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Sportster Motorcycle Transmission, Clutch, Primary & Secondary Drive Transmission, Clutch and primary or secondary drive problems, advice, and/or how tos.

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View Poll Results: What mileage have you got out of your primary?
Less than 10,000miles - had it replaced under warranty. 0 0%
25,000 miles - I cane the tits off my tuned motor. 1 12.50%
50,000 miles - and still going strong! 3 37.50%
75,000 miles - so what's the problem? 1 12.50%
100,000 miles - my chain's still hanging in there, but I'm knackered. 1 12.50%
I haven't replaced the primary chain since 1975. 0 0%
What's a primary chain? 2 25.00%
Voters: 8. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 2nd June 2011
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Default Primary Chain Lifespan

I've just had my clutch, engine sprocket and primary chain off, and it set me to wondering how long the primary chain can be expected to last. All chains have tight spots, but how can you tell when it's truly knackered? When you run out of adjustment on the tensioner?

Last edited by steelworker; 2nd June 2011 at 00:15..
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Old 2nd June 2011
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Mine is stretched to the point of replacement as soon as I replace my clutch. I have 40K and I drive like I stole it most of the time.
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by rottenralph View Post
Mine is stretched to the point of replacement as soon as I replace my clutch. I have 40K and I drive like I stole it most of the time.
I ride in a similar fashion, Ralph, and have over 50,000 miles on the original chain. There's still loads of adjustment left on the tensioner, but there is one point of the chain that's a fair bit tighter than the rest, and I'm starting to wonder...
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Old 2nd June 2011
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Maybe it's time to change it then Myles.
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I have about 45,000 on mine and I'm just about out of adjustment range.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BWP 5p View Post
Maybe it's time to change it then Myles.
I'm thinking the same thing.
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I've never had to replace one (or even began to suspect wear), but I usually sell my Harleys and buy something else by maybe 65k miles at the most...
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Old 2nd June 2011
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Quote:
Mine is stretched to the point of replacement as soon as I replace my clutch. I have 40K and I drive like I stole it most of the time
Are you sure it's the chain? I know a guy with a 1988 glide with 200K mi. on the motor and he has never replaced the primary chain. It is constantly running in an oil bath. He said he has had to replace the tensioner as it has worn, but not the chain. Are you sure the tensioner isn't just worn?
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