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I went to change my front sprocket from a 15T to a 16T. I noticed as I took the cover off that the stock (OEM) sprocket appears to have a rubber piece between the countershaft hole and the chain teeth - this appears to be the cush drive. The aftermarket sprocket of course doesn't have this rubber.

1) Am I seeing this right? I've seen a similar setup on older Honda VFRs

2) If this is the cush drive, I don't feel all that comfy changing to a sprocket without it since most of the bikes life is on road. Now the cush drive may not be necessary, but it WILL help tone down vibrations which could shorten tranny life (which is likely why Suzuki engineered the original sprocket this way). I happened to ask a dealer and he indicated the rear has a cush drive system as well - I didn't check, but could be possible. Anyone know?

I'm holding off changing sprockets as in my opinion, if the only cush drive is on the front sprocket, lowering the RPMs with a larger sprocket is not necessarily a good tradeoff from removing this vibration eater.
 

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It's primarily a noise reducer, and a very minor one. The cush drive is in the connection between the rear sprocket carrier and the rear wheel. I doubt that it's possible to tell the difference in either sound or feel caused by running a front sprocket with or without the rubber.
 

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rubber coated

If you want the rubber on a one tooth larger front sprocket, get the one that fits the GSXR 600. Dealers usually have them in stock and it slips right on.
 

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I definitely noticed a difference with the aftermarket front sprocket, it was certainly noisier. However, the initial noise seems to have gone away (maybe its broken in)....or maybe I am just used to it. My understanding is that this is only a noise/smoothness issue and should not affect the wear of the drivetrain.
 
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