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Author [NL] [FR] [ES] [DE] [SE] [IT] [NO] [MY] Topic: Chain and sprocket set - just checking as I'm a numpty  (Read 5658 times)

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Online jonnster71

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Dear All,

With all this spare time I've decided to change the chain and sprocket by myself for the first time. The current set up is a 16t front, 46t rear on a DID 520 VX.

For interest, the last chain and sprockets were fitted at 25k miles, so have done just over 16k miles with almost religious cleaning and oiling. The chain has now seized at least one link and is chattering like the missus on a long road journey, so time for a change (chain not missus, although open to offers on the latter).

This will now be the fourth chain fitted since I got the bike new; OEM (6k), DID (16k), DID VX (25k) and now this one. As you can see, even with my not insignificant cleaning/lubricating routine I'm at best getting 16k, at worst 9k out of a chain, so I reckon time to try a different manufacturer. Note; I ride all year in all weathers.

I'm happy with the current 16/46 (2.88) gearing, just enough pep low down for fun, ideal mid range for twisties and overtakes and maybe a bit short for motorway runs but I avoid them as much as possible.

I've researched the forum and elsewhere and am thinking the following.

520 - stick to this as I can't see a reason why a larger roller would benefit me and a lighter chain might add a bit of a spring in her step but I'm worried about how I seem to chew through the 520 as it is. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

16/46 or 15/43 - I'm obviously not a mechanic but it seems to me that a 15t front/43 rear would provide very similar gearing to the current 16/46 (2.87 vs 2.88). Am I correct? What am  I missing here, as it seems there's better available 15t fronts than 16t? (I want a damped front sprocket). Are there any benefits from 15/43 over 16/46?

I know this topic has been gone over a thousand times, but I can't make my mind up and would appreciate a guiding hand from someone with more knowledge than me.

For reference this is what I'm considering right now;
16/46 sprockets with 520 chain - https://ebay.us/nNNLQp - assuming the Yamaha bolts are a universal pattern that will fit the Versys?

or as an alternative;
15/43 sprockets with 520 chain -
https://ebay.us/63tcPo - ognibene damped 15t front
https://ebay.us/2kaFUT - JT alu rear
https://ebay.us/ibudVN - ognibene 520 114 link chain

Any help or advice much appreciated. :028:


Online uralrob

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Re: Chain and sprocket set - just checking as I'm a numpty
« Reply #1 on: Mar 27, 2020, 11:45 AM »

 
 Sympathies - so many options.

 I've always used oem rear sprockets on both 650s and 16t rubber damped front sprockets used by '06 Ninja 650s, # 13144-0038.
 Chains have always been the heaviest 520 x ring that DID have at the time. I think the last few have been ZVM-X.

 I replace the front sprocket at about every 15k km for the front and 30 k for rear and chain since the front rotates so many more times than the rear over any given distance.
 At those intervals both chain and sprockets are worn but not toast.

 My riding conditions are very different from yours. No commuting, and I get to pick my weather to a much greater extent than you, even 'tho my bikes usually get out every
month of the year.

 I do wonder if there is such a thing as over cleaning. Maybe too frequent exposure to the usual solvents such as kerosene or WD40 washes the grease out from around the o/x rings  :notsure: .
 My chains get a wipe down with a WD wetted rag after wet roads and then lubed with Liquid Moly but in dry weather they are seldom if ever cleaned. They've never seen a chain brush of any kind. Just lubed with the Liquid Moly every few hundred km.

 I'm not suggesting that any of the above is from the Oracle but it fits with my level of laziness and forgetfulness and gives acceptable mileage.

 Rob.
Don't take Life too serious, it's not permanent.

Offline jkristjan

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Re: Chain and sprocket set - just checking as I'm a numpty
« Reply #2 on: Mar 27, 2020, 11:52 AM »
I would not put on a smaller front sprocket because the front sprocket is the first wear point as it is, would not want to make it even worse. If you really need, put on a smaller rear, but I myself would stick to the stock gear ratio for accurate odometer reading. As for everything else, I would not bother too much buying fancy stuff and theorycrafting. Just check and change regularly, two sets of cheaper equipment changed well before they wear out versus one set of fancy equipment stretched to their limit, do the math, think which one is better. The front does not need to be damped and overdoing the cleaning and oiling will not make a difference, in general, aiming to squeeze as much miles out of a chain set as possible is not a good goal, especially because noone seems to check the real chain wear - the length of a given number of links as per the service manual (or as per the chain specifications, if not running the OEM chain). Significant chain wear comes with significant loads (I ride gently so my chain set looks like brand new at 9k miles and I am still on the original rear tire), so if that has been the case for you and if you find an upmarket chain that maintains it's fresh look for very long, you clean and oil it meticulously to even extend this look, you will be likely to ride on an out of spec chain at some point and not know it. I predict that I will be changing my chain set every 2nd major maintenance, that is 24000 km or 15000 miles and I will be putting on the OEM stuff (or something very mainstream and mediocre if the OEM parts appear to be too expensive).

