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Time for a new chain. Thanks Dave!

845 Views 18 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Dave 300x
Well I just hit 21,000 miles on the Versys-X 300. I bought it new in 2021, about two years ago now, and it has been almost everything I could want in a motorcycle.
So, I checked my valves this weekend, (thanks for that little push, @Flying Translator!), and they were all in spec- yay! However, while doing that, I observed that my chain is toast. Lots of stiff links. I'm pretty disappointed, because everyone had said, "the factory-installed chains are junk," {paraphrased, of course!}, and so I expected much better than 10,000 miles from this DID VX3 X-ring chain. (Yes, I checked my records and the stock chain lasted just over 10,000 miles.) This time I've ordered an EK SRX-2, which I'd used before on my V-Strom 650 with good success.

I've ordered everything I need to do it the @Dave 300x way, and so I'll be installing the JTF565-15RB sprocket. A couple of notes are in order:
Once again, as stated previously by Dave, (if I recall), Amazon is the best/cheapest source for this sprocket. And Dennis Kirk claimed to have it "in stock" with the initial internet search, but once you click on their website, NO, it's "out of stock." I'm not a fan of Amazon but in this case, I didn't have much choice. C'est la vie.

Regarding the various washers used- I was initially not thrilled to buy three of the part #92200-0851, because they're $5 each at Partzilla. (I remember Dave saying all the parts for this were cheap.) But once I watched Dave's video, I see that two of those will be a one-time purchase, since they'll be installed on the inner side of the sprocket and can be re-used later. So the third washer is to replace the outer one that always gets bent up during removal and reinstallation. (I guess you can reuse the old one, or replace it, the choice is up to you!) But just by coincidence, I'd ordered an extra one of these a long time ago, to have around for whenever; therefore I only needed to buy two, anyway.
(LOL, no I was never a KLR owner! 馃槄)

The one additional washer, part #92200-1389, was only $2, also at Partzilla.

I've been running 14/43 gearing for pretty much my whole two years of ownership, and it has not detracted one bit from low-speed riding on the NEBDR and PA Wilds BDR-X. So I don't foresee any problem changing to 15/46. It'll be interesting to see if I notice any change in handling- with the 14/43 gearing I was still using the stock length chain, (112 links), and while the adjusters were able to accommodate, the resulting wheelbase becomes about one inch shorter than stock.

Really looking forward to getting this done! After that, the only thing I'll have to worry about for the rest of the year should be tires. Hoping for another epic year of adventure!
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Well I just hit 21,000 miles on the Versys-X 300. I bought it new in 2021, about two years ago now, and it has been almost everything I could want in a motorcycle.
So, I checked my valves this weekend, (thanks for that little push, @Flying Translator!), and they were all in spec- yay! However, while doing that, I observed that my chain is toast. Lots of stiff links. I'm pretty disappointed, because everyone had said, "the factory-installed chains are junk," {paraphrased, of course!}, and so I expected much better than 10,000 miles from this DID VX3 X-ring chain. (Yes, I checked my records and the stock chain lasted just over 10,000 miles.) This time I've ordered an EK SRX-2, which I'd used before on my V-Strom 650 with good success.

I've ordered everything I need to do it the @Dave 300x way, and so I'll be installing the JTF565-15RB sprocket. A couple of notes are in order:
Once again, as stated previously by Dave, (if I recall), Amazon is the best/cheapest source for this sprocket. And Dennis Kirk claimed to have it "in stock" with the initial internet search, but once you click on their website, NO, it's "out of stock." I'm not a fan of Amazon but in this case, I didn't have much choice. C'est la vie.

Regarding the various washers used- I was initially not thrilled to buy three of the part #92200-0851, because they're $5 each at Partzilla. (I remember Dave saying all the parts for this were cheap.) But once I watched Dave's video, I see that two of those will be a one-time purchase, since they'll be installed on the inner side of the sprocket and can be re-used later. So the third washer is to replace the outer one that always gets bent up during removal and reinstallation. (I guess you can reuse the old one, or replace it, the choice is up to you!) But just by coincidence, I'd ordered an extra one of these a long time ago, to have around for whenever; therefore I only needed to buy two, anyway.
(LOL, no I was never a KLR owner! 馃槄)

The one additional washer, part #92200-1389, was only $2, also at Partzilla.

