Chain / Time to replace chain? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 85 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 12:16 PM Thread Starter
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Chain / Time to replace chain?

So I need to replace my chain at 24000 Kms and as this is my first time I thought I would throw out a few questions to the more experienced folks.
1. O or X chain? most of my riding is around town with a little hwy so fairly non aggressive.
2. OEM or DID?
3. I didn't see any ware on my sprockets should I still change them?

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post #2 of 85 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 02:29 PM
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For sure, change the front sprocket and maybe flip the rear sprocket. If any doubt on the rear, replace it. No point in tearing up a not so cheap chain. I tried an aftermarket sprocket but it was quite a bit louder(no rubber noise damper) so I do bite the bullet and go with the MaKaw part. I beat the dealer's price by $8-10 in the states at Rocky Mountain ATV. Perhaps someone else up there is a good place to get OEM parts at a discount. Try using the part number on Google.

Not much help on the O ring X ring as I ride a lot of hard miles and some dirt, so I want the good stuff, X ring for me. Less friction( and heat and arguably better sealing. But our riding styles don't really match up, so...

Important. I've lost 3 or 4 clips from the one chain that used a clip on master link and luckily caught it before anything catastrophic happened(hole in engine, locked rear tire at speed, death, etc.). Rivet only. Buy a rivet kit or have someone else install it, perhaps someone on this forum in your neighbo(u)rhood would volunteer. I'm over 3k miles from you, sorry. If you do your own, be meticulous.

HTH.

BTW, RK ain't a bad chain, either. I think(uh oh) that the OEM chain is DID(not sure of the model), but could be wrong(it's happened before,at least once). And MaKaw is very proud of their chain, probably north of $200 in your neck of the woods.

Have fun and rivet, rivet.

Yeah, if you want true ram air tuning, you better be willing to ram some air! (SteveinSunnyFlorida)

'15 KLE650LT
'99 Concours(with 234,xxx miles on it), sold
'98 KLR650


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And most of Canada too, eh?
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post #3 of 85 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Iron Bishop View Post
So I need to replace my chain at 24000 Kms and as this is my first time I thought I would throw out a few questions to the more experienced folks.
1. O or X chain? most of my riding is around town with a little hwy so fairly non aggressive.
2. OEM or DID?
3. I didn't see any ware on my sprockets should I still change them?

Iron Bishop
on a budget, just sayin
Sprocket wear can be subtle and not very noticeable at first glance.

If you are old like me put on your reading glasses and take a careful look. Watch for a different slope/angle on the drive side vs the non drive side. The difference between the two sides shows the actual wear.

Yes some guys will not change sprockets at every chain replacement. That is your call.

For me I change both sprockets whenever I replace the chain. This will insure maximum chain life.

Cookin Wid Gas

2015 V-650 of course it's green...it's a Kazawalski.
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post #4 of 85 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 04:25 PM
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On the 2015 the OEM chain is DID.

Ditto on rivet master link, not clip. It just isn't worth the risk imho to go with a clip.

I would definitely go with X ring rather than O ring. Less friction and less chance of contaminants getting in. I would also go with new sprockets at that mileage, too. I am not an expert, but what I've seen and read makes it worth the minimal extra expense to cover the bases. Ruining a new chain needlessly, or having a master link failure, are not worth risking.
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post #5 of 85 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 06:22 PM
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Be very careful buying DID chain off eBay. I got some counterfeit last year.
Randy

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post #6 of 85 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 06:51 PM
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Didn't anybody read the title of this thread and automatically sing the next 3 words..... chain of fools. Areatha, R.I.P.

Forty years away from 2 wheel fun. Sure is great to be back smelling the roses!!!
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post #7 of 85 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 08:54 PM
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DID OEM / Bad Idea

I will only say I threw out my OEM DID chain on my 2015 , below 11,000 KM, absolutely crap chain, let me say I talked to a professional that did both track and enduro style racing, he said he saw a DID chain actually explode.
https://www.kawasakiversys.com/forum...ain-video.html

I have EK SRX2 Xring chain, with over 13,000 KM on it, original sprockets, so at roughly 24,000KM , no signs of wear, usually need to adjust about every 6000 KM.
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post #8 of 85 (permalink) Old 05-18-2019, 07:40 AM
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I will only say I threw out my OEM DID chain on my 2015 , below 11,000 KM, absolutely crap chain, let me say I talked to a professional that did both track and enduro style racing, he said he saw a DID chain actually explode.
https://www.kawasakiversys.com/forum...ain-video.html

I have EK SRX2 Xring chain, with over 13,000 KM on it, original sprockets, so at roughly 24,000KM , no signs of wear, usually need to adjust about every 6000 KM.
EK was a brand of chain that I heard was good but couldn't think of in my answer above. My original DID chain was crap at 12k miles. The DID x-ring I have on now is still good at 18k miles with the front sprocket showing a little wear, back much less so. I did go through a couple of chains rather quickly in my drive chain re-education process. Except for my KLR which is not used much in the last few years I've not had a chain "touring" bike since the mid 1980's.

