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Discussion Starter #1
I see conflicting posts about the effectiveness of the rubber damped front sprocket. Has anyone compared an all-steel front sprocket with the OEM rubber damped sprocket?
 

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ALL three of my V650s had a rubber-damped sprocket from the factory, but in EVERY case I replaced it w/ a non-damped steel sprocket when it was time to change, and I've NOT EVER seen (or heard...) any reason to do something else.
 

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I think that the rubber damping absorbs some shock to the transmission output and drivetrain when 1st gear is engaged- that clunk- plus sudden bursts of power when the rider is feeling frisky and downshifts at a touch too high rpm.

An opportune time to post the thread: I picked up a new OEM front sprocket yesterday, a 16T fits the Ninja 650 and the Versys 650. It is top-drawer quality and I expect that it, along with a new rear sprocket and X ring chain will last a very long time with regular maintenance.

I bought it from McKees in Delhi, a good price, friendly people and it's nice to contribute something to the brick and mortar places that we'll all lament when they're gone.
 

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The rubber reduces chain noise when cruising under light engine load. The rubber will compress under load, and the chain noise increases noticeably. I’ve run both types of sprockets and could hear when the rubber damped sprocket was working.

I just replaced chain and sprockets again (don’t waste your $ on a JT Sprockets chain!) and the new EK chain is quiet on the new JT steel sprockets.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Interesting, we have the same variety of experiences on the V here as other brands report elsewhere.
 

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I just went with the OEM sprocket because it seems to be the highest quality one you can get, I've heard too many horror stories of aftermarket front sprockets stripping out teeth or even splines.

I am currently running OEM front, Vortex steel sprocket in the rear and DID x-ring chain all in the stock size because I live at 6000ft and ride in the mountains all the time, I would consider gearing down, but it's already turning 6400rpm @80mph
 

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...After decades of rock 'n roll plus mechanical noise damage, I'm lucky to hear myself fart.:wink2:
Me TOO, but I just watch to see whether anyone starts "wrinkling" his nose, and retching....

:grin2:
 

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After 60k Km still with OEM front sprocket w/ rubber damper.
If I was you, I would take a VERY GOOD look at it, checking for 'hooked' teeth, among other things. MY experience has been that they MIGHT be 'good' for about 18,000 miles (29K kms), but NOT for 60k Kms!
 

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I finally got the front sprocket removed. The DPO had it torqued down as tight as the factory sprockets. I had to truck it to my auto mechanic as my air compressor is limited to 90psi. It took him quite a few 'bursts' of his impact gun to free it.

I'm undecided on the torque I will use. The factory recommended or less torque?

The DPO had a cheap sprocket on it and also over- crimped the master rivet link. It, along with a few other links was seized.

Here is a scan of the damaged sprocket. It's from the back side so I flipped it. Note the uneven wear to the teeth and the unusual pattern where the black finish is worn shiny.
 

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Question for those who have replaced the front sprocket: what torque setting did you use for new sprocket? The manual spec 92 ft/lb or other?
 

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Question for those who have replaced the front sprocket: what torque setting did you use for new sprocket? The manual spec 92 ft/lb or other?
We had a long discussion about this months ago, for myself, 90 ft/lbs is more than enough. I use the deep 12mm socket ( plus a rag to hold in place) to tighten, same as loosening.
 

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We had a long discussion about this months ago, for myself, 90 ft/lbs is more than enough. I use the deep 12mm socket ( plus a rag to hold in place) to tighten, same as loosening.
Thanks. I was thinking along those same lines- 90ft/lb maximum. I had the same problem with a Norton- over-torqued. The bike was half-way stripped with only the rear wheel and chain still attached. It was sitting on a stand in the back room of my house, no way to move it. I had a buddy in the tire business who offered to help. He brought his service truck here and fed a long air hose into the house. He could not believe how tight it was put on at the factory. Same arrangement with a bent-over locking washer.

As he said (he's also a rider), "have you ever heard of a front sprocket coming loose?" Me neither.
 

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I replaced my OEM front sprocket with a straight steel one last chain I put on at 50,000K. I dont wear earplugs and cant say that I hear anything that is too different. Maybe a bit of a turbine-like whine when i open it up but its not an objectionable sound!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Question for those who have replaced the front sprocket: what torque setting did you use for new sprocket? The manual spec 92 ft/lb or other?
I'm going to use the factory spec. 122 ft lbs? But I will use the moly-oil lube on the threads to make it easier to remove next time.

FWIW I was pretty easily able to loosen the sprocket nut using an electric impact wrench. The Porter-Cable PCE211 7.5 Amp 1/2" Impact Wrench, cost about $75. It appears to be the same unit carrying different brands. I picked it over the Harbor Freight unit because of the 3 year warranty from Porter-Cable.
 

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Question for those who have replaced the front sprocket: what torque setting did you use for new sprocket? The manual spec 92 ft/lb or other?
My Gen 3 SERVICE MANUAL calls for 122 '/# so that's what I use, SIGNIFICANTLY LESS than the factory does!

:surprise:
 
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