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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Concerning the GL650 and it's camchain and adjuster. Is the system used on this bike as trouble prone as the earlier ones or has it been improved?
 

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I think the 650's system is considered to be better than the manual adjuster ones. At least the chain is always adjusted properly, until the chain stretches and wears. So, the chain does need checking and replacing when worn. My chain had 54k on it and probably could have gone another 5k before it would absolutely need changing. I did it anyhow since I was there already. I believe Bandit's was about the same mileage. But I have heard of others with 30k needing chain replacement. May have to do with oil changes, and if the bike was flogged continually.



Unfortunately, parts other than the chain are no longer available new. The left guide was available until recently, but I heard someone say they couldn't get it from Honda now.
 

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I did a tripple bypass at 46k miles last winter due to a leaky machanical seal. The cam chain was also nearing the end of it's life. The adjuster appeared to be close to fully extended. I replaced the mechanical seal, stator, cam chain, chain guide chain tensioner slider and tensioner with all new parts. I lucked out and found a guy with NOS guides and tensioner for a gl500 turbo that he wanted to get rid of because he sold the bike. The mechanical seal and stator came from and e-bay seller. I'm sure there are still other new guides/tensiner sliders out there. They are just getting very hard to find. My old tensioner and guides are still serviceable so I'm keeping them for now just-in-case.
 

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Concerning the GL650 and it's camchain and adjuster. Is the system used on this bike as trouble prone as the earlier ones or has it been improved?
I wouldn't necessarily call the automatic tensioning system an improvement. The automatic tensioners themselves can fail. The automatic camchain tensioners are still available from Honda, as well as the camchain itself. The two blades/guides are becoming very difficult to find though.



 

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Concerning the GL650 and it's camchain and adjuster. Is the system used on this bike as trouble prone as the earlier ones or has it been improved?




I have two GL650's and have worked on both engines. My Interstate version was non-running when I bought it. The guy I got it from had received it from his father-in-law who bought it new. The father-in-law reportedly had the engine torn down by his dealer after 2 years to replace "something." When I got into the engine I found the starter clutch needed replacement due to all three bolts having come loose and rattling around. Plus the rollers had flat spots from engaging the drive shaft. It appears that the Honda designers used the same starter clutch on the GL650 as was used on the GL500, etc. The larger engine of the GL650 seems to start with more of a "grunt" because it is using the same starting components as its smaller GL500 cousin. The GL500 "spins" or winds up some rev's and then fires. I think that stronger starting torque on the GL650 may contribute to its cam chain stretching.



Also, when I was getting ready to reassemble the engine I found a fingernail-size chunk of metal in the oil sump. It was from an automatic cam chain tensioner and matches the broken part in the photos on this post, But the tensioner I had on my engine was intact - not broken. So it had to come from the first engine teardown when the bike was only 2 years old and the dealer failed to remove it from the engine case oil sump. It appears the quality of the casting design for the automatic tensioner could have been improved by increasing the wall thickness of the barrel for the spring and piston. However, I have not had any problem with either of the two chain tensioners now on my bikes. And there is no obvious change in the tensioner's design, so this must be a "luck-of-the-draw" problem. If you already own a GL650 and the cam chain tensioner is not broken then you are probably one of the lucky ones.



Hope your rides for the summer and fall are safe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks guys for your input. I guess I should keep my eyes open for a chain and tensioner although my bike only has 7900 miles on it. AND is this the coolest site ever? Glad I found it.
 

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Ops ... already covered ... but the answers didn't immediately come up when I clicked on it.
 

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Thanks for popping in anyway David!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I was thinking about a Honda coupe that I had owned once. It was a 600cc twin and it had an auto camchain tensioner but it was of the "wheel" type. It rode on top of the chain with "rolling" control and not sliding. Never gave a minutes problem. Seems like that type would be more suited to the Morse camchain. Wonder if something like that could be retrofitted to the bikes?

Moreover, cars use this chain on their cam drives(some cars,I think) and they don't seem to have the same problems.
 
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