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Discussion Starter #1
Best I can figure, this started at about 1,900 miles on my '08 250.

My friends were walking a couple blocks to get home after dropping the car off at the auto-shop and, when I passed, slowed, and returned to them, they told me that my "chain was making a very bad rattling noise." I told them that I always hear a lot of rattling when I down-shift past neutral while holding the clutch and traveling faster than appropriate for the gear (only intending to release the clutch after slowing or after returning it to neutral when stopping). I told them that "clunky entry into first gear" seemed to be a common complaint for many bikes and that I believe that this is what they were talking about. They insisted otherwise, so I checked the chain and the slack seemed OK (I didn't have a measuring tape) and the tire seemed like it *could* be ever-so-slightly out of alignment. I didn't have a rear stand to do much else, so I went back to my original hypothesis and just assumed that they exaggerated it because I was passing, slowing, and circling them repeatedly the whole way home.

One week later, I squeeze the clutch while still traveling and I here a loud enough ticking to hear even with my helmet closed. I doubt it's there while the clutch is released, but the extra engine noise while engaged may mask it. Two separate people have described it as a the kind of sound putting a card in bicycle spokes would cause, though a bit quieter than that. It certainly sounds like my chain rattling against something. One of those two friends has heard this since it became audible to me and says that it is exactly what they were trying to tell me about last week.

After adding another 300mi since last week, if anything, the other side of the tire had slipped a little and it was now in perfect alignment. :D I got a measuring tape and checked the chain slack (again) finding it with about 1.2" of movement (loose). BUT. A local bike cop professng to also race and repair bikes (intends to race a 250 in WERA) approached me while I was checking and told me that that was the "perfect amount of slack." The manual says .8 inches max, so it does need some tightening regardless of what he says, but he went on to say that the noise was nothing to worry about and that I should just lube it (it certainly needs it after 2,200 miles!). Huh. It certainly sounds more concerning than that.

Anyway, I searched the forum and I see people discussing the Cam Chain Tensioner or something in the classic bikes that sounds like a similar concern, but I don't see something described exactly the same regarding the completely different '08s.

I'm hoping it isn't anything to worry about (like he said) so I won't have to get it serviced, but I don't have the stand, cotter pins, torque wrench, etc to tighten the chain myself, so I'm going to have to take it in soon anyway (unless you guys agree that 1.2" is "perfect").
 

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chain is supposed to be lubed about every 400 miles... more often if ridden in the rain. Have you lubed it all in 2200miles? :confused:
 

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Powerhungry
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its probably a dry chain. like kelly said, it should be done every 400 miles. it will greatly reduce the life of the chain if it isnt done.

and .8" sounds way too tight. are you sure thats what the manual calls for? in fact, i would consider 1.2" on the tight side of OK.

edit: oh, IF you want to tighten, or loosen the chain. you dont need a stand. do it while on the sidestand. and, im pretty sure the manual says to do it that way.
you already have a cotter pin..its on the bike now. reuse it.

before you ask, i recommend MAXIMA chain WAX.
 

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Sorry to piggyback off this thread but I recently bought one of those spray on chain lube. However, the spray lube is almost like... white paint. I shook the can like the direction says and just tried spraying it on a cardboard until clear lube came out but never did. Is the lube supposed to be a white residue? I'm 100% sure the lube is for motorcycles.
 

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0.8 slack is a MINIMUM amount of slack....as in, you must have at least that much.

All this is in the manual that came with your bike, you'd think people would actually read these things.
Page 108, Drive Chain Slack, Standard 20 ~ 30mm (0.8 ~ 1.2in.)
Pages 107 to 110 in the manual, you know....the one you got with the bike, cover chain inspection and adjustment.
 

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Powerhungry
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Sorry to piggyback off this thread but I recently bought one of those spray on chain lube. However, the spray lube is almost like... white paint. I shook the can like the direction says and just tried spraying it on a cardboard until clear lube came out but never did. Is the lube supposed to be a white residue? I'm 100% sure the lube is for motorcycles.
some leave a white residue. i suggest maxima WAX.
0.8 slack is a MINIMUM amount of slack....as in, you must have at least that much.

