Time for new chain and sprockets. - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-28-2012, 09:54 PM Thread Starter
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Time for new chain and sprockets.

So took the Versys out today for the first time all year, (It's the girlfriends now, I have the Tiger 800) and holy **** it ran terrible and scary. I had no brakes, the bike was surging and clacking and clonking and the throttle was sticky. I ended up asking her how long it had been like this and she answered "Oh a month and a half". So I really need to get her to tell me when things sound weird, and I added an item in my calendar to check it monthly.

So I ended up bleeding some nice looking black sludge out of her brakes and found her chain is stretched pretty badly and needs replacing along with both sprockets (27000km isn't bad but she never tightens it.) and then I found the throttle cable had slipped off the plastic tube and was catching so I lubed it and reseated it and then tightened it.

Anyway, my question was as follows. I can't find a good thread that tells me what my best options for putting on replacement sprockets is. I think it has a 16T front and 46T rear right? Would she benefit much from modifying that setup and does anyone know of a good place to order parts from that ships to Canada?

I love this Versys and want to see it last cause it's a blast to ride. Honestly it's more fun to ride than my Tiger even if it does feel like it was made in Soviet Russia after 17000km on the Tiger.
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post #2 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-28-2012, 10:47 PM
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15/46 tooth sprockets. Chain is a 114 link 520 X-ring. Only Kawasaki OEM countershaft (front) sprocket is rubber dampened and quieter... Stock setup is good, although 15/44 is popular. It's 4.54% taller than stock, which also reduces speedometer error down from about 7.5% over to about 3% over actual, while resulting in the odometer/trip meters reading about 4.54% under actual.

You can get an aftermarket DID, EK, RK, etc 120-link 520 X-ring chain and cut it to 114 links, and the rear sprocket from Motovan, Parts Canada, Kimpex, etc, through any Canadian motorcycle dealer.

http://bluestreakracing.ca/did-premi...lack-120l.html
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post #3 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-28-2012, 11:02 PM Thread Starter
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Nice, that sounds straight forward enough. Sounds like the OEM front sprocket is the way to go for her and I think leaving the gearing as is will probably be a good idea. My local Kawi dealer has been pretty good to me about all the stuff so I don't feel to ripped off paying them more monies.

Anyone have any opinions on oilers? (Scott Oilers, etc...) cause it seems like an easy way to compensate for her lack of paying attention to it.
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post #4 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-29-2012, 04:42 AM
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I don't care for oilers... You probably see her Versys often enough to lube the chain yourself, or teach her how to do it.
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post #5 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-29-2012, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by hawkbox View Post
So took the Versys out today for the first time all year, (It's the girlfriends now, I have the Tiger 800) and holy **** it ran terrible and scary. I had no brakes, the bike was surging and clacking and clonking and the throttle was sticky. I ended up asking her how long it had been like this and she answered "Oh a month and a half". So I really need to get her to tell me when things sound weird, and I added an item in my calendar to check it monthly.

So I ended up bleeding some nice looking black sludge out of her brakes and found her chain is stretched pretty badly and needs replacing along with both sprockets (27000km isn't bad but she never tightens it.) and then I found the throttle cable had slipped off the plastic tube and was catching so I lubed it and reseated it and then tightened it.

Anyway, my question was as follows. I can't find a good thread that tells me what my best options for putting on replacement sprockets is. I think it has a 16T front and 46T rear right? Would she benefit much from modifying that setup and does anyone know of a good place to order parts from that ships to Canada?

I love this Versys and want to see it last cause it's a blast to ride. Honestly it's more fun to ride than my Tiger even if it does feel like it was made in Soviet Russia after 17000km on the Tiger.
I believe the original sizes are 15/46. IMO performance is best for most conditions with stock sizes, there is always a trade off going up or down.

