Sprocket 2015 Versys 650 - installing a 16T front Sprocket - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-29-2015, 06:53 PM Thread Starter
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Sprocket 2015 Versys 650 - installing a 16T front Sprocket

Hi guys,

I decided to swap my front sprocket on the 2015 Versys 650 from 15 to 16 teeth, so I got myself a Vortex 16T front sprocket Kawasaki 520 chain #3823-15 (for 2007-2011 Kawasaki ZX600 Ninja ZX-6R). I went with this one because the outer part of the sprocket is separated from the inner with a rubber mount, which most likely will be smoother. I used the following tools: 8mm and 10 mm sockets with socket wrench and extension, 12 mm open wrench, and 27 mm deep impact socket with impact socket wrench, a screwdriver, pliers, and a hammer.
First, I put the bike in neutral and took off the plastic cover by unscrewing the two 8 mm screws with the socket wrench and wrench extension. Then, I removed the magnetic pickup sensor with the 10 mm socket wrench and I undid the safety washer. Next, I unscrewed the main nut with the 27 mm impact socket wrench – turning counterclockwise. I removed the cotter pin from the rear spindle, and I loosened up the crown nut with the 27 socket wrench. Then, I loosened the chain adjustment bolts and then I was able to pull the sprocket out from the shaft. After that, I installed the new sprocket. For that, I used a torque wrench to tighten the sprocket at 92 ft-Lb and to tighten the rear axle nut at 80 ft-Lb.
My new sprocket was a little thicker than the original one in the spline area, but it still works fine. I’d like to also point out that there is very little clearance left now between the chain and outside housing. I measured it, and it is only 0.020 inches (0.5 mm). A little tight for my taste, but it still works fine.

I wanted to bring the bike to the correct speed reading, and, after some testing with my GPS, which now shows 1 mph faster than the bike’s clock across the whole spectrum of gears and speeds versus 3 to 4 mph the other way before. Most likely, the bike will be more frugal if comes to gas, but I was mostly concerned with having a more accurate speed read and perhaps a little less vibration (although the 2015 Versys 650 is pretty smooth in the first place).

If you were hoping to install the 17T front sprocket, I can assure you that it is not going to fit.

Hope you will find it useful.

Speedy
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 1Cover.jpg (51.6 KB, 368 views)
File Type: jpg 2Magneticpickup.jpg (68.6 KB, 497 views)
File Type: jpg 3Safetywasher.jpg (62.7 KB, 409 views)
File Type: jpg 4Newsprocket.jpg (48.1 KB, 398 views)
File Type: jpg 5Chainadjustment.jpg (48.1 KB, 405 views)
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Last edited by Speedy Gonzalez; 05-29-2015 at 07:40 PM.
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-29-2015, 07:50 PM
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Word! I think I'm going to be doing this very shortly. I hope to hear a good report back from you shortly on pros/cons. Nice work!
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-29-2015, 08:52 PM
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Great writeup!

I'll have your post printed out and next to me when I do mine!!! I do have a few questions for ya though...
  • How much did the sprocket effect starting acceleration? I do a little 2-up with the wife, just wanna make sure we will have no problem starting on a hill with 2 people, loaded panniers & rear case
  • How much was the sprocket if you don't mind me asking?
  • Any idea what your highway RPMs run at for lets say 70MPH and 80MPH?


Thank you again for the writeup!
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-29-2015, 09:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedy Gonzalez View Post
Hi guys,

...I went with this one because the outer part of the sprocket is separated from the inner with a rubber mount, which most likely will be smoother.
...
I'm pretty sure the rubber dampners are only on the outside face of the sprocket. The sprocket is not separated or 2 pieces held together by rubber - i don't think there is a rubber strong enough to hold them together!

The rubber is stuck on the sides to help quieten the noise by reducing resonance in the sprocket.

I have a JT 16T that has no rubber dampners and the noise level is negliagble as I have a slip on exhaust - but those who have the stock exhaust you might hear a slight sprocket whine when there is no rubber dampners.

I found the 15T is to too aggressive and sporty. 1st gear is fast and hard, 2nd is useless in corners as there is too much engine braking and the revs are very high.

The 16T really tames the engine. Bike runs smoother, you can use 1st gear to slow down and 2nd gear is better in corners. If you need to 1st is still easy to ride hairpins.

You drop about 500rpm in 6th cruising.

There are plenty of threads about the 16T front or 44T rear swaps - Try search.
Other riders have no issues 2 up or loaded for a tour.


Speedy I'm glad you did not have an issue undoing the front sprocket on the 2015.
Looks like Kawasaki finally sacked the monkey that tightened alot of ours!
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-29-2015, 09:29 PM
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Speedy, do you have a link for the sprocket. I am thinking of going to a 16/43 setup. Current is 15/44. But as an old man, I want to get the most MPG.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-29-2015, 09:48 PM
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You want to be careful not to over gear the bike. At 65 mph I'm turning around 5,000 RPM with a 16 front and stock rear. Much more and the bike will fall ever further off the power-band, it really start to "Sing" about 6 grand and up! Plus if you do over gear you'll lose gas mileage as the power won't be there and you'll end up adding more gas all the time.