All this is in the manual that came with your bike, you'd think people would actually read these things.
Page 108, Drive Chain Slack, Standard 20 ~ 30mm (0.8 ~ 1.2in.)
Pages 107 to 110 in the manual, you know....the one you got with the bike, cover chain inspection and adjustment.
yes, thats what i thought.
.8" is pretty tight.
i think my 636 is like 1.2-1.5"
 

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Also, just to kind of go over the wax vs spray on lube as told to me by my mechanic.
Wax = harder to apply to chain (when compared to spray), will last a little longer.
Spray = easier application, will tend to "sling off" since it's not as dense as wax and therefore may need to be applied more often.

Personally I use spray because it is somewhat easier to apply.
Here's what I do, ymmv. I'll put the bike up on my rear stand so I can spin the rear tire freely. Then I'll spray the chain as its moving and let it go anywhere from 6~8 full revolutions under full spray. This will also help knock some of the debris out of the chain...which is the other reason I use spray. Lastly, I run a clean cloth over the chain once or twice to get off any excess so it doesnt make a mess next time I ride.
 

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Powerhungry
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Also, just to kind of go over the wax vs spray on lube as told to me by my mechanic.
Wax = harder to apply to chain (when compared to spray), will last a little longer.
Spray = easier application, will tend to "sling off" since it's not as dense as wax and therefore may need to be applied more often.

Personally I use spray because it is somewhat easier to apply.
Here's what I do, ymmv. I'll put the bike up on my rear stand so I can spin the rear tire freely. Then I'll spray the chain as its moving and let it go anywhere from 6~8 full revolutions under full spray. This will also help knock some of the debris out of the chain...which is the other reason I use spray. Lastly, I run a clean cloth over the chain once or twice to get off any excess so it doesnt make a mess next time I ride.
this really isnt the palce but...

theres really no difference in the application for the 2. theyre both a SPRAY.
and, the way u are doing it, you're wasting ALOT of lube, and probably making quite the mess.
i do it similar tho. but, only spraying small sections at a time.(basically 1 link at a time) with the tire STOPPED while spraying.

also, its BEST to ride the bike for 15-20 min PRIOR to lubing. this will warm it up so, helping to pull the lube INSIDE, where its needed.
 

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Sorry to piggyback off this thread but I recently bought one of those spray on chain lube. However, the spray lube is almost like... white paint. I shook the can like the direction says and just tried spraying it on a cardboard until clear lube came out but never did. Is the lube supposed to be a white residue? I'm 100% sure the lube is for motorcycles.
The lube I have been using for the past 4 years is indeed white, and works just fine. It doesn't dry white though.
 

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theres really no difference in the application for the 2. theyre both a SPRAY.
and, the way u are doing it, you're wasting ALOT of lube, and probably making quite the mess.
Ya, not saying my way was the best...just what works for me. I dont mind buying a can of lube every couple of months. :)
nevada said:
also, its BEST to ride the bike for 15-20 min PRIOR to lubing. this will warm it up so, helping to pull the lube INSIDE, where its needed.
Didn't know this one, good tip.
 

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Ya, not saying my way was the best...just what works for me. I dont mind buying a can of lube every couple of months. :)

Didn't know this one, good tip.
I'm pretty sure that's how it tells you to do it in the manual.
 

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lol, 2200 miles, i wax my chain about every week...sometimes every two, weeks depending on how much i ride...lol
 

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How are those sprocket teeth looking????

Everything is better with lube. It just feels better. The bike I mean of course.
 

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Man, just goes to show how much of a noob I am. Had the bike for 1,500 miles and haven't lubed the chain once. I thought lube lasted a lot longer than that.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
chain is supposed to be lubed about every 400 miles... more often if ridden in the rain. Have you lubed it all in 2200miles? :confused:
I've asked for it at each service, but they dismiss a hell of a lot of what I tell them the manual says I need at each service (cotter pins, O-rings, etc).

