Just did my first chain and sprockets replacement, so I thought I'd offer a few observations. Ideally, some of the more experienced members will ring in and correct me if necessary before someone takes my opinions seriously.
1) The shop manual: The only real irritating part of the manual for this exercise is that it explicitly states that Honda uses a master link chain. I looked at 1,140 links (114 stock chain links X OCD factor of 10) before finally coming to back to this site and determining that not all chains have master links. Thanks to Barton664 (AGAIN!!!!!) for guidance.
2) 114 vs 112 links, overall gearing:I went with 114 links and 16/43. As a novice with less than a year in the saddle (~3500 miles), I am still building my skills foundation--I want an extremely solid base so that as i start my more serious mods, I will understand the changes. Man, I love this f***ing machine.
3) Motion Pro Jumbo Chain Tool Part #08-0135 and some sort of caliper: Yes, dammit, I stuck a crowbar into my wallet and bought the tools for this job. There is no turning back now--- I am always going to be around motorcycles, kids will be getting dirt bikes soon (don't tell them yet), somebody else may need help, etc. The Jumbo will break a chain as well as do the rivits. The caliper is used twice during installation of the master link: you measure the amount pins are pushed through during setting of the sideplate and diameter of the rivit as it set during staking. For setting the sideplate, I measured the width of the chain and then set the caliper 0.050" above this point and then checked the pins repeatedly until they brushed the caliper like gapping a sparkplug. For staking, I set the caliper to 0.222" and then kept checking as I tightened down on the ol' Jumbo. If you are patient, the rivits will look just like in the manual (I will post a picture tomorrow-our camera sucks ass at night photography).
4) For those who debate whether or not to change sprockets with chain: I bought this bike used and the previous owner documented everything. Near as I can tell, he got 20K miles out of chain and sprockets. Here is a side by side comparision of old vs new for driving gear and driven gear after a ton of miles (I will look at these pictures once they are posted-if they stink on ice, I will try to replace them). The choice is yours:
As always, I could not have done this without you all. Mike Wheeler (LDH) at Dan Kyle and my boy Barton664 are fantastic.