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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, it turns out the chain that had 'passed' several inspections was past the end of its service life.

I had the original chain and sprockets on the bike, with 23, 694 miles on them. I'd been doing the pull and push testing, and the chain did not exhibit any of the 'telltale' signs of wear. The rear sprocket looked fine.

A recent ride gave me pause. When I got back into town, the bike was giving me some strange signals. Mostly, when I left a stop, until after I shifted into second gear, I was getting a weird 'pulsing'; it felt like it was from the drivetrain.

So, since my mileage was way up there anyhow, I decided to change out the whole works.

Looking at the SprocketCenter site, I couldn't find a kit for my bike with a grey or 'silver' or nickel chain. All the kits I found had Gold chains. So I called. Chad hooked me up.

Soon, a shiny new JT 43 tooth rear, a not shiny JT 18 front and a very greasy RK XSO 530 110 link chain was at my door. Note: The '03 ST uses a 108 link chain, plus ML.

I did a side-by-side comparison of the components when I pulled the old stuff off the bike. The old Sunstar rear looked almost exactly the same as the new bit. Very little wear.

The front 19 tooth was pretty worn, but not yet showing the 'hook' of a very badly worn unit.

The chain, however, was interesting. I thought the old chain (a D.I.D x-ring) while not showing any 'stretch' or length limit signs, did move sideways more than it should. However, when I stretched the new and old chain out, they both deflected (bowed. maybe?) almost exactly the same amount.

But, the old chain was significantly 'stiffer'. When I examined the link I had cut to break the chain, the pins were bone dry. In fact, the 'lubricant' resisted a fingernail.

So, replacement done, I took the bike out for a quick spin. First, the bike is much, much 'smoother'. Turns out the old chain was creating a lot of vibration. Second, the 18 tooth sprocket gives the bike a more 'peppy' feel.

I suppose I'm just going to plan on replacements every 20,000 miles or so.

Lastly, a note. I reassembled the chain with a borrowed HP Tools "HP Heavy Duty Chain Press Kit". It was a PITA. The main part of the tool works fine, I suppose. The chain tools, though, aren't worth a [email protected] The tools are not 'right' for the job; I feel there is at least one tool missing, and when I pressed the second rivet, the mandrel came apart. Luckily, I managed a good 'shroom' in spite of it.

So, I'm hoping the chain tool that OnD advertised is still available. I may not need it for another five years, but at least I'll have it!

Kudos again to Chad at SprocketCenter!
 

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I'm at 27k on my chain. Wonder if it's time?
 

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Chain Joining Tool(s)

Needs two people to operate. Place chain onto sprockets and join with soft link. Large heavy steel bar that will fit through rear wheel and is held in place against the rear of the joining link by your assistant. Assemble side plate onto link and hold together with needle nose vice grips. Good quality ball pein hammer, use ball to gently pein over the soft ends of the link forming a neat mushroom head shape with no splits or breaks in the soft material. Heavy bar acts as a 'dolly' and thus allows the hammer user a good degree of feel and control.
 

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Thats amazing mileage for a chain.

I lube and look after the chain/sprockets on my SV1000 and get 13,500 miles out of the last two. I then fitted what I was told was a almost new chain, about 200 miles only, onto new sprockets but it has only done 5,500 miles and has started to wear the sprockets too. I don't do wheelies or rip it in the low gears.

So it's now about to get it's 4th chain/sprockets at 33,250 miles.

The chain and sprockets on my '95 Sprint are still origional and are in good shape at 11,600 miles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I think the chain had been telling me it was done for a while. The driveline is so much smoother now, and a couple other 'oddities' are gone as well.

CalSprinter - nice cast, but I ain't biting! The 'exterior' surfaces of the chain were in fine shape. It was the part the nefarious chainmakers built to be inaccessible that had dried up.

Maybe if they made a chain with little bitty zerk fittings on each pin...

And also; That rear sprocket weighs a ton!
 
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