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Driving Chain


The other power transfer solutions are all heavier, this can best be seen in racing motorcycles. Also the production of a motorcycle chain is the most economical. Unfortunately, this is not valid as far as servicing and maintenance is concerned. A chain requires a lot of care to ensure a long life. Even worse, perhaps, is that a neglected chain can be recognised immediately. It's all about the substances which deposit themselves on the chain and which do not belong there. Apart from street-dirt and dust, wet roads make it a natural nesting place for rust.


Occasional cleaning is part of the regular chain maintenance. The ideal way to service the chain, is to place the bike on the center-stand (if there is one) and slowly turn the rear wheel. This is also helpful when spraying chain-lube steadily onto the chain. Even with extremely skilful hands, laying a cloth on the floor is to be recommended.

According to the maintenance schedule and also the riding habits, the chain-slack recommended by the manufacturer should be checked. Too litle slack places too much strain on the drive-cog bearing in the gearbox. Too much chain-slack makes riding unpleasant and can cause whipping. Apart from that, neighbouring parts can also be damaged in extreme cases.

The drive chain is adjusted, as a rule, at the rear wheel. This is done, with a simple two-arm fork, by lossening the two rear axle screws and moving the rear wheel backwards or forwards. If the complete bearing of the rear wheel is clamped, the suitable screw must be loosened and the bearing cage must be turned using the on-board tools. In both cases, one should re-check the slack, also when sitting on the bike.

Unfortunately, one may see, when adjusting the chain that the chain itself and/or the chain cogs are worn out. For this reason there is an index mark on the rear wheel which is to be taken very seriously. A possible snapping of the chain at high speed is no joke. A smashed gear-wheel housing is probably the most harmless result. Just imagine the injury risk for the rider and the pillion passenger. Of course, clever (and thrifty) bike owners change not only the chain, but both chain-cogs as well, because they don't want to repeat this process in the near future. The most often used chain with 'O' rings for the sealing, can be opened only with special tools and on no account with a standard chain separator. Should this not be available, then the whole rear fork must possibly be removed.

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