Chain Life and Slack - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 04-01-2011, 10:14 AM Thread Starter
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Chain Life and Slack

How often to yall reckon our chains should be replaced?
Aaaand, since I'm at work and don't have my manual at my desk, what's the proper chain tension?
Also....what's the velocity of an unladen swallow?

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post #2 of 9 Old 04-01-2011, 10:23 AM
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How often to yall reckon our chains should be replaced?
Aaaand, since I'm at work and don't have my manual at my desk, what's the proper chain tension?
Also....what's the velocity of an unladen swallow?
European or African??

My stock chain lasted 20K and I'm not a chain oiler.. Maybe once every 500 miles..

I set my chain slack by sitting on the bike, and setting it so I still have about 1/2" to almost 3/4" of slack.. I don't care what the chain is doing without me on it, but when I'm on it I want the chain to have a bit of freeplay when I've got the swingarm at full extension, which is when the chain's at it's tightest.

I just sit on the bike and reach down to the chain.. If there's slight freeplay, I call it good..

At 20K, my stock chain still had life, but I changed it because I decided to do a bunch of maintenance at 20K, and chain and sprocket were on that list.. Because I was happy with the stock gearing, I went with stock sprocket sizes.
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post #3 of 9 Old 04-01-2011, 11:24 AM Thread Starter
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It's not a matter of gripping it by the husk.

And groovy. I'm at 12k and wondered if I needed to start replacing it yet.
And I have about an inch of play when I'm not on the bike, so I reckon I should tighten her up this weekend.
Thanks man.

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post #4 of 9 Old 04-01-2011, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrabFTW View Post
It's not a matter of gripping it by the husk.

And groovy. I'm at 12k and wondered if I needed to start replacing it yet.
And I have about an inch of play when I'm not on the bike, so I reckon I should tighten her up this weekend.
Thanks man.
You really have to weight it to get an accurate adjustment. If you have an inch of freeplay when your not on the bike and you tighten it up, it will be too tight when your sitting on it. The chains on the KLR's tighten up a lot once you sit on it, I bet mine has more than an inch of freeplay when I'm not on it. Better a little loose than too tight.

As far as the swallow is concerned, Google said it's velocity is about 24 mph, but I'm not sure if that's African or European?


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post #5 of 9 Old 04-01-2011, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrabFTW View Post
It's not a matter of gripping it by the husk.

And groovy. I'm at 12k and wondered if I needed to start replacing it yet.
And I have about an inch of play when I'm not on the bike, so I reckon I should tighten her up this weekend.
Thanks man.

An easy way to check: bike on the side stand push the bottom run up where the Phillips screw holds the chain slider. The chain should just touch.

It's better to have a loose chain than tight. A tight chain will wear the counter-shaft bearing.

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Cor 2:9
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post #6 of 9 Old 04-01-2011, 11:45 AM Thread Starter
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Oh I thought it got tighter the more extended the arm is.

Red '09
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post #7 of 9 Old 04-01-2011, 12:02 PM
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It gets tighter when the suspension is compressed.

The Gen 1 service manual recommended procedure is to check with the bike on it's sidestand after rolling the bike around to find the place where the chain is the tightest. The standard drive chain slack is 50-55mm (1.98" - 2.16")

Don't imagine your '09 spec would be much different.
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post #8 of 9 Old 04-01-2011, 12:35 PM
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Oh, and as far as life span, look for scalloping of the teeth.. You'll start to see funky wear, where the chain's wearing into the side of the teeth, rather than the bottom..

Also, if your chain needs adjustment more than once every oil change, you should check for sprocket wear, and possible chain wearing out..

Like I said, I'm not a chain oiler.. I give mine a good blast of Chain Wax whenever I think of it, or if I see a little rust. The chain lube is inside the chain, sealed with o-rings.. The exterior service is mostly to keep the chain from rusting.
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post #9 of 9 Old 04-01-2011, 12:55 PM Thread Starter
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Heh, I've never adjusted mine. Though I'm sure the dealer did both time's I've replaced tires and the PO only took it to the dealer for service.
So...ya, adjusted twice in the last 6k miles or so. . .

Red '09
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PHBiker: " I learned two important things today. First, no one really cares if I wash my bike. Second, it's red."
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