For my extended trips(Versys in an enclosed trailer behind a Roadtrek camper van) I carry a new chain and both sprockets along with a rivet kit.

Yeah, if you want true ram air tuning, you better be willing to ram some air! (SteveinSunnyFlorida)

'15 KLE650LT
'99 Concours(with 234,xxx miles on it), sold
'98 KLR650


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post #9 of 85 (permalink) Old 05-18-2019, 09:17 AM
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EK was a brand of chain that I heard was good but couldn't think of in my answer above. My original DID chain was crap at 12k miles. The DID x-ring I have on now is still good at 18k miles with the front sprocket showing a little wear, back much less so.
My DID gold X-ring chain also has right at 18k miles on it. It still looks like new but has a couple of links starting to get a little stiff. I replaced both sprockets when I installed the new chain.

Curious if the EK would have faired any better?

Cookin Wid Gas

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post #10 of 85 (permalink) Old 05-18-2019, 12:11 PM
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My DID gold X-ring chain also has right at 18k miles on it. It still looks like new but has a couple of links starting to get a little stiff. I replaced both sprockets when I installed the new chain.

Curious if the EK would have faired any better?
My DID chain had a short stretched section and tight links right at 3000 KM and just got worse, I don't want to cause trouble here, but one of this sites sponsors stopped carrying DID chain because of complaints, at the time they were sold out of 110 link chain so I got lucky and Fortnine had it in stock, free shipping and the gold colour was discounted 20% off ,because of complaints about the colour gold.I bought another chain this year from them to get my free shipping. If someone wants a free DID chain, I have a brand new one from my 07 dealer.actually I may have thrown it out.
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post #11 of 85 (permalink) Old 05-18-2019, 12:46 PM
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The piece of crap OEM chain on my '15 V650 was 'toast' by 23,187 kms (14,407 miles), so I replaced it [and the front sprocket] w/ a DID which lasted till 49,478 kms (30,744 miles) and had been adjusted a total of 12 'flats', or TWO full turns of the adjusters, for a total mileage of 26,291 kms, 16,336 miles when I replaced it w/ an EK520SRX2 chain PLUS both sprockets.

The EK has now been on for 16,119 kms (10,016 miles) and has ONLY been adjusted FOUR flats (2/3 of a turn) over that mileage, and looks like it'll last way longer than the DID did.

BUT the OEM chain on my '08 V650 lasted aprox. 56 THOUSAND miles before it was replaced, and the engineer who inspected it told me that except for a noisy link was STILL within limits!

BTW - I ONLY lube my chains w/ WD40, and fairly often!


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Last edited by fasteddiecopeman; 08-26-2019 at 04:32 PM.
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post #12 of 85 (permalink) Old 05-18-2019, 04:23 PM
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To piggy back on this thread about chains ... can the chain be replaced without removing the front sprocket? Also, how difficult is it to properly rivet the new master link? I'm happy either way to buy the tools and DIY, or pay a shop if it is a pita. Removing the front sprocket is not within my capability (no impact tools or compressor).
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post #13 of 85 (permalink) Old 05-18-2019, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Fly-Sig View Post
To piggy back on this thread about chains ... can the chain be replaced without removing the front sprocket? Also, how difficult is it to properly rivet the new master link? I'm happy either way to buy the tools and DIY, or pay a shop if it is a pita. Removing the front sprocket is not within my capability (no impact tools or compressor).

YES! You can remove and replace the chain without replacing the front sprocket. Simply slide the chain through!

Riveting a new master link is pretty easy...and I'm a mechanical idiot!

That being said...the next time you're by your local shop see if they can't unloosen that front sprocket nut. I'm sure on a slow day they wouldn't mind doing it. With the shop tools, it'd take them a couple of minutes. Just ask them if they could unloosen, then tighten to 122 ft/lbs. All they'd have to do is take the covers off, ratchet it loose, wrench it to spec, put the covers back on.
This way, when you replace the chain the next time, it "should be" pretty easy to take off.


