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Author Topic: Excessive free play - your opinion?  (Read 1267 times)

WillW

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Excessive free play - your opinion?
« on: May 23, 2010, 12:05:23 PM »
I've gone on about the grabby transmission take-up on my G5 before - and I've learned to ride the bike accordingly. I figured if that's how they're made, then so be it.
But now the matter still has me unsettled, and I'm seeking input from other owners.

Because I've just been in my neighbour's garage, where lurks a fine old Panther motorcycle of great vintage, with a good many miles on the clock, and two chain drives twixt engine and wheel. And on its centre stand, in first gear, there is, at most, half an inch of free play in the rear wheel.

This amazed me, because my brand new G5, carefully run-in and now with 2000 miles under its belt, has a full two to two-and-a-half inches of play in the rear wheel when on its stand and in first gear. And it's been like this from day one.

Now I'm the first to admit to very little experience with motorcycles - which is why I'm asking this here - but I use and tend machinery, always have, and I've looked after a lot of old cars, and all my instincts tell me this is excessive free play, particularly on a new machine.

I really would be grateful for some more opinions from other owners - and if you're willing to go out to the garage and measure this on your own G5, even better, and I'll owe you a beer. I just want to put this matter to rest once and for all  -  are these bikes just made sloppy  -  or do I have a warranty issue here?

Thanks in anticipation,
Will
« Last Edit: May 23, 2010, 01:16:15 PM by WillW »
2010 Royal Enfield Electra (G5) DL

2004 Kawasaki W650
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t120rbullet

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Re: Excessive free play - your opinion?
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2010, 01:27:33 PM »
Does the Panther have a cush drive built into the rear wheel like the Enfield does?
CJ
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WillW

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Re: Excessive free play - your opinion?
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2010, 02:11:55 PM »
Yes it does. But to be clear about the free movement in my bike - the chain moves with the wheel. The slack is further forward, inside the casing somewhere. It's completely free movement and doesn't require any forcing  -  forward, clunk - back, clunk. This is audible when riding, when going from throttle closed to throttle open, if not done very lightly indeed. As I say, I work around it, but I'm more and more convinced it just shouldn't be there.
Just to add, the chain is adjusted to about twenty-five mm slack at the tight spot.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2010, 02:31:52 PM by WillW »
2010 Royal Enfield Electra (G5) DL

2004 Kawasaki W650
~ the best british bike they never made ~

r80rt

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Re: Excessive free play - your opinion?
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2010, 02:37:16 PM »
Will, i just checked my C5, there is less than one inch of free play.
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t120rbullet

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Re: Excessive free play - your opinion?
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2010, 02:44:50 PM »
I went out and looked at mine and it a couple of inches of play with a clunk at each end too. My 4 speed Bullets and the Trump do too although less clunk (more case?).
Personally I wouldn't worry about the free-play back there.

I've had some shifting difficulties with my G5 but have found that they all revolve around me not letting the shifter return to 0 after every upshift or downshift (mostly on downshift). My boots play a major role in the outcome. Never have a problem with my thin combat boots but my steel toe engineer boots get in the way giving me bad shifts at times.
As long as I do my part right it all works just fine.
CJ
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2012 Concours 14 (no name yet)
2013 Royal Star Venture S  "Jelly Roll"

WillW

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Re: Excessive free play - your opinion?
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2010, 03:34:17 PM »
Thanks for doing that guys. Seems to be quite a wide variation between bikes. It'll be interesting to have a few more results to get an average. I like my machinery to be tighter than this to be honest, and it's bugging me a bit. I suppose the next move will be to find out exactly what it is in there that's so sloppily engineered, and see if it's possible to get it replaced or re-made by an engineer. What are those guys using? Flints and stone hammers?

I have that downshifting thing too CJ if I try to come down too fast through the gears. Otherwise it's all smooth as long I'm behaving myself....
2010 Royal Enfield Electra (G5) DL

2004 Kawasaki W650
~ the best british bike they never made ~

portisheadric

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Re: Excessive free play - your opinion?
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2010, 03:45:41 PM »
IT could be too much play in the primary chain, is the automatic tensioner working correctly ?

r80rt

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Re: Excessive free play - your opinion?
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2010, 03:59:32 PM »
Will, I didn't measure the wheel travel, I measured the distance the chain moved forward and back.
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WillW

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Re: Excessive free play - your opinion?
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2010, 04:14:35 PM »
Chain movement is small - I was measuring wheel movement.

