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Discussion Starter #1
I just upgraded to a 16t sprocket on my '08, and after letting it sit for a few days, took it out for a test ride last night. I heard a rhythmic rubbing noise coming from the chain that correlated with my speed.

Upon closer inspection (Pushing the bike along) it looks like my chain tension varies as the wheel turns. At times I've got about 2" slack, and other times there is no slack at all. Additionally, as it tightens up, I can see/hear a link 'click' on one or two of the rear sprocket teeth.

The real wheel looks to be in alignment, and the chain tensioner markers are equal on either side. Another note, does anyone know how many lbs. to torque the rear axle to, after I adjust it again?
 

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69#'s on the axle nut torque.

Check your 16T sprocket install. Did you get it reversed?
 

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I didn't have any instructions with the new sprocket -- how can I tell if it's reversed? Also, Do I need that rubber dampener behind the sprocket? Reading through a couple of threads, it seems like it might not be necessary.
 

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Where did you get or who is the manufacturer of the sprocket? Some sprockets come with a spacer washer, some don't. The rubber bit only comes on the factory sprocket and is attached to it.


What is the condition of your chain??
 

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The sprocket is a Sunstar 520, picked it up from Motorcycle superstore. I put the rubber dampener back on with this sprocket, could it be putting the sprocket out of alignment?
 

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Don't trust the adjustment marks on the swingarm. Get a precise measurement from the centerline of the swingarm pivot bolt back to the axle. I check that on occasion but I usually just get down on my prayer bones, close one eye and look down the chain. You would be amazed how just the slightest deviation looks like a dogs leg.....
 

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The sprocket is a Sunstar 520, picked it up from Motorcycle superstore. I put the rubber dampener back on with this sprocket, could it be putting the sprocket out of alignment?
Ya best remove that. Just install the sprocket as it came. Does the Sunstar come with a washer? If I recall it has the shoulder machined on it and no washer.
 

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Ya best remove that. Just install the sprocket as it came. Does the Sunstar come with a washer? If I recall it has the shoulder machined on it and no washer.
Correct, no washer - I believe there is a shoulder machined on either side. I'll take out the rubber, realign the wheel and see what happens.
 

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Did you happen to use a different ML with the stock chain?
 

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it looks like my chain tension varies as the wheel turns. At times I've got about 2" slack, and other times there is no slack at all
Is it the same part of the chain that is slack each revolution?

My old chain had a loose side and a tight side. The loose side was about 61 mm of play, and the tight side was about 55 mm. It certainly wasn't 0" to 2"! Could a chain possibly be that hosed? How old is it?

I'm struggling to imagine how such a huge change could even occur. Does the chain "ride up" on the front sprocket abnormally? Mismatched chain and sprockets, perhaps?

And, forgive me, the wheel's off the ground and it's in neutral when you check the play? I know, I know, but it's just about the only other thing I can think of.

The "click" is weird, too.
 

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Don't trust the adjustment marks on the swingarm. Get a precise measurement from the centerline of the swingarm pivot bolt back to the axle. I check that on occasion but I usually just get down on my prayer bones, close one eye and look down the chain. You would be amazed how just the slightest deviation looks like a dogs leg.....
"Trust but verify." :) My marks turn out to be pretty good, actually, but I still line it up by eye from behind.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Not sure if it is the same part of the chain that's slack each time -- I didn't get a chance to look at it last night. As far as I know the chain is stock with ~15k on it. It was fine before I made the sprocket change, so I'm guessing it's something I screwed up when reassembling everything. I plan on taking another look at it tonight
 

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With the rear wheel off the ground, rotating the wheel, the chain should maintain the same amount of slack. If your seeing it tighten up then go loose, your in need of a new chain.
 

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I'm struggling to imagine how such a huge change could even occur. Does the chain "ride up" on the front sprocket abnormally? Mismatched chain and sprockets, perhaps?



The "click" is weird, too.
I placed a new 16/42T sprocket and new chain on mine, everything was fine but when i changed the rear sprocket back to the stock 43T. I started experiencing the same issue. Slack on one side and slack on other. It also seems the master link rides up the 16T front sprocket before falling into place. It looks like the master link is very stiff in my case.

Have not solved the problem yet but will advise when I figure it out.



Sent from Motorcycle.com Free App
 

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I had the same symptoms with my old stock chain at about 18,000 kms. I had an odd 'schwoosh-ing' sound that varied with speed. It was tough to diagnose as it increased under load and when the bike was on the stand it was much quieter.
Turns out that my chain was siezed. A couple of consecutive links were shot and thus would not bend. When they turned thru the tight radius of the front sprocket they would rub on something in there. I could actually see the links not bending as it traveller around the front sproket. It got worse with a load on as the slack on the chain would be reduced, thus putting more pressure on the siezed links as they moved thru the front sprocket.

I replaced my sprockets and chain and everything was resolved. Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I removed the original rubber dampener from behind the front sprocket and replaced the chain -- this took care of the problem. I laid out the original chain and found a few bent/kinked links.

Thanks everyone!
 
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