It's always hard to call these things by description BUT, I'd not dismiss the chain just yet. Is there an occasional "snapping/popping" sound as the bike moves? Any tight/loose spots as it rotates? Any tight links? Evidence of rusty powder bleeding out of any links at their pivot point? Did you ride in any rain on your trip? Do you have any idea how many miles are on the chain? And lastly, are you absolutely sure it was not ever adjusted too tight? That will ruin a brand new chain in a few hundred miles or less.
Always measure the slack and set according to factory recommendations for your model bike with any error in favor of the loose side, not too tight. As the suspension moves through its travel it actually tightens the chain with the tightest spot being when the transmission output shaft, swing arm pivot, and rear axle are in alignmnent. This happens because the swing arm pivot and transmission output shaft are on two different centers, swinging two different arcs. The side stand slack setting is to allow enough play so that at the tightest point, there is no bind. A proper setting actually results in almost no play at the tightest point in the suspension travel. Too little play on the side stand and it's binding under load.
I ask about rain riding because that cleans every trace of lube off the chain immediately. Carry a small lube can and lube the chain as soon as the rain stops.
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Last edited by Dad; 08-12-2004 at 07:50 AM.