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Chain Life and Maintenance

Discussion in 'Bling and Appearance' at netrider.net.au started by flashthebiker, Jul 10, 2007.

  1. Just got a 2002 VFR800 with 34k on the clock. Absolutely no idea of the quality of the maintenance for the chain. Given average maintenance (tightening and lube) until now, and from now a thorough clean this weekend and my anal weekly (400km) lube and monthly clean and adjust, what would be the minimum life I might expect from the chain? I can't see anything obviously wrong with the chain or sprockets at the moment. (Yeah I know how long is a piece of string??)

    Have only ridden shafty's till now this is something new.

    From new, given manual maintenance (lube every 400 km, tighten and clean every 1600km) how long could I expect a chain to last (bike not usually ridden in the rain and usually ridden reasonably smoothly, mainly commuting)?

    What improvement in chain life might I expect from a Scottoiler?

    Thanks, appreciate your responses

    cheers, Gordon
    Perth WA
  2. Gordon,
    I think the life of a chain is definitely a how long is a piece of string debate, too many variables. You should be able to at least get an idea about how good yours is by looking at the adjustment marks (scale) on the swing arm. A new chain should have the adjuster arrow at the front of the scale, half worn in the middle, about to be replaced at the rear.
    then regular cleaning and lubing as well as adjusting should give you n idea on how long it will last by how far and quick you have to move it backwards.
  3. 30000kms for a fastidiously maintained and babied good quality chain :grin:
  4. Thanks Karl - makes perfect sense. It may be possible that this is number 2 chain in the life of the bike.
  5. Depends on how hard you reef that throttle, how much you ride in the rain, how many wheelies and burnouts you do.

    I wouldn't worry about it, when it's time to replace it, it's time to replace it. My tip would be not to clean the chain, just lube it, and not even to do that too often.
  6. ...with a Scottoiler I assume. I wasn't aware they were such a consumable item. So at best I'm up for a new chain every 2 years at around $250 - $300, plus fitting if I don't do it myself. Better look after it then!
  7. :? Doesnt make sense to me.

    IMO, you replace chain and sprockets when the sprocket is visibly worn (hooked or eaten out) or when your chain has exceeded a set length/no. of links
  8. That is right, but I think sprockets last longer than chain, I have seen people just replace chain and told sprokets are OK.
  9. My last chain I got about 25,000km out of, though it was totally shagged at the end :LOL: I ignored it for the most part, lubed it when I remembered and cleaned it when I could be arsed (which was about twice I think) and it saw all conditions, rain, sun, ice, mud... no wheelies but!

    I haven't ever changed the sprockets. When they stuck the new chain on Saturday morning they said front sprocket was good, but rear was at about 50%. The sprockets weren't changed when I last got a new chain either, so I figure they'll be good for the life of this chain too :grin:
  10. mayube , maybe not

    what Joel failed to mention was what bike

    you can get well over 30K no dramas, depending on the chain, bike and rider
  11. joel failed to mention a LOT of variables.
    i was just putting a number up there.
    i got an average of ~35000kms for my z250, ~10000kms for my RGV250, ~30000kms for my CBR1000f, and my CBR1000rr has 30000 on the clock with the original chain. None of the above were "scottoiled" and for the most part i employ a similar cleaning/lubing regime as mel & loz :LOL:
    i threw 30000km up there because im pretty sure if it is looked after, it should last that long.
    lube quality
    lube type
    lube application method
    cleaning method
    cleaning frequency
    cleaning solution
    chain tension
    sprocket size/ratio
    mass of bike
    mass of rider
    mass of luggage
    terrain riden (slap of chain)
    type of chain (std, x-ring, o-ring, xw-ring etc.)
    brand of chain
    engine size
    riding technique
  12. A dollop of lube after every prolonged ride (while the chain was still warm then freely rotating rear wheel for 30 seconds to spread lube) plus a clean and lube every 800kms or so, or after a wet ride, saw my chain clocking up 42000kms with still no sign of the end of it's life.

    I'm not particularly ham fisted but... and I can't pull wheelies for crap... but that milage included maybe 15 track days and the occasional 400ish km twisty scratching day.

    There's some talk of Scottoiled chains going 100K Kms... but the fling off leaves everything dirty....

    FWIW, Motul rocks. (Damn you Seany - it's your fault!! $25/can)

    Conventional wisdom is that if you replace the chain, you replace the sprockets - or else the next chain doesn't last as long.
  13. i have heard this a lot, but im not convinced that the extra ~$100 spent will give you $100 worth of chain life (given that a chain is $200) you may lose 5000kms of chain life, but that only equates to ~$30 to me *shrug*
  14. Judging from their faqs (scottoilers), every review I have read (over 50 I'd say over the past 3 or so years), you can expect around 5 times the chain life. The faqs say 7 times but I always think things with vested intrest seem to be on the high end of "averages" and statistics.

    From my experience, scottoilers are AWESOME. They definitely prolong the time needed between chain adjustments as I only have needed to do one (pretty much soon as I got it, we measured it and it was off by a FAR distance from spec and vtrbob fixed it. This was during a spanner day last year, july-august some time I think? I haven't needed to adjust it since then as the chain is still in spec.

    some stuff

    From http://scottoilerusa.com/faq.html

    And also in google results, showed https://netrider.net.au/forums/viewtopic.php?p=66087 . Vtrbob reckons they are great ;) No need to go further when vtrbob says something, he knows his stuff :grin:

    Ok, going now, BIG BRAWL on news of footy players.. HA!

    *edit* Boo, the lead up made the brawl sound a lot worse but it looks like some footy players might get (big?) fines from it and stuff. Usually don't expect "high profile" people to get done for nasty stuff unlike "Mr Joe Citizen" who if done the same thing probably would get jail time, if not at least suspended time. Oh well, they bring in $$$$ therefore pay more tax and are a "vested interest" in the goverment to keep out of jail for "little things" *cough* *cough*
  15. Thanks All

    As usual there is no single answer as it depends on your point of view.

    Seems there is no substitute for a good maintenance schedule so I'll look after the chain until it becomes unservicable then I'll get a new one.... simple really.
  16. If it helps I lube( motul\motorex) mine around the 400-500ish mark when it`s hot. Clean it with kero when it looks dirty. In 15000k`s I have adjusted it three times. My last three bikes had shaft drive but things have improved heaps with quality chains and lube. Much better than the crud we had 20 years ago. The 1200 puts out enough power to stress the chain methinks.