Should a cam chain be stiff when new?

I just got my bottom end most the way back together on my YZ426 after putting in a WR tranny. The cam chain that I took out is very stiff and does not move freely. The previous owner told me be the bike had a new piston, cam chain and WR  tranny installed. I found the piston and WR tranny to be a complete line of BS, so I figure more than likely he was blowing smoke about the cam chain as well. I have a used cam chain that came with a cam chain guide I got off ebay, it moves freely and smoothly. 


Are cam chains usually very stiff when they are new? Like I can bend it into the shape of a pretzel and hold it up and it will stay that way... 


Edited by alping45

No that chain is old and unusable. They should not be stiff like that, that chain in there would be asking to jump time and do some damage

First chain also looks like it has some stiff links. I would buy a new one. Cheap insurance

for what they cost I would never install a used one,the damage it could cause from jumped timing just isn't worth it.

Pretty much what I figured. I see YBN chains pretty cheap on ebay, anyone know if they are worth while?

I just buy oem. Theyre only 23 $ here in canada

That's a 450 price.  OEM chains for the 426 are more expensive.  Nevertheless, I would not install the chain on the right unless I could cure it of being stiff by rinsing it in mineral spirits and dipping it in engine oil.  If that simple thing makes it free and limber, then fine.  If not, forget it.


The chain has to be free and smooth at every pin.  Bite the bullet and install a new OEM part.  Or rebuild a destroyed top end, or worse.

Yeah I can't seem to find an oem less than $50 with shipping. The YBN is $30 shipped on ebay. Anyone ever use one?

Err so know I'm in a pickle, I thought I had some time to order a new came chain because I've been waiting to get my cylinder back from Powerseal, I just found out it will be here Monday. So I'm on the fence about throwing the other used cam chain in instead of waiting for a new one to get here, is there any way I can inspect it to tell if it is stretched or worn? I tried cleaning the stiffened chain that came out, no luck. Even ran it in my ultrasonic cleaner with kerosone, n improvement.

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