Would suggest buying a chain tool if you do not already own one. Stockton tools from CycleGear make a good one that is essentially a copy of the Motion Pro tool at less money. The OEM front sprocket has a rubber damper the after market sprockets don't seem to have - not sure if this makes any difference.

http://www.supersproxusa.com/products.php?cat=1709

Last edited by Sprocket; 09-29-2012 at 09:05 AM.
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post #6 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-29-2012, 09:01 AM
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Just replaced my chain and sprockets at 15,400 miles and I am dilligent about lubing, cleaning and adjusting. Chain was getting some stiff spots so better safe than sorry.

I stayed with the stock gearing because that is what makes this bike a blast to ride. If I wanted a tamer ride I would have bought the weestrom.

I reused the front washer that your bend, I just bent it on the opposite side that was bent for the original sproket. Will replace it next time. I don't notice any additional noise with the sunstar sprockets I put on the bike.

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post #7 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-29-2012, 10:19 AM
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Anyone have any opinions on oilers? (Scott Oilers, etc...) cause it seems like an easy way to compensate for her lack of paying attention to it.
Automatic oilers do mean less maintenance, but it's good to pay attention else you could have oil on the back tire.

Some people claim their chains last 20k-30k miles with no oiling at all. Haven't tried that method. The automatic oiler is working for me so far.
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post #8 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-29-2012, 11:10 AM Thread Starter
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I've thought about it overnight and decided it's better I set a regular maintenance schedule that we both follow and I can teach her proper maintenance methods rather than reinforcing her not paying attention to the bikes condition. I'm going to run by princess Auto today and check out their chain tools and see if I can find a good chain cleaner somewhere.

I enjoy doing the maintenance stuff so damned much I should teach her how enjoyable it is too.
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post #9 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-29-2012, 01:35 PM
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Makes sense. Looking at the chain to make sure it's oily and side of the tire to make sure it's clean, and cleaning the tire & adjusting nozzle position or flow rate if needed is all that's required. Occasionally checking oiler oil level too.

They even make a "dry oiler", but with that type you may still need to clean the chain? The wet kind keeps it clean because the chain slings off dirty oil.
http://www.carbonforbikes.com/index....05580ec7bf79a9

Last edited by davidg; 09-29-2012 at 01:38 PM.
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post #10 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-29-2012, 05:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hawkbox View Post
... needs replacing along with both sprockets (27000km isn't bad but she never tightens it.) ...

Honestly it's more fun to ride than my Tiger even if it does feel like it was made in Soviet Russia after 17000km on the Tiger.
In Soviet Russia, the sprockets replace you!

More seriously, though, if you think of changing gearing on your bike, I found that gearingcommander.com can give you useful information. For example, if you go with 15/43 sprockets, using a 112-pin chain will give you the best wear characteristics. That length chain with the smaller rear sprocket also keeps the adjusters near the middle.

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post #11 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-29-2012, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
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Interesting, what would that do to the power? I've ordered the sprocket and chain already and for all 3 for 190 I'm ok with the price of maintenance.
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post #12 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-29-2012, 07:54 PM
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If you were responding to my post, I would say that it does nothing that I notice with respect to "power." I find that I can travel at US interstate speeds a whole lot better, however. Then again, if I was worried about power, i would have likely purchased another motorcycle.

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post #13 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-29-2012, 08:47 PM Thread Starter
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I meant in regards to stock and how it affects performance. Changing the sprocket and chain like that would affect top and bottom end no?
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post #14 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-29-2012, 10:08 PM
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The stock design of the Versys is quite nice. I have chosen to go to a 43-tooth rear sprocket. I have no issue with this change.

When it comes to havoc, no one wreaks like me! - Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz

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post #15 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-30-2012, 12:15 AM
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Interesting, what would that do to the power? I've ordered the sprocket and chain already and for all 3 for 190 I'm ok with the price of maintenance.
There is a slight loss in performance with 15/43 sprockets (6.98% taller than stock 15/46). Launches are a bit harder, and you can't tool around quite as slowly... It does reduce rpm by 6.98%, and results in a near accurate speedometer.

