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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
2015 DVT Chain Slapping Tire on Alaska Trip

Hey Guys! Been gone on here a while. Back in Alaska now, just finished a 3600 mile ride from california to work in Alaska a few days ago. Awesome ride. Lots of info on it and pics and video, Ill do a ride report soon sometime.

Anyways, before the trip I did a full blown service, got all the hydraulics bled, new front brake pads, new rear seat under recall, new fuel sending unit under recall, etc etc. Bike had less than 9,000 miles when I left but I did the full service and had them reset the service light early. Bike has about 11,500 miles now.

I went with a set of standard size 190/55 and 120/70 17 Continental Trail Attack 2 tires. These tires are fricken awesome! Wet and dry grip is awesome as well as grip on gravel roads and I saw plenty of all that on the way up here. The wear is great too and looks like I should make it home another 4,000 miles or so no problem.


Soooo, the real reason for this thread. Every day after riding I put the bike on the center stand and clean and lube the chain really good and use a grease ninja too. I think once I get home though Ill probably need new sprockets, theyre getting worn down some, and definitely a new chain. The chain seems to be going bad already and not staying straight in some sections at rest until you push down on it. I cleaned the chain very well in full detail before leaving with kerosene, light rinse and dry and full lube. It looked brand new almost. But doesnt seem like the tire rolls as easy anymore when I stopped each night and lubed the chain.

My only issue coming up here was I had to adjust the chain a few times. Seems its really stretching out pretty fast. My issue is even when I get the chain properly adjusted and get back on the road my chain is still sometimes hitting the side of the rear tire and putting noticeable marks on it. I noticed this the first time when taking a break somewhere in canada. Noticed my chain had slacked quite a bit. Obviously the looser it is the more it can easily slap the tire. Even when I have the tension properly set with the gauge and as tight as I want to go I can still push the chain over with my finger and make it touch the rear tire? Is this normal, should I go tighter?

Also, take note my bike was FULLY loaded coming up here as far as weight goes. I had all my stuff for work for a month, as well as lots of motorcycle gear and tools, water, electronics, tank bag, rotopax 1 gallon gas, food, etc. Electronic suspension maxed out for two riders and luggage in touring with harder front and back and preload 24 for the smooth stuff.

Anyone else have this issue? Putting marks in the side of the tire? I normally put the bike on the center stand and get the chain adjusted to where it is just below the notch in the metal tension gauge. Then I put the bike on the side stand running in urban mode and check it and its normally just right with the gauge. I believe this is what the factory service manual said to do.

Here is a teaser picture
 

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My only issue coming up here was I had to adjust the chain a few times. Seems its really stretching out pretty fast. My issue is even when I get the chain properly adjusted and get back on the road my chain is still sometimes hitting the side of the rear tire and putting noticeable marks on it. I noticed this the first time when taking a break somewhere in canada. Noticed my chain had slacked quite a bit. Obviously the looser it is the more it can easily slap the tire. Even when I have the tension properly set with the gauge and as tight as I want to go I can still push the chain over with my finger and make it touch the rear tire? Is this normal, should I go tighter?

Also, take note my bike was FULLY loaded coming up here as far as weight goes. I had all my stuff for work for a month, as well as lots of motorcycle gear and tools, water, electronics, tank bag, rotopax 1 gallon gas, food, etc. Electronic suspension maxed out for two riders and luggage in touring with harder front and back and preload 24 for the smooth stuff.

Anyone else have this issue? Putting marks in the side of the tire? I normally put the bike on the center stand and get the chain adjusted to where it is just below the notch in the metal tension gauge. Then I put the bike on the side stand running in urban mode and check it and its normally just right with the gauge. I believe this is what the factory service manual said to do.
Please don't take this as a silly reply, but you are tightening the chain tension pinch bolts back to specification when you are done adjusting your chain, correct? If so, do you notice those bolts loosening up when you have to adjust again?

My riding buddy and I have both done mild-medium offroading with our bikes loaded up heavy in panniers, but without rotopax and neither of us encountered such chain slack. Your procedure you mention above is how I do mine as well...

Following along on this one to see what else comes out...
 

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When my first DVT chain neared end of life (about 16,000 miles) it started needing to be adjusted very frequently and even when properly adjusted there was one spot on the chains rotation that was loose and slapped. They don't stretch uniformly... that's probably what you're dealing with.