I rode it a solid 500mi home, just crossing my 600mi service and taking it in the next day. Over the phone (before bringing it in), I asked to know specifically which items from the service chart they would be doing and they just blew me off saying "yeah, all that kind of stuff." Because of that non-specific response, I extracted the relevant stuff from the manual's all-encompassing chart to simplify the requirements for specifically the 600mi service interval and typed it up so I could hand them a printed copy. They just glanced at it and said "yeah, we do all that." Because of this nonchalant dismissal, I knew that I had to specifically point out that, though they fall within it, the chain lube (400mi) and slack inspection (600mi) aren't exactly part of the 600mi service, and I asked if I would be getting that. Their answer was the same "yeah probably we do most of that" kinda response I was getting before, so I just explicitly said that I would need those too because I rode over 500mi to get it to them and I didn't have a rear stand.

They gave it back to me with the rear tire out-of-alignment, so I had to take it back again a week later.

In case it's useful for anyone else trying to get full service from a dealer, this is exactly what I printed and tried to give them (does not include CA requirements):

Code:
2008 Ninja 250R 600mi service interval (extracted from full periodic maintenace chart):

Operation (Engine Items)

	Throttle control system (play, smooth return, no drag) - inspect (e)
	Choke operation - inspect
	Idle speed - inspect (e)
K	Fuel leak (fuel hose and pipe) - inspect
K	fuel hoses damage - inspect
K	fuel hoses installation condition - inspect
	Coolant level - inspect
	Coolant leak - inspect
	Radiator hose damage - inspect
	Radiator hoses installation condition - inspect

Operation (Chassis Items)
-Clutch and drive train:
K	Clutch operation (play, engagement, disengagement) - inspect
	Drive chain lubrication condition - inspect # (every 400mi) *
	Drive chain slack - inspect # (every 600mi) *
-Brake system:
	Brake fluid leak - inspect
	Brake hoses damage - inspect
	Brake hose installation condition - inspect
	Brake fluid level - inspect
	Brake operation (effectiveness, play, drag) - inspect
	Brake light switch operation - inspect
-Steering System:
K	Steering play - inspect
-Chassis:
	Bolts and nuts tightness - inspect

Change/Replacement Items
	Engine oil #
	Oil filter

Legend	K: Should be serviced by an authorized Kawasaki dealer
		Note: Additional service procedures require an
		authorized Kawasaki dealer if you do not have
		the proper tool (I do not).
	#: Service more frequently when operating in severe
	conditions: dusty, wet, muddy , high speed, or frequent
	starting/stopping.
	(e): Emission Related item
	*: Not explicitly listed as part of the 600mi service
They told me that the O-rings and cotter pins didn't have to be replaced every time your oil is changed and the chain/alignment adjusted, though the manual says so. It's clear that they didn't do much of this. Without me saying anything, they caught the clutch cable play that I knew was excessive, but they didn't itemize what they checked, changed, or lubed, so I can't confirm if they ever lubed it.

I've brought it in for a couple reasons twice since and they are always telling me that I don't need to do things as often as the manual says without saying what has or hasn't been done.

its probably a dry chain. like kelly said, it should be done every 400 miles. it will greatly reduce the life of the chain if it isnt done.

and .8" sounds way too tight. are you sure thats what the manual calls for? in fact, i would consider 1.2" on the tight side of OK.

edit: oh, IF you want to tighten, or loosen the chain. you dont need a stand. do it while on the sidestand. and, im pretty sure the manual says to do it that way.
you already have a cotter pin..its on the bike now. reuse it.

before you ask, i recommend MAXIMA chain WAX.
Thanks. I still need cotter pins and a torque wrench ("If a torque wrench is not available, this item should be serviced by a Kawasaki dealer." p110) but that's cheap enough. Now, if I could only get them to tell me what size/type of cotter pin and where I can get them in advance... I mean, I'd like to have them BEFORE I need them. I don't want to leave the bike disabled while I take one off just to go find a replacement with no other reason for removing it.

And, yeah, the manual said .8 - 1.2" so it's actually on the loose side of their recommendations. Mine was slightly more than 1.2" but the officer insisted on measuring the difference between raising and releasing the chain rather than raising and pulling down.

As for doing it on its side stand, I kinda thought that removing the pins and loosening the nuts was a recipe for disaster if you don't have the bike supported by something else. Now I know better. :) The manual actually doesn't say how they expect you to do it, though they do tell you to rotate the wheel (pg107, 110, 112).

