Rubber on stock front sprocket: Does it legitimately lesson the noise or is it theory only?

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by fishugly, Aug 2, 2018.

  1. fishugly

    fishugly Been here awhile

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    My new, yet to be installed sprocket has no rubber cushion. As I understand, the rubber on the stock sprocket is to keep noise down.... and I like the idea of reducing noise, where ever and how ever I can. I wear ear plugs but have already lost enough hearing as it is... so am looking for every preventative measure I can find.

    How does the rubber keep noise down? And does it make a noticeable difference?
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  2. 9Realms

    9Realms Drawn in by the complex plot

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    It may have more to do with toning down vibration, and not necessarily "noise". I like the rubber loaded stock sprockets. They don't cost that much and seem to last near forever. At least the Kawasaki ones.
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  3. Antti

    Antti Been here awhile

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    Have had both and haven't noticed difference in noise except original Honda rubbericed sprocket is noisy when its new. In Africa Twin it makes chain to hit front guard before chain seats into rubber.
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  4. JRWooden

    JRWooden Long timer

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    Old thread I know....
    but has anyone disassembled / cut the rubber off of one of the rubber sprockets?
    Is it full steel drive with rubber just bonded/molded on both sides or is it actually a 2-piece sprocket with rubber holding the inner spline-ed part to the outer toothed part?
    kinda like the "judder damper" on the rear hub?

    Seems like the latter design would do more "cushioning" and noise reduction but be more likely to fail..............................

    JT Sprockets has started making the "rubber" option for a number of bikes now..............
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  5. fishugly

    fishugly Been here awhile

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    I'd have to take a closer look but I'm nearly certain the rubber is bonded/molded. Initially, I thought "no problem". I'll just take the rubber off the old and put on a new non-rubberized sprocket. No way is that rubber coming off though! I ended buying an OEM sprocket with rubber on it.
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  6. JRWooden

    JRWooden Long timer

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    Thanks so the design is a solid metal sprocket with rubber bonded to the sides to dampen noise.

    They only cost a buck or two more at JT Sprockets than standard, I'm in.
    Last time I bought sprockets for my BMW F650GS (twin-cyl) the rubber version was not an option. :freaky
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  7. fishugly

    fishugly Been here awhile

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    Yes. When I bought mine, I couldn't find an aftermarket sprocket with rubber for my DRZ, so paid a fair bit more for the OEM model.
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  8. Blakebird

    Blakebird r-u-n-n-o-f-t

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    with the chain roller fully seated in the sprocket, the rubber damper runs at the base of the link sideplates and dampens the contact points by cushioning the link sideplates.

    [​IMG]
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  9. EastBoundAndDown

    EastBoundAndDown Ron - 300XC-W DR650 T1050SE

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    I have never been able to tell a difference. Might just be me.
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  10. JRWooden

    JRWooden Long timer

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    Thanks, now I see the "theory of operation".
    I wouldn't think a company like Honda would throw this out there if they didn't think there was some kind of benefit.

    but then.......................... perhaps it was the marketing dept. that did it? :photog
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  11. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    Maybe by a small amount of noise reduction, but bfd...motos make noise.

    I never bother to source oem front sprockets and just get JT sprockets.
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  12. lamotovita

    lamotovita DAMN SNOWBIRD!

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    So who can tell me why some of the plastic cushions extend only part way around the sprocket?:dunno
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  13. fishugly

    fishugly Been here awhile

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    It is a BFD if you're like me and have experienced a hearing loss and prefer to maintain what you have left to every degree you can.

    Hearing loss is the most preventable disability there is. And knowing how it feels socially and otherwise to have a loss, I'm going for every advantage I can find.
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  14. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    I hear ya...go for it then.

    I really doubt that noise reduction amount is making much over all vs a engine noise and all the engine noise reflecting up.

    Like others have said, it makes very little difference in real world use and I've found little extra to no noise reduction after adding aftermarket. Chains are just noisy things to run.

    Your ear plugs are doing all the heavy lifting anyway. And I assume you have customs at this point.
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  15. GPD323

    GPD323 Been here awhile

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    It does make a difference in noise, I replaced the OEM drive sprocket with a Sun Star with no rubber on my ZX14. Immediately got a metallic ringing sound. I went back to the rubber damped and all was normal. I use OEM front sprockets on all the bikes now. Now, the Z900RS has a stock 15 tooth sprocket and a nice upgrade is a 16T. The RS has very short gear ratios so the 16T calms it down a bit. So I installed a JT that has the vulcanized noise damper and guess what? Now I was getting a new drive noise that was not there before. So I purchased a new OEM Kawasaki 16T and the noise went away and driveline back to normal sounds. PS: And I protect my hearing at all costs. Wear ear plugs while riding of course, mowing the lawn, leaf blowers, when using a vacuum and anything that I feel will hurt my hearing. Car window down? Ear plug in the left ear. I did hearing studies when working for Neurology and Neurosurgery clinics among other testing (ear/eyes/nerve/EEG/Sleep/EMG) so I know the danger of hearing loss. Many truckers have significant hearing loss in the left ear due to having the window down and wind noise is high freq sound. Kills your hearing slowly overtime. Not sure how I went for the sprocket to the ears! Cheers!!!
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  16. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    I think it depends of the bike and thus motor? Probably if there is fairing too that focuses noise.

    Some bikes are noisy no matter what.
    On my 650 vstrom with aluminum skid plate and crash bars and all, switching from oem rubber sprocket to JT made no noise difference. I think even less so on factory thumper dual sports. Zero difference on my DR too.

    On sport tourers and inline motors sure.
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  17. GPD323

    GPD323 Been here awhile

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    The RS and ZX14 have metal covers on them over the sprocket. After my experience with the ZX14 more than a decade ago I just stay with OEM on the front and either OEM or aftermarket on the rear. Some on the RS forums experienced the same with the JT, and some not. Not sure why? I ordered the JT initially because the OEM 16T was on back order.
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  18. bikerjim2000

    bikerjim2000 One thing I can tell you is you got to be free!

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    Zrx 1100. without the oem rubber backed sprocket you definetly feel more vibrations in the footpegs.
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  19. Faab

    Faab Adventurer

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    You are defenitly not wrong.
    It doesn't make a difference to many people at all.
    But some people are more sensitive to all the noise around them. As I ride on the highway, the noise of a damped sprocket is significantly less then a normal one.
    Just my 2 cents.
    I also have tinnitus and wear earplugs(customs). AS SHOULD EVERYONE!!
    I hear a huge difference after I swapped my front sprocket for a damped one. On my F700GS. My Pegaso is no highwayroller so it will not be getting one.

    I also feel like the extra mass causes a bit less acceleration. But maybe that's just me.
    Cheers:drink
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  20. RideFreak

    RideFreak Torque Jockey

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    It does make a difference in the noise, so does lubricating your chain...for awhile
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