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Old August 5th, 2020, 03:33 PM   #1
Idealhobbies
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Sprocket change to 15/42....need a new chain?

Thinking about changing out my sprockets to 15/42 so I can do more highway speeds at lower rpms....will I need a new chain?
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Old August 5th, 2020, 03:50 PM   #2
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That depends on how worn your old one is. It's a good idea to change everything at the same time if there's more than slight chain wear. A worn chain on two new sprockets isn't a good thing.
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Old August 5th, 2020, 03:56 PM   #3
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Bike has just over 6k miles on it.. the chain looks great...but for argument sake...lets say replace it...what chain would you recommend? Would the link count be the same?
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Old August 5th, 2020, 04:06 PM   #4
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If it's a sealed chain it's probably OK to use it with the new sprockets with so few miles on it. Obviously you won't need quite as much chain because of the three teeth smaller rear and one tooth larger front, but whether or not you need to take off a link depends on where in the swing arm slots the axle is now. You'll be able to tell when you change the sprockets, and if you need to take out a link you can grind off a rivet head and drive out that rivet with a punch.
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Old August 5th, 2020, 04:37 PM   #5
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Thank you very much
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Old August 5th, 2020, 05:41 PM   #6
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Triple Jim,

I came across an old post of yours...15/42 work out well for you? As for chains...what is it we have? Standard, O ring? I looked an an x ring one and it said that if your bike had an o ring that you must use o ring. Not sure what to get.
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Old August 6th, 2020, 02:14 AM   #7
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You can use any chain you want, non-sealed, O-ring, X-ring. They all have same dimensions in 520 size and fits onto 520 sprockets same way.

Usually good deal to get sprocket + chain kits.
https://www.motosport.com/jt-520-ste...000A-X001-Y001
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Old August 21st, 2020, 06:08 AM   #8
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Follow-up

A buddy and I changed the sprockets and chain out. I ended up going with a pair of JT Sprockets 15/44. I am (shamefully) about 210lbs and do ride up to Pennsylvania and Maryland at times (hills and mountains) so I didn't think that a 42 on the back would work too well in that environment. If I was just sticking to flat Delaware, I would have tried the 42 in the rear. I used a RK Racing 520XSO 106-Link X-Ring Chain. All in all, it went well. Only real issue that we had was getting off the rear tire bolt. The mechanic that I use obviously did not torque down the bolt to spec. I had to lean across the bike and hold it down while my buddy tried to wrench it off. We ended up having to get out his air wrench. That's strike 2 for that mechanic and his last. Shame, but I think that I'll have to find another place to get my bikes worked on.

As for the ride... it dropped my RPM at 55 down about 1000. My bikes really "happy place" was at 50 before, now it's between 55 and 60. Perfect. 1st gear added about 5 to 8 mph of usefulness. Doesn't sound like much, but it is when on your little street leaving the house. Not sure yet about gas mileage. It's should add some, but not sure how much yet.


Thank you Danny and Jim for your advice and input.

For those in the future who are using the search function...
The sprockets:

JT Sprockets JTF516.15 15T Steel Front Sprocket

JT Sprockets JTR486.44 44T Steel Rear Sprocket

Last futzed with by Idealhobbies; September 14th, 2020 at 09:38 PM.
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Old August 21st, 2020, 10:30 AM   #9
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eh? Speedo is driven off front-wheel. Shouldn't make a difference what your final gearing is in back.

Good job on sprocket & chain swap! Yeah, I don't trust any mechanics other than myself to work on my bikes!
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Old August 21st, 2020, 10:39 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
eh? Speedo is driven off front-wheel. Shouldn't make a difference what your final gearing is in back.
I thought the same thing...but even the gear calculator in the wiki says that the speedo changes. Damned if I know why....
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Old August 21st, 2020, 11:20 AM   #11
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Odd. Are you talking about this calculator? It shows speedo-errors stays at same 8% with old gearing vs. new.

14/45t @ 8260rpm = 65mph, 70mph on speedo
15/44t @ 7540rpm = 65mph, 70mph on speedo

I put 16th in front on my bike (need to use new-gen sprocket cover). Really mellows out freeway driving. Do have to downshift 1 or 2-gears for passing sometimes, though.

16/45t @ 7230rpm = 65mph, 70mph on speedo

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Old August 21st, 2020, 11:37 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Idealhobbies View Post
I thought the same thing...but even the gear calculator in the wiki says that the speedo changes. Damned if I know why....
For the 300 and later, Kawi switched to the more common location and reads off after the transmission on the rear wheel. But since the speedo cable is running right to the front wheel for all the earlier bikes, it's hard to understand how changing anything at all on the bike other than the diameter of the front wheel itself would affect how the speedo reads.
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Old August 21st, 2020, 07:53 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Idealhobbies View Post
AI am (shamefully) about 210lbs and do ride up to Pennsylvania and Maryland at times (hills and mountains) so I didn't think that a 42 on the back would work too well in that environment.
It would work OK. You'd just be in 6th gear less often. You can always downshift to make up for the sprocket ratio if you need to, unless you're already in 1st.
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Old August 21st, 2020, 09:13 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
Odd. Are you talking about this calculator? It shows error speedo-errors stays at same 8% with old gearing vs. new.

14/45t @ 8260rpm = 65mph, 70mph on speedo
15/44t @ 7540rpm = 65mph, 70mph on speedo

I put 16th in front on my bike (need to use new-gen sprocket cover). Really mellows out freeway driving. Do have to downshift 1 or 2-gears for passing sometimes, though.

16/45t @7230rpm = 65mph, 70mph on speedo

Hey Danno!
Did you use stock chain on the 16 toofer
New gen sprocket cover is strictly bolt on?
As always thank you for the wisdom
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Old August 22nd, 2020, 02:16 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thunderkat59 View Post
Hey Danno!
Did you use stock chain on the 16 toofer
New gen sprocket cover is strictly bolt on?
As always thank you for the wisdom
You're most welcome!

Pre-gen sprocket cover rubbed on chain with 16t sprocket. Yes, new-gen cover is bolt-on and has more room inside. Pre-gen cover won't fit on new-gen though.

I did this at same time as new-gen swing-arm, brake & 17" rear-wheel conversion. Ended up sliding rear-axle forward about 7mm with same 106-link chain. So if you've got 7mm of room in swing-arm slot, it should work with original chain.

The difference is change in radius of sprockets. Going to 15/44t would slide rear-wheel back about 1mm.

Last futzed with by DannoXYZ; August 22nd, 2020 at 09:49 AM.
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