Chain surprise! - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-10-2012, 07:06 PM Thread Starter
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Chain surprise!

Filed under: Why it's good to inspect your motorcycle.

I washed the Versys today and afterwards I cleaned and dried the chain, as I always do after it has been wet. That was when I noticed that the clip on the master link was missing! It's hard to tell how long I've been riding around with no clip on the master link.

Honestly, I didn't even think about it because I am so used to having rivet-style master links. I usually change my chain and sprockets myself, but earlier this year I was on a trip and my chain wore out faster than I expected, so I had a new D.I.D. X-ring chain (my fave ) and sprockets put on at an out-of-town dealer. I am fairly certain they put the clip on and it came off sometime since. But who knows when? Just glad it didn't come apart while I was riding.

Just a reminder that washing your bike is a good thing for reasons other than keeping it clean and shiny. A close inspection may turn up a surprise.

Whitehorse Press is going out of business so it's time for a final sale. Signed copies of my book are now $10 with free shipping in the U.S. while they last.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-10-2012, 07:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motociclista View Post
Filed under: Why it's good to inspect your motorcycle.

I washed the Versys today and afterwards I cleaned and dried the chain, as I always do after it has been wet. That was when I noticed that the clip on the master link was missing! It's hard to tell how long I've been riding around with no clip on the master link.

Honestly, I didn't even think about it because I am so used to having rivet-style master links. I usually change my chain and sprockets myself, but earlier this year I was on a trip and my chain wore out faster than I expected, so I had a new D.I.D. X-ring chain (my fave ) and sprockets put on at an out-of-town dealer. I am fairly certain they put the clip on and it came off sometime since. But who knows when? Just glad it didn't come apart while I was riding.

Just a reminder that washing your bike is a good thing for reasons other than keeping it clean and shiny. A close inspection may turn up a surprise.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-10-2012, 08:13 PM
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Wow... They should've installed the rivet type link which is normally included with a DID VM520 X-ring chain. Maybe they put the clip on backwards, or failed to properly rivet the rivet type link?

The closed end of the clip should point forward in its normal direction.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-10-2012, 08:49 PM
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Ok,my last 4 bikes and 30 yrs worth have been drive shaft and belt.How do you know your chain is shot?Does it loosen beyond the adjustment?Im thinking of getting a V,but i dont know about this chain sprocket thing.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-10-2012, 09:46 PM
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Normally, chains will last as long as the sprockets (when kept Clean and lubed).

When the sprockets get worn . . . Change both. Should get at least 20K out of them

Motorcycle Maniac

2009 Versys, 2009 DL650, 2013 CB500X ABS
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-11-2012, 04:56 AM
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we use to put a little silicone over the master-link to keep that from happening .
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-11-2012, 09:29 AM
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I would never even consider using a clip type master link on a street bike. The shop that did this should be responsible and they should replace it with a riveted master link.

Some shops are just terrible and don't care what they push out the door
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-11-2012, 11:14 AM
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That's why I don't wash my bike. I let the dirt hold everything together....
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-11-2012, 12:24 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by invader View Post
Wow... They should've installed the rivet type link which is normally included with a DID VM520 X-ring chain. Maybe they put the clip on backwards, or failed to properly rivet the rivet type link?
Close inspection shows this is a DID XV2 520 chain. Is there a significant difference between the XV2 and VM? Is this a chain more commonly used on off-road bikes, and therefore has a clip instead of a rivet? It appears the clip was there originally, based on a tiny amount of wear on the sideplate that suggests metal had touched metal, so I suspect the clip just popped off at some point, maybe very recently. The link was not even starting to come apart. I got another clip today at a local shop it snapped right into place, so the sideplate hadn't budged. Yet.

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The closed end of the clip should point forward in its normal direction.
Done!

Whitehorse Press is going out of business so it's time for a final sale. Signed copies of my book are now $10 with free shipping in the U.S. while they last.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-11-2012, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
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I would never even consider using a clip type master link on a street bike. The shop that did this should be responsible and they should replace it with a riveted master link.
I prefer a rivet master link, but on the other hand I used clip style master links on street bikes for years and years before the rivet type became common and until now I never had a problem, so I'm willing to live with the clip link on a bike that doesn't make 100 hp or do track days. You can bet I'll be watching it, though.

