Weird issue with chain tension:confused: - Honda RC51 Forum : RC51 Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-29-2014, 09:31 PM Thread Starter
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Weird issue with chain tension:confused:

2001 SP1

Two up in the back, one down up front.... on AFAM steel sprockets, new with the chain maybe 8000km ago.

the last few thousand kms, I started noticing odd chain/drive train brushing noises, so I tightened the chain a little. Took the bike for a ride and noticed the chain was tight as hell, so I backed it off again to the proper tension which I thought I had in the first place.

I use my side stand so I may not be adjusting the chain in the best way, but I know a lot of people who do it this way.... anyway, I've noticed that the tight and loose spots in the chain are significant! I roll the bike in neutral and find the loosest spot in the chain, but rolling past that spot, the chain gets super tight. I'm only rolling forward with no weight on the seat.

I'm thinking there is a flaw in the chain, because I'm pretty damn sure I didn't skip a tooth....

I'm also sure that this chain issue caused the plastic chain slider that attaches to the swing arm to wear funny and partially break off. I have a new one on order.

Sorry about the long windedness ... any thoughts?
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-29-2014, 10:01 PM
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If this was occurring right after the install, I'd think defective chain, or defective sprocket(s) where they were ground off center.
If this has only recently occurred, then I'd lean towards worn chain (and sprockets).

Either way, the current chain and possibly sprockets as well are shot.
Usually you don't see loose and tight spots until the chain bushings start wearing.

And 8000 Km (5000 miles) is a pretty short distance for a chain, if kept clean, lubed, and adjusted.

I would expect 28000 to 40000 Km for a good quality chain and sprocket set.
I put 38000 Km on my FZ1's OEM chain and sprockets before replacement.

The chain slider broke probably due to the tight and loose spots in the chain, causing the chain to smack the slider, ultimately breaking it (better it than damaging the swingarm though).

Last edited by SubSailor; 07-29-2014 at 10:03 PM.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-29-2014, 10:07 PM
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When you roll your bike forward, do you see any kinks in the links? Like bindage?
Any way you can get your bike on a rearstand and rotate the rear wheel by hand to inspect the chain?

John, 2000 RC51 #000100

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-30-2014, 09:09 AM
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The VFR I recently picked up was doing the same thing. I noticed that when the rear sprocket was at a certain spot in the rotation the chain always got tight. Used a small piece of tape to mark the sprocket so I could see where this was happening. Could have been the rear sprocket was slightly off center by a mm or so??

Didn't want to take any chances so I changed out both sprockets and a new chain. Problem solved.

2000 RC51 - stock owned since new 5/2000
2006 RC51 - 2nd owner purchased 4/2015 with 1400 miles
1996 CBR900RR - mild resto/mod - done spring 2012
1990 Honda VFR - original stock owned since 1991
1975 Kawasaki S3 - restored in 2004-5 (sold 10-17)
2003 Kawasaki ZX7R - bought 10/2018
2007 Honda Interceptor 25th Anniversary purchased 7/2014
1972 Honda Mini Trail - 1st restoration in 1992, and 2016 restored to like new condition. (sold 2/18)
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-30-2014, 11:33 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jondog9 View Post
When you roll your bike forward, do you see any kinks in the links? Like bindage?
Any way you can get your bike on a rearstand and rotate the rear wheel by hand to inspect the chain?
I don't have any binding or kinks. I keep the chain pretty well lubed. When I prop the bike up on the side stand so the back wheel is off the ground, then turn the tire, the chain looks pretty good with regards to be in-line and moving freely.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-30-2014, 12:51 PM
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When i had my fj 1100 the tsubaki chain was strong but I would wheelie the thing and even though the chains were new they would stretch UN-evenly

If you kill the engine and roll down hill in neutral you can hear a wrecked chain

But fun costs $$$
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-30-2014, 09:02 PM
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But fun costs $$$
Yes.....yes she does.



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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-30-2014, 10:01 PM
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Take the chain off the rear sprocket and pull the chains towards the rear of the bike at dead centre of rear and place evenly back onto rear sprocket. I noticed this problem when I first installed my 520 15/41 last month and ran into the same problem. I just evened out the chain on the rear and I was good. You can have more links on the top than the bottom so one side will seem tighter than the other.

Hope this helps
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-04-2014, 03:32 PM Thread Starter
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Take the chain off the rear sprocket and pull the chains towards the rear of the bike at dead centre of rear and place evenly back onto rear sprocket. I noticed this problem when I first installed my 520 15/41 last month and ran into the same problem. I just evened out the chain on the rear and I was good. You can have more links on the top than the bottom so one side will seem tighter than the other.

Hope this helps
Doing this in about 20 minutes... I will let you know if it helps. Thanks for the replies all!
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-04-2014, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by penn542 View Post
Take the chain off the rear sprocket and pull the chains towards the rear of the bike at dead centre of rear and place evenly back onto rear sprocket. I noticed this problem when I first installed my 520 15/41 last month and ran into the same problem. I just evened out the chain on the rear and I was good. You can have more links on the top than the bottom so one side will seem tighter than the other.

Hope this helps
Run that by me again
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