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Chain Stretching

1571 Views 43 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Chris C
I've got 12,200 miles on my bike's chain and sprockets. My chain was making noises so I stopped by the shop and said I thought I'd narrowed it down to the chain, but why would the chain be "knocking"? . After riding it, the mechanic verified it was the chain and said that was an easy chain was loose. When he finished adjusting it he mentioned It needed replacing along with the sprockets.

Okay..........I'm no motorcycle mechanic and don't know what might cause the chain to stretch. When I got the bike I cleaned the OEM chain squeaky clean and lubed it with spray dry lube. The bike only had 1200 miles on it at that point. I've wiped it with a rag once or twice in the 12,200 miles and resprayed some lube on it. That's been all the maintenance it's had. So my question is, what would cause my chain to stretch to the point of needing replacing in 12,200 miles? It's been mentioned to me that some folks get 20,000 miles out of a chain. :eek:

Since I know little to nothing about all of this stuff, flightcontrol has been helping me decide what I need in the way of parts to get the job done. So just got all of that ordered. Ought to be an interesting project since I'm like Shultzy............"I know nutting". :LOL:

Do you guys prefer/recommend petroleum based or paraffin based (Dry) lubes for the chain? I know some say sprays that are Teflon based are the best.

I'm still disappointed to have a chain stretched to a point of needing replacement in just 12,200 miles and want to know what I've done wrong. So any comments will be appreciated. :unsure:
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Thanks Emil. As I said, I've already ordered a chain an sprockets. The chain is an o-ring chain.
Thanks, that IS a good video on chains.

Still can't figure out why my chain is having to be replaced at 12,000 miles. I've already been told my lack of maintenance could be one reason. But am I taking off from stops too quickly? Would that stretch a chain?
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Well, I sure don't know what would have stretched my chain in just 12,000 miles of riding. That was the only mechanical thing that made any sense. :dunno:
"Inadequate maintenance". Okay, I know for a fact I didn't maintain it. Never cleaned it and only oiled it twice in it's lifetime I think. My own durned fault. Oh well, all the replacement parts on due here next Tuesday and I'll get everything replaced. Then I'll take your advice and clean and lube it every 500 miles. At the rate I'm puttin' miles on this thing, I'll be cleaning and lubing it a lot. I had a nifty chain cleaning apparatus when I had my road bike (bicycle). Are there any tools like that for maintaining the motorcycle chain?
They make a product called a Grunge Brush. Chain Brush Motorcycle Cycling Bike Crankset Grunge Brush Cleaner Cleaning Tool | eBay I bought one but never used it as it was going to splatter solvent and crud off the chain all over the rear wheel and floor.

