Is my chain done? Or is something else the problem? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-23-2018, 10:10 AM Thread Starter
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Is my chain done? Or is something else the problem?

Hi fellow Versys riders!

I own a 650 V from 2014 with 13k kilometers on it (8k miles). I recently had the tired changed and since then I have been experiencing some weird noises.

1st noise: A high pitched whirring type of sound that is dependent on the speed I'm going. From around 20+ kph I start hearing this noise. It does not change when I apply the brakes and does not change when I pull in the clutch. If I pull in the clutch it gets more noticeable, but that's normal since the engine is quiet then.

2nd noise: When under load (passenger or fully loaded panniers), there is a ticking feeling in my pegs (more left than right) and seat area. Again, not influenced by brakes or clutch. This ticking goes faster the higher the speed. At 90+ kph the ticking is just a constant buzz.

I inspected my chain and all the rollers are in good shape, but some links are a bit stiffer than others. They are not stuck but you need some more force to move them. I very regularly clean and lube the chain with a specific chain cleaner and lube.
My chain alignment has been checked by myself with a Motionpro tool and was a bit out of alignment. The tire shop based their alignment on my swingarm marks I think...

Is there a chance that my chain is done for? Is there anything more that I can do or check?

Thanks!

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-23-2018, 12:58 PM
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do you have the proper chain slack? 8K is sort of early for a chain to be worn, but its certainly possible.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-23-2018, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by crosshairs View Post
do you have the proper chain slack? 8K is sort of early for a chain to be worn, but its certainly possible.
I've heard plenty of stories of Gen 3 chains wearing out prematurely. Mine has about 9,000 miles and has lost some O'rings and is getting fairly tight in some areas.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-23-2018, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crosshairs View Post
do you have the proper chain slack? 8K is sort of early for a chain to be worn, but its certainly possible.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Indelibility View Post
I've heard plenty of stories of Gen 3 chains wearing out prematurely. Mine has about 9,000 miles and has lost some O'rings and is getting fairly tight in some areas.
My Gen 3 ('15 650) chain died early - I got ONLY 23,185 kms (14,400 miles) on it. OTOH - my '08's chain lasted OVER 50,000 miles!!!, and I got about 75,000 kms on my OEM KLR650 chain, so it's NOT me as the reason for the '15 chain dying.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-23-2018, 08:55 PM
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Chain tension ok?

The original chain on my 09 only lasted 10k miles, but I suspect none of the previous owners did much if any chain maintenance. The DID x-ring chain on it now is doing well.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-23-2018, 11:29 PM
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Whirring noise sounds almost as if the rear wheel was either not aligned properly when put back on or the chain was adjusted too tight.

The stiff links do make it sound as if your chain is toast. I'd go to a trusted mechanic (NOT the one who changed your tire) and ask for his opinion.

8k miles is way too early for a chain to go bye-bye.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-24-2018, 02:07 AM
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My original chain was already really bad too at 2,600 miles when I replaced it.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-24-2018, 04:37 AM
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What kind of tires did you get? While I'm not suggesting that your chain is A-ok, if you went from a "street" tire to a "dual-sporty" tire, the noise you hear may just be the new tread? When I went from the stock Dunlops (on my 15V) to Shinko 705s, the noise they made on the road was far and away louder and more noticeable than my originals. Just a thought...
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-24-2018, 07:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KenBCK View Post
Hi fellow Versys riders!

I own a 650 V from 2014 with 13k kilometers on it (8k miles). I recently had the tired changed and since then I have been experiencing some weird noises.

1st noise: A high pitched whirring type of sound that is dependent on the speed I'm going. From around 20+ kph I start hearing this noise. It does not change when I apply the brakes and does not change when I pull in the clutch. If I pull in the clutch it gets more noticeable, but that's normal since the engine is quiet then.

2nd noise: When under load (passenger or fully loaded panniers), there is a ticking feeling in my pegs (more left than right) and seat area. Again, not influenced by brakes or clutch. This ticking goes faster the higher the speed. At 90+ kph the ticking is just a constant buzz.

I inspected my chain and all the rollers are in good shape, but some links are a bit stiffer than others. They are not stuck but you need some more force to move them. I very regularly clean and lube the chain with a specific chain cleaner and lube.
My chain alignment has been checked by myself with a Motionpro tool and was a bit out of alignment. The tire shop based their alignment on my swingarm marks I think...

Is there a chance that my chain is done for? Is there anything more that I can do or check?

Thanks!
  1. raise the rear wheel with a pit stand and put the bike in neutral. Slowly spin the rear wheel and see what makes noise and if there are any changes in force required to rotate wheel 2 revolutions (about what it takes the chain to go around once).
  2. make sure you do not have a problem with chain slack or alignment
  3. that mileage seems about what I got from mine, a good X Ring chain will last much longer if you keep it lubed every second tank of fuel
  4. check your front sprocket for wear and replace with chain if teeth are hooked. At that mileage the rear sprocket should be OK and the front likely is too.
  5. your chain is done for if the force to rotate the rear tire varies with stiff links in the chain. Stiff links are a sign of worn out pins where there is no longer any sealed grease.

Last edited by twowheels; 07-24-2018 at 07:12 AM.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-24-2018, 09:00 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses!

I am running Michelin Pilot Road 4 now, but the noise is coming from the center of the bike (aka chain area).

@twhowheels:

1. There is no significant change in force to rotate the wheel.
2. I re-aligned my rear wheel today to make sure. It was a bit off-center, I had to adjust the right side adjuster around 1 turn.
4. Front and rear sprockets are fine.

I'm going to clean it very thoroughly with diesel (as stated in the manual) tonight and see if that changes anything.

Otherwise I'll order a new X ring chain I guess.

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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-24-2018, 12:40 PM
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If the prior owner(s) didn't do much chain maintenance it is possible the chain was badly rusted at some point (dealer you bought it from likely cleaned the chain to hide any bad rust). It is a common problem with low mileage used bikes, they don't get ridden much and the owners neglect maintenance.
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