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Old October 15th, 2018, 09:19 AM   #1
Frank06
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[2015 Ninja 300] 415 Chain Conversion Experience?

Anyone done this and can report on it? This is on a track day/race bike i.e. no street use. The stock chain actually doesn't seem to have any "slop" in it but it's time.... Any recommendations or advice appreciated!

Frank
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Old October 15th, 2018, 09:49 AM   #2
jkv45
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MOTM - Jun '18, Oct '16
Have you seen this Frank?

https://www.spearsenterprises.com/415-chain-kits.html
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Old October 15th, 2018, 09:57 AM   #3
Frank06
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Thanks, that's the one I was looking at although it wouldn't be hard to put together your own kit. Stock gearing works for my local track (top of 5th on longest straightaway). I was just wondering if folks have had any problems with lighter weight components. It's pretty amazing that a bike with 2600+ track/race miles has drive components in this good a shape; I'm 99% sure they've never been changed before.
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Old October 15th, 2018, 10:18 AM   #4
AwDang
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a 415 will require more maintenance and care. I've had then come apart a few times.
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Old October 15th, 2018, 11:00 AM   #5
Frank06
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AwDang View Post
a 415 will require more maintenance and care. I've had then come apart a few times.
I assume you mean an issue with the chain? Whose chain were you using? (thanks)
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Old October 15th, 2018, 12:16 PM   #6
AwDang
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don't remember who's chain I was using. It cost us abt 45min during an enduro and I was done with 415 forever.
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Old October 15th, 2018, 01:00 PM   #7
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Yeah, not very durable. I tried 415 couple years ago, lasted less than 1-season on my 250. That's with regular cleaning and oiling after every weekend.

Went with 428 conversion afterwards, lighter and stronger than stock. Lasted 2-seasons so far. Probably 3-seasons total.
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Old October 16th, 2018, 09:21 AM   #8
tgold
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MOTM - Nov '15
Quote:
Originally Posted by AwDang View Post
don't remember who's chain I was using. It cost us abt 45min during an enduro and I was done with 415 forever.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
Yeah, not very durable. I tried 415 couple years ago, lasted less than 1-season on my 250. That's with regular cleaning and oiling after every weekend.

Went with 428 conversion afterwards, lighter and stronger than stock. Lasted 2-seasons so far. Probably 3-seasons total.
The durability is exactly I didn't go with the 415 chain. Our team runs 3 hour endurance races and a chain failure would screw us for sure in a race. I question the value for sprint racing even more where a chain failure would definitely cost a race and even a season. I would only consider it if I thought it was really costing me wins to not do it and even then I would be counting on using at least three chains a season.
The best results I've had are with a high quality non o-ring chain in the 520 size. I extensively researched the chain weights and could not find a 428 chain that actually weighed less than the good non o-ring chains. I decided that the conversion to 428 wasn't worth the hassle. There is a very noticeable difference in friction between the o-ring and non o-ring chains. One spin of the back wheel by hand will show that. The non o-ring chains do require more maintenance to get the best out of them though.
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Old October 16th, 2018, 09:50 AM   #9
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What attracted me to the 415 was potential for rotating weight savings. I didn't even think about 428.
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Old October 16th, 2018, 10:46 AM   #10
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MOTM - Nov '15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank06 View Post
What attracted me to the 415 was potential for rotating weight savings. I didn't even think about 428.
If you want rotating weight savings, look at the weight of the tires you are using. Since the distance of the tire from the center of rotation is much greater than the distance of the sprockets from their rotation centers, any weight savings in the tires has far more effect that the sprockets and chain. Not that I'm necessarily saying that Moto3 sized tires are the way to go, but I checked the weight difference between Dunlop A-13s and Dunlop Moto 3 sized slicks. Mounted on the correct rim for each size, the weight difference was six pounds lighter for the slicks! Even between different brands of the same size tire there are huge differences.
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Old October 16th, 2018, 11:52 AM   #11
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That's about 10-lbs in weight-savings at outer-edges going with lighter tyres and lighter-weight wheels like the v-Rossis. There's some Marchesinis that are even lighter, but costs 15x more.

