So, what was the previous owner thinking?
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  1. #1
    Senior Member old white truck's Avatar
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    I was removing my chain to clean it. Something didn’t seem right in the area of the countershaft sprocket. I put my finger on the sprocket and I could wiggle it. I thought: “this can’t be good”.



    I did my best to squint up through the various bike bits to look at the sprocket. The bolts between the sprocket and the sprocket holder plate were gone. Not only that – the holes between the pieces didn’t even line up. Now I was thinking: “Holy crap – did the bolts come out and allow things to twist around and mess up the lands/grooves in the end of the drive axle?”



    Well, after removing the case cover I found that the previous owner had replaced the stock front sprocket with a 13 tooth PBI PRO sprocket. However, the sprocket holder plate was obviously not compatible with the sprocket because there was no way the two holes would line up while still mating up with the lands/grooves in the shaft. Also the holder was too long and its ends were being deformed by the chain links.



    The previous owner evidently hoped to hold things in place with a giant circlip instead of the bolts. However, there was too much slop in this mechanism and that is why the sprocket was wiggling.



    After removing the sprocket I found out that the lands and grooves in the end of the shaft were just fine (whew). However, the sprocket teeth were really worn on the back side and not worn at all on the front side.



    I had already ordered a new o-ring chain and sprockets so this is was not a big problem. I was just wondering how he ever could have made this sprocket work? Is this a typical problem when changing gearing via the front sprocket?





    The first photo below shows the sprocket as I found it, and the next is after I cleaned it up and put it back on for a second photo. The last picture shows how worn the back side is. Compare that to the front side where all the machining ridges are still completely in place with no wear at all.












  2. #2
    Senior Member TW-Brian's Avatar
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    Great pictures! They make it easy to understand the problem that you discovered.



    Are you sticking with a 13 tooth sprocket? You'll have to let us know how you are able to resolve this.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Toyanvil's Avatar
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    Thats the lazy way to do, of course finding that big of a clip can't be easy.
    09 TW200

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  5. #4
    Senior Member tinman tim's Avatar
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    I guess it could have been worse. He could have 'coated' the whole thing in a heavy bead of silicone. Ya know. For noise.
    SeatConcepts,carb mod,Shinko tires,15/50 o-ring chain,custom racks f/r, aluminum luggage,windshield,handguards,heated grips,Clarke tank,high frt fender,led running lights,folding shifter, wide pegs,12v outlets,headlight kill switch,voltmeter,stainless header,2nd brakelight,GPS/phone mount

  6. #5
    Senior Member Gerry's Avatar
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    My friend, that is the only way you are able to attach a sprocket smaller than 14 tooth. When you go that small, the overall sprocket diameter (see picture 1. Does hole in plate look to be lined-up with sprocket) is so reduced that there is not enough room for the chain AND the bolts. Should you use the bolts, because of the reduced diameter, the chain will ride up on the bolts and not fully nest on the sprocket. The previous owner did nothing wrong. Going to a small diameter sprocket mandates this type of clip connection. I know as I purchased a 12 tooth and chose not to use it. ............ Gerry
    Take care my Friend.........

  7. #6
    Senior Member Rainman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrgizmow View Post
    My friend, that is the only way you are able to attach a sprocket smaller than 14 tooth. When you go that small, the overall sprocket diameter (see picture 1. Does hole in plate look to be lined-up with sprocket) is so reduced that there is not enough room for the chain AND the bolts. Should you use the bolts, because of the reduced diameter, the chain will ride up on the bolts and not fully nest on the sprocket. The previous owner did nothing wrong. Going to a small diameter sprocket mandates this type of clip connection. I know as I purchased a 12 tooth and chose not to use it. ............ Gerry




    Right on Gerry.



    When I bought my used bike, the previous owner had done the same thing, but he just had a circlip holding on the sprocket. Worked just fine. I eventually replaced the sprocket and I sprung for a new holder as well.
    If you can't find it, grind it

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  8. #7
    Senior Member old white truck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrgizmow View Post
    My friend, that is the only way you are able to attach a sprocket smaller than 14 tooth. When you go that small, the overall sprocket diameter (see picture 1. Does hole in plate look to be lined-up with sprocket) is so reduced that there is not enough room for the chain AND the bolts. Should you use the bolts, because of the reduced diameter, the chain will ride up on the bolts and not fully nest on the sprocket. The previous owner did nothing wrong. Going to a small diameter sprocket mandates this type of clip connection. I know as I purchased a 12 tooth and chose not to use it. ............ Gerry


    Ahhh. I was wondering if there were any other alternatives. However, I am guessing there is a better way to add the circlip? The sprocket was very wobbly due to all the slop in the connection and there was significant wear on one side of the sprocket and zero wear on the other side. This seems like a recipe for premature chain failure. Does everyone with a 13 tooth or smaller have a wobbly sprocket and uneven wear?



    Maybe a thicker washer/holder or a thicker circlip would prevent this?



    Thanks for the insight Gerry!







    Quote Originally Posted by TW-Brian View Post
    Are you sticking with a 13 tooth sprocket? You'll have to let us know how you are able to resolve this.
    Hi Brian,



    No, I am installing a new 14 tooth. However, I was curious to see what people thought of this situation in case I ever had the inclination to go to a smaller sprocket in the future.

  9. #8
    Senior Member tw200sgp's Avatar
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    I don't think the wear is that excessive. Nothing wrong with that setup - there's not particular reason for a front sprocket to be dead tight on the front shaft - a bit of lateral movement allows it to compensate for chain movements. The material in the front shaft should be much harder than the sprocket spline which will wear and be replaced in due course anyways.

  10. #9
    Senior Member Rainman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tw200sgp View Post
    I don't think the wear is that excessive. Nothing wrong with that setup - there's not particular reason for a front sprocket to be dead tight on the front shaft - a bit of lateral movement allows it to compensate for chain movements. The material in the front shaft should be much harder than the sprocket spline which will wear and be replaced in due course anyways.




    I agree. Even with the stock setup of a sprocket and sprocket holder, there is some play. I assume the play is needed so the chain doesn't bind on the sprockets due to minimal misalignments.
    If you can't find it, grind it

    1990 TW200

  11. #10
    Senior Member RockyTFS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old White Truck View Post
    The previous owner evidently hoped to hold things in place with a giant circlip instead of the bolts. However, there was too much slop in this mechanism and that is why the sprocket was wiggling.


    I have a 13 from a different manufacturer; it does not have the the ears on the plate nor the threaded holes. However, it does wiggle quite a bit and I was assured by the dealer tech (whom I know and trust) that this is normal. It needs to float a bit. To me, your wear pattern doesn't seem abnormal at all and the sprocket looks good for many more miles. My original OEM sprocket did use small bolts to hold the plate on, but the plate was smaller so no interference. It still had some wiggle to it.



    I would just grind off the ears unless you are changing ratios.
    Rocky
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