on the roller pins. See the pictures in this post.

The two hollow pins in the center of the photo show the wear that occurs on the roller pins. These are the pins that the rollers ride on. The chain can look perfectly good, but this wear often occurs only in some sections of the chain and gives you that 'tight-loose-tight' situation. It's a progressive disease, as there is similar wear happening to the inside of the roller, too. Eventually you'll start losing rollers and the chain will break.

The 520 chain is quite common and should be available at any motorcycle shop down there.

The front sprocket and the rear sprocket may be a bit of a problem to find, as they are used on only a handful of Kawasaki models; they are not generic as the chain is.

No matter, if you're in a bind and can't replace the sprockets at least get the chain replaced before it breaks. You can replace all the components at a later date.

Tom

Great info, thanks Tom!
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post #7 of 10 Old 07-21-2014, 09:58 PM
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Renimus -

You're most welcome. Examine the sprockets for hooking (they look like a hook due to wear) or, worse, radically worn teeth to the point where they are almost gone. If they are hooked, no biggie. Your chain will wear a bit faster, but it's safe. If they are worn down to a nub then ride slowly and easily so that you don't jump a tooth. Jumping a tooth puts a lot of strain on a chain and is a bad deal. If the sprockets look well worn, either by hooking or being nubbins, replace them ASAP.

17,000 miles is pretty good life if you've been using only a spray lube.

Tom

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post #8 of 10 Old 07-22-2014, 12:27 AM
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An easy way to keep track of chain wear is to pull the chain away from the rear sprocket. A new chain will not pull away at all, and when you can pull a chain away 3/8 of an inch, it's time to replace it (IMO)
The diagram below shows the technique, but if you can pull the chain that far, you've been risking your life for too long..



Quote:
17,000 miles is pretty good life if you've been using only a spray lube.
Alot of people only get 10,000 miles out of a KLR chain. It does depend alot on use and maintenance.
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post #9 of 10 Old 07-22-2014, 12:38 AM
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I've got a used speedo cable that has some life left in it. $5+$5 for 1st class shipping if you want it. (I'll take the cable out of the sheath so its easy to mail). not sure how long mail to nicaragua takes tho.. maybe a week (or two) do you have somewhere that you'll be in a week and a half?
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post #10 of 10 Old 07-23-2014, 12:25 PM Thread Starter
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I've got a used speedo cable that has some life left in it. $5+$5 for 1st class shipping if you want it. (I'll take the cable out of the sheath so its easy to mail). not sure how long mail to nicaragua takes tho.. maybe a week (or two) do you have somewhere that you'll be in a week and a half?

Yes, I'm interested in buying that cable. I have some friends in San Juan del Sur where it can be shipped and I plan to be there in about 10-15 days.
I'll send you private message with my email for faster communication.
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