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WR250R chain guides and sliders.

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As discussed earlier on the WRR gearing thread, which evolved into this:

I just found out that the chain slider/block arrangement attached to the swingarm can sometimes be chewed through on the bottom run by the chain. On most bikes, you'll be unlikely to catch this because the countershaft sprocket cover hides it. Then one day, you find your swingarm chewed up after you remove this cover for whatever reason.

I have a Zeta cover on mine, as I had problems with sticks, leaves and other assorted woods goodies packing in there, and was tired of pulling the cover and cleaning it out. It doesn't cover anywhere near as much, allowing all the crud to just fall out on it's own. It will also allow shoe laces to take a lap on the front sprocket. Don't say you weren't warned. Another aspect of the Zeta cover is quick and easy inspection of everything that is normally hidden in stock form. The last aspect is you can see the buildup of chain lube and other mung. Whatever...it is a dirt bike, not a showpiece.

I thought that I had heard of the most common problems, but this was a new one to me. I'm more clueless than I had hoped; that's not likely to improve.

Please feel free to chime in on this. How serious it is, is unknown to me.

I consider the following contributes to the likelihood of a problem:

- smaller front sprocket

- lowering link

- chain rollers on frame: stock, not working, aftermarket, different diameter, etc.

- how often your rear suspension gets near the bottom of the travel range.

- loose chain. Or tight chain, more likely than loose. Loose only a factor if it is flopping around a huge amount.

My guess is the effect is most likely additive from all of the above.

Since for whatever reason my posting of photos doesn't work for me as intended, I'll refer you to here:

http://i1178.photobucket.com/albums/x372/Yamaguy55/MotoPhotos/IMG_0474.jpg?t=1306421929

Edited by Yamaguy55
Better, revised thought, in red/bold.

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I rode a 2008 WR-250R for a bit over a year (with a 12/47 sprockets), and now ride a 2008 WR-250X.

On both of these bikes, the chain slider looks as they always have on any other bikes I've owned:

A couple shallow grooves worn from the chain sliding over it on both the top and bottom sides, but that's it.

At this rate, it will last for as long as I own the bike I'm now riding.

For some reason, it seems to me the bikes with the slider sawed through had the lower run of the chain pressed into it under tension with the rear suspension being compressed, pulling the chain upward into the slider with enough force (and regularity) to eventually saw through.

Perhaps with a lot of off-throttle engine braking tensioning the lower run of the chain, too.

In my mind, the worst combination would be a WR-250R or X with alots of gear piled onto a rear fender rack squashing the rear suspension, a too-tight drive chain, and lots of coasting off the throttle.

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Agreed. On the road to a job today, I had plenty of pondering time. Just me and the occasional tractor on the route I took. It has to be the combination you mentioned. I don't carry gear, and the chain isn't too tight. I am actually considering pulling my shock, or the linkage, and seeing what the chain does in various levels of suspension compression. The return trip home after dark had just me and the frogs this time, and I can see no other way for this to happen other than what you said. If I don't get lazy, I'll post the results of my non-scientific experiment.

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Don't get lazy, I'm looking forward to hearing how this turns out. And to reply to a previous question, best I remember this has happened with on bikes with and without the Yamalink.

Sarah

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Don't get lazy, I'm looking forward to hearing how this turns out. And to reply to a previous question, best I remember this has happened with on bikes with and without the Yamalink.

Sarah

Thanks Sarah, you're so kind.....

Just what I need: another "Get back to work, you lazy dog" input. All you need is the whip to make it official. :smirk: Depends on how today goes; I'm running another 55+ hour week so far, only so much of this old goat to go around. I've been doing them non stop for over a month. I can probably entice my across the street neighbor into assisting, he seems to enjoy this sort of thing. Other than access for removing the top bolt from the shock, it shouldn't be too hard. I have the jacks, tools and what looks like a nice rainy day to pull it off.

I'll give this as an up-front prediction: it is as stated above, with weight load and engine braking and too tight a chain as the contributing factors.