Online jonnster71

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Re: Chain and sprocket set - just checking as I'm a numpty
« Reply #3 on: Mar 27, 2020, 12:15 PM »
You guys, that's great input.

Regarding the larger front sprocket, I found the 16t front sprocket presented a closer speedometer reading to my GPS feed so I reckoned that the original spec was for a 16t which was later reduced to 15t to give it a bit more pep.

As for over-oiling, well certainly I am compared to your regime Uralrob. I did have a regime like yours on my first chain but it popped it's giblets after 6k miles so figured that wasn't right for me. But taking JKristjan's point on board, I do ride her pretty hard and she is often 'well-loaded' so that must have an impact on the chain's longevity. Time for me to recalibrate my expectations.

Hadn't thought of more frequent changing of the front sprocket, always took the manufacturer guidance to change chain and both sprockets at the same intervals but I am at least reassured that my mileage isn't that far out from yours.

Right, now off to look into cheaper options as I really don't want to spend 140 on a DID set if not needed.

 :123A:
« Last Edit: Mar 27, 2020, 12:19 PM by jonnster71 »

Online Bart

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Re: Chain and sprocket set - just checking as I'm a numpty
« Reply #4 on: Mar 27, 2020, 01:41 PM »
+1 on changing the front sprocket early and a bigger sprocket will give a the chain a slightly easier time as it has to bend slightly less. There is a lot of adjustment on the Versys swingarm, I used to run a chain with a set of extra links with  16t front and there was plenty of adjustment left. The theory being that more links would share the load slightly more.
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Offline jkristjan

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Re: Chain and sprocket set - just checking as I'm a numpty
« Reply #5 on: Mar 27, 2020, 02:43 PM »
Check out Pedro Mota on Youtube and his adventures with chain and sprockets in Brazil. The remains of teeth were literally breaking off from his rear sprocket and the chain jumped off repeatedly. After fixing that (with the aid of a lathe and a welder, of course) , he continued on a shark fin shaped front sprocket, then changed it, then his chain broke, then he put on some secondhand chain with visibly binding links from some Ducati dude.

Now I'm not saying do what he did, quite the contrary, what he did was proven wrong because he had actual accidents. But what his videos show is when these accidents happened - when everything was absolutely toast, several orders of a magnitude beyond what we would ever discuss here.

The chain drive is quite a resilient mechanism and it has quite large tolerances for error. Everything is meant to wear as it goes and  to accept the accumulating change of measurements. It is not that you cannot ride on worn chain and sprockets, you just cannot ride on chain and sprockets that have worn beyond the acceptable level. You don't need to be in the good end of the specifications, you don't need to be in the middle, you just should replace worn components when you detect that they have worn past the specs and you should check at the intervals specified in the manual or otherwise determined reasonable. If you know something has just gone over the line, you don't need to call for a tow truck, the max speed of the bike determined by the manufacturer is 152 km/h, you would not do 152 km/h but rather complete your trip cautiously and gently.

As Walter Lewin always explained, a measurement is meaningless if we don't know the degree of accuracy/uncertainty in it. Take for example the chain slack that everyone is obsessing over. It says 25-35 mm in the manual. This is the uncertainty, 10 mm. You cannot measure it accurately, you put some undetermined pressure on the chain and measure, this can be 1 kilogram or 100 kilograms and it will affect the measurement by 10 mm easily. Also you are supposed to do this on the tightest spot on the chain but you have absolutely no accurate method to determine that exact spot. Finally, placement and reading a ruler or measurement tape in awkward places is always give or take a millimeter or two. So as long as you measure somewhere between 25 and 35 you are fine and if you measure 36 or 38 you are also fine, because due to uncertainty it may just as well be 35. As we want to err on the loose side, perhaps we should make sure we always read at least 30, but that is another case-specific topic. And if you measure 45, you know you should do something about it, but you should not constantly adjust it back to 25 from 30 in order to not reach the 35 mark, that would be misinterpretation of the meaning of the specified normal service range.
« Last Edit: Mar 27, 2020, 02:44 PM by jkristjan »

Online jonnster71

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Re: Chain and sprocket set - just checking as I'm a numpty
« Reply #6 on: Mar 27, 2020, 03:21 PM »
Good post, I follow Pedro Mota and saw the episodes with the chain drama.

