Shortening Chain - Yes or No? - Suzuki GSX-R Motorcycle Forums Gixxer.com
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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Shortening Chain - Yes or No?

Recently took my 06 GSXR 600 in for a full service and was told that the bike/chain is nearing the end of its adjustment - that is, with the adjuster fully out, there is nearly too much slack.

The DID heavy duty X ring chain only has 4,000 km on it and was installed by the previous owner. The workshop said the chain is in excellent condition, not worn or anything and suspect because of that the previous owner installed the chain with too many links on it.

Rather than look at replacing a chain in great condition, is it possible to remove a link or two, to shorten it within spec?

If this is possible, is it recommended or a risky move?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 04:10 PM
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Re: Shortening Chain - Yes or No?

Yes, you can remove links.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 04:13 PM
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Re: Shortening Chain - Yes or No?

Determine if the chain has the number of OEM links,which is 110;before you decide to cut anything.
Also,are you running the 16/43 OEM gearing?
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 06:26 PM
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Re: Shortening Chain - Yes or No?

+1 on what OG said. Also some people purposely run an extra link or two to move the axle backwards on the swingarm. That may be what's happened to yours. A downside is that you have correspondingly less room to compensate for stretch.

It sounds like the shop did this but just to be sure, there are standard tests for chain stretch that involve measuring the distance between pins for 5 or 10 links. They need to be done before continuing to use a chain.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-11-2018, 07:24 AM
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Re: Shortening Chain - Yes or No?

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgixxer View Post
Determine if the chain has the number of OEM links,which is 110;before you decide to cut anything.
Also,are you running the 16/43 OEM gearing?
Agree. It it's stretched out, you need a new one. Also, it's important to adjust it so you have 1 inch of play (slack). If the chain is too tight, you limit rear shock movement. When the rear shock compresses and the swingarm moves, it lengthens the chain. If the chain is too tight, the rear shock will only move until the chain is taut, then the rear shock won't move any further.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-13-2018, 12:40 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Shortening Chain - Yes or No?

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgixxer View Post
Determine if the chain has the number of OEM links,which is 110;before you decide to cut anything.
Also,are you running the 16/43 OEM gearing?
Quote:
Originally Posted by BillV View Post
+1 on what OG said. Also some people purposely run an extra link or two to move the axle backwards on the swingarm. That may be what's happened to yours. A downside is that you have correspondingly less room to compensate for stretch.

It sounds like the shop did this but just to be sure, there are standard tests for chain stretch that involve measuring the distance between pins for 5 or 10 links. They need to be done before continuing to use a chain.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Superbike Racer View Post
Agree. It it's stretched out, you need a new one. Also, it's important to adjust it so you have 1 inch of play (slack). If the chain is too tight, you limit rear shock movement. When the rear shock compresses and the swingarm moves, it lengthens the chain. If the chain is too tight, the rear shock will only move until the chain is taut, then the rear shock won't move any further.
I got around to checking it all out and this is what is on the bike:

Chain Length: 116 pins/rivets (58 links)
Rear Sprocket: 41 teeth
Front Sprocket: 17 teeth


So if you are right and 110 is stock, then it seems like the chain is much longer than it needs to be, which is why I have run out of room to adjust it so early in the chain's life. The previous owner must have put the chain on as it came, rather than shortening to size.

My plan is to purchase a chain breaker & installer and a master link, and adjust the chain to either 110 or 112 links - what's the advice here?

Last edited by endoftheline; 10-13-2018 at 12:42 AM.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-13-2018, 11:35 AM
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Re: Shortening Chain - Yes or No?

Quote:
Originally Posted by endoftheline View Post
I got around to checking it all out and this is what is on the bike:

Chain Length: 116 pins/rivets (58 links)
Rear Sprocket: 41 teeth
Front Sprocket: 17 teeth


So if you are right and 110 is stock, then it seems like the chain is much longer than it needs to be, which is why I have run out of room to adjust it so early in the chain's life. The previous owner must have put the chain on as it came, rather than shortening to size.

My plan is to purchase a chain breaker & installer and a master link, and adjust the chain to either 110 or 112 links - what's the advice here?
110 is probably fine with that gearing
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-13-2018, 12:54 PM
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Re: Shortening Chain - Yes or No?

Are you sure about those tooth counts? As I understand it, the OEM gearing was 16/43. 17/41 is 11.4% higher. That's like a 7th gear. People here commonly go down in gearing for stronger acceleration. You're going in the opposite direction by a fair amount. That's very unusual AFAIK.

P.S. The strange gearing and very long chain length makes me wonder if the PO just put anything on the bike when he changed things. I see that 17/41 is used by the 08-2010 ZX10R. Haven't bothered to check but it also might use a longer chain.

P.P.S. Suggest that you go back to the OEM gearing.
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Last edited by BillV; 10-14-2018 at 12:07 AM. Reason: Added P.S. and P.P.S.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-13-2018, 05:57 PM
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Re: Shortening Chain - Yes or No?

I think they important point here is to measure the number of millimeters over 10 or 15 or whatever links (whatever the specs are). THAT tells you if it's stretched, cut or whatever. I would also highly recommend you use a master link with rivets, not a clip. To put on the rivets, you really do need an expensive chain tool--do NOT use a C-clamp.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-14-2018, 05:09 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Shortening Chain - Yes or No?

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Originally Posted by BillV View Post
Are you sure about those tooth counts? As I understand it, the OEM gearing was 16/43. 17/41 is 11.4% higher. That's like a 7th gear. People here commonly go down in gearing for stronger acceleration. You're going in the opposite direction by a fair amount. That's very unusual AFAIK.

P.S. The strange gearing and very long chain length makes me wonder if the PO just put anything on the bike when he changed things. I see that 17/41 is used by the 08-2010 ZX10R. Haven't bothered to check but it also might use a longer chain.

P.P.S. Suggest that you go back to the OEM gearing.

Yes I am 100% sure the tooth counts are correct. I counted each sprocket 4 times to be sure

When I bought the bike from the previous owner, the speedo was out by around 10% and I had to purchase a speedo healer and do the maths then to fix it. The PO said he changed the gearing to make things more comfortable/smoother on longer highway rides.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-14-2018, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Shortening Chain - Yes or No?

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Originally Posted by Superbike Racer View Post
I think they important point here is to measure the number of millimeters over 10 or 15 or whatever links (whatever the specs are). THAT tells you if it's stretched, cut or whatever. I would also highly recommend you use a master link with rivets, not a clip. To put on the rivets, you really do need an expensive chain tool--do NOT use a C-clamp.
I'll do that first as a precaution, however the shop that did the service said specifically that the chain was in "excellent" condition which is why they were confused about having barely any adjustment room left.

Definitely will be using a master link - that is what is currently on there. I will purchase a new one and a chain tool too.

Thanks for the advice
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-14-2018, 06:04 PM
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Re: Shortening Chain - Yes or No?

Suzuki recommends that the stretch not exceed .6% (others use different values). Measure the roller diameter with a caliper. Then measure the inside distance between ten rollers with the chain in light tension. Compare your measurement with 6.25x(1+S)-R, where S is the allowable stretch and R is the roller diameter. The measured length should be less than that. For example for a roller diameter of .4", the inside distance should be less than 6.25*1.006-.4 = 5.888". Measure in several places. Suzuki talks about doing this for twenty rollers but it requires a longer caliper that most people don't have.
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