CTX 700 Forum banner

1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
975 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Several experienced riders have posted on here they they've got 3,000 or more miles on their CTXs with chain tension still within specs and no adjustments so far. I assume this is a good indicator that proper care is being taken with respect to their chains and sprockets and that long chain and sprocket life can be expected due to this lack of adjustment necessity.

Is my assumption correct?

What does it mean if I've got 3300 miles and have adjusted twice; both times in the last 800 miles? There is, however, still alot of adjusting /stretching left before it goes into the red area. I've ridden alot in the rain and expect to continue to do so, since I'm a daily commuter. Is very short chain and/or sprocket life inevitable if I've chosen to ride in rainy and wet/grimy road conditions, or does anyone have any tips to help someone get the most out of his chain drive system if he is regularly getting the chain wet?

I know that I've become somewhat obsessed with this one service aspect and have hit on it alot lately in different threads, but it's just something that I'm trying to find the smartest, easiest, and best way to approach going forward. Originally, I was mostly going by the manufacturers' mileage recommendation of 500 miles and not really paying much attention to what was going on beyond just attending to it every 500 miles and I think this might be why I've experienced the premature need to adjust the slack. I don't think that's going to be the best way to approach chain service in the future thanks to what I've learned on this forum; the fact that it is the actual condition of the chain caused by environmental factors; not mileage or time intervals that is the biggest factor regarding cleaning, lubing, and slack adjusting necessity.

I've expressed my ideas on other threads about always wiping the chain off with a dry rag after every ride if the roads are wet, grimy, or salt-power covered and then more thoroughly cleaning and re lubing at my first opportunity but haven't received any feedback about this idea. The hardest thing about executing this plan is that sometimes it will be inconvenient to do this immediately after parking, and it will be hard to do at work where I have no rear stand. I could make this more convenient with a second rear stand to keep at work or mounting a center stand, or I could just make some marks in the work parking lot at set distances and then stop, wipe off, roll forward, wipe off, roll forward and the wipe off. Not very simple long term but maybe until I can afford another rear stand to keep at work. Is my idea worth it? or does anyone have a better ideas to most simply take better care of my chain and sprocket?

I've removed that small plastic piece that partially covers the lower chain area to make wiping down the chain easier and to get more of it while the bike is in one spot. This should help some.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
842 Posts
I don't mess with it. I let the dealer tell me what needs done at oil changes. 6500 miles; no adjustments. I lube it with Honda Chain Lube on the 1/3 I can spray each nite.

That's it.

Ride Often, Ride Safe
f
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,745 Posts
Over tightening your chain will result in premature chain and sprocket wear faster than not tightening at all. Cleaning your chain with a chain cleaner every day will eventually destroy the O-rings causing premature chain wear out. The object of the exercise is to keep it lubed with oil well enough to prevent wear and rust over a long period of time. The fact that you have had to adjust your chain twice over the last 800 miles indicates you have either destroyed the O-rings or failed to tighten the drive chain adjusters or axle nuts properly. Some riders deal with chain maintenance as an after thought. They tend to spray a little oil every now and then when ever they think about it. Others obsess about it cleaning and oiling after each short trip. Both can cause premature wear out for the same reasons. Your best to just stick to the plan oiling every 500-600 miles or when ever the chain gets wet spray or brush on a little oil. I would strongly suggest investing in a good chain oiler. What plastic piece di you remove? Chain guard or chain slider?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
975 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks everyone for the feedback and help.

I'm going to be looking in to an oiler and what that's all about. Another thread on here hints that it's a pretty involved installation and expensive, but I'll give it a look.

I should better explain the slack adjustments I've made. It really only got too loose once, but I ended up tightening twice to correct it, because I took it to a shop after I tightened it some, and the mechanic told me that I did it right, but it was still a little too loose. So even though I've tightened it twice and it has required a substantial adjustment to fix it, it was really only from one slacked condition, and this occurred some time between 2,000 and 3,000 miles.

I wasn't measuring correctly and still don't really know how to precisely measure the slack. I'll explain: Even though it was extremely slacked, the way I was measuring it as per Youtube videos I'd seen, I was measuring less than 1 3/8" by pushing upward on the chain right in the middle of the bottom span, but just forward of where I was taking the measurement, the chain was hitting the guide. Therefore, even though it was not measured more than 1 3/8", it actually had more slack than that. I started noticing that the chain was making more noise and shifting abruptly and that I had started losing 11 mpg, but when I'd take the measurement, I'd get less than 1 3/8". I had the feeling that it was too slacked but I was scared of over tightening, and since I wasn't measuring it out of tolerance, I was confused. The last time I checked the slack before making the adjustment, I took notice of the chain hitting the guide, and that's when I decided to tighten it some, but was tentative about how to get the rear wheel back true. I took it to a shop and had them check my work and correct it if necessary. The mechanic said that I did everything correctly, but he said that I should put a little more tension on the chain. I went back home and did tighten it just a little more, and this is why I say it's been adjusted twice. It is now smoother, quieter, and mpg is back over 70. So the need for this adjustment stems from really one slacked condition, but it did take a considerable amount of adjustment to get it right, yet it still lacks quite a bit before the chain is too stretched for usable service according to the swing arm color codes.

