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Drive chain and sprockets

Discussion in 'Maintenance and Servicing' started by Kargo, May 12, 2014.

  1. There is a very tight spot in the chain currently installed on my bike and it needs to be replaced. Currently riding a 2009 zx6r, both on and off the track.

    Anyway, i've decided to change the chain myself. Watched a few youtube videos, seems like a simple enough job. I've been doing a bit of research into chains and i was just wondering if anyone can give me advice regarding which brand /model would suit me best.

    So far the EK520MVXZ and the DID520VX2 seem to be the best bet. Are these chains more or less the same?

    Also, what brand would you suggest for the sprockets? i want to keep stock gearing.

    I would like something that will last a while, doesn't have to be super light weight.

    last but not least, can someone with a powder coated EK520MVXZ comment on how the chain looks after 6 months. The colour shouldn't really rub off since the outside of the chain doesn't rub against anything.

  2. DID520, if it's for road and track use for mine.

    Looks wise will depend on if you live near a beach/dirt road/clean it often/don't use steel wool/etc
    Some look brand new, mine look farked.

    Sprockets , what eva they have in stock that looks nice and will give me a deal on.
    Why bog gearing? Unless EC is your playground. There's not many places you will top out a 6 in gearing, I think you will run out of puff first.

    De-grease and gurney all the crap out and away. A small paint brush and degreaser works well in the front sprocket housing.

    Check rear wheel and swing arm bearings. The brake pads.

    Count the links on the old chain twice, and cut the new one once.

    Loktite 243 for your nuts and bolts.

    On a 600 I will still use a joining link . Up to you. If you do the clip should point to the front sprocket so it's legs (or opening) face the rear one.

    Once you think your all finished, recheck your chain tension, preferably with you sitting on the bike.

    Check chain tension once a week for a month
    • Like Like x 1
  3. #3 Kargo, May 13, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: May 13, 2014
    EC is my playground, but i'm far from topping out. Don't even make it into sixth gear (riding yellow group at the moment). I'd be surprised if the faster guys even top out in 6th?

    I'll have to think a bit more about the gearing.

    Front sprocket cover is already nice and clean (done last weekend) and break pads are fine.

    I'll take a look at the bearings when i get a chance.

    regarding the sprockets, do you use steel or alloy? Difference is probably unnoticeable at my level.

    any good websites to buy from?

  4. I was adjusting my chain today and I found That the tight spot was fine but the rest of the chain was WAY out. Like 70-80mm free play. Sprocket look good. Now I clean and lube my chain every 2 weeks, but in the month I didn't get a chance to. To me it seems like the chain has started to deteriorate fast, is this normal? How dangerous is it to ride with the chain in this state. I need my bike to get to and from work.

    I am going to get a new chain and will drop it in to get the chain fitted, I have no tools or time to do this this week and I am not confident that the chain will last until I get the time to do it.
  5. #6 jstava, May 27, 2014
    Last edited: May 28, 2014
    Normal? You've given no indication of how old the chain is, and there is no way of knowing how it's been cleaned in the past. Usually gains develop "tight spots when the O rings have lost their integrity in the loose sections. The O rings seal in a small amount of lubricant, more importantly, they seal grit out. When they start to deteriorate, this grit gets inside to the roller/pin/side plate interface and wears, making the affected parts of the chain fit loosely. This appears as "stretch" and also shows up as the ability to bend (lay a badly worn chain on a table with the plates vertical, and it can be bent from side to side easily, whereas a new, unworn chain will only flex in one dimension, that determined by the orientation of the side plates, little or no sideways deflection possible.

    Look after the O rings in your chain by gentle cleaning - kerosene as the solvent, definitely not volatile solvents or things containing them, like engine degreaser, petrol, or engine degreaser. Use a softer plastic brush, NOT a pressure washer, which will force grit past O rings into the interior of the chain.

    Dangerous? If the tight portion of the chain so you have the classic 20-25 mm deflection, but the sag in the loose portion is 70-80, then you will have a very noisy and rough chain in use. There might be the potential for it to snag or hit such things as the top of your swing arm. Depending on the condition of your sprockets, and they will wear quickly with a chain that is as out of spec as this. It is possible for a bike to "throw" a chain and there are too many variables to predict whether this is a possibility in your case. Factors include chain tension, the condition of the sprockets, how the bike is being ridden for a few.

    Replace ASAP. If you have to ride it, be smooth, Adjust it for the correct amount of deflection AT THE TIGHTEST place in the chain. Mark the chain so you can verify that it is the chain that is the problem. If the tight spot is always in the same position, then the problem is the chain, if the tight spot migrates, then you have one or more eccentric sprockets. Cheap sprockets are sometimes less than perfectly round.

    It is always advisable to replace chains and sprockets as complete sets, otherwise a worn sprocket will accelerate the wear on a new chain. An old chain on new sprockets will trash them quickly.

    A clean bike is not necessarily a sign of a well maintained one. People occasionally go a bit light on chain lubrication to keep their bike looking nice, or take shortcuts when cleaning. Little and often is the rule in chain lubrication. A well lubricated chain is often indicated by the bike appearing to be a little dirty in the area. Weekly lubrication, and monthly cleaning is a sensible regime where it bike might do 15K kays a year commuting, or 500 kay target interval for lubrication. Thats given me 25-30K chain/sprocket life on 500 cc bikes consistently. Auto oilers can easily double this, and all you need to do is clean.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  6. @jstava@jstava Thanks for the super informative post. Getting the chain, sprockets and cush drive replaced tomorrow. The cush drive held it up until now. I am riding the bike since, but as you say very smooth.

    I don't know myself how old the chain is, it was clean when I got it and I keep up a good routine of cleaning and oiling it bys it was probably on the way out when I bought the bike.

    I have learned a lot about chain and sprockets, configurations, wear, maintenance etc. Owning a bike has been a great learning experience and I really enjoy learning.