Chain Mania! (Replacement chain, sprocket suggestions - Ex-500.com - The home of the Kawasaki EX500 / Ninja 500R
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post #1 of 77 (permalink) Old 11-13-2006, 10:57 AM
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Chain Mania! (Replacement chain, sprocket suggestions

Hi all!
So my chain is shot. So as Fog may recall, I posted a question about a sound coming from my bikes backend on the DIY board, which for the life of me I couldn't solve. I'd tested the brakes, adjusted the chain MANY times, and couldn't figure out what it was.

After going through the chain yesterday link by link, I finally noticed a link which is...I guess locked is the best description. When that links goes through the sprocket, it makes a rubbing sound.

So, my riding season is over a week before I intended to end it, and I'll be replacing the chain this winter. I understand 30,000kms is about appropriate for a new sprocket too?

What brands of chains do you guys use? I hear D.I.D are good? Other brand I should look at? Or should I just go to the dealer for OEM? What is the size for a chain? And sprockets? Keep the same amount of teeth? Brand name or OEM?

Thanks for educating a chain newbie
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post #2 of 77 (permalink) Old 11-13-2006, 11:12 AM
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Re: Chain Mania! (Replacement chain, sprocket suggestions

I use RK on my quads and i've never had a problem. D.I.D. is a good chain as well. the stock pitch is 520. Fog says 104 links. best sprockets I've seen are either AFAM or Stealth sprockets. Unless you want more acceleration or fuel mileage, i'd stay stock ratio. It might be fun to have a little more wheelie power though...

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post #3 of 77 (permalink) Old 11-13-2006, 6:33 PM
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Re: Chain Mania! (Replacement chain, sprocket suggestions

Personally, I kept stock 16/41 gearing on mine, with a 520 chain. RK or DID are the best to use. just make sure you get an O-ring or Xring chain. both are great. stock size is 104 links.

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post #4 of 77 (permalink) Old 11-13-2006, 7:06 PM
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Re: Chain Mania! (Replacement chain, sprocket suggestions

Cool, was pretty sure I'd opt for the DID. Stock gearing sounds good too.
Thanks!
post #5 of 77 (permalink) Old 11-14-2006, 3:55 PM
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Re: Chain Mania! (Replacement chain, sprocket suggestions

When I was looking through all the options I used DennisKirk.com to death putting together different combos and whatnot. Get on their website and order a metric bike catalog, it's got info and some ratings on all their different chains and sprockets. It was nice to be able to look at a few I liked and then compare the hp ratings, and also to have something in front of me in black and white that said what each style was, such as x-ring, o-ring, xw-ring, etc. You also get the catalog on CD, but I haven't really dove into that much.
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post #6 of 77 (permalink) Old 11-27-2006, 9:39 AM
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Re: Chain Mania! (Replacement chain, sprocket suggestions

Anyone running more a larger rear sprocket for more accelleration? How is the vibration on the highway? Wheelie-ability?

I'm thinking that I never really hit triple digits, and my street fighter is 100% a hooligan bike, so I'm debating gearing the bike so that redline in 6th is 120 mph. That'd make the bike a blast to drive around town, and I'm hoping that cruising at 80mph on the highway won't be *too* heinous...

Charles.

<br />V65 Magna - EX500 Street Fighter - TW200 Survival bike
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post #7 of 77 (permalink) Old 11-27-2006, 10:05 AM
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Re: Chain Mania! (Replacement chain, sprocket suggestions

To make your physical max top speed be 120 (under perfect conditions w/ no drag, etc), for a 1st gen you can go with a 2.65:1 ratio, and with a 2nd gen you could use a 2.75:1 ratio (you don't list your bike). That equates to about 14/37, 15/40, or 16/43 on a 1st gen or 14/39, 15/41, or 16/44 on a 2nd gen.

I just realized that you're basically talking about going up 2 in the rear (or down one in the front) from stock on either bike. I'm running -1 up front and this thing is definitely not a wheelie machine. It's better than stock, but will only come up when you really try.

