How to: Chain and Sprockets Replacement : Yamaha R1 Forum
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Old 02-21-2003, 02:28 PM   #1
mshumake
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How to: Chain and Sprockets Replacement

Procedure to replace chain and both sprockets.
Hopefully this will help someone, ie. 520 conversion. It is going to be pretty long, so if you are just skipping through, skip this one. It is a step by step plan. If you are doing this procedure, you will really appreciate my humbling experience. This is for a '98, minor changes may be necessary for a newer model, but I doubt it.

REQUIRED TOOLS:
1. Dremel tool with grinding wheel - to grind off the rivets on the old chain and the extra links on the new chain.
2. Chain rivet tool - can be done without, but hopefully you will have a clip style master link. Otherwise, you need the tool.
3. Large flat-head screwdriver
4. 10mm & 12mm, open end wrenches
5. Ratchet with 3 inch extension.
6. 10mm, 12mm, 14mm, 32mm, and 36mm sockets (the smaller ones are available at Wal-mart as a set for $9.99, the larger ones are available at Discount Auto Parts)
7. 4mm, & 5mm hex end sockets (allen wrenches) (a set of the sockets is available for $9.99 at Wal-mart)
8. Vice grips
9. Racing stand for rear end

PROCEDURE
1. Using available screwdriver disconnect the lower fairing from the mid fairing on the left side. Three screws/fasteners. No need to remove it, just need to be able to pull it out a bit. Raise bike with a stand.

2. Disconnect the front end of the shifter bar. Using ratchet and 4mm hex end socket (allen wrench) remove the 4mm hex head bolt from the front of the connector bar. It is connected between the transmission and the shifter. You will need to pull back the rubber boot that is covering it. Pull the bar back toward the rear of the bike as far as it will go.

3. Remove the cover for the front sprocket. Using ratchet and 5mm hex end socket, unscrew 4 bolts (2 on top, 2on bottom) and gently pull the cover off. Remember to watch out for the hoses/cables that are routed through the front of the cover! Set the cover to the side. This is a good time to clean the grime out! I recommend using brake parts cleaner or carb cleaner.

4. Remove the chain protector. Using 10mm wrench and socket, remove the 3 bolts that hold the chain protector in place. The socket will work on the top two, but you will need the wrench to reach the bottom one because it is behind stuff.

5. Remove the old chain. Using dremel and grinder wheel, grind off the rivet ends of the pins on the outer side of a single link of the old chain. Once they are flush with the chain, use a flat-head screwdriver to pry it apart. Then just push the pins through toward the wheel and the chain will come apart. Remove the old chain. It will be easier if the bike is in neutral, you can just pull it out from the rear.

6. Remove the rear wheel. Using ratchet and 32mm socket, loosen the axle nut on the right hand side. I recommend removing the rear brake calipers now. It is not required, but it is only two 12mm bolts (2 seconds of your time, it will save you minutes or even maintenance later). Loosen the two bolts on the brake caliper and it will come loose. Move the brakes out of the way. This is also a good time to check your brake pads! Remove the axle nut and gently press the axle bolt through from the right side. Don't hammer it out! Remember that this bolt is threaded, hammering it through will damage the threads. The wheel will fall when the bolt is removed, so be prepared to catch it.

7. Remove and replace the rear sprocket. The left side of the wheel will be loose, this is a good time to see the cush drive concept. Lay the wheel down on the rotor side. Lift the sprocket side out of the wheel. You can see the rubber pieces and how they are mounted. Put the sprocket side back in the wheel. Using 14mm socket loosen nuts and disconnect the sprocket. Put the new sprocket in and tighten the nuts.

8. Replace the wheel. This might require a second set of hands. Grab the wife or significant other and have them push the axle bolt through as you hold the tire up. Now you are really glad if you took off the brakes. And you're probably going to take them off now if you didn't do it earlier. It is too difficult to align with it attached! Don't tighten the nut up yet, just thread it on.

9. Remove and replace the front sprocket. The front sprocket will have a lock washer on it. Using screwdriver, flatten the lock washer down so that the nut will be able to rotate. Using 36mm socket, loosen the nut. This will be much easier if the bike is in gear. Replace the old sprocket. Make sure that you put the lock washer back on. Tighten the nut for the front sprocket.

10. Put the new chain on. Place the bike in neutral. Thread the new chain through the front sprocket and around the rear sprocket. It is important that the rear wheel is all the way forward for this to work!!!! Using the 12mm wheel adjusting bolts, move the wheel completely forward. There is a 12mm bolt with a 12mm lock nut on both sides. Move the lock nut up against the bolt, NOT tight. Then screw the bolt all the way in, NOT tight. Press the wheel all the way forward and measure the proper length of the new chain. Find the link that you need to remove and mark it. Using the dremel use the same grinding technique you used on the old chain and remove the extra lengths of chain on the new chain. Make sure that you don't cut it too short. If you do, you will need an extra master link.

11. Now comes the fun part. If you have the proper tool, this is a ten minute job. If not, hopefully someone else has better luck. Put the pins on the master link through the two ends of the chain. Don't forget the o,x,xw.... rings! Put the other end of the master link on. Don't forget the o,x,xw.... rings! If you have the tool it just slides on top and then you tighten it with a wrench and it pops on. If not, we used vice grips and good ole elbow grease. Then you need to either slide the clip on or press out the rivet. Once again, the tool really comes in handy! If you don't have the tool, you can use the handy vice grips and a ball bearing (.13$ at ACE). Put the small ball bearing in the hole of the rivet, and press. This method is not preferred. I went to the local shop and had them press the rivet with the proper tool first thing!