On the plus side, I was just contacted by my addiction parlor (motorcycle dealer) that my XT1200Z Super Tenere will be delivered by the end of August. For those not in the loop: it is one of those priority delivery program bikes, lay down your deposit, last September in my case, with original delivery starting in May. The tsunami and earthquake changed all of that. First to July, then to November. I'll tell you I have little use for a motorcycle around Thanksgiving at this location. The snow blower is already on the JD and has been tested.

The PDP thing was the same as they did for the FJR1300, as they didn't think us cruiser-addicted Americans would buy it. Obviously, with the FJR now a staple item, it is desirable over here. We miss out on a lot of interesting hardware in this country because so many think they want a cruiser. Or something with a very large, low-tech engine. Many do, but I'll bet many more would get something different if they could get past the image thing and actually road tested something else.

It looks like I may end up finding a new home for the FZ, I ride it too much on dirt roads anyway. It will be redundant with the S10. I'd like to find a future owner that will treat the girl right. She's a cutie and very cooperative.

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Congrats on that new baby! Now back to the really important stuff, here's some more reading:

http://wr250rforum.forumotion.com/t1896-swing-arm-unders-side-groves-from-chain#17493

Sarah

Not a new baby. Had it since 2004.

You're getting awfully bossy.:smirk:

As far as info in link. I originally thought it was related to too much chain slack. I am currently of the opinion that it is more related to load, suspension compression and too snug chain tension. What was posted earlier sounds correct: chain is under tension and is sawing through the guard, if it was merely sloppy, it would mark it up, but not saw through.

So Sarah:hop on your WRR and come over here and we'll put you to work as official photographer/jack jacker and take both of our bikes apart and get to the bottom of this. :smirk:

Then you can put them both back together as practice. I'm tired, and need to hit the road and go do things......Someone has to go earn the dog food in this house.

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By new baby I meant the Tenere, happy to hear those are on the way.

I hear you and YZ on a tight chain acting as a saw and so forth, but.... When I had the trouble my chain was obviously loose, but not ridiculously so. It sort of had that lazy, relaxed look that the old DR and XT had as an eveyday practice. But it was loose by WR standards. As far as a load, I think I'd been on one 1500 mile weekend road trip, loaded light.

Since then, (12,000 miles or so) I've watched the chain like a paranoid hawk, and run it on the tight side if anything. I hauled everything but the kitchen sink all over Newfoundland-Labrador for 6,000 miles last summer over terrible road conditions. I have some grooves in my slider top and bottom, but no more than I'd expect. I'm not trying to argue, just telling you about my experience. Maybe part of it was those stupid '08 rubber-ringed sprockets. Heck if I know, and don't give this another thought; sounds like you are working too hard already. Enjoy the weekend!

Sarah

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I was just being a wise guy.... Yes, the new baby thing blew right by me. It has been a tough week, got home last night after 9. (started at 8AM) I'm more than well aware you're not arguing, many do, but you're not on that list. You're probably the least argumentative one on here. I can't claim I am.

You may have something there about the rubber sprockets. After I took mine off at the tire swap/regear project last fall, I haven't had any of the skipping or whatever was going on. I still get the slapping on the swingarm guide if I lug the engine too much, but I would say that's normal. However, I don't see that as a contributing factor to the swingarm guide problem, unless it has to do with the chain being momentarily levered off the sprocket by the rubber part. That would have the super-tight/loose thing going, would could account for it killing off the swingarm guard.

I'm still going to try my scheme, as i want to go over all the swingarm bearings and seals, plus the wheel. The proper chain tension is the one where there is just a little slack at the tightest point of the arm movement. If I pull the shock, and remove the spring, then reinstall it, I can manually move the wheel through the full range of travel and get the real story. Or have several of my friends and neighbors sit on it at the same time, and by adding one, checking, then repeating, get the story that way. pretty soon it will look like some of the third world transportation shots I have from my mandatory globe-trotting days with Uncle Sam. The best was eight people on a Yamaha DT175, all adults, in Ecuador. Obviously, a tough bike.