0.8 slack is a MINIMUM amount of slack....as in, you must have at least that much.

All this is in the manual that came with your bike, you'd think people would actually read these things.
Page 108, Drive Chain Slack, Standard 20 ~ 30mm (0.8 ~ 1.2in.)
Pages 107 to 110 in the manual, you know....the one you got with the bike, cover chain inspection and adjustment.
Oh. You mean the manual I had next to me opened to those very pages while I was lying on the ground with the measuring tape? ;) I've read every word... doesn't mean I've memorized it.

I got interrupted by the officer while I was doing it, but I did inspect the teeth and measure the slack (a little more than 1.2"). Due to the interruption, I didn't get to immediately compare it more closely with the manual once I had made my measurement, I just knew that the 1.2" measurement (rounded DOWN) was too loose.

Also, just to kind of go over the wax vs spray on lube as told to me by my mechanic.
Wax = harder to apply to chain (when compared to spray), will last a little longer.
Spray = easier application, will tend to "sling off" since it's not as dense as wax and therefore may need to be applied more often.

Personally I use spray because it is somewhat easier to apply.
Here's what I do, ymmv. I'll put the bike up on my rear stand so I can spin the rear tire freely. Then I'll spray the chain as its moving and let it go anywhere from 6~8 full revolutions under full spray. This will also help knock some of the debris out of the chain...which is the other reason I use spray. Lastly, I run a clean cloth over the chain once or twice to get off any excess so it doesnt make a mess next time I ride.
Yes, this is why I really need a rear-stand (a youtuber already demonstrated it this way on his 250). Anyone know where to find a cheapy?

Oh! And, what about "vs. the oil suggested in the manual" (SAE 90; p114)? I was all ready to go buy an oil can.

lol, 2200 miles, i wax my chain about every week...sometimes every two, weeks depending on how much i ride...lol
I've specifically told the dealer to do it when servicing, I just have my reasons to doubt that they did.

How are those sprocket teeth looking????
Excellent.

Man, just goes to show how much of a noob I am. Had the bike for 1,500 miles and haven't lubed the chain once. I thought lube lasted a lot longer than that.
If you talked to the shitty local dealer here, they would've told you that ANYTHING didn't really need to be replaced or performed yet if it meant getting out of some work. That's what they said about my O-rings after an oil change, my cotter pins after the tire alignment, and my air cleaner after riding it through rain and mud from the mountain dealership (pg96).
 

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Powerhungry
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ok, sometimes youve got to be careful, "going by the book" for example, on my 636, the manual says oil changes....every 7500 miles. um, i dont think so.

and as far as the cotter pin, you CAN reuse it. several times even. theyre made to be reused.

but thats cool. theyre cheap. you can replace it. BUT, for some reason, if you didnt have one. u tried to reuse yours, and it broke..whatever. ANYTHING, a nail, a piece wire, pretty much whatever you can fit in there. UNTIL a suitable replacement is found. so the bike really wouldnt be broke down..ya know.

also, in all my years, ive NEVER had to tighten a nut, to get the cotter pin out. meaning, if the nut had loosed slightly, just far enough to TOUCH the pin. this IS the reason for the cotter pin.
if the nut is torqued properly, the pin is really redundant, and sort of a "back up plan"
 

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Cotter pin size for the rear wheel is 5/8" by 1-1/4". Went to my local Ace Hardware but they didn't have 1-1/4", only 1" and 1-1/2". Bought one of each to try out (1" cost 9 cents, 1-1/2" 10 cents). 1-1/2" is too long, doesn't allow you to bend the short end over all the way, 1" worked just fine.
 

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Powerhungry
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Cotter pin size for the rear wheel is 5/8" by 1-1/4". Went to my local Ace Hardware but they didn't have 1-1/4", only 1" and 1-1/2". Bought one of each to try out (1" cost 9 cents, 1-1/2" 10 cents). 1-1/2" is too long, doesn't allow you to bend the short end over all the way, 1" worked just fine.
5/8" thats kinda big..aint it?:p

maybe 1/8"x1-1/4"?
 
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