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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
Moderator note: Links to images were removed when this site was upgraded leaving only blank spaces between the descriptive text. To overcome this issue the original content, including photos, is now contained in a pdf file attached to the post linked here:


I’ve seen a number of posts about chain replacement but I was surprised that we didn’t have an easy-to-find reference here in the Maintenance Tips and Tricks forum. This thread doesn’t offer anything new but I’ve included photos that I hope will help anyone considering tackling this job for the first time.

After 22,000+ miles (35,000+ km) my 2006 Sprint ST still had the original chain and sprockets. The chain was in reasonable condition and within the wear limit specified in the manual (See Note 1). Based on experience I’d say it was probably good for another 5000 miles but it didn’t roll off the sprockets as smoothly as I would like. Rather than try to squeeze a few more miles out of it I decided to change it as part of my winter maintenance program. The sprockets showed no visible signs of wear but I followed accepted good practice and replaced them as part of the job.

Compared to every other motorcycle I’ve owned, changing sprockets on the Sprint is easier. With the single-sided swingarm the rear sprocket can be changed without removing the rear wheel and no messing around afterwards to get wheel alignment spot-on.

Method Statement
Chain and sprocket replacement is a simple procedure. Sprocket holding nuts should be loosened before removing the chain. The chain must be cut using a special tool. With the old chain and sprockets removed there’s an ideal opportunity for a thorough clean up before new sprockets are be fitted. The new chain is pulled into place then the connecting link is fitted and riveted using the special tool. Sprocket nuts are tightened to specified torque. Final chain adjustment completes the task.

Tools Required
In addition to the regular selection of sockets and wrenches, the following were required:
Torque Wrenches (range from 9Nm to 132Nm).
36mm Socket for Drive Sprocket Nut.
Chain Cutting and Riveting Tool (See Note 2)

Replacement Parts
(See Note 3)
Chain with Connecting Link
Sprockets
Tab Washer

Consumables
Kerosene or Engine Cleaner/Degreaser
Chain Lube

1 - Removal
  1. Before starting work I prepped the new chain. I assume that DID apply a suitable lubricant but I wasn’t sure what they use so I cleaned it down with Kerosene (Paraffin) and gave it a good dose of chain lube. I left it hanging for the lube to soak in/set while I started work on the bike.
  2. I began by slackening the eccentric hub pinch bolt then loosened the chain off using the C-spanner from the bike toolkit.
  3. Next I removed the front sprocket cover. I cleaned away the buildup of excess chain lube to give a clean work area. Then I bent back the lock washer tab so the drive sprocket holding nut could be undone.
  4. In my case, undoing the drive sprocket holding nut was a one-man operation. With the bike on its center stand I was able to stomp on the rear brake and lean across the bike to undo the nut. For more difficult situations assistance may be needed. Put the bike on the ground, in gear. Have someone sit on the bike and hold down the rear brake while you undo the sprocket holding nut.
  5. It may be helpful to loosen the rear sprocket nuts at this time too. I had no problems loosening them after the chain was removed.
  6. The chain is cut by pressing out a link pin. With certain chain cutters it may be necessary to press out two pins to remove the link plate and slide the link out. It is recommended that the rivet head be ground off before pressing out the pin. The link to be ground was positioned on the sprocket to stop it moving around while I was grinding.
  7. Use of the chain cutting tool will vary depending on the tool used. Use of the DID tool is described in the Triumph maintenance manual and instructions that came with the tool. The tool has indents to locate it in the correct position on the chain. With the cutting pin positioned over the link pin I held the tool body with a 27mm wrench while I tightened the pin holder with a 19mm wrench until the pin was pressed out.

  8. With the pin pressed out the old chain could be removed. Then I undid the holding nut that had been loosened earlier and removed the drive sprocket. There are 6 bolts holding the rear sprocket to the cush drive. I removed those bolts and the rear sprocket.
  9. This point in the procedure is an ideal opportunity for a thorough clean up before new sprockets are fitted. I only had moderate build up of old lube and dirt but that lube is designed to stick so it took some time to clean the inside of the sprocket cover, around the output shaft, swingarm pivot and chain rubbing strip. I inspected the chain rubbing strip to make sure there was no excessive wear.
Contd…….
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Chain and Sprocket Replacement - Part 2

