Chain Rail Replacement

Delray

Active member
Just sharing observations on replacing the chain rail for the 2013 GT I bought several weeks ago ....

With 15,000 miles on the bike, I figured I had chain rail #1 in place. That's the windshield-wiper shaped piece inside the swingarm that adds tension to the chain. As the chain gets looser over time, adding a higher-numbered chain rail tightens it. You want it to have some play, but no more than 1/2" to 3/4" max.

I verified the lack of chain tension and chain rail #1 by removing the black, oval BMW cover on the swingarm. You can see the dots in the illustration. My chain moved well over an inch so I ordered rail #2 from the local dealer. It arrives next Friday.,

15,000 miles is a good time to replace the chain rail. After that, probably every 15k miles through chain rails #3 and #4, until a new chain is due around 60k. Then you go back to chain rail #1 (save those chain rails! You can use them again. My new one cost $34 from the dealer.).

Super easy to replace the chain rail. After the oil is drained and the swingarm cover is off, two bolts remove the chain guard. Two bolts remove the chain rail. It slides out and you slide in a new one. That's it. I'm eager to see if it makes any difference in how the bike moves.

Draining the oil is also super easy. Drain plug on the botton of the swingarm; fill plug on top. Torque is 14.75 ft. lbs. Quantity is 500 ml, or half a liter. Torx bolts on the guard or rail (can't remember) take a T-20 bit, which I didn't have, so I had to make a Home Depot run during the middle of the job.

My oil was black as coal, night and day from the light MOTUL Gear 300 75W90 I put back in. Since I'll be replacing the oil again in a week when I install chain rail #2, I didn't use the Permatex Gasket Maker I bought for this job, but I will next time. Found no leaks after a 10-minute test ride and paper towels left under the swingarm overnight came up clean.

Teeth on the sprocket look strong, so I'll be able to seal up the swingarm and think about a new chain and sprocket in 10,000 miles. BMW officially says 24,000 miles. This bike is a pleasure to work on, way smoother and more sensible than a Honda Silver Wing or Burgman 650.

IMG_5379.jpg
 
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slant911

Active member
Maybe dumb question but can you remove the oval BMW piece and view inside there without draining the oil? Or will oil come out by doing that?
 

Delray

Active member
"can you remove the oval BMW piece and view inside there without draining the oil?"

No dumb questions. Whatever helps us learn is good.

Yes, when the engine is off, oil pools well below the bottom lip of the oval window. If you're looking for the dot/s, they are to the left of the window and down -- very small and faded, if mine was any indication.
 
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Delray

Active member
Installed chain rail #2 this evening. At 16,500 miles, the chain on my 2013 had a lot of play in it, easily over one inch. You can see in the photo that chain rail #2 is significantly bigger than #1. Swapping them out tightened up the chain nicely. The bike felt tighter and smoother at takeoff.

Chain sprocket looked good with a reasonable amount of flat surface on top of each tooth. If the teeth come to a sharp point, they're very worn and should be replaced.

On rail #2 you can see the two small dots that identify it on top of the eyebrow shape. Service manual says transfer over two sleeves from #1, but #2 came with the sleeves. I used blue silicone Permatex Gasket Maker to seal the swingarm cover after cleaning the mating surfaces with Brakleen.

The case takes 500 ml of oil. I used MOTUL 75W90 gear oil. Took the bike for a 20-mile ride at night and another in the morning with no leaks. Torque for swingarm cover bolts is 9.0 ft. lbs. and 14.75 for drain and fill plugs. Easy job.

IMG_5394.jpg
IMG_5397.jpg
 
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slant911

Active member
Great write up. Thanks for sharing. I am a ways off from even thinking about this but when the time comes I will search out this post.
 

Kaisarlog

New member
Installed chain rail #2 this evening. At 16,500 miles, the chain on my 2013 had a lot of play in it, easily over one inch. You can see in the photo that chain rail #2 is significantly bigger than #1. Swapping them out tightened up the chain nicely. The bike felt tighter and smoother at takeoff.

Chain sprocket looked good with a reasonable amount of flat surface on top of each tooth. If the teeth come to a sharp point, they're very worn and should be replaced.

On rail #2 you can see the two small dots that identify it on top of the eyebrow shape. Service manual says transfer over two sleeves from #1, but #2 came with the sleeves. I used blue silicone Permatex Gasket Maker to seal the swingarm cover after cleaning the mating surfaces with Brakleen.

The case takes 500 ml of oil. I used MOTUL 75W90 gear oil. Took the bike for a 20-mile ride at night and another in the morning with no leaks. Torque for swingarm cover bolts is 9.0 ft. lbs. and 14.75 for drain and fill plugs. Easy job.

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View attachment 3085
Nice job! Rear wheel bearing collapsed so things need to be done! By any chance do you know the torque value for these two?
 

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