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CHAIN !!!!!


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2020GT owner here, My chain had the rubbers starting to break here and there around 8000km. I stopped cleaning and only lube, im close to 10.000 and it hasnt gotten worse.  I will keep the chain aslong as the dealer thinks its ok. It will go in for its 10.000km service soon.

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A small aside: I have been reading LOTS of threads on this board concerned with chains, chain maintenance, chain adjustment, etc, etc.  They are all over this forum, as it clearly is an important, and hotly debated, topic.  I just returned to a chain drive bike this year after 6 seasons with a belt drive Harley XR1200.  Wow, you should see all the belt threads over on the XR Forum!  Oh wait...for all intents and purposes there aren't any.  Cause there's virtually no maintenance, they almost never need adjusting and they take many, many miles to eventually wear out. They just work. My belt maintenance over 6000 km consisted of, um, I guess I adjusted it once when I changed the rear tire.  That's pretty typical.  Those things simply last darn near forever with essentially complete neglect. And when they do need to be replaced, you just replace the belt; rubber teeth don't tend to wear out the sprockets. They can get messed up if they get rocks in between the belt and the sprockets, but that's about it.

I really do wonder why belt drive hasn't been adopted by more makers; they have the simplicity and efficiency of a chain, but without the maintenance, and are super reliable to boot. I had my doubts when I got that bike, but a few years on it convinced me that it is an option that is being underused.

Digression over.  Please return to your regularly scheduled programming, and thanks for your patience!

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50 minutes ago, gerrychuck said:

I just returned to a chain drive bike this year after 6 seasons with a belt drive Harley XR1200.  Wow, you should see all the belt threads over on the XR Forum!  Oh wait...for all intents and purposes there aren't any. 

Lots of forum posts about which bedazzled jeans match my hd tee shirt better though. 😜

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29 minutes ago, gerrychuck said:

A small aside: I have been reading LOTS of threads on this board concerned with chains, chain maintenance, chain adjustment, etc, etc.  They are all over this forum, as it clearly is an important, and hotly debated, topic.

Just like a lot of forum topics (on any subject) you will always find posts from those who go way overkill and overthink ANY routine maintenance task.  Don't let a chain drive scare you off.

I have read many other forums from guys with shaft drive bikes dismissing chain drive due to the hassle and excessive maintenance involved, its PURE B.S.  If you buy a quality chain and sprockets and take reasonable care of them, they will last you a LONG time. 

I ride a lot of over night or multi-day road trips and simply spray lube on the chain at the end of the day of riding and wipe off the excess with a rag. Done - It takes me far less than 2 minutes and that includes the time to take it out of my side bag and then put everything away again.  (edit- I just went out to the garage and timed myself doing the entire procedure that I would normally do in a motel parking lot and it took about 45 seconds).

I currently have over 17,000 miles on my recent chain and sprocket set and presume that I have adjusted the chain slack but I don't remember when.  Everything still looks and feels smooth with no noise or slapping.

To the horror of many here, I do my chain maintenance with the bike on the center stand with the engine running in gear.  😲 

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***2015 Candy Red FJ-09***

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17 hours ago, betoney said:

Just like a lot of forum topics (on any subject) you will always find posts from those who go way overkill and overthink ANY routine maintenance task.  Don't let a chain drive scare you off.

I have read many other forums from guys with shaft drive bikes dismissing chain drive due to the hassle and excessive maintenance involved, its PURE B.S.  If you buy a quality chain and sprockets and take reasonable care of them, they will last you a LONG time. 

I ride a lot of over night or multi-day road trips and simply spray lube on the chain at the end of the day of riding and wipe off the excess with a rag. Done - It takes me far less than 2 minutes and that includes the time to take it out of my side bag and then put everything away again.  (edit- I just went out to the garage and timed myself doing the entire procedure that I would normally do in a motel parking lot and it took about 45 seconds).

I currently have over 17,000 miles on my recent chain and sprocket set and presume that I have adjusted the chain slack but I don't remember when.  Everything still looks and feels smooth with no noise or slapping.

To the horror of many here, I do my chain maintenance with the bike on the center stand with the engine running in gear.  😲 

So much this.  I too have traditionally done my chain maintenance with the bike running in gear, you just be careful about where you put your hands - no chance of getting caught if you're wiping the chain after it's fully on the sprocket and you're fully ready to let a brush/rag go if it sticks (though I've never had that happen - again, just take sufficient care).  I don't with the Tracer though because for the 2019 anyways it throws codes. 

It's one of those silly things people like to get all worked up about but all that really matters is that it's well lubricated.  If it's well lubricated all the time, that'll get maximum longevity.  You can use spray lube, or just a bottle of heavy gear oil.  You can wipe off the excess, or leave it on (and get your bike a bit dirtier, of course, as it flings off).  

