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Discussion Starter #1
OK. I'm sure it's been covered at one time or another. I am not talented enough to find it, or too lazy. So, I will throw this out there to the best collective Strom knowledge base I know.

I have 20,000 Mi. on my chain. It seems time to replace it. I now have to adjust it about every 400 miles. My question is this: do I need to replace the sprockets as well? I have been told that sprockets should be changed with the chain by some. I have been told by others that if the sprockets look good, just replacing the chain is OK. The sprockets look good. I don't see any significant 'saw blade' effect. What do you fellas think? As far as chains and sprockets go, are the OEM sufficient, or should I look at some other brands?

Thanks for the help, boys.
 

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Does anyone just flip the front sprocket over to put wear on the other side of the teeth? The rear would have to be shimmed if it is flipped over, and can that be done successfully?
 

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Does anyone just flip the front sprocket over to put wear on the other side of the teeth? The rear would have to be shimmed if it is flipped over, and can that be done successfully?
Probably,y not a good idea, because of "sympathetic" wear. The chain and the rings wear together in a specific pattern.
 

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I have three used 15T's, and one 14. I'll be flipping them because I don't buy into the "replace chain and sprockets as a set" mentality.
 

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Look for excessive rounding, damage and bent teeth. The best way is to compare it to a new one. I get about 14-16k out of a sprocket and chain. They can go longer , and I maintain them well too.
 

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Don't be a beancounter.

My Logic:

Of the total purchase, the cost of the chain represents about 75%, sprockets 25%.

My first question was: Based on the reasonableness in the price of the sprockets, if you didn't purchase them, and it resulted in a reduced lifespan of the chain, would I be money ahead? (A: maybe, barely...)

2nd Question: Based on the mixed information I was getting on this and other forums, could I really exclude old sprockets (regardless of appearance) as a potential premature wear agent of the new chain? (A: no)

3rd Question: Was there a good chance my bike would just work better with new sprockets. (Probably - at least statistically much better than not replacing them)

4th Q: If I didn't order them, and it turned out I should've, and then had to install them later like I should've in the first place, would I be pissed at myself? (A: yes. I hate doing shit twice, especially if I have an inkling that I should know better to begin with...)

5th Q: If I didn't buy them, am I just a fricken beancounter instead of a motorcyclist who lives to ride a mean machine. (A: yes - and I'm on unemployment!)

I chose to just buy them. I just want my bike to work right, and maintain it the best I can with the limited money I have to do so right now. The sprocket value equation made sense to me.

If my arguements for replacement make sense to you, I suggest you email Blair at SV racing parts. He'll hook you up.
 

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OK. My question is this: do I need to replace the sprockets as well?
Old sprockets can damage a new chain in a hurry. It's not a big expense to replace sprockets. Change everything at the same time and save yourself some trouble later.
 

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5th Q: If I didn't buy them, am I just a fricken beancounter instead of a motorcyclist who lives to ride a mean machine. (A: yes - and I'm on unemployment!)
A competent bean counter would recognize this as "penny wise, pound foolish". You shorten the life of the new chain by not replacing the sprockets, which increases the cost of the chain; and you haven't factored in the increased labor to go in there more often. Even when you're unemployed, your time is worth money (because you could be spending that time some other productive way, even if that just means looking for something productive).

Just my opinion and big-picture experience.
 

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In the old days...before o-ring chains were common, chains wore out fast...especially in the dirt. I would go through 2-3 non o-ring chains for a set of sprockets, flipping when they started to hook and dressing them with a file. They probably wore the chain faster but the chains wore so quickly you couldn't tell. More than once, the way I knew I needed a new front sprocket: a loose chain would slip:jawdrop:

Now-a-days...these high quality (and expensive) o/x-ring chains last a long time and if the chain is shot, the sprockets are pretty gone too. I actually notice the sprockets hooking before the chain is out of spec. Next time you change them, compare...that sprocket you thought was OK will look very worn next to the new one!

Bottom line: order them as a set and save money! :thumbup:

BUT...flipping a hooked sprocket may let you finish a trip or make it to the next payday if you need/want to. :fineprint:
 

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Replaced my front sprocket at 17k after finding it the source of increased noise. It was noticably getting hooked. It probably should have been replaced at 15K.

Replaced the chain at 28k because of excessive noise. It probably should have been replaced at 25K. Replaced front sprocket at same time, and although noticably worn, didn't look bad. Replaced rear sprocket for no particular reason other than I had a new one in hand. Compared to the new one, you had to look hard for any difference. I'm confident it has another 25K in it.