On another note, if you geared it at about 2.93:1 (15/44) your top speed would be 109 (1st gen) or 114 (2nd gen). That would give you a lot more front tire carrying ability while your rpm at 80 mph would be around 7300 rpm (1st gen) or 7000 rpm (2nd gen). Stock sits around 6600 rpm and 6100 rpm respectively.
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post #8 of 77 (permalink) Old 11-27-2006, 12:56 PM
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Re: Chain Mania! (Replacement chain, sprocket suggestions

Well, mine is a 1990 EX500, street-fightered. I think I have the stock sprockets on it, but with all the lightening I've done (Bike weighs in at 370 with a half tank of gas, 384 with a full tank), the front will come right up on the 1st/2nd shift without trying at all.

I don't actually have a speedometer on it yet, but in 6th gear the engine barely feels like it's spinning at freeway speeds.

I was thinking at least three on the rear sprocket, and maybe one down on the front too. Front sprockets are cheap, and don't require different chain lengths, so I can experiment a bit. Don't really care about freeway so much, as this is by no means a touring bike. It's completely street-fightered out, and I want to make it a real hooligan machine.

Charles.

<br />V65 Magna - EX500 Street Fighter - TW200 Survival bike
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post #9 of 77 (permalink) Old 11-27-2006, 8:15 PM
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Re: Chain Mania! (Replacement chain, sprocket suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChopperCharles
Don't really care about freeway so much, as this is by no means a touring bike. It's completely street-fightered out, and I want to make it a real hooligan machine.

Charles.
Time for a nitrous system for 3rd gear and higher?

Lots of street cars go to 50+ shots on stock engines. Nobody has mentioned nitrous in this bike so I gather that the engine won't survive... or it's not worth the price... or it'll get ya killed... or

I thought of the voices as... something a little different from aliens. I thought of them more like angels... It's really my subconscious talking, it was really that... I know that now.<br />&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp; John Nash ("A Beautiful Mind") Nobel Prize http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/economics/laureates/1994/
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post #10 of 77 (permalink) Old 11-27-2006, 9:23 PM
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Re: Chain Mania! (Replacement chain, sprocket suggestions

RE - What SciTrek just said:

This bike is pretty much topped out. Aside from the tiniest performance gain you'll imagine in your head for a new exhaust, and some gearing configurations, every report I've ever read has said the EX is done. And if you try anything like a turbo or nitrous, your normally bullet-proof engine will meet a very quick and untimely demise.
post #11 of 77 (permalink) Old 11-27-2006, 9:37 PM
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Re: Chain Mania! (Replacement chain, sprocket suggestions

At this point the best performance mod available...
is to lose any body mass not necessary for operating the bike.

Beer belly, or peanut M&M belly (my vice)? Get rid of it!
More muscle than you need in order to ride safely? Quit working out!
Get lighter gear! But do so w/o giving up protection.

Get the lowest mass wheels & tires you can afford. Reduction in rotating mass is worth about 1.5 x the improvement of losing regular mass. Plus, lighter wheel & tires respond better to road irregularities... keeping the tires in contact with the road better, AND you'll gain a little quicker rate of cornering.

Maximize aerodynamics (coefficient of drag) for better top speed, and less time reaching it.
Use the least viscous but high quality motor/tranny/clutch oil that protects the engine (less mechanical/frictional drag).

I thought of the voices as... something a little different from aliens. I thought of them more like angels... It's really my subconscious talking, it was really that... I know that now.<br />&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp; John Nash ("A Beautiful Mind") Nobel Prize http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/economics/laureates/1994/
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post #12 of 77 (permalink) Old 11-27-2006, 9:38 PM
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Re: Chain Mania! (Replacement chain, sprocket suggestions

Allow me to suggest an even easier solution - buy a 600cc.
post #13 of 77 (permalink) Old 11-27-2006, 10:25 PM
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Re: Chain Mania! (Replacement chain, sprocket suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Royson
Allow me to suggest an even easier solution - buy a 600cc.
And to make the 600 quicker....

lose any body mass not necessary for operating the bike.

Beer belly, or peanut M&M belly (my vice)? Get rid of it!
More muscle than you need in order to ride safely? Quit working out!
Get lighter gear! But do so w/o giving up protection.

Get the lowest mass wheels & tires you can afford. Reduction in rotating mass is worth about 1.5 x the improvement of losing regular mass. Plus, lighter wheel & tires respond better to road irregularities... keeping the tires in contact with the road better, AND you'll gain a little quicker rate of cornering.

