A couple weeks ago we talked about replacing worn out sprockets and how to check for wear. What we didn’t mention is that sprockets tend to wear about twice as fast as a chain does, so chances are if you are replacing a sprocket, you might as well replace your chain. If you’re not sure, here’s a couple tips on how to check your motorcycle chain for wear.
First things first, before removing the chain from your bike, check for free-play at different points(assuming the chain is already properly adjusted and lubed). If it needs to be adjusted frequently or has many points where the free play varies, the chain needs to be replaced.
If the chain passes that test, remove it from the bike and examine the chain for kinks where the link and roller have seized or bind up. If you find kinks in the chain, it’s time to toss it and get a new one. If the chain has passed all these tests, you can try the bow test by placing the chain on the ground and try to form a bow shape with it. If it deflects 8 inches over a 3-foot span, the chain rollers are worn out and the chain should be replaced.
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