front sprocket question - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-06-2017, 01:50 PM Thread Starter
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front sprocket question

I require a new front sprocket and chain after about 23K km (OEM chain). Since adjusting chain slack I notice it has a stiff link. Can't comment on life expectancy as I am not the original owner of bike and am not sure original owner maintained chain however I have kept it clean and lubed since owning bike.

Aftermarket front sprockets are much cheaper than the Kawasaki OEM front sprocket but do not have the damper that the OEM sprocket has. Will this really make any difference? Will I even be able to tell the difference? Should I spend the extra to get a Kawasaki sprocket with the damper or will a basic chromolly aftermarket one suffice? Has anyone used both?
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-06-2017, 02:14 PM
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There has been tons of traffic on this subject. My personal experience has been a plain sprocket for the last 25K miles with no problems or issues. That being said.... what's the price difference factored in to the rear sprocket & chain?
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-06-2017, 05:10 PM
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i got my bike (used) it had a solid front sprocket (no damper) and ive had no problems (and just passed 40K miles), personally i dont like dampened front sprockets, because the rubber pushes the chain out from the links not letting it wear down evenly and puts more force at the tips of the teeth
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-06-2017, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by silviefox View Post
the rubber pushes the chain out from the links not letting it wear down evenly and puts more force at the tips of the teeth
Silvie, care to elaborate on that? How is the rubber ever in contact with the chain? Its rubber dampened, not rubber mounted sprocket.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-06-2017, 08:31 PM
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I get a little howl from the front sprocket where the OEM was quieter. If you don't like noise stick with OEM.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-06-2017, 08:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pecko View Post
Silvie, care to elaborate on that? How is the rubber ever in contact with the chain? Its rubber dampened, not rubber mounted sprocket.
the rubber dampers keep the chain pushed out from the center of the sprocket, so as the sprocket grooves wear the chain doesnt rest down in them it rides up more toward the tips of the teeth
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-07-2017, 11:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silviefox View Post
the rubber dampers keep the chain pushed out from the center of the sprocket, so as the sprocket grooves wear the chain doesnt rest down in them it rides up more toward the tips of the teeth
Was this measured and confirmed?
It puzzles me to think that Kawasaki would do that ... but nothing is impossible.

I still have a full deck.
I just shuffle slower.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-07-2017, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by quexpress View Post
Was this measured and confirmed?
It puzzles me to think that Kawasaki would do that ... but nothing is impossible.
not like kawasaki invented the cushioned front sprocket. and they all (all makers) will do what ever they can to push sales. hell they make it run lean at idle so it can pass emissions all around the world . they also do other stuff to make the bike as smooth as possible

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-07-2017, 12:56 PM
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I use nothing but "SUNSTAR" or "JT" front sprockets. NO rubber.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-07-2017, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by silviefox View Post
not like kawasaki invented the cushioned front sprocket. and they all (all makers) will do what ever they can to push sales. hell they make it run lean at idle so it can pass emissions all around the world . they also do other stuff to make the bike as smooth as possible
We are not on the same page but I refuse to get into a pissing match.
I will therefore wish you good luck with your "undampened" front sprockets and will continue using "dampened" ones on mine.

I still have a full deck.
I just shuffle slower.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-07-2017, 02:47 PM
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I didn't realize this was a contest.
I though someone was looking for an opinion.
You make your choices, you take your chances, you pay your dues.
There are points to be made on both sides.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-07-2017, 02:59 PM
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As a new Versys owner I'd love to know more about the pros and cons of different sprocket brands (DID, Sunstar, JT, Vortex, etc.), steel vs. chromoly vs. aluminum, standard vs. superlite, buy separately or part of a kit with a chain, when in miles I can expect my first change from the stock setup, etc.

Most reliable chain maker (DID, EK, RK)?

What size cotter key pin to have at the ready?

Last edited by Bale2011; 09-07-2017 at 03:14 PM.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-07-2017, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by quexpress View Post
We are not on the same page but I refuse to get into a pissing match.
I will therefore wish you good luck with your "undampened" front sprockets and will continue using "dampened" ones on mine.
my apologizes i in no way was trying to start a pissing match. to each there own, i was just stating my opinion and experience
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-07-2017, 03:52 PM
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As a new Versys owner I'd love to know more about the pros and cons of different sprocket brands (DID, Sunstar, JT, Vortex, etc.), steel vs. chromoly vs. aluminum, standard vs. superlite, buy separately or part of a kit with a chain, when in miles I can expect my first change from the stock setup, etc.

Most reliable chain maker (DID, EK, RK)?

What size cotter key pin to have at the ready?
DON'T get aluminum sprockets, as they wear-out quickly!
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-07-2017, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Urbanengineer View Post
I get a little howl from the front sprocket where the OEM was quieter. If you don't like noise stick with OEM.
Thank you for advice. I bought at OEM one at $44CDN, twice the price of the premium quality aftermarket ones. The JT was only $12. There is also another difference I noticed. The aftermarket sprockets seem to be symmetrical, while the OEM sprocket is non symmetrical. That is the gear cog is offset to one side slightly from the hub with a designated inside and outside marked on it. Because of this I would wonder if chain alignment would be an issue with aftermarket sprockets? I say this only based on pictures only of the aftermarket ones. Hopefully someone can prove or disprove this theory.

Just picked up an EK X-Ring chain for $90.
@Bale2011 - In my experience the front sprocket always wears out quickly while the rear can probably go 2 chain changes or more. There is no need to absolutely change the sprockets at the time of the chain, as this can be done at any time, but changing the front sprocket at the same time saves 10min work as you have the sprocket cover off anyway and they seem to wear out at the same time a chain does. I have not taken the bike apart yet but the last time I did a chain change the front sprocket was well worn. Do buy a chain tool (breaker/rivet type) and use a rivet head master link and have a dremel or grinder on hand to grind off the rivet head on the old chain. You need the chain tool to remove the old chain and since you have it can use it to rivet the new chain. Non riveted chains have a nasty habit of coming undone if the clip falls off, which if they do can cause massive damage.

Last edited by twowheels; 09-07-2017 at 05:19 PM.
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post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-07-2017, 05:12 PM
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my apologizes i in no way was trying to start a pissing match. to each there own, i was just stating my opinion and experience
No problem!

I still have a full deck.
I just shuffle slower.
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