Been riding for thirty years, many miles, numerous bikes. I am not utterly anal but, I make sure my bikes are kept in good running order.
Went for a ride with a friend this morning. We met up about half the hundred mile distance between our homes. We ate breakfast then headed out. About fifteen miles up the road, after making a turn, I hear some squeaking and rattling, so immediately pull over. Chain is toast. Binding, lot of lateral play in many of the rollers. 2012 650 that I purchased new. A little over 6700 miles. Switched to a 44 tooth rear not too long after buying. Stock DID VP2 chain. Wiped down with kerosene and coated with Maxima Chain Wax every few hundred miles, except for a couple of longer stretches of 700-800 miles on an interstate trip last year.
Cut todays ride short, after stopping at an autoparts store and picking up a can of chain spray to quiet the noise, and limped home. Put it up in the rear stand, and as I am spinning, I start noticing missing o-rings on many links. Plucked one out with a pick to inspect: it is an x-ring, somewhat pliable but fairly hard, definitely not brittle.
Buddy made comment that he felt chain was too tight with me sitting on bike. I have always kept it in spec. His next comment was interesting: he thinks the chain riding so close to the stock muffler could predispose it to early lube/ring failure due to heat. Touch my chain and it's scorching hot, touch his (he is on a ZRX) and it is barely warm. We've ridden together, same speed, same distance.
Did an internet search of the VP2 chain and find a couple of cases of early demise but, not widespread horror stories. Blamed on it being made in Thailand...lol.
Thoughts? Did I just happen to get a dud chain? Do I trade the bike in on a Tenere?