Next job - chain and sprockets! - Wrist Twisters
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post #1 of 14 Old 08-05-2019, 03:20 AM Thread Starter
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Next job - chain and sprockets!

I asked the mechanic to check the chain and sprockets for me, when he was fitting my new racetech springs...and his verdict was that the chain is done. I knew it was near the end of its days as there is barely any adjustment capacity left. And a quick peek at the service history shows that they were last changed with the DID at 44k, I am now close to 70k.

A fair amount of folks sing the praises of a 17/44 520. I wonder how much this could effect my riding, which is mainly commuting. I wouldnt wish to lose any noticeable acceleration, yet apparently this isnt the case, or is it?

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post #2 of 14 Old 08-05-2019, 07:21 AM
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I just did this conversion about two months ago. On paper, the change is very small, but I felt it. First gear is smoother, the throttle is not as jerky, but it doesn't have the same pull.

I found that I had to change my wrist position in order to go WOT (Wide Open Throttle) to get close to what I was used to before.

From what others have said, the PC III add on computer controller solves the jerky response.

The on freeway is down on RPM and I do spend a good amount of time on the freeway, but being a few hundred RPM lower didn't seem like it was worth it to me.

My riding style is pretty aggressive and I love the low end pull and now that seems to be mostly missing. I plan on trying the 16 front.

The kit was otherwise great. I guess it's one of the highest end kits you can get. I did it all by myself and had to order a chain tool kit. IDK if that was a great idea as the time/effort/cost, it might have been better to have a shop do it.

Front sprockets aren't very expensive, so trying the 17 then the 16 shouldn't be a problem. Pretty easy to swap things out.

Note: while your in there, you can do the axle bolt swap mod. It makes it so you can remove things without having to remove the swing arm. Basically you just pull the swing arm bolt and put it back in from the other side so that the nut is on the chain side instead of the brake side of the swing arm. Doing this allowing you to remove the bracket and gain full access to the chain.
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post #3 of 14 Old 08-05-2019, 08:36 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarlJay View Post
I just did this conversion about two months ago. On paper, the change is very small, but I felt it. First gear is smoother, the throttle is not as jerky, but it doesn't have the same pull.

I found that I had to change my wrist position in order to go WOT (Wide Open Throttle) to get close to what I was used to before.

From what others have said, the PC III add on computer controller solves the jerky response.

The on freeway is down on RPM and I do spend a good amount of time on the freeway, but being a few hundred RPM lower didn't seem like it was worth it to me.

My riding style is pretty aggressive and I love the low end pull and now that seems to be mostly missing. I plan on trying the 16 front.

The kit was otherwise great. I guess it's one of the highest end kits you can get. I did it all by myself and had to order a chain tool kit. IDK if that was a great idea as the time/effort/cost, it might have been better to have a shop do it.

Front sprockets aren't very expensive, so trying the 17 then the 16 shouldn't be a problem. Pretty easy to swap things out.

Note: while your in there, you can do the axle bolt swap mod. It makes it so you can remove things without having to remove the swing arm. Basically you just pull the swing arm bolt and put it back in from the other side so that the nut is on the chain side instead of the brake side of the swing arm. Doing this allowing you to remove the bracket and gain full access to the chain.
That is exactly my concern,KarlJay...I do have a PC III but do not wish to lose the acceleration low down torque to a noticeable degree, for I use the bike mainly as an aggressive urban brawler. Still, seem to find a fair few who like the 17/44. And from what i understand 16/43 is stock...+1 on the front adds to top end from bottom end, with the +1 at the rear tempering this effect by operating in the other way - less top end, more low end.

Also seems that the 17/44 is more accurate on the speedo? Less so on the odometer?

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post #4 of 14 Old 08-06-2019, 01:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thegutterpoet View Post
That is exactly my concern,KarlJay...I do have a PC III but do not wish to lose the acceleration low down torque to a noticeable degree, for I use the bike mainly as an aggressive urban brawler. Still, seem to find a fair few who like the 17/44. And from what i understand 16/43 is stock...+1 on the front adds to top end from bottom end, with the +1 at the rear tempering this effect by operating in the other way - less top end, more low end.

Also seems that the 17/44 is more accurate on the speedo? Less so on the odometer?
I have no idea about the speedo, I haven't tested it, but I have heard that it's not exact. Personally, I don't really care if the speedo is off a bit.