Which make and model of chain and sprockets did you order?
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post #16 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-30-2012, 06:58 AM
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I've thought about it overnight and decided it's better I set a regular maintenance schedule that we both follow and I can teach her proper maintenance methods rather than reinforcing her not paying attention to the bikes condition. I'm going to run by princess Auto today and check out their chain tools and see if I can find a good chain cleaner somewhere.

I enjoy doing the maintenance stuff so damned much I should teach her how enjoyable it is too.
I've got a "Tirox" chain cleaning kit my brother bought me for a birthday present. It comes with a coiled bristle cleaner that goes around the chain, as well as an aerosol can of cleaner. I feel the brush thingy does more harm than good - the chain felt grittier after the one time I used it - and the material in the can is just kerosene or diesel fuel, so the whole thing seems a bit lame to me. Kerosene on a rag works a treat.

Oh and +1 on teaching your gf to do her own maintenance.
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post #17 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-30-2012, 08:26 AM
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I use WD-40 and a "Grunge Brush" to clean the chain with and Chain Wax to lube it. Only have 6000 on the "V" BUT had close to 18,000 on my KLR with a big rock decided I should change the sprocket and chain.

A little Go-Jo smeared in the sprockets will take the ridge of wax off and not hurt anything.

Be careful of what you use to both clean and lube a "O" ring or "X" ring chain with as they are permanently lubed at the factory and if the ring is damaged the chain will die very quickly. All you do when lubing a ring chain is lube the O-rings and rollers where the contact the sprockets.

I'm staying away from oilers as I remember "The Good Old Days" before sealed chains and the way everyone's bikes looked like a rolling oil spill. No need for that mess nowadays. It takes less than a minuet to lube a chain with the spray wax and I check to be sure it's adjusted and aligned that the same time once a week. Also scope the tire for any damage OR nails.

Or was that look THEN leap?
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post #18 of 44 (permalink) Old 10-01-2012, 12:29 PM Thread Starter
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Automatic oilers do mean less maintenance, but it's good to pay attention else you could have oil on the back tire.

Some people claim their chains last 20k-30k miles with no oiling at all. Haven't tried that method. The automatic oiler is working for me so far.
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There is a slight loss in performance with 15/43 sprockets (6.98% taller than stock 15/46). Launches are a bit harder, and you can't tool around quite as slowly... It does reduce rpm by 6.98%, and results in a near accurate speedometer.

Which make and model of chain and sprockets did you order?
I have no idea what I ordered, just let the local Kawasaki guy pick out of his system but they've been very good to me knowledge wise so far so I am waiting to see what they give. The chain was a DID x-ring something something though and the sprockets should be in today.

As for the cleaning I picked up a gallon of solvent and a WD-40 hand spray bottle to fill as well as a bag of rags and basically a 70c plastic bristled brush for cleaning. Should be fairly safe as the bristles are stiff but not hard or rigid.

I'm pretty pumped that she's showing way more interest in doing this stuff than I've previously noticed from her, I just need to keep in mind that I grew up around chains and engines and equipment and she didn't really learn any of that stuff, which tends to mean I don't ask the right questions when talking to her.
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post #19 of 44 (permalink) Old 10-01-2012, 03:00 PM
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When I WD40 my chains, I just spray the chain liberally from the inside, bottom chain run, spin the rear wheel 3 times, then take a rag and wipe the excess WD40 off the chain (and overspray from the tire...). I NEVER brush the chain.

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post #20 of 44 (permalink) Old 10-01-2012, 04:06 PM
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I know the guys on THIS board are a bit smarter than this BUT it never hurts (Well I hope it won't hurt)To link to Why you never clean a chain on a running Motorcycle. Kinds on gross and looks painful.

http://www.gixxer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=242261

Or was that look THEN leap?
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