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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi fellow Ducatistas,

I feel like in a fairly short time my chain has gone from being OK to completely shot. It could also be that I have simply not been very attentive and that it has been more or less shot for a while but now has become very apparent. If you look at the attached pictures you can see that the chain lifts of the rear sprocket quite a lot when pulled and it moves almost 2cm sideways both ways at the slackest part. I adjusted the chain only a month ago and again a few weeks before that.

I got the bike May 2017 and it has now gone 17.000 km (10.500 miles). Since then I have done one ~4.000km trip to Norway with luggage and 5 track days. I also drive "inspired" (as we say in Sweden) on public roads. I would say that I've lubricated and cleaned the chain frequently, about every 500km, even though it might not look so in the pictures. I use Motul Road+ chain lube.

Question 1:
Do you consider this normal wear? In my mind I was expecting the chain to last much longer.

Question 2:
What state would you say that the sprocket is in? Does it also need replacing or is it enough to replace the chain?

Question 3:
How difficult is it to replace chain and sprockets? I've done it on my old Honda VFR without issue but it seems it's more difficult on an SS. I haven't quite understood the need to remove the rear wheel and why this would makes it easier. Has someone replaced their sprockets and chain on the SS? Could you explain the process?

Question 4:
Should I go for OEM chain and sprockets? It would cost me 350USD for the parts and the dealer would charge me another 350USD for the replacement. Any recommendations of better quality sprockets/chains that can be ordered within EU? Also, how many links are in an SS chain?

Edit:
There's actually a Swedish site that offers plenty of chains (but not sprockets). Any in the link below that you would recommend? I have sorted by highest price.

https://www.xlmoto.se/mc-delar/drev--kedjor-1#?pl&t=1&s=price_dest
 

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Hi fellow Ducatistas,

I feel like in a fairly short time my chain has gone from being OK to completely shot. It could also be that I have simply not been very attentive and that it has been more or less shot for a while but now has become very apparent. If you look at the attached pictures you can see that the chain lifts of the rear sprocket quite a lot when pulled and it moves almost 2cm sideways both ways at the slackest part. I adjusted the chain only a month ago and again a few weeks before that.

I got the bike May 2017 and it has now gone 17.000 km (10.500 miles). Since then I have done one ~4.000km trip to Norway with luggage and 5 track days. I also drive "inspired" (as we say in Sweden) on public roads. I would say that I've lubricated and cleaned the chain frequently, about every 500km, even though it might not look so in the pictures. I use Motul Road+ chain lube.

Question 1:
Do you consider this normal wear? In my mind I was expecting the chain to last much longer.

Question 2:
What state would you say that the sprocket is in? Does it also need replacing or is it enough to replace the chain?

Question 3:
How difficult is it to replace chain and sprockets? I've done it on my old Honda VFR without issue but it seems it's more difficult on an SS. I haven't quite understood the need to remove the rear wheel and why this would makes it easier. Has someone replaced their sprockets and chain on the SS? Could you explain the process?

Question 4:
Should I go for OEM chain and sprockets? It would cost me 350USD for the parts and the dealer would charge me another 350USD for the replacement. Any recommendations of better quality sprockets/chains that can be ordered within EU? Also, how many links are in an SS chain?

Edit:
There's actually a Swedish site that offers plenty of chains (but not sprockets). Any in the link below that you would recommend? I have sorted by highest price.

https://www.xlmoto.se/mc-delar/drev--kedjor-1#?pl&t=1&s=price_dest
Rear sprocket still looks fine. If the links still move relatively freely then I would clean it and tighten it up.
 

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If the chain has loosened so much in such a short time, I would disagree with Amos and replace it. You might consider reusing the sprockets but I’ve always replaced both chain and sprockets at the same time as I’ve been told worn sprockets can make a new chain wear out faster. Seems people have differing opinions on this though.

As for the chains from XLmoto, be aware that the SS chain is a 520 so all the 530 and 525 chains are not for our bike. The DID ERV3 is very good, from what I’ve been told it’s basically the same chain as what most MotoGP teams use. They use the ERV4 which is hand built, but otherwise very close to the ERV3 which is mass produced. You can find it cheaper on eBay though.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yes, I'm definitely going to replace the chain. As I said it has a lot of sideways movement. Perhaps I'll keep the rear sprocket but will have to inspect the front sprocket still. Any good tips on how to remove the front sprocket easily if I were to replace it? Is the SS chain 122 links long?
 

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10,500 mls seems like a very short life for the chain. I have nearly 10,000 mls on mine and it still feels like new. Perhaps the first owner was lax in maintaining it.

I always replace chain and sprockets together.
 

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I've mentioned this before:

1) OEM chains are usually substandard. They're aren't all bad but the quality is spotty.

2) Replace the sprockets. No matter how the sprockets look, it's been my experience a replacement chain will last half as long. Why go to the expense and bother without going ahead replacing the sprockets?

3) Get a quality "o"ring chain. I've had great luck with EK brand.

4) Be attentive about chain maintenance. It's been my experience that more chains have ruined by over tightening them rather than neglect. Look for the tight spot in the chain. That will require a rear stand and careful maintenance. (I've had rear tires replaced at shops and the chains were to tight when I brought it home and that's by professional mechanics.)

At 7k miles, my chain is wearing evenly. I've only adjusted it once.
 

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Doesn't look that bad for 10000 miles if you ride hard.
Your rollers look dry. Sealed chains don't really need lubricant on the orings. They do need grease in the rollers so make sure you are soaking up the rollers good.
 

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I took mine in recently for bad vibrations and they told me it was my chain. It was kinked a bit and they said it was dry and stiff and needed replaced. Said I needed sprockets and new chain. I am at 24000kms. I lubed a few times but tech said he's be lubing every 500 kms or so. That normal?
 