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post #14 of 85 (permalink) Old 05-18-2019, 08:53 PM
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To piggy back on this thread about chains ... can the chain be replaced without removing the front sprocket? Also, how difficult is it to properly rivet the new master link? I'm happy either way to buy the tools and DIY, or pay a shop if it is a pita. Removing the front sprocket is not within my capability (no impact tools or compressor).
Not replacing the front sprocket is inviting quite a reduction in the new chain's life. I had to do this while traveling. The shop could not get the nut off and rounded it slightly. They were using a 12 point socket. Grrrr. The chains that was on the bike was toast and had to be replaced. That new chain was shot in 4k miles. I also had to keep it looser than spec to keep the vibrations(from the sprocket teeth not matching the new chain) down. As it was, the vibrations did result in a few bolts/screws vibrating off of the bike.

All in all, not replacing the sprocket was quite expensive and the vibrations also sucked. But I did finish the trip. I also replaced the sprocket nut(about $20) with a new one on the next chain/sprocket change. A six point socket and impact wrench spun the old nut right off.

As an aside I'm gonna try to find an EK chain for the next go around.

Yeah, if you want true ram air tuning, you better be willing to ram some air! (SteveinSunnyFlorida)

'15 KLE650LT
'99 Concours(with 234,xxx miles on it), sold
'98 KLR650


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post #15 of 85 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 01:09 PM
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...Also, how difficult is it to properly rivet the new master link?...
I bought the chain tools from Cycle Gear (around $39, cheaper when ON SALE). I use a grinder to remove the heads on the pins of a link to remove the old chain.


Ed
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post #16 of 85 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 01:19 PM
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My early years of riding (mid 60's up to mid 80's) were all chain driven bikes. All the bikes had "clip type master links" (except for one new bike I bought) and I never had a problem with any of them. There is a right way and a wrong way to install the clips.......Murphy's Law applies to almost everything.
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post #17 of 85 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 05:09 PM
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My early years of riding (mid 60's up to mid 80's) were all chain driven bikes. All the bikes had "clip type master links" (except for one new bike I bought) and I never had a problem with any of them. There is a right way and a wrong way to install the clips.......Murphy's Law applies to almost everything.
Yes there is a correct direction. I had made sure that they were installed properly. They were not binding either, the new ones slid on just easy as pie.

Back to the years ago thing, I also never had an issue with clip ons then. My KLR has an O-ring chain with clip ons that I've also not had issue with and it has about 14k miles on that chain. It's just the Versys. It was a DID chain.

Go figure. Hope to see you next month.

PM on it's way.

Yeah, if you want true ram air tuning, you better be willing to ram some air! (SteveinSunnyFlorida)

'15 KLE650LT
'99 Concours(with 234,xxx miles on it), sold
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post #18 of 85 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 11:49 AM
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My early years of riding (mid 60's up to mid 80's) were all chain driven bikes. All the bikes had "clip type master links" (except for one new bike I bought) and I never had a problem with any of them. There is a right way and a wrong way to install the clips.......Murphy's Law applies to almost everything.
On non O-ring chains it's much easier to install the 'clip' as there's NO outward pressure as supplied by O-rings.

Ed
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post #19 of 85 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 12:33 PM
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On non O-ring chains it's much easier to install the 'clip' as there's NO outward pressure as supplied by O-rings.

Now that actually makes sense..........all older style chains that I was playing with.
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post #20 of 85 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 11:57 PM
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Originally Posted by fasteddiecopeman View Post
The piece of crap OEM chain on my '15 V650 was 'toast' by 23,187 kms (14,407 miles), so I replaced it [and the front sprocket] w/ a DID which lasted till 49,478 kms (30,744 miles) and had been adjusted a total of 12 'flats', or TWO full turns of the adjusters, for a total mileage of 26,291 kms, 16,336 miles when I replaced it w/ an EK520SRX2 chain PLUS both sprockets.

The EK has now been on for 16,119 kms (10,016 miles) and has ONLY been adjusted FOUR flats (2/3 of a turn) over that mileage, and looks like it'll last way longer than the DID did.

BUT the OEM chain on my '08 V650 lasted aprox. 56 THOUSAND miles before it was replaced, and the engineer who inspected it told me that except for a noisy link was STILL within limits!

BTW - I ONLY lube my chains w/ WD40, and fairly often!

[IMG class=inlineimg]/forums/images/KawasakiVersysForum_2015/smilies/tango_face_grin.png[/IMG]
The OEM chain on my '11 V650 *was* an EK, and probably on the 07-09 as well. Replaced with a fancy DID X-ring and it lasted all of about 1000 miles before all the rings tore up. Went back to a (cheaper) EK and never looked back.

(2011 Versys)

Last edited by fasteddiecopeman; 08-26-2019 at 04:33 PM.
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