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Discussion Starter #1
Here's a little back story. I went out to ride Saturday, did about 500 miles. When I got home my chain looked like what's in the picture below. I cleaned and waxed it and it was all good. Sunday I went out for a ride and did another 500-ish miles and got home and it looked the same, in the same two places again.

Does anyone know what this discoloration is?

Has this happened to you before?

It's not rust because there was no time for the thing to sit and rust. It's more of a powder and it will come right off during a cleaning. The links aren't seized or anything; they move freely. I've just never had a chain do this to me. It almost looks like heat damage. I know I sometimes exceed the speed limit, but I thought I'd have to be going a bit quicker than 85-90 to generate that kind of heat. (Like speed of sound quick or something like that.)

Thanks for the help guys and gals!
 

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I would suspect a failure of the seal on the links which allowed it to dry and begin to rust on the inside. As you ride the chain itself isn't rusting where you cleaned it, but rather the rust from the inside getting slung out.

You say it moves freely without binding, but how about slop? Is there excessive side to side play? Can probably only really tell this if you pull it from the sprocket where you can move it side to side.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I would suspect a failure of the seal on the links which allowed it to dry and begin to rust on the inside. As you ride the chain itself isn't rusting where you cleaned it, but rather the rust from the inside getting slung out.

You say it moves freely without binding, but how about slop? Is there excessive side to side play? Can probably only really tell this if you pull it from the sprocket where you can move it side to side.
Good call on that. I went out and checked side-to-side play and there was some in the discolored links and none in the normal links. I guess that means it's time to get a new chain.

That D.I.D 520ERV3 looks sexy. (I guess it's time to start a GoFundMe page?)
 

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That D.I.D 520ERV3 looks sexy. (I guess it's time to start a GoFundMe page?)
lol...just got to write up a big story about how great the chain was and how much of a joy it was to have it in your life to go along with it.

Btw - you could see the same condition begin to develop if a chain is adjusted too tight as well. You can cut the chain at that spot and inspect the individual links - if they are oblong/not round then that can show a chain being too tight. Though that will be the case with a properly adjusted chain to some degree as well - especially on bikes with huge displacement like the 300's...
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
lol...just got to write up a big story about how great the chain was and how much of a joy it was to have it in your life to go along with it.

Btw - you could see the same condition begin to develop if a chain is adjusted too tight as well. You can cut the chain at that spot and inspect the individual links - if they are oblong/not round then that can show a chain being too tight. Though that will be the case with a properly adjusted chain to some degree as well - especially on bikes with huge displacement like the 300's...
I thought I had the slack adjusted right, but maybe I screwed it up. I'll have to do a slightly better job at checking it. Maybe I should do the math and check the max/min length of the chain required when when the suspension is fully loaded and unloaded.

I wonder if the chain got damaged when I went over that jump ... twice? Now that I think about it, this problem started right after that.

(And I will keep the old chain for inspection to figure out the root cause of the problem.)
 

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I would suspect a failure of the seal on the links which allowed it to dry and begin to rust on the inside. As you ride the chain itself isn't rusting where you cleaned it, but rather the rust from the inside getting slung out.

You say it moves freely without binding, but how about slop? Is there excessive side to side play? Can probably only really tell this if you pull it from the sprocket where you can move it side to side.
good call.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
New chain and sprockets on order!

My guys at Motomummy suggested I get the EK MVXZ chain instead and also pick up new Driven front and rear sprockets. The whole thing ended up costing me just a couple bucks more than just the D.I.D chain. I had a little trouble deciding on color for the chain, pink or purple, but in the end the decision was easy ... gold. (Haha, yeah, pink or purple? Not gonna happen.) With luck, I'll be back on the road this weekend. Without luck, I'll be in my garage swearing like a sailor hoping beer and hammers are on sale somewhere as I try to put my bike back together.
 

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If you're confident on the adjustment then it was probably just a failure of the chain. Mainly threw that in there as a possibility in case other people find the thread in the future for a similar issue.

Doubt a couple jumps would kill it by itself too. If that was the case then speed breakers would kill mine because I usually jump those too when they're the bigger smoother type. They're a lot more fun on the 300 than on the WR because you hardly even notice them on it.

Good call on new sprockets and chain - sure you can just do a chain if your sprockets look good, but I always change them as a set too. You could have rocked a pink Mohawk if you hit up the pink chain.....sure you don't want to call them and change your order?
 
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