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When I have to replace my rear sprocket I may go with a quick remove system so that you don't have to take off the rear tire to do so in the future.
 

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I replaced the chain two months ago on my Multistrada with the 15,000 mile service. Mechanic said it was overdue on Multistrada. Probably should have changed at 10,000 mi.

Last weekend I replaced the chain on my SS S at dealer. Part was $130 plus 1/2 hour of labor. It was NOT an OEM chain. The chain looked fine visually. But when you wiggled the chain, there was chatter. You could hear noise from the chain which is a sign of dryness in o-rings. Since bike was there for annual service, I had them replace it. My bike had over 11,000 miles on odometer.

When we removed the chain, mechanic held it up and it made a smile face (holding end to end). He said there was a lot of play. Chain should have been more straight and not dip down like a happy face. Anyway, I changed it. But it was not immediately obvious from a visual inspection. I have ridden over 1,000 mi on track and may schedule one next month. So, I replaced chain since I was already at the dealership.

So, you may not be able to tell visually, and the chatter noise was very slight.
 

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Difficult to tell if the chain needs replacing from the pics, but concur with @amoslws sprocket does not look excessively worn to require replacement yet, but everything does look dirty and in need of a cleaning.

But if you do replace the chain, also replace sprockets as a set with the chain as several noted.

My chain has over 12,000 miles, has required tightening once, and looks almost new. Thinking I’ll get about 20K miles out of it, and then will replace sprockets and chain as a set.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Thanks for all the replies!

Chain has been properly cleaned, tightened to spec and lubed with Motul Road+ which is a wax-type of lubrication. I have shot a video down below for better assessment.

So, reason I'm considering only replacing the chain is because the sprockets seem to be in quite good condition and it would make the job hella lot easier and cheaper.

But if I do replace the sprockets, could some kind soul give me some guidance as I do not wish to pay 700USD to do so?

I have still not understood the need to remove the rear wheel. Here's the way I imagine the rear sprocket being removed:

1. Put engine in gear, ask someone to hold rear brake and remove big center nut on sprocket side.

2. Cut and remove chain.

3. Remove the rear sprocket assembly

4. Once removed, disassemble the sprocket from the sprocket holder.

5. Assemble the new sprocket onto sprocket holder and put everything back together.

Am I missing something here?

Regarding the front sprocket I'm not exactly sure how I should do to remove it. Any suggestions? I saw a video of a neat way to wrap the chain around the rear axle bolt but that seems to only work on double-sided swing arms.

 

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NO YOU DON'T NEED TO REMOVE THE REAR WHEEL TO REMOVE THE SPROCKET.

My advice to you is never use the gearbox to hold the wheel when removing or tightening the nuts.Use the rear brake ONLY.
Ok so the rear sprocket has cush drives. You'll need a 14mm Allen key to the back of those cush drives whilst you loosen the nuts on the sprocket carrier.

If you are doing both sprockets then use the existing chain to hold the front sprocket by holding the rear brake before you tackle the rear or remove the chain.

Impulse drives some people to get the chain off first because they want the satisfaction but using the chain to remove the other bits is wiser.

For the rear nut, You'll need the T60 and C-spanner to release the chain tension before you can remove the rear sprocket from its splines. Powerbar and 55mm socket for the rear nut. Torque spec is 230nm but I give it 210nm and some copper slip or lithium based grease.
For the front, Powerbar and 32mm socket. I use a large blunt wood chisel to flatten the securing washer... and again use some lithium based grease when replacing the front nut. Torque spec is 180nm.
 

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I'm going to side with Amos on everything, but in particular the sprockets. Even if the chain lasts half the time, that's still 6 or 7,000+ miles, which is a lot of riding time. I change my sprockets every other chain, after a good inspection of the sprockets.

Also, I only get steel sprockets so the last longer.
 

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I'm going to side with Amos on everything, but in particular the sprockets. Even if the chain lasts half the time, that's still 6 or 7,000+ miles, which is a lot of riding time. I change my sprockets every other chain, after a good inspection of the sprockets.
If the ducati sprockets are cheaper then it's not an issue, but hellsbells the cost of a rear sprocket outweighs the cost of a second chain later...
 

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If the ducati sprockets are cheaper then it's not an issue, but hellsbells the cost of a rear sprocket outweighs the cost of a second chain later...
And if you go with a new rear hub and cush bolts, expect it to more than triple the cost. I'll save that expense for the 3rd chain.
 

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I'm going to side with Amos on everything, but in particular the sprockets. Even if the chain lasts half the time, that's still 6 or 7,000+ miles, which is a lot of riding time. I change my sprockets every other chain, after a good inspection of the sprockets.

Also, I only get steel sprockets so the last longer.
This is my method and recommendation as well. You are certainly not wrong to swap chain and sprockets together but if you use use a good quality, steel sprocket, there is no reason not to do 2 chains per set of sprockets.

I normally get 15k-20k miles on a new set of chain and sprockets and the second chain only replacement normally goes around 12-15k. To me, that’s a no brainer.
 

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whooaa..... you guys are throwing me for a loop. You're saying the sprockets cost as much as the chain? What?
 

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whooaa..... you guys are throwing me for a loop. You're saying the sprockets cost as much as the chain? What?
Yup, those age long principles of changing sprockets with the chain go out the window once you realise the cost of unnecessarily changing the rear sprocket.
 

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Yup, those age long principles of changing sprockets with the chain go out the window once you realise the cost of unnecessarily changing the rear sprocket.

....well not unnecessary from a wear perspective but perhaps not cost effective.

I'd like to see the numbers and why sprockets costs more for Ducs. :surprise:
 
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