Cush drive - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 04-23-2017, 09:20 PM Thread Starter
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Cush drive

My bike suddenly ate the rear sprocket and chain up. I doubled checked my chain tensioner using Paul's method of compressing the rear suspension and pulling a line. I had been running a little looser than needed.

Hard to explain, but it looks like the chain is just bedding down in to the rear sprocket. Lots of kinks in the chain, too ( bent pins?). Front sprocket looks pristine.

Anyway, my cush is a little loose, but not what I would consider floppy. All the bearings there are good and tight.

Can a worn cush cause this? How much slack is too much? I don't want to eat up a new chain and sprocket. Any diy options to "heal" the rubbers?

Last edited by shinyribs; 04-24-2017 at 07:20 AM.
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post #2 of 11 Old 04-24-2017, 12:03 AM
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Good Question: "How much slack is too much?"

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post #3 of 11 Old 04-24-2017, 08:37 AM
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Knowledgeable responses awaited (this is not necessarily one!). Generally, I think the answer to, "How much slack is too much?", is . . . it the chain comes off, it's too loose.

Meaning: Excess slack isn't axiomatically dangerous; excess tightness is.

The suspension-compression method of adjusting chain tension remains the gold standard, IMHO.
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post #4 of 11 Old 04-24-2017, 10:25 AM
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#2 on my KLR Newbie Owner Mistakes list:


- 2) Chain tension: many owners and some shops overtighten the KLR's drive chain; due to the long travel suspension and geometry the KLR needs more slack than other bikes people may be used to. If the chain is too tight you risk damaging the countershaft seal and bearing as well as possibly the wheel bearings along with premature wear of the drive chain and sprockets. Quick check; with the bike on the sidestand, you should be able to touch the chain to the bottom rearmost portion of the chain slipper but not the metal swingarm itself.


The proper method is to compress the suspension (I would remove the dog bones) and ensure there is some play when the front sprocket, swingarm pivot and rear axle are in a straight line.

Dave
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post #5 of 11 Old 04-24-2017, 10:27 AM
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A little too loose shouldn't cause any huge problems. Bearings can, cushdrive wear shouldn't. Check alignment but it's probably just a pooched chain. Buy a new, decent quality, set, adjust and ride.

I've heard good reports about the Primary Drive set from RMATV, stock is good too. I'm currently running stock on my 2000 and a supersprox hybrid sprocket and a DID X ring on my 2001.

Cheers,
Dave
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post #6 of 11 Old 04-24-2017, 10:28 AM Thread Starter
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I goofed when I said slack. I meant how much is too much slack in the cush, not the chain.

Thinking about it now, it shouldn't matter. As long as the sprocket carrier bearings and the axle spacers are in place there's no way for the sprocket to cock anyway. Which is what I was concerned with, but I guess I really knew better anyway. Oops on my part.

The bike shifts fairly smooth, so I'm gonna quit worrying about the cush, I guess. No real clunkiness to be felt.
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post #7 of 11 Old 04-24-2017, 10:29 AM
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....Oh, and I've heard of people "shimming" the cush drive with bits of plastic but haven't tried it myself.

Dave
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post #8 of 11 Old 04-24-2017, 10:32 AM Thread Starter
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We posted simultaneously, Dave.

There's a new DID xring and JTs on the bike now. The bad setup was BikeMaster and JT. Had great success with BikeMaster in the past, but maybe my luck ran out.

I'll cut the old chain open and look for answers. I just don't want to pooch the new chain by easily blaming the budget chain.
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post #9 of 11 Old 04-24-2017, 10:35 AM
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....I'd blame the budget chain! LOL

let us know what you find.
Cheers,
Dave
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post #10 of 11 Old 04-24-2017, 12:52 PM
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shiny,
I only use the "touch the rubber slider" but "not the metal", method for chain slack inspection.

All it takes is one time of adjusted Too Tight to gall the rivet pins and inner diameter of the bushings, to start the degradation of any drive chain.

Sometimes simply tightening the axle nut will shift the axle into the too tight zone.

How to prevent that?
I always Insert a rag, screwdriver bit or end wrench between the chain and the rear sprocket and roll it Tight! Then tighten the Axle nut, remove screwdriver, recheck slack, re-snug adjuster lock nuts.
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Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 83,000+ miles & counting
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