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Chain and Sproket help!

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Hi everyone! 

 

You neighboorhood noobie here!

I'm getting ready to change out my 2015 DRZ400sm chain so I thought I might as well change the sprockets as people on here have said that's my best insurance.

Since I'm new here I was just wondering what are the "best" chains and sprockets on the market? Or should I say, what do you guys use? I don't know exactly what chain I should get nor how many links I'd need so some guidance there would be awesome!

I was also thinking about changing up my gearing as when I ride on the highway it sounds like the bike is dying ahaha! I was thinking 15/39 or 16/39... I don't want to loose too much low end, but I know I can just chill in lower gears if need be right? What gearing do you guys use? I ride about 90% street 10% off-road. What sprockets do you guys use?

Lastly, would I need a different number of links for a higher/lower ratio? I was thinking of just getting all the parts and having the shop show me how it's done as I've never done this before!

 

 

Thank you guys so much for all the help! ThumperTalk has been like a second home to me.

Edited by Jordan Crisologo

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I've had great luck with DID on my S model. Purchased this set of Amazon D.I.D MXS-009OEM 520VX2 Gold Chain and 15 Teeth/44 Teeth Sprocket Kit https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01B7UX86E?ref=yo_pop_ma_swf

 

Works great for street, however, I moved to a 47 tooth rear sprocket for dirt and is a slight but nice improvement on the low end. Basically moved my normal 10-20mph trail speed from 2nd gear to 3rd. Haven't run it on the street with 47 teeth yet.

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25 minutes ago, Jordan Crisologo said:

Oh wow a whole set? Awesome!

 

You don't want that particular set, though. That gearing will do the opposite of what you are after.

Post your location and rather than pay a shop visit a neighbor DRZ owner and let them show you.

Edited by ptgarcia
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You don't want that particular set, though. That gearing will do the opposite of what you are after.
Post your location and rather than pay a shop visit a neighbor DRZ owner and let them show you.

Yeah my setup is literally geared for more dirt. I wouldn't used SM gearing for dirt as you'll be in 1st gear all day

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All gearing is a compromise.  The DRZ400SM is geared from the factory where it should be or most people (15/41). I would not advise making big changes unless you intend to use the motorcycle significantly differently than it was designed for or perhaps make significant performance changes.  Generally street motorcycles are geared so that in top gear the motor does not have enough power to reach the motors limiting RPM which I believe is true for the SM. Yes you can raise the final gearing to reduce the RPM at a given road speed, the trade off is less performance.  You might try 15/40 or 15/39.  If you do any off road I would stay with 15/39. I would not advise 16/39, that is too big a change.

As for chains and sprockets - any name brand sealed (O ring, X ring, W ring, X/W ring etc) will be fine. All are good. Sprockets - Sunstar and other name brands are good.  So do you actually need sprockets? Yes, I know the default answer is change sprockets and chain as a set but that is not always necessary.  On a street bike the sprockets generally out last the chain.  So the thing to do is inspect for wear and decide.  Contrary to popular belief, slightly warn sprockets do not accelerate wear on a new chain. If you do not know what to look for, have the sprockets inspected by someone knowledgeable or just replace to be safe.  At 80,000 miles on a pure street bike I'm on my 3rd chain and original sprockets which are still in good shape.  Do not expect that on a DRZ400SM. However 12,000 to 15,000 miles is not unreasonable to expect.  A pure dirt bike 3,000 to 5,000 miles is common for full replacement. It all depends on how it is used.

 

 

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Wow thanks guys for the suggestions!!

And yeah! If anyone is in the SoCal area (Costa Mesa), and has time to show me how to do all this by hand that would be awesome! I'd totally buy lunch!

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18 minutes ago, Noble said:

All gearing is a compromise.  The DRZ400SM is geared from the factory where it should be or most people (15/41). I would not advise making big changes unless you intend to use the motorcycle significantly differently than it was designed for or perhaps make significant performance changes.  Generally street motorcycles are geared so that in top gear the motor does not have enough power to reach the motors limiting RPM which I believe is true for the SM. Yes you can raise the final gearing to reduce the RPM at a given road speed, the trade off is less performance.  You might try 15/40 or 15/39.  If you do any off road I would stay with 15/39. I would not advise 16/39, that is too big a change.

