Most motorcycle problems are caused by the nut that connects the handlebars to the saddle.

feel like I've made a massive discovery - well, my mate has anyway

trevor machine
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Post by trevor machine on Wed 10 Apr 2019, 9:03 am

Chains - tension, play, slack, tightness. Etc. More specifically, the unevenness of chains.

It's commonly assumed that chains wear unevenly. And they definitely do. However, what I've just noticed for the first time on three of my bikes is this - and it really does seem like a revelation:

The uneven part of the chain is in a different place from one pass to the next!!!!

So for instance - find the slackest part of your chain. The bike's on its main stand or a paddock job. Note carefully where precisely on the chain that slack spot is. Mark the links, if necessary. Now rotate the rear wheel until the spot you marked has come back round again - i.e. one complete pass. Feel the amount of tightness now. I'd put good money on it being less slack.

I appreciate this might not be news to some - but I honestly think that a great number of bike owners assume that once they've located the slackest part of their chain, they've done just that. Found the slackest part of their CHAIN.

However, as my mate has discovered after addressing an inconsistency he found in the "tension" of the chain on his NC750 (he fitted a brand new genuine DID chain and found it apparently had a quite conspicuous slack spot - how could this be possible on a brand new high quality chain? Answer - it didn't...), the issue may lie elsewhere.

What is causing this inconsistency is more difficult to answer - however it points to an eccentricity in either one or all of these things: the sprockets, or some aspect of the rear wheel hub. However, I personally have yet to suss out quite where this is. And of course, the chain itself WILL have differences across its length.

However, I'm absolutely convinced my mate has put has sussed out something that a great many people either ignore or haven't noticed. More specifically, that the main culprit in a drive chain's inconsistent tension is NOT the chain itself but some other component.
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Post by Jameshambleton on Fri 12 Apr 2019, 8:21 pm

Shit cheap sprockets will do it, due the hardening on them isn't consistent, thus they're likely to wear more unvenely because of the difference in hardness
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Post by trevor machine on Wed 17 Apr 2019, 6:42 am

Yes - but they can and often are like this from new, i.e. when new sprockets and new chain fitted, significant eccentricity i.e. uneven chain tension can still be present.
trevor machine
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Post by trevor machine on Fri 10 May 2019, 9:23 pm

Okay - here it is.

I undid the bolts on the sprocket carrier - all six of them (this is on my ninja). Just as a reminder - the problem was that my brand new chain (on brand new sprockets) had a quite startling amount of uneven play.

We undid the bolts - and then tightened them, gradually, in a star pattern.

The chain now has even tension along its entire run.

I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that a lot of people out there will be unnecessarily replacing chains (and sprockets - becasuse most owners tend to change the whole lot) because they detect "stretching". It's not stretching. It's an eccentricity created by poorly i.e. hastily fastened sprocket carrier nuts (or bolts).
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Post by sullivj on Fri 10 May 2019, 10:47 pm

Good to know Trevor - thanks for sharing

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