My sprockets still looked really good... but the chain was shot.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
Please don't take this as a silly reply, but you are tightening the chain tension pinch bolts back to specification when you are done adjusting your chain, correct? If so, do you notice those bolts loosening up when you have to adjust again?

My riding buddy and I have both done mild-medium offroading with our bikes loaded up heavy in panniers, but without rotopax and neither of us encountered such chain slack. Your procedure you mention above is how I do mine as well...

Following along on this one to see what else comes out...
Yah of course, I always torque stuff to spec. Been working on this bike myself a lot more cause of all the touring and track days haha. But on this trip I took a small bike master digital torque wrench adapter to save on space and weight. Dont want to lug around a heavy click type 3/8 torque wrench.

Im not sure how accurate the thing is, but it seems close enough, and I always tighten the pinch bolts to 35nm in a 1-2-1 matter as per the factory service manual which ive saved on my phone.

So Idk, just seemed weird this trip, it doesnt seem like the pinch bolts are loosening or anything, just seems like my chain is going bad or stretching out fast. I did have a couple 500-800 mile days and lots of dirt and rain. Even right after lubing and adjusting the chain to where it should be, if I have the bike on the side stand i can push the chain over to where it just barely touches the tire. Maybe its just these tires specifically, cause theyre the same size tire ive always ran.

I cropped out a picture from the trip. You can kind of see the marks here where the chain is hitting. and it was actually just rubbing away a little rubber. Even right after adjusting the chain id go through some mud or dirt and look at the tire a little later and those marks would be fresh. But i never hear or feel the chain slapping either.

 

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Discussion Starter #5
When my first DVT chain neared end of life (about 16,000 miles) it started needing to be adjusted very frequently and even when properly adjusted there was one spot on the chains rotation that was loose and slapped. They don't stretch uniformly... that's probably what you're dealing with.

My sprockets still looked really good... but the chain was shot.
Youre probably right. I feel like thats what Im dealing with. I dont mind a chain being a little loose, just dont like the idea of it slapping my tire when Im solo by myself in the middle of the yukon hahaha. My sprockets dont look too bad really, but I think my chain is already going. Hopefully it will get me home another 4,000 miles. Which I think it will.
 

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Like mwhite5471 said...more lateral play with wear. A chain doesn't stretch per se...the pins and bushings inside the rollers wear, causing slack. This slack in the bushings explains the greater lateral movement of the chain.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Like mwhite5471 said...more lateral play with wear. A chain doesn't stretch per se...the pins and bushings inside the rollers wear, causing slack. This slack in the bushings explains the greater lateral movement of the chain.
Yes I understand this, been replacing chains on dirt bikes for years. I know they dont "stretch", but I still use the term, more just wear out. And I can tell this too when the chain is heated up after riding and clean and lubed and yet still some of the links arent straight with the others. Clearly this chain is already going, but just surprises me at 12,000 miles, cause I have taken great care of it.

I guess my main question here is does somebody gauge the tightness of their chains a different way?

And anyone else had their chains slapping there tire on the multi when tension is properly adjusted?
 

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Yes I understand this, been replacing chains on dirt bikes for years. I know they dont "stretch", but I still use the term, more just wear out. And I can tell this too when the chain is heated up after riding and clean and lubed and yet still some of the links arent straight with the others. Clearly this chain is already going, but just surprises me at 12,000 miles, cause I have taken great care of it.

I guess my main question here is does somebody gauge the tightness of their chains a different way?

And anyone else had their chains slapping there tire on the multi when tension is properly adjusted?
on the center stand rotate the wheel until you find the spot where the chain is tightest... adjust chain slack at that location. Once you're done rotate the chain until you find the spot where it's loosest... how much more slack is there? If there's a big difference between the tightest and loosest positions then your chain is shot.

4000 miles is a long way to go on a bad chain (assuming it's bad)... personally, I'd stop and change it out at a nearby dealer (or call ahead a couple days and have them order one in for you).
 

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1. Clearly this chain is already going, but just surprises me at 12,000 miles, cause I have taken great care of it.

2. And anyone else had their chains slapping there tire on the multi when tension is properly adjusted?
1. Could be that it's a cheapo OEM chain and it's going, going, gone no matter what you do.

