Drive Chain Maintenance | DRIVE TIME


I use an old tooth-brush to help with my cleaning of the chain…at times I do wish I had a shaft.  I upgraded recently as I did on my BMW F650GS to a DID gold chain and this helps with corrosion especially in my area where I live and seems to last longer than the BMW OEM chain.  I also like the master link idea rather than the continuous link.  Like the fact this article highlights that the chain doesn’t actually stretch….”. (Chains don’t actually stretch; their internal clearances just get bigger.)”

The Missing Links of Chain Maintenance

SOURCE: Motorcyclist

 

Throughout motorcycling’s evolution toward more sophisticated technology, one feature of the earliest motorcycles still hangs in there like a vestigial tail––the drive chain. Simple––if not downright crude––yet efficient, it’s essentially a long string of machined bearing surfaces that lives in a harsh wilderness of water, dirt, infrequent adjustment, and insufficient lubrication. Beneath its often greasy exterior lie vital clues to ensuring its survival and longevity.

Virtually all drive chains for street bikes, dirt bikes, and ATVs use some sort of flexible ring to seal grease in the gap between the pin and the bushing, where the load on the chain is highest. The first such seals were called O-rings because their cross-section is round, but now some chain manufacturers use rings whose cross-section resembles an X or a Z. When a solid O-ring is compressed between the side plates it puts pressure on the chain joint, and can wear into the side plate over time. X- and Z-rings bend or twist when they’re installed between the side plates, so they put less pressure on the joint, wear more slowly, and seal better.

If the sealing ring breaks, the grease leaks out and that particular joint heats up, dries out, and becomes contaminated with water and rust, elongating the pin-to-bushing fit. (Chains don’t actually stretch; their internal clearances just get bigger.) This puts more load on the adjacent joints, and on the sprocket teeth. Sealing rings rarely break, but if they do, you should consider your chain toast; it’s time for a new one.

Cleaning your chain

Cleaning your chain doesn’t have to be a messy job. There are numerous cleaning tools available to make the process quicker, easier, and cleaner.

Savvy maintenance is the key to chain survival. Never clean a chain with a wire brush. Instead use a commercial chain brush (or worn-out toothbrush) to gently remove dirt from the space between the side plates and around the sealing ring. Use kerosene as a solvent, or an all-surface cleaning product like Simple Green, or a dedicated chain-cleaning solution approved for O-ring chains. Never use gasoline. (In a pinch, you can employ WD-40 as a cleaning solvent, but it’s more expensive than using kerosene.) And don’t even think about cleaning the goo off your chain with the high-pressure hose at the car wash. A strong stream of water will blow right past the sealing ring and force out the grease.

The grease behind the sealing ring is meant to last the life of the chain, but you still need to lubricate the chain rollers, which contact the sprocket teeth, and the sealing rings themselves, which can otherwise dry out and crack. Apply lube into the tiny gap on either side of the roller so it penetrates into the space between the roller and the outside of the bushing, then hit the sealing rings on either side of the chain. Do this when the chain is warm so the lube penetrates under the rollers thoroughly and spreads over the sealing rings. Wipe off the excess lube to keep dirt and grit from sticking to the chain. The chain should feel slightly oily to the touch, but not wet.

How often to lube a chain depends on how and where you ride. Every other tank of gas should work for streetbikes; more often for, say, dual-sports ridden off-road. Aerosol chain lube is the most convenient, and the most common. It consists of lubricant in a solvent that thins it out so it penetrates more easily. The solvent quickly evaporates leaving behind a thicker lubricant that’s more of a grease than an oil. But word around the back door of the shop is that regular 80-weight gear oil will do fine. In emergencies you can even transfer oil from your engine’s oil-filler hole to the chain using a screwdriver––just don’t drop it in the crankcase. (That’s the sound of your friends with shaft-drive bikes chuckling.)

