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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Why is there confusion among vendors as to the correct number of links in our chain, and the number of teeth on the rear sprocket?

I am finding some vendor sites that say 100 links and others that insist it is 124 links. Also,at least one of the "124 links" vendors says the OEM sprocket is 43 teeth!

To add to the confusion, both the US and Canadian Kawasaki webpages and brochures say that you get a "sealed chain" with a Z125, but everyone seems to have gotten an unsealed (i.e. non o-ring) chain actually.

So, I though I better check:

- We do have non o-ring chains, right? I know I do, any my dealer agrees.

- Do we have 100 links, or 124 links, or ?? links?

- And, just to be sure, it IS 420 SIZE chain, right?

Jim G
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
From the workshop manual
This was very helpful EXCEPT . . . my 2018 owners manual, on page 101, says that the chain SLACK spec has changed!

For "Early Model" (undefined in the manual on page 101) it was 20 to 35 mm (0.8" to 1.4")

For "Late model" (again undefined in the manual on page 101) it is 15 to 33 mm (0.6" to 1.2")

Note that 33mm/35mm = 0.94 and NOT 1.2/1.4 which is 0.86 !

Note also that my owner's manual came with a green insert card that said that 2017 and 2018 Z125s have different ignition timing at idle and higher idle speed.

So, I am tempted to ask: Does "Later model" then mean 2017 and 2018 bikes? Or ??

What a mess Kawasaki has created.

Jim G
 

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I think the higher idle is because of the cheap and nasty work around for the ECU recall, I can't help with the change to chain slack
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I think the higher idle is because of the cheap and nasty work around for the ECU recall, I can't help with the change to chain slack
I agree with the "cheap and nasty" label. They took out ALL the advance in the timing at idle, and then raised the idle rpm to 1850. That's a VERY high idle speed, especially for an engine that only spins to 9800 rpm.

What was the issue that caused the ECU recall? (That was before my time with a Z125 - I just bought mine brand new a couple of weeks ago)

Jim G
 

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For "Early Model" (undefined in the manual on page 101) it was 20 to 35 mm (0.8" to 1.4")

For "Late model" (again undefined in the manual on page 101) it is 15 to 33 mm (0.6" to 1.2")
Hah, yup! That bugged the crap out of me when I RTFM. I just assumed my 2018 was a late model based on a lack of 2019 bikes.
 

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I don't know the date or VIN numbers when the Early Model ended and the Late Model began, but mine must be a late model since the chain adjustment sticker on the left side of my swing arm lists the slack adjustment range as 15-30mm .6-1.2 inch. FWIW the date of manufacture on mine is 11/17.
 

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Changing the chain slack by 5mm does not mean there is any new hardware. It means that the chains were a bit too loose under some circumstances and they want to snug it up.

OP. The reason for the confusion I can only assume. But working in the industry I'd bet it's because: The person in charge of data entry rarely has any inherent knowledge of what they're entering. Mistakes in details are plentiful. No biggie.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Changing the chain slack by 5mm does not mean there is any new hardware. It means that the chains were a bit too loose under some circumstances and they want to snug it up.

OP. The reason for the confusion I can only assume. But working in the industry I'd bet it's because: The person in charge of data entry rarely has any inherent knowledge of what they're entering. Mistakes in details are plentiful. No biggie.
It's a biggie if you order a 124 link chain and then have to break it but don't even own a chain breaker! (The Z125 uses a master clip, so no breaker or riveter needed) :)

And, there's no good excuse for the "sealed" chain description in both the US and Canadian websites AND brochures, and then providing a cheap non-sealed chain. :(

Jim G
 

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I would agree that the "old" chain slack spec was just revised because it was too loose and not because any parts changed. It always seemed too loose to me. I haven't owned as many bikes as some of the guys here but I do have over a decade of riding experience always doing my own wrenching and I have never ran a street chain as loose as the "old" spec allowed.

And yeah Jim. Total con job. Basically we have a $10 bicycle chain. Funny thing is while looking for an O or X ring 420 replacement I don't think any of the 420 chains I've seen are even rated for more than 100cc street use.

I did a super crude 20 link measurement with the chain on the bike, bike in gear to prevent rolling and stretching chain by hand... like I said very crude... but I didn't want to take it off. I'm closing in on the 10.2" limit and under 3000 miles with what I assume is way more maintenance than a lot of these chains see.
 

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Not sticking up for anyone that typed the sealed chain thing. That is kind of sneaky and I didn't notice it before.

Sealed chains have a lot of static friction and on this tiny bike I'd bet it would be a noticeable power suck. If it came with a sealed chain I would swap it for a normal one anyways. Could explain why it has what it has.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Not sticking up for anyone that typed the sealed chain thing. That is kind of sneaky and I didn't notice it before.

Sealed chains have a lot of static friction and on this tiny bike I'd bet it would be a noticeable power suck. If it came with a sealed chain I would swap it for a normal one anyways. Could explain why it has what it has.
There's no way the extra power diversion from using a sealed chain is a valid excuse. At the speeds and loads the Z125 operates at compared to almost any other bike, this is a fraction of a horsepower at most. The non o-ring chain makes chain maintenance a much more frequent task, and DID points out on their own chain website that an o-ring chain lasts SEVEN TIMES LONGER than a non-o-ring chain!

I've got betetr things to do than clean, lubricate, and adjust a stretchy chain. I'm getting an o-ring chain asap.

Jim G
 
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