Trent and Pete are back from Mountain Madness 2008, and Pete’s KTM 950 Adventure is in need of a new chain and sprockets. It has actually spat out a couple of rollers – not something I have seen before, but an obvious sign of serious wear and tear.
You can really blow some money in this department by not keeping tabs on things. A chain that is lubricated and correctly adjusted will run smoothly with minimum wear. A dry chain that is too loose or too tight will not only wear prematurely itself, but move around on the sprockets and chew out the teeth.
The sprockets will respond by putting further stress on the chain, since the teeth and the links no longer mesh properly, and you are into a vicious cycle that ends with you shelling out cash much sooner than you should have – or, worse, stranded by the side of the track. Carrying a spare set, are we?
We have split chain and sprockets into two episodes – it’s a substantial job and there’s a lot of room for discussion of myths and facts. Trent is as knowledgeable as ever, and we didn’t want to cut short on the info just to fit everything into a single show.
In this one, Trent shows how to tell whether a chain is worn, and identify wear patterns on a sprocket. He removes the old chain and discusses O-rings, X-rings, lubrication and cleaning.
Dousing the old chain with kerosene is one common method of cleaning, and obviously preferable to petrol because it is less likely to degrade the O-rings and infiltrate the rollers, where it would wash away the precious factory-packed grease from around the pins. But kerosene is still a pretty aggressive solvent, so Trent has some words on his preferred method of cleaning and lubing.
For more discussion on chain cleaning and lubrication, check out this extensive thread over at ADV Rider. From my perspective, the best thing to wash off dirty, spent lubricating oil is … wait for it … more oil! Which is why I think constant lubrication systems like the Scotoiler are a good bet – though opinion is divided on these sorts of gadgets.
Watch out for the next episode, where we install the new chain and sprockets on Pete’s bike.