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Sep 25th 2018, 06:29 PM   #1
 Sentinel's Avatar
  Jun 2016
  Poor Tortured

  2013 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 Harlequin
front sprocket size vs chain life

some guys gear down with a 15t front sprocket. i prefer to add to the rear. i don't know about that tight of a bend radius on the small front and what it does to chain life. it obviously bends each link in a longer arc, so there's some percentage of increased flex AND it happens in the same amount of time so it flexes farther, faster.

question is though, is the life reductioon noticable or trivial?

got no datas. need datas.

anyone know?

15t front OK on like a ZX10?
Sep 25th 2018, 07:25 PM   #2
 Pavement Tested's Avatar
  Jan 2016

  '08 GSX1300R, '06 GSX-R 750, '17 KTM 690 Duke
one down is not an issue. Many manufacturers make "quick acceleration kits" that drop 1 tooth in the front and go up 2-3 in the rear.

There is such a thing as too small tho. I once came across a guy who had had his gearing changed by a shop and they installed a 12 tooth front sprocket (15 toothwas stock) and he could barely do highway speeds in top gear without running close to redline on the engine. We put a 15 back on it and went up a few teeth in the rear to solve the issue.
Sep 25th 2018, 08:27 PM   #3
 mgfchapin's Avatar
  Jan 2016
  Kirkland, WA

  Daytona 675R
15T is fine and in fact, it may even improve chain life depending on your rear sprocket size too. Enter your bike in here and scroll to the bottom for "relative sprocket & chain wear"
Sep 26th 2018, 07:59 AM   #4
  Jan 2016
  Woodland, WA

From my dirt bike riding days I remember going to a smaller front sprocket meant faster wear of the sprocket, not the chain.
Sep 26th 2018, 09:30 AM   #5
 WarpShatner7's Avatar
  Jan 2016

Think he's asking about whether the tighter curvature of a smaller front sprocket, which logically means that each link must rotate appreciably more every time around the circuit, has an effect on chain life. I know nothing about it but at a guess if the limiting factors on chain life are abrasion and stretching, then any life expectancy reduction due to the degree of link pivot shouldn't be reached before you'd have to replace the chain for other reasons.

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chain, front, life, size, sprocket

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