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Thread: Safe to ride CB 500 X with loose chain?

  1. #11
    Flirting With The Redline 8000 Posts! Trials's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sorg67 View Post
    I am leaning towards just replacing the chain for now. See how that goes. I am tempted to try the cheaper, non- O-ring chain and be a maniac about cleaning and lubing. I have seen non O ring for $20. But I am guessing that is sub par quality. What should I pay for decent quality non O ring?

    ..
    lol and you would be correct for about 20$ you will get farm chain, the rollers will probably have seams in them.
    What you want will probably be represented as race bike chain or have no other description other then heavy duty roller chain, is easy enough to shorten if it is too long, you just grind the rivet heads off on one link and drive the pins out with a punch. Remove and install the new chain as per the very small print on the box making sure to install the cir-clip in the correct orientation. I would think maybe 60 bucks US per chain would be about right. If it's over a hundred it is probably a sealed chain or over-priced.

  2. #12
    RiderCoach 5000 Posts! NORTY's Avatar
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    Glad to hear you adjusted your chain by yourself. Youtube has “how to adjust motorcycle chain tension” videos that are helpful. When removing/replacing your rear wheel, pay special attention to how the axle spacers are oriented. Also upon reinstallation, check your brake rotor for proper location between the brake pads. Now is also the perfect time to evaluate thos pads for wear/taper.
    Rule of thumb- if <30% pad material, change them out.


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  3. #13
    RiderCoach 4000 Posts! AZridered's Avatar
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    Regarding chain tension: A bit too loose is a lot better than a bit too tight.

  4. #14
    RiderCoach 5000 Posts! NORTY's Avatar
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    Very true. Always adjust the chain when the countershaft/swingarm pivot, and the rear axle are all "in line." (This makes for the greatest distance between the rear axle and countershaft.)
    This should reduce "surprise" stress on the chain as the suspension goes thru it's travel.
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  5. #15
    Flirting With The Redline 2000 Posts! Sorg67's Avatar
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    That is good to know. The target for this bike is 40 mm and the acceptable range is 35 to 45 mm. I adjusted it to 35 mm based on two factors; 1) I figured it will continue to stretch and loosen, although that may not be a valid assumption since it has 9,500 miles on it so it may have stretched as much as it is going to stretch. 2) It seems that having some kinks means that it effectively is a bit looser than it measures. Kinks would straighten a bit under load giving it a bit more room than it measures.

    Reasonable? Maybe I should loosen a bit?

    Also wondering if I can get by for a while longer with this chain even with the kinks since they seem to be loosening a bit with cleaning and lubing. They are still there between the sprockets but smooth out over the rear sprocket. When I first examined the bike, some of the kinks produced bumps on the rear sprocket but they no longer do. However, that may not be due to cleaning and lubing. That might be due to tightening the chain. Or I suppose probably a bit of both.

    I suppose I should inspect the way the chain goes over the front sprocket.

    What is the risk of waiting to replace the chain? Wear on sprocket? So if I am going to replace both, then no big deal to postpone for a while? Or are there other risks to continuing to ride with kinks in the chain?

    We have only ridden it around the block up to about 25 mph since my son brought it home from school.

    Hard questions to answer without inspecting the bike so I understand the limitations of any comments.

  6. #16
    Flirting With The Redline 8000 Posts! Trials's Avatar
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    Kinks in a chain usually refers to tight links or binding in the pins the chain rotates on, this is usually the result of water getting into where there should be grease and promoting rust. Rusted links is a good reason to replace a chain. Can you oil it up and use it some more, yes but rust inside the sealed chain rollers (if that is what you are seeing) indicates the rubber seals on the chain are comprised and water is likely to continue getting into places it should never be.

    When a chain stretches it changes the pitch of the chain and that results in fewer teeth on the sprockets carrying the loads, that is why you are suppose to change a chain once its length increases by as little as 4% Riding a stretched out chain will accelerate the wear on the sprockets.

    Can you keep running old chain after you oil it, yes at the cost of wearing out your sprockets faster. For my 3 chain drive bikes not replacing the chains this year would save me 2 or 3 hundred dollars today and cost me about 600$ next season. More if I was buying sealed chains. ymmv.

    Have your son sit on the bike and that should move the swingarm to the point where the countershaft sprocket, the swingarm bearing and the rear axle are all in align (3 points all coplanar) This it where the chain will be the tightest and it is at that point you do not want the chain to be completely taut, if you can still wiggle the chain up and down a little you are good to go. Chain slack adjustment specified in the manual is normally set with no load on board and that is normally not at the tightest part of the chains travel.

    To see how much your chain is stretched, lay it along side a new one.

  7. #17
    RiderCoach 5000 Posts! NORTY's Avatar
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    When we say chain "stretch," we really infer chain wear.

    Since each link shares such a small amount of wear, the wear is measured over a series of links. A worn chain will be longer than when it was new.

    Another thing we neglected to mention to you~

    When measuring a chain, it's best to measure from the "tightest" section of chain. How do you discover which section is tightest? You take various measurements while clocking the rear wheel. Measure it in 5 or 6 places during the chain's 1 revolution of travel. Sometimes, you can rotate the rear wheel slowly, (move the chain slowly) and watch the bottom row of links bounce up and down very slightly. You want to measure your "35-45mm" spec where the chain is highest. This should be a "tightest."

    Last thing any motorcyclists wants to do is throw/break a chain. That can get very expensive in a hurry. I did this once, on the freeway, with my GF as passenger, on my KL-250. Back in 1978...(Locked up the rear wheel, all by itself.) I just about cried when I saw all the engine oil on the ground.
    Ended up buying new center cases as the chain went through the CDI/electrics...(I bet center cases aren't $300 anymore...)

    The Powroll "BigBore" kit was great, until I broke my chain...Side plates were literally "pulled apart."
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  8. #18
    Flirting With The Redline 10,000 Posts! Shadow Shack's Avatar
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    Just realize that there is a point where the chain has stretched enough that no amount of tightening will keep it serviceable. When it gets to that point, you can tighten it to spec before heading out and less than a block later it will be rattling and clattering again. The last thing you want is for the chain to come off one of the sprockets while moving. I've seen the results and it can cause a lot of extra damage that a replacement chain (and sprockets) could have avoided.


    P.S. if the PO of your bike did this and you haven't discovered it until chain replacement time, you're beyond screwed:



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  9. #19
    Flirting With The Redline 8000 Posts! Trials's Avatar
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    Should look closer to these original sprockets I have been riding in competition for 6 years. Countershaft sprocket is steel and on its 3rd chain. Teeth should not be pointed.


    if you can hang a length of new chain on the sprocket and have it fit tight enough to hang on one or two of the teeth you are good to go. That rear aluminum sprocket is also on its 3rd chain, thats my sponsor bike (I sponsor a rider) the rear sprocket on my current comp bike is on year 10 and 4th chain. Teeth are far from pointed

  10. #20
    Flirting With The Redline 2000 Posts! Sorg67's Avatar
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    The rear sprocket looks very good. I have not examined the front sprocket yet.

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