I own a motorcycle.

It's been my summer ride for nearly 4 years now. I've put nearly 10000 miles on it since I bought it, used, in late 2009. Since it was an 1982 model year machine, I counted myself lucky.

In all that time, I haven't paid much attention to the drive chain. Except for lubricating it every month or two.

Last fall, I took it in to get the front tire swapped out. The maintenance man at the shop asked me how old the chain was. I shrugged. He recommended replacement. It was far looser than it ought to be, and there was too much slack to fix it by bringing in the tensioner.

I thanked him, and rode the machine home--gingerly. I then planned to get the chain and sprockets replaced this Spring.

Except...it's a little hard to get a repair shop to make an appointment. Because the machine is from 1982.

Kind of ironic, since the shop that I drove the motorcycle to for front-tire replacement didn't bat an eye when I rode it in. But they said, over the phone, that it was too old for them to work on.

However, the task of swapping out a chain and sprockets is much more involved than the task of replacing the tire on the front wheel.

And it is highly likely that this repair shop regularly gets calls from people who've left a motorcycle unused in their garage for a decade...and then want it fixed up. They have no idea how many bolts might break while they take things apart, nor do they have any idea of the condition of the motorcycle that I'm talking to them about on the phone.

Except now I have to chase down a repairman who will do this job. Because I don't quite feel up to the job of doing a complete chain-and-sprocket replacement myself.

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