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Shaft vs Chain .... Major Differences ?

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by kazjim, Jun 16, 2005.

  1. Hey all, I'm looking like I'm going to grab a VZ800 (Suzuki)
    Its a shaft drive, and up to now, I've only ridden a chain drive (CBX)

    Is there much differences apart from the obvious maintenance one ?

    do they need weekly lubing, or such ?

    Cheers all
  2. ask a bmw rider......

    my Father rides a BMW..... definately not weekly maintenance....in fact apart from normal check for seal leaks etc i don't recall much being done unless there was a problem.

    not much help i know but its all i got to offer :)
  3. They do waste a bit of power, but the torque is still there.

    Also depending on their configuration, they may raise and drop the rea end under power.

    Unsettle for throttle off in a corner. But they say you get used to it.

    Also find out how to maintain it. Some you just throw the lot in the bin and replace. Find out how much and how often
  4. A shaft drive shouldn't require any routine maintenance, the only draw bakes with a shaftie are the extra weight and the effect they have on suspension. BMW are the leaders in this area and BUELL are the leaders in belt-drives.

    I hate chains myself, all that mucking about with chain-wax is a pain in the posterior.
  5. unsure about the lubing, but there is supposed to be MUCH less maintenance to them. they weigh a bit more tho (not that the extra few kg will really make a difference) and they rob the motor of a few extra HP. never heared anything really BAD about them tho, solid and reliable, very unlikely that you'd ever have to change it.....
  6. Not so sure about that, as far as I know you'd actually get less power-drain with a shaft drive.
  7. :LOL: :LOL: :LOL:

    Sorry, dont have anything useful to say
  8. Nothing you'd notice unless you had two bikes running back-to-back, one with a chain & one with a shaft. In the real world, different bikes produce different amounts of power anyway. You wouldn't notice it.

    Newer bikes should be sorted. I certainly don't suffer this on the R1100S.
    I'd be surprised if it is very noticeably on the VZ. Besides, this is really only an issue on anything that can be ridden hard, such as a sports bike. Can't see any problems on a cruiser.

    Probably the worst thing about them. Don't change gear/ throttle off midcorner basically, which is pretty good advice anyway.

    Wouldn't know about this. I just leave it to the garage, who change the oil periodically.

    Another point is that you can't change the gearing like you can on a chain driven bike, however again, this shouldn't be an issue on a cruiser.

    Personally, I see the plusses far outweigh the minuses. Chains are, to be blunt, a right old pain in the arse.
  9. With something like this where there are 2 bevel gear sets they would definatly be less effecient, but as noted you wouldn't notice, because you can only get the bike in one configuration.

    Just saying from an engineering point of view
  10. and the average rider probably doen't need al those hp's anyway if your just commuting around town, road trip.

    and they don't get chain growl either.

    before buying i would investigate replacement costs... just in case the worst happens to your new shaftie. just to make sure your willing to spend the $$ to fix the thing.
  11. ...or tight spots...or wheel alignment problems...

    Replacement shaft should still work out cheaper than all those chains though.
  12. The main reason shaft drives have'nt taken off is the versatility of chain drives.

    it's pretty easy to change the ratios on a chain drive.

    I remember reading about the VZ's when they were new and they had a pretty good rep.

    I may even have a review at home. Let me know if you would like it and I will have a look over the weekend and scanit for you on monday
  13. That'd be Fab iBast ....

    Thanks all
  14. I remember reading a few years ago (no idea where to link) but they did a "comparison" between chain and shaft drive from a maintenance perspective. I remember them saying that the cost of replacement chains, sprockets etc was about the same as a shaft drive unit. The main diff being one needs much more attention than the other. Of course there are many variables there that can wear a chain/sprockets more like dirt, infreq maintance, how ridden, etc, etc, etc.

    As already stated most shaft bikes these days behave very similar to a chain drive. The main diff being an increase in unsprung weight. For maintance is to just change the shaft oil like you do engine oil. Mine takes about half a litre so it is no biggie. Last person I knew that had a shaft drive failure was a BMW K100 after 214,000 kms.

    For me they are smoother, hastle free and easy. Very easy to get used to and hard to go back to a chain drive again.

  15. So, no real issues to be expected at 19k ?

    Sweet .....
  16. I would think not....I would be very surprized if there was, as in someone would have to really try to get it to be stuffed like draining the oil and not replacing it....lol

  17. Kaz,

    I got a little confused. I have a review for the VX800 not the VZ.

    I gather the VZ is the new maruader thingy
  18. i've got a k1200rs, whose manual states that the shaft drive unit is sealed for life - ie no lubricant drain.

    once you are over the first run, which is done in the factory, there is not problem at all in using the one block of lubricant for 300,000 miles, particularly the synthetics.
  19. Didn't have a problem at all with the K100 shaft drive untill I had it serviced after 12 years of use and was told I had to replace the spline. A full service and spline about 1500 dollars not bad for twelve years of constant use, and yes sceptics it was its first service in twelve years and its got about well a lot of kays as the speedo broke about 10 years ago at the 100 grand mark and is used on adverage 5 times a week. It wasn't neglect as I washed the thing when dirty, checked the oil and put air in the tyres when needed and did change the plugs once, and put on new tyres when needed, and yeh put a new key (Secondhand) ignition thing a magig on it as well.