Maximize aerodynamics (coefficient of drag) for better top speed, and less time reaching it.
Use the least viscous but high quality motor/tranny/clutch oil that protects the engine (less mechanical/frictional drag).

I thought of the voices as... something a little different from aliens. I thought of them more like angels... It's really my subconscious talking, it was really that... I know that now.<br />&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp; John Nash ("A Beautiful Mind") Nobel Prize http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/economics/laureates/1994/
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post #14 of 77 (permalink) Old 11-27-2006, 10:58 PM
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Re: Chain Mania! (Replacement chain, sprocket suggestions

all of which is pretty much custom fabed on the EX...

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post #15 of 77 (permalink) Old 11-28-2006, 11:06 AM
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Re: Chain Mania! (Replacement chain, sprocket suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSciTrek
Quote:
Originally Posted by Royson
Allow me to suggest an even easier solution - buy a 600cc.
And to make the 600 quicker....

lose any body mass not necessary for operating the bike.

Beer belly, or peanut M&M belly (my vice)? Get rid of it!
More muscle than you need in order to ride safely? Quit working out!
Get lighter gear! But do so w/o giving up protection.

Get the lowest mass wheels & tires you can afford. Reduction in rotating mass is worth about 1.5 x the improvement of losing regular mass. Plus, lighter wheel & tires respond better to road irregularities... keeping the tires in contact with the road better, AND you'll gain a little quicker rate of cornering.

Maximize aerodynamics (coefficient of drag) for better top speed, and less time reaching it.
Use the least viscous but high quality motor/tranny/clutch oil that protects the engine (less mechanical/frictional drag).
So why not just buy a liter bike?
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post #16 of 77 (permalink) Old 11-28-2006, 11:12 AM
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Re: Chain Mania! (Replacement chain, sprocket suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChopperCharles
Well, mine is a 1990 EX500, street-fightered. I think I have the stock sprockets on it, but with all the lightening I've done (Bike weighs in at 370 with a half tank of gas, 384 with a full tank), the front will come right up on the 1st/2nd shift without trying at all.

I don't actually have a speedometer on it yet, but in 6th gear the engine barely feels like it's spinning at freeway speeds.

I was thinking at least three on the rear sprocket, and maybe one down on the front too. Front sprockets are cheap, and don't require different chain lengths, so I can experiment a bit. Don't really care about freeway so much, as this is by no means a touring bike. It's completely street-fightered out, and I want to make it a real hooligan machine.

Charles.
Well, bone stock on a '90 is 16/42. I'm running 15/42 and have absolutely no problem on the freeway (my max is usually around 70 and I've always got plenty of rev-room for a 90+ mph pass. I was debating going on up to a 15/44 but started to shy away because of the stupid things I'd do if I had the extra low-end. For a hooligan bike, though, I don't think 15/44 or 15/45 (-1 front, +3 rear) would hurt you much if at all.

I'm going to do my absolute best to get my (pirated and personalized) spreadsheet straightened up and online tonight. I'm sure it'd help with sprocket choices if everyone could see all the numbers that change from one sprocket setup to another.
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post #17 of 77 (permalink) Old 11-28-2006, 11:48 AM
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Re: Chain Mania! (Replacement chain, sprocket suggestions

it would still apply. once you find that happy middle between performance and reliability in the engine, then next area of improvement is thrust. this is something all bikes share.

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post #18 of 77 (permalink) Old 11-28-2006, 11:49 AM
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Re: Chain Mania! (Replacement chain, sprocket suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick D
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChopperCharles
Well, mine is a 1990 EX500, street-fightered. I think I have the stock sprockets on it, but with all the lightening I've done (Bike weighs in at 370 with a half tank of gas, 384 with a full tank), the front will come right up on the 1st/2nd shift without trying at all.

I don't actually have a speedometer on it yet, but in 6th gear the engine barely feels like it's spinning at freeway speeds.

I was thinking at least three on the rear sprocket, and maybe one down on the front too. Front sprockets are cheap, and don't require different chain lengths, so I can experiment a bit. Don't really care about freeway so much, as this is by no means a touring bike. It's completely street-fightered out, and I want to make it a real hooligan machine.

