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Ducati and Scrambler - D.I.Y - simplified
If all visual indications are good, here is the definitive way to see if the chain is worn to the point of replacement. Place the motorcycle on the side stand or a paddock stand. The correct way to check is at the middle of the rear sprocket.
Like it or not motorcycle chains wear out. As chains wear, they lose strength and their ability to transmit engine power effectively to the rear wheel. A worn (weakened) chain can break leaving you stranded or worse: causing an accident or injury to you or the person following you. As the chain wears, the drive and the rear sprockets can wear too. Prevention by keeping the chain/sprockets clean, lubricated and adjusted as necessary to get the most out of these components. How do you know if the chain is worn and needs replacement?Fortunately, there are easy indicators to let you know the chain is worn and needs to be replaced.
Some things to look for as indicators of a worn out chain: The first one is kinked links. This is a sign t he chain is binding and not moving smoothly. It is robbing power and poses a potential for damage and or disaster.
Another visible indicator is an excessively rusted chain. If it is rusted on the side plates, you can bet it’s rusted between the pins and rollers as well. Replace before it causes more heartache.
Ducati and Scrambler Tool Kits
It helps to have a clean chain and sprocket to work with, it make it so much easier to measure. Once clean, use a sharpie or other marker to trace and outlines of the chain onto the sprocket: it makes measuring more accurate.
After the determination to replace or retain the chain has been made by looking for kinks, excessive rust and measuring the wear (distance the chain moved) at the middle of the rear sprocket. Be honest here and replace the chain if it failed the inspection criteria. Once decided the chain does/does not require replacement; inspect the sprockets.
At the midpoint of the chain’s contact with the rear sprocket, pull the chain away from the sprocket.If the distance the chain travels is over 1/8” it is time to replace the chain. Here you can see the distance is over ¼” of movement: this chain was long overdue for replacement.