Yesterday, I finally got my chain clean, and I think I've finally figured out the right combination for lubing the right amount. I don't' think I've really got it good and clean in a long time until I tried a new technique which seemed to work well. I had previously lubed it down pretty well, because during the cold snap I knew it would be sitting a while. I had put a small drop of gear oil on each o-ring and sprayed just a little bit of chain lube over the top and on the side plates. Sort of wiped off the excess and just let it sit like that during the cold snap. Yesterday, I decided to try out my new idea. I still had the bike on the rear stand while parked. I wiped off all the excess oil and went for a ride. As soon as I got home I put it up on the rear stand. The bike was still clean underneath, so I don't think I left on too much oil. The chain looked pretty clean too. At least no dirtier than it was before I cleaned it last. I wiped it off really, really good dry and then sprayed it with WD-40; let it sit a couple of minutes; and then wiped the chain and sprocket off better than I've ever done it before. I worked on one section at a time, and for the first time in a long time, I could read the DID printing on the side plates. It was really clean. Then I lubed it again with spray chain lube and wiped off some excess around the outside of the rollers, but left the lube on there pretty heavy. I left the bike on the rear stand and will wipe off all the excess before my next ride.

I think this may work, but it is a hassle and probably not necessary with dry clean roads but for every 200-300 miles, but I think anytime I ride where the roads are wet or grimy or there is salt dust from the last snow, I think I'll have to do this whole routine. I like the idea of a little lube on the exposed part of the lower chain each time. I may look at doing this in dry conditions.

In the meantime, I'll be taking ideas and looking at things to make this a more simple and a quicker process. As for chain cleaners, I don't think I'm over doing it with the water soluble stuff that requires rinsing. I think I've used those cleaners only three times, so I'm not over using those products. Some say that WD-40 may hurt o-rings but many have used it extensively for many years on many bikes, so I think it's probably okay, as long as it's not an every day thing. I think that maybe the biggest part of cleaning, at least for my situation, is keeping the chain wiped off. I'm going to start giving this a try. I've used kerosene a time or two but that was before I discovered the idea of getting off all the crap dry first, so when I used it, I didn't really get the chain good and clean; I got alot of over spray all over everything, got really stinky and a left over stinky rag, so I don't really like using it if WD-40 will work just as well.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,745 Posts
just a couple of things. Never use Kerosene or gasoline to clean an o-ring chain. Never use WD-40 on an o-ring chain. The process of wiping the excess oil off of the chain will do more harm than good. Its completely impossible to get oil into all the nooks and crannies that need lubrication without soaking the chain in an oil bath. Chains require a certain amount of centrifugal force to move oil into the areas you cant possibly lube. Unless the chain is dripping wet, don't wipe it off. Using a brush helps mitigate over lubing the chain since it not only applies the oil but also removes excess oil at the same time. Your sprocket need oil as well plus they help spread the oil to the chainl. A little bit over spray of chain oil on the bike is normal after freshly lubing a chain. Concentrate your efforts on cleaning this off the bike instead. It will stop after your first ride.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
178 Posts
Too much adjusting and too much oiling. Too much wiping.
Check it occasionally, respray with chain oil/wax regularly.
-it will last longer.
Agree over tightening will kill chain quicker than being loose.
Make sure you are even on both sides -
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,745 Posts
Oh Lord please don't recommend chain wax (which I prefer) to Greg. He would have a heart attack trying to keep his chain spotless after having applied it. Chain wax by the way goes on thick as glue and adheres to the chain with minimal sling off. It leaves a sticky feeling residue on the chain but does not collect dirt as you might expect. It is much more resistant to water than oil. Not for those who obsess with a spotless chain because it is a booger to clean off. Just apply and walk away to let it dry.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
975 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I don't think I've over tightened the chain. I tightened it just a little, because I was afraid I would over tighten it. I put it back down on the side stand. Checked it in the down position myself and had a MC mechanic double check it. He said to put just a little more tension on it, so I did. He said that I was getting the rear wheel true the way I did it the first time, so I did that the same way the second time around. I don't think it's too much adjusting if the first adjustment wasn't enough. Is that right? The chain was really loose.