I went with 428 due to unpredictable reliability issues with 415. That's nice in-middle solution between 415 vs. 520:

415ER = 1.92-lbs
428NZ = 2.99-lbs
425VM = 3.66-lbs (X-ring)
520V = 3.56-lbs

Nice thing about smaller pitch is you can get finer control on gearing-ratios. I use 18x59t or 18x58t which lets me redline just at end of longest straights at Buttonwillow or Thunderhill. Both those gears are "in-between" 520 14x45t (too tall) and 14x46t (too short).
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Old October 16th, 2018, 01:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tgold View Post
If you want rotating weight savings, look at the weight of the tires you are using. Since the distance of the tire from the center of rotation is much greater than the distance of the sprockets from their rotation centers, any weight savings in the tires has far more effect that the sprockets and chain. Not that I'm necessarily saying that Moto3 sized tires are the way to go, but I checked the weight difference between Dunlop A-13s and Dunlop Moto 3 sized slicks. Mounted on the correct rim for each size, the weight difference was six pounds lighter for the slicks! Even between different brands of the same size tire there are huge differences.
Very good point: Sport Bike tested some tires and found the Bridgestone S-20 EVO were the lightest. I'm thinking of comparing those to the Pirelli Supercorsa SP's as a lot of racers where I am use (and recommend) those. Six pounds for the slicks is a huge difference!
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Old October 16th, 2018, 01:32 PM   #13
tgold
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MOTM - Nov '15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank06 View Post
Very good point: Sport Bike tested some tires and found the Bridgestone S-20 EVO were the lightest. I'm thinking of comparing those to the Pirelli Supercorsa SP's as a lot of racers where I am use (and recommend) those. Six pounds for the slicks is a huge difference!
I do have to say that I have a 250 with a 300 motor and I used the 250 wheels for the slicks and the 250 front wheel with a 300 rear with the A-13's

You're talking a 115 width rear with the Moto3 sized slicks too, so you'd be going through more tires. And grip will be different too, so proceed with due caution if you're going to try. When I tried them on my bike the grip was good until I really started pushing it and the back end would move a little but nothing really alarming. That was on new tires with a date code from 2007
Fresh moto3 sized tires are likely to be a good deal better for grip!
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Old October 16th, 2018, 01:50 PM   #14
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My bike has the Alpha 13's on it and they have enough grip for where I am with my riding ability now. They're a couple of years old though and it's getting time to replace them as well. They're 110/70 on the front (stock size IIRC) and 150/60-17 on the rear (up from 140 I think).
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Old October 16th, 2018, 02:19 PM   #15
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MOTM - Nov '17
Good deals can be found on Q3+ MotoAmerica take-offs... Jr. Cup racers report they're 2-3s faster than Alpha-13s and 1-2s faster than last-year's Alpha-13SP.
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Old October 16th, 2018, 02:39 PM   #16
tgold
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
Good deals can be found on Q3+ MotoAmerica take-offs... Jr. Cup racers report they're 2-3s faster than Alpha-13s and 1-2s faster than last-year's Alpha-13SP.
Definitely the best bang for the buck. Only reason I have the A-13's is because I bought 2 sets last year and we didn't need a better tire to be competitive. If I keep my bike I'll need to go with a grippier tire.
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Old October 26th, 2018, 01:47 PM   #17
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I've used the 415 for a couple of years now, and never had a problem with it. The decrease in rolling resistance really is remarkable.
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Old October 26th, 2018, 01:53 PM   #18
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MOTM - Nov '17
Multiple upgrades involved here. Putting stock-sized 520 non-O-ring chain makes just as much of difference in rolling resistance reduction. Majority of improvements comes from removing O-rings and their drag; less from weight-savings.

As tgold mentioned, weight-savings is minimal, more savings and better effect can be done with lighter tyres and wheels.
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