I've been running 14/43 gearing for pretty much my whole two years of ownership, and it has not detracted one bit from low-speed riding on the NEBDR and PA Wilds BDR-X. So I don't foresee any problem changing to 15/46. It'll be interesting to see if I notice any change in handling- with the 14/43 gearing I was still using the stock length chain, (112 links), and while the adjusters were able to accommodate, the resulting wheelbase becomes about one inch shorter than stock.

Really looking forward to getting this done! After that, the only thing I'll have to worry about for the rest of the year should be tires. Hoping for another epic year of adventure!
For what it's worth, I ordered the sprocket and washers all from Partzilla - one stop shop. Make sure you have a good impact gun - 27mm (or 1 1/16" in inches) sprocket nut will spin right off. Didn't even need to prevent the rear wheel from spinning. Verify the bike is in neutral before loosening the sprocket nut. Also make sure to hold the front washer on the splines as the nut is put back on. Changing the sprocket is a snap following Dave's instructions.

I get very good life out of EK chains. Don't use anything else. Good luck!
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Well I just hit 21,000 miles on the Versys-X 300. I bought it new in 2021, about two years ago now, and it has been almost everything I could want in a motorcycle.
So, I checked my valves this weekend, (thanks for that little push, @Flying Translator!), and they were all in spec- yay! However, while doing that, I observed that my chain is toast. Lots of stiff links. I'm pretty disappointed, because everyone had said, "the factory-installed chains are junk," {paraphrased, of course!}, and so I expected much better than 10,000 miles from this DID VX3 X-ring chain. (Yes, I checked my records and the stock chain lasted just over 10,000 miles.) This time I've ordered an EK SRX-2, which I'd used before on my V-Strom 650 with good success.

I've ordered everything I need to do it the @Dave 300x way, and so I'll be installing the JTF565-15RB sprocket. A couple of notes are in order:
Once again, as stated previously by Dave, (if I recall), Amazon is the best/cheapest source for this sprocket. And Dennis Kirk claimed to have it "in stock" with the initial internet search, but once you click on their website, NO, it's "out of stock." I'm not a fan of Amazon but in this case, I didn't have much choice. C'est la vie.

Regarding the various washers used- I was initially not thrilled to buy three of the part #92200-0851, because they're $5 each at Partzilla. (I remember Dave saying all the parts for this were cheap.) But once I watched Dave's video, I see that two of those will be a one-time purchase, since they'll be installed on the inner side of the sprocket and can be re-used later. So the third washer is to replace the outer one that always gets bent up during removal and reinstallation. (I guess you can reuse the old one, or replace it, the choice is up to you!) But just by coincidence, I'd ordered an extra one of these a long time ago, to have around for whenever; therefore I only needed to buy two, anyway.
(LOL, no I was never a KLR owner! 馃槄)

The one additional washer, part #92200-1389, was only $2, also at Partzilla.

I've been running 14/43 gearing for pretty much my whole two years of ownership, and it has not detracted one bit from low-speed riding on the NEBDR and PA Wilds BDR-X. So I don't foresee any problem changing to 15/46. It'll be interesting to see if I notice any change in handling- with the 14/43 gearing I was still using the stock length chain, (112 links), and while the adjusters were able to accommodate, the resulting wheelbase becomes about one inch shorter than stock.

Really looking forward to getting this done! After that, the only thing I'll have to worry about for the rest of the year should be tires. Hoping for another epic year of adventure!
Glad you're enjoying your bike !

Was this your first valve check @ 21k miles ... and did you record how close they were to being out of clearance?
(Just curious since I am unsure if the PO did the check on mine ... and I'm approaching 15K; unlike me to ignorantly stretch out a maintenance requirement ... but here I am, riding away 馃槼).

For what it's worth, I have about 6k miles on my DID VX3 chain I replaced back in Feb '22. Very little adjustment and no issues at all at this point. I use the controversial WD-40 only strategy usually every tankful, occasionally skip a tank if I'm travelling when I refill. I'm hoping to get more than 10k miles on this chain ... and will likely try the EK next time just for comparison's sake, and because of the good reviews from folks on here.

Happy motoring 馃憤馃憤馃憤馃弽馃弽馃弽
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Well I just hit 21,000 miles on the Versys-X 300. I bought it new in 2021, about two years ago now, and it has been almost everything I could want in a motorcycle.
So, I checked my valves this weekend, (thanks for that little push, @Flying Translator!), and they were all in spec- yay! However, while doing that, I observed that my chain is toast. Lots of stiff links. I'm pretty disappointed, because everyone had said, "the factory-installed chains are junk," {paraphrased, of course!}, and so I expected much better than 10,000 miles from this DID VX3 X-ring chain. (Yes, I checked my records and the stock chain lasted just over 10,000 miles.) This time I've ordered an EK SRX-2, which I'd used before on my V-Strom 650 with good success.

