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Old 11-29-2018, 12:08 PM   #16
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This would be true if all the pins wear at the same rate. Most chains don't.
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Old 11-29-2018, 12:33 PM   #17
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What riders call "brown dust" or "rust" is technically iron oxides of harden metal
at the pin and roller junction behind the X ring that are under extreme heat due
to running long after the factory installed grease is gone...

If you see Red Iron Oxides exploding pass the X ring its tantamount to chain
abuse... because the safety margin of strength built in the chain is expiring with
every turn of the wheel and what a rider risk is tossing the chain which may
crack the primary cover or worst yet foul the wheel and cause an unwanted skid...
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Old 11-29-2018, 01:35 PM   #18
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Thanks to all who have contributed to this thread. Lot's great information and super helpful. Special thanks to those who took the time to post photos!
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Old 11-29-2018, 05:30 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Busy Little Shop View Post
Some manufactures provided a handy guide to monitor chain wear... stay with in the green and you'll be looking for a new chain and sprockets at the 8 to 10K mile mark...

That guide is only good if you don't change the size of either sprocket. We had somebody on the ThumperTalk XR650L sub-forum all worried about those marking after changing to a different size sprocket. We had to explain that the markings were meaningless after the sprocket change. I run both 14 and 15 front and 45 and 48 rear in all four combinations on my XR650L, so I can use the full adjustment range depending on what's on there at the time.

I haven't had any chains stretch significantly in the last 100,000 miles or so of the various Ducatis, KTMs, and Hondas that I've been riding since joining BARF. I usually end up with kinks in the chain that indicate that it's time to get a new one. Made it to 24,000 on the KTM 990 with only the tiniest hint of kinks in the chain and no measurable stretch. I told the new owner it was probably time for a new chain on that thing.

I guess I actually did have one chain on my Ducati ST2 that stretched in just one part of the chain. I put on a new tire, set the chain adjusters, then rotated the wheel and it was suddenly too tight. I readjusted and then noticed that at about 35 mph it was surging due to uneven chain stretch. I put a new one on there right away.

Rather than measure to detect chain stretch, I just try to pull the chain away from the rear sprocket at the very back of it. If I can see daylight between the chain and sprocket, it's time for a new chain.

The other thing that I do to test for worn sprockets is check if I can hear a difference between rotating the rear wheel forward and rotating it backward. If I can tell by sound which way it's spinning, time for a new sprocket.
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Old 11-29-2018, 09:50 PM   #20
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Made it to 24,000 on the KTM 990 with only the tiniest hint of kinks in the chain and no measurable stretch.
This chain was dry fooking way before the 24K mile mark...

A chain kinks and grows when the owner fails notice the factory install grease is
used up and metal on metal wear is happening at critical pin and roller junction
with every turn of the sprockets...
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Old 11-29-2018, 11:47 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Busy Little Shop View Post
This chain was dry fooking way before the 24K mile mark...

A chain kinks and grows when the owner fails notice the factory install grease is
used up and metal on metal wear is happening at critical pin and roller junction
with every turn of the sprockets...
Okay, and how would I be able to tell this?

The chain was still completely tight around the rear sprocket. The tension was always correct the whole time and I never once moved the adjusters back at all. They might have done something when I had it serviced at a KTM dealer, but I never found the need to change the adjustments.

So what would have indicated that it was worn?
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Old 11-30-2018, 09:46 PM   #22
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Okay, and how would I be able to tell this?

The chain was still completely tight around the rear sprocket. The tension was always correct the whole time and I never once moved the adjusters back at all. They might have done something when I had it serviced at a KTM dealer, but I never found the need to change the adjustments.

So what would have indicated that it was worn?
The act of adjustment is result of wear... kink links is evidence
the wear continued far too long... at some point after the first
adjustment and before 24K mike mark a serviceable chain was called for...

If still have the old chain bust a link and show us what you see...
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Last edited by Busy Little Shop; 11-30-2018 at 09:56 PM..
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Old 12-01-2018, 04:17 AM   #23
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If still have the old chain bust a link and show us what you see...
The guy I sold it to has the chain. I told him it was probably time to put a new one on there.
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Old 12-03-2018, 07:11 AM   #24
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Change it before it breaks, but not after.
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Old 12-03-2018, 01:50 PM   #25
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Change it before it breaks, but not after.
Why would you not change the chain after it breaks?
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Old 12-03-2018, 02:10 PM   #26
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Why would you not change the chain after it breaks?
It's somehow still good after it breaks.
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Old 12-04-2018, 08:33 AM   #27
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Old 12-04-2018, 08:35 AM   #28
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It's somehow still good after it breaks.
not for long.... had one fly over my shoulder once...

my bud in front of me on Z1 thought he could re-use...derp!
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Old 12-07-2018, 02:39 PM   #29
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I replace chain if there's a kink or it's close to the end of adjustment.
I've found that there is an adjustment of the chain some where around the first 1000 miles and this is small. then near the end of life it needs adjustment every 1000 miles.
I generally get around 25000 miles from a chain.
Track use accelerates chain wear.
Even if the sprockets look good they cost half what a chain does so replace them and get more chain life.
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Old 12-08-2018, 05:05 PM   #30
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I've found that there is an adjustment of the chain some where around the first 1000 miles and this is small. then near the end of life it needs adjustment every 1000 miles.
First adjustment is result of wear... its the first sign in a chains life where the
factory installed grease is loosing its ability to properly lube the critical pin and
roller junction behind the X ring... from this point on wear is constant and will
continue at a greater rate as you noted...
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