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dudewhrsmybike dudewhrsmybike is offline
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Basic Chain and Sprocket Information
by dudewhrsmybike 02-14-2009, 12:39 PM

Quote:
There is a lot of questions about Chains, Sprockets, Gearing and so on. Hopefully this will help people. First everyone needs to realize there is a countershaft or front sprocket at the front of your chain (covered up) and a Rear sprocket in the rear wheel area that you can see. The gearing means the tooth count of each sprocket. As you change the tooth count of a sprocket you will change the way the bike accelerates, top speed, rpm's per speed. Many will wonder what the pitch means. You can think of that as the width of the chain and how thick the sprockets are. You must buy the same pitch for your sprockets and chain as they must match up. The thicker they are (higher pitch number) the stronger they are, but also heavier.

Most all 600cc and 750cc guys can easily go down to a 520 pitch setup (known as the 520 conversion). The bikes don't push enough horsepower (hp) to hurt a good quality 520 setup. Most guys who ride a 1000cc bike also convert to a 520 (this fact alone should give the 600cc and 750cc guys confidence in the setup). The only time i would recommend sticking with a 530 pitch setup is if you stunt it, love wheelies, have a turbo, have nitrous, or just want to ensure it last the longest time possible. Other then that a good 520 setup is what many people move to and if you read around on the forums you'll find the same trends.

Many racers swear by select brands, but the fact remains that all our sprockets are made out of the same grade aluminum and ALL are hard anodized. We won't sell a sprocket if it's not hard anodized as hard anodizing nearly doubles the life of the sprocket for only a few dollars more. Most all good aftermarket 520 setups are nearly as strong (some are stronger) then stock 530 setups. The 520 setups are also cheaper so that's another plus. What many people forget when buying is that sprockets normally wear out before a chain if it's properly maintained. All of are sprockets are hard anodized and made from top grade aluminum and all of our chains are the top chains from each manufacturer. If you want a cheaper kit that will not last as long or isn't as safe then our kits aren't for you. One thing about maintenance you must know that over tightening a chain will cause VERY quick failure of the sprockets and chain on ANY setup. If you set the chain too loose it will "slap" the sprocket as you take off and the slapping can cause a crack between the teeth of the rear sprocket or can widen the teeth and cause problems. Set your chain slack to oem standards! We can't stress this enough.. That is the most important factor for keeping a setup around a long time. Also lubing the chain at regular intervals.

Since the chain setup is out of the way lets move on to sprockets. Stock sprockets are mostly all steel. This is a very heavy metal, but it lasts a long time. Most aftermarket sprockets are made out of aluminum. An alum sprocket won't last nearly as long as a steel sprocket. However, they came up with a procedure called hard anodizing which makes the sprocket much harder. This process in all makers turns the sprocket into a black or dark grey color. If your sprocket isn't that color you can forget your sprocket being hard anodized. Hard anodizing is said to double the life of an alum sprocket and make it last close to as long as steel if it's properly taken care of.

Now to gearing. You often here of -1 or +2 or -1/+2. Well if you hear - numbers it normally means going down a tooth in the front sprocket. This gives you more acceleration out of your bike (feels like more torque and it's noticeable), but on the downside you will lose roughly 10mph of top speed in 6th. So if you went 185 mph you'll probably only go 175 now. before getting into redline or wherever you were before in the rpms. When people talk about + numbers its normally talking about the rear sprocket as this also increases acceleration. The most common setup (especially for 1000cc bikes) is +2 in the rear. This gives you a noticeable gain in acceleration with a loss of about 7mph on the top end. You can also combine the two and run -1 in front and +2 in the rear (a -1/+2 setup) this will give you crazy acceleration, but you'll lose 15-20mph on the top end. it's great for stunters or drag racers. Going down 1 tooth in the front is equal to going up about 3 teeth in the rear. So if you do +2 in the rear it's a little bit less drastic of a change then -1 in the front.

If you rarely do top end pulls and want acceleration i would recommend going -1 in front. If you want the both of best worlds you'll have to comprimise, but +2 in the rear is the favorite setup. Only do both if you have experience with gearing or want to have crazy acceleration and rarely do top speed pulls. Also note that if you go -1/+2 at the same time even going down the freeway your rpms will be noticeably higher, this can slightly eat into gas mileage.

Many people ask if they should get a rivet master link or a clip on. The master link is the link YOU connect to connect both ends of the chain and link them into one chain that wraps around the sprockets. Many people say that clip on links are fine, but many have also had them come off and this can become a major problem resulting in a destroyed engine, foot, or even a crash. The rivet links are much stronger and safer so I HIGHLY recommend using that. saving 50 dollars to have your dealer rivet the chain together is nothing compared to what often happens if a chain comes apart while riding. You can also buy a chain tool and rivet the chain together yourself. I recommend the motionpro rivet/chain breaker kit, but any will work. Feel free to search the net on instructions on how to rivet.

Some people ask about if going +2 teeth or what not in the rear will move the rear wheel back too far. Well you should always replace the chain and sprockets together unless you have very low miles on the setup. You see the chain and sprockets wear out together and in a way "form" to each other. Anyway, when you put the new chain on you can add links or take links away to make the chain as long or short as you want it. This lets YOU decide how far back or forward you want the rear tire. Remember you can ALWAYS take more links off so don't overdo it. It's best to take not enough links off the chain then too many.

MPH: Yes when you go down in the front or up in the rear your speedometer willl be off. Normally it will be higher then you are actually going. Many people don't mind this, but some do especially because it racks up miles about 5-15% quicker. The solution is to buy a speedohealer which will correct the error. This is a plug in unit and easy to install.