Charles.
Well, bone stock on a '90 is 16/42. I'm running 15/42 and have absolutely no problem on the freeway (my max is usually around 70 and I've always got plenty of rev-room for a 90+ mph pass. I was debating going on up to a 15/44 but started to shy away because of the stupid things I'd do if I had the extra low-end. For a hooligan bike, though, I don't think 15/44 or 15/45 (-1 front, +3 rear) would hurt you much if at all.

I'm going to do my absolute best to get my (pirated and personalized) spreadsheet straightened up and online tonight. I'm sure it'd help with sprocket choices if everyone could see all the numbers that change from one sprocket setup to another.
I am a little bit of an Excel nerd, and would love to see that!

***2006 Kawasaki Ninja 500***<br /><br /><br /><br />"I&#039;d rather be riding my motorcycle thinking about God,<br />than sitting in church thinking about my motorcycle."<br />-Anonymous
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post #19 of 77 (permalink) Old 11-29-2006, 11:22 AM
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Re: Chain Mania! (Replacement chain, sprocket suggestions

Okay, I just bought a 14 tooth countershaft sprocket for $15. My rear sprocket is still good, so if I can avoid changing it I'll be happy. But, if it still feels like I need more accelleration, I'll toss on a 45 tooth rear for $40 from Sprocket Specialists.

Worked on the carbs and power is pretty much spot on. Will wheelie on the 1st/2nd shift without trying. Can't wait to try with the 14 tooth! Bike is going to be a monster.

Charles.

<br />V65 Magna - EX500 Street Fighter - TW200 Survival bike
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post #20 of 77 (permalink) Old 12-1-2006, 12:23 PM
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The One, The Only - My Crappy Little Gearing Sheet

I finally got the spreadsheet hammered out. I decided to add a quick calculator to figure rpm at a given mph or kph (yes, I tried to help out you metric system users) based on tire size, rim size, and gearing. Anything on the sheet that is "rose" colored (pink - I used it because it was already on the sheet that shows mph and such for every gear that I ripped off someone else and ran with using EX numbers) can be altered for your application.

If for some reason you need to edit locked cells (and are using MS Excel), go to Tools > Protection > Unprotect sheet to turn off cell locking. If you have any other questions, feel free to contact me.

To conform to the forum setup the file is an .xls file zipped into a .zip file.

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post #21 of 77 (permalink) Old 12-1-2006, 12:30 PM
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Re: Chain Mania! (Replacement chain, sprocket suggestions

Holy crap, did you create the entire speadsheet yourself? That's dedication.
post #22 of 77 (permalink) Old 12-1-2006, 2:05 PM
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Re: Chain Mania! (Replacement chain, sprocket suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Royson
Holy crap, did you create the entire speadsheet yourself? That's dedication.
I only worked up the 2nd page, the page with all the possible sprocket combos and the calculator. The other page was worked by someone else (their e-mail address is noted on that spread sheet). I just converted it from his Aprilia numbers to the EX numbers.

I suppose I'm dedicated considering all the time I did put into messing around with it, but with the amount of time it took me to finish it up and publish it just shows my poor motivation. I should've had it done way back before the other forum had any problems.
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post #23 of 77 (permalink) Old 12-1-2006, 3:17 PM
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Re: Chain Mania! (Replacement chain, sprocket suggestions

only a quick offtopic question here: do you know any place where i could get exel?!
I know how to use it and all.. i have only one problem. it isn't included in my windows and i dont have any office packages etc..

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post #24 of 77 (permalink) Old 12-1-2006, 4:51 PM
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Re: Chain Mania! (Replacement chain, sprocket suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Royson
Holy crap, did you create the entire speadsheet yourself? That's dedication.

Crap is a good word. the only ratios that have a rats ass chance of working a from 2.5 to 2.93 all the rest is a waste of bytes.

FOG

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post #25 of 77 (permalink) Old 12-1-2006, 8:13 PM
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Re: Chain Mania! (Replacement chain, sprocket suggestions

A good free compromise is OpenOffice. It's actually a great piece of software, but due to work-related needs, it always falls just a little bit short in a corporate environment. For light at home use, it's great
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