As far as the S10 goes: since I was in that area yesterday, I stopped by my addiction parlor (Yamaha dealer), and had a few spare State Forest maps in the car. For whatever reason, PA doesn't publicize the riding areas I frequent west of here, so I pick up a bunch of maps every time I go past the headquarters building. I dropped them off at the dealer, they had never heard of this area being set aside for motorcycles. They asked for more info, so I showed them photos, some of which are posted on my photobucket account.

The end result was being asked if I'd like to give a slide show next winter (they do lots of things to keep year-round interest up at the dealer) and maybe even play tour guide for Tiger and Tenere owners sometime in the future. The area I'm referring to is ideal for big trailies like the Tenere, KLRs, Tigers, etc, but there's also the gnarly tough stuff for the hard core. I don't think I've ridden half of it yet, and I have covered a lot over there. It is a vast area. I'm going to a new section Monday, back where my photobucket album shows the part overlooking I80. The FZ isn't suitable for the rest of the roads in that area.

I will post my findings on the chain issue, just probably not this weekend. We'll see. I have more zip this morning than I thought I would.

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Well, I didn't have enough zip to pull everything apart today, it is hot and humid and I'm tired and old. But: I did put enough people/weight on the bike to get a really good chain tension spec. I have a Yamalink installed, so this only applies to those with similar geometry. I have about 3.2-3.5 inches of sag from unladen to my weight, stand up, only one foot on floor for balance. I tried both feet on pegs, got about the same measurement, so it is close enough. I measured from the ground to the center of the helmet lock keyhole. That is total sag, I made the effort to lift the bike up to take out quiescent sag. I weigh about 160 pounds without gear, so this is my setting that works for me. It doesn't matter what your tire size is, the sag is the sag.

Proper chain tension with the bike on the stand, unladen, is about 1.75-2.00 inches in the middle of the lower run. Anything tighter causes binding when the suspension is compressed. I started tight, and kept loosening and checking until I came up with this setting. It will probably seem a bit loose, but with the ribbed chain swingarm guard, and the chain guide at the lower rear, it shouldn't be an issue. If others are tightening their chain more than this, it could very well be the answer. Too tight a chain does unfortunate things to transmission bearings, chains, sprockets and wheel bearings.

More when I get ambitious, unless Sarah wants to take hers apart first....:smirk:

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Thank you for taking the time to do that! Hope you have good weather for your ride tomorrow.

Sarah

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It should be good, although very hot and muggy. It's raining right now, but will blow through soon enough. Tomorrow will be high 80s, low 90s. A bit rough for ATGATT, but if I keep moving and wear my camelback, I'll be ok. I really prefer 50s and 60s for riding: I can wear what I should be wearing, and not roast or freeze.

One thing I've never been all that pleased with on the WRR is what I felt was the harshness of the front suspension over square edged bumps. So yesterday afternoon, I started playing with the compression adjustments of the forks. The previous owner had twiddled with every adjustment and had them all set to odd, conflicting settings. I though I had found them all, but the left fork compression setting was one I apparently missed; it was set way to stiff. Now it works just like it should. I have them both at 12 clicks out. Like my high school buddy used to say: "lookee there, I'm getting ready to be as dumb as a stick." ( he was every bit the one man quote machine that Yogi Berra was) Shows what you get for thinking. Needless to say, I went and checked both fork rebounds, and the shock is already been sorted when I installed the link. I normally double and triple check everything, habits learned from years on various jobs. Guess I didn't check that one.

back to the chain: If anyone is going to use the revised Yamaha settings of 8-13mm of play, my guess is that you don't have a lowering link. I'd be really careful that it isn't too tight. Busted hubs and transmission bearing life measured in weeks is the result of too tight a chain. The chain seems to be at its tightest point when the swingarm is just about parallel with the ground, maybe a bit lower or higher, but not much. So add the friend, wife, kids, dog, whatever, then measure your play. Should have around 1/4-3/4 inch play at the tightest point to compensate for tight/loose spots on chain. I realize this isn't very scientific, but i'll pull the shock, remove the spring, reinstall and do it right soon enough.

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If you're wanting to swing the swingarm through it's range of motion without having to compress the shock, all you need to do is remove the shock linkage pieces.

