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Old 04-20-2021, 07:32 AM   #1
ichabodnt650
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chain guide question

Does removing this chain guide on a supermoto have any deleterious effect? Street bikes don't have it, dirt bikes do. I am unfamiliar with its purpose. Please help me understand.

I don't care about weight savings or aesthetics, just don't like struggling with it every time I pull the rear wheel off for a tire change.

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Old 04-20-2021, 07:52 AM   #2
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it helps keep your chain from falling off the rear sprocket. that's the "slcak side" of the chain and there is quite a lot of potential bouncing around that happens back there.

as the swingarm moves through it's travel the slack side gets slacker/tighter. the greater the overall travel available on a dirtbike/adventure/dualsport style means that there is a greater slackening available and the chain could wiggle out of alignment when it comes back around to the rear sprocket thus not engaging it properly and coming off.

on street bikes this isn't as much of an issue because suspension travel is far less and the salckening not as dramatic.
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Old 04-20-2021, 08:02 AM   #3
ichabodnt650
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Thank you, @auntiebling
The dual sport version KLX300S has 9 in rear travel
This supermoto KLX300SM has 8 in travel and 30 ~ 40 mm chain slack [1.2 ~ 1.6 in]
Would you keep the chain guide or remove it? My off pavement excursions would be fire roads, packed dirt, some potholes ... no gravel, no rock, no branch, no jumps
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Old 04-20-2021, 08:07 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by ichabodnt650 View Post
Thank you, @auntiebling
The dual sport version KLX300S has 9 in rear travel
This supermoto KLX300SM has 8 in travel and 30 ~ 40 mm chain slack [1.2 ~ 1.6 in]
Would you keep the chain guide or remove it? My off pavement excursions would be fire roads, packed dirt, some potholes ... no gravel, no rock, no branch, no jumps
Ever have a chain lock up the rear wheel while riding?
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Old 04-20-2021, 08:23 AM   #5
ichabodnt650
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Ever have a chain lock up the rear wheel while riding?
Are you saying the chain would hop off the sprocket and jam because there is too much slack? ... or debris would wedge between a tooth and the chain and jam?

I've only struggled with chain lock up on 1-speed bicycles, not had it happen on motorcycle ... yet
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Old 04-20-2021, 09:10 AM   #6
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i would leave it. if the chain jumps off on the outboard side it'll be free to get sucked up around the drive sprocket and cause all kinds of damage including breaking your engine case.

if it jumps off on the inboard side it can shred the wheel before locking it up.

this is one of those rare instances where the engineers and lawyers agree to override the bean counters. it needs to be there
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Old 04-20-2021, 09:13 AM   #7
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Only 3 bolts on it? Unbolt while doing the tire change, slide it forward on the chain, reinstall after tire change. Seems ez enough.
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Old 04-20-2021, 09:50 AM   #8
ichabodnt650
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Thank you all for your inputs, I appreciate your wisdom and advice I am learning
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Old 04-20-2021, 08:11 PM   #9
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Chain guide on the swingarm serves two purposes... first it guides the chain to
the sprocket as stated and second it prevents your fingers from being chopped
off between the chain sprocket during a crash...

In order to affect chain slack through its travel on the swingarm a guide would
have to mounted on the frame... like this... manufactures provide frame lugs to
hand a slider because it helps unwanted chain snatch especially when you add a
lot of ride height...

RC45 Chain Slider
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