I'm pretty good at keeping my chain adjusted and always tend to wards the looser end (35-40mm), due to my *aherm* 'built-for-comfort-not-speed' dimensions.

I probably could get another couple of thousand out of this existing chain but I was planning on doing Scotland, Isle of Man and NVM in Northern Ireland this year so didn't want to risk it, especially after Stewie observed how the bad the chain was chattering on our ride last weekend. Hence the post.

Thanks again for the input, this is turning into a useful string.
 :028:

Offline jkristjan

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Re: Chain and sprocket set - just checking as I'm a numpty
« Reply #7 on: Mar 27, 2020, 03:47 PM »
Just wanted to give another example, the valve clearances. I see many times on YT that someone is measuring and when some valve is near the end of the spec range, they bring it back into the middle or the supposed good end (what ever that would be, in case of valves, that is another multiple variable question). But this is not what the manual says. If it is in range, it is in range, just reassemble the engine and ride another 42000 km. Then you measure again and if that valve is out of spec, then you change the shim. But what if it goes not just out of range, but because it was near the end of the spec, it goes full retard and breaks the engine? Well this is what the manufacturer has considered when determining the check interval and the tolerances. Mitigation of that risk is already there, you are not neglecting it if you don't add to it. So yes, in theory all this "good end of the spec" and "in the middle of the spec" seems logical, but that dismisses the whole point of the "normal" specs that the manufacturer has carefully considered, calculated, tested and published. And can the manufacturers sometimes [censored] up and a known need for additional corrections arise? Sure. But these are special cases that do not change the general logic.
« Last Edit: Mar 27, 2020, 03:47 PM by jkristjan »

Online jonnster71

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Re: Chain and sprocket set - just checking as I'm a numpty
« Reply #8 on: Apr 01, 2020, 10:57 AM »
Alright you dirty monkeys thanks for all the advice, after much dithering I've ordered the following for my next lock down job.

Went with a 520 chain, for cost saving as much as anything. Did a bit of reading up and understand that a 525 can give better power transfer, longevity and some report smoother delivery but I decided against.

Went with the following from eBay;

Damped 16t front sprocket from JT @ 8.81 delivered (ER-6F 650E spec)
https://ebay.us/YgBplG

Aluminium 46t rear sprocket from JT @ 21.67 delivered
https://ebay.us/SCdW1c

Ognibene Trofeo Gold TRX (X link) 520, 114 link chain @ 51 delivered
https://ebay.us/HiKLiA

Total of 81.48 which is about a tenner more than a standard chain and sprocket set with a 15t front, but still significantly cheaper than the DID chain I was going to order.

Decided on this combination because I figured the alu rear sprocket might wear out similarly to the steel front sprocket and it could provide a little less rotational mass to give her a smidge more pep at the low end? The Ognibene chain seemed to get decent reviews and figured that if it lasts 10k miles it won't cost more than my previous chains.

 :88:


Also decided to fit a manual chain oiler (the push button Loobman http://www.loobman.co.uk) which is cheap as chips, uses EP90 oil and is so simple that it cannot burden me with the farting around and unreliability I had with the previous Scottoiler touring set-up (https://www.scottoiler.com/products/accessories/magnum-hcr/), which I violently removed last year after 8 years of frigging around and having to manually oil because it packed up mid-tour.


May this chain last longer than Covid19.  :020:
« Last Edit: Apr 01, 2020, 11:00 AM by jonnster71 »

Online TowerMan

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Re: Chain and sprocket set - just checking as I'm a numpty
« Reply #9 on: Apr 01, 2020, 11:42 AM »
*Originally Posted by jonnster71 [+]
Aluminium 46t rear sprocket from JT @ 21.67 delivered
https://ebay.us/SCdW1c

J

The only thing I would have done differently is got a STEEL rear sprocket, as the Aluminium one will not last long  :027:

Like this one for 15 - HERE  :028:



« Last Edit: Apr 01, 2020, 11:48 AM by TowerMan »
Richard    :001: 
                   

2020 NVM now on HOLD until Sept 2020