I'm a little confused about the concept of just leaving it alone and dirty and not wiping the grime off and just to keep lubing it. I had a chain that was making a grinding noise as it spun around the sprocket. It was dirty and grimy. It's been mentioned on here by some that wet chains are bad and not to leave them wet. And people dry them before lubing. All of these comment lead me to believe that I need to keep the chain clean and slightly lubed and not to put it to bed wet, but I'm getting conflicting advice. If I try to get the grime off just with lube it's not working. The grime is still on there. I'm not complaining...I mean keep the comments coming, but I am confused about what I should be doing if I regularly ride in the rain. A sticky chain followed by wet road riding was absolutely leaving alot of grime on the chain and on the underside of the bike and causing alot of friction. I could tell when I pushed the bike around that it didn't want to roll. If it's best to leave it alone and just put lube on it now and then, that's great. I want to do as little as possible, but my perception was from what I felt and saw and experienced with my bike the last couple of months was that the chain was staying too dirty and grimy and maybe (but don't know) that lead to the stretching of the chain. As for the wiping, I've not been doing this all along. I'll take into account what's been stated and figure out how much, how often, and what to do, but I don't think what I had been doing will work in the long run.

Webbike World recommends keeping the chain clean for long life. Webbike World is full of folks using Kerosene and WD-40 and the authors actually recommend kerosene and state that they can't recommend WD-40 because some engineers over there state that the solvent could draw out the o-ring lubricant, however, they also state that many riders have had many years of o-ring life regularly using WD-40; some as a lube and some as a chain cleaner. I guess I can see how kerosene (but not diesel) could have enough solvent properties in it to draw out some lube from the o-rings, but kerosene is far different than gasoline, doesn't evaporate and stays oily, so I don't see how they could be grouped together on this one. I can sort of see how wiping down the upper side of the o-rings regularly could remove built-in lube, but I can't see how wiping down the outside and the side plates could hurt anything no matter how often I do it, since all I want to do there is keep them from rusting and corroding.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
975 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Oh Lord please don't recommend chain wax (which I prefer) to Greg. He would have a heart attack trying to keep his chain spotless after having applied it. Chain wax by the way goes on thick as glue and adheres to the chain with minimal sling off. It leaves a sticky feeling residue on the chain but does not collect dirt as you might expect. It is much more resistant to water than oil. Not for those who obsess with a spotless chain because it is a booger to clean off. Just apply and walk away to let it dry.
Please let me remind you folks that I'm still new to this chain stuff, but I don't think I'm obsessing about a super clean chain. I was going along happy go lucky doing very little with the chain other than occasional lubes until I started hearing grinding noises, started getting rough shifts and chain-drive noise, and started losing 11 mpg. It may seem like it to some, but I don't think it's over reaction if one is new to chain-driven bikes and all of this starts happening at once plus the underside is all sticky. If I don't need to clean it, I'm good with that. I'll just buy a new one every few thousand miles if cleaning won't help it.

I've got and have used regularly chain wax. I don't know if the cold weather suddenly made it alot more sticky or I just started putting too much on, but I suddenly started getting a mess. Could a loose chain cause it to sling off worse and to pick up more grime, because it never happened before two months ago with just a little lubing and occasional cleanings?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,745 Posts
The O-rings are located between the outer and inner links of the chain on a shaft that connects and holds the two together. Oil seeps into this area and hopefully stays there. Using a harsh solvent as a cleaner destroys or breaks down the O-rings and destroys the oil that lubricates the O-rings and shaft. Completely lubricating these areas is virtually impossible in one sitting. It takes several applications to get it where it needs to be. That's why you have to have enough oil on the chain to let it seep into and centrifugal force to finish the job. Exterior dirt and grime can be wiped off just before applying fresh oil to the chain. This is not harmful and is beneficial. Wiping down the chain after applying oil removes the excess oil that is needed to get down where it really counts. Oil needs to be replaced on the chain at a rate that is cost and time effective. You wouldn't change the oil in your car after each time you drove it. Most manufacturers have determined that 500-600 miles is the correct number to ensure good chain life using a quality chain oil or its equivalent. As to the chain wax build up, you were probably applying it to often.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
795 Posts
sure oiling is great for long chain life and there is much posted about it. But has anyone thought about something else. Riding technique varies with everyone. Applying throttle in a smooth even fashion also has a lot to do with chain life. Chain load varies with application of power. I think seasoned riders may have an advantage here and it would not matter what bike or chain oil technique they use as they would most likely get better life out of their chain. New riders will improve with seat time I am sure. My 2 cents.

one more thing. Weight. Heavier bike, load and rider, require more power to move. More power applied to chain, the more it will stretch over time. This is part of the chain life equation too.
 