As for chains and sprockets - any name brand sealed (O ring, X ring, W ring, X/W ring etc) will be fine. All are good. Sprockets - Sunstar and other name brands are good.  So do you actually need sprockets? Yes, I know the default answer is change sprockets and chain as a set but that is not always necessary.  On a street bike the sprockets generally out last the chain.  So the thing to do is inspect for wear and decide.  Contrary to popular belief, slightly warn sprockets do not accelerate wear on a new chain. If you do not know what to look for, have the sprockets inspected by someone knowledgeable or just replace to be safe.  At 80,000 miles on a pure street bike I'm on my 3rd chain and original sprockets which are still in good shape.  Do not expect that on a DRZ400SM. However 12,000 to 15,000 miles is not unreasonable to expect.  A pure dirt bike 3,000 to 5,000 miles is common for full replacement. It all depends on how it is used.

 

 

How many links would I need to make sure I have for the 15/39? Do I need to do any trimming of the rubber chain guides or anything?

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Also, what brand chain works well? I'm seeing DID all over the place. I also heard O Ring chains were the best? Also, I keep seeing 520 as far as fitting for the drz400, but I can't seem to find any on the TT Store. Link anyone?

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You need a 520 chain with at least 110-links. Usually aftermarket chains come with many more links and you have to cut them to length. O-ring or X-ring seal are both fine, and DID, Renthal, EK, RK, Primary Drive will be fine. Don't pay more for x-ring if they are indeed more expensive.

My sister lives in Costa Mesa. If you ever get up to the Rancho Cucamonga area I'd be happy to help you out.

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27 minutes ago, ptgarcia said:

You need a 520 chain with at least 110-links. Usually aftermarket chains come with many more links and you have to cut them to length. O-ring or X-ring seal are both fine, and DID, Renthal, EK, RK, Primary Drive will be fine. Don't pay more for x-ring if they are indeed more expensive.

My sister lives in Costa Mesa. If you ever get up to the Rancho Cucamonga area I'd be happy to help you out.

Let's do it! 

I'd be so down to learn how to work on this type of stuff. So we can work together on the chain and sprockets?

 

How can we link up? Phone number? 

Lunch on me!

Edited by Jordan Crisologo

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36 minutes ago, Jordan Crisologo said:

Let's do it! 

I'd be so down to learn how to work on this type of stuff. So we can work together on the chain and sprockets?

 

How can we link up? Phone number? 

Lunch on me!

 

Yeah, none of that stuff is a problem. I have a chain press and break. Can you get your bike to Rancho?

I'll send you a PM with my number.

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Sorry, some times I over look the level of experience I'm talking to.  Chains come in different pitch and widths. Although there are exceptions nearly always the pitch and width is the same for replacement chains to fit the original pitch and width sprockets.  Size 520 is what fits the DRZ400SM motorcycle.  520 stands for 5/8" pitch and 2/8" width.  Pitch is the distance pin to pin and width is the inside dimension between the plates of the roller link.  Sprockets are under size on width so the chain fits.  A 1/4" wide sprocket is about .230". There are other industry standards for chains for example a #50 chain is the same dimension a a 530 chain (5/8  X 3/8). But for motorcycles they go by pitch and width numbers.  Sizes 520, 525 and 530 cover most full size motorcycles. Sizes 420 (4/8 X 2/8), 428 (4/8 by 5/16) are used on small motorcycles and 630 (6/8 X 3/8) is pretty much a thing of the past used for a short time on big street bikes in the early 80's.  Yup chain sizes are in inches, I don't know why. Seems odd when everything else is metric but that's the way it is. 

Replacement chains can be purchased in the length needed and quite often in standard longer lengths cut to fit.  A lot of replacement chains come as 120 links to save inventory.  Your original chain has no connecting link (master link). It is made as an endless loop and installed on the motorcycle before the swing arm.  A master link is thought to be the weaker link so for product liability reasons many new motorcycles come with endless chains. (Modern press together master links really are not weaker and there are examples of high performance street bikes that do come with master links). For your DRZ400SM you may encounter 2 types of master links used with replacement chains - those with a retaining clip and those that are riveted together. Both types require a chain press to push the side plate on.  The rivet style also requires a rivet tool to set the rivet. Rivet stye are permanent. Clip styes can be taken apart but really that is not very practical with modern chains.  I consider both types permanent and if the chain needs to be taken apart it should get a new master link when reassembled. To remove an endless chain either the swing is removed or the chain is cut at any link.

Sounds like you have the help you need.  Good luck with the project.

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Off topic, any of you work or know anyone at Gerdau there in Rancho Cucamonga?
I do not. My company has done work for Scheu Steel but other than that I don't think I know anyone that has worked at one of the local steel companies.

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