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Discussion Starter #1
I haven’t ridden for a while but now that I have an empty nest I just purchased a 2005 DL1000 with around 45k miles. As I don’t know what maintenance has been performed and it needs a new rear tire, I’m going to replace the chain and sprockets as well. I already ordered a spacer from AdventureTech and I am going to a 530 chain, RK Racing Chain GB530GXW 114 link. Realistically 90 to 95 percent of my riding will be on the street. I live in Florida near the Ocala National Forest and will occasionally drive on those forest roads. My grandson lives in Oregon and I would like to ride out there and be able to take it on any off-road trail I may find interesting along the way. I have been reading a lot about gear ratios and would like to keep the 17t front sprocket. I need help deciding which rear sprocket to get, a 43t, 45t or 46T. I know the 17/46 is the closest to 16/43. For my situation, which ratio would be best? Also, any suggestions as to which brand of sprocket? I am also a big guy, 6ft about 300 lbs.
 

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i'm not quite as big as you are, but i often ride with passenger and full bags. i went with a 42 by JT sprockets: JTR1800.42. also 530. overall final drive is 17/42. not a huge difference in rideability but certainly nice.

you will need to cut the chain down a bit. i used a DID 520VX2GB-110 Gold X-Ring Chain.
 

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I run 17/42 as well, don't think that you have to make it to top gear, or even 5th, most of the time I'm in 4th, and the 17/42 puts the rpm in a responsive range without downshifting
 

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Discussion Starter #4
114 link

you will need to cut the chain down a bit. i used a DID 520VX2GB-110 Gold X-Ring Chain.
The reason I said a 114 link is because from my understanding, that is the size you need with a 17/43 ratio which I'm inclined to. The reason I want to keep the 17t front sprocket is twofold, one is because I don't want to take a chance of rubbing the plastic protective guard on the spring arm and second, I want to keep the rubber on it which makes it quieter.
 

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I went with 17/43 530. 114 links. Since July of last year. All been working pretty good, and makes the bike far more tolerable to ride. But the chain will be damn near close to the furthest position for chain tension. But hopefully with this been a heavier duty chain, it won't go out of tension nearly as quickly anyway. Haven't had to adjust it much after 7k miles.
 

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Remember - If you deviate from the stock set-up you'll need to correct your speedo. When I bought my 2012 V1000 several months ago, I discovered a 45T rear sprocket. My speedo was off badly. It indicated 75mph and I was only traveling at 65mph.

Note: The speedo reading for stock set-up is optimistic as well. Usually indicates 4mph high.

The speedo correction device is below.
 

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I went with 17/43. And yeah, a Speedo DRD is pretty much mandatory because the resulting total 11% error will drive you nuts.

This gave a nice bit of added poke down low, while moving 6th gear into a more reasonable speed range while keeping it long-legged for the highway. In 6th gear, I'm turning right about 5,000 rpm at a true 80mph, and it's smooth from 70 on up. With stock gearing, 5th gear is kind of rough and jerky at anything below 80mph, with not a lot of passing power on tap.

I'm not sure if we've ever run a survey, but I think 17/43 might be the most popular choice.


I'll agree that 530 chain is well worth the minor added cost; you get significantly longer life. It's a heavy, torquey literbike, so it's tough on chains. I wouldn't exactly call 525 chain "marginal", but 530 chains on a Vee usually get you roughly 1/3 to 1/2 times the miles at least.

I've had the best luck with JT and Sunstar sprockets. I've had "Driven" brand steel rear sprockets that wore out unacceptably early.

No idea what chain length my bike is wearing. I've always found the best pricing on 120 link chains, so that's what I order. Then I cut off the unneeded links after testing length on the bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I went with 17/43.

No idea what chain length my bike is wearing. I've always found the best pricing on 120 link chains, so that's what I order. Then I cut off the unneeded links after testing length on the bike.
I don't have the tools to cut a chain to size so I figured I'd just order the correct length.

From my reading, if I switch to a 17/43, the stock chain is to small and I'll need a 114 link chain. Is that correct? I want to ensure I order the correct size.
 

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I don't have the tools to cut a chain to size so I figured I'd just order the correct length.

From my reading, if I switch to a 17/43, the stock chain is to small and I'll need a 114 link chain. Is that correct? I want to ensure I order the correct size.
does that mean you're gonna go with a screw type master link? you can get a cheap chain tool.
 

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I don't have the tools to cut a chain to size so I figured I'd just order the correct length.

From my reading, if I switch to a 17/43, the stock chain is to small and I'll need a 114 link chain. Is that correct? I want to ensure I order the correct size.
All you need is a grinder to remove links. Even a dremel will work. Maybe you have one of those? Or a friend who does? It takes literally 30 seconds.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
All you need is a grinder to remove links.
I've never done this before. I was going to use a grinder to take off the old chain. I thought that if i bought a 114 link chain, it would come with a master link and not connected. So all I would have to do is put it on and install the master link.
 