I do believe you can just leave the shock hanging from it's upper mount.

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Yes, I thought of that. Since I'm trying to get a feel for why the slider gets eaten, I figured by having the shock without the spring, I could know just how far the travel really was. Linkage out, I would have no way of really knowing. I'm sure I'll hit the bumper/snubber long before I got to coil bind.

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I looked at mine today. 3300 miles, not a scratch. 12t up front for about the last 1000 miles. I've also rode with a passenger for over a 100 miles. I weigh 160 w/o gear.

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If anyone is going to use the revised Yamaha settings of 8-13mm of play,
I interpreted the Yamaha bulletin number of 8-13mm to be the distance from the top of the chain to the bottom of the swing arm, which the bulletin identifies as clearance; not play, as in total distance the chain swings up and down.

PS here are my chain play/clearance numbers:

http://rickramsey.net/WR250Rmaintenance.htm

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I interpreted the Yamaha bulletin number of 8-13mm to be the distance from the top of the chain to the bottom of the swing arm, which the bulletin identifies as clearance; not play, as in total distance the chain swings up and down.

PS here are my chain play/clearance numbers:

http://rickramsey.net/WR250Rmaintenance.htm

Thanks. I looked at your site in the past, lots of really good info for all. :smirk:

I looked at it again, and I think someone could read it both ways. It seems the chain slapping the swingarm guard or even the chain guide led to the bulletin.

I've always been a too loose rather than too tight chain adjust guy. Obviously, you wouldn't want it really loose, but I've seen some chains trying to be guitar strings.

I'm still intrigued as to why the lower run of the swingarm guide/protector would be ripped off and the arm chewed up. I'll eventually figure it out. (I'm one of those)

But right now, I'm going to get some chow, suit up, and head out on the WRR to new areas of the SF that I haven't been to yet.

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I looked at mine today. 3300 miles, not a scratch. 12t up front for about the last 1000 miles. I've also rode with a passenger for over a 100 miles. I weigh 160 w/o gear.

Was the passenger happy after that distance? :smirk: I would rate the WRR slightly better than an old DT1 for passenger comfort, and that wasn't comfortable. I have my passenger accommodations in the box with the rest of the unused stuff.

Do you have a lowering link?

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Was the passenger happy after that distance? :smirk: I would rate the WRR slightly better than an old DT1 for passenger comfort, and that wasn't comfortable. I have my passenger accommodations in the box with the rest of the unused stuff.

Do you have a lowering link?

Heck no! I'm not happy after a 100 miles, lol. Those were just a couple 20 mile trips from her house to mine and back.

I don't have a lowering link.

As far as chain tension, do you think people may be measuring chain 'distance' from the swing arm to the chain, vs 'slack' up and down? It's been mentioned a couple posts above i think. The distance would be half of the slack measurement, correct? This kicked my butt yesterday bad! I put way too much thought into it. Then when i tightened the axle, it'd mess with my setting and the chain would be tighter then i wanted.:smirk:

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I would guess if you used one or the other, it would be ok. I like slack as then I can tell just how loose or tight it really is, but I'm set in my ways from doing it for a long time. Imagine my surprise when I found the new method of torquing rod bolts: x ft/lbs, then x degrees past that. next time, use a new bolt! I'm still playing catch up from that one.

As far as the nut moving the axle: I put a rag or paper towel on top of the lower run of the chain, put my foot on the rag/towel, and force it down while I tighten my axle nut, reaching across the bike. I use a fairly long breaker bar, so it is easy to both reach and tighten. It never moves when you do that. Otherwise, it goes where it wants, and never the same place twice.

I know what you mean abut not happy. Even with the new seat, it is still an unpleasant bike after 100 miles/four hours. That's one of the reasons the XT1200Z is on order, and why I often take my road bike places I shouldn't. It is far more comfortable for me to ride it for hours than the WRR. Between the seat and the wind, I'm done in 100 miles. Todays' fun and games was about 140, and I was a suffering dog the last half hour. I am in awe of someone that hauled a passenger as far I can stand alone! :smirk:

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