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I'm your Huckleberry
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Discussion Starter #1
200 miles a day, every day?

I've seen greatly varying opinions on when to do chain maintenance, from every 3-400 miles to every oil change, to just a cleaning when it gets dirty.

So, be honest...would you want to deal with a chain riding that much? Do you deal with a chain riding that much? Is it as much of a PITA as people make it out to be? Are those who don't think it is a PITA just saying so because they don't ride much and only have to do it every month or so?

It'll greatly help me decide what bike to get next (hopefully in the next couple weeks). I want something on the sport end of the spectrum (got a whole list of possibilities that happen to be chain driven), but if chain maintenance is going to be that much of a pain, I'll have to pony up for a Connie or stick with cruisers. I ride through the winter as much as possible...so 20 degree temps are possible for me to ride home in...will I really feel like staying out with the bike, lubing up a chain after two hours in that?

Thanks in advance for the help!
 

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If I had a choice, no. I'd definately look for shaft drive.
But that's just my opinion.
A lot would be determined by why I was riding that amount of miles:
If commuting, definately shaft.
With your weather--shaft drive.
If for pleasure, probably shaft but maybe belt.

I've ridden mostly chain drives except for my excursion into the world of GoldWings. I don't mind routine chain maintenance, but replacing chains and sprockets are a PITA.
 

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I used to be a shaft or belt only guy, wouldn't even look at a chain driven bike. Jodie on the other hand has only ever ridden chain driven bikes, so I've had to look after chains anyway. Well now I have a garage full of chain driven bikes. :) I figured out that I really don't care what the final drive is.

To ease chain maintenance I have installed ScottOilers on all our street bikes that get ridden the most. This makes chain maintenance pretty much set it and forget it. The bottle of lube lasts around 3000kms, so I simply check tension as required. Basically a non-issue now.

The ScottOilers aren't cheap and could pay for a lifetime supply of chain lube over the life of the bike but to me they are worth it in convenience and knowing the chain is properly lubed. They will extend the life of your chain so will save some money in the long run.

Scottoiler - Automatic Chain Lubrication System

There's a reason why most bikes still use a chain, they're a simple, efficient way to transfer power.
 

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Alien Test Subject
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3,515 Posts
I have no problem with chains. I've had lots of chain driven bikes over the years, with no issues.

Years ago, I used to have a 150 mile commute (round trip) that I did on an 83 Honda 750 Interceptor. Just checked the chain every time I cleaned the bike, and lubed and adjusted as necessary. I did eventually have to replace the chain and sprockets, but by that point the bike had 35k or 40k on it.

So don't be put off by a chain, if it's a bike that you really like. Used to be, they all were chain drive at one point (almost, anyway). Only thing you may want to consider is a rear swing-arm stand to get the back wheel off the ground. Can't remember the last time I saw a new bike with a center-stand on it. Upkeep on a chain is a PITA with just a kickstand. Lube chain, roll bike 6" forward, lube chain, roll bike 6" forward, lube chain, roll bike 6" forward... :lol:
 

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I have no problem with chains. I've had lots of chain driven bikes over the years, with no issues.

Years ago, I used to have a 150 mile commute (round trip) that I did on an 83 Honda 750 Interceptor. Just checked the chain every time I cleaned the bike, and lubed and adjusted as necessary. I did eventually have to replace the chain and sprockets, but by that point the bike had 35k or 40k on it.

So don't be put off by a chain, if it's a bike that you really like. Used to be, they all were chain drive at one point (almost, anyway). Only thing you may want to consider is a rear swing-arm stand to get the back wheel off the ground. Can't remember the last time I saw a new bike with a center-stand on it. Upkeep on a chain is a PITA with just a kickstand. Lube chain, roll bike 6" forward, lube chain, roll bike 6" forward, lube chain, roll bike 6" forward... :lol:
All three of our street bikes have center stands! ;)







I keep a swing arm stand around for lubing the DRs chains.
 

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I'm your Huckleberry
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Discussion Starter #6
Cool...thanks for the info guys. I like to have as many bikes as possible on my list to consider...makes finding one at a good deal that much easier.

Its funny you mention the 750 Interceptor with your 150 mile commute, Jaseman...I'm considering the 800 Interceptor for my commute. ;) Chain was my primary concern with that bike (along with finding one decently priced around here).
 

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Alien Test Subject
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My 750 was a lonnnnnng way off from that 800!! :lol: :lol:

The modern Interceptors make great commuter/tourers. Very comfy, and that silky smooth V4 is to die for.
 

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Cool...thanks for the info guys. I like to have as many bikes as possible on my list to consider...makes finding one at a good deal that much easier.

Its funny you mention the 750 Interceptor with your 150 mile commute, Jaseman...I'm considering the 800 Interceptor for my commute. ;) Chain was my primary concern with that bike (along with finding one decently priced around here).
My 750 was a lonnnnnng way off from that 800!! :lol: :lol:

The modern Interceptors make great commuter/tourers. Very comfy, and that silky smooth V4 is to die for.
That single sided swingarm makes tire changes a breeze too! 5 bolts and two minutes and the wheel is off. :) Tracy loves hers...

 

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Alien Test Subject
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I thought most sport bikes had chains?
Depends on how you define "sportbike" :tongue:

If it's anything that has a fairing, and is not a cruiser, than no. BMW's are shaft, as well as some of the sport-touring bikes.

If you mean in the purest definition of a race bike for the street, then yes, most sportbikes are chain driven.
 

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Norfolk,England
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240 Posts
I commute 500 miles a week on a chain drive Vstrom.

I have had a scotoiler fitted to all my bikes, and would recommend it to any regular rider.
As long as you clean the chain once a week to get to actual dirt off, I see no problem with commuting on chain drives bikes.
 

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Norfolk,England
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240 Posts
I
So don't be put off by a chain, if it's a bike that you really like. Used to be, they all were chain drive at one point (almost, anyway). Only thing you may want to consider is a rear swing-arm stand to get the back wheel off the ground. Can't remember the last time I saw a new bike with a center-stand on it. Upkeep on a chain is a PITA with just a kickstand. Lube chain, roll bike 6" forward, lube chain, roll bike 6" forward, lube chain, roll bike 6" forward... :lol:

I dunno if you have a similar thing in the US, but these bikestands are a good solution to a lack of centrestand, and much easier and safer to use than struggling alone with a paddock stand.

ABBA SUPERBIKE STAND

Use one on my Vstrom, they are not just for sportsbikes
 

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Politicians' Nightmare
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1,871 Posts
After years of riding bikes with chains - even chains with O-rings need lube for the sprockets, and since mine didn't have sealed chains lubing them even with motorcycle chain oil results in lube spots all over the back of the bike. When they hit hot chrome they bake on and are hard to get off. According to the manuals mine had to be lubed about every 250 miles. I never washed a chain - results in dirt and grit getting inside between the pins and rollers, and I never wore out a chain in nearly 40 years of riding and lots of miles.

But THANK HEAVEN or whatever for belt drive, and shaft drivers must feel the same way!
 

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frequently disturbs class
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2,220 Posts
Chains or no, If I was doing that every day, I'd want something comfy like an FJR or a Connie. 2 bills every day on a sportbike would get old fast.

BMW makes the 800st- counter balanced rotax twin with a belt drive. Good mileage too.

I would recommend a Bandit, but since the stock seat sucks so bad (I have mine torn down to the pan for a rebuild at this time) I can't really do that in good faith right now.
 
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