Or was that look THEN leap?
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-29-2015, 09:49 PM
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I'm not sure why but every car and bike sold indicates an inflated speed. As for mileage how you drive affects this more than any other factor. Changing the final drive ratio just moves the optimum shift points around.
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-29-2015, 10:07 PM Thread Starter
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I'll have your post printed out and next to me when I do mine!!! I do have a few questions for ya though...
  • How much did the sprocket effect starting acceleration? I do a little 2-up with the wife, just wanna make sure we will have no problem starting on a hill with 2 people, loaded panniers & rear case

Not much as far as I can tell. As you know, the bike has a lot of torque.
  • How much was the sprocket if you don't mind me asking?

Well, I got lucky. I got it for free from my buddy way back before I bought my new Versys. But, he had a different bike, so I wasn't even sure if it would work.
  • Any idea what your highway RPMs run at for lets say 70MPH and 80MPH?

Will have to come back to you on that one.

Speedy
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-30-2015, 12:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apollo12227 View Post
Great writeup!



I'll have your post printed out and next to me when I do mine!!! I do have a few questions for ya though...


  • How much did the sprocket effect starting acceleration? I do a little 2-up with the wife, just wanna make sure we will have no problem starting on a hill with 2 people, loaded panniers & rear case


  • How much was the sprocket if you don't mind me asking?


  • Any idea what your highway RPMs run at for lets say 70MPH and 80MPH?





Thank you again for the writeup!

Your RPMs and speed will read exactly the same as stock no matter what sprocket that you have on your bike. But in actuality, your RPMs will be lower at the same speed. The 16 tooth sprocket definitely makes a big difference in acceleration or lack there off. It is still very good but just doesn't seem as quick as stock gearing. I like it on mine but some people don't like it on their's. To each his own.


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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-30-2015, 02:36 AM
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A 16 tooth countershaft sprocket results in gearing that is 6.66% taller than with stock 15/46 sprockets... Indicated rpm in relation to indicated speed doesn't change, as the speed sensor is on the countershaft. The 16 tooth reduces speedometer error to near nill, but increases odometer error to about -6%. RPM at actual 60 mph (98 kph) is down by about 267 rpm to about 4250 rpm. At an actual 130 kph (81 mph), rpm is reduced by about 380 rpm to around 5640.

16/46 is about the same as 15/43 which some have opted for. I found it to be overkill on gearing, so I then went with 15/45... Many have opted for 15/44 which is also an ideal setup.

Last edited by invader; 05-30-2015 at 02:42 AM.
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-30-2015, 03:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E327 View Post
Your RPMs and speed will read exactly the same as stock no matter what sprocket that you have on your bike. But in actuality, your RPMs will be lower at the same speed. The 16 tooth sprocket definitely makes a big difference in acceleration or lack there off. It is still very good but just doesn't seem as quick as stock gearing. I like it on mine but some people don't like it on their's. To each his own.


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no

Changing you final drive does change things.

Your indicated speed on the cluster is calculated form the front sprocket nut.
Your km traveled is also calculated from the front sprocket nut.

By changing the final drive ratio you change your indicated speed as detected by the GPS.

For me with Pirelli Angel GT tyres at stock sizes (other brand tyres can affect rolling diameter):
15/46T ratio, 60km/hr indicated = 57km GPS
16/46T ratio, 60km/hr indicated = 63 km GPS

For me to stay legal in 60kph zone I have to travel 57kph indicated on my speedo. (GPS shows 60kph)
In 100kph zone I have to keep speedo at 96 kph (GPS shows 100kph)

Now I'm an running with better economy and this has nothing to to with RPM or engine power. I just run at the same GPS speed and the RPMs are lower.

Engine still makes the same power. You change your final drive gearing to suit your riding style - just like the go-karts and track day racers. If you are at a race track which is slow and technical you would choose a lower gearing so you can accelerate quickly at low speed and tight corners. On a fast track with high speed straights... well you need taller gearing so you don't bounce on the rev limiter at 160kph! Speed is time!

If you want to play with sprocket final drive gearing, I highly recommend you goto:
http://www.gearingcommander.com/

.

Last edited by Gigitt; 05-30-2015 at 03:24 AM.
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-30-2015, 09:30 PM
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Question, I purchased the Kawi rubber mounted Ninja sprocket in 16T.

I slipped it on today, just for a test fit and saw that it is a thicker sprocket. Bike still apart, other things happening at same time.

Is this a problem for chain/wheel alignment, and also it's a couple less turns on the nut as a result.

Thanks
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-30-2015, 09:37 PM Thread Starter
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That's exactly what I put on my bike and so far so good. You might want to do a test and put a straight edge on the big sprocket of the bike and see how well they are aligned in the first place. When I installed mine, I should have done it myself, but I just didn't think about it then.

Speedy
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-30-2015, 09:39 PM
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Thanks Speedy, will do. I know others have done it, just was not sure if their was a problem or not...
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-21-2015, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
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  • Any idea what your highway RPMs run at for lets say 70MPH and 80MPH?

Will have to come back to you on that one.

