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post #1 of 16 Old 07-13-2011, 3:07 PM Thread Starter
 
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Chain/Sprocket Questions

Getting ready to have a shop put on a new cam chain tensioner and was asking them about chain/sprocket next and the guy there said they normally switch to a 520 vs a 530 and an aluminum sprocket on the rear.

My question is what would the purpose of going to a 520 vs a 530 be and for an everyday rider that isn't so worried about the lighter weight of the aluminum is there any other benefits?

If this has been answered please just post a link. I searched through a few threads and didn't see this answered directly.
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post #2 of 16 Old 07-13-2011, 5:56 PM
 
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Re: Chain/Sprocket Questions

Basicaly it is a question of longevity. The 530 type chain is plain and simple more sturdy than the 520. Simple logic really.
Altho a 520 in essence takes less power to turn i sincerly doubt that an everyday rider will BENEFIT from the swap. Ie,take notice of the word BENEFIT.

When it comes to rear sprockets main reason for using aluminium is one of cost. Sure...the race boys will go on about weight savings,but in the words of Ali G...letīs keep it real. After all the mainstay of our beloved CBRs are streetbikes-and should be considered as such.
Truth of the matter is that a REAL steel rear sprocket will outlast the aluminium one it isnīt even funny and most likely the chain itself to boot.

Then,a 520 is cheaper than a 530 tho-as a motorcycle part. However,these chains use the same nomer when it comes to industrial supplies.
Lemme put it this way...i got a fresh one,an RS chain(the OEM part is an o-ringed Sigma style chain) from a friend of mine that works for an industrial supplier today.
I paid 18 euros. This for a fullly hardened Tsubaki quality chain.
You do the math.
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post #3 of 16 Old 07-13-2011, 11:32 PM
 
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Re: Chain/Sprocket Questions

Why would anybody reuse the sprockets is beyond me... So I do not see why Aluminum is such a bad thing? Its not like it falls apart before the chain does. If anything it will outlast the chain, with proper maintenance of course.

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post #4 of 16 Old 07-13-2011, 11:46 PM
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Re: Chain/Sprocket Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Racing View Post
Basicaly it is a question of longevity. The 530 type chain is plain and simple more sturdy than the 520. Simple logic really.
Altho a 520 in essence takes less power to turn i sincerly doubt that an everyday rider will BENEFIT from the swap. Ie,take notice of the word BENEFIT.

When it comes to rear sprockets main reason for using aluminium is one of cost. Sure...the race boys will go on about weight savings,but in the words of Ali G...letīs keep it real. After all the mainstay of our beloved CBRs are streetbikes-and should be considered as such.
Truth of the matter is that a REAL steel rear sprocket will outlast the aluminium one it isnīt even funny and most likely the chain itself to boot.

Then,a 520 is cheaper than a 530 tho-as a motorcycle part. However,these chains use the same nomer when it comes to industrial supplies.
Lemme put it this way...i got a fresh one,an RS chain(the OEM part is an o-ringed Sigma style chain) from a friend of mine that works for an industrial supplier today.
I paid 18 euros. This for a fullly hardened Tsubaki quality chain.
You do the math.

You can get 520 chain that is stronger than 530 so it's not about being sturdy.
520 is marginally quicker to accelerate and stop but it mainly reduces a nice lump of unsprung mass from the rear suspension.
Good aluminium sprockets are generally more expensive than steel ones.
I would expect a steel sprocket to outlast a good aluminium one, but not by a huge margin. 520 sprockets and chain are expected to wear faster than 530 simply because there is less surface area to distribute the load and the wear.
My 520 chains are more expensive than the OEM 530 items, probably because they're stronger despite having less metal in them.
18E is outstanding value for an x-ring motorcycle-specific chain.

"I won't forget that ride for a while. Maybe you're right. Living fast might be worth the final crash. Maybe that's the secret you fliers know." - Flight of the Intruder
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post #5 of 16 Old 07-13-2011, 11:48 PM
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Re: Chain/Sprocket Questions

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Originally Posted by jared.malcolm View Post
Getting ready to have a shop put on a new cam chain tensioner and was asking them about chain/sprocket next and the guy there said they normally switch to a 520 vs a 530 and an aluminum sprocket on the rear.

