Front Sprocket Nut Just Came Off - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-12-2018, 12:24 PM Thread Starter
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Angry Front Sprocket Nut Just Came Off

Curious if this has happened to anybody or if anyone has some insights (some specific questions at bottom)...

The Story:
So yesterday I was cleaning/lubing my chain. I had the rear end up on a stand and was rotating the tire in a backwards direction as I was spraying/brushing/lubing the chain. Later, I was heading to Home Depot on my bike when it started seizing and making loud clunking noises. I pulled over and found that the chain was offset on the front end, and was scraping against other components.

I opened it up and found that the front sprocket nut had come completely off (presumably associated with my spinning the rear wheel in reverse for cleaning chain), and the front sprocket was off the splines allowing the chain to scrape on adjacent components. The washer that locks it down does not appear to have been properly bent to lock it down, in my opinion. Also, there is very little room for the washer to fit on the splines, but I checked and it can still fit on. The sprocket nut's threads are also damaged, so it won't go back on.

Also, I noted there seemed to be a whole lot of gunk accumulated in the housing around the front sprocket. Possibly my fault for having too much excess lubricant on the chain over the series of lubrications that I've done on it over the past year.

Questions:
I recently had the 16,000 mile interval service done with valve checks and everything at an authorized Kawi dealership (SF Moto). Is it possible they took this washer/nut off and didn't put it back on right?

Or is it just absolutely my fault for spinning the wheel in reverse when cleaning it?

Any way to get expedited shipping to replace the sprocket nut (and the washer I guess)? Everything I can find is two weeks out.

Any insight/experience on this is appreciated!

Last edited by PapaBear AU; 11-12-2018 at 12:26 PM.
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post #2 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-12-2018, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
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Can't seem to get photos to attach...
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post #3 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-12-2018, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PapaBear AU View Post
...Questions:
I recently had the 16,000 mile interval service done with valve checks and everything at an authorized Kawi dealership (SF Moto).
1. Is it possible they took this washer/nut off and didn't put it back on right?

2. Or is it just absolutely my fault for spinning the wheel in reverse when cleaning it?

Any insight/experience on this is appreciated!
MY answers:

1. YES! [or it was NEVER on correctly from the factory, which is unlikely.]

2. NO. The ONLY way to remove the countershaft-sprocket once it's PROPERLY installed, is to 'pein' back the edge of that lock-washer, then LOOSEN the nut, and MOST members have NOT been able to easily do THAT - seems that the factory uses a "low-land gorilla" to install that nut w/ the "proper" torque, which is SUPPOSED to be at 92'/# according to my SERVICE MANUAL....
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post #4 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-12-2018, 12:52 PM
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No Way in Hell the front sprocket nut is coming off by its self. That nut has crushed many mens pride.......Call the dealer and let them know they screwed up...

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Last edited by weljo2001; 11-12-2018 at 02:24 PM.
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post #5 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-12-2018, 01:00 PM
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Just because the work was done at a dealership. It doesn't mean they know what they are doing...This is how the dealership where i bought my bike work looked after they installed the Admore Light Kit to my Givi E-55 Topcase. I was going to do it myself but insurance was taking care of everything after a wreck. Because it wasn't OEM i sent the installation instructions and a video of the install to the dealership and this is how they gave it to me....

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post #6 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-12-2018, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback/thoughts. Wish you could see the pic of this washer. It was clearly bent outward by a screwdriver/chisel at some point, but looks like it was never bent back forward.
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post #7 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-12-2018, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
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UPDATE: got the images to upload...fingers crossed
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post #8 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-12-2018, 03:22 PM
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Versys 650 2012

Looked up your profile for info, so it is a used bike, first glance I thought you were referring to the nut trick https://www.kawasakiversys.com/forum...nut-trick.html as a very large number of members have trouble getting the front sprocket nut off
, when I say trouble, I mean air impact wrenches unable to budge it, one member damaged his swing arm beyond repair, several have gone to a shop with a air impact able to put out over 600 foot LBs of torque to remove the nut. That nut could not have been torqued beyond hand tight, sounds like you need a new shaft. Since you haven't given details of who did what when, I may be jumping the gun in suggesting it was the dealers fault, however something just doesn't sound right here, if you never did any mechanical work on the bike and possibly had the chain or sprockets recently changed by the dealer, then I would strongly suggest to contact your dealer, bring the washer with you. If the sprockets and chain were never changed by this dealer , you are up a creek without a paddle, as doing a valve shim check does not require inspection of that sprocket or more importantly removal of the front sprocket cover.

