Why Replace Your Motorcycle’s Sprockets
Replacing worn sprockets on a motorcycle is a maintenance job essential to the performance of your bike, but changing out the sprockets can also be done solely for cosmetic purposes.
We’ll get to the cosmetic part of changing out factory sprockets with custom-made alternatives, but first, here’s why you need to replace motorcycle sprockets for maintenance purposes.
Motorcycle Sprocket and Chain Maintenance
Sprockets, along with the drive chain, are some of the components on a motorcycle that wear out the fastest. A worn sprocket causes the drive chain to wear with it, and increases the chances of the chain jumping off the sprocket.
The teeth of a sprocket are constantly eroded by the movement of the chain over them and can easily be damaged by debris. It’s not uncommon for a sprocket tooth to shear off, particularly on dirt bikes whose drivetrains constantly deal with grit and stones.
Because the front (drive) sprocket, the rear (driven) sprocket and the chain tend to wear at an equal rate, you should always replace all three parts at the same time. Refitting an old chain onto a new sprocket set quickly wears out those nice new sprockets. Likewise, a new chain fitted over worn sprockets causes instant chain wear and greatly reduces its lifespan.
Aside from the wear they cause to the chain, other reasons for replacing your motorcycle’s sprockets include the following:
- Installing different size sprockets alters the bike’s sprocket ratio and improves its performance characteristics in certain areas. For example, a higher sprocket ratio improves acceleration and bottom-end power, while a lower sprocket ratio improves top-end speed.
- Fitting aluminum sprockets saves weight and lightens the bike, while fitting steel sprockets increases the drivetrain’s strength and durability.
As for the cosmetic part of changing out sprockets, installing colored sprockets enhances the bike’s aesthetics to make it stand out from the crowd. You’re going to have to replace them eventually, so why not freshen things up a bit and customize your bike’s color scheme with colored sprockets?
Ready to see a motorcycle sprockets and chain replacement job in action? Watch the video above to see how to change Suzuki GSXR-1000 chain and sprockets.