My question is what would the purpose of going to a 520 vs a 530 be and for an everyday rider that isn't so worried about the lighter weight of the aluminum is there any other benefits?

If this has been answered please just post a link. I searched through a few threads and didn't see this answered directly.

No, for the average road rider the 520 stuff has no benefits over the OEM items.

"I won't forget that ride for a while. Maybe you're right. Living fast might be worth the final crash. Maybe that's the secret you fliers know." - Flight of the Intruder
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post #6 of 16 Old 07-14-2011, 6:55 AM
 
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Re: Chain/Sprocket Questions

BR.
Sorry,but from a general POW i beg to differ. Again..from a general POW.

Rear sprockets for instance. Sure,we can make those from CNC cut Alumec that will indeed outlast most steels while being stronger too. The point is that most OEM rear sprockets are cast units that have been machined one way or another. I recap. Rear generic sprockets out of aluminium is commonly used cause of cost. From a wear POW they suffice but thatīs about it.
Main reason besides cost is that cast aluminium doesnīt workharden the same way as "forged" aluminium does.

Likewise for chains. Iīm not saying there ainīt plenty strong 520s or 525s around. Thatīs not the issue. Likewise thereīs really crappy 530 chains sold by wholesalers too.
However,to keep it real,if we compare apples to apples-Ie a quality 520 with a equivalent quality 530 the latter will be the stronger chain for the app.
For instance compare an Alfa classed 530 with the similar 520-both by japanese Tsubaki.

Like i wrote above,close friend works as an app engineer for one of this countries larger chain and gear companys. Hence why i can get a Tsubaki chain 7 days a week. Now..our "pep boys" over here also sell a 530,at approx 80 euros-which is still reasonable,but it is a POS chain that is basicaly a 530 only by size. Itīs to the point of beng dangerous and i for one wouldnīt put it on a bicycle even.

When it in turn comes to picking gears,as there are numerous different qualitys et al to choose from,we normaly do this from a quality POW only. Specific designs and looks we cut afterwards with a CNC mill.(Ligthening holes,cavitys and what have you not)

What i was trying to say with the 18E remark was that for those that use up a kit or two it might be an idea to look up an industrial warehouse basicaly to save money instead of bying it as a motorcycle part.
So if youīre running good quality steel gears i see no reason to toss those cause the chain per se has been used up? Again,please be aware that iīm talking street bike use here.
Racing...is a whole different ballgame,and when it comes to that end itīs all good if you ask me. However,iīm not even touching upon racing here. Streetuse ONLY.
Call me a cheap bastid....but i fail to see the reason to throw money out the window. Learn how to interpret sprocket wear...use steel gears...and replace chain on demand. In short,it saves money and at 18E a pop i for one can afford to swap chains at will.

Last edited by Racing; 07-14-2011 at 7:04 AM.
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post #7 of 16 Old 07-14-2011, 7:12 AM
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Re: Chain/Sprocket Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Racing View Post
BR.
Sorry,but from a general POW i beg to differ. Again..from a general POW.

Rear sprockets for instance. Sure,we can make those from CNC cut Alumec that will indeed outlast most steels while being stronger too. The point is that most OEM rear sprockets are cast units that have been machined one way or another. I recap. Rear generic sprockets out of aluminium is commonly used cause of cost. From a wear POW they suffice but thatīs about it.
Main reason besides cost is that cast aluminium doesnīt workharden the same way as "forged" aluminium does.

Likewise for chains. Iīm not saying there ainīt plenty strong 520s or 525s around. Thatīs not the issue. Likewise thereīs really crappy 530 chains sold by wholesalers too.
However,to keep it real,if we compare apples to apples-Ie a quality 520 with a equivalent quality 530 the latter will be the stronger chain for the app.
For instance compare an Alfa classed 530 with the similar 520-both by japanese Tsubaki.