I've ordered everything I need to do it the @Dave 300x way, and so I'll be installing the JTF565-15RB sprocket. A couple of notes are in order:
Once again, as stated previously by Dave, (if I recall), Amazon is the best/cheapest source for this sprocket. And Dennis Kirk claimed to have it "in stock" with the initial internet search, but once you click on their website, NO, it's "out of stock." I'm not a fan of Amazon but in this case, I didn't have much choice. C'est la vie.

Really looking forward to getting this done! After that, the only thing I'll have to worry about for the rest of the year should be tires. Hoping for another epic year of adventure!
The front sprocket swap is pretty straight forward. On the inner most two (dished) washers - make sure they are such that the curve side is away from the sprocket. (no interference with the sprocket). I've been running with the JT565-15RB now for 5200 miles and I've inspected it several times and it still looks like new. I'm 5400 miles on the bike and OEM chain and that still looks good with no stiff links yet. I understand that the OEM chain isn't that great and If I can also get 10000 miles out of it I'll be ok with that. Thanks, and If you have any questions, I'm here for you. I'm a spares guy and already have a JT565-15RB spare and a VX3 chain spare. Enjoy your X300 this riding season. Dave
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For what it's worth, I ordered the sprocket and washers all from Partzilla - one stop shop. Make sure you have a good impact gun - 27mm (or 1 1/16" in inches) sprocket nut will spin right off. Didn't even need to prevent the rear wheel from spinning. Verify the bike is in neutral before loosening the sprocket nut. Also make sure to hold the front washer on the splines as the nut is put back on. Changing the sprocket is a snap following Dave's instructions.

I get very good life out of EK chains. Don't use anything else. Good luck!
Yea, I meant to order the sprocket from Partzilla, too. Had some kind of brain fart I guess.

I've done this job before. Cheap electric impact wrench from Harbor Fright removes that nut in two seconds. (Literally!)

That DID chain was quite a bit cheaper than the EK. Go figure.

Thanks for the advice, looking forward to getting installation done this weekend.
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Glad you're enjoying your bike !

Was this your first valve check @ 21k miles ... and did you record how close they were to being out of clearance?
(Just curious since I am unsure if the PO did the check on mine ... and I'm approaching 15K; unlike me to ignorantly stretch out a maintenance requirement ... but here I am, riding away 馃槼).

For what it's worth, I have about 6k miles on my DID VX3 chain I replaced back in Feb '22. Very little adjustment and no issues at all at this point. I use the controversial WD-40 only strategy usually every tankful, occasionally skip a tank if I'm travelling when I refill. I'm hoping to get more than 10k miles on this chain ... and will likely try the EK next time just for comparison's sake, and because of the good reviews from folks on here.

Happy motoring 馃憤馃憤馃憤馃弽馃弽馃弽
No I checked my valves the first time at about 8,500 miles- and one exhaust valve was already too tight, with another one at minimum spec. I reshimmed all of the valves at that time. I do have the numbers but they're out in the garage.

If I recall from memory, I reshimmed all of the exhaust valves to 0.27mm clearance, and they've all crept in to 0.25mm now. The one exception is the right-side exhaust,on the right cylinder, which tightened a smidge more, to about 0.24mm.

Yea I wouldn't delay your valve check, if you're near 15,000 miles. This topic just came up about a week or two ago:


I don't know what happened to the OP from that thread, but more so on the VX3 subforum of AdvRider, there are many owners who will tell you that their valves were already tight at the first maintenance interval.
Here's hoping yours are in spec for you!
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... there are many owners who will tell you that their valves were already tight at the first maintenance interval....
And THAT also applies to the V650s...!
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And THAT also applies to the V650s...!
Feels like I've read this somewhere else before... 馃槄
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Just a follow-up:
I received all of the various parts in time to install the new chain and sprockets, this past weekend.

So... I got a bit over-zealous and the first thing I did was cut the old chain off. Then realized it was actually still needed, to remove that nut off the front sprocket! :rolleyes:
Here was my solution:
Brown Wood String instrument Musical instrument String instrument


An awkward position, but seated on the bike, transmission in neutral and right foot on the rear brake, I applied the Harbor Fright electric impact wrench and, "One thousand one, one-" Boom, done!