…….Contd

2 – Replacement
  1. Installation of the new sprockets is straightforward. I tightened the holding nuts enough to hold them in place but they would require further tightening to the correct torque before completion.
  2. Threading the chain over the swingarm and around the new sprockets was easy. I brought the loose ends of the chain together on the sprocket so the chain would remain in place while I inserted the connecting link.
  3. The connecting link comes with a small packet of lube. I applied that generously around the link and x-rings. There are 4 loose x-rings that must be placed on the pins of connecting link.
  4. The new link plate was put in place by hand then the chain riveting tool is used to press the new connecting link fully into place. The link plate holder is removed from the tool then the tool is repositioned on the link to rivet the connecting link in place by splaying the ends of the link pin. This is done in the same way a pin removal but the tool pin is reversed to use the wide end that is shaped for riveting.
  5. The pin should be checked to ensure that riveting has splayed the pin correctly. The photo below shows pins before (left) and after riveting. The riveting tool is moved along one link and the operation is repeated for the second pin.
  6. I adjusted the chain to 35mm slack. The Owner’s Handbook and Factory Maintenance Manual specify 35 - 40mm with the bike on the sidestand. See this post for updated information giving a new range of 27 - 37mm. When the chain slack was correct I tightened the eccentric hub pinch bolt to 55Nm.
  7. I tightened the six bolts holding the sprocket to the cush drive to 33Nm. The drive sprocket holding nut was tightened to 132Nm using the back brake method to stop it turning. The locking washer was bent over onto the nut.
  8. After a final check to verify that the chain slack was correct and everything rotated freely and smoothly I replaced the sprocket cover and tightened the bolts to 9Nm. Job done.
The whole operation took about 4 hours. At least an hour of that time was spent cleaning inside the sprocket cover, around the swingarm and chain rubbing strip. Taking photos slowed things down too – hopefully my photos will save another forum member the time that I lost.

Contd…….
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Chain and Sprocket Replacement - Part 3

…….Contd

Notes:
  1. Chain Pitch - A 530 chain has a standard pitch of 15.875mm (5/8”). That would equate to 317.5mm for 20 links. The Sprint ST manual specifies a wear limit of 321mm measured across 20 links under load. My chain, with 22,000 miles service, measured at 320mm – a little way short of the limit.
  2. Tools - I used a DID KM501E Chain Cutting and Riveting Tool. OnD has previously posted a link to Mike XS website where you can buy an identical-looking tool (Part #35-0006) for $50. That’s half the price of the DID item. Motion-Pro has a number of tools available that will work on a range of chain types and sizes. However, I was discouraged by several buyer reports of breakage.
    The DID KM501E tool has indents in the U-shaped holder piece to locate the chain so that it is correctly aligned to press out the old pin or rivet the new one. The narrow end of the pin is used for cutting, the wide end for riveting. The link plate holder is used to press the new link plate into position before riveting.
  3. Chain and Sprockets - I wanted to stick with the standard 19/42 gearing. I bought a Triumph Chain and Sprocket Kit (Part # A961802). There are cheaper options available from aftermarket sources but I was OK with the dealer’s price of US$210 for the Triumph kit. The kit includes 19T drive sprocket, 42T rear sprocket, DID 50(530)VM X-Ring Chain with connecting link and a new tab washer to lock the drive sprocket holding nut.
 
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Great thread-well done!! I am going to replace my driveline very soon(20,000 miles) and this deal is as timely as you can get! Thanks .
 

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good job. a few days ago i changed the chain kiat, to. i didn't have the rivet tool so , i had to go to an service. i payed 8 euros for the chain change . the sprockets change it my self. the kit was 135 euros DID VX 50 with JT sprockets.
 

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Very Nice Guide - Thank You

Very nice guide, Champ.

Thanks very much for taking the time to post!

I just bought another Sprint and a new chain with it. Thanks to you, I'll know how to install it.

Great job. :beerchug

Terry
 

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Top notch tech post, exactly what I was looking for. 25K on the original chain & sprockets. I'm also using the stock setup for the replacement. Thanks for passing this along.

BTW, who did you get you chain replacement kit from? My dealer quoted $255 for just the chain and both sprockets, the tab washer not included, and that's before shipping it to me (they're 125 miles away). They told me the # A961802 chain and sprocket kit wasn't available
 

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Discussion Starter #9
TXRider,

Looks like there should be one more number in the part number I listed. It should read Triumph Part # A9618028.

I bought my chain & sprocket kit across the counter at local dealer Donelson Cycles. No shipping to pay but they have to add local sales tax.

For OEM products Hermy's Triumph eStore have Triumph Chain & Sprocket Kit Part # A9618028 for $200. Check the shipping on that one to see how the total cost compares with Pure Triumph who list the same Triumph Chain & Sprocket Kit Part # A9618028 for $219.

If you're OK with aftermarket then Sportbike Solutions have a chain & sprocket kit for $173.66.

If the tab washer is good condition you may be able to re-use it as long as you don't attack it with gorilla fists and a chisel to get it off. I prefer to use a new one - replacing that washer every year is not going to break the bank.
 