Check the chain for slack every time you lube it, and adjust it on an as-needed basis. Some manuals say to do this with the bike on the sidestand, others on the centerstand. If you don’t have the manual, use this racer’s trick: Compress the rear suspension until the rear axle, the swingarm pivot, and the countershaft are lined up. Adjust the chain so there’s 10-15mm slack, then release the suspension and check the slack again. That’s the figure to shoot for next time you adjust the chain with the bike on the stand. Just make sure you use the same stand every time.

 

“If you’re going through Hell, keep going.” – Solo X Country 2014


Departure date May 17, 2014 for 30 days. Plan – Vancouver, BC to North Carolina to Long Island, Upstate New York and back. Don’t know the route yet.

LINK TO my Ride Report on ADV Rider Forum Click HERE

SPOT Live Tracking Page

I have done quite a few big RR’s and smaller one’s but what makes this one different is I am no longer with my thought to be partner for life Cheryl. Let me back up…Cheryl and I were partners as common law for 15 years before she proposed to me in March 2012. In August of 2013 we had a destination wedding that turned out to be the best day of my life. We shared our relationship with 62 of our closest family and friends over a 2 day party. Continue reading

What To Do When The Police Pull You Over


I think this is an entertaining, sort of funny and somewhat useful article….and BTW..not all cops are guys and not all riders are male as well…;-)

By 

SOURCE:  RideApart

California Highway Patrol

There you are, minding your own business, doing 10 mph over the speed limit, when Johnny Law pulls out for a bit of revenue gathering. Being the law-abiding citizen that you are, you pull to the side of the road. But, what comes next? This is what to do when the police pull you over.

What You Need To Have With You
License, registration and proof of insurance. For the bike you’re riding and it all needs to be up-to-date and valid. It can be a good idea to keep your documents in a sealed, waterproof bag under your seat where they’ll remain in good condition and where you can’t forget them. Never borrow a friend’s bike or rent one without first making sure you have all the papers and that those papers have the right dates on them. Continue reading

What Common Bike Breakdowns Feel Like


I love RideApart and their great articles we all can learn from….please visit their web site there is so much to read and learn about….

February 7, 2014

By 

Motorcycle Breakdown

There you are, riding along, not a care in the world, when your bike starts feeling funny. What does it mean? Here’s what common bike breakdowns feel like. Continue reading

Touring Tip: Risk of Winter Riding


Be Aware and be smart

Jan 10, 2014  by

Touring Tip: Risk of Winter Riding

We’ve recently been caught in the grip of a particularly cold blast of winter weather. So it bears repeating, from a previous Touring Tip, some of the additional risks of riding in cold weather. Here are seven worth keeping in mind: Continue reading

Obstacles In The Road


I think the craziest obstacle I have been hit with was a bird, not so crazy but scared the crap out of me and I felt terrible….on the road itself??? A garbage bag full of what I think were dirty diapers.  So, nothing totally out of the ordinary lol.  What about you?
HFL – December 14, 2013

By

Watson On: Obstacles In The Road

 

Photo by Chris Cornwell

Every one of us who rides should know the risks that are involved each and every time you swing a leg over a bike and head out. Aggressive, texting drivers and crazy traffic are just the tip of the iceberg, so you’re constantly forced to ride defensively. It often feels like everyone is out to get you and they probably are. Continue reading

Are you a NOOB?


biker-noob-top

Biker n00b: “Wait, you chose to wear a neon colored jacket?”

1. You choose your helmet based on your motorcycle.
You’d love to wear a full-face, but only if borrowing a friend’s Honda CBR600RR, otherwise you stick to your Bell Custom 500, no matter the riding conditions, when riding your Bonneville. Sure, the full-face is more comfortable and far safer, but what will people think?


Standard riding uniform as soon as the sun comes out.

