So a week ago I go out on a Thursday to prep my V for a 1100 mile weekend to begin the following morning. I check the tire pressure... I check the coolant... I install my Zumo with my preplanned route... I install my AirHawk pad and on top of that I strap on my Alaskan Leather Butt Pad... I do everything a good rider should do to insure a trouble free weekend... except I don't adjust my chain.
The original chain had 18k on it and I knew I was nearing the point where I would have to replace it. It was stretching itself quicker than earlier in its life... It had two or three semi frozen links... It was at a state that I knew it needed to be replaced... but surely it had 1100 more miles in her.
It had stretched since my last cleaning and adjustment a couple of months ago... and even though it's sag wasn't bad at all... it would have been smart to tighten her up once more before departing... but it was cold in the garage that Thursday.
So... I set out on Friday morning and had a pleasant and uneventful ride down to my daughter's place in West Palm Beach... where I throw a cover on the bike and have a great Saturday/Sunday with the grand kids.
Early Monday morning I un bag the beast and the first thing I notice is my chain sagging with three or four inches of slack. Crap...
What the heck... I fire things up and figure she's got another five or six hundred miles in her if I'm gentle. Later in the morning, taking off from a gas pump, I feel the chain slip a cog as I let the clutch out... Must be careful taking off from a stop!
Well... even with earplugs in I could hear it slapping around down there. I passed a big Kawasaki/Honda dealer in Ocala and thought about stopping in and seeing if I could talk them into a quick chain adjust... but like a fool, I didn't.
So... I'm nursing things toward home and I get as far as Apalachicola, Florida and as I negotiate a slow 90 degree turn I blip the throttle mid-turn and things cough down there... and suddenly I have no drive.
I coasted into a Subway parking lot knowing I've screwed up. It's an hour from dark and two hours from home. What the hell have I done?!?
I dismount and there's my chain... off the rear sprocket and dragging the ground. Crap...
After those first moments of panic... "Who can I call?" "Where will I stay?" "What will this cost?" I took a deep breath... analyzed the situation and then calmly lifted the chain back up and onto the rear sprocket. Whew!!!
I nursed her home the last 85 miles... Sweating the entire way even though it was pretty chilly after the sun went down. Lucky Escape!
Below is what my ultimate slack looked like once home safe and sound.
New D.I.D. chain on order... due in this week.