12. Replace the chain protector and front sprocket cover.

13. Adjust the rear wheel to tighten the chain. Make sure to make even adjustments to either side. Five turns per side or something like that. Leave about 1.5 inches of slack in the bottom run of the chain. The chain will stretch slightly after the first ride, make sure to recheck and adjust it again.

Hopefully this will help you guys. I sure could have used something like this when I tried!

Mike
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Old 02-22-2003, 08:13 AM   #2
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UL pics to this thread!!
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Old 03-06-2003, 08:52 AM   #3
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Where did you get the chain rivet tool? And how much does it cost?
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Old 03-06-2003, 09:05 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by young
Where did you get the chain rivet tool? And how much does it cost?
I've seen them on Ebay several times. They generally go for about $80 + S&H. It is one of those tools where you won't need it very often, but when you do need it, it is worth it's weight in gold.

p.s.-Since it is not needed very often, get a few buddies & yourself to split the cost & everybody shares it.
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Old 03-06-2003, 09:08 AM   #5
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Great Review!!

However a chain breaker would be faster and better to use rather than a dremel.

And when you replace the chain, I would recommend using a zip tie or wire the new one to the old one and just pull it through. This is really fast and easy.

I also don't use rivet type master links.
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Old 03-07-2003, 02:16 AM   #6
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is the countershaft sprocket reverse threaded? never done an R1, but my bro's TLR sure was.. and that was a headache to figure out.
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Old 03-07-2003, 07:14 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by adamgeek
is the countershaft sprocket reverse threaded? never done an R1, but my bro's TLR sure was.. and that was a headache to figure out.
Yes it is, I believe most Motorcycles have a reverse thread countershaft sprocket. (At least all the ones I've worked on.)

Last edited by r1-superstar; 03-07-2003 at 09:24 AM.
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Old 03-07-2003, 09:07 AM   #8
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It has to be.. because of the way the sproket rotates... it'll vibrate it out if it wasn't.. this way it consistantly tightens
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Old 03-07-2003, 09:17 AM   #9
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older model bikes do not have a L.H. thread, but a fold over tab washer. Not to mention locktite and 80-100 ft/lbs torque.
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Old 03-07-2003, 09:24 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by pitbike
older model bikes do not have a L.H. thread, but a fold over tab washer. Not to mention locktite and 80-100 ft/lbs torque.
Correct, and some dirt bikes don't either. I don't understand why they wouldn't make all motorcycles reverse thread?
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Old 03-07-2003, 02:15 PM   #11
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Answers to questions

First for tidbit, I am an idiot and did not take any pictures! Sorry.

Second for young, I just used a pair of vice grips and a small ball bearing from Ace Hardware to spread the rivet out enough to get it to a local shop and had them use their rivet tool to finish the job. They did it for free.

Without a doubt, a chain breaker would have made the job much easier. I just used the available tools on hand.

The idea for using a tie wrap is a great idea... if you are only replacing the rear sprocket. It won't work if you are replacing both sprockets however. I too, would use that technique.

I have a '98 model. The countershaft sprocket was indeed NOT reverse threaded. I had the lockwasher thing. Pain in the ass.

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Old 03-22-2003, 05:34 PM   #12
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For anyone who has done this: How many links did you have to get rid of on the aftermarket chain before putting it on? I'll be doing mine in the next few days, I'll post pics when done.
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Old 03-22-2003, 07:58 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by young
For anyone who has done this: How many links did you have to get rid of on the aftermarket chain before putting it on? I'll be doing mine in the next few days, I'll post pics when done.
It depends on how many links the chain you are ordering has and what sprocket size you are upgrading to... The stock chain for the stock 16t front 43t rear sprocket is 114 links. I upgraded my chain and upgraded my rear sprocket to a 45t. I kept the same amount of links (114) in my new chain.
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Old 03-23-2003, 05:51 PM   #14
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Any tips for getting the front sprocket off? The bike is in gear but it will still rotate when I try to take the nut off.
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Old 03-23-2003, 06:03 PM   #15
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You will find that most countershaft sprocket nuts are NOT reverse thread.
You should loosen and tighten the front sprocket while the chain is on.
Dont use an impact wrench on the countershaft sprocket while in gear cause its not good for the tranny.
To bend the lockwasher back use a large pair of channellocks.
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Last edited by Viper333; 03-23-2003 at 06:06 PM.
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Old 03-23-2003, 06:16 PM   #16
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Problem is the chain is already off as the directions above describe.
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Old 03-23-2003, 06:25 PM   #17
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Re: Chain R&R

If the chain is gone try putting on the new chain and holding the rear brake.
Its better to put impact gun loads through the chain than the tranny.
Careful you dont cut the chain too short.
You can also try to put the bike in sixth gear to put more load on the output shaft, but see if you can loosen it with a breakerbar instead of impacting. Careful it usually quite tight.
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Last edited by Viper333; 03-23-2003 at 06:27 PM.
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Old 03-23-2003, 06:26 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by young
Any tips for getting the front sprocket off? The bike is in gear but it will still rotate when I try to take the nut off.
Is there a place to lodge a screwdriver in between the teeth and then motor/frame? That is what I did on a ducati paso. Not sure on R1 yet....
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Old 03-23-2003, 06:34 PM   #19
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Originally posted by mach5er
Is there a place to lodge a screwdriver in between the teeth and then motor/frame? That is what I did on a ducati paso. Not sure on R1 yet....
I think this is my next attempt. Will let you know what happens.
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Old 03-24-2003, 10:49 AM   #20
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OK any more ideas?
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