Jump to content
petshark

GT experts - Rate my chain tension please (with video)

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

This OEM chain had seen +8000 miles and some links are tighter than I’d like.

This is after an extensive cleaning and lubing.

I’m aiming for around 40mm on the centerstand which is the middle of the factory spec (35-45).

However I’m never that confident how to interpret this as you can stretch the chain and some parts are tighter than others.

Does this look correct to you?

 

 

 

Edited by petshark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

~1"  40 mm =  1.5"  More than I like. If you're no beating on it. Track days lots of wheelies and such. I would think it's at the maximum for looseness. Just my thoughts. YMMV  

  • Thumbsup 1

"It doesn't matter who walks in, you know the joke is still the same"  Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. USA

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, petshark said:

as you can stretch the chain and some parts are tighter than others.

You won’t get a consistent/accurate chain tension with that going on.   I would set it to around your 40 mm at the loosest part, and see if it’s closer to 35 at a tight spot.   

That said, this may be at the root of your vibration issues you’ve described elsewhere.   That chain is a lot of rotating mass to have fundamentally out of balance, and will set up all kinds of harmonic vibration issues throughout the bike.   If it were me, I would bite the bullet and order a new chain & sprockets now.  

  • Thumbsup 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, texscottyd said:

You won’t get a consistent/accurate chain tension with that going on.   I would set it to around your 40 mm at the loosest part, and see if it’s closer to 35 at a tight spot.   

That said, this may be at the root of your vibration issues you’ve described elsewhere.   That chain is a lot of rotating mass to have fundamentally out of balance, and will set up all kinds of harmonic vibration issues throughout the bike.   If it were me, I would bite the bullet and order a new chain & sprockets now.  

I already did! 🙂

1 hour ago, fddriver2 said:

~1"  40 mm =  1.5"  More than I like. If you're no beating on it. Track days lots of wheelies and such. I would think it's at the maximum for looseness. Just my thoughts. YMMV  

The video above is after loosening the chain a little and it's still more at 35 than 40 in most spots. It was 25mm on the sidestand before and I had all kinds of problems. Are you taking into consideration that the GT has a longer swingarm and this is on the centerstand? The service manual says the maximum is 50mm.

I went on a ride after shooting that video and the jerkiness was solved. I really thought my engine was broken and loosening the chain like this turned out to be the solution.

So for anyone with a GT I can really recommend to go as loose as the manual states.

  • Thumbsup 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that's perfect don't over think this ride and enjoy

kind regards 

  • Thumbsup 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Loose is always better than tight on a chain. Keep it lubed. Clean it once in awhile. Lots of us replace the counter shaft sprocket 2x as the rear, since it wears faster. If you get 20-25000 miies out of a chain that's good.

  • Thumbsup 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you've got tight links and uneven chain tension you need a new chain. Can't speak about the tracer in particular but I've seen plenty of factory chains that were taken care of go south under  10k. You're just not getting a top quality chain on a new Japanese bike.

  • Thumbsup 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The slack looks ok to me ,but I did notice a few links were not straight while you rotated ,meaning kinked a little. Lube more in my opinion might help!

MIKE

 

  • Thumbsup 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I go loose, always have. This is about the max 1.75" I tolerate before pulling it in to 1.5".

I do also agree with Mike above, lube that thing up if it's not, lots of links not falling in line easily.

 

  • Thumbsup 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also noticed the links that were not straight when you rotated it.  When I check for tension I always use my finger and look at pressing it down a bit to and then up.  Total range of motion is the chain slack IMO.  I've only replaced one OEM chain and that was on my FZ6 at something like 32,000 miles.  My CBR600RR had 18,000 miles on it with the OEM 525 chain when I traded it.  My ZX6R had a mere 7,000 miles on the OEM 520 chain when it was traded.  I'm at 6,000 miles on the Tracer GT and it looks great to me.  However all those bike had a fair amount of interstate riding which means less acceleration and more constant speeds which is easier on a chain.  