The 17/44 reduces torque by some 3.8% from stock.
The 16/44 increases torque by some 2.3% from stock.

https://sprocketcalculator.com/

This may sound funny, but I felt the 3.8%. I've ridden over 10,000 miles this season alone. I haven't driven a car in maybe 5 years. Maybe it's the 100+ deg weather that kills the engine performance. I know when it cools down at night, I can really feel a difference in the performance.

I was lifting tires on pure torque ALL the time with stock gears. Now, that just doesn't happen. I didn't even realize I was lifting the tire until I didn't feel some bumps on and then landed during a turn

I don't really do much over 100 MPH, so I really don't need all the top end. It just really seems like I was working the engine to do what it used to do so effortlessly before.

It's like a big block muscle car/truck that just pulls like crazy with so little effort. Now it seem like some of the wind is out of the sails. Even thou the math says 3.8%, I can really feel it.

Passing cars is a pretty big deal, when I really need some punch, I now have to go wide open and wait for the RPMS to catch up. I'm not kidding. Before it was like the bike was superman and would do this with so little effort. I don't understand how 3.8% can make that much difference, but it did.

It's only about $20ish to get a new front sprocket and takes maybe an hour to change it out. I'll get the 16 matched to the 44 and see how that works, but I'm pretty sure I'll love it.
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post #5 of 14 Old 08-06-2019, 04:35 PM
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I experimented with a 17/43 530 combination for 2 weeks the second season I owned my 919. And I have to fully agree with KarlJay - you do notice the difference! The 17/44 combination may help the torque loss a little - but I doubt it. After two weeks I switched back to the 16/43 and I haven't changed back. I like that the front lifts just a bit on normal acceleration.
The 17/43 does fix most of the speedo error and once you're past second gear I doubt the torque loss is noticable. And it is better at highway speeds with the slight drop in RPMs.

I also wanted to comment on the 520 conversion from the standard 530 chain. I know it's popular but I don't get it... I wanted to show a visual comparison and the attached photo is the best i could find.
The 520 has a 1/4" roller width and the 530 has a 3/8" roller width.
While they both can have sufficient tensile strength, if you are concerned about sprocket wear there may be a real difference. Especially if you occasional run the chain dry. The sprocket for the 520 chain is .227" thick vs. .343" for the 530. If you expect the same system life you may be disappointed.
I do appreciate that the 520 package is cheaper and that may be the deciding factor for some folks. The weight savings of maybe 1.5 lbs. total is of no real benefit.

Just my 2 cents,
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File Type: jpg 520 v 530.jpg (90.4 KB, 4 views)

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post #6 of 14 Old 08-06-2019, 05:56 PM
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I've tried the 17/44 and I'm going back to the stock gearing, 16/43.
I'm also going back to the OEM sprockets since I've noticed some odd wear patterns on aftermarket sprockets.
The OEM front sprocket is the correct width. Some aftermarket front sprockets vary in width from the OEM one.
The OEM front sprocket also has a noise damper built in.
DID chain, endless.
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post #7 of 14 Old 08-06-2019, 06:21 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Mark919 View Post
I experimented with a 17/43 530 combination for 2 weeks the second season I owned my 919. And I have to fully agree with KarlJay - you do notice the difference! The 17/44 combination may help the torque loss a little - but I doubt it. After two weeks I switched back to the 16/43 and I haven't changed back. I like that the front lifts just a bit on normal acceleration.
The 17/43 does fix most of the speedo error and once you're past second gear I doubt the torque loss is noticable. And it is better at highway speeds with the slight drop in RPMs.

I also wanted to comment on the 520 conversion from the standard 530 chain. I know it's popular but I don't get it... I wanted to show a visual comparison and the attached photo is the best i could find.
The 520 has a 1/4" roller width and the 530 has a 3/8" roller width.
While they both can have sufficient tensile strength, if you are concerned about sprocket wear there may be a real difference. Especially if you occasional run the chain dry. The sprocket for the 520 chain is .227" thick vs. .343" for the 530. If you expect the same system life you may be disappointed.
I do appreciate that the 520 package is cheaper and that may be the deciding factor for some folks. The weight savings of maybe 1.5 lbs. total is of no real benefit.