Primary chain tensioner is auto on the UCE, but could be faulty I guess. Don't really want to take it apart to see, but if I must .......

A few more responses I hope, before I commit myself to further spanner work
« Last Edit: May 23, 2010, 04:17:16 PM by WillW »
2010 Royal Enfield Electra (G5) DL

2004 Kawasaki W650
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Chris-G5

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Re: Excessive free play - your opinion?
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2010, 05:12:16 PM »
On my G5 the rear wheel has about 1-3/8" of free play, the distance between two spokes.

Kevin Mahoney

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Re: Excessive free play - your opinion?
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2010, 05:33:58 PM »
I've put out an SOS to Scooter Bob, We'll let him weigh in on this. I think it would be found on any chain drive machine.....but lets let the expert give an opinion

ScooterBob

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Re: Excessive free play - your opinion?
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2010, 06:25:24 PM »
OK - Here we go .... With the chain adjusted to the appropriate free-play and the bike in gear, you WILL get a bit of free rotation in the gearbox before resistance is felt (clunk - clunk!) This is due to the engagement dogs on the gears themselves and will vary in degrees of rotation for the gear you are in. This is because the gears are different diameters. The engagement dogs should allow about 20 degrees of free rotation on the gear cluster in order for the bike to shift. Unless the rear wheel goes like 90 degrees or something bizarre like that - you are just fine.

As for the chain adjustment - I prefer looser, rather than tighter because this allows the chain to "float" somewhat when shifting and relieves the drive pressure on the gearbox for smoother engagement of the gear dogs. Remember that in this gearbox the gears have to slide over and engage with the next one on the shaft that is spinning at a different speed. Having everything adjusted a little on the loose side allows the gears to engage MUCH easier, with less clunking and the least amount of effort on the foot pedal. 
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WillW

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Re: Excessive free play - your opinion?
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2010, 07:57:10 PM »
Thanks guys for the input  -  beers all round when you get to my place or I get to yours....
And thanks Scooter Bob for the reassurance. I did realise there has to be some free play - I was just becoming bothered that there was maybe a little toooo much of it - particularly when I saw how little there is by comparison on my neighbour's ancient and monstrous Panther.
And yes, agreed, a slightly looser chain is better than slightly tighter, it's the same with drive belts on any machine. For my belt drive Hegner to run quiet and smooth the belt needs to be way looser than intuition would suggest.
I've also now got the knack of checking chain tension with me on the bike - I put it on the side stand, get on, hang on to the front brake, and then I can lean way over and check it by myself.
All that said and done, I LOVE riding this bike. Dammit, I'm missing meals, TV shows, and whole days in the workshop because of it. Addictive or what?
It's my first ever new vehicle of any kind - I'm a bit picky about it I know......
BUT  --  it's the ride. I'm really going to shut up about it. Soon.  No, really.....
« Last Edit: May 23, 2010, 08:00:29 PM by WillW »
2010 Royal Enfield Electra (G5) DL

2004 Kawasaki W650
~ the best british bike they never made ~

billy2sheds

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Re: Excessive free play - your opinion?
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2010, 09:02:42 PM »
one thing i have noticed on my bike just recently i get a lot of false neutrals when changing down the box,its pretty unerving doing a quick change down and freewheeling at forty miles an hour.

ScooterBob

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Re: Excessive free play - your opinion?
« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2010, 09:06:36 PM »
Will - The lovely Panther has ROUND engagement dogs (pegs in holes) and as such, has very little freeplay in the gearbox when engaged. The round dogs will hold a bit more torque (and the old Panther makes it a-plenty!) but the engagement is a bit fussier - and that type of dog is usually reserved for the first gear, where the most torque is applied. I totally understand about "being smitten" by the bikes ..... I still am! Hahaha!  ;)
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