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so can you give me a run down on checking the specs on the chain? The service manual hangs weights off the chain but I never quite understood what was being measured?
 

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Chain stretch is an indicator/method to measure chain stretch.

The Triumph Manual test (industry standard) measures the chain stretch over a 20 link portion for comparison to a service limit.

Pretty straight forward instructions in the manual. Is there a specific question you have regarding the instructions, or a step in the instructions you do not understand?
 

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I haven't read real close, but I assumed I just measured the length of the 20 links and if it fell within the tolerences it was good to go.
 

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Yes, that is basically it. The measurement is pin center to pin center for 20 links. The book says to repeat the measurement at several locations to determine the average.

Speaking just for myself, I do not agree with determining the average. If I find a section that exceeds the service limit, I stop and consider that the chain needs to be replaced.
 

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I agree, if a section is bad, its bad. I will look up and see how much weight is recommended, in the service manual, and give it a test. Im about 10 miles shy of 23k on my sprint.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
oldschoolsdime,

The Owner's Handbook for the 955 Sprint ST says a weight of 10-20kg (22-44 lbs) should be used. I don't think it matters much as long as you use sufficent weight to take up any slack and pull the chain taught. Hell, you could put your foot on the lower chain run and measure the top run and get an accurate number. Just don't do it with the engine running. :D

Personally, I don't use chain stretch to judge when to replace my chain. I tend to replace chains before their wear limit just for the sheer joy of new found smoothness when you put a new chain and sprockets on your bike. Each time I lube the chain I check how it runs. The links should seat firmly on the sprocket teeth, roll smoothly off the sprockets and straighten naturally even under the small force applied to rotate the wheel by hand. If links remain kinked when they run along a straight section or if the chain waves around then it's history as far as I'm concerned.
 

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I'm about to undertake this task for the very first time on a single-sided-swingarm bike so thanks very much for the instructions.
Is there any tips, trick or pitfalls when it comes to chain adjusting or wheel alignment? (Apologies if this is a blindingly-stupid question. It's dark where the bike is parked and my torch has flat batteries!)
Thanks .... Clem
 

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thank you for the very informative article, you are great !! the pic's awesome. now all I have to do is find the tool I can afford.
 

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I finally did my chain and sprockets last week. Pretty simple process and it took all of about an hour, if that
 

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Thanks for the thread! I just swapped out my old for new this afternoon. It took about three hours, including a parts trip, because I did it alone and because I'd never done it before. Next time I could do it in an hour or less.


Some of tips:

1) Be sure you grind the old rivet heads off flat. I initially had a slight angle on them, and the slender pin starting to deflect. The drive pin/riveting pin is the only part of the chain tool that is not guaranteed. Regrinding to flat worked much better.

2) Be careful that you measure your chain play using the same side of the link. I made stupid mistake and measured the free play using the link top for the upper limit and the link bottom for the lower limit. This left the chain waaaay too tight, but fortunately I didn't get far before I diagnosed and fixed the error.

3) I had to do the swap alone. It wasn't a big deal except that you really need to hold the rear brake down to get enough torque on the front sprocket nut. I got one of those nylon tie-down straps and cinched the brake down using the center stand, which the bike was sitting on. I was able to pull the 97 ft/lbs of torque on the nut without trouble.

4) I made a couple of tools to help in setting the chain free play and measuring chain wear. The first is a little wooden stand that I can clip a short scale to. I place the stand under the chain where I want to measure the up and down freeplay, and can move the scale up and down to make it easier to read. The second tool is just a piece of wood cut to the maximum length for 20 links. If the 20 links are longer than the piece of wood, time for a new chain.


Thanks to Sprocket Center for the chain and sprocket set! I called the two Seattle area Triumph dealers and neither had the Triumph set, in fact, they told me the sets were on back order for the whole U.S.! So both tried to look up aftermarket chains and sprockets, but didn't have complete sets in stock, and were looking up the brands I would get online anyway. Sprocket Center set me up with good-quality parts for less than what I would have paid my dealers, and I got them sooner. I try to support my local businesses, and I'm even willing to pay a slight premium to support them, but jeez-o-peets, you 'd think that they would stock standard Triumph wear parts or aftermarket parts if Triumph parts weren't available, and not charge half again as much as for Internets businesses, but not this time.

Oh, one last thing. Thank goodness for tab washers! When I went to remove the front sprocket, I tapped down the side of the tab washer, removed it, put the socket on the nut, and it was already loose!!! If I hadn't had a tab washer on there, it could have been big trouble. Be sure you use one, and one in good condition. If you use the old one, don't fold up a part that has been folded before in order to avoid metal fatigue, and possible failure.
 
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