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Author Topic: Chain and sprockets for 650 versys  (Read 845 times)

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Offline klaviator

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Chain and sprockets for 650 versys
« on: September 22, 2016, 12:01:44 PM »
I need to replace the chain and sprockets on my Versys.  I know at least a couple of you have one and was wondering what you are running.

First.  Stock sprockets or maybe go with a 43 tooth rear sprocket?

What chain?  Midway cycles has some super heavy duty Tsubaki Sigma XRG O ring chain they bought in bulk.  I can get chain and JT sprockets for around $100.  Sounds like a good deal but it's a real heavy duty (and heavy) chain.  I'm leaning towards a more modern X ring chain.  Any preferences as to brand?  I'd like a fairly high quality chain.

If you put a smaller rear sprocket on, did you get a shorter chain?  I think stock is 114 links and I read somewere about using 112 links with a smaller rear sprocket. 

Last.  I have always used Master links with clips but I think I'll switch to rivet type this time.  I have never used this before so I guess I'll need to get a rivet tool.  Cycle gear has a chain breaker/rivet /maintenance kit for $39.99.  Anyone have one of these.  Is it of decent quality?

Offline Mulley

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Re: Chain and sprockets for 650 versys
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2016, 03:40:55 PM »
Brain A will chime in with what you need to know. He just went though this with his Versys.
2015 Versys 650 LT / 2016 Beta 300 RR / Suzuki DR-Z440S

Offline SpeedyR

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Re: Chain and sprockets for 650 versys
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2016, 03:43:48 PM »
I put a new DID gold X-ring on my 950 recently and have been very happy with it (lack of stretch after installation, smooth running, etc). I got it on amazon just because I could get it quickly and the price was right.

can't help with the sprocket sizes, but $100 for chain and sprockets locally is a great deal. I think the chain was $160 or so (retails in the $250 range).

I have used master link chains for years but I did get a rivet one this time. I have a Motion Pro heavy duty chain breaker/rivet tool and it's been good. Lots of copies out there, just make sure it will break and rivet the size chain you plan to buy (525 in my case). I've even used safety wire instead of master link clips on race bikes in the past (lighter power bikes like Hawks and SV's). Never had any issues with any of them.

always buy a spare master link just in case and keep it on the bike. cheap insurance. :)

Offline Brian A

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Re: Chain and sprockets for 650 versys
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2016, 03:46:09 PM »
Brain A will chime in with what you need to know. He just went though this with his Versys.

Will do. About to walk out the door right now. Will be back home in a few hours and can share some good info and experiences.

Stay tuned.

Offline klaviator

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Re: Chain and sprockets for 650 versys
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2016, 04:25:29 PM »
I put a new DID gold X-ring on my 950 recently and have been very happy with it (lack of stretch after installation, smooth running, etc). I got it on amazon just because I could get it quickly and the price was right.

can't help with the sprocket sizes, but $100 for chain and sprockets locally is a great deal. I think the chain was $160 or so (retails in the $250 range).

I have used master link chains for years but I did get a rivet one this time. I have a Motion Pro heavy duty chain breaker/rivet tool and it's been good. Lots of copies out there, just make sure it will break and rivet the size chain you plan to buy (525 in my case). I've even used safety wire instead of master link clips on race bikes in the past (lighter power bikes like Hawks and SV's). Never had any issues with any of them.

always buy a spare master link just in case and keep it on the bike. cheap insurance. :)

Bike Bandit has a DID X ring chain and sprocket kit for $116.95 that seems like a good deal.  I didn't see where they had other than stock sizes but I assume that they would offer that. 

I have always used master links with clips without any issues but everyone seems to recommend the rivets so I thought I'd give it a try.

The local deal is there because they bought some Tsubaki O ring in bulk and have a big spool of it that they can cut to length.  It seems to me that most current quality chains have switched to X ring.

Offline Brian A

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Re: Chain and sprockets for 650 versys
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2016, 07:10:01 PM »
I found myself loving the Versys but not happy at all with the stock gearing. Around town it was fine, but on the interstate, 75 - 80 mph, I thought the bike was geared way too short. Always felt like it needed another gear. And to compound matters, there seemed to be a "sweet spot" for buzziness right around 75 +/- mph.