2. No. In fact, not on any bike I've owned.

That's one heck of trip. Good for you. Ride safe and good luck with the chain.
 

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CaptainBeard714,

Just got your private message. No ... 250 PSI is definitely not the right pressure for the rear tire. Good Lord man, you've got that thing pumped up like a beach ball! No wonder your chain is rubbing the tire! Try something closer to 37 PSI.

Hope this helps,
Murph
 

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I'm going to see if I can find the part number for the stock chain or find a better replacement. I think oem is Regina right? It'd be nice to get one already with correct links. Maybe I can replace it before I leave. I'm at work in Valdez AK so there isn't any motorcycle dealer anywhere around here haha. I could probably order the chain and breaker and get it done. I've never done a riveted master link before though.

The chain is definitely going, but I wouldn't say it's completely gone. I'm confident it would probably get me home just fine as long as I check adjustment each day, but we'll see. I'll search for replacement options. I'll let you guys know what I do.
 

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CaptainBeard714,

Just got your private message. No ... 250 PSI is definitely not the right pressure for the rear tire. Good Lord man, you've got that thing pumped up like a beach ball! No wonder your chain is rubbing the tire! Try something closer to 37 PSI.

Hope this helps,
Murph
Can't tell if you're serious and ignorant, misinformed, confusing me with someone else, trying to be an ass, or just messing around???? But I never pm'ed you.

I don't want other people to be misinformed though, so everyone, don't ride across country or to Alaska with a fully loaded bike and only 37 psi. You'll eat up tires way faster than necessary.

I've been running 42 in the rear on this trip. Bike feels like it has way more weight than a passenger on the back. Water, food, lots of tools, pump, jump starter, full bag of work gear, work boots, riding gear, cothes, electronics, tank bag, and rotopax. Think that's too much stuff for 37 psi. It's loaded down pretty good.
 

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Yep... Multi's have two pressures indicated in their docs (I think they're also on the foil labels on the frame), one for unloaded/one for loaded (2.5/2.9 bar, 36/42 psi for 2015).

And nothing takes the fun out of a ride more than an overloaded bike... I tend to ship things I don't need on the trip (stuff for the destination) instead of carrying them. My last couple trips I was able to fit everything in the panniers and tank purse. If I'm camping I have a hiking 'full pack' that straps neatly into the passenger seat with all my camping gear (I'm looking for options to move the weight lower on the bike, fabric side bags that would fit in front of the hard cases maybe), but even adding that extra 40'ish lbs. makes a difference... lately I've been staying at hotels instead.

I think Damascus was being facetious, but I tend to agree with the point he makes... I've never had a bike chain slap the wheel. If it happened on my bike I'd consider it a serious issue and replace the chain immediately if not sooner. Before my last trip I replaced my chain because I didn't like the way I was having to adjust it every 500 miles (or it would slap on the guide). Having a chain jump off a sprocket can be a life threatening situation, nothing to screw around with.
 
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I agree with what others have said. In spite of doing everything right your chain is shot. It could be the heavy load putting extra stress on the chain when the suspension is in full extension. You have hit some bad roads I suspect. Others have complaints about the OEM chain. Mine is still good at 9k miles but it rusts every time it rains. I suggest you get hold of Chad at the Sprocket Center.com. He knows what you need and should be able to get it to you in AK so you can change it there. I always change sprockets when I change a chain. I have had good luck with the DID gold chain (looks good too). Chad sells a small rivet tool/ breaker that is easy to use. I usually cut off the old chain with a Dremel tool. Don't risk traveling the wilds of BC with a bad chain. I am not sure about the DVT but on some Ducatis (the ST series for sure) a snapped chain can damage the engine cases in the area of the counter shaft. That could cause a very bad day.
 

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Can't tell if you're serious and ignorant, misinformed, confusing me with someone else, trying to be an ass, or just messing around????
A total absurd joke. Over the top stuff. 250 PSI should have been the first clue seeing that would have exploded your tire and you posted a photo of a non-exploded tire. Not to mention post #10. No more jokes for you.
 

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A total absurd joke. Over the top stuff. 250 PSI should have been the first clue seeing that would have exploded your tire and you posted a photo of a non-exploded tire. Not to mention post #10. No more jokes for you.
Guess you had to be there...:wink2:
 
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