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Teach me chains and sprockets!

Old 05-12-2010, 01:12 PM
405hp's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 49
Default Teach me chains and sprockets!

So it seems like my chain gets loose far too easily and quickly, despite my frequent cleaning and re-lubing. And I can pull on it a tad from the rear sprocket. I've been told it sort of has a tight spot too. From what I gather, I need to replace the chain as well as the front and rear sprockets. And I should buy the best quality stuff I can afford because cheap components just won't last. Problem is... how do I know which brand makes a good chain and/or good sprockets?

So the big question is, what should I replace those parts with? I've been told "riveted" type chains are better. I'm gonna get a shop to do all this, and will ask for their advice, but I'm curious what the rest of the board here has to say.

I'm also wondering if I should consider gearing changes? I'm assuming that since I'm replacing the sprockets, I can go +/- 1 or 2 in order to shorten the gearing, right? If so, where do you actually change the # of teeth, and by how much? Are there any other considerations I should be thinking about? I'm guessing my speedo would be off so I'd then need a Speedo-Healer.

My goal is to have the bike in tip top shape for my upcoming track day. And although shortened gearing may be nice, I don't want a wheelie-monster... I'd rather the front end stay down at WOT. I also don't want to invest in a stabilizer since I find my bike is pretty well balanced and has never given me a steering wobble. All this makes me wonder why I'm even considering gearing changes after all. It's not like it doesn't accelerate fast enough (for me)...

If it matters, my bike is a 2004 CBR600F4i with 32K on the clock. Only mechanical mods are SS lines in front and DP Sport HH+ pads all around. Tires are Pilot Road 2 2CT (near new).
Old 05-12-2010, 01:24 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Baltimore Maryland
Posts: 901

I'll teach you how to use the search button...

hahah do i win the d!ck-head of the day award?

I only say that because this topic has been totally covered a billion times.
shall we use the dead horse smily? i think we shall!

Last edited by Sick97SS; 05-12-2010 at 01:30 PM.
Old 05-12-2010, 01:36 PM
bubba_finch07's Avatar
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 880

Forgive him apparently he drives a chevy, and those chevy drivers tend to be a little loca en la cabeza. nontheless, I like D.I.D. and a popular mod is -1,+2 and yes go with a rivet master link. Others tend to fail. The sprocket change will give more torque and power low end, throw off your speedometer, and kill some of your top end. However this tends to be a popular mod for the street, might want to get some more of the track guys here input. to see how this will effect you on a long straight but I'm pretty sure you would be ok on the track with -1,+2 plus it would help you come outta the corners a little quicker. hope this helps
Old 05-12-2010, 01:45 PM
July 2010 ROTM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: arkansas
Posts: 1,150

ive heard from some guys that do the track that they hate the -1+2,
seeing how you r worried about wheelies a bit, save yourself some money, do the stock sprocket sizes, 16/46 that way u dont need a stabalizer or speedo healer. a rivet master link is a good idea. id say get a 520, but if u do get a strong one. i have a rkxso and i love it. as long as u stick with good brands like vortex, did, rk, ek you should be good. to get a 520 kit with chain and sprockets shouldnt run u more than 150.
Old 05-12-2010, 03:13 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Baltimore Maryland
Posts: 901

Chevys for Life!!!

I have a -1 on the front with a stock chain and i'll never go with a bigger ratio. Super easy 1st and 2nd wheelies but 3rd gear need a little effort. i actually prefer stock ratio a tad bit better because i do alot of highway and the high rpms kinda get to my brain after a while with a shorty exhaust can.

As for brands... i'd go with whats cheap. Usually thats the popular brands anyways. (ebay!)
Chains brands - def get a quality name brand. i've seens some chain failures and they are UGLY!

Last edited by Sick97SS; 05-12-2010 at 03:16 PM.
Old 05-12-2010, 04:19 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Detroit
Posts: 861

F.ix O.r R.epair D.aily. and hope you don't explode in a collision (ala the Pinto and F100). What I want to know, is what the hell does the chain and sprockets have to do with a steering stabilizer?
OP, if you want longevity outta your new chain and sprockets, get a 525 kit, NOT the 520 kit (compare tensile strength). For what it's worth, you're better off losing 5-10 lbs (off your fat ****)lol (I can say that, cause I'm a fat azz too), instead of a couple lbs difference between the two chains.
Old 05-12-2010, 04:43 PM
July 2010 ROTM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: arkansas
Posts: 1,150

just so u know i only say get a 520 kit bc its cheaper. my 520 tensile strength was like 9500 lbs so i figured it would be plenty strong for what i needed. but a 520 chain will not make u go faster. maybe, but on an f4i, not really
Old 05-12-2010, 06:15 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 7

Originally Posted by skoobydoobie View Post
F.ix O.r R.epair D.aily. and hope you don't explode in a collision (ala the Pinto and F100).
Not to jack the thread but also the late model thunderbirds that ford thought should have the gas tank underneath the driveshaft.
Old 05-12-2010, 06:28 PM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 57

I would stay away from aluminum sprockets unless you only race your bike (they are lighter but the teeth wear out super fast). My next sprocket will be a Supersprox, it has an aluminum center with steel teeth (alot lighter than an all steel spocket and wont wear out quickly like aluminum).
Old 05-12-2010, 06:39 PM
kowen1208's Avatar
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 348

Every ounce of unsprung weight matters. If you take identical bikes and put a 520 chain on one and a 525 chain on the other, the one with the 520 will accelerate faster. Can't say by how much, but it will. So what's the trade-off you want? If you're doing a lot of track time and don't care about having to replace a chain if it breaks, might be better. Otherwise, a 525 might be worth the initial additional cost.

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