Drive Chain

Yamaha engineers design Genuine Yamaha Drive Chains and Sprockets as a matched set to deliver both maximum engine power transmission to the rear wheel, with minimum power loss, and high durability.
Every effort has been made to also extend the service life of these parts, which must function under high loads and driving forces in severe environment, such as intense heat, rain, sand and dirt.

The Feature of Parts

  • Optimum Performance for the Motorcycle
  • Maximum Efficiency to Reduces Power Loss
  • High Durability


Daily Inspection

Severe wear or damage to the drive chain and sprocket teeth can be visually inspected, but you cannot easily determine whether wear on the individual pins and rollers of the drive chain has increased its overall length beyond acceptable limits - this is very commonly referred to as "chain stretch". To determine this, the drive chain must be measured.
Because drive chain and sprocket wear varies tremendously, depending on driving conditions and maintenance, the only way to reliably determine when it is time to replace the 'chain & sprockets' is by visually evaluating their condition and measuring the chain length.
If there are cracks on the chain side plates, or there is binding or stiffness as the wheel/chain is rotated, or if the drive 'stretch' exceeds the limit (2% of the total length for non-sealed chains, 1% for sealed chains), then the drive chain must be replaced.

Adjusting the Amount of Slack

The amount of chain freeplay or slack differs depending on the model, refer to the appropriate owner's manual, and follow the procedures given to check and adjust chain slack. If the amount of slack exceeds the specification, adjust the tension of the drive chain using the swing arm adjusters.


The drive chain is easily soiled because rainwater and the like directly adhere to it, causing rust when temperatures heat up. Use a chain cleaner to clean the drive chain. After cleaning, re-lubricate with a chain lube. Be careful though, as there are different kinds of chain cleaner and chain lube for sealed type chains and non-sealed chains.

Sprocket Wear Inspection

Check whether the sprocket teeth have worn down, tapered to sharp points. Wearing is more severe on the driven sprocket than the drive sprocket. If the teeth are 1/4 worn down, replace the sprocket. At that time, replace the drive sprocket, driven sprocket and drive chain as a set.

Table of Items to Regularly Inspect

Refer to the applicable service manual for the inspection and maintenance procedures.

General Periodic Maintenance
Drive Chain Check chain slack, alignment and condition. Every 800 km (500 mi) and after washing the motorcycle, riding in the rain or riding in wet areas
Adjust and lubricate chain with a special O-ring chain lubricant thoroughly.
*Since these items require special tools, data and technical skills, have a Yamaha dealer perform the service.

Problems and Counter-measures

Pin, Bushing and Roller breakage

May be caused by high speed revolutions using a drive chain or sprocket size that exceeds the performance tolerance range, a sudden large shock load, improper lubrication, use of a low quality sprocket, jamming with a foreign object, etc.
You must replace with a new drive chain. Prevent such breakage by using the proper size drive chain and sprocket, and through periodic maintenance.

Drive Chain Breakage

May be caused by metal fatigue, brittle fractures, jamming into the sprocket, interference with foreign objects and the like. You must replace with a new drive chain. If the chain tension is too loose, the chain may end up getting jammed in the sprocket. Prevent this from happening by periodically adjusting the tension.

Abnormal Noise While Riding

May be caused by a drive chain tension that is either too tight or too loose, an incorrect sprocket alignment, a worn and elongated drive chain, a worn sprocket, contact with the chain case or rear arm, an incorrect drive chain or sprocket size, or insufficient lubrication, etc.
The problem can be mitigated by adjusting tension and lubricating, and by adjusting the sprocket alignment. However, if the drive chain wear elongation is greater than the specified value or if sprocket wear is the cause, then replace with a new part.

Drive Chain Rigidity

May be caused by drive chain rust, improper lubrication, link section deformation caused by a load that exceeds the performance tolerance, deformation of the link section caused by improper sprocket alignment, link section deformation caused by interference by foreign objects, etc.
You must replace with a new drive chain. Can be prevented by periodic inspections to detect and remove foreign objects, lubricate the drive chain, adjust the sprocket alignment, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions

[ Questions About Drive Chain ]

Q1: Is it okay to clean drive chains with water?

A1: No, it is best to use a chain cleaner. Chains should be cleaned periodically to remove dust and dirt that adheres to the drive chain, and lubricated with chain lube. NOTE: there are different chain cleaner products for sealed type chains and non-sealed chains, make sure that you are using the proper type.
Regular parts cleaners can damage the sealing ring and cause the enclosed grease to leak out.

Q2: The drive chain has stretched. Is it okay to remove a chain link and continue using?

A2: No, please replace with a new chain. Drive chain elongation is not caused by the metal itself becoming deformed and stretching, rather it is because the pins, bushings and rollers are worn and excessive clearance is created by this wear making the chain longer. Not only will the joint sections not move smoothly, but there is also a danger that the drive chain could completely fail while riding the motorcycle.

Q3: Should a drive chain only be used in one direction, will it damage the chain to reverse the direction of rotation after it has been used?

A3: A drive chain can be installed in either direction of, BUT it is very important that the retaining clip always be installed so that the open section of the joint clip is opposite the direction of rotation.

Q4: Is it possible to change the drive chain myself?

A4: For safety's sake, we recommend replacement by a Yamaha dealer, there may special tools required to replace the drive chain, and also improper re-assembly of components can lead to an accident.

[ Questions About Sprocket ]

Q5: Is there a difference in product life between the drive sprocket and the driven sprocket?

A5: The drive sprocket lasts longer, but we recommend replacing both at the same time. If a new driven sprocket is used with a worn drive sprocket, the drive chain and sprocket will be worn down more quickly.

Q6: Is it okay to drill holes in the sprocket to make it lighter?

A6: Please do not drill holes in the sprocket. There are sprockets that were designed from the beginning to have lightening holes, but they were designed to maintain durability. Additional modifications will seriously degrade durability, so please refrain from drilling.