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Old 07-23-2013, 12:17 PM   #31
JustKip
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Is this a serious thread?

Shaft drive is awesome from a utilitarian POV, but from a performance stand point they suck!

It don't make it "hard to ride", but when blasting through a chicane-like set of twisties there is definitely steering input.

The shaft is great for tractor work, but for a sporty ride gimme a chain!
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Old 07-23-2013, 12:33 PM   #32
duke944
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You talking about shafts from the '80s? have no idea why you would say that about modern shafts.
Chains suck, I'll never go back.
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Old 07-23-2013, 12:51 PM   #33
kubiak
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With all the BMW gs fd stories I went back to chain. But I still ride back a gs just the chain drive f650gs.
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Old 07-23-2013, 08:15 PM   #34
JimVonBaden
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustKip View Post
Shaft drive is awesome from a utilitarian POV, but from a performance stand point they suck!

It don't make it "hard to ride", but when blasting through a chicane-like set of twisties there is definitely steering input.

The shaft is great for tractor work, but for a sporty ride gimme a chain!


Jim
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Old 07-23-2013, 08:28 PM   #35
ZEmann
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Originally Posted by Girthy Knobkers View Post
Sounds like a bunch of Nancy Pants' here. Chains these days need to be cleaned mainly. Spray with chain cleaner before you wash your bike... oops forgot this is the GS forum, we don't wash them... Ok I'm with you guys!

But really.. A properly adjusted chain doesn't need adjusting ALL the time, and the clean/lube process is less than 5 min. Meanwhile I own shaft drive only so I'll shut up now.
I've had both and I agree the modern chain isn't a big deal unless you become a slave to it IMHO
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Old 07-23-2013, 09:04 PM   #36
Canuman
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I own equal number of both shafts and chains (4 each).

Chains are for light/high power bikes. Bit messy, usually reliable when you choose a good chain and mate it with quality sprockets. Chains are the solution for lightweight, dirty work where you may want to swap out gear ratios for under twenty bucks. A quick spray of WD40 or weasel piss is about all a good X or O ring chain needs these days.

Shafts tend to be utterly reliable, and generally less expensive than chains, unless you ride a BMW, which I do, a '95 K75. ALso a '79 Suzuki GS850G: rock solid system. Change the final drive oil once a year and forget about it. '90 Honda PC 800 ditto. '86 Goldwing needs a little more thought, but it tugs a chair and is nearly at 100k. And then there's the K75. I love it. I do. Silky engine and a very high-quality machine. You're stuck with the gear ratios from factory, unless you have a pocket full of cash, and the spline lube is a little bit of a PITA. The BMW also steps right more than any of the other shafties. It's not at all dangerous, just to be noted.
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Old 07-23-2013, 09:58 PM   #37
Jazz62
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Have had about an equal number of both - 12 bikes over 22 years. To miss out on a bike that you really want and like in all other regards just because it has a chain is nonsense. My last chain-driven bike was an '07 Multistrada 1100. Had to sell it to raise funds for a beloved pet's medical care. In the 5K I put on that bike I rode it hard a fair amount of the time, was hard to resist on that thing as it was so confidence inspiring. Cleaning the chain is a 5 minute affair if you do it regularly. A little teflon dry lube every 1K miles, again a 5 minute job. No mess involved with either process. Bike had the original chain, 5K when I bought it and 12.5K when I sold it and it needed adjusting only one time and still was nowhere near needing replacement.
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Old 07-24-2013, 04:31 AM   #38
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My personal experience and opinion (not that anyone cares) is that people run their chains too tight, and with too much lube (for o-ring). I sold a Vstrom 1000 with 22,000 miles on the original chain and sprockets and there was no detectable wear. Even the manufacturers often spec them tight. When was the last time you saw a chain come off a bike with proper alignment? They're not going anywhere. Running them snug just causes stretch when things compress or a foreign object passes through.
And for lubing them; the lube doesn't get past the o-ring anyway. All it usually does is cause dirt stick and to grind into the chain and between the chain and sprockets. I wipe my chain every week or three so its clean, leave it a fuzz loose, and forget it.
If I had my drothers I'd swap my 'wonderwhenitwillfail' GSA shaft for a predictable chain anyday. As far as swaps go, I'd give up the servo brakes for standard as well. Off my box- the rest of the bike I love.
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Old 07-24-2013, 04:42 AM   #39
JustKip
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimVonBaden View Post


