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Thread: Old, loose chain

  1. #1
    Flirting With The Redline dpwell's Avatar
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    Old, loose chain

    HI, what happens if you keep riding with a chain that is old and slack? My manual says to not ride if itís more than 6 cm. Mine is 8 or 9, and I can hear it clanking when I decelerate. Iím putting my current road trip on hold for a day till the local shops open tomorrow and I can get it adjusted (Hopefully itís not too far gone to adjust and keep riding) but Iím curious what the dangers are if you ride with a chain in that condition. Cheers.
    2015 Honda CB500X
    2009 Ninja 250 ('Saki') - sold
    2007 Honda CBR125 - sold
    http://www.vancouvermusictheory.com

  2. #2
    Well if it's loose enough the chain could jump off the sprocket. More likely is quicker chain and O-ring wear. There's nothing to adjusting most of them.
    The best thing you can buy for your motorcycle is gas.

  3. #3
    Flirting With The Redline 8000 Posts! Trials's Avatar
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    Riding a chain that is bagged out will prematurely wear out your sprockets.
    To a very small extent it can possibly induce more vibration and increase fuel consumption as a result of power loss.

    Absolute worst case scenario; the chain does not engage with the countershaft sprocket and if there is insufficient clearance it can damage your engine casing.

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    Flirting With The Redline 10,000 Posts! Shadow Shack's Avatar
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    Once a chain is worn there's no salvaging it. You can try to tighten it, but if it truly is worn it will just stretch again on the same ride after you tighten it and that familiar clattering noise will be present once more.
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    Flirting With The Redline 8000 Posts! Trials's Avatar
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    Never tried it but :I hear you can forge an old chain into a really pretty damascus knife blade.

  6. #6
    Flirting With The Redline 8000 Posts! Trials's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trials View Post
    Never tried it but :I hear you can forge an old chain into a really pretty damascus knife blade.
    seen this very thing on TV today :I & it didn't work out so good. Too much slag they should have done a canister damascus and used steel shavings to fill in the voids.

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    Flirting With The Redline 10,000 Posts! Shadow Shack's Avatar
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    Been watching Forged in Fire lately? The one where they hacked up a perfectly good pair of red CB750 Nighthawks?
    Sent from your mom's phone
    "If I wanted a windshield and tunes, I'd drive my car."
    Ride Safe, Chop Safer
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  8. #8
    Flirting With The Redline 8000 Posts! Trials's Avatar
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    ya they had a heck of a time finding any quality steel on them to work with.

  9. #9
    RiderCoach 5000 Posts! NORTY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dpwell View Post
    HI, what happens if you keep riding with a chain that is old and slack?
    It has a greatly increased chance to develop 2 ends.
    My manual says to not ride if it’s more than 6 cm. Mine is 8 or 9, and I can hear it clanking when I decelerate. I’m putting my current road trip on hold for a day till the local shops open tomorrow and I can get it adjusted (Hopefully it’s not too far gone to adjust and keep riding) but I’m curious what the dangers are if you ride with a chain in that condition. Cheers.
    You've never "thrown" a chain, have you? Let me tell you what you have to look forward to.
    When a chain breaks, the CS sprocket will throw the chain forward. Now, depending upon what is in front of your CS sprocket, that WILL be destroyed. Clutch pack/center case/ignition. Any of those will likely be destroyed.

    I threw a chain, once. Whilst riding 2-up on a highway, back in 1977-78. The bike was a KL-250A1. The chain wasn't "worn" out, but the suspension was modded with long travel shocks/forks. This change created an unusual geometry that the chain could not tolerate. The chain would vibrate like crazy, side to side when riding. So much so, that it reduced the available power from the engine. Strange. Put the suspension back to stock, and the chain was straight and true. Another 2 or 3" of travel, and it went haywire.

    Anyway, change your chain AND both sprockets at the same time.
    Knowledge speaks, wisdom listens.

  10. #10
    Flirting With The Redline dpwell's Avatar
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    I'm slowly learning to do my own maintenance and keep an eye on things myself rather than rely on the shop to tell me stuff at each service interval. One thing I haven't watched up to now, though, is the chain slack. Presumably each time I've had her in for a service, the techs have been adjusting the chain slack, and the little indicator has been moving gradually towards the red area which says the chain is done. It's interesting though that shops (at least, MY shop) don't tell you how much chain life you have left. I think I got lulled into being oblivious to my chain lifespan because I unconsciously assumed that they'd tell me when it was running out, just as they tell me what % brakes and tire tread I have left.

    I wound up spending 4 days in a hotel, waiting for new chain and sprockets to arrive.
    2015 Honda CB500X
    2009 Ninja 250 ('Saki') - sold
    2007 Honda CBR125 - sold
    http://www.vancouvermusictheory.com

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