I've run the 14/43 gearing almost since day one, so I can't really compare this new set-up with stock. However, with 14/43, at 8000 rpm the speedo indicated 70 mph.
Now with 15/46, it's 7800 rpm at the same indicated 70 mph. Cool.

Even on single track and jeep trails on the NEBDR and the PA BDR-X, the slightly taller 14/43 gearing was never an issue, so I think the 15/43 will be absolutely fine.

So the bike is ready to conquer another season of adventure, with maybe the exception of new tires. Let the good times roll! Thanks again, @Dave 300x . (y)
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Just a follow-up:
I received all of the various parts in time to install the new chain and sprockets, this past weekend.

So... I got a bit over-zealous and the first thing I did was cut the old chain off. Then realized it was actually still needed, to remove that nut off the front sprocket! :rolleyes:
Here was my solution:
View attachment 193567

An awkward position, but seated on the bike, transmission in neutral and right foot on the rear brake, I applied the Harbor Fright electric impact wrench and, "One thousand one, one-" Boom, done!

I've run the 14/43 gearing almost since day one, so I can't really compare this new set-up with stock. However, with 14/43, at 8000 rpm the speedo indicated 70 mph.
Now with 15/46, it's 7800 rpm at the same indicated 70 mph. Cool.

Even on single track and jeep trails on the NEBDR and the PA BDR-X, the slightly taller 14/43 gearing was never an issue, so I think the 15/43 will be absolutely fine.

So the bike is ready to conquer another season of adventure, with maybe the exception of new tires. Let the good times roll! Thanks again, @Dave 300x . (y)
Well you got creative and made all happen. Enjoy your new 15/46 sprocket setup. I've got 5200 + miles on my front JTF565-15RB and it still looks new. Welcome to the JT565-15RB club.
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Just a follow-up:
I received all of the various parts in time to install the new chain and sprockets, this past weekend.

I've run the 14/43 gearing almost since day one, so I can't really compare this new set-up with stock. However, with 14/43, at 8000 rpm the speedo indicated 70 mph.
Now with 15/46, it's 7800 rpm at the same indicated 70 mph. Cool.

Even on single track and jeep trails on the NEBDR and the PA BDR-X, the slightly taller 14/43 gearing was never an issue, so I think the 15/43 will be absolutely fine.

So the bike is ready to conquer another season of adventure, with maybe the exception of new tires. Let the good times roll! Thanks again, @Dave 300x . (y)
Well... I was patting myself on the back for my switch to a 15/42 sprocket change. Everything had been perfect on my '22 model until I made a high speed run up the highway yesterday (not really sure if the high speed part was responsible). But after I got to my destination and then started back home, I got the dreaded ERROR #25 and the gear indicator is uselessly flashing, along with the persistent 'check engine' light!!
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Well... I was patting myself on the back for my switch to a 15/42 sprocket change. Everything had been perfect on my '22 model until I made a high speed run up the highway yesterday (not really sure if the high speed part was responsible). But after I got to my destination and then started back home, I got the dreaded ERROR #25 and the gear indicator is uselessly flashing, along with the persistent 'check engine' light!!
Interesting, because I thought that starting in 2020 something had been corrected so that the newer bikes would not get the Error 25? (Or so I'd read.) Maybe there IS a limit to how far you can go, regardless. I've read of someone else doing 15/43 and having no problems.
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Well... I was patting myself on the back for my switch to a 15/42 sprocket change. Everything had been perfect on my '22 model until I made a high speed run up the highway yesterday (not really sure if the high speed part was responsible). But after I got to my destination and then started back home, I got the dreaded ERROR #25 and the gear indicator is uselessly flashing, along with the persistent 'check engine' light!!
You bike must be special. Well- probably not. Many X300 owners have gone to the 15/43 for sure with no problems. 2017 - 2019 bikes couldn't do even that. But 15/42 I can't recall. We should go back to see many postings to determine if that is the case. There are also many posts that if you just keep on riding the bike that after 3 or more trips of over 30 minutes and above 25 mph that the problem goes away. Shut off the bike between rides. This seems to be a bit weird but that is what I would do next. Just make sure you stay above 25 mph for more than 30 minutes. It is worth a try. You can be an official test case. Are you up to trying this unusual trial ? Let us know.
You bike must be special. Well- probably not. Many X300 owners have gone to the 15/43 for sure with no problems. 2017 - 2019 bikes couldn't do even that. But 15/42 I can't recall. We should go back to see many postings to determine if that is the case. There are also many posts that if you just keep on riding the bike that after 3 or more trips of over 30 minutes and above 25 mph that the problem goes away. Shut off the bike between rides. This seems to be a bit weird but that is what I would do next. Just make sure you stay above 25 mph for more than 30 minutes. It is worth a try. You can be an official test case. Are you up to trying this unusual trial ? Let us know.
I did read a bunch of previous posts and learned of the tedious and ridiculous method for resetting that error code. I'm not sure I want to waste my time trying to get it to reset, only to find that it faults again on the next ride??
I'm planning a long 9 day ride to Maggie Valley in a few weeks and may just wait until then. Over 20 of my previous bikes never had shift indicators so I can live without it. At least it still indicates neutral!!
I'll post a report if I make any revelations.
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I did read a bunch of previous posts and learned of the tedious and ridiculous method for resetting that error code. I'm not sure I want to waste my time trying to get it to reset, only to find that it faults again on the next ride??
I'm planning a long 9 day ride to Maggie Valley in a few weeks and may just wait until then. Over 20 of my previous bikes never had shift indicators so I can live without it. At least it still indicates neutral!!
I'll post a report if I make any revelations.
Yes, that reset procedure is ridiculous. I did it once, successfully, but couldn't get it to reset the second time. I was travelling down a length of rural two-lane near my house, got caught by a car in front of me slowing to turn... there went my "5 minutes continuous at >25mph, x three repetions."
Instead I bought an OBD ii diagnostic tool, and reset it that way. Plus it's useful for other vehicles and can show you additional info about whatever you're checking.

