chain life expectancy?

Zeeb

Member
Apr 10, 2018
31
2
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So,... I got a china kit built and tuned up on a mountain bike frame. it's been a good commuter to and from work, until recently the chain started clunking and skipping a lot. Idler wheel adjustment did not resolve the issue, and I discovered the chain had a lot of side-to-side play, which looks like a worn out chain.

Finally tonight, the chain jumped off the engine sprocket and broke. The bike only has about 1,300 miles on it since being built.
I'm curious what kind of lifespan anyone else gets out of a motorized bike chain. I've been careful to lube the chain frequently, using plain old WD 40 like I do with standard bicycle chains.
 

Tyler6357

Well-Known Member
Mar 15, 2012
1,130
163
63
Santa Barbara, CA
Well, if it was made in China then quality will be inconsistent. These cheap parts fail all the time. You can get another one or get a better chain, I'm using a Wippermann 1R8 BMX chain.
 

xseler

Well-Known Member
Apr 14, 2013
2,883
126
63
OKC, OK
I use the same lube that I had for one of my motorcycles...…...the great quality O-ring chain has countless miles on it.
 

Venice Motor Bikes

Custom Builder / Dealer/Los Angeles
Mar 20, 2008
6,609
416
83
Los Angeles, CA.
Even a worn out chain shouldn't jump off the sprocket if the sprockets are set up correctly.

At this point, I advise inspecting both sprockets for damaged (or bent) teeth.
Then make sure the sprockets are perfectly in line with each other, & check that the rear sprocket doesn't have any side to side wobble & is also centered on the wheel perfectly (so the chain maintains the same tension as the wheel spins); & then install a new chain. ;)
 

crassius

Well-Known Member
Sep 30, 2012
4,032
155
63
USA
You know that when tensioner is at max, it can still be moved to the rear to get a better fit right?
standard chains will wear fairly quickly, but they are cheap enough - not handling clutch lightly and not having sprockets well aligned will wear a chain more quickly

I just bought 400 ft of american steel, grease impregnated chain that I'm hoping will last much longer than the motor.