Chains and sprockets DO NOT HAVE to be replaced as a set, that's an urban legend and motorcycle shops love to keep it going around.
If you look at the bikebandit article, all of the pictures of the rear sprocket are aluminum sprockets, not steel! Steel rear sprockes will outlast two or three front sprockets (fronts are always steel), and if you replace your chain before it stretches past it's service limit, you'll be able to use the same front sprocket for at least a couple of chains, the rear will last a longer time. There are exceptions though, some people do maintain their chains perfectly and manage to get them to outlast the sprockets, but commuting and touring in the rain I've never managed such feat.
Anecdotal evidence: If you go by the old saying that they have to be replaced as a set, my 2nd chain on the Versys would have worn faster than the OEM chain. Well, nope, I got only 10000 miles out of the OEM chain and 12500 from the 2nd RK chain.
The service manual for the Versys and every other bike I've had always calls for inspection of the sprockets, that's the only way to know when they must be replaced. None of those service manuals even hint to replacing them as a set, that is BS.
I still have a set of sprockets for a XT660R, which I no longer have. When I sold it with 42,000kms both sprockets were just fine and had very little wear.
Last edited by Süsser Tod; 09-04-2015 at 02:11 PM.