ALBANY VINTAGE & CLASSIC MOTORCYCLE CLUB
Prolonging the Life of Your Chain
By Colin White
THE final drive chain of your motorcycle
seems a pretty simple and straightforward method of
transmitting power to the rear wheel of your bike. It is
however, a very efficient and economical means of
propulsion. The design in fact is a piece of engineering
FIGURE 1. shows a sectional view of the components of the roller chain. The centre pin is the area most likely to be short on lubrication during the life of the chain. This is normally because lube is not directed onto the side plate allowing it to penetrate fully.
FIGURE 2. describes the reason that so
many chains are not adjusted correctly. The final drive
sprocket on most chain drive bikes is in front of the
swinging arm pivot therefore scribing two different arcs.
If not given enough slack or play in the unladen position
the chain will be far too tight in the laden position
when the sprocket centres and swinging arm pivot are
lined up. A roller chain needs to be free of tension on
the bottom run when being driven. This allows the lube to
replace itself in the centre pin area ready for the next
pull on the top run. If the tension is always there the
lube just gets squeezed out.
An over-tight chain also puts too much
load on the final drive or output shaft bearing behind