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Discussion Starter #1
I've noticed a clunking noise at low speeds as I'm pulling away from a dead stop. It doesn't seem to happen when I slow to stop however, which made me think it might be the drive chain/sprockets?

I have never replaced the chain on this (or any) motorcycle, and I'm sure it could use a new one. If I do so, does it also need a new sprocket? One new sprocket or both front AND rear?

Finally, any other ideas what this "clunk" might be? It almost sounds like rolling slowly over gravel, and the rubber "popping" a few rocks out from under the tires. There are maybe 3-4 clunks of different volume, in quick succession, then nothing.
 

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Lindog,

Before doing anything drastic check/adjust the chain deflection. Also give that ol chain some lube. It sounds like the chain has some binding links and is loose.

Regarding chains and sprockets, change them all at the same time. (Search for my posts for uneven chain wear)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Bill.

It sounds from your other thread that uneven tightness is a sign that the chain is toast? I attempted to use the string method for aligning the wheel while adjusting the chain tension and lubing it, but I don't know whether to trust that or the notches on the rear swingarms. The chain itself has tighter spots and looser spots, and does wiggle side to side quite a bit.

Also, I saw you recommended the Regina 520 ZRP 110 links chain for the 42T sprocket. Is this an o-ring chain, and/or will it make a big difference in lifespan and performance, if not?

All OEM chain + sprockets sure ain't cheap, but I don't want to sacrifice safety either.
 

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Lindog,

Regarding alignment methods, I once measured Hidalgo's alignment notches and found that they are pretty much 'on the money'.

Regarding chain recommendations, I tend to ride longer and faster than most Vulcan 500 riders so I require a stronger chain. I was very pleased with some Tsubaki chains (sigma, omega) but I can't seem to find them anymore. The initial observation on the Regina is that it will wear very well. I have only had to adjust it once in the past 4,000 miles. We'll see how it goes. My 'other' bike has a "BikeMaster 520 BMRO Motorcycle O-Ring Chain - Natural Finish / 520 X 110" and has worn well. But it has less than 2,000 miles on it.

Regarding uneven wear, yes, the chain is done.

Regarding safety, I have never had a chain fail on the road. Just pay attention to the master link clip orientation and keep the chain maintenanced. An automatic oiler can help a lot here. I use a ScottOiler on Hidalgo.
 
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