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Old 05-28-2013, 04:16 PM   #1
HappyHighwayman OP
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How long did your chain last?

I got my bike May 2012, and at about 15,000 miles my co-worker with a F650GS reminded me to check the chain. I had been noticing some weird feelings on the bike lately and when I inspected the chain it was noticeable loose.

I took it to my BMW dealer and they tightened it, took it for a 4 mile test ride and then checked it again and notice it had already loosened up some.

I need a new chain and sprockets...is that normal after only 15,000 miles?

It felt much better after the tightened it but I guess I'll need to order new parts ASAP.
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Old 05-28-2013, 04:42 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyHighwayman View Post
I got my bike May 2012, and at about 15,000 miles my co-worker with a F650GS reminded me to check the chain. ... I need a new chain and sprockets...is that normal after only 15,000 miles?.
I hope I don't sound like a smart-ass, but if a co-worker had to remind you about your chain, you weren't on top of its care.

As an experiment, I once purposely neglected the chain of a dual-sport bike with an aluminum rear sprocket, and it went just 6,000 miles.

An anal-retentive buddy just replaced the chain and sprockets on his DL650 at 41,000 miles. Just 'cause he felt he ought to.

I'll be disappointed if I don't get 25,000.
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Old 05-28-2013, 04:47 PM   #3
HappyHighwayman OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoffster View Post
I hope I don't sound like a smart-ass, but if a co-worker had to remind you about your chain, you weren't on top of its care.

As an experiment, I once purposely neglected the chain of a dual-sport bike with an aluminum rear sprocket, and it went just 6,000 miles.

An anal-retentive buddy just replaced the chain and sprockets on his DL650 at 41,000 miles. Just 'cause he felt he ought to.

I'll be disappointed if I don't get 25,000.
Other than keeping it clean and lubing it every 500-600 miles, I'm not sure what else I should have done? I had my 600, 6000, and 12000 mile services.

Hers wore out in a similar amount of saddle time (been riding 30 years and she does a lot of her own maintenance, has 5 bikes, her boyfriend works on his, etc)...she told me she's not impressed with the BMW provided chain and will be ordering her own replacement.
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Old 05-28-2013, 04:47 PM   #4
dryden_rider_54
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Replaced mine (with sprockets) at 23,000 km (+/-14000 miles). That was after my Alaska trip which included about 2000 km of gravel road. I was pretty loyal to lubing it regular. Used chain wax.
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Old 05-28-2013, 05:46 PM   #5
Geoffster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyHighwayman View Post
Other than keeping it clean and lubing it every 500-600 miles, I'm not sure what else I should have done? I had my 600, 6000, and 12000 mile services.

Hers wore out in a similar amount of saddle time (been riding 30 years and she does a lot of her own maintenance, has 5 bikes, her boyfriend works on his, etc)...she told me she's not impressed with the BMW provided chain and will be ordering her own replacement.
The BMW chain (Regina) appears to be adequate but not superior. Replace it with a RK or DID. http://sprocketcenter.com/

There are two basic approaches to chain care:
WET: Involves a solvent (like kerosine), an oil (like 30 weight), and rags and disposable gloves. (Or a Scottoiler that lubes the bejesus out of your chain!) Focuses on the desirability of allowing the chain/sprockets to fling grit off the chain. Great if you end each ride at home and don't mind cleaning that which is flung-off ...

DRY: Involves a tacky lubricant like PJ-1 Blue Label or Maxima Chain Wax. Focuses on staying put, but can trap grit. Great when you're on the road ...
Pick your method and deal with the consequences.

I'm a wet guy at home, and a dry guy on the road. Wives and girlfriends appreciate that combo, too.
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Old 05-28-2013, 06:11 PM   #6
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Around 20k miles is cautions, some say 24,000k. Generally the chain does not need adjusting till more then 12k miles, but should be lubed and cleaned every 4-500 miles. There are a lot of theories about the ideal interval. So your dealers advice is quite cautious but not out of line. Dave
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Old 05-28-2013, 06:23 PM   #7
sieg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyHighwayman View Post
I got my bike May 2012, and at about 15,000 miles my co-worker with a F650GS reminded me to check the chain. I had been noticing some weird feelings on the bike lately and when I inspected the chain it was noticeable loose.

I took it to my BMW dealer and they tightened it, took it for a 4 mile test ride and then checked it again and notice it had already loosened up some.

