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Discussion Starter #1
I just thought someone might be interested in this....
I purchased my Grom new at the end of August 2019. Installed Kitaco clutch cover and magnetic drain plug at 500 miles and of course changed the oil. Since then, I change the oil every 1000 miles, and the filter every 2000 miles. I have been running Intake, Exhaust, Cam and Ecu flash with at least 10K rpm rev limit since I think the 1000 mile mark, give or take 250 miles. Today I did my 8500 mile oil change.

First I found this in the oil filter cavity
2020-07-03 11.50.31.jpg


I was thinking either clutch fibers or stock cam chain tensioner, so I pulled the cover. Here is the factory screen which obviously missed a lot of small pieces.
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Screen was really clean considering this is only the third time I have ever cleaned it. I carefully looked around in the case and found two larger pieces in the cavity beneath the screen leading me to cam chain tensioner? I think?
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After cleaning everything up and getting ready to reinstall the cover I noticed this cavity.
2020-07-03 11.52.57.jpg


Looking inside I promply found a few more small pieces which I put on the paper towel to the right of the original two.
20200703_112104.jpg


Obviously the factory screen will not entirely protect your engine from cam chain tension wear. Also we all need to be checking the cavity in the clutch cover itself if we have pulled it off for inspection or parts installation. Comments?
 
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My guess would be the cam chain tensioner. I don’t think it is unheard of for the cam chain tensioner to be trashed at 8500 miles. I believe I’ve read old threads where the tensioner was worn out and falling apart with mileage very similar to your bike. I bet your tensioner wheel has disintegrated. One of those pieces looks kind of like part of the wheel.

The stock tensioner is adequate, but nothing special. The part that contacts the cam chain tensioner button is way too narrow. It quickly cuts into the button, which is stupidly made of rubber or something.

I replaced my stock tensioner with the Takegawa tensioner. The button was replaced with the Kitaco Duracon button. If I understand it correctly, Duracon is very similar to Delrin. It is hard. The Takegawa tensioner has a wide foot where it contacts the button. This spreads out the pressure, preventing it from cutting into the button. The Kitaco tensioner button is much more durable adding additional insurance.

I read once, and I’m not sure if it is correct, but someone said, as the stock tensioner foot cuts into the tensioner button, it then applies less tension to the chain, allowing more slack, and thus changing the timing slightly. Don’t shoot the messenger, I read that though, not sure if it is true. I would think the spring loaded tensioner plunger would just put more pressure to make up the difference, but maybe not.

When you replace the tensioner, it is a great time to spend even more money and add the Takegawa 4th crank support bearing.

Here are some photos. You can see my stock tensioner arm was already starting to put a dent in the button (less than 1000 miles).

The last two photos belong to someone else. I am reposting them.

I thought you were going to Columbus? Are you going to ride the bike like that? You see, this is why you should never take anything apart. There was nothing wrong with it, until you just had to open it up and discover that mess.
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Discussion Starter #4
I am still going to Columbus, no symptoms of trouble so I hope I have enough material left to get me through. Plan on ordering a cam chain tensioner as soon as I decide which one I want. I was leaning koso, but your takegawa looks nice too. Difference in width is incredible.
 

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Yeah, there probably isn’t a whole lot of your tensioner wheel left. You should probably replace the other two wheels also. The one on the bottom of the chain and the one in the cylinder tunnel.

It’s a tough call. The Takegawa tensioner is beautifully made. It has an oil weep hole at the pivot, to keep it lubricated. I’ll post a photo.

If I remember correctly, the early Koso units had a spacing issue or something. I think they started supplying them with a washer to compensate. The Koso tensioner has a metal sprocket, I believe, so the sprocket may last a long time. I’m not sure if it makes more noise.

I just liked the Takegawa part better overall.

Maybe someone with the Koso tensioner can offer more info about it. I believe CiscoSanJose liked it.

Be sure to purchase a flywheel puller if you don’t already have one. I have the Kitaco version.

Do you think there are any oil passage holes that a large piece of the tensioner wheel could clog up? I say that, because my Kitaco clutch cover has some small passage holes.
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Thanks for the report. I may have to purchase that takegawa tensioner. I'm coming up on 6k miles on my Grom, and it's never to late for upgraded parts.
 

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@Upgrayedd
Thanks for the pics and info, I also have the Kitaco cover. All I can do is hope anything that made it past the screen was small enough to get chewed up by the oil pump on its way to the filter. This was one reason I never installed a SUP modified pump because it bypasses the screen which obviously saved 6 large chunks from getting through. If they were hard enough to jam the pump I would be sitting on a fried engine instead of completing my +300 mile trip as scheduled. Risky I know, but at least I was aware of the risk when I left the house.....
 