I decided to change everything and that is what I did. I bought a new chain and new front and rear sprockets.
I went +1 on front and -1 on rear.
It suits me darned near perfectly. Approx a 500 rpm drop cruising down the highway. This might not sound like a lot, but it made a very noticeable difference.

My theory:  I do not think all the buzziness was just from the engine. I can ride at the same rpm as before the swap and do not have the same buzz in the bars and pegs. But in reality, I ride the same speed just at ~500 rpm lower without the buzz.
I think the buzz zone was due to a sweet spot where a natural harmonic of the engine matched up to a natural harmonic of the rotating wheels, frame, etc. and everything just came together to create a range of about 200 +/- rpm where everything was buzzy. With the new setup, I simply can't find that spot any more. I believe the reason is:  that spot no longer exists. The mirrors buzz at 75 mph (I think more due to not being a very secure, damped setup) but the bars are very smooth.

There is a slight drop in the pull off the line easily managed with a little throttle and 8 feet or so of extra clutch manipulation. And maybe a need to run a gear lower than before in 3 thru 5 when riding twisty roads and you want to be able to be in the good spot to just roll on the gas when exiting turns. To me, it makes the bike more fun to ride sporty. The byproduct is the fun of running a gear lower, winding the engine a little higher than before and having plenty of pull to be fun. It plays in very well to my preference for "riding a slow bike fast as opposed to riding a fast bike slow". I just enjoy being a gear lower and higher in the rpm range when things get sporty.

If you are a wheelie fan (I am not) it is still more than capable of flipping you off the back in first gear and can still pull the front wheel off the ground when hitting second, if that is what you want to do.

If all I ever did was ride around town, I'd go with stock gearing. But I ride very little around town. 90% interstate and two lane/rural highways. Given that, I am very happy with the current setup and have no intention of changing.

And an added benefit: the new gearing puts the indicated speed within .5 mph of actual. GPS verified.

I get 47 +/- mpg riding at ~ 75 mph.

Everything came from Amazon.

here are direct links.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006O85Q74/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001AVVZC0/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001AVU40E/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0068FTJJ4/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

And if you don't have one, buy one of these. Exact same as those costing 2 to 3 times the price.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00NSB25TC/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

« Last Edit: September 22, 2016, 07:12:36 PM by Brian A »

Offline Hammerdown77

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Re: Chain and sprockets for 650 versys
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2016, 08:23:55 AM »
I have a really nice RK chain tool that makes installing a rivet master link almost an idiot proof process, but I will say if you are putting a 525 chain on a 650, I think you'll be fine with a clip style master link. The reason I ended up with the tool and the rivet master link tool was that the chain I bought for my DL1000 V-Strom was only available with a rivet master link, as this is what the manufacturer strongly recommended for 1000cc bikes and up.

If you see yourself going to rivet master links for the rest of your chain bikes in the future, spend the money on a good RK or the big Motion Pro tool (they have some smaller, less expensive ones that are not as good). The cheap ones might do one chain, MIGHT, or they might shatter the first time you put some torque to it. They are very much the occasional use tools for this job. If you don't want to buy the expensive tool, I can loan you mine.

Also, to protect the rivet punch pin, grind the head off the rivets with a Dremel before you push them out. They'll come out with very little effort.

Still, if I were you, I'd probably use the clip style link and not worry about all the special tools.
2016 BMW R1200 GS
2007 Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom

Offline klaviator

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Re: Chain and sprockets for 650 versys
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2016, 01:20:55 PM »
Thanks for the info.  My Versys is pretty smooth since they added a couple of rubber engine mounts on the 2nd Gen Versys.  However, it does feel a bit busy up around 80.  On issue with changing the gearing is it will affect both the speedo and odometer.  My last rear tire was an oversize 160/70-17.  With that tire on it the speedo was right on but the Odo read about 2-3% low.  I think I would like to change the gearing to lower the revs a little but not too much. 

I'll have to think about the clip vs rivet as well.  I've never had issues with the clips.