RX3 Chain And Sprocket Maintenance

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RX3 Cyclone Chain and Sprocket Maintenance


Easy things first, and that’s lubricating the chain. Our advice is that you lubricate your chain approximately every 500 miles, or at the end of a long day of riding. You should lube the chain more often if you ride in the rain or in dusty conditions.

I like to lube my chain when I stop for the day on my adventures. The idea is to lube the chain as soon as you stop riding while the chain is still warm, as this will allow the lubricant to wick into the chain. It’s easier to lube the chain if your RX3 has our optional centerstand, but if it doesn’t, it’s still pretty easy. I hold a rag under the lower chain run and spray the lube directly onto the chain. Then I’ll push the bike backward a few feet to expose more of the chain, and I’ll lube that. I keep doing this until I’ve done the entire chain. It requires pushing the bike backward about 15 feet in total.

  • RX3 Cyclone Chain and Sprocket Maintenance Image

    One word of advice here…don’t get sloppy. Don’t let the lube get on the tire, and don’t shoot through the spokes and get the lube on the rear brake.

    After I lube the chain, I don’t ride the motorcycle for at least 15 minutes. That will allow the lube to seep in and dry. It’s also the reason why I do it at the end of the day.

    Ask any group of motorcycle riders what the best chain lube is and watch the fireworks begin. There are wax-based lubes and petroleum based lubes. Everybody has an opinion on what works best. We sell both, and if you call us at 800-884-4173, we’d be happy to sell one of our recommended chain lubes to you. What’s important is that you have a chain lube, especially if you’re leaving for an adventure that lasts more than a day. You want to lube your chain every night when you get to your destination for that day. Seriously. You’ll feel the difference when you get on the motorcycle.

    Onward and upward…let’s talk about the chains and sprockets. Your RX3 has a 520 O-ring type chain, a 14 tooth front sprocket, and a 44 tooth rear sprocket. The sprockets and chain won’t last forever. If you keep your chain properly adjusted and lubed (see above), the chain and sprockets will last a lot longer, but they still won’t last forever. Typically, motorcycle chains and sprockets last between 10,000 and 20,000 miles.

    Next point: If you change the sprockets without replacing the chain, you’ll just wear out your new sprockets quickly. If you change the chain without replacing the sprockets, it’s likely you’ll wear out the new chain quickly. These are things that are best replaced together. Do the chain and the front and rear sprockets at the same time.

    To get a good look at the sprockets (especially the countershaft sprocket) and the chain, it’s best to remove the countershaft sprocket cover and the chain guard.

    Removing the countershaft sprocket cover is straightforward; it just comes off when you remove the two bolts that attach it. You don’t have to remove the shift lever. I only point this out because one of the RX3 service manuals that’s floating around out there on the Internet says you need to remove the shift lever, but you don’t.

  • RX3 Cyclone Chain and Sprocket Maintenance Image
    There are three Allen bolts that secure the chainguard. Two are very visible and accessible; the third is hidden on the forward portion of the chainguard on that part of the chainguard that is behind the chain. Undo these three bolts and remove the chainguard.
  • RX3 Cyclone Chain and Sprocket Maintenance Image
  • RX3 Cyclone Chain and Sprocket Maintenance Image
    After you have removed these items, you can see the sprockets and the chain.
  • RX3 Cyclone Chain and Sprocket Maintenance Image
  • RX3 Cyclone Chain and Sprocket Maintenance Image

If the sprocket teeth are hooked or otherwise excessively worn, it’s time to replace both sprockets. If the chain has excessive stretch or if it has kinks that you cannot work out by manually rotating the links with respect to each other, it’s time for a new chain. And like I said above, if you need to replace either item (the chain or the sprockets), you should replace both the chain and the sprockets.

On a new RX3 motorcycle, the chain does not have a master link. When you need to replace the original equipment chain on your motorcycle, you have to cut it off. A replacement 520 chain (and yes, we sell them) has a master link that will allow you to install the new chain. When you install the master link, the closed end should always face the direction the chain rotates. Another bit of advice: Carry a spare master link (don’t ask me how I know this is a good idea).

We stock all of the items described above (chain lubes, chains, and sprockets). Give us a call (800 884 4173) and we’ll be happy to help you.

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