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I am going to put a new front sprocket on, one tooth smaller. A friend of mine, old school dirt biker, told me that putting the chain through that small of a sprocket will damage the chain, because of the tight radius. Is that a problem with old style chains or something I should be concerned about

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well if you are getting a new chain and sprocket than no its not to small. but your chain you are using now is streched and will wear out the the new sprocket.

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I am going to put a new front sprocket on, one tooth smaller. A friend of mine, old school dirt biker, told me that putting the chain through that small of a sprocket will damage the chain, because of the tight radius. Is that a problem with old style chains or something I should be concerned about

Not a problem, been using a 12T CS on my WR since 2002. Over 1000 miles and still going strong on the stock chain and rear 52T sprocket. For a YZF, you should use a 50T rear sprocket instead of the 12T CS since the internal gearing is already narrow/tight ratio. The WR will handle the 12T CS nicely.

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well if you are getting a new chain and sprocket than no its not to small. but your chain you are using now is streched and will wear out the the new sprocket.

I have only 170 miles on the chain, is that basicly new enough or will it need to be replaced?

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I agree with Av's comment.....I have had a 12 tooth on my bike (2003 wr ) for the last 2 years.....I notice no "accerated wear" It turns the bike into a trail bike. I did a short 3 mile run on a highway to interconnect more trails and a friend/s GPS clocked us at 71 mph...............You will be happy with the 12 tooth...............

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I have only 170 miles on the chain, is that basicly new enough or will it need to be replaced?

it should be fine.

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