Just my 2 cents,
Yep, I am increasingly loathe to bother with any adjustment to the ratio 16/43...Definitely don't wish to lose anything low down, and any more would likely lift the front end too easily with my boyish eagerness to roar away from the lights. So I shall just start focusing on the best deals I can get for a decent chain and sprocket set here in Australia. Stick with 16/43 and quality, with the 530 fine...My mechanic half smiled when I showed eagerness for a 520 chain, then just started to talk about longevity and the absence of any noticeable gain from dropping the weight. Do I need to look for kits specific to the 919 or just a model which will be adjusted by the mechanic when fitted?

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post #8 of 14 Old 08-06-2019, 07:32 PM
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IMO kits only make sense if it's exactly what you want. As Islandboy mentioned, the oem front sprocket has the damper and is the correct width. That's what I've used. The rear is less of an issue but still has to be good quality & steel.
I don't recall how many links are standard (I think 114 but I'd have to look that up) but you or your mechanic can cut to suit.

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post #9 of 14 Old 08-06-2019, 07:42 PM
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As a lighter rider, the 17/44 suits me perfect. WOT just floats the front end over the ground. There are probably few bikes that can get from 0-60 as effortlessly and consistently as the 919 with that gearing and my weight. I would like to try a 15/46 some day just to have a riot banging through gears, but I can't really afford to have two chainkits.

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post #10 of 14 Old 08-07-2019, 12:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark919 View Post
I experimented with a 17/43 530 combination for 2 weeks the second season I owned my 919. And I have to fully agree with KarlJay - you do notice the difference! The 17/44 combination may help the torque loss a little - but I doubt it. After two weeks I switched back to the 16/43 and I haven't changed back. I like that the front lifts just a bit on normal acceleration.
The 17/43 does fix most of the speedo error and once you're past second gear I doubt the torque loss is noticable. And it is better at highway speeds with the slight drop in RPMs.

I also wanted to comment on the 520 conversion from the standard 530 chain. I know it's popular but I don't get it... I wanted to show a visual comparison and the attached photo is the best i could find.
The 520 has a 1/4" roller width and the 530 has a 3/8" roller width.
While they both can have sufficient tensile strength, if you are concerned about sprocket wear there may be a real difference. Especially if you occasional run the chain dry. The sprocket for the 520 chain is .227" thick vs. .343" for the 530. If you expect the same system life you may be disappointed.
I do appreciate that the 520 package is cheaper and that may be the deciding factor for some folks. The weight savings of maybe 1.5 lbs. total is of no real benefit.

Just my 2 cents,
The wear is an interesting point. I have no idea how long a chain should last, I hear 20,000 miles but the power being concentrated onto a smaller area does make you think it would wear faster.

I'll probably try the 16 front and I wonder if the benefit of a 520 setup would be noticed if compared to the same gears.

Mark919 mentions the damper on the front, I didn't notice one on either setup, but we do have the rubber dampers inside the rear wheel. IDK if that would do the same thing.

IDK if the 520 has a rep for wearing out quicker, my guess is that us 919 people aren't as aggressive as some of the "buzz box" riders with the 12,000 RPM redline sport bikes.

We still have the issue of smoothing out the torque down low. I do enjoy the smooth delivery of torque, just want more of it.

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post #11 of 14 Old 08-07-2019, 03:58 AM
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I had the 17/44 kit and didnít like the gearing, but it was very smooth, I dropped -1 in the front and really like it I used to have 15/43 and itís not as crazy as that gearing but this set up is perfect.

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post #12 of 14 Old 08-07-2019, 06:21 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 03whitesnake View Post
I had the 17/44 kit and didnít like the gearing, but it was very smooth, I dropped -1 in the front and really like it I used to have 15/43 and itís not as crazy as that gearing but this set up is perfect.
Did that throw off the speedo?

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post #13 of 14 Old 08-07-2019, 09:39 PM Thread Starter
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Focusing on this package>>>
1 DID VX Super Heavy Duty Gold X-Ring Chain (Standard length)

1 AFAM Upgrade Steel Rear Sprocket (Standard size)

1 AFAM Upgrade Steel Front Sprocket (Standard size)

Delivered to Melbourne for around $230AU from the motherland.

Seems a solid deal?

Little cheaper with the RK sprockets but AFAM is maybe a little more highly thought of?

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post #14 of 14 Old 08-11-2019, 12:58 AM Thread Starter
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Decided on the DID VX and OEM 16/43 sprockets...Doubt the 520 routine would make any noticeable difference, though I see its good for 1-1.5hp increase. And will stick with the gearing I already very much enjoy.

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