Chain maintenance.

Discussion in 'Technical' started by Ozjourno, Mar 9, 2012.

  1. Ozjourno

    Ozjourno Ol'Timer

    I have not owned a bike with a chain drive for a long time...since in fact, about 1984. I am keen to maintain my Versys in the best mechanical condition possible and have recently heard about the Scottoiler. Has anyone got first hand experience with these systems and can anyone offer advice regarding vacuum vs electronic and about the ease of fitment?
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  3. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

  4. David Race

    David Race Ol'Timer

    Hi ozjourno
    I have a Scot oiler on my Sv Suzuki and my Ninja.
    I have done 180000ks on my Suzuki and only ever gone through 2 chains and 2 sets of sprockets.
    My Kawasakis chain and sprockets have not lasted any where near that long but I ride here in Thailand much harder and am nearly always 2 up.
    I bought my last Scot oiler in Australia and brought it back with me and Kawasaki in Chiangmai fitted it and they did a great job.
    I swear by these Scot oilers as it gives so much more life to your chain and is maintenance free.
    You wont get the miles out of your Versys as I did out of my Suzuki as the quality of the sprockets and chain on the Kawasaki is a little below par but you can be assured this will help stretch its life to the max.
    A Scot oiler is money well spent.
  5. Ozjourno

    Ozjourno Ol'Timer

    Thanks for your input. I will be ordering a Scott Oiler in the next week or so.
    And now for the post script:
    Nothing irks genuine motorcyclists more than someone else slagging off at their machines. I have spent some time today trying to find qualitative data which can support Dave Race's proposition that Kawasaki uses inferior materials. There is a vast amount of material dedicated to this proposition but it is argued by people who openly promote a personal vested interest. I have owned a multitude of motorcycles in the past 46 years of riding and can say emphatically that the difference between japanese brands, for me, has been one purely of personal preference based not upon build quality or performance, but on aesthetics and comfort. The bikes, for most ordinary mortals, are far better than their riders and with a little TLC, they will all last well into the future considering the high quality of materials used in their manufacture.The only disasters I have owned, were a 125 BSA Bantam (Old and buggered when I bought it), a MotoGuzzi Quota (New) and a Harley Davidson Heritage (New).
    I suspect the quality issue (Kwakka vs Suzuki) is more the stuff of urban legend than of any hard data.
    PPS. Both of my Kwakkas were bought new, both were and are excellent bikes. Two of the three Suzukis I bought were new and all three were also excellent bikes. For the record, the best motorcycle I ever owned was a Yamaha Royal Star Tour Classic featuring the 1300, detuned VMax engine.
  6. David Race

    David Race Ol'Timer

    Hi this may help you with the question on the parts Kawasaki use.
    There chain and sprockets are 520 which is about the smallest size made which are used on the Ninja and as far as I know the Versys.
    The Suzuki uses 525 sprockets and chain giving much longer life as they are bigger and stronger.
    Both my SV Suzuki and Kawasaki are 650s and twins so they are very similar.
    I can only get about 20000ks out of my Kawasaki up against 90000ks out of the Suzuki.
    Speaking to other guys in Chiangmai and also Kawasaki in Chiangmai this is about right ks for the sprocket and chain.
    If I can get my hands on 525 sprockets for the Ninja I will use them next time or may be order from the states Super Sprockets.
    In other words Kawasaki uses the cheapest option as the bike is made to a budget if it used 525 sprockets and chain this would make there life much longer.
    I hope this will help you understand.
  7. Ozjourno

    Ozjourno Ol'Timer

    I did not know all of this. Thanks Dave. Interesting to note many race sites recommend the 520 as it provides up to 600g weight reduction giving marginally better handling, a higher top speed and a difference in gear shift feel. I guess it is important when fractions of a second on a race track can make the difference between winning and also-ran. But for people like you and me, low tech means $ in the pocket. Interestingly the price difference between a full conversion set (both sprockets and chain 520 to 525) is less than the price of a cup of coffee. Even more interesting is that Kawasaki sites make no mention of any worthwhile upgrade. I will monitor my chain life and report back when it's dead.

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