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Chain replacement - smaller rear sprocket?

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by tallstreak, Dec 19, 2011.

  1. Hi all,

    I did some searching but couldn't find exactly what I needed to know.

    My bike needs a new chain, and I'll do the F & R sprockets at the same time.
    Im also looking at dropping 2 teeth on the rear sprocket (44T to 42T)

    If I do this should I also drop 2 chain links (standard chain is 114 link) and install a 112 link chain?

    Current chain is also an endless - for the new chain is the clip link counted as a link or added (ie 112 or 113 with the clip link)

    Sorry if these q's are noob - Thanks for your help - links to any other threads on this subject would be great too!
  2. I would go with the standard length chain for a 2 tooth drop unless you know that you've got a fair bit of slot in front of the wheel spindle with a new chain and standard sprockets. All the longer chain means is that you will run out of adjustment a bit sooner but, in my experience, once a chain is that worn it's full of tight spots and needs replacement anyway.

    Split link is always counted as part of the chain and chains will always have an even number of links. Once upon a time you could get cranked links to allow odd numbers but (a) they're an utterly shithouse idea and (b) I haven't seen one in decades, possibly because of (a).

    If you're getting a chain with a spring clip type split link, be absolutely certain that the clip has the legs trailing the direction of chain travel and be doubly certain that the clip is actually seated properly. IMHO many of the tales of failure of spring clip type links are a result of neglecting this second point. Sometimes it takes a staggering amount of fiddling to get the clip seated properly in the grooves on the pins and it's not always easy to tell if it's not. I was always a bit anal retentive about it back when I used split-link chains and, in spite of all sorts of other bike reliability problems, never lost a clip.
  3. just go standard length and if its too long cut 1 link off it. 2 teeth = 1 link if i remember correctly.
  4. If you use a split link you have to buy a magnifying glass and make damn sure that the clip is seated properly. Done properly they will never cause a problem. I put a spot of paint or clear nail polish on them once I'm sure they are seated.
    Standard chain will be fine.
  5. Theres a link here somewhere about fitting chains and sprocket's. Cutting the chain is the last thing I do after its measured on the bike.
  6. Thanks guys. Will be attempting this over the Xmas / new year break.
  7. Why do you want to drop teeth at the rear?
    That will give the bike taller gearing and make it accelerate slower, is that what you're after?
  8. Convenience really. I could get an off the shelf 520-112 Oring chain , without having to go a 120 link and cut it down to 114 links.

    Also happy to trade off a smidge of acceleration for a smidge less RPM at speed.

    Alternately I just need an idea of where I could take the chain to get it cut and how much this would set me back.
  9. Any bike shop would probably do it for you either for free, or for a token amount of money if it's just the cut.
  10. I thought I'd update this thread to let you know how I got on. Thanks again for all the advice.

    I ended up fitting standard sprockets to front & rear. A local bike service/dealer cut the chain to length for me for free (thanks panza83).

    On my bike not as straightforward as I thought, mainly as I had to remove radiator, exhaust system and its covers, sidestand, gear leaver just to get to the sprocket cover, and front sprocket.

    Anyhow all back together again so I have just one more question relating to the factory grease on the chain. I left it as is and on the short test ride its warmed up and flung on the tyres and also dripped where the bike is parked.

    So for the next 300K or so - should I now wipe of the excess and leave it at that, or wipe off and then lube with chain oil, or leave as is?
  11. Wipe most of the factory chain grease off with a rag (you dont need to be anal about it)and then lube as you would normally.