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While riding home from work yesterday my stock chain popped off the rear sprocket. Fortunately I was traveling at a relatively slow rate of speed and was riding strait and level at the time—neither I nor the bike was damaged. Unfortunately, I do not know exactly what has caused this to happen. My theory is that the stock chain was stretched to the point where a bump in the road caused it to slip right off the rear sprocket — a motorcyclist more experienced than I explained that chain stretching is simply a reality of the chain drive system.



I have searched through the forum and derived a couple relevant things. First, and by general consensus, the stock chain sucks. What “sucks” means, I don’t know. Does it mean that it is more likely to stretch, and thus pop off?



Anyway, the second thing I have learned is that while there has been considerable discussion about chain lengths for non-stock sprockets, there has been little discussions about good stock chain replacements, and what size these chains are. Does the forum have a recommendation?



Do I need to replace my stock chain?

What chain is recommended?



Thanks for the help.



DCTW
 

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Replace the chain and sprockets.



-The stock chain is not "sealed" (meaning it doesn't have little o-rings that prevent dirt and grime to get within it that wear it out), the recommendation is to get a "sealed" or "o-ring" chain. You don't have to go with an o-ring, but it's a worthy purchase (o-ring chains cost more than non).



-The sprockets should also be replaced as your old sprockets are probably worn from the old chain.



-You still need to do the routine maintenance with any chain you choose to purchase. The o-ring just won't need as much adjustment as the non. But get in the habit of checking it to the recommended interval.



-The stock length is 122 links.



http://tw200forum.com/index.php?/topic/2685-where-is-the-good-place-to-buy-an-o-ring-chain-cheap/page__p__24182__hl__chain__fromsearch__1#entry24182
 

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I had a more drastic version of the same thing. I pulled off the highway onto a backroad and hit a patch of gravel. I lost it, and when I got back up I had no power to the wheel. It was night time, but some cellphone lighting showed it came off the sprocket. I figure when I laid it over the swingarm kicked out since the weight was off of it, and the loose chain didn't keep on. Chain was totally intact, but loose enough to put on by hand with a little fudging. Definitely time for new chain and sprockets if that can happen.



As mentioned, stock is 122 links. This same length will work with very small changes in gearing, but with a stock setup of 14/50 it works perfectly. I don't keep up with the folks who like to go to a 47 in the rear, but I believe a 122 worked with it as well? If not, I think it was a 120.
 

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As far as the stock chain goes, "sucks" means it is a cheap chain that stretches really fast, requires many hours of maintenance to keep clean and lubricated, and even then will only last 3000 miles. Okay, 6000 miles for those totally anal about chain maintenance. As the chain wears, so do the sprockets. All three pieces need to be changed as a set, and doing so is somewhat a pain in the butt.



A better quality chain will easily go 6000 miles between adjustments with no maintenance other than enough lube to keep it from rusting, and will easily last 25,000 miles or more before wearing out and killing the sprockets. The ~$50 difference in price between a cheap chain and a good chain is well spent because it practically eliminates all the chain maintenance.



There are no bad o-ring chains. Google "428 o-ring" chain and shop for price, which will run $65-100 plus shipping. You'll need 122 links for the stock sprockets. You'll want new sprockets, as putting a new chain on old sprockets will kill the chain in a couple thousand miles. You'll also need a left side cover gasket and replacement lockwashers for the wheel sprocket. Depending on brand of sprockets, you may need bigger countershaft sprocket retainer bolts, a modified retainer and/or different hardware for mounting the wheel sprocket.



Beginning to sound like a pain in the ass? It is. That's why o-ring chains are so popular--don't have to swap them out very often.
 

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Pages 6(dash)33,34 of the shop manual clearly detail how to inspect the chain and sprockets for excessive wear necessitating replacement of the parts. I know from experience that the stock parts will last far longer than 4000 miles, even thoroughly neglected. But chances are you have yet to learn how to adjust your chain. That too, is detailed in the shop manual; and it is very important you learn how. The stock chain doesn't suck. I do not find the little maintenance to be a hassle at all. I like taking care of my bike; it's a special kind of love. Others are detached, dont want to get their soft hands dirty.



-sS
 

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That's what I've noticed here a bunch of guys who don't like to get involved with there bikes
there seems to be a few things most people here agree on and the o ring chain is one of them, makes no sense to me to ignore these soft handed princesses
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the clarification and advice. I will order a new chain and sprockets ASAP.



There are no bad o-ring chains. Google "428 o-ring" chain and shop for price, which will run $65-100 plus shipping. You'll need 122 links for the stock sprockets. You'll want new sprockets, as putting a new chain on old sprockets will kill the chain in a couple thousand miles. You'll also need a left side cover gasket and replacement lockwashers for the wheel sprocket. Depending on brand of sprockets, you may need bigger countershaft sprocket retainer bolts, a modified retainer and/or different hardware for mounting the wheel sprocket.


Now more questions:



Does the 428 in "428 o-ring" refer to the number of links? If so, will I need to buy a chain-link-splitter-tool in order to shorten the chain to the desired length? Or, can I buy an o-ring chain already 122 links long?



With regard to the replacement of the sprockets, would it be advisable to order replacements (stock) from Yamaha? Or, do you know of a higher quality (0r of a better deal) sprocket out there on the Internet? And, to address the sprocket retainer bolts (assuming this is only an issue if I order non-Yamaha, non-stock sprockets), should I just cross that bridge when I come it to — if they don't line up or fit, run down to the hardware store to pick up some suitable bolts sortta thing?





Pages 6(dash)33,34 of the shop manual clearly detail how to inspect the chain and sprockets for excessive wear necessitating replacement of the parts. I know from experience that the stock parts will last far longer than 4000 miles, even thoroughly neglected. But chances are you have yet to learn how to adjust your chain. That too, is detailed in the shop manual; and it is very important you learn how.


I appreciate this. I am trying to learn as much as possible. I grew up in a household that did not privilege the notion of doing it yourself — especially when it came to "blue collar" work. My father (a physician) would rather just call a "professional." After reading Persig (the rotisserie discussion comes to mind) I have made an earnest attempt to learn how to do these jobs myself. And as Persig posits, I have come to really enjoy the process.



I have printed off the shop manual from this forum, and keep it in my "shop" at home for occasions such as this. Thanks again for all the information and instruction.
 

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Chains come in different link sizes for different applications. Larger bikes with more power and weight might use a much beefier 520 chain, for example. Bicycle chains and such occupy the other end of that scale. Sizing is determined by the width of the chain, diameter of the rollers and distance between the roller pins.



428 refers to the SIZE of the individual links, not the length of the chain. So you'd need a 428 chain, 122 links long.
 

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The chain on my 91 TW200 stretched so much in the 1k miles after it was purchased, that I had to remove 3-4 links in order to be able to even use the adjuster... badbadbadbad



Spent a bunch of coin on fancy sprockets and o-ring chain but the bike is busted so they haven't been installed
 

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lizrdbrth is right about 428 being the size and link count for stock sprockets.



The OEM Yamaha sprockets are a very good quality and $10.61 and $22.61 at www.stadiumyamaha.com . They are an excellent value, and everything fits. If you like the stock sprocket ratio they are a good way to go. You'll still need to order the left side cover gasket in case the original breaks.



There are better quality sprockets in the aftermarket, but at double and triple the price, with no appreciable benefit in this particular application.



I usually buy a chain with 130 links, cut it, and save the extra for roadside repairs.
 
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