Suzuki Volusia Forum banner

Once and for all, Truth about Timing Chain Failure

25894 Views 76 Replies 29 Participants Last post by  jasonpinson143
There has been a lot of talk about timing chain failure on the C 50 Boulevard engine. I find it hard to believe Suzuki built a motor and continues to build the same motor with a timing chain weakness considering todays advances in motor technology. Any well designed motor should be able to go 100,000 miles with proper maintenance today. So here is the question. has anyone ridden their C 50 motorcycle 100,000 and did you have to replace the timing chains and tensioners. And if you did have the Timing chain problem, how many miles were on your motorcycle. Please include the year so we can look for problem years.
Thank you for participating.
I just bought a 2007 C 50 Boulevard with 13,000 miles on the clock and want to know whether I can plan on riding it another 87,000 miles without a timing chain failure or whether I should sell it at 25,000 for something better designed. Thanks and hopefully we can get to the bottom of this timing chain issue
1 - 5 of 77 Posts
Good question, OP.

So many variables. RPM run, oil used, maintenance intervals. I haven't looked at what it takes to replace the timing chains. Typically on cars we'd replace the chains, the sprockets, and usually some wearing part on the tensioner. Often there would be some magic aftermarket tensioner thing that we'd put in. But I've never done a bike. From my experience, the engines with dirty oil and sludge had the chain damage, and the engines that were sparkling inside as seen through the oil filler cap never came for chain work. If that holds true for the VL800 mine should go past when I'll need it - only 35,000 miles and I do maybe 8000 / year.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
What exactly is involved in changing the timing chain? Does the tensioner need changing? What's the big deal? My car will need the chains changed at about 180,000 miles. That's $2000 in work. Not too bad for a $50,000 plus car.
I'm just wondering about the details. If the jugs need pulling, then it's a big deal. I'd normally be honing and putting in new rings, and probably doing a valve job. That gets to be tiresome. If it's just dropping the engine, pulling some covers, and feeding through a new chain, then replacing the tensioner through some access system, that's not bad.
The manual has a suggested change interval for the timing chain?
So many variables.

If I have this right, I could drop the engine about 3" to give me room at the top, remove the covers on top and on right side, then feed the chain through. Worst case, pull the camshafts off to get some room. Is that about right?
1 - 5 of 77 Posts