I wet a small rag with diesel fuel (lamp oil or kerosene also work well) and rub it over the chain until the rag no longer picks up dirt. Then a dry rag to soak up any remaining solvent. Once the chain is dry, I spray it with lubricant. FYI, this is what I use, but there are many good lubricants available. Liquid Performance Chain Lube 11 oz. 0231 | eBay
Thanks, flitecontrol. I ordered a couple of grunge brushes on Amazon last night just before I turned off the computer. Just got on the forum so am just now seeing your post this morning . Thanks for the tip about the chain lube. Either you told me what kind of lube you use or someone else did because I've got a link to it on my desktop. Thank-ya kindly for that. All my stuff is on the way and I'll get my bike back to where it should be. I may end up making a Damascus knife out of my old chain. (always like making something out of discarded stuff!) :ROFLMAO:(y)
OEM chain put on it at factory when the bike was new. I don't ride on the dirt and have only been caught in the rain one time and had to ride 5 miles in it. So the only "mistreatment" was done by me by not cleaning and lubricating it. I'll definitely do all of that with this new set of sprockets and new chain.
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Yes Kreuzi, the chain is properly adjusted now. And when I install the new chain I'll keep it properly adjusted. Thanks.
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My rear sprocket just arrived in the mail, flitecontrol. It's a pure thing of beauty. ;)
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Front sprocket and chain aligner arrived today. (im)patiently waiting on the chain. :D
Chain came in today. Now to find time to get everything gathered and installed.
Got the bike up on the lift day before yesterday and started work on it yesterday. Got the rear wheel off and the OEM sprocket uninstalled. It was 22 degrees in the garage and my fingers were so frozen I almost couldn't maneuver the last nut I removed and put it in the magnetic bowl. :eek: That was my indication it was time to go into the house and warm up. Going to the gym this morning and come back to the bike this afternoon. Is supposed to be up to about 27 by the time I get home. We're headed for a heatwave this afternoon...............of 32 degrees. :ROFLMAO: Anxious to get this finished. I sure do envy guys with heated and well lit work areas.............but I shouldn't complain...........I imagine a lot of guys don't have perfect areas to work in.
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Got the new rear sprocket installed and torqued.(y) Went to get the front sprocket off and realized that when I dropped my bike off the stand (Well Patoot thread) I severly bent my foot shift lever. 🤬 The little rubber stub that I hook my boot on was pointing straight down the line of travel. Pretty screwed up, I'd say. Took an hour or more to get it off the bike and get it straightened. What an unexpected hassle!!!!! Murphy strikes again. Got the front sprocket off. By that time, my hands were so numb I couldn't pick up any tiny objects, i.e. nuts, bolts etc., etc. Shut it down for the day. This cold weather is sure taking it's toll on my bike project.
Okay, now that I've both sprockets on and torqued down, I've a problem. I can't pull the chain together to put the master link in it. :eek: Is there a trick to it? The rear wheel is as far forward as it'll go. I've got the links tight enough I'm about a half a link from getting it hooked. I bought a chain that was 114 links long. Of course the Rebel uses a 108 link chain. So instead of just removing 6 links, I layed the old chain on the floor and the new one beside it. The old one had stretched about a half link, so it was easy to know where to cut the new chain. I didn't count to see if I had 108 links, but I see no reason to doubt that I do. But I can't bring the two ends of the new chain together to install the master link. Is there some kinid of trick to it?
Can't get the chain ends close enough together to put the link in Emil.
No, I could't possibly have done that, Emil..............I'm too perfect.

Okay I got it on. I just wasn't cursing loud enough! :eek: Now, I've got the O-rings and outside plate on...............but am puzzled as to how to compress the 0-rings enough to slide on the lockiing clip. Anything I use to compress them gets in my way of installing it.
Any suggestions? I've never messed with chains before. I had a bicycle chain that had a bad habit of falling off of my bicycle when I was a kid.................but that was some 70 odd years ago. I have no earthly idea how to squeeze this chain tight enough to slip the clip onto the pins. I've tried every trick I've found on YouTube "University" to no avail.
I've had needle-nose Vise Grips on the link for the past 2 housr. Still can't see the slot..............much less slip a clip on it. I've tried putting a nut over one of the pins and using a C-clamp trying to expose the slot. No use. I understand which direction to face the clip.............but I've got to get it on a pin first .
Well this one isn't just "popping" on for me. I don't understand why all of this has to be so difficult for me. Oh well, I just put the C-clamp and nut back on it and will leave it for tomorrow. I'm hoping that O-ring will compress overnight. After I get it properly clipped I'm going to have to figure out how to remove the chain guard. I've got a neat tool to align the back wheel, but the chain guard has to be removed first.
Thanks, flitecontrol. I've been trying to figure out where that "last" bolt was for a week now. I have severe Arthritis in my neck, along with degenerative vertebrae and the only way I'll ever be able to see that bolt is to have my bike up on a "real" lift about 24" off the ground. I've been searching YouTube University all this time and finally found a video last night a little past midnight that showed where that bolt was. I'm anxious to get the chain guard off so I have better access. I'll get it off today. Thanks.

Now if you could just tell me how to get this durned master link on I'll be in hog heaven. I've got the pins of the master link in the chain but can't get the clip on them. Haven't checked yet this morning to see if leaving the C-clamp on it all night has compressed the O-rings or not. Every project I do on this bike I find myself very eager to see the completion because I'm not a motorcycle mechanic!!!!!
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