How to post photos;
https://www.kawasakiversys.com/forum...otobucket.html
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post #9 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-12-2018, 03:23 PM
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2 points from my own experience.
1. I have always spun my rear wheel backwards when lubing chain. Been doing it that way for over 45 yrs, on dozens of bikes, never had that happen.
2. In my opinion, Kawasaki has major quality control issues. I think this based on many things , especially my V650 clutch cable breaking with only about 3200 miles on it, and my V1000 rear brake line busting with 21,xxx miles on it (stayed in shop 8 FRICKIN WEEKS!! waiting on replacement from japan) and the clutch cable return spring on the housing breaking with only a few thousand miles on it.
I've mostly owned Hondas and Yamahas, and am used to quality of a much higher standard than Kawasaki seems to have.
Good luck with your bike.

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post #10 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-12-2018, 03:27 PM
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Splined Shaft Photo?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PapaBear AU View Post
UPDATE: got the images to upload...fingers crossed
Do you have a photo of the splined shaft , as to that nut and washer, I wouldn't hesitate to have the thread chased at a machine shop.After you post a photo I will discuss further.
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post #11 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-12-2018, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by SouthernCruizer View Post
2 points from my own experience.
1. I have always spun my rear wheel backwards when lubing chain. Been doing it that way for over 45 yrs, on dozens of bikes, never had that happen.
2. In my opinion, Kawasaki has major quality control issues. I think this based on many things , especially my V650 clutch cable breaking with only about 3200 miles on it, and my V1000 rear brake line busting with 21,xxx miles on it (stayed in shop 8 FRICKIN WEEKS!! waiting on replacement from japan) and the clutch cable return spring on the housing breaking with only a few thousand miles on it.
I've mostly owned Hondas and Yamahas, and am used to quality of a much higher standard than Kawasaki seems to have.
Good luck with your bike.
Highlighted quality control, because that was my first reaction, until I checked his profile and discovered it is a 2012, very much doubt it has been sitting on a showroom floor for 5-6 years.
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post #12 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-12-2018, 03:40 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by onewizard View Post
Highlighted quality control, because that was my first reaction, until I checked his profile and discovered it is a 2012, very much doubt it has been sitting on a showroom floor for 5-6 years.
Yeah, for sure.

BTW another update:

I checked with the dealership that checked my valves and they said they would not have expected to have touched or looked at this nut/washer in their overall check-up. There is nothing in the maintenance manual for checking that sprocket, and they pretty much just ran through that whole checklist as their scope of work.

The sprocket doesn't seem worn, and at over 17,000 miles now that probably means the last owner (I bought it around 13,000) must have done it himself or hired a bad mechanic to change the sprocket. I have emailed him about it, mostly just trying to make sure whatever jackass did this doesn't keep doing it and end up killing someone. But if he does give me the name of a mechanic that changed it, I'm going to follow up with them and ask for money for my replacement parts and time.

I will send some pics of the sprocket and splines when I get home this evening.

Thanks again for all the insight everyone!
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post #13 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-12-2018, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by PapaBear AU View Post
Yeah, for sure.

BTW another update:

I checked with the dealership that checked my valves and they said they would not have expected to have touched or looked at this nut/washer in their overall check-up. There is nothing in the maintenance manual for checking that sprocket, and they pretty much just ran through that whole checklist as their scope of work.

The sprocket doesn't seem worn, and at over 17,000 miles now that probably means the last owner (I bought it around 13,000) must have done it himself or hired a bad mechanic to change the sprocket. I have emailed him about it, mostly just trying to make sure whatever jackass did this doesn't keep doing it and end up killing someone. But if he does give me the name of a mechanic that changed it, I'm going to follow up with them and ask for money for my replacement parts and time.

I will send some pics of the sprocket and splines when I get home this evening.