  • Thumbsup 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For some of you who have seen my other issues with this bike it will come as no surprise at all that the chain is failing. After fixing a dry wheel bearing, brake pistons and recently a seized turn signal switch I should have been all over that chain instead of doing just regular maintenace, it would have saved me a lot of frustration (very uncomfortable ride these last few weeks)

I can't add anymore lube 😅 it will just fly off when I ride... but the links are not reacting. I suspect some O-rings are dry just like the other parts. No idea what was done to the bike to cause all this. Steam cleaned? Very aggressive pressure washing? De-greasing? The weird thing is that there is no rust anywhere on the bike. Just an absence of grease in places that are supposed to be sealed. I've read about rust dust coming out of the links when the O-rings fail but that is not the case here.

Anyway, I've got a DID VX3 incoming so this will all soon be in my rear-view mirror!

8 hours ago, kilo3 said:

I go loose, always have. This is about the max 1.75" I tolerate before pulling it in to 1.5".

I do also agree with Mike above, lube that thing up if it's not, lots of links not falling in line easily.

 

Thanks for making that video. Much appreciated!

As 1.5" or 38 mm is just above the GT minimum spec of 35 mm and still 7 mm under the max spec of 1.75" or 45mm this is just about perfect I would think. I will keep doing it like this.

PS. the shop manual also mentions the ceiling for looseness; 50 mm. I guess that's where it starts slapping around.

  • Thumbsup 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The OEM chain on this bike is known to be of poor quality.  Several owners experienced shedding O-rings within only a few thousand miles.  Mine started failing at 6000 miles.  Some had theirs replaced under warranty.  This is what happens when manufacturers contract with suppliers to make them a part at a particular price point to keep overall costs down.  D.I.D. makes excellent chains but it appears this OEM chain was the victim of bean counters.

The D.I.D ZVM-X chain is an excellent choice and it is what I replaced mine with.


There is nothing like spending a day riding with friends in the grip of a shared obsession.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, johnmark101 said:

The OEM chain on this bike is known to be of poor quality.  Several owners experienced shedding O-rings within only a few thousand miles.  Mine started failing at 6000 miles.  Some had theirs replaced under warranty.  This is what happens when manufacturers contract with suppliers to make them a part at a particular price point to keep overall costs down.  D.I.D. makes excellent chains but it appears this OEM chain was the victim of bean counters.

The D.I.D ZVM-X chain is an excellent choice and it is what I replaced mine with.

This. I've had some chain bikes for the long haul.  

You're at the first step....Links that stay kinked coming of the front sprocket.  Lubing won't get it. it's the escaped factory grease behind the O-rings.

Previous owner must have been big on a pressure washer, not big on lubing the chain. The damage is done.

As has been stated you can probably just put on a new chain, but check the front sprocket closely for wear. They're only $20 or less though.  The rear will be fine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Couple thoughts (the video was great btw):

-As long as that tape was millimeters, you’re good. -However because the links are kinked (as others have mentioned) once you lube the chain and those free up a bit, you’ll need to re-adjust it 1-2 clicks tighter.

-IMHO don’t approach that 45-50 mm range on the GT, it’s too loose. As mentioned, the linkage is different and the chain tension doesn’t vary as much in earlier models. 
-another thing to be aware of is that the stock front sprocket is rubber-damped, and if you press down on the chain with force you gain a tiny bit of slack as the chain is forced further into the rubber-damped portion of the sprocket. Not really enough to take into consideration but just as an aside. 
 

-one of the best ways to know you’re in the ballpark is to sit on the bike, and carefully reach down to the bottom run of the chain while you’re at a stand-still and check the tension. 5mm or so is good at that point (by feel) but 10-15 is pushing it. Setting the slack to that 45-50mm range on the GT will give you that excessive 10-15mm while on the bike that I’m referring to. 

-re lube flinging off: lube the chain when it’s warm (not cold) and lube the INSIDE of the link/O-ring area. That saturates the O-rings better esp if chain is free of debris. 

-Skip

  • Thumbsup 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, peteinpa said:

As has been stated you can probably just put on a new chain, but check the front sprocket closely for wear. They're only $20 or less though.  The rear will be fine.

I was wondering about that. There shouldn't be too much wear after 8000 miles in normal conditions but as the links resist there might be more wear than expected.

The rear looks good but I also wanted to check with you all if it's normal that the sprocket pins are always off center when grabbing the chain. (pic on the left). They really want to be on the left, and now that I look at the middle picture the slope seems different at the front and the back of the sprocket. Is this by design? I checked the wheel alignment again and it is correct.

image.thumb.png.071e06c2f91f47b0d8543388947bdb2b.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×