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Well, I was hoping I would not have to replace my chain and sprockets before I leave for my overseas assignment to S. Korea, especially since the bike will be up on paddock stands all year; however, the other day my chain became very loose and started making all sorts of racket.

The bike is a 2008 with 15,500 miles on the odometer.

Last night I had my neighbor, who is also a mechanic and motorcycyle guru look at the chain and rear sprocket and we determined that my rear sprocket was pretty much warped a little, causing excessive wear. It also sounds like the front sprocket is making noise too.

I really don't know any different, so I took my friends advice to not ride the bike until a replacement is bought.

I had planned on buying a 44T rear sprocket and new chain before the bike gets shipped to Germany next summer, so I figure doing in now rather than later makes no difference. (My follow-on assignment from S. Korea is in Germany).

After calling Sprocket Center and asking their advice, I went ahead and purchased this setup:

15T front sprocket and a 44T RS7 Superlite steel rear sprocket

DID 520 VX2 series X'ring Chain - GOLD COLOR (750cc rated) +$156.95

Out the door for $156.95 isn't that bad and I was able to get free shipping. And since I am military, they threw in a free can of chain lube. Heck...I can't complain.

I have read in the forums that there is some differing opinions on whether to rivet the chain together or use the clip provided. They are sending a rivet master link along with the chain.

Is it safe to use the clip style master link? I do not have a rivet tool to rivet the chain together, so I was thinking the clip style might work for me. One option I was told is that I could clip the chain together, then find a shop that could rivet the chain together permanently.

I only have 1 Kawasaki dealer in my area and when I called and asked how much to replace the chain and sprocket, they said about 3 hrs of labor ($225). Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of independent motorcycle shops in my area, so I might be forced to go to the dealer if I can't replace the chain and sprocket myself.

I am a little hesitant on doing it myself because I have read the horror stories of people not being able to loosen the front sprocket.

Also, do I need to rebalance my tire after putting the new rear sprocket on? My neighbor said that I needed to. It makes sense since the sprocket is lighter that the OEM.

Thanks for any comments or advice guys.

Jason
 

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I've used the clip on master link many times with no problems, just make sure the open end of the clip faces towards the rear. I wouldn't balance the tire again I didn't when I change out my sproket. If you can borrow a impact wrench from someone that will be the best bet for the front sprocket but it can be removed with a socket and breaker bar. If you have a trailer or truck, take it to the dealer and have them just loosen that front sprocket nut for you, shouldn't cost anymore than a 1/2 hour labor charge.
 

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A clip link is better than a poor rivet job. I wouldn't bother rebalancing, didn't do that on my sprocket change.
 

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You can use the clip master link, make sure the closed end faces the direction the chain spins. OR you can buy one of these. $39.95 it's a good deal most go for closer to $75.00-$100.00.


I saw it here

http://www.rockymountainatvmc.com/p/756/25847/Tusk-Chain-Riveting-Tool


I have the same set and have used it a few times. Simple, easy and well made. Plus all your buds will LOVE you when they need a new chain set! :D

Good luck on your deployment and be safe. :thumb:
 

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You can get the chain tool you need for $45 fro Mikes XS http://www.mikesxs.net/product/35-0006.html. It is a Chinese made clone of the DID tool but works and looks just like the real deal. I have one of each. I always used riveted masterlinks because I have helped several folks over the years with clip style masterlinks that never come off.
 

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I've used the clip on master link many times with no problems, just make sure the open end of the clip faces towards the rear.
You want the closed end of the clip-link leading the direction of chain travel. (open end is following)

so pointing the open end of the clip to the rear only works if you are working on the top run of the chain. Unfortunately there is little room to work on the chain up there. Most work on the chain on the bottom run as there is a lot more room to get tools round the chain - which means you have to make sure you the direction of chain travel figured out!
... and not just point the open end of the clip to the rear!

On the Versys the Chain is on the LHS of Bike... so
on the top chain run: chain travel = <--- , clip link faces = [==
on bottom chain run: chain travel = ---> , clip link faces = ==]


If you have a trailer or truck, take it to the dealer and have them just loosen that front sprocket nut for you, shouldn't cost anymore than a 1/2 hour labor charge.
If you have done most of the work eg taken off the covers and flattened out the lock washer... you can ride to a local shop and just ask them to see if their rattle gun can spin off the 27mm nut (USE a 6-sided impact socket!).
Then tighten it up with a torque wrench and ride home gently to finish the job - This Is what I did last week.

I would be be surprised if they did charge you if you do the work.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the info everyone. I called around and can get everything installed for less than $200. I was looking at my schedule before I leave and I really dont have a lot of time.

I think while I am at it, I will go ahead and get new tires installed. I was going to wait until I return on leave in the spring to install tires; however, doing it now or waiting makes no real difference. When they install the sprocket, they will have to remove the tire anyway.

I am gonna go with Michelin PR4's. Competition Accessories has good deals on tires.

My buddy and I will tackle coolant flush and brake fluid flush.
 

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A riveted chain will never come accidentally undone unlike a clip master link however it requires a chain riveting/breaking tool like the one above for professional results. See You Tube how to videos on how to use it, it's easy to use. Cycle gear also sells these cheap under the Stockton brand. You still require a chain breaking tool with a clip link unless you already have a clip link on there, or you can use a dremel if you have a lot of time and patience. IMO buy a cheap tool like the one above that both rivets the new chain and breaks the old chain, it will last a life time and you will always have it on hand for future chain replacements.

Always replace the front sprocket with a chain. This normally wears faster than the rear. Consider purchasing a Motion Pro Chain alignment tool, they're cheap and make it easy to properly adjust chain slack and alignment, which will make your new chain last longer. The front sprocket will require an impact wrench to loosen. See the service manual, which is available for download, free, from this site.

Lube your new chain every second fill up with a dry lube like Dupont Teflon Chain Saver. It produces a lot less fling off than oil or grease based lubes and does not attract grit. Clean the chain when it looks dirty with kerosene or WD-40 and a stiff brush like a Grunge Brush. Keeping grit off the chain will make it last a lot longer.
 

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I have a clip on my chain now. I just put some silicone over the clip .$200.00 seems like a lot of money for labor just to have them replace your chain and sprockets.
 

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Which is why we call 'em stealership. If you want it done right, do it yourself. I can change the chain a front sprocket in about an hour and I am slow.

You need a chain and front sprocket. I get the D.I.D V2 chain for about $90 from Amazon. Front sprocket $30 - 40. Tool $45. You should be able to do it for under $200 and an hour of your time. You can change gearing at the same time by going to a 16T front.
 
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