Chain Question - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 06:41 AM Thread Starter
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Chain Question

My chain needs tightening about every 500 miles right now. Is this a sign that I will need a new chain soon?

Keep the rubber on the road and be safe!
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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 07:15 AM
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Yes. And that you may be over tightening the chain. And that you may not be lubricating the chain enough.

When you buy a replacement chain, also replace both sprockets. And donít waste your money on a JT chain. JT makes good sprockets, but terrible chains. Iíve just replaced my second JT chain in 20k km. This time I bought an EK SRX2 chain, and new JT sprockets.
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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 07:51 AM
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It does sound like it's time for a chain replacement. And like Dave said above, get a quality chain. (I prefer the Bike Master's if your local dealer has them. They've been good to me and priced affordably.)
Also change out the sprockets. I generally have two different brands on the front and back. I went OEM for the front sprocket and a dealer-suggested Sunstar for the rear.

Finally, if you're going to change it yourself, I'm the guy that's going to forewarn you that the front sprocket is a bear to get off!!! If you have an air compressor and ratchet gun you should do OK. If not a breaker bar at minimum will be needed...and some friends to help you!

And use the correct 6-point sockets!
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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 09:34 AM Thread Starter
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When I adjust the slack, I am doing it to spec each time. I also clean and lube the chain weekly, about every 400 miles. Just seems that recently After a long ride on the weekend, 300-400 miles, it is really loose and out of spec again.
I think a new chain and sprockets are in my future. What do you think about a DID chain?
Thanks for the comments and suggestions.

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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 11:09 AM
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What year is your V650?

The chain on my '15 V650 LT had the SHORTEST life of the THREE V650S I've bought at 23,187 kms[14,407 miles], and in fact - I got OVER 56 THOUSAND MILES on the OEM chain on my '08, and THAT included a 'fair' amount of dirt roads!

FWIW - I got 39,030 kms[24,252 miles] on the OEM chain on the '09.

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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 01:08 PM Thread Starter
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I have a 2013 V650.

Keep the rubber on the road and be safe!
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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 01:48 PM
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I adjust my chain 1 time in 3500km , and it was in service when I have 3100km .
Also service guy told me that I ignore instruction for tightening into manual, because you need to sit down on bike and than adjust chain.
Instruction say 25-35mm but when you adjust like that (when is on rear stand )and you sit on them it can be OK, but it is not same if you have 70kg or 130kg, or maybe more if you have full top box and side box. Also my service guy ask me do i travel alone or are 2 poeople on bike before tightening them.
That service is official kawasaky for last 35 years, so I belive to them more than to manual book when the chain is in question.
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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 07:56 PM
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I have about 13,000 miles on my 2016 and have only needed to adjust it 4 or 5 times.

I don't care what you ride, just ride.
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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by kardan View Post
...Also service guy told me that I ignore instruction for tightening into manual, because you need to sit down on bike and than adjust chain....
Your "service guy" is WRONG!

Check your OWNERS MANUAL - it says Set the motorcycle up on its side stand under "Drive Chain Slack Inspection", because that way the weight of the bike is affecting the slack so that you can set it CORRECTLY.

The chain is at its TIGHTEST when the rear axle, the swing-arm pivot and the center of the counter-shaft are in a STRAIGHT line, so 'Ma Kawi' has done that for you, which is where the figures of 25 - 35mm// 1.0 - 1.4 inches come from, as you are NOT doing the inspection when it's at its TIGHTEST.

If you don't trust Ma Kawi, then you CAN set the bike up so that the three points are INLINE, which entails removing your rear shock after ensuring that it doesn't FALL when you do so, then adjusting to VIRTUALLY NO SLACK but not SUPER-TIGHT, followed by re-installing the shock, then putting the bike BACK onto the stand and measuring what your 'slack' is. You'll find that it IS at 25 - 35mm//1.0 - 1.4 inches.
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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 11:37 AM
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...because you need to sit down on bike and than adjust chain....
IF you do it THAT way, your chain WILL be overtightened, and you can break it or ruin your wheel-bearings, and certainly reduce the length of time it works correctly!

We had a saying when I was in the Airforce - IF ALL ELSE FAILS - READ THE MANUAL!

-
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post #11 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by fasteddiecopeman View Post
IF you do it THAT way, your chain WILL be overtightened, and you can break it or ruin your wheel-bearings, and certainly reduce the length of time it works correctly!

We had a saying when I was in the Airforce - IF ALL ELSE FAILS - READ THE MANUAL!

-
I don't understand how than my chain will be overtightened.
Guy find tightest point while I am on bike, than they adjuct chain slack to be in 25-35mm. Check both side , check is it front and rear sprocket in same line, tight everthing, add safety pin, and it is done.

I see on other forums same discussion, and somebody use manual, somebody check while it is on bike, somebody check on rear stand.
So I was in dilemma which solution to use, so I go to my service and I use they advice.
For now is OK, if i see problem in future I will try manual instruction so I will see is there big difference.

Every advice is great, I will see how chain will behave in future.
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post #12 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-07-2019, 11:52 AM
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I don't understand how than my chain will be overtightened.
Guy find tightest point while I am on bike, than they adjuct chain slack to be in 25-35mm.
The thing is, the distance between the rear axle and the sprocket may actually be longer (that is, the chain will be tighter) when the bike is unladen. That depends on the geometry of the bike. It's not a hard rule that the chain will become tighter when you sit on the bike, it might actually become looser. In fact, that's what will happen if the axle, sprocket and the pivot point of the swing arm are all in one line when the bike sits on the sidestand. Think about it.