Thanks again for all the insight everyone!
Like I said, I wouldn't hesitate to chase that thread of the nut and re-use the washer, here is some info, it gets complicated but I thought I would share . I was looking for the info on number of threads in contact to give maximum strength = proof strength, many people are not aware the minimum number of threads in contact to yield maximum strength, here is a good explanation: The strength capacities of standard nuts are listed as the nut's proof stress. https://www.fastenal.com/en/78/screw-thread-design
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post #14 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-13-2018, 12:48 AM
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You caught it on time, and the nut is still intact... It was likely not tightened enough by previous owner. Your countershaft is probably fine since it didn't lock up.

The real problem is a lack of a proper safety inspection when you took ownership of a used motorcycle.
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post #15 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-13-2018, 05:56 AM
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The damaged threads are likely at the edge, not in a place where they must be strong. They can probably be rethreaded. Same for the nut. Buy new washer of course.

You would need a (competent) shop that has such size of taps, that is not trivial, and the hard problem is to actually rethread the shaft without removing it...

If not much force is required (maybe all that is needed is to remove some burr), you might get away with a pair of needlenose pliers; you insert the prongs in the tap holes, and with a bar in the pliers handles to turn it. The nut is easier, just need a wise.
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post #16 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-13-2018, 08:08 AM
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If look hard enough you may find a repair die for the shaft.
They are similar to regular dies, but are made to chase damaged threads.
If the threads are only damaged on the end of the shaft you can also use a thread repair file.
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post #17 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-13-2018, 10:34 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by invader View Post
The real problem is a lack of a proper safety inspection when you took ownership of a used motorcycle.
Yeah, this was my first bike. Lesson learned for sure. I can't imagine that many people out there are performing an inspection of the countershaft nut/washer securement as a standard safety precaution before purchasing a used bike though.

I'm still not sure how I would accomplish this in the future before taking ownership. Sounds expensive to have a mechanic do it, or sketchy to ask the owner to let me open it up instead of just test riding it. But after buying a used bike, I would definitely open it up and check after this experience.
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post #18 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-13-2018, 10:45 AM Thread Starter
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Actually, maybe there isn't quite as much room on the splines as I thought (pics). Like I said, the washer will fit on them with the sprocket on, but just barely. And upon closer inspection, the edges of the splines appear to be slightly rounded off . That may have actually been a contributing factor. And this may be getting into a more complex job than I had thought. Could any of you guys confirm that there should be significantly more spline showing outside of the sprocket or not? That would be extremely helpful!

Also, on the nut, a local dealership had it in stock so I went ahead and forked out the $25 on that. Got a new washer too (of course). I'm just concerned about not having enough room for the washer now.


Other updates:
Dealership said they always just replace these washers because they don't want to mess with problems on this over a $3-$4 part. Also, they didn't touch it or look at it on their inspection, as expected.

Last owner thinks he probably did it one time when he was just opening up his bike lubing things. Didn't really know what he was doing though, clearly. Said he owes me a drink at least, haha. I made sure we are both more careful in the future!
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post #19 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-13-2018, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PapaBear AU View Post
Yeah, this was my first bike. Lesson learned for sure. I can't imagine that many people out there are performing an inspection of the countershaft nut/washer securement as a standard safety precaution before purchasing a used bike though.

I'm still not sure how I would accomplish this in the future before taking ownership. Sounds expensive to have a mechanic do it, or sketchy to ask the owner to let me open it up instead of just test riding it. But after buying a used bike, I would definitely open it up and check after this experience.
EXCEPT for the damaged threads - your shaft/threads looks about how mine have looked when I was 'in there' changing sprockets.

YOUR problem is probably a "ONE in TEN-THOUSAND" example.

You are VERY lucky that the chain didn't damage your engine case!

Ed
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post #20 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-13-2018, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fasteddiecopeman View Post
EXCEPT for the damaged threads - your shaft/threads looks about how mine have looked when I was 'in there' changing sprockets.

YOUR problem is probably a "ONE in TEN-THOUSAND" example.

You are VERY lucky that the chain didn't damage your engine case!
Thanks for the input Eddie.

Yeah, I'm lucky the damages weren't worse and that I was only going about 5 mph when the sprocket really fell off. If I had been doing 70 on a freeway, it would have been catastrophic.
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