I was able to get the front sprocket nut off in about 2 seconds using the 1/2" drive, 230 lbf-ft electric impact wrench I bought from Harbor Freight last weekend for $37. So, on the third try I was finally able to replace the scalloped 16 tooth front sprocket with the new 16 tooth front sprocket I have had for many months. It feels good to have my bike back functioning with good sprockets and a good chain again.
Now, that I have been successfully through this process of replacing the front sprocket, I have to say that if I were grading Suzuki on this design I would have to give them an A+ for making sure the sprocket nut is not going to come loose, but a D+ to C- for requiring a belt and three sets of suspenders. What I mean by that is Suzuki put a 20mm external thread on the transmission output shaft which requires a preload of somewhere between 200 and 400 lbf-ft of tightening torque to keep the nut from coming loose depending on what material the output shaft is made of and whether it is dry or lubricated. That much torque is unreasonable for either home mechanics or authorized mechanics to have to apply using common tools, so since they could not specify a preload that produces a thread stress of 67% to 90% of the ultimate tensile strength of the material to keep the nut from loosening during operation they did 3 things. They used a 32mm nut with two locking tabs. a washer with a bent over locking tab and they specified thread locker. Three methods of preventing that nut from coming loose may seem excessive, but so is specifying so much tightening torque (105 lbf-ft) that the wheel has to be locked or an impact wrench has to be used to either loosen or tighten the 32mm nut.
What is the alternative? Instead of a 20mm external thread, how about a 10mm internal thread for a bolt requiring just 29 lbf-ft of torque to obtain the 67% to 90% of the bolt material's ultimate tensile and prevent it from coming loose? That little torque does not require either locking the rear wheel or an impact wrench, nor does it require a locknut, a lockwasher or thread locker. All it really needs is a plain washer under the bolt head. That is what Honda did with their 1991-2003 CB750 Nighthawk. I had a 2002 NH. I replaced the chain twice and the sprockets once. The NH's front sprocket bolt was easy to break loose and to re-tighten to the specified 29 lbf-ft of torque. I think that Suzuki could learn something from Honda here. After all, based on dynamometer readings, the NH has slightly more HP and slightly more peak torque.
On the other hand, although I am bashing Suzuki's design for securing the front sprocket and feel justified doing so since I am a mechanical design engineer with 40 years of working experience, the reason that I have a Wee-Strom now and no longer have a 2002 Nighthawk is the Wee is way more fun with its torque engine, plus the six-speed transmission helps keep the vibrations down and the gas mileage up. In addition, I could never get a NH battery to last more than one or two years. I think it is because I ride all winter and trying to figure out how much choke and what throttle position is required to get the carburetors in a position to start the inline four cylinder engine on cold winter mornings runs down the battery too much. In contrast, the fuel injected Wee starts very quickly no matter how cold it is, thus saving the battery from ever getting too low. I still have the original battery in my Wee-Strom. It is over six years old now. I very much appreciate how fun and reliable my Wee-Strom is and expect to have it a long, long time.
Thanks for your help finding a solution that works. I appreciate your input.
[COLOR="Blue"][FONT="Comic Sans MS"][B][I]Fred[/I][/B][/FONT][/COLOR]