In other words, now when you ride over a crest and the rear suspension extends over what it'd be at when you're weighing the bike down, the chain becomes too tight.
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post #13 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-07-2019, 01:56 PM
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The thing is, the distance between the rear axle and the sprocket may actually be longer (that is, the chain will be tighter) when the bike is unladen. That depends on the geometry of the bike. It's not a hard rule that the chain will become tighter when you sit on the bike, it might actually become looser. In fact, that's what will happen if the axle, sprocket and the pivot point of the swing arm are all in one line when the bike sits on the sidestand. Think about it.

In other words, now when you ride over a crest and the rear suspension extends over what it'd be at when you're weighing the bike down, the chain becomes too tight.

I check today chain, when I sitting on them it is between 25-35mm, and when is on rear stand it is 30-40mm. So there is no big difference.
Anyway I can try to adjust chain on this way when you sitting on them until i need to replace that chain and use new, and with new use how is in manual. That should be best experiment. Only that experiment will last probably few years. Maybe I will try to do that . Also I ride relaxed, no hard acceleration, so my chain are not in big stress, so it should last long time.
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post #14 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-07-2019, 04:43 PM
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I don't understand how than my chain will be overtightened....
It will be OVERLY TIGHTENED because you are NOT following the instructions in your OWNERS MANUAL.

At the point that all THREE CENTERS are IN LINE, effectively you do NOT need ANY SLACK in your chain, so when set THAT WAY, then you check slack w/ the V on its side stand, you will end up w/ 1.0 - 1.4" slack. THAT IS THE METHOD KAWASAKI USED TO GIVE YOU THOSE NUMBERS, and WHY they detail that method to check your chain.

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...Also I ride relaxed, no hard acceleration, so my chain are not in big stress, so it should last long time.
IF your chain is OVER-TIGHTENED it will NOT matter how "relaxed" your acceleration is - your chain WILL fail!

Back in '09 while I was riding to Alaska on a KLR650, I adjusted my chain one night, but FAILED TO RE-CHECK AFTER I TIGHTENED THE AXLE NUT, then the next day I departed w/out rechecking it - it was overtight which I noticed at the gas station down the road as it was VERY difficult to 'roll' so I loosened the adjustment, but it was TOO late - my chain was already 'spitting out' rollers, so the chain was SHOT, and I ended up changing the chain that night INSTEAD of going for beers w/ my riding buddy!

Take my word for it - TOO LOOSE or TOO TIGHT WILL ruin your chain, and IF it breaks it can destroy your engine cases as well, requiring a NEW engine.

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post #15 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-08-2019, 09:28 AM
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What Freddie said. Adjust on the sidestand as per manual.

I replaced the stock chain on my '13 650 at ~10k miles. Shortest life I've ever gotten from a chain. Totally stretched out.
I replaced with a RK GXW chain, and Driven sprockets (the lightweight steel rear). Check out motmummy.com. He's got the best deals on chain/sprocket combos, free shipping, and excellent customer service.
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post #16 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-08-2019, 05:51 PM
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This is perfect timing for my 2 cents.

I just got back from a three day 1500 km ride to Lake Placid. First night I arrived I checked my chain by rolling it forward about three inches at a time until I found the tightest spot. it was right at the edge of just being over the limit at 1.5 inches. Got out my tools and only had to turn the adjusters about 1/3 of a full turn to put the chain at 1" slack. Rode for two days and came home today. Checked the chain on the sidestand and it is still exactly at 1" slack.....perfect. Put it up on the paddock stand to clean and lube the chain and it was really tight. In some places it was difficult to turn the rear wheel. At the tightest point it was only about 3/4 inch slack and that was using lots of force to get that much. So everything is perfect according to every rule in the Manual correct?
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post #17 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-09-2019, 03:07 PM
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...Checked the chain on the sidestand and it is still exactly at 1" slack.....perfect. Put it up on the paddock stand to clean and lube the chain and it was really tight....
In BOTH situations your bike's weight is ON the suspension, so there should NOT be a difference. Do the spools you have, attach to the swing-arm, or somewhere else? (I can ONLY see what you describe as happening, occurring IF the swingarm can somehow 'sag' letting the rear suspension extend.)

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post #18 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 02:25 PM
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In BOTH situations your bike's weight is ON the suspension, so there should NOT be a difference. Do the spools you have, attach to the swing-arm, or somewhere else? (I can ONLY see what you describe as happening, occurring IF the swingarm can somehow 'sag' letting the rear suspension extend.)
Now i see that I write wrong in last post.
I check when I am on bike(25-35) and when is bike on side stand(30-40). Ther is little difference, but it is OK.
If something go wrong because of adjusting chain when I am on bike, that is service fault, and bike is under warranty.
I didn't ask service guy why he adjust cnain on that way.
Soon it will be 6000km and time for service, so I will ask them why they adjust like that. I need to remember, so I can write here what they say.
I am really wish to know what is reason.

Last edited by kardan; 06-10-2019 at 02:30 PM.
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post #19 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 02:35 PM
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...If something go wrong because of adjusting chain when I am on bike, that is service fault, and bike is under warranty....
MAYBE, but YOU will be on the side of the road w/ your Versys (or possibly - WORSE - UNDER it) wondering what happened, IF it fails...!

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post #20 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 03:21 PM
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MAYBE, but YOU will be on the side of the road w/ your Versys (or possibly - WORSE - UNDER it) wondering what happened, IF it fails...!

He he, I know, I hope that I will never need to test my safety equipment
I fall few time on my scooter, small tires and that is biggest problem, you feel everthing . When I buy Versys 650 I feel much safer than on scooter, why I don't know.
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