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Average life of a chain

Discussion in 'Bling and Appearance' started by gegvasco, Jun 4, 2007.

  1. I have done a search and while there are a few threads that skirt around the edges of it, there doesn't seem to be one thread that focuses on how many k's you should expect out of a chain and/or what the variables are.

    I have heard a few stories about 15000-25000km for a sports bike chain. Is this reasonable for an O-ring chain assuming proper care and maintenance?

    I have also heard that the chain that comes on a brand new bike won't last as long because they use cheaper chains at the factory. Is this a myth?

    The reason I ask is that my CBR is up to 28000km on the factory new chain and it has reached the maximum adjustment mark to keep the chain at the correct tension. Is this a reasonable sort of life?

    Other factors I am curious about:
    - O-ring vs other chain types in regards to life of chain?
    - Any particular riding styles that may lessen the life on a chain?
    - And in preparation for buying new chain and sprockets, recommended brands if I don't mind spending some money. Given the fundamental importance of the chain/sprockets I figure that if I'm going to spend money on anything it should be chain/sprocket and tyres.
  2. Without a Scottoiler or Pro-oiler 25km is about all I would be expecting out of an O/X ring chain, and that is assuming it is well looked after, and not ridden hard. Most will see less than that
  3. I got 24,000km out of my factory chain, ridden fairly hard (but also fairly easy as you do when you start off riding ;)) the new one seems to be in better condition, not stretching as quickly as the old one
  4. Wheelies, fast take offs and bad down shifts are the enemy of the long lasting chain.
  5. I'd be happy with that if it was looked after.
  6. A properly maintained chain will last 15k to 20k miles, or more, depending on how you ride.

    O-Ring type chains are superior when comparing longevity to non O-Ring style chains. The sealing effect of O-Rings positioned between the plates of the chain greatly reduce abrasive particles from reaching vulnerable parts of the chain, plus retain lubrication present in the chain.

    The only proper place for an old fashoned non-o-ring chain is on a race bike.
  7. i got about 28000 out of the stock chain on the sv650s i was the second owner and had it from 18000kms. The chain was still in ok condition but changed it for peace of mind really. I have been told that that was a realistic limit for longevity of a stock chain. I went up two teeth on the rear (for the sake of it really) to improve accelleration.
  8. I used to get around 5-8000k out of chains on the Hornet, even cleaning and oiling them meticulously. But it had a -1 front sprocket and a +2 rear srocket (I understand the tighter angle it has to wrap around the front sprocket accelerates wear) and I did loads of wheelies everywhere.

    I have resolved never to clean a chain again.
  9. ?!!!?!

    Well my bike had some heavy work outs from time to time: track days, long rides, lots of 20km jaunts into the city etc... and my factory OEM chain was still fine 40000km later...

    It was regularly lubed and cleaned... but I mean way regularly... and after every longish ride the chain got a squirt of lube while the chain was hot and the wheel rotated to spread the lube...

  10. I tend to get 20000 to 25000 out of chains on bikes, the most I've ever gotten was 30,000 (and it was totally stuffed by then and probably should have been replaced earlier).
  11. I had been very disappointed with chain life on the Hornet till I coughed up the extra cash and bought a D.I.D. last time. I have been amazed!!

    I bought the chian at 85,794 kms, and yesterday turned over 97,000 kms, and including the recent trip to Melbourne, I have adjusted it about three times (but lubed it a bit more often than that) and at this stage it is STILL on the INSIDE of the first adjustment marker. At this rate it's going to outlast the bike :LOL:.

    {I'm waiting for a BMW rider to post in this thread :rofl:}.
  12. 24,000 km and counting!
  13. whats an indiciator that the chain is in need of replacement?

    what options are there to replace the chain? go oem or are there alternatives that dont cost an arm and leg? eg. i dont want a high performance thing - i just want a new chain
  14. The easiest indicator is that you can't tension it any further. Other indicators are being able to pull a joint off the sprocket and worn sprockets.
  15. First factory chain 60,000kms no wheelies.

    Was on target to get the same out of this one... then a few weeks of wheelie madness and suddenly it stretched a lot. Still should get at least 50,000km though.

    Dont run them too dry or too tight.... thats all that matters.
  16. 6000km on a D.I.D. O-ring on the 1000F, including fork-seals twice :?
    i dont think they are meant to wheelie ;)
  17. That's why a scottoiler rocks (or any other automatic lubing device - as long as it actually does work ;) )
  18. My chain just hit 25,000 and its still pretty good!
  19. I bought my bike (VFR 800) at 30K (OEM DID chain but I dont know how old, OEM front and rear sprockets) and had to replace it at 80K (touring, commuting, no wheelies/hooning, manual chainwax application).

    The next chain was a top of the line EK XWS530 ($300)and it only lasted 33K (be wary of pointing the hose at the chain - must have got water in a couple of links and although well within the wear limit had tight spots) so cost isnt a guide to chain life. Both front and rear sprockets had to be replaced as well so basically the extra money for a chaingang set doesnt give any more life than what you get from the chain. Anecdotally I believe the Chaingang or other good quality cromoly front sprocket will last longer but are no advantage on the rear. I currently use a DID ZV112 (think it was $200) with an OEM rear and aftermarket cromo on the front. Total cost was $320 as opposed to the previous $480 from chaingang.

    Also fitted a scottoiler 44K ago and havent had to adjust the chain yet so early indications are they are as good as the marketing claims. At that rate I will get back the cost ($200) in little more than one chain. Have tried a couple of other oilers (eg loobman) and they are not worth considering.

    Some cheaper bikes (eg Suzuki GSXF) come with a cheap chain but most quality bikes come with good gear as standard all around. The DID chain I currently use is exactly the same as fitted standard on Viffers.

  20. Sounds great with the scottoiler, I've found the marketing claims to be spot on as well :grin: Also say (cheap) things like loobman aren't worth it.