"Cheap" doesn't always work---Chain/ Tire - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 1 Old 08-03-2016, 01:14 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Indiana/ Michigan line at the Lake
Posts: 1,585
"Cheap" doesn't always work---Chain/ Tire

Mangled my chain last summer when a stick got between
the chain and bottom of the rear sprocket.


Found one in great shape while dumpster diving and patted myself
for a job well done in saving a hundred bux.

LOOKED like it was in great shape. Installed for measurement,
took it off, drove out a pin to correct length, etc, etc. It fit the
sprockets perfectly so I thought. The thing was 112 links long so
it obviously came off of a long travel dirtbike, and motocrossers
change out parts often.

Glad I had the sense to use it with my used sprockets to mimic partial wear.
Did fine the rest of last year and two thousand this season. What I didn't
know was it was at the very end of usefulness. Rode to New York last
week and back at 80mph sustained on I-90 for a spell. When I did my
usual check for the master clip and to oil it if necessary, the thing was
TOTALLY dry and hot, the kind of hot that makes the chain spray smoke
n' steam off. Not good. I soaked it, and noticed much more slop than
I allow. Adjusted it and rode the rest of the way keeping a close eye on it.
Got hot again, this time at 50-60 mph on two laners. After getting to my
brothers, (cop with a Gen 1) we hit it with the flashlight and there was
glitter all over the swingarm, wheel, and under the countershaft cover was even thicker.
We picked up a new chain at the Kaw guy there in Cannindagua NY, and after
explaining what went down, he sold it to me at cost!!!
He tells me "this'll getcha home so I bottomed out the price (this is standard
procedure for the Stranded Rider Program similar to HD's), but
you'll need to change out the entire driveset so the new system can
run in together as one". I know this but also willing to try things.
Flipped the rear sprocket around so the pulling side of the teeth was still
new other than downshifting, and we dug up a good 16t for my return trip.
Me n' Kev ("Kelvin" on this site) laid the two side by side and the result
was shocking. At ONLY ten links, the old chain pins were offset from
each other, and at 15 links was a half tooth too long!!
Every stop along the route home showed an ambient temperature chain,
and only the break in adjustment was needed after it spun a bit.
Running the sprocket backwards worked.
Put back on my new condition 42 rear, and the 15t stocker which only
had 42 miles on it. (switched to 16 after riding it home from the dealer).

Making a long story longer, trashed out my "perfect ratio for me" running gears
to save a buck. This one backfired. On the good side 15/42/ 140 tire
is a very nice dirt road to freeway ratio, and the whole set has the same
mileage within a few hundred of each other, and the D.I.D. stainless
roller chain is still very much happy. The reversed sprocket and no
hard pulls on the way home preserved it.

I have gotten countless tires, my current Moose Racing Barkbusters, bashplate,
soft ATV grips and tall bars all from behind the dealership, but I shoulda
walked in and bought a wear item such as a chain, for instance. Being "Cheap" is
cool, making a rash decision isn't, and cost me a bit more
in the long run on this one. Usually I do pretty well diving for treasure.

Next issue on the trip was a factory defect. My front K 270 held up great
and I didn't feel a thing riding on the trip until later on in the voyage.
Front starts 'bouncing' at 30-50mph. When I first popped the bead with 90psi,
the test roll showed it to be seated perfectly all around
and also on both sides. The wheel was true but the tire was off center
in the mold at the factory. The bead circle stayed put but the knobs moved
up and down. Tire was new before the trip. The knobs on the heavier
side are half worn nearly yet the lighter side of the bounce has no wear showing
as of yet. This tire lowered my wobble speed from 90 to the low 80's
but the reviews stated by most owners was that the soft compound didn't
like high speeds, nor dragging a knee in the curves. What I got was 46 dollars
worth of scary rubber. It never inspired confidence but was ok enuff to use it up.

Lesson: Cheap works well when looking for solid stuff like the above
mentioned plate, grips, busters, etc, even a replacement mirror once, and it's still on.
Drivetrain: Spend the money and be safe. That chain could have let go in freeway traffic.
Lining the stock chain up against the dumpster
unit would have prevented the drive issue, and returning the off center
tire would have prevented paying for another new one at 2,000 miles.

Have a careful day, and learn from my mistakes,
Mark

Edit/ side note.
The new 140/80 Shinko 705 out in back performed flawlessly. Only a slight flat spot from all the
straight line miles. Still has all of next season and maybe more available to shred.
I'm buying the 705 front, as the rear sticks like glue to the roads with and without
pavement.

This is my son, with whom I am well pleased." ----God

Last edited by CheapBassTurd; 08-03-2016 at 01:31 AM. Reason: I wanted to edit this post.
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