How to Change Suzuki GSX-R1000 Chain and Sprockets 

When it's time to replace the chain or one of the sprockets on your GSX-R1000, you're going to have to replace the lot. 

A new chain on old sprockets won't last very long, just like a new sprocket mated to an old chain will wear out quickly. If you want your replacement chain and sprockets to last and not have to go to the trouble and expense of replacing them again, you should change both in tandem. 

Watch the Suzuki GSX-R1000 chain and sprocket replacement video above and print this walkthrough out for reference to get the job done.

Tools and Parts Needed - Suzuki GSX-R Chain and Sprockets Replacement

Tools

Parts

 

NOTE: The only part you'll need is a drive chain kit. You can purchase the chain and drive sprockets separately, but the OEM drive chain kit from Suzuki contains the two sprockets and the chain, and is more affordable as a bundle. There are also two specialty tools you'll need for this job: a jumbo chain tool to break apart the old chain and assemble the new one; and a digital caliper to make a couple of very precise measurements.

How to Replace Suzuki GSX-R1000 Chain and Sprockets 

Step 1. Remove the old chain by either using the chain tool to drive the pins out of a chain link to get the link out, or by grinding off the pin heads from a chain link and knocking that link out.

Suzuki GSX-R chain and sprockets replacement

Step 2. Remove the 36mm axle nut from the rear wheel and pull the axle out, then move the rear brake caliper assembly out of the way.

Suzuki  motorcycle chain and sprockets replacement

Step 3. Remove the shifter pedal linkage. Be sure to mark the linkage and its mounting spline so you can reinstall the linkage in the exact same position later.

Suzuki GSXR1000 chain and sprockets change

Step 4. Unbolt the engine sprocket cover and move it up and out of the way. 

NOTE: You don't need to completely remove the sprocket cover.

Suzuki GSX-R sprocket cover removal

Step 5. Remove the speed sensor rotor and the engine sprocket nut beneath it.

Suzuki GSX-R 1000 speed sensor rotor

Suzuki GSX-R1000 engine sprocket nut

Step 6. Remove the old engine sprocket, then install the new engine sprocket and the sprocket nut.

Suzuki GSX-R motorcycle sprocket change

Step 7. Remove the five rear sprocket bolts and the old sprocket from the rear wheel.

Step 8. Install the new rear sprocket with its beveled edge facing outwards. Reinstall the sprocket bolts and torque them to 44 foot-pounds.

Suzuki GSX-R rear sprocket replacement

Step 9. Remount the rear wheel onto the swingarm and reinstall the axle, making sure the flat side of the axle is flush with the flat side of the chain adjuster. Make sure the chain adjusters are both backed off, and that the wheel is mounted as fully forward as it can be. Reinstall the brake caliper assembly over the brake rotor.

Suzuki GSX-R 1000 axle alignment

Step 10. Run the new chain over the engine sprocket and rear sprocket, and install the master chain link with two of the O-rings on the inside and the other two O-rings on the outside.

Suzuki motorcycle master chain

Step 11. Install the master chain link's outer plate. It's important that the outer plate isn't installed too tightly or it will compress the O-rings and kink the chain. When the outer plate is installed correctly, the distance between the two outer plates should be between 21.1 millimeters and 21.3 millimeters. Using the chain tool, slowly tighten and press the new outer plate onto the chain, frequently stopping to measure with a digital caliper.

Suzuki GSX-R chain adjustment

 PRO TIP: Be patient and tighten the chain outer plate very slowly because if you overtighten it, you can't back it out again.

Suzuki motorcycle chain adjustment

Step 12. Flare out the pins on the new master chain link. To do this, use the chain tool and flare each pin so it's between 5.5 millimeters and 5.8 millimeters. Once again, work slowly and stop frequently to measure with the digital caliper.

Suzuki GSX-R1000 chain pins adjustment

Suzuki motorcycle chain pins

Step 13. Hold the foot brake and torque the engine sprocket nut to 72.5 foot-pounds. Put a drop of threadlocker on the speed sensor rotor and torque it to 18 foot-pounds.

Suzuki GSX-R motorcycle sprocket and chain replacement

Step 14. Reinstall the engine sprocket cover and the shifter pedal linkage, making sure to align the markings you made when removing it.

Step 15. Adjust the chain so it has 1 inch of play in it as measured from its mid-point below the rear swingarm. Adjust the left side chain adjuster until the chain is at the correct tension. Note where the adjuster is on the adjustment scale stamped into the swingarm, and adjust the right side chain adjuster so that it is in the same position.

Suzuki motorcycle chain adjustment

Suzuki GSX-R 1000 chain adjuster nut

Step 16. Torque the axle nut to 72.5 foot-pounds. Double check that the chain still has an inch of play (readjust it if the tension has changed) and tighten down the chain adjuster lock nuts.

Step 17. Give the new chain a good coating of chain lube and you're done!

Suzuki motorcycle chain lube

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