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Old 11-24-2012, 10:55 AM   #1
nickel512 OP
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KLR died due to overload n no chain slack

Took off from my home in Minnesota on my 08 klr 27kmiles. I had torn it down n then back together with all fasteners bearings etc. checked tightened lubed. I get as far as Austin Texas on I35 7pm on about Oct 4th when I hear clunking noises then smoke then the smell of burning oil all while drastically loosing power. Next morning get it brought to Central Texas Motorsports in Georgetown. The next day in their shop they showed me that the counter shaft bearings went out and the shaft with now mucho free play was tearing up the motor and the outer case. It was done. What likely happened is I had perfect chain tension after all my prep work. Then I proceeded to load it for my 12wk Mx n CA trip then I put my 180lb body on it and the 4days MN to TX the bearings were bearings of the counter sprocket shaft were over stressed n later that day I continued my trip....on a new 2012 V Strom 650 Adventure. This dealer had numerous bikes to choose from including a used Buell Elysse all adventured up that this complete dildo of a sales manager was trying to get me to buy as it belonged to a friend of his. So I am sitting at this moment in Antigua on my way home from as far south as San Juan Del Sur Nicaragua, and u can be sure I monitor my chain tension religiously. The dealer gave my a grand towards my new wee, which I have put about 9k kms thus far and absolutely love this bike. Sure the Suzy black panniers n mounts are slowly falling apart but the bike is fn bueno .
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Old 11-24-2012, 01:53 PM   #2
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Sorry to hear about the demise of the KLR. If chain slack is set correctly it doesn't matter if you have 15lbs or 300lbs loaded on the bike. Hopefully the dealer spent some time with you on basic chain adjustment/check with your new ride. All else fails read the owners manual Enjoy your new ride!
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Old 11-24-2012, 02:08 PM   #3
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Chain slack should be measured on a loaded bike, ie. someone sitting on it.
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Old 11-24-2012, 02:22 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickel512 View Post
What likely happened is I had perfect chain tension after all my prep work.
NOT
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Old 11-24-2012, 02:27 PM   #5
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Might as well get pic of new bike up.
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Old 11-24-2012, 02:56 PM   #6
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the right way to set chain slack is to jack up the bike, remove the real shock, and move the swingarm thru the stroke so there's no bind when the rear axle, swingarm pivot, and countershaft sprocket line up.... that will be the point that the chain is the tightest.... if you don't do that, yer' askin' for trouble.....
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Old 11-24-2012, 03:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickel512 View Post
What likely happened is I had perfect chain tension after all my prep work.


Bro, if you had perfect chain tension, you'd still be riding your KLR.
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Old 11-24-2012, 03:19 PM   #8
Grinnin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davesupreme View Post
the right way to set chain slack is to jack up the bike, remove the real shock, and move the swingarm thru the stroke so there's no bind when the rear axle, swingarm pivot, and countershaft sprocket line up....
You only have to do this once if you measure the amount of slack in the chain after a proper adjustment. Or if you have stock suspension you can just read the specified 2 to 2.4 inches. Two inches at full suspension extension is still not tight when the sprockets and swingarm pivot make a straight line.

I really do measure. I have a lot of respect for a couple of mechanics near here, but they cannot eyeball chain slack worth spit. I mis-estimate it too when just looking.
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Old 11-24-2012, 04:02 PM   #9
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The right way to set chain slack is to follow the instructions in the manual. Others might have a prefered way, but whatis in the manual is what the guy who designed it thought it should be
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Old 11-24-2012, 04:23 PM   #10
Tosh Togo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickel512 View Post
Took off from my home in Minnesota on my 08 klr 27kmiles. I had torn it down n then back together with all fasteners bearings etc. checked tightened lubed. I get as far as Austin Texas on I35 7pm on about Oct 4th when I hear clunking noises then smoke then the smell of burning oil all while drastically loosing power. Next morning get it brought to Central Texas Motorsports in Georgetown. The next day in their shop they showed me that the counter shaft bearings went out and the shaft with now mucho free play was tearing up the motor and the outer case. It was done. What likely happened is I had perfect chain tension after all my prep work. Then I proceeded to load it for my 12wk Mx n CA trip then I put my 180lb body on it and the 4days MN to TX the bearings were bearings of the counter sprocket shaft were over stressed n later that day I continued my trip....on a new 2012 V Strom 650 Adventure. This dealer had numerous bikes to choose from including a used Buell Elysse all adventured up that this complete dildo of a sales manager was trying to get me to buy as it belonged to a friend of his. So I am sitting at this moment in Antigua on my way home from as far south as San Juan Del Sur Nicaragua, and u can be sure I monitor my chain tension religiously. The dealer gave my a grand towards my new wee, which I have put about 9k kms thus far and absolutely love this bike. Sure the Suzy black panniers n mounts are slowly falling apart but the bike is fn bueno .

