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Old 10-08-2004, 07:49 AM   #1
arroyoshark OP
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DRZ 400 Sprockets

I bought a '05 DRZ-S coming back from the ADV rally in Ouray. All of my riding has been on street oriented bikes and dual-sport oriented street bikes like the transalp and KTM 950. Have to say that since getting the DRZ my fun factor for riding trail roads has shot up dramatically, plus I feel like my riding skills have improved. Wish I'd gotten one of these bikes years ago.

In riding the bike around the desert and mountains of Northern New Mexico, I've found the stock gearing a bit too high. The engine doesn't seem happy threading rocky sections or climbing out of deep washes. Time to change the gearing.

Question- What brand of sprockets, front and rear, do DRZ owners use or recommend?

My choices seem to be: OEM (pricey), Renthall, Sunstar, Moose, Parts Unlimited, and JT. My inclination is to play with the less expensive sprockets from Parts Unlimited and JT.
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Old 10-08-2004, 08:18 AM   #2
ysr612
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arroyoshark
I bought a '05 DRZ-S coming back from the ADV rally in Ouray. All of my riding has been on street oriented bikes and dual-sport oriented street bikes like the transalp and KTM 950. Have to say that since getting the DRZ my fun factor for riding trail roads has shot up dramatically, plus I feel like my riding skills have improved. Wish I'd gotten one of these bikes years ago.

In riding the bike around the desert and mountains of Northern New Mexico, I've found the stock gearing a bit too high. The engine doesn't seem happy threading rocky sections or climbing out of deep washes. Time to change the gearing.

Question- What brand of sprockets, front and rear, do DRZ owners use or recommend?

My choices seem to be: OEM (pricey), Renthall, Sunstar, Moose, Parts Unlimited, and JT. My inclination is to play with the less expensive sprockets from Parts Unlimited and JT.
some of mine are sprocket spec and some sunstar

if you put a 16 counter shaft on you have to cut the slider off the swing arm.
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Old 10-08-2004, 09:19 AM   #3
Team Dennis
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I went up one tooth on the front with an OEM sprocket. That will still give me 70-75mph on the highway and much better trail crawling ability.You also might want to grind out the recessed slots in the front sprocket cover with a Dremel to allow mud and water to drain out.
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Old 10-08-2004, 12:24 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Team Dennis
I went up one tooth on the front with an OEM sprocket. That will still give me 70-75mph on the highway and much better trail crawling ability.You also might want to grind out the recessed slots in the front sprocket cover with a Dremel to allow mud and water to drain out.
the e comes with a 14 the s with a 15 did you go up one from the e or the s. because when went to go up one it would not fit.
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Old 10-08-2004, 01:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ysr612
the e comes with a 14 the s with a 15 did you go up one from the e or the s. because when went to go up one it would not fit.

Doh. You are right. I went down one tooth.
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Old 10-08-2004, 04:14 PM   #6
viverrid
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arroyoshark
Question- What brand of sprockets, front and rear, do DRZ owners use or recommend?
I actually don't think it matters that much - just not OEM (not a good value). I think I have Moose on there now. No reason to buy Renthal if they are more. The sprocket life is often governed by how long the chain lasts anyway - if you put a new chain on worn sprockets it goes south FAST, so if you've had the chain long enough to wear the sprockets noticeably, then you change the sprockets along with the chain - and you'd only be throwing away more expensive sprockets.

An S comes stock with 15/44 which is dualsport gearing, bike runs out of torque indicating in the 90's (mph) but its definitely too stiff for technical riding. The E comes with 14/47 which can still do short sections of highway. I am now down to 13/48 but it is not suitable for the interstate, and only barely handles short stretches of 2-lane. But then my tires can't handle freeway either.

-Vincent

viverrid screwed with this post 10-08-2004 at 04:15 PM Reason: typos
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Old 10-08-2004, 05:07 PM   #7
snoid
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thumpertalk has good info...

the countershaft seal is proned to failure with a dodgey cs sprocket. turns out the thicknesses vary from aftermarket to aftermarket and torque-ing the the cs shaft nut to spec can sometimes cause a thicker sprocket to press in too far and mangle the seal. some think this leads to second gear grenading at highway speeds. there's a chain of events too spectacular to go into here. suffice it to say that some are going so far as locktiting the cs sprock to the splines to reduce the play. so, the good guys on the yahoo groups and thumpertalk have gone and measured just about every aftermarket sprock for tolerances. sunstar and renthal were safer if i recall and within tolerances and others were miserably off. i noticed my 14t from baja designs was a cheapo and had a blank spacer rather than being one-piece and splined throughout the inner diameter. the short answer, don't cheap out. if you order one, put the verniers to it, make sure there's no blank spacer either.

the guys who've gone so far as a 13pt cs sprock have noticed that their swingarms are being eaten down past the slider and into the swingarm aluminum itself. be good to keep a close eye on the sliders because at that narrow chain angle the need to replace sliders more often is possible.