Maggi Valley sounds awesome. I rode the Versys down to NC about this time, two years ago, it was some great riding. Didn't make it Maggie Valley, but there's always next time. Have a great trip!
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You bike must be special. Well- probably not. Many X300 owners have gone to the 15/43 for sure with no problems. 2017 - 2019 bikes couldn't do even that. But 15/42 I can't recall. We should go back to see many postings to determine if that is the case. There are also many posts that if you just keep on riding the bike that after 3 or more trips of over 30 minutes and above 25 mph that the problem goes away. Shut off the bike between rides. This seems to be a bit weird but that is what I would do next. Just make sure you stay above 25 mph for more than 30 minutes. It is worth a try. You can be an official test case. Are you up to trying this unusual trial ? Let us know.
I rode my Versys-X probably 3 or 4 times in the last 2 weeks after it threw up the error code and the gear indicator continued to flash, so I simply ignored it. But this morning, we took off for Maggie Valley and it was working perfectly!! Then, after several stops, 200 miles, and a stop for gas, it glitched AGAIN. And this time it isn't even showing neutral. So I guess I'm stuck with it continually resetting!
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I rode my Versys-X probably 3 or 4 times in the last 2 weeks after it threw up the error code and the gear indicator continued to flash, so I simply ignored it. But this morning, we took off for Maggie Valley and it was working perfectly!! Then, after several stops, 200 miles, and a stop for gas, it glitched AGAIN. And this time it isn't even showing neutral. So I guess I'm stuck with it continually resetting!
I would try to clear the codes again by riding. Who knows what might happen. From my understanding for the Versys X300 the ECU was changed right around 2020 and that 15/ 43 was doable. By 2022 I'm 100% sure several owners have chimed in that the 15/43 is good to go. But what the heck is it with 15/42? The ECU is supposed to be able to be reflashed with changes, but dealers won't do it. You have to know somebody that has the talent. Keep trying to get past the errors.
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Well.. returned home Saturday after 1350 miles and the Versys-X ran great. It did have a little problem pulling those long uphills at 70 mph in 6th gear (15/42 sprockets). Just have to downshift occasionally! The error code and flashing display cleared itself 3 or maybe 4 times during the trip BUT it didn't last very long and would glitch again after what seemed like 30 minutes. So I only had a gear indicator about 10% of the trip. It was still flashing as I pulled into the garage on Saturday. Looks like I might be stuck with this issue.
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Well.. returned home Saturday after 1350 miles and the Versys-X ran great. It did have a little problem pulling those long uphills at 70 mph in 6th gear (15/42 sprockets). Just have to downshift occasionally! The error code and flashing display cleared itself 3 or maybe 4 times during the trip BUT it didn't last very long and would glitch again after what seemed like 30 minutes. So I only had a gear indicator about 10% of the trip. It was still flashing as I pulled into the garage on Saturday. Looks like I might be stuck with this issue.
Thank you for sticking with the 15/42 for a long road test. It is good information for all of us that 15/42 is still an issue with the Versys X300 up through 2022 model. That is new news to me. I'm staying with the 15/46.
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