‘Smashed en­gine cost £1200 to fix for the sake of a £150 chain’

Me­chanic Niki Spreng’s warn­ing that an R1 needed a new chain went un­heeded

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Hands On -

When it comes to DIY it’s al­ways tempt­ing to put off those bor­ing jobs like clear­ing gut­ters or a drain, but then the rain­wa­ter starts lap­ping at your front door and you start get­ting ‘I-told-you-so’ looks.

Some­times it’s the same with bikes. When a cus­tomer brought his 2005 Yamaha R1 into NS Mo­tor­cy­cles in Ayles­bury, me­chanic Niki Spreng im­me­di­ately spot­ted an es­sen­tial job that needed do­ing.

Niki said: “I could see the chain and sprock­ets were on their last legs and told him he needed a new set. He said ‘yeah, yeah, I’ll get onto it’ and headed off.”

It was only a few days later that Niki got a call from the owner who re­ported that the chain had snapped. “He said it went at about 45mph, but when I saw the state of the en­gine I sus­pect he was go­ing a bit quicker than that,” Niki added.

It looked like the chain had snapped on the bot­tom run which meant that the front sprocket con­tin­ued to pull the chain for­ward so it wrapped it­self around the cog, bend­ing the gear­box out­put shaft and punch­ing a hole in the crank­case.

Niki was hor­ri­fied: “When you picked the en­gine up you could hear bits of the en­gine rat­tling around in­side the cases, as the chain re­ac­tion smashed up the teeth on four of the gear ra­tios.”

As well as re­place­ment crankcases, out­put shaft and gear ra­tios, the en­gine needed new crank­shaft shells as well as all the nec­es­sary gas­kets. If the parts list had used new Yamaha com­po­nents it would have topped £3000, but the owner man­aged to source some crankcases for £300 and the gear­box parts were lo­cated for £250, which brought the to­tal bill down to £1200. All for the sake of a £150 chain set. Niki con­cluded: “It had been a £3000 mo­tor­cy­cle, but with that hole in the cases it was worth about £3.50.”

‘With that hole in the case the R1 worth £3.50’

The snapped chain smashed the crankcases

If this man tells you to get a new chain, get a new chain

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