Jim
Looks like I'm not the only one who thinks so, Jim...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canuman View Post
The BMW also steps right more than any of the other shafties. It's not at all dangerous, just to be noted.
mirrors the sentiments I expressed. It's not "a problem", just a minor annoyance. If you haven't noticed, you're not using your right wrist enough
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Old 07-24-2013, 06:20 AM   #40
JimVonBaden
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Originally Posted by JustKip View Post
Looks like I'm not the only one who thinks so, Jim...


mirrors the sentiments I expressed. It's not "a problem", just a minor annoyance. If you haven't noticed, you're not using your right wrist enough
There are a lot of misconceptions about the shaft system on modern bikes, and a lot of misperceptions. The shaft isn't what causes the "stepping right" issue, it is the motor!

Jim
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Old 07-24-2013, 07:29 AM   #41
JustKip
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Teach me, master!
Why does it occur only at the rear?
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Old 07-24-2013, 07:36 AM   #42
abruzzi
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I bought my GS despite it having a shaft drive. Generally speaking, I prefer a chain. Its a simple system with three parts. Those parts are out in the open, so I can always see the condition of them. I can change a chain in 10 minutes. I can change a chain and two sprockets in about 30 minutes. I can tweak my final drive ratio to my liking on a chain. I used to hear people talk about shaft as being less work, but then I get my GS and find that due to FD failures, many seem to drain and replace FD oil every oil change (3000 miles), looking for telltale metal flakes. With chain and sprocket I change every 20k miles, with an adjustment at 500 miles once its stretched. I don't ever oil it. That seems like less bother that the shaft drive, without the ever present worry that my FD will be one of the grenading ones.

Don't get me wrong, I love my GS. There were a lot of other reasons I wanted it, but shaft drive was definitely not one of them.

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Old 07-24-2013, 08:03 AM   #43
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I switched from chain to shaft getting the 1200... Now I can't even keep a scottoiler on the chain driven bike filled with oil... Yep, I'm that lazy Actually, I'll say busy... got so many other things on the mind, that getting used to the BMW only needing attention on the shaft at service intervals, I do bugger all on the chain driven bike too...

Yes, easier to alter gearing and suchlike on chain bikes... but bah, shaft is easier.
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Old 07-24-2013, 08:20 AM   #44
Dan Alexander
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I maintained the chain on my Super Enduro like I maintained my shafts, mostly forgot about it. No issues and no dirt buildup


http://www.webbikeworld.com/t2/motor...n-chain-saver/
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Old 07-24-2013, 09:29 AM   #45
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On the 250YZ I had, I used Teflon to coat the chain - worked good in the sand dunes. You had to watch the stretch though.

The TW200 which I used basically for hunting only - I forgot to lube it and took it out after sitting 8 months or so - rambled around - stretched the chain - and had it come off of the back sprocket. Not good. Wont do that again. I tend to keep my chains on the loose side; especially if I'm going off road.

On the Dakar; only synthetic lube was used. And it got everywhere. Teflon is ok, but I don't think you will have the chain life compared to synthetic lube.

Shaft drive. OMG. No more mess. No more fuss. Maybe I'm getting old but I'm really liking the limited maintenance with it. Change the oil every 6K.

Chain is simple - more or less easy to deal with. People sometimes push the longevity too far. Ever got to the point where the chain will skip a tooth under hard acceleration? Done that too.

People have talked about shaft failures. But you never know how they maintain them, store them or how the bike was ridden etc. As long as there are repair parts (and not a total replaceable item - meaning the final drive assembly as a whole.) I'm game to see how this is going to work out.

Chain = messy, easy to maintain.
Shaft = clean, more than likely higher cost to maintain if you're going to put 100k+ on the bike.

Which one is actually safer? Can't honestly tell you. But I'm hedging on the shaft.
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