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Trip adventure!

@Hairless bike died in traffic about an hour from home. A little sleuthing and we figured out his kickstand switch had failed. There are 3 sets of wires above the front sprocket, the stator connection (easy to see because it disappears into the stator cover) , a single wire (nuetral indicator) , and two wires that go to a green two wire connector. Cut the wires below the connector (on the switch side) strip em back, twist em together and ride on home. Every trip needs a little adventure, also it was over 300 miles rain free! But it flooded the last 5 or 6 miles...... lol. It was bound to happen. :)

Wouldn't change a thing, great trip!
 
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20200704_121358.jpg
 
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You’re welcome. When you replace your cam chain tensioner, post some pics of the old one. I’m curious to know what kind of shape it is in. Give us an update.

The ride sounds epic. It wouldn’t be an adventure without something going wrong. Glad you figured out what the problem was. I’ve heard of those side stand switches failing. That’s a good tip to remember in case mine goes out sometime. You wouldn’t believe how many tools I have under the seat on my Grom, along with a tire plug kit and co2 cartridges. When we are riding dirt bikes offroad in the Rockies, my friend’s toolkit strapped to the front fender of his KTM feels like it weighs 20lbs. We end up using those tools every ride for something.

I had a good ride Friday. Do you ever drag your toes on the ground in turns? It happened in a left hand turn yesterday.

Today I rode to a 4th of July party at a friends house on the lake. Storms were closing in on me after a few hours. I suited up and ripped home. Took the Subaru back to the party...lol. We had some seriously kick ass fireworks. A wheel barrel full...lol.

Good grief that little bike was screaming today. I’ve gotten so much more used to the size of the Grom this year. Much more fluid. I feel like my timing is finally coming together. I’m able to maintain momentum through the twisties so much better. It makes a big difference on a bike that isn’t very powerful. Don’t give up the speed you have.
 

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Yes, I have scraped my toes. Scared the $#!& out of me the first time. Always on slow left turns when I'm waiting to snatch 2nd gear. I have started short shifting on left hand turns from a complete stop. I have the Koso CCT ordered. I will definitely post pics. Contemplating a lightened flywheel, it will kill my wheelie game.....
 
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You ride wheelies without the SUP modified oil pump?

Same scenario. Left hand, slow speed, from a traffic light, going downhill.
 

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No, I just pop it up and right back down. Usually from a red light.
 

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I see. Yeah, it is surprising how quickly the head is starved for oil. There is that video on YouTube with the bike standing upright with the tappet cover removed. No oil to the head within seconds. Crazy.

Those modified pumps from SUP have probably saved a lot of motors.
 

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If wheelies are your thing, you definitely need a SUP, however they are not perfect because of their vulnerability to getting jammed by large contaminants which would normally get caught by the oil screen. I chose the extra precaution and decided to only do up/down wheelies, no balance point. Most people who stunt or ride wheelies for 10 seconds to 10 minutes will never see the mileage my Grom will. I much prefer mine to be more race oriented than stunt. Love creating a gap between my Grom and a "real bike" through a tight corner. Love it even more when they power past me on the following straight. The big bikes have their advantages, the Grom has some of it's own. It is unbelievably fun if you trust it and are not afraid to push it a little.
 
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Wheelies are my thing on bicycles. I ride long wheelies on my mountain bikes.

I didn’t know that about the SUP oil pumps though. I’m not into riding wheelies on the Grom. If I was younger, it would be more important to me. On the Grom, I like riding fast through really curvy roads. That’s what I care about.

I agree on trusting the bike. That’s what is finally coming together. I felt like my timing was off in the turns previously. Maybe it is the short wheelbase that was throwing me off.

Makes me want to keep modifying the bike. It just keeps getting better and more capable. Definitely make it more race oriented.

Some people that I meet just don’t understand the appeal of the Grom. Others get it. It’s one of the most fun bikes I’ve ever ridden.
 

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Glad I just read this thread, have a 4th bearing I’m going to install, now going to order the Takegawa Cam Chain Tensioner tonight and just do both at the same time.
 

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Just added another 360+ miles to the grom today, rode to Cheaha state park. Highest point in Alabama. Still waiting on Koso cam chain Tensioner to come in. I ordered a JCR lightened flywheel to install hopefully at the same time, and my DCR valvesprings I ordered over a month ago have finally shipped! Lol..... the upgrades never stop. 9184 miles on the odometer now, hoping I can hit 10K miles before it's one year anniversary in late August.
 
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That Takegawa tensioner is nice. I would've considered one if it was out when I was looking.
 
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