i run 14-48... it's a hair tall for clutchless mountain goating but i do get 75mph pretty comfy. i'd go with a 50 rear if i lived in the mountains.
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Old 10-08-2004, 08:02 PM   #8
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If you put a 47 rear on your S you can use 13, 14, or 15 T countershaft sprockets with your stock chain.
I normally run 14/47 (E model gearing). I have used 13/47 in tight steep stuff, but 14/47 is the best compromise IMHO. I personally have never felt the need to go 15/47.
I just went with the Parts Unlimited steel ones.
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Old 10-08-2004, 08:15 PM   #9
arroyoshark OP
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Thanks, good info. Snoid, sounds like I should either stick with OEM countershaft sprocket, or perhaps one from Sunstar or Renthal, but could economize some on the rear sprocket. A 14 x 47 or 14 x 48 combo is sort of what my thinking was. May actually experiment with a 15 x 47/48 combo initially to see what difference that makes.

I do buzz down the highway to get to many riding places, and I do have to take an interstate to some places. I read a test report that indicates the DRZ-S engine tachs around 5850 rpm at 60 mph, so with a 14x48 ratio, the little engine must be really humming at sustained 70 mph.

See any serious flaws in this logic?
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Old 10-08-2004, 08:22 PM   #10
arroyoshark OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbirdsp
If you put a 47 rear on your S you can use 13, 14, or 15 T countershaft sprockets with your stock chain.

I like that idea, stil provides quite a bit of flexibility in gearing.




Quote:
Originally Posted by tbirdsp
I normally run 14/47 (E model gearing). I have used 13/47 in tight steep stuff, but 14/47 is the best compromise IMHO. I personally have never felt the need to go 15/47.
I just went with the Parts Unlimited steel ones.

No countershaft seal issues with the Parts Unlimited front sprockets?
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Old 10-08-2004, 08:36 PM   #11
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sounds about right...

75mph sustained on 14-48's is at the tippy top of comfy for me, she's thumpin' hard and loud at that point and serious smells emanate from the clutch in tricky terrain on that combo. 15-47 was silly high, worthless for dirt in my experience. i was about to go to 13/48 and give up 75 for 65 until i saw photos of someone's swingarm with hairy notches in it. being a forgetful sort, i decided i'd swap rears instead...

more of a trailside option than going the other end,

me
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Old 10-08-2004, 08:42 PM   #12
viverrid
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arroyoshark
No countershaft seal issues with the Parts Unlimited front sprockets?
The countershaft seal "issue" is like the Cam Chain Tensioner "issue" - it is certainly something that HAS happened to some people.

But there are far more who it has not happened to, who have done nothing, and indeed there are probably many people who never heard of either issue, and who will never have either happen as long as they own their bike.

I don't know if anybody has *really* definitively figured out what causes the countershaft seal problems. There are a lot of theories. Bottom line, some people get it, but some people do exactly the same thing (whether this means doing nothing at all, or means swapping them out all the time) and have no problems.

But since front sprockets are relatively cheap, you could go premium there is you want to. Note that the OEM 15 for the S has a rubber ring on the inside. None of the others do, AFAIK.

-Vincent
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Old 10-09-2004, 07:05 AM   #13
ysr612
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Quote:
Originally Posted by viverrid
The countershaft seal "issue" is like the Cam Chain Tensioner "issue" - it is certainly something that HAS happened to some people.

But there are far more who it has not happened to, who have done nothing, and indeed there are probably many people who never heard of either issue, and who will never have either happen as long as they own their bike.

I don't know if anybody has *really* definitively figured out what causes the countershaft seal problems. There are a lot of theories. Bottom line, some people get it, but some people do exactly the same thing (whether this means doing nothing at all, or means swapping them out all the time) and have no problems.

But since front sprockets are relatively cheap, you could go premium there is you want to. Note that the OEM 15 for the S has a rubber ring on the inside. None of the others do, AFAIK.

-Vincent
that rubber ring seems to quite the chain quiet a bit also.

ps reverse the two q words.
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Old 10-09-2004, 09:55 AM   #14
arroyoshark OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by viverrid
But since front sprockets are relatively cheap, you could go premium there is you want to. Note that the OEM 15 for the S has a rubber ring on the inside. None of the others do, AFAIK.-Vincent
In reading your great reply, am I to understand that the OEM countershaft sprockets for the DRZ-E do not come with that rubber ring? I know what this is, as the OEM CS sprockets for the Transalp have that rubber ring also (both the 15t and 16t).

Is it also correct that it is only the OEM 15t CS sprocket for the DRZ-S that has the rubber ring? I was sort of aiming at a 14t CS sprocket.

This may be just a small point, but I have run aftermarket CS sprockets on Transalp, and on the road the noise is evident.
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Old 10-09-2004, 02:59 PM   #15
viverrid
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Put that rubber on...

Hmm, can't prove a negative - no, seriously, I have not seen the rubber on anything but the 15, but then I don't have an E (which comes with a 14). Will one of the E guys confirm this - no rubber = more dirty pleasure?

har har har,

-Vincent
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