The shop that installed the chain is in Maine and I'm in Ohio, so going back to have them replace it would not be cost-effective for me.

Whitehorse Press is going out of business so it's time for a final sale. Signed copies of my book are now $10 with free shipping in the U.S. while they last.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-11-2012, 12:33 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by joshuarider View Post
Ok,my last 4 bikes and 30 yrs worth have been drive shaft and belt.How do you know your chain is shot?Does it loosen beyond the adjustment?Im thinking of getting a V,but i dont know about this chain sprocket thing.
If you are at the end of the range of adjustment and the chain is still too loose, then your chain was shot some time ago.

To see if the chain is worn, try to pull the chain away from the sprocket at the 3 o'clock position on the rear sprocket. If the chain fits snugly to the sprocket, it's OK. If you can pull it away, it's shot. In other words, the links have become longer (due to wear) than the spacing of the teeth on the sprocket.

Sprockets are shot if the teeth become hooked, excessively pointy, have broken or missing teeth. But generally, just change the sprockets when the chain is worn out.

Whitehorse Press is going out of business so it's time for a final sale. Signed copies of my book are now $10 with free shipping in the U.S. while they last.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-11-2012, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by motociclista View Post
... try to pull the chain away from the sprocket at the 3 o'clock position on the rear sprocket. If the chain fits snugly to the sprocket, it's OK. ...
Also there is a chain inspection procedure in the service manual (or is it the owner's manual?). Electronic copies of both of those documents should be available elsewhere on this forum.

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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-11-2012, 04:19 PM
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Put this chain on the V when i replaced the full set at 27,000km, it has the clip link which was easy to put on bike. The two rear sprockets in photo are 46 t on right and 44 on left. 44t went on bike at 15,000km, the oem 46t went back on the bike just after 26,500 as I thought the 44 was causing the chain to grab but the chain was stuffed and it wore the sprocket down real fast with bad hook in teeth.

Never had a clip come off any chain I have owned, it almost sounds like it was put on backwards or not clicked into place.


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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-11-2012, 04:44 PM
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I've got 62,000 miles on my Versys, I have had the clip master link on the last 3 chain/sprocket sets, 2 EK chains and 1 DID chain.

I have had the properly installed clip come off all three chains.

The 2nd chain departed the bike while I was passing a towed horse trailer on a 2 lane country road.......embarassing! I recovered the chain and safety wired a replacement link in place and rode another 100 miles home.

On my last long trip (Charleston SC - St. Louis MO - Indy IN - Charleston SC) in August, I had the clip come off after a hour ride on an Interstate in Kentucky where I was riding 70-80 mph. I generally avoid Interstates and in retrospec my other clip losses occurred after high speed prolonged Interstate riding.....or maybe it just seemed that way.

One shop in Illinois thought that maybe a beefier 525 chain (same chain on the 650 VStrom...) might be the answer.

Wheel/sprocket/chain alignment, chain tension, lube are all watched closely. Can't find any bearing issues and the cush drive has no play and appears fine.

I just replaced the aftermarket sprockets and DID chain last weekend and have installed a Kawasaki OEM front and rear sprockets and another factory spec EK chain.

I also purchased a 525 DID chain, but after trial fit, went back to the EK 520.

I bought a chain tool set and installed a rivet master link (in a different color so I could watch it).

I'm going to install a Scottoiler this weekend and then watch it for the next 25,000 miles without problem.........hopefully!


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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-11-2012, 08:09 PM
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post #16 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-11-2012, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by invader View Post
You mean DID 520VX2?
Yes, 520VX2. Got my V and X mixed up.

Thanks for that pdf. Very informative. As the chart shows, that particular chain comes with a clip type master link standard, rivet as optional.

Whitehorse Press is going out of business so it's time for a final sale. Signed copies of my book are now $10 with free shipping in the U.S. while they last.
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post #17 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-12-2012, 03:51 AM
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Similar to A2ron's experience, I've had circlips come off master links twice, so I've pretty much lost faith in that method. I would use one in an emergency, but not long term. The thought of a chain coming apart at high speed, and while passing? Holy f***, pretty terrifying.
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