How to install a 17T front sprocket - Honda CBR500R Forum : CB500F and CB500X Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-04-2014, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
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How to install a 17T front sprocket

So you want to upgear? Looking for more comfort on the freeway? Hoping to reduce strain on the engine (ok we hope it does this)? Hoping for more mpg (it's only going to be a few)? Or are you just tired of shifting through 17 gears to get to 25 mph. This is the place for you (tongue somewhat in cheek here).

If you want more power and are willing to sacrifice mpg, then go to a downgear thread. Much easier to do that, no mods needed.

A 17T up front nets you a 13.3% upgear.

I used the Sprocket Secialists 17T steel front sprocket. You can Google for them and call them and they'll set you up with the right sprocket.

You'll need to install a HealTech Speedohealer first however, that is covered elsewhere on this forum.

Stock gearing is 15-41, I actually went with 17-39 for a 19% upgear, but I won't be spending time on the 39T part of it for this how-to, it is covered in other threads. I also put on a new chain, I could have kept the OEM chain if I wanted to. I put on a better chain (love those DID X-Ring Gold chains), but the OEM chain is pretty decent in it's own right.

I followed the service manual for getting the sprocket cover off, removing the rear wheel, and I cut the old chain off with a grinder.

Special tools you will need for this work include
- a grinder (Less than $100 at Orchard Supply)
- a bench vise (I have a portable one that clamps onto a folding table.
- a multi-grade file (has a rough and fine side) for smoothing out the rough spots on the metal part after you grind it.

I want to give credit to some else on this forum who mentioned you had to grind a bit to get a 17T on. I don't know who it is though, so this builds on that original post. I mostly just add pics and a bit more detail.

And you'll need the usual assortment of sockets and wrenches. I have a huge collection from my automotive days, and I actually needed a 1/2" driver (18" breaker bar) to get the rear sprocket off, those five bolts were on really tight, and I put them back on that way.

I only needed the center stand on the bike to do all the work, no jacking or any other kind of suspension needed. The bike leans forward on the center stand and I didn't need to remove the front wheel.

It should be mentioned that if you like replacing your own chains, a grinder is a useful investment since it makes short work of removing an old chain.

I love the sparks too, makes it like the 4th of July, actually today is the 4th, kinda funny. :-)

The small metal crescent that needs to be ground is between the sprocket cover and the tranny housing and comes off normally when you remove the sprocket cover. It is not a structural piece, it is a chain retainer to keep the chain from flying off the front sprocket, so it fits tightly but doesn't actually touch the chain under normal circumstances. So you need grind it back to allow for the increased size of the front sprocket.

HINT: removing the sprocket cover requires you to remove two wiring harness clips, they are press fitted into the plastic shell, squeeze them from behind and they should pop out easily.

Following are the pics. I show my new chain and sprockets, before and after pics of the chain retainer (the before is marked showing where I am going to grind, I did this by eyeball, the tolerances aren't that tight). The way I determined that line was to install the new chain, and hold the retainer in place where it would go, and examine the new chain-line and marked where the chain becomes close to the chain-stay and where it backs away. All I did was mark the endpoints, I drew the line by hand later and went a little past each endpoint for margin of error. Once ground, I held it up to the chain again, and made sure it had a few mm of clearance, just like it did before. This mod probably means you should replace the chain retainer if you ever return to stock gearing. I intend to return the bike to stock gearing when I sell it, so I kept the old sprockets (they have 600 mi on them), and I am going to buy a retainer next week so I'll be ready a few years down the road when I do it.

I also show the grinder and bench vise with the chain retainer mounted and ready to grind.

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Last edited by kurth83; 07-04-2014 at 11:24 PM.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-14-2014, 10:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kurth83 View Post
So you want to upgear? Looking for more comfort on the freeway? Hoping to reduce strain on the engine (ok we hope it does this)? Hoping for more mpg (it's only going to be a few)? Or are you just tired of shifting through 17 gears to get to 25 mph. This is the place for you (tongue somewhat in cheek here).

If you want more power and are willing to sacrifice mpg, then go to a downgear thread. Much easier to do that, no mods needed.

A 17T up front nets you a 13.3% upgear.

I used the Sprocket Secialists 17T steel front sprocket. You can Google for them and call them and they'll set you up with the right sprocket.

You'll need to install a HealTech Speedohealer first however, that is covered elsewhere on this forum.

Stock gearing is 15-41, I actually went with 17-39 for a 19% upgear, but I won't be spending time on the 39T part of it for this how-to, it is covered in other threads. I also put on a new chain, I could have kept the OEM chain if I wanted to. I put on a better chain (love those DID X-Ring Gold chains), but the OEM chain is pretty decent in it's own right.