Step away from the tool-box please, and your next bike should be a non-Euro shaftie.

Fyi; a millimeter too little "slack" in a chain drive is far worse than an inch of excess. Your "perfect chain tension" was trying to yank the countershaft out of the back of the cases.

It succeeded.

PS: as mentioned, the weight of load on the bike had little to do with it. Stop looking for excuses, learn from the boo-boo, and just don't do that again.
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Old 11-24-2012, 04:39 PM   #11
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I compressed my KLR's swingarm with racket straps till I had a straight line thru the swingarm from front to rear sprocket, then adjusted the chain to minimal slack at that point. Then I measured what the slack was with the bike on it's kickstand so I had a future reference for adjusting the chain in this position (like Grinnin said). It was about...2.0 to 2.4 inches depending how much slack you think is proper at that full compression position. GO FIGURE!

Let's try to inspire a little critical thinking, maybe try to understand what others are getting at instead of pretending like a manual is the do-all end-all!? The manual's specifications aren't correct simply because they are what some engineer decided on, they can make mistakes too. They are correct because this is the sort of procedure done during the final design processes so we don't have to do it as owners of stock bikes. That being said, doing the procedure yourself is the only way to be sure of what YOUR bike's chain tension/slack should be...if you change the rear suspension geometry (longer rear shock, lower links, etc.) your manual's specifications about chain tension/slack are no longer relevant. Also, if your bike is a completely custom set-up and/or you have no manual specifications to reference for X bike, this full compression slack procedure is the only way of truly determining for yourself what proper chain slack should be. A manual is for convenience...nothing about your bike is written in stone.

I'm really surprised the OP started this thread. KLR owners get enough shit around here and I don't know what kind of responses he was expecting.

Myfuture_yourdebt screwed with this post 11-25-2012 at 10:46 AM Reason: mixed up compression and extension
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Old 11-24-2012, 05:17 PM   #12
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Lol klr owners is my new sig line
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:08 PM   #13
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I used a sharpie to mark 2" and 2.4" on the swingarm. Then when I'm out in the middle of bravo foxtrot changing a tube I can use a stick, or a screwdriver and make sure it's got at least 2" of slack.

BTW, I use that sharpie all over the bike. All the torque values for various nuts are marked by them.....but my bike is a utility vehicle. YMMV!
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:14 PM   #14
JerryH
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I always set my chain tension according to the manual, only just a hair looser. I check it in several places, there is usually a tight spot, and it can change as the chain wears. Weight, as long as it is not over the recommended weight capacity of the bike shouldn't matter. If you are seriously overloaded, run the chain a little loose, but keep an eye on it.

I did have a Chinese dual sport once that had the countershaft sprocket out of line with the swingarm, and you had to adjust the chain till it was practically falling off so it would be right with a load on it, but that was just a bad design. Japanese motorcycles shouldn't have problems like that. The engine blew up at 7,000 miles on the Chinese bike anyway.
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Old 11-25-2012, 04:32 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryH View Post
Weight, as long as it is not over the recommended weight capacity of the bike shouldn't matter. If you are seriously overloaded, run the chain a little loose, but keep an eye on it.
Extra weight (and extra suspension compression) will make the chain run looser. Starting from full extension the chain is loose then tightens up then loosens again as the suspension compresses more. At full compression it runs looser than at full extension (on my 2001).
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