Based on the above, I've come up with this general schedule for my bike.
Replace
front sprocket every 12.5K
chain every 25K
rear sprocket every 50K

In my case, I'll be flipping the front sprocket at 12.5K instead of replacing.

Contrary to popular belief, this shedule will not only save parts cost, but also labor time/cost with no safety issues.

According to y'all, I should have replaced $235 worth of parts at 17K miles when all that was needed was a $26 one. I should have replaced a chain that still had 10K worth of life left and a rear sprocket that had 35K of life left.

You can call it bean counting, I'll call it practical.
 

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You can call it bean counting, I'll call it practical.
Generally I am with you. Putting all labour and safety concerns aside, just keep in mind, when you will place a little worn old chain over the flipped or replaced front sprocket the further wear of both will accelerate, so you won’t get the expected life, but still more if you would have changed all stuff at once. BTW, you can flip the rear one too, just put the right shims on.
 

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... just keep in mind, when you will place a little worn old chain over the flipped or replaced front sprocket the further wear of both will accelerate, so you won’t get the expected life, but still more if you would have changed all stuff at once.
Here's my problem. I stated I replaced the front sprocket due to increased noise from that area. I may be wrong but it seems to me that more noise equals more friction equals faster wear. With a new sprocket, the noise level went down. Would that not equal less friction and slower wear?

Makes me wonder if the chain would have worn out quicker if I had left on the worn front sprocket.

So far, I haven't read of anyone actually doing a comparison on this matter. I think all the talk is just repeated from what they've heard, and so the legend goes.
 

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If you are going to replace chain and sprockets anyway, consider upgrading to a 530 chain for much longer life (so I've heard ... testing now in progress)
+1 on this. I just checked my maintenance log, I'm just shy of 5k into my 530 (17/43) and it looks good, though I'd expect it to look good after only 5k.
 

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Here's my problem. I stated I replaced the front sprocket due to increased noise from that area. I may be wrong but it seems to me that more noise equals more friction equals faster wear. With a new sprocket, the noise level went down. Would that not equal less friction and slower wear?

Makes me wonder if the chain would have worn out quicker if I had left on the worn front sprocket.

So far, I haven't read of anyone actually doing a comparison on this matter. I think all the talk is just repeated from what they've heard, and so the legend goes.

Chains were not invented yesterday and not for motorcycles.

Anyway, two new components, chain and sprocket start to wear simultaneously. One is more than another. At a time one is beyond its service limit, another is worn out, but still in spec. You can dump two of them, which most people do, or you can change the one which is beyond the limit. In this case, those components will not math each other perfectly, one of them is worn. It will put an additional load to the new component, and wear of both accelerates in comparison to new pair. So if you would expect, say, 10k from a new component working in new pair, in your case you would get only 7k. Comparing it to a guy who follows the book changing all at once, you will still save some money on the long run, say 100k. The exact wear here is unpredictable, too many variables involved.

Just a simple mechanics.
 

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I'm a little hard headed when it comes to things like this that no one has tested. Alot of things such as this have more to with marketing and selling of replacement parts, than engineering and mechanics. I've seen it way too often in industry.

Based on what I've seen so far with my own equipment, I'd say your 30% less service example is quite liberal. In my case, I think the difference is going to be negligible.

Looks like it'll be another 30k miles before I have my answer though. No doubt it won't be anything exact, but reusing my 28k rear sprocket with the next new chain replacement should give me a ballpark estimate. My early guess is that the used rear sprocket is not going to reduce the chain life by any measurable amount. I'm confident that flipping the front won't either.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks boys.

I have read the imputes and I have to admit, I was leaning toward replacing both sprockets with the chain. It makes sense. Metal parts form and meld to one-another. If only one is replaced, it will take longer and more wear before the new part and the old parts match up. Since tires are to be replaced, wheels off etc, that would be the time to replace the whole bunch. I dont think I can complain about getting 2 years and 20,000 Mi. out of year-round riding on the OEM equipment. I will talk to one of my local trustworthy shops about replacement sprockets and chain.
I am going to try a somewhat new place here in town called 'sport dynamics'. I have heard good things about them from friends. If there in anyone local that wants a feed-back on their shop, let me know.

Thanks again gang. To fellow 'year-round riders', it is coming into the warm, dry, clean season.......remember to share the road with the weekend Harley riders. They spent alot more money, and byGod, we are going to notice them and hear those Damn loud exhausts.
 
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