Tips:
1: If you can't figure out which way the front sprocket goes in ASK SOMEONE. Don't guess as you can put it on backwards and wreck the setup.
2: If you haven't riveted something before then have someone help you or make sure you know what you're doing.
3: Set your chain slack to your oem specs or you will destroy a chain kit fast.
4: If you change your gearing your speedometer will probably be thrown off a bit.
5: Set your chain to the proper chain slack at the tightest spot, rotate the rear tire as you check and check it in different spots of the chain. Don't assume the first spot you check is the tightest spot in the chain.

Last edited by dudewhrsmybike; 08-16-2009 at 12:14 PM.
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Old 02-14-2009, 12:39 PM   #2
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Chain and Sprocket Common Questions. . . .

Quote:
1. What is hard anodizing and why do I need it?
Hard anodizing is a process that the sprockets go through that nearly doubles the strength and life of the sprocket. It puts a very hard surface on the sprocket. The coloring of this is a dark gray, but lately many manufacturers are adding dye to make them pure black or colored.

2. What color are afam sprockets?
All afam sprockets are a dark gray in color. NONE are black in color. What happened is that one importer repackaged them in a packaging that says Drive Systems and AFAM on the packaging and many dealers got this confused and assumed that the black ones were afam when in fact they are not. If you read ON THE SPROCKET it will say afam if it's afam.

3. Do you sell any non hard anodized sprockets?
No we do not. We want our customers to buy a chain kit, use it for thousands and thousands of miles and not worry about something going wrong with it or having it wear out early. We only sell hard anodized sprockets since it only costs a little more to get a sprocket twice as hard and one that will last twice as long.

4. Which sprocket is the least amount of weight?
All alum sprockets weight in around 11 ounces or so. With that said every brand is slightly different then another, but they are all around the same weight give or take 1-2 ounces. It's not enough to really matter.

5. What are front sprockets made of?
ALL front sprockets are made of steel or else the little tiny teeth on the front sprocket would wear right off the minute you revved up your bike.

6. What is the difference between the chains you sell?
ALL the chains we sell are the top of the line by each manufacturer. They are all plenty strong for the kits we sell. If we didn't believe in every chain we wouldn't sell it. We don't sell cheap kits, we sell great kits at cheap prices. With that said... The erv3 is the lightest as it's 3 ounces less weight then the RK GXW, but it's also the weakest out of all the chains we sell. The RK GXW is the next strongest, but also the next heaviest. The EK MVXZ is the strongest 520 chain and only weights about 1-2 ounces over the RK GXW chain. those weight differences you will not notice while riding your bike.

7. What is your best selling sprocket and chain kit?
At this time that would be the driven sprockets with the ek or rk chain.

8. Which sprocket is the best?
When they are made of the same alum and go through the same hard anodizing process it's hard to say which is "better". Factually they are all great sprockets and the quality is the same. It's the price and looks that are different. Good quality alum and hard anodizeding are the keys to a good sprocket.

9. I've heard that brand is the best?
Ask whoever told you that what makes it better then a sprocket made of the same alum and with the same hard anodizing? You'll see them look like a deer in the headlights when you ask for them to back it up. Many just love the products they have used or many are sponsored by a certain brand, but all the ones we carry work great and I wouldn't say one is better than another when I have used them all and notice the same thing. We sell what we believe in and can't honestly say what is "best" when they are the same material and go through the same process.

Last edited by dudewhrsmybike; 08-16-2009 at 12:15 PM.
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Old 02-14-2009, 05:28 PM   #3
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This should be stickied
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Old 02-14-2009, 05:32 PM   #4
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Good find mang!
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Old 02-14-2009, 06:02 PM   #5
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Simply example of the effect of changing the gearing on a bike

1 - find out what you original sprockets are are

Lets say front / Contershaft is 15 teeth originally
Lets say rear sprocket is 45 teeth

OK 45/15 = 3

2 - Lets say in a given gear - OK 5th gear you are going an indicated 70 mph at 5000 rpm.

3 - Now you change the the counter shaft sprocket to a 14 tooth.

Ok 45 / 14 = 3.214

After change 70 mph will be at (5000 rpm x (3.214/3) = 5357 rpm

Or if you prefer after the change at 5000 rpm you will be going (70 x 3/3.214) = 65.34 mph

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Old 02-14-2009, 06:54 PM   #6
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http://gearingcommander.com/

check out this link. (takes a few moments to load sometimes)

its not a product just a website where you can plug in your bikes year and model, and see (theoretical) changes in top speed and gearing based on changes to sprocket sizes. you can also pick whatever top speed you want (within reason of course) and the site will suggest what combination of sizes to use, itll get you really close anyways...its a good site to bookmark and play with.
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Old 07-17-2009, 09:59 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dudewhrsmybike View Post
All of are sprockets are hard anodized...
So much for proof-reading.

Perhaps 'Our'?
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Old 08-15-2009, 09:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vividkid View Post
So much for proof-reading.

Perhaps 'Our'?
Yeah. . .thanks for pointing that out
I didn't write the article.
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Old 09-27-2009, 03:14 PM   #9
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awesome post! i am def considering doing this mod....i rarely top out so i wouldnt mind some more power in the low end...
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Old 09-27-2009, 03:36 PM   #10
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I now have -1 +2 on the Busa. I compared rpms and mph yesterday on the frwy to another 08 Busa with stock gearing. I indicated 4500 vs. his 4000 .500 more RPM and 76 to his 70. 6 more mph at 70. It wasnt near as bad as I expected.
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