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Sprocket and Chain Replacement

522 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Kabluey
Hello all! I’ve been searching the forums but haven’t found anything useful. Any recommendations on a chain and sprocket combo/set or a specific chain and specific front and rear sprocket for my 2015 non-abs if that matters? I’m a newbie and have been told by multiple people I should change the sprocket and chain based on the noise it’s making.
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My recommendation on sizes is to always stay with Honda's OEM specs. But others will offer reasons why not to.
Not to sound cantankerous, but replacing the sprockets and chain based on 'sound' is akin to changing your skivvies when they look 'dirty'. Both are too subjective with little to base an opinion on.
If the sprockets are rounded or wearing uneven at the points or valleys, or the chain is binding at any of the links after cleaning and lubricating it, or at its maximum specs when properly adjusted... it's probably time to replace them.
They recommend replacing both front and rear sprockets along with the chain.
There are plenty of videos available that show how to inspect and replace sprockets and chains. Like the one below.
Everything You Need To Know When Replacing Your Motorcycle’s Chain and Sprockets | The Shop Manual - Bing video
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The front (small) sprocket spins almost 3 times more than the rear; and gets a lot more force (per teeth) in contact with the chain. It will wear 3 times faster (at least). For this reason, always replace the front sprocket with a new chain (or the new chain will quickly wear to match the state of the old sprocket). The front (small) sprocket is relatively cheap anyway; no reason not to replace it.

For the rear, inspect and make a judgement call. But I think initially, you can get away with it; or just flip it around.

As a guide, below is the front sprocket wear after 25,000km (on my 500R). Using the same tool/socket as a guide, a new sprocket is "perfectly round" - no gap. There was very little wear at the rear sprocket.
Crankset Bicycle part Gear Automotive tire Gas
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I heard enough unenthusiastic comments about the CB-500's OEM chain that I bought a DID high performance gold X-ring chain for about $85 USD and it has been fine for around 11k miles; no adjustment needed. I found the overall gearing abysmally low and upped the Countershaft sprocket from 15T OEM to 17T, which drops revs at any speet by 13%. I eventually will replace the 41T rear sprocket to a 38T and that should rear my bike correctly. I fitted a Scottoiler to the bike for automatic chain lubrication, which greatly enhances chain life and reduces sprocket wear.

These gearing changes do not require any chain shortening or lengthening and will make freeway cruising much moe pleasant.

I just completed this exact thing on my 2015 500F, non-ABS. The previous owner did NOTHING to maintain the chain as far as I can tell. Multiple links freezing and when I cleaned it, a couple o-rings fell out.

I swapped sprockets at the same time as I was not happy with the gearing. Felt "wrung out" on the highway at 65mph. Found a helpful post on here with talk of 16F/39R or just 16F, but decided to go a little crazy with 16/38.

--Parts used--
Front Sprocket: JTF1381.16RB
Rear Sprocket: JTR1316.38
Chain: DID 520VX3GB-112 (clip style master link)
Also: 12OclockLabs SpeedoDRD SDRD-H3

112 link chain was just at the very end of axle placement, so no room for stretch. Cut 2 links out and it nestled near the shorter limit, but still room to adjust forward for whatever reason, so 110 link would be the way to go with this gear combo.

This is my first moto and obviously first chain install, but had no real issues other than needing to add a chain breaker/riveter and MotionPro Slack Setter and Alignment Tool to my toolbox.

The gearing ratio is excellent. There's a little more oomph off-idle so U-turns are actually a little easier, but I instantly loved it when I got on the highway. Cruising at 65 is now pleasant, and still has decent getup for passing.

Definitely recommend the SpeedoDRD. Install is annoying, but when its done, it's done. Used the calc on their website to set to 15.1% adjustment and speedo is dead-on at 70mph.
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