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I've never done this before. I was going to use a grinder to take off the old chain. I thought that if i bought a 114 link chain, it would come with a master link and not connected. So all I would have to do is put it on and install the master link.
In case you were wondering, you should NEVER use a clip-style master link on a streetbike, let alone a literbike. Most chain manufacturers don't even offer clip master links for their 530 chains and most 525.

Your chain will come with a "rivet" style master link. You will need a chain rivet press tool that slightly expands the outer part of the master link pins.

EK does sell a nifty master link for some of their chains that does not require a tool; these have a little 8mm nut on the outer end of the pins. You tighten the nut until it deforms the pin and snaps off. (And no, you can't mix brands or chain types.)

And yeah, there's never a reason in 2019 to use a chain tool to push out pins on a streetbike's o-ring or x-ring chain. Modern chains are a lot tougher and the tool's pin will break almost every time before the pin moves. Some people are stuck in the 60s... just whack the chain in two through the middle of a link with a cutting wheel. It's also important to remember that 99.999% of the time there's never any reason to remove a streetbike chain until it's worn out and being replaced. The days of removing a chain to soak it are looooooong past. Install, rivet, and you're done for 30,000+ miles. Simple.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
In case you were wondering, you should NEVER use a clip-style master link on a streetbike, let alone a literbike. Most chain manufacturers don't even offer clip master links for their 530 chains and most 525.

Your chain will come with a "rivet" style master link. You will need a chain rivet press tool that slightly expands the outer part of the master link pins.

EK does sell a nifty master link for some of their chains that does not require a tool; these have a little 8mm nut on the outer end of the pins. You tighten the nut until it deforms the pin and snaps off. (And no, you can't mix brands or chain types.)

And yeah, there's never a reason in 2019 to use a chain tool to push out pins on a streetbike's o-ring or x-ring chain. Modern chains are a lot tougher and the tool's pin will break almost every time before the pin moves. Some people are stuck in the 60s... just whack the chain in two through the middle of a link with a cutting wheel. It's also important to remember that 99.999% of the time there's never any reason to remove a streetbike chain until it's worn out and being replaced. The days of removing a chain to soak it are looooooong past. Install, rivet, and you're done for 30,000+ miles. Simple.
Thanks for your help. I have a better idea of what to do now.
 

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I used the 17/43 for years and liked it. I mostly ride two-up and bags loaded using highway going to and from the mountains.
My last episode with sprocket change was an experience (long story) but ended up going with a 42 rear due to the amount of highway I was planning on doing in the future. Ultimately I will probably go back to the 43.
 

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I ride with camping gear most of the time and I'm 260 pounds. The 17/43 sprockets made a nice difference. In 6th gear I can pull mild mountains nicely when fully loaded at 65 mph. It makes 6th gear useful, don't have to shift down constantly in the hills. Then I added the Gman TRE and 5th/6th gear was much stronger, more improvement than I expected. I don't think I would want more than the 17/43 combo, 5th gear is pretty good at 55 to 64 mph now. I like to cruise around 4,000 rpm, 17/43 works great at keeping me in the 3500 to 4500 rpm sweet spot. Bike vibrates more around 5,000 on the highway.

I've cut my own chains in the past. But, lately I've been using the Sprocket Center cut to order deal. I would highly recommend doing the 530 chain upgrade.

I run this CS: https://sprocketcenter.com/superlite-28400-rd-530-pitch-chromoly-steel-front-sprocket-with-rubber-dampener-oem-style.html

Here is the JT 530 rear sprocket, I like my 43: https://sprocketcenter.com/jt-1800-530-pitch-oem-replacement-steel-rear-sprocket.html

And what ever your favorite chain is. I've run mostly clip type masters on the DL1000, but last time I went with the screw type master link and its been fine. No issues with it, no tight links either. I've been very happy with the MVXZ type chains from EK. I went with the chrome finish and its easy to keep clean, very rust resistant. Much better than the natural finish EK I had before. I think its over 3 years old now, zero stretch, no stiff links at all. Its been a great improvement over my other two o-ring chains.

Chain type I'm running: https://sprocketcenter.com/motorcycle-chains/ek-chain-530-mvxz-series-heavy-duty-quadra-x-ring-chain-9-colors.html

And here is the screw master link, it makes the install easy peasy: https://sprocketcenter.com/ek-chain-530-mvxz2-master-link-screw-link.html

Not the cheap route, but I was sick of early 525 chain failures. I've had good success with the above.
 
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