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Thread: road side repairs

  1. #1

    road side repairs

    My Chief has been a very reliable ride, close to 25,000 miles and the only stranding I've had was when a battery post snapped off... in the dark. I've had a couple times when I've needed to dress the points on the side of the road, but I've been spoiled with how well it takes me around. A simple pre-flight check, two prime kicks, and a third will always fire it up and away we go.

    So on Thursday last week I was about 50 miles into a ride going 50mph when there was bang, a wobble, and then a horrible grinding noise. Turns out the chain adjuster screw on the sprocket side had snapped and the axle slid forward loosening the chain enough so it came off, not apart but off the sprockets. I was most concerned with the condition of the rivets on the sprocket since the chain was laying against them and grinding, but they looked fine. So there on the side of the road, in the hot sun I got the chain back on, slid the axle back and cranked on the axle nut hoping it would hold the chain enough to get me home... and it did. I never checked the chain.

    I got a hardware store replacement for the broken screw, much shorter but enough there to properly set things up until I got a replacement from Greer's.

    Saturday I head out hoping to put a hundred or more miles in before putting in a few hours on the the lawn tractor. This time I got about 30 miles from home and BAM! ....wobble, grind off to the side again. This time the chain was separated at the missing master link.... a self-imposed failure because I had never checked the chain after the adjusting screw had snapped! Live and learn... and the paint damage will be a reminder to me that full inspections should be a way of life with a 70 year old motorcycle!

    1946 Chief - take apart and put back together
    101 Scout - parts accumulation stage

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Sarasota, Florida

    Re: road side repairs

    I always keep a spare master link in the top hole of my license plate. I think of it as a St. Christopher medal Glad you had minimal damage, Harry. Losing a drive chain can easily become a disaster, but they're usually so dang reliable that it's easy to take them for granted.

  3. #3

    Re: road side repairs

    I actually had a master link with me! The thing I didn't have was an allen wrench for the hardware store chain tightening screw! (I've got zero allen head fasteners on my chief... except for this temporary screw... and the 1/2" lug nuts.) I was turning the screw with needle nose pliers when a guy shows up on his modern Harley wondering if I needed help! I said "no thanks... unless you've got an allen wrench with you?" He dug around a while and came out with a set... I was impressed! I could tell he wasn't really wanting to wait around while I fed the chain over the sprockets behind all the fancy Chief sheet metal, so he told me what campground he was staying at and when I finished I rode to the campground and returned it.

    I also had to McGyver one end of the chain because it had spread so that I couldn't fit the plate and the clip on the master link, two rocks from the ditch for an anvil and the other for a hammer.

    I'm getting a new chain!
    1946 Chief - take apart and put back together
    101 Scout - parts accumulation stage

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