I need a new chain and sprockets...is that normal after only 15,000 miles?

It felt much better after the tightened it but I guess I'll need to order new parts ASAP.
From this how can you tell it's shot? Did you check it all around for tight and loose spots? Could they have adjusted it at a tight spot and 4 miles later checked it at a loose spot? More important did you check it's length or the fit on the sprocket? That's how you tell if it's worn out. But at 15000 miles on an OEM chain it could very well be shot. Mine lasted longer than that, but riding style, road type and maintenance differences can play a big factor in chain life. IMHO
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Old 05-28-2013, 06:45 PM   #8
HappyHighwayman OP
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I've admitted not been so great the last few thousand miles in terms of always cleaning the chain thoroughly before reapplying the lube.

I'll likely change it up and try to be more thorough in the future. I was hoping for it to last to 18k for the big tuneup, but whatever, I'll do it now.

With my tires only last 10,000 miles and 6000 mile service intervals, even with 45+ MPG this is actually starting to cost slightly more than a car would, but with infinitely more convenience for commuting and vastly more enjoyability factor.
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Old 05-28-2013, 09:55 PM   #9
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Chains and sprockets are consumable parts that, like brake pads, will wear out at different rates for different riders depending on a bunch of factors, of which maintenance regime is only one.

I'd be happy with 15,000 miles. It's within ballpark, on the low side. Frankly your sprockets could probably go a little longer but fitting a new chain to old sprockets is like having a shower and putting your dirty shorts back on.

They're not expensive items and should be something you factor in to your maintenance budget, so go get new ones if you want to. You wouldn't be agonising over this if you'd noticed dirty oil, would you?
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Old 05-28-2013, 10:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyHighwayman View Post

With my tires only last 10,000 miles and 6000 mile service intervals, even with 45+ MPG this is actually starting to cost slightly more than a car would, but with infinitely more convenience for commuting and vastly more enjoyability factor.
Bikes always cost more than small cars to run, except maybe tiny bikes with tiny tires and engines.. Simple fact of life.
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Old 05-28-2013, 11:25 PM   #11
Loutre
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Replaced mine at 32.000kms ~ 20.000 miles. Now I have a shiny orange one from Afam. Let's see how long that one will last. Since it's an "ultra reinforced one" I have "high hopes"

Other than lubing it don't forget to clean it after each offroad use and on regulary bases after road use (1000 - 1500kms or so): for me each 2 lubings = one cleaning.
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Old 05-29-2013, 01:04 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyHighwayman View Post
I've admitted not been so great the last few thousand miles in terms of always cleaning the chain thoroughly before reapplying the lube.

I'll likely change it up and try to be more thorough in the future. I was hoping for it to last to 18k for the big tuneup, but whatever, I'll do it now.

With my tires only last 10,000 miles and 6000 mile service intervals, even with 45+ MPG this is actually starting to cost slightly more than a car would, but with infinitely more convenience for commuting and vastly more enjoyability factor.
if you even go to the dealer for tightening up your chain, then yes, it will cost more then a car, it's reaaaaaaaaaally easy to do it yourself

a chain needs maintenance, don't be lazy

btw, I replaced my chain and sprockets at 28.000 km ~ 17400 miles.
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Old 05-29-2013, 07:07 AM   #13
Reaver
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Chain clean/lube and adjustment is supposed to be included with your Dealer inspections as part of the cost.

My chain lasted 35K street kms. It's the factory CZ and was moderately cared for often saw hard wrist action. I ordered a EK chain which I know is on the cheap side but it goes with the low km used sprockets I installed. In Canada, we only need to get through the summer months then have lots of time to F with it in the garage and dream of the next big adventure.
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Old 05-29-2013, 07:19 AM   #14
MikeMike
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25,000 miles only on Mexican roads and trails. Lubed often. Still had life left in it, changed as preventive maintenance, not cleaned very often. Changed sprockets at the same time. Replaced with another factory chain and lubed swingarm and replaced shock bolt (bottom). Less things to be concerned with.
Tension checked as habit, hot during every ride.
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Old 05-29-2013, 09:36 AM   #15
8thdwarf
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I put 21,000 miles on mine before it got notchy and a few links were making a racket. YYEESSS I am guilty of not lubing it evey 500 miles, but I'll be better next time, promise.. might have gotten a few more miles on it had I paid better attention.... replaced it with DID ZVMX-2 and JT sprockets from The Sprocket Center.
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