OEM sprocket life - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-05-2017, 03:12 AM Thread Starter
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OEM sprocket life

Im up to 14,000 kms with my OEM sprockets and chain. Just wondering what everyone else is getting before they have changed them over?
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-05-2017, 08:31 AM
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Large Variation

One of the largest variables, is how you align the chain, the chain tension, if you lube it and what you lube it with. I had a 16 tooth rubber dampened on my 07, original chain and sprockets still going at 30,000 KM, the new owner wanted it restored to OEM, I put the 15 tooth back on and sold the 16 tooth, which had roughly 30,000 KM on it. There are members on here that have less than 6000 KM with a bad chain and sprockets. So this isn't like changing plugs or checking the valve shim clearance, each case is different.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-05-2017, 12:06 PM
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My '08 (presently w/ 70,xxx miles on it) had the countershaft sprocket FIRST changed at 29,642 miles, then again at 54,228 miles. At 56,901 miles (LOTS of that was dirt-roads) I replaced the ORIGINAL chain and rear sprocket, and gave the chain to an engineer who wanted to check it, as I use NOTHING but WD40 on my chains, and he said that there was only ONE 'tight' link, thus it was STILL OK w/in limits, but that the rear sprocket had worn and should have been changed earlier. You can compare them here:



Take CASE of your chain and it'll LAST...!
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-06-2017, 05:56 AM
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I never changed a rear sprocket; never seen any wear signs (the longest had 120'000kms; I changed bike first)

I change front sprocket with the chain and it is showing definitive wear signs.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-06-2017, 08:44 AM
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The front sprocket seems to wear much faster than the rear sprocket under normal use. Probably because of the tighter turning radius and smaller gripping area, fewer teeth. As a general rule I would say always replace the front sprocket with the chain and inspect and replace the rear if necessary at the same time. The rear will probably last two chain replacements if it is steel and not aluminum. It is easy enough to replace the rear sprocket independent of the chain, or at tire replacement time, so don't feel compelled to do this at the same time as the chain if it is only showing slight signs of wear.

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-06-2017, 11:49 AM
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MY experience is - TWO front sprockets to ONE chain.... (Also same w/ a KLR650.)

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-06-2017, 07:28 PM
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I have almost 30,000 miles on mine went through 2 chains. Rear sprocket still looked good, front was showing lots of wear, bought a new DID chain set stock gearing, also bought a factory front sprocket wanted to keep the rubber dampener that's built in.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-07-2017, 11:28 AM
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I was just going thru my records, and I noticed that I REMOVED 3 'flats' of chain adjustment (loosened the chain half a turn) when I replaced the countershaft sprocket at 29,xxx miles, indicating that there was a LOT of wear in the 'valleys' of it.

Except for the ONE 'noisy' link when I changed the chain at 56,xxx miles, MOST of the chain adjustments had been due to wear in the 'valleys' on the REAR (and front) sprockets, so THAT had been the culprit, NOT the chain.





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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-14-2017, 04:23 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feed back.
My understanding was that when changing sprockets. Should change both and chain at the same time.

I do already have a noisy chain link. But my mechanic said that if it doesn't get any worse than it will be ok. I do commute on the bike so it gets blasted with all road grime.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-14-2017, 09:51 AM
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OK, guys -- please forgive me, because I haven't owned a bike with a chain for a very long time -- probably in the 80s. Why do I need to replace a chain and/or sprockets? What would happen if I didn't?
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-14-2017, 10:13 AM
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OK, guys -- please forgive me, because I haven't owned a bike with a chain for a very long time -- probably in the 80s. Why do I need to replace a chain and/or sprockets? What would happen if I didn't?
You would only have to change them when they are worn past their service limits. Please see the manual for the procedure for checking wear.

If you continued to ride with overly worn chain and sprockets, you would eventually loose the ability to transfer power from your engine to the rear wheel (best case), and you would stop forward motion due to the sprocket teeth being worn down to the nubs.

The worst case - the chain snaps and breaks while you are traveling at 70 mph, and it either gets tangled in the rear wheel, locks it, and spits you off the bike onto the concrete at a high rate of speed - Or the chain breaks and it whips onto your crankcase and knock a hole in it, causing loss of engine lubrication, oil spillage, etc. and loss of forward motion, need for crankcase repair or replacement.

Or the chain could break and just fall off the bike, causing you to gently coast to a stop.
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-15-2017, 08:28 AM
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Interesting! Thanks! Oh -- and one more thing. What would happen if my chain were too tight (as it seems to be)? What harm would that cause? Could that affect my shifting?

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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 12:57 AM
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Interesting! Thanks! Oh -- and one more thing. What would happen if my chain were too tight (as it seems to be)? What harm would that cause? Could that affect my shifting?
Vibration, accelerated wear for chain and sprockets, busted chain going through the engine case, tearing up the counter shaft bearing.

All bad. Highly suggest not riding until loosened.
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And most of Canada too, eh?
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 08:16 AM
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Just follow your manual on the chain adjustment procedure. It is very simple to follow. It only takes 5 minutes to adjust the chain, and will save you a lot of headaches down the road. And if your V is like mine, it does not need to be adjusted very often.

Also, most people adjust it on the loose side of the range allowed. It's better to have it adjusted slightly loose, rather than slightly tight, for the reasons Steve mentioned above.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 12:17 PM
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Interesting! Thanks! Oh -- and one more thing. What would happen if my chain were too tight (as it seems to be)? What harm would that cause? Could that affect my shifting?
If your chain is TOO TIGHT - the result can be that you hit a big bump, your suspension TRIES to fully compress but is STOPPED when the chain reaches its limit, and your bike is...

1. TRYING to BEND your swingarm by pulling the rear-axle closer to the countershaft;

2. TRYING to pull your countershaft rearward OUT of your tranny, thus wrecking your engine; OR

3. TRYING to lengthen the chain, which it CAN do by 'spitting-out' chain rollers, thus 'saving' your engine but destroying the chain and sprockets, or by breaking the chain which can be CATASTROPHIC...!

NONE of the three is a 'good thing' IMHO...!

I try to ALWAYS measure chain-slack w/ a tape measure BEFORE and AFTER any chain adjustment, and I ALWAYS 'set' my axle by inserting a screwdriver between a sprocket-tooth and the chain, then turning the wheel CCW to move the axle forward BEFORE I tighten/ torque the axle. And then I re-check the slack...!

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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 05:45 PM
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What would happen if my chain were too tight (as it seems to be)?
The first time I adjusted the chain on my Versys I got it a bit tight. It was not long after that that I needed a new chain. This may be an anecdote, but I will always leave my chain on the loose side any more.

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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 12:04 AM
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The front sprocket of a V-Strom I helped to change In Whitehorse, Yukon in 2016
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Although I have had Miss Jaffa (Burnt Orange 2007 Versys) for a while, I still have a lot to learn.


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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 12:31 PM
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The front sprocket of a V-Strom I helped to change In Whitehorse, Yukon in 2016
Al - I'd say that your buddy FAILS at preventative maintenance.... It was a good thing that you were w/ him!
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