Chain and sprocket change

How easy or hard is it? What tools do you use and and tips. I have a fz8n 2013 do I have to remove the shift lever to remove the cover too?

When you’ve done it once, it seems easy. Before you’ve done it once, it seems daunting. Especially you cutting the old chain off.

Check out some youtube videos on how to do it but it’s also very handy to have a friend with you who’s done it before.

Hmm, I’ve done it a few times (always in a controlled environment, i.e. OMC) and would still feel like i might screw something up without adult supervision… Having said that I have the mechanical aptitude of a starfish

It’s straightforward enough but there are a couple of pitfalls. Do you have all the right tools, first of all? The right tools will make the job much easier

Don’t know about your specific query…

I would consider it an med job.

its one of those jobs that seem easy and then theres a [email protected]%[email protected] moment with a stuck bolt or you over tighten a pin on chain when re-connecting.

from memory though, get yourself a cheap chain breaker/riveter from ebay for £10 or so

buy an extra joining link for when you ‘possibly’ definitely f**k the 1st one up by over tightening and have a go

  1. loosen the front sprocket nut
  2. break the old chain with your tool
  3. REMEMBER to check what way round the front sprocket came off (I had an issue with an er5, sprocket on wrong way put the chain out of align) some sprockets have a slight step
  4. remove rear sprocket, just a few nuts holding it on
  5. put new sprockets on same way they came off - some people suggest a new nut for front sprocket but I never have (I’d recommend a torque wrench here)
  6. get new chain around, put your new joining pin in, remember o-rings before outer plate (ive forgotten before, it happens)
  7. chain tool start pressing the pins (do it in stages and keep checking so you dont over-tighten
  8. begin the alignment and tension. check your manual, and dont rely on the notches, I would use a tape measure to get it more accurate
  9. be prepared for some initial stretch and check slack regularly for a bit

you’ll also need a centre stand or a paddock stand. I just bought a second hand one from ebay for a tenner

Thanks everyone I have all the tools except for the breaker I’ll order a spare link too

You don’t need a spare link and if you haven’t a centre stand paddock stands are sensible so long as they are sturdy enough but the job can be done on the side stand, tricky but doable. Before breaking the chain, loosen off the front and rear sprocket retaining nuts, if you need to lock up the rear wheel have an assistant apply the rear brake, if that’s not enough or you’re on you own lock the back wheel by placing a length of 4 x 2 timber, or similar, through the rear wheel and engaged with the swinging arm.

Don’t break the chain using just the chain tool, the cheap tools and some of the more expensive ones won’t take that type of use without failing. Either take an angle grinder and grind off the link pin rivet head then press the rivet out with the chain tool or, grind straight through a pair of link plates or, hacksaw through a pair of link plates.

When fitting the new chain to avoid over tightening the link plates constantly check the rivet flare, width between the link plates and that the connecting link isn’t binding. The width between the link plates can be eye balled if you get in the right position looking straight down the length of the entire chain when the connecting link plates are in perfect alignment with the other link plates you’re probably done. Just to be sure make a final check of the rivet flare, this is best done with a digital vernier caliper, another £10 of your hard earned on eBay.

By all means watch a Youtube video or two but don’t lose sight of the fact that many of those videos are the blind leading the blind. A right riveting read (see what I did there) can be had and some nice pictures too, by downloading DID’s chain tool instructions here

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Thanks for the link I’ll be following that

I agree the chain breakers aren’t designed to break a chain without grinding first, but if you’re doing it on the cheap - you don’t want to waste your money on a grinder also. I just made sure my kit had more than one pusher in the kit incase I did bend the tool, but so far so good - many chains done and still the same tool.

A grinder isn’t essential either and if you don’t have a proper hacksaw a junior hacksaw at less than a fiver is more than capable of cutting through the link plates, just take it easy and let the blade do the work.

Mark up the outer face of the sprocket with a sharpie before you take it off. Saves putting it on the wrong way round and comes off easily.

Good tip I will do that. Part is on order hope it’s not gonna rain when I get to do it. Timing wise allow 2 hours ?

2 Hours should be time enough for a tea break too :wink:

And add a bit more for those ‘hmmm’ moments.

2hrs is plenty when you know what you’re doing but whenever I’m doing something for the first time, I make sure I have nothing needing doing after it so I can overrun as much as I need.

Nothing quite like a deadline to make you speed up and screw something up.

Reminds me of the three laws of mechanics.

  1. A job will be more complex than you anticipated
  2. A job will take longer than you anticipated
  3. A job will cost more than you anticipated.

I saw that on a YouTube video somewhere once where a guy was working on his pickup truck. I’ve experienced this fitting an exhaust, the replacement didn’t have a bump stop for the centre stand so that rode up and fouled the chain. And fitting a big courier screen to a CB500, took ages to get that right.

It depends why you’re doing it, really, but even when you’re doing work yourself because it’s the cheaper option you’ll find that the first go at each job involves buying some tools which eats into the savings. You can get an angle grinder on the cheap and they’re fairly generally useful, similarly for a dremel which I know Mian used to use to tickle his way through chains. Alternatively, a centre punch and a drill can be fine for getting the heads off rivets.

I wouldn’t like to approach it with a junior hacksaw without a really good reason to not use an actual hacksaw or a power tool.

I have one of these in the bottom of my tool kit, must be 40 yrs old and still works fine…

You should try it, sometimes needs must. One time on a chain and sprocket replacement I snapped the blade on a regular 12" hack saw. Either the chain was too slack, I was being a little too enthusiastic or impatient and the blade was well past best. I was half way through without a spare 12" blade so the job was completed with a fresh 6" blade in a junior hacksaw which cut through the second half of the link plate better than its big brother with a dodgy blade managed on the first half.

The Reynold chain breaker, and others of similar design, are designed to extract the soft orbital formed rivets found on master or connecting links. For example, if used on a factory fitted rivet on a DID 530VX chain problems will be experienced and the tool is likely to fail and/or destroy itself.

Just use a grinder to cut the link.

I’ve stopped using chain tool to try to remove the link, I’ve yet to find a tool that will not get damaged or break when you break the link.

Also loosen all the bolts before you put the bike on the bike stand.

Sometimes the bolts could be a bitch to loosen and use loctite on the sprocket bolts when you put them back on.

when your tightening the link with the chain tool, do a bit at a time. Keep checking if you can move the link with the tool being loosened.
I remove it and check it then put it back on if it needs to be done.
The point when you can’t move the link is the point where you fucked up and gone too far.

Good luck.