  • Like
Reactions: KA8ZYZ

·
Registered
Joined
·
975 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
sure oiling is great for long chain life and there is much posted about it. But has anyone thought about something else. Riding technique varies with everyone. Applying throttle in a smooth even fashion also has a lot to do with chain life. Chain load varies with application of power. I think seasoned riders may have an advantage here and it would not matter what bike or chain oil technique they use as they would most likely get better life out of their chain. New riders will improve with seat time I am sure. My 2 cents.

one more thing. Weight. Heavier bike, load and rider, require more power to move. More power applied to chain, the more it will stretch over time. This is part of the chain life equation too.
Thanks for the tips guys and adding that point Bill. I think I've got it going forward. I'm mostly doing what's been suggested. Maybe too much lube for a little time there caused most of the problems, but I think I've got it straightened out going forward thanks to your help.

I'm a light weight, but in the early days especially, I had some really rough shifts and could feel the abruptness and snapping of the chain while attempting to accelerate. For some reason, when I was pulling out in traffic and trying to get on it in a hurry, I was unconsciously not defueling and refueling correctly and this would cause hard shifts. Also, before I got the Madstad screen, I could not hear the power train, and this likewise was making it hard to shift smoothly, and I would occasionally hear and feel these hard snaps of the chain and thought that can't be good. I wouldn't say that I'm super smooth now, but I've got to be taking care of the chain as a rider much better than three months ago.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
I use a scottoiler the electronic version. 14,000 miles riding in all conditions and chain is still in good condition. Grungebrush maybe every 1,000 miles. Hope to hit 20,000 miles.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
The CTX700 I purchased in November of 2013 is my first bike.

Today my chain dislodged while cruising down the highway. I have just over 12K miles on the bike and am about to need a second set of tires. I ride it everywhere. I know now I should have given a second look at the user manual. I never checked the tension on the chain and now I see it should have been done with regularity.

Considering trying to fix the chain on my own but not before reading up on it. From what I have read it might be better to push it to the dealership.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,745 Posts
Chances are you probably damaged both sprockets as well as the chain. Be sure to replace them all. Its not hard to do if your mechanically inclined, have a decent set of tools and you have the service manual.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
I like to use Motorex chain cleaner or degreaser (have also used kerosene) to clean the chain followed with Blue Ray regular or Super Clean lube. I've used a number of other lubes too, including 90 weight gear oil. I like the no-fling lubes like Blue Ray. I clean and lube every 400 miles or after riding in the rain. The original chain on my Vulcan 500 lasted for 33K miles. We'll see how the Honda chain fares...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
441 Posts
Another chain question

Hey all, I didn't start this thread, but I thought I could jump in on this topic with yet another chain question. First let me say I'm not real well versed on chains.
I wanted to check my chain to see how much slack it has. When I push up on the chain in the middle (between sprockets) it touches the rubber protector on the bottom of the swing arm. Does this seem like too much? Its seems like the chain would move more, but it hits this rubber protector. So how do I get a reliable measurement?
I might not be explaining it well, so I took this video. Am I missing something. I could take it back to the dealer to have them check it but I would rather learn myself.

Link to video https://youtu.be/rPxhY8NOZYU



Thanks, Dale
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
6,250 Posts
Too much slack. Your in the right ball park. Change your measuring device to a ruler. Then measure in the middle of the chain while it is relaxed. Next push up on the chain until there is some drag. All you do is set the ruler in one spot for the relaxed position and then lightly push up the chain with the ruler still for the next measurement in the middle of the chain. You may need to tilt the ruler some for both measurments to read right, cause your reading at the same place on the chain both times. You don't want to pushthe chain up more then needed, that makes it inaccurate.

Measuring from the top, middle or bottom doesn't matter, as long as it is the same spot both times.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,571 Posts
The CTX700 I purchased in November of 2013 is my first bike.

Today my chain dislodged while cruising down the highway. I have just over 12K miles on the bike and am about to need a second set of tires. I ride it everywhere. I know now I should have given a second look at the user manual. I never checked the tension on the chain and now I see it should have been done with regularity.

Considering trying to fix the chain on my own but not before reading up on it. From what I have read it might be better to push it to the dealership.




It's most likely time for a new chain and sprockets.
I hope you didn't do any damage to the bike when the chain came off.
After you get the new ones, take the time to clean as needed and lube the chain about every 300-400 miles and after a ride in the rain as has been said.
It's not hard to get 20,000 out of a chain and sprockets, even without going to the mess of an oiler.
Use a proper chain lube and not some snake oil treatment you read about on the net-stick with what is proven. No silicone, no WD-40-use a chain lube.
Follow the book for adjustments and learn how to check the slack. maybe at the dealer when you get the new chain and sprockets, ask how to check it. I bet they'll be happy to show you.
Chains don't take that much work to be kept in proper condition-just a little time.
If you have time to wash and wax you sure as heck have time to take care of the chain.
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
Top