Continue reading

Top 25 Informative Maps That Teach Us Something Uniquely Different About the World


SOURCE:  My Modern Met

Population of Southeast Asia Compared to the Rest of the World

Maps can be great guides for more than just finding routes for traveling. They often provide insight on the rest of the world. Taking a look at certain maps can be incredibly informative, especially when comparing the standing of countries in relation to one another. In fact, many passionate cartographers take pride in creating maps that present relevant knowledge through a visual medium.

Whether they’re on topics concerning population density, educational level, or even a gauge of internet usage across the world, each serves a purpose of sharing data to enlighten minds. Most people aren’t constantly traveling and immersing themselves into the practices of multiple nations, so a statistically informed map can help us all learn more about how we compare to the people of a country on the opposite end of Earth.

An ever-growing collection of informative maps are available through ChartsBin, Target Map, and the MapPorn subreddit. There’s also a wonderfully curated list over on Twisted Sifter. Here’s our roundup of the top 25 informative maps that you’ll never forget.

Top map: reddit Continue reading

How To Manage Helmet Hair


I wish I had the time to write such smart articles that many can relate too.  This one for sure we all can….HELMET HEAD/HAIR.

I attend many meetings, provide many educational in services and have to arrive at my destination looking somewhat “professional”.  Cheryl has short hair that takes her 2 seconds to fix when she gets to work.  Me?  My hair is fine and turns into crazy hair after I pull my Shoei off.  I use buffs, LDComfort helmet liner etc.  And some days my hair is acceptable and for some reason other days, not so much.  In the end many of the office colleagues have learned to accept me and my unpredictable hair style for what it is….and most others, well?  I just explain.  When I can I will try and wet it and dry it at the site I arrive but that is not always possible.

Here is a pic of me that Cheryl took after riding the Dalton Highway.  I am slightly embarrassed to post this but you have to see what a helmet can do to ones hair…it is hysterical.  Click more to see…;-) Continue reading

Motorcycles Can Legally Run Red Lights In These States


red light
Scott Olson/Getty Images Penny Gusner, CarInsurance.com

Ever been stuck at a traffic light that takes an excruciating amount of time — what feels like hours — to turn green?Imagine that as a daily occurrence.

That is what it’s like for some motorcyclists due to sensors at some intersections that don’t recognize when lightweight vehicles arrive.

To alleviate this aggravation, some states have passed “safe on red” laws that allow motorcyclists to legally drive through red lights.   Continue reading

Safe Winter Riding Tips


Source: Anthony from Revzilla

Safe & Enjoyable Cold Weather Motorcycle Riding

By BoochZilla

Changing Seasons, Changing Gears 

We all know about changing gears on the bike. Up is “up”, and down is “down.” How about that riding skill called changing gears between your ears? Autumn is a great time for riding. Temperatures are moderate and, in many parts of the land, beautiful color tours await. But the change in seasons also brings some different riding conditions that may require some mental gear changes. Continue reading

Too Much Electronics in New Motorcycles?


I like this guys approach to practicality and riding…but I like the electronics and extras…;-)

SOURCE:  Autoevolution

IMG_0101

Some will agree with me and some will barge in against me, and this is somehow natural after I openly ask: don’t you all think there’s too much electronics in the new motorcycles? Continue reading

Smoother gear Changing, gear shifting on your motorcycle.


Cheryl and I practice this technique as much as we can….do you agree this is a proper way to change gears without using the clutch or is it bad practice?

Forgive me if this sounds a little remedial, but I see a lot of guys out on the road who don’t know how to do this. Works on any bike, be it crotch rocket, assless chaps mobile or two-wheeled Hummer H2.

The benefit is smoother, faster shifts and slightly lower clutch wear. It’s just easier and will better enable you to work shifting into the rest of your riding.

Super easy to do. As you accelerate and are approaching the point where you want to shift up, sneak your toe under the lever and apply a little upwards pressure. Now, quickly close the throttle a little while keeping that upward pressure on the shift liver, feel the gear slip home, and open it back up. Continue reading