Or you can get an auto oiler and do absolutely no chain maintenance beyond checking slack and still get maximum chain life.

The fiddly bits happen when you clean - there's definitely things you can do wrong when you clean (use too stiff a bristled brush where the orings are, or degrease too thoroughly - but cleaning is 100% cosmetic.  Under normal circumstances harmless and pretty, but wholly unnecessary.  Simply lubing your chain regularly - ideally every day of serious riding while touring/constantly with autooiler - will do all the actual protection that needs to happen. 

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On 9/6/2021 at 5:30 PM, kilo3 said:

Lots of forum posts about which bedazzled jeans match my hd tee shirt better though. 😜

You'd think!  But not so much on the XR forum, lol.  For most of the people riding that bike (most certainly including me) it's the only Harley they have ever had any interest in. In all honesty, pretty similar crowd to what you see on this board.  That bike is the red-headed stepchild of the Motor Company.  Many, many disparaging remarks made over there about the over-accessorized pirate ships that that most people think of as "Harley".  XR people are riders, not posers. Part of the reason you will find a number of people who have moved back and forth between the XR and the FJ/Tracer, and a bunch who remain members of both boards.

Now, back to your original question, the answer is the one with the most skulls and daggers, of course!

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Whenever I think about chain maintance on the center stand and  in gear, I think about my dad losing the ends of his thumb and index finger because he stuck his hand down into a engine when it was running. Fan belts and pulleys make for great meat slicers.

Safey always first......

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5 hours ago, duckie said:

Whenever I think about chain maintance on the center stand and  in gear, I think about my dad losing the ends of his thumb and index finger because he stuck his hand down into a engine when it was running. Fan belts and pulleys make for great meat slicers.

Safey always first......

This.  The convenience of doing it running and in gear are far outweighed by the potential downsides IMO.  I've got two hands, it's not hard to use one of them to spin the rear wheel.

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6 hours ago, duckie said:

Whenever I think about chain maintance on the center stand and  in gear, I think about my dad losing the ends of his thumb and index finger because he stuck his hand down into a engine when it was running. Fan belts and pulleys make for great meat slicers.

Safey always first......

 

46 minutes ago, Clem Fandango said:

This.  The convenience of doing it running and in gear are far outweighed by the potential downsides IMO.  I've got two hands, it's not hard to use one of them to spin the rear wheel.

I understand ‘safety first’ and only doing what you are comfortable with but spray cans come with the 6” red nozzle for a reason.  To get your hand stuck between the mating surface of the chain and sprocket would almost have to be done on purpose. 

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***2015 Candy Red FJ-09***

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2020 Tracer GT, replaced OEM chain at 11,000 miles a month ago.  Now have almost 5,000 miles on new sprockets and chain.  Added a Scottoiler, took a whiles for it to start working and it’s a bit fiddley.  However it is now keeping chain lubed nicely.  Probably set a bit too high as rear wheel needs to be wiped off every day.  Wiping the rear wheel off every morning is easier to do on a long trips than lubing the chain in the evening and letting it “dry” overnight.  At the end of a long day of ridding I’m tired.  
 

I’ll have to do a close check when I get back but looking good so far, bike not looking so good as it needaps a good cleaning!

 

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4 hours ago, duckie said:

You have question the level of common sense (LACK OF) to see a moving sprocket and chain and stick their hand in... 

Like I said earlier, those red spray nozzles were invented for a reason. 

***2015 Candy Red FJ-09***

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13 hours ago, PhotoAl said:

2020 Tracer GT, replaced OEM chain at 11,000 miles a month ago.  Now have almost 5,000 miles on new sprockets and chain.  Added a Scottoiler, took a whiles for it to start working and it’s a bit fiddley.  However it is now keeping chain lubed nicely.  Probably set a bit too high as rear wheel needs to be wiped off every day.  Wiping the rear wheel off every morning is easier to do on a long trips than lubing the chain in the evening and letting it “dry” overnight.  At the end of a long day of ridding I’m tired.  
 

I’ll have to do a close check when I get back but looking good so far, bike not looking so good as it needaps a good cleaning!

 

If I had to pay that much attention to the chain I'd get rid of the Tracer and stick with shaft drive. I always wondered about the Scottoiler and never installed it because of the continuous oiling approach. Thanks to your message my suspicions have been confirmed and I will stick with my periodic lubrication using a wax-based spray. 🙂

I watch Itchy Boots and On Her Bike on YouTube and I would bet neither one of them pay daily attention to their chains and they are presently riding daily in the African deserts on gravel roads. They simply replace the chain and sprockets when worn out.

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