I followed the service manual for getting the sprocket cover off, removing the rear wheel, and I cut the old chain off with a grinder.

Special tools you will need for this work include
- a grinder (Less than $100 at Orchard Supply)
- a bench vise (I have a portable one that clamps onto a folding table.
- a multi-grade file (has a rough and fine side) for smoothing out the rough spots on the metal part after you grind it.

I want to give credit to some else on this forum who mentioned you had to grind a bit to get a 17T on. I don't know who it is though, so this builds on that original post. I mostly just add pics and a bit more detail.

And you'll need the usual assortment of sockets and wrenches. I have a huge collection from my automotive days, and I actually needed a 1/2" driver (18" breaker bar) to get the rear sprocket off, those five bolts were on really tight, and I put them back on that way.

I only needed the center stand on the bike to do all the work, no jacking or any other kind of suspension needed. The bike leans forward on the center stand and I didn't need to remove the front wheel.

It should be mentioned that if you like replacing your own chains, a grinder is a useful investment since it makes short work of removing an old chain.

I love the sparks too, makes it like the 4th of July, actually today is the 4th, kinda funny. :-)

The small metal crescent that needs to be ground is between the sprocket cover and the tranny housing and comes off normally when you remove the sprocket cover. It is not a structural piece, it is a chain retainer to keep the chain from flying off the front sprocket, so it fits tightly but doesn't actually touch the chain under normal circumstances. So you need grind it back to allow for the increased size of the front sprocket.

HINT: removing the sprocket cover requires you to remove two wiring harness clips, they are press fitted into the plastic shell, squeeze them from behind and they should pop out easily.

Following are the pics. I show my new chain and sprockets, before and after pics of the chain retainer (the before is marked showing where I am going to grind, I did this by eyeball, the tolerances aren't that tight). The way I determined that line was to install the new chain, and hold the retainer in place where it would go, and examine the new chain-line and marked where the chain becomes close to the chain-stay and where it backs away. All I did was mark the endpoints, I drew the line by hand later and went a little past each endpoint for margin of error. Once ground, I held it up to the chain again, and made sure it had a few mm of clearance, just like it did before. This mod probably means you should replace the chain retainer if you ever return to stock gearing. I intend to return the bike to stock gearing when I sell it, so I kept the old sprockets (they have 600 mi on them), and I am going to buy a retainer next week so I'll be ready a few years down the road when I do it.

I also show the grinder and bench vise with the chain retainer mounted and ready to grind.
Thank you for this write up! I just changed my front sprocket to the 17t. It makes a huge difference for sure!
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-14-2014, 10:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joram144 View Post
Thank you for this write up! I just changed my front sprocket to the 17t. It makes a huge difference for sure!
Nice. A ~4300RPM @ 60MPH cruise is going to seem very relaxed compared to ~4900.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-14-2014, 10:55 PM
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It has made a huge difference on the long rides. That and 73mpg @50mph is awesome! I'm still getting used to the difference, but I'm liking it so far!

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-09-2015, 07:49 AM
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I know this is old but just got a 2015 CB 500 F and can't find the sprockets on there web site do you still have the part numbers? I'm looking to do the 17t front and 38t rear I do 60 miles on interstate one way to work and at 75 mph just to keep from getting run over it is screaming. LOL
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-22-2017, 01:10 PM
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What is your top speed after changing the sprocket?
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-22-2017, 02:27 PM
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I don't think the engine will like the 17T to 39T ratio.
I tried a 16T to 39T ratio and it worked ok at higher speeds but left a bit to be desired on the low rpms,
so I switched to the 16T to 41T ratio and am much happier with that (for me).

So, I recommend trying it is steps. Get the 39T and try it, then add the 16T and see what it is like.
Making the 17:39 ration would be my last step.

Ride safely,

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-22-2017, 04:52 PM
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I've thought about bumping the front up to a 16 tooth but have concerns with the lack of torque on this bike on twisty roads here in the foothill northern California area. I bumped up my Triumph one tooth on the front and end up going back to the stock gearing. Bike just didn't have enough torque on my twisty mountain roads. I end up bogging coming out of turns all the time, think that is what would happen with a 16 on the front of this bike with my elevation twisty stuff I ride.

If you ride in flat straight area these changes are nice, just won't work for me very well with these roads I'm riding.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-21-2017, 05:04 PM
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Does your top speed increase?
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-21-2017, 07:37 PM
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With a 16T front sprocket, I find that 5th gear is about the same as 6th is with the original sprocket.
A bit harder on start-up, but above 10 MPH, it is like you are about 1 gear ratio different.

Ride safely,

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