Speedy[/QUOTE]

RPM to MPH at the top gear with a 16T front sprocket:
4500 - 60
5300 - 70
6200 - 80
7000 - 90
???? -100

Happy father's Day to all of you fathers and potential fathers.
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post #16 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-21-2015, 03:22 PM
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That is very close to what I see.
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post #17 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-23-2015, 11:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedy Gonzalez View Post
  • Any idea what your highway RPMs run at for lets say 70MPH and 80MPH?



Will have to come back to you on that one.



Speedy


RPM to MPH at the top gear with a 16T front sprocket:

4500 - 60

5300 - 70

6200 - 80

7000 - 90

???? -100



Happy father's Day to all of you fathers and potential fathers. [/QUOTE]


That is what your gauges show no matter what sprockets you have on your bike.


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post #18 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-15-2016, 06:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedy Gonzalez View Post
Hi guys,

I decided to swap my front sprocket on the 2015 Versys 650 from 15 to 16 teeth, so I got myself a Vortex 16T front sprocket Kawasaki 520 chain #3823-15 (for 2007-2011 Kawasaki ZX600 Ninja ZX-6R). I went with this one because the outer part of the sprocket is separated from the inner with a rubber mount, which most likely will be smoother. I used the following tools: 8mm and 10 mm sockets with socket wrench and extension, 12 mm open wrench, and 27 mm deep impact socket with impact socket wrench, a screwdriver, pliers, and a hammer.
First, I put the bike in neutral and took off the plastic cover by unscrewing the two 8 mm screws with the socket wrench and wrench extension. Then, I removed the magnetic pickup sensor with the 10 mm socket wrench and I undid the safety washer. Next, I unscrewed the main nut with the 27 mm impact socket wrench turning counterclockwise. I removed the cotter pin from the rear spindle, and I loosened up the crown nut with the 27 socket wrench. Then, I loosened the chain adjustment bolts and then I was able to pull the sprocket out from the shaft. After that, I installed the new sprocket. For that, I used a torque wrench to tighten the sprocket at 92 ft-Lb and to tighten the rear axle nut at 80 ft-Lb.
My new sprocket was a little thicker than the original one in the spline area, but it still works fine. Id like to also point out that there is very little clearance left now between the chain and outside housing. I measured it, and it is only 0.020 inches (0.5 mm). A little tight for my taste, but it still works fine.

I wanted to bring the bike to the correct speed reading, and, after some testing with my GPS, which now shows 1 mph faster than the bikes clock across the whole spectrum of gears and speeds versus 3 to 4 mph the other way before. Most likely, the bike will be more frugal if comes to gas, but I was mostly concerned with having a more accurate speed read and perhaps a little less vibration (although the 2015 Versys 650 is pretty smooth in the first place).

If you were hoping to install the 17T front sprocket, I can assure you that it is not going to fit.

Hope you will find it useful.

Speedy
I changed mine at 400 miles....IMO one of the best mods you can do....
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post #19 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-15-2016, 09:46 PM
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Just replaced front sprocket (JT 15) chain and rear sprocket(JT43) stock is 46 tooth. My speedometer is spot on with GPS and mileage is 6% off 100 miles on GPS = 94 on odometer. I love the difference much smoother at slower speeds don't notice power loss if I keep RPM at or above 4500 RPMG
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post #20 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-15-2016, 11:41 PM
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2015 Versys ??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Versys John View Post
Just replaced front sprocket (JT 15) chain and rear sprocket(JT43) stock is 46 tooth. My speedometer is spot on with GPS and mileage is 6% off 100 miles on GPS = 94 on odometer. I love the difference much smoother at slower speeds don't notice power loss if I keep RPM at or above 4500 RPMG
I see Speedy posted last year, however I question how it could be smoother? I had a 07 with the 16 tooth, yes I could still start off in second gear, 0 to 100 KM/Hr in second gear, gear shifts wider apart. Let me say the 2015****is a different animal, below 4000 RPM it sucks, so unless you are moving at 100 to 150 KM/HR all the time and never need to run in the 50/60 KM / HR range I can see it.

For me if I am on the back roads, 80 to 90 KM/HR is common, with a 16 tooth I would need to run in fourth gear. My understanding is the 2015 has been changed in many ways, low RPM performance has not been enhanced over the MK1 and MK2, in fact if it wasn't for the many other improvements on the 2015, I would sell it and go back to the 07.

I sold my 16 tooth sprocket and don't see myself returning to it, FYI the 07 had a lot more get up and go over the 2015, and much smoother between 1500 and 4000 RPM, I could easily hold it at 3000 RPM with a 16 tooth sprocket and crank it, O vibrations, try that on the 2015, even at 3800 to 4000 RPM it hesitates and vibrates.
I have changed the main throttle sensor to 0.90 VDC from 1.034 ( shipped from dealer) I set it at 1.05 in May, this won't improve performance, just fuel mileage.
Last thing I need to do is a vacuum sync, and unlike the 07 which could be done without removing the gas tank, the 2015 is impossible to do without removing the tank, so that is my next project, possibly this week.

Last edited by onewizard; 08-15-2016 at 11:46 PM.
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