Like i wrote above,close friend works as an app engineer for one of this countries larger chain and gear companys. Hence why i can get a Tsubaki chain 7 days a week. Now..our "pep boys" over here also sell a 530,at approx 80 euros-which is still reasonable,but it is a POS chain that is basicaly a 530 only by size. Itīs to the point of beng dangerous and i for one wouldnīt put it on a bicycle even.

When it in turn comes to picking gears,as there are numerous different qualitys et al to choose from,we normaly do this from a quality POW only. Specific designs and looks we cut afterwards with a CNC mill.(Ligthening holes,cavitys and what have you not)

What i was trying to say with the 18E remark was that for those that use up a kit or two it might be an idea to look up an industrial warehouse basicaly to save money instead of bying it as a motorcycle part.
So if youīre running good quality steel gears i see no reason to toss those cause the chain per se has been used up? Again,please be aware that iīm talking street bike use here.
Racing...is a whole different ballgame,and when it comes to that end itīs all good if you ask me. However,iīm not even touching upon racing here. Streetuse ONLY.
Call me a cheap bastid....but i fail to see the reason to throw money out the window. Learn how to interpret sprocket wear...use steel gears...and replace chain on demand. In short,it saves money and at 18E a pop i for one can afford to swap chains at will.

I've never ever seen a cast aluminium sprocket - who makes such things?
I agree about comparing like quality but I was just following on your own generalisation.

"I won't forget that ride for a while. Maybe you're right. Living fast might be worth the final crash. Maybe that's the secret you fliers know." - Flight of the Intruder
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post #8 of 16 Old 07-14-2011, 10:31 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Chain/Sprocket Questions

Sorry but what does POW stand for because I'm at a loss...I do appreciate the responses though.
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post #9 of 16 Old 07-14-2011, 3:46 PM
 
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Re: Chain/Sprocket Questions

POW=point of view.

Most rear sprockets are actualy either investment castings or forgings OEM. Main reason...cost.
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post #10 of 16 Old 07-14-2011, 10:27 PM
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Re: Chain/Sprocket Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Racing View Post
POW=point of view.

Most rear sprockets are actualy either investment castings or forgings OEM. Main reason...cost.

OEM? I've never seen a sportsbike with aluminium OEM sprockets either.
Who makes cast aluminium ones?
I still don't get your cost analysis when aluminium sprockets are more expensive than steel ones - around double the cost.

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post #11 of 16 Old 07-15-2011, 6:34 AM
 
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Re: Chain/Sprocket Questions

Sportsbike might be. Many lower powered bikes and mopeds sure use cast units.
Forged units are common for instance with the old fizzers et al.

With a sprocket what brings cost up is machining time. They all need it and steel is more expensive to put through a CNC both as far as time as well as tools.

What we as end users pay for a sprocket in turn has absolutely nothing to do with what the manufacturer pays.

I recap. To look a chain of choice up through an industrial supplier might very well be worth the effort. Then if it is an Alpha,Sigma or RS chain is secondary. (I believe the Alpha and Sigma are o-ringed while the RS is not. On the other hand if u use your bike to go racing u most likely swap chains before dust n grime has taken its toll and the point is that a RS chain is about 1/4 the cost of the other two. Exactly the same chain,just sans o-rings and at that rate you can swap chain 4 times as often before breaking even)
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post #12 of 16 Old 07-15-2011, 9:11 AM
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Re: Chain/Sprocket Questions

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Originally Posted by Racing View Post
Sportsbike might be. Many lower powered bikes and mopeds sure use cast units.
Forged units are common for instance with the old fizzers et al.

With a sprocket what brings cost up is machining time. They all need it and steel is more expensive to put through a CNC both as far as time as well as tools.

What we as end users pay for a sprocket in turn has absolutely nothing to do with what the manufacturer pays.

I recap. To look a chain of choice up through an industrial supplier might very well be worth the effort. Then if it is an Alpha,Sigma or RS chain is secondary. (I believe the Alpha and Sigma are o-ringed while the RS is not. On the other hand if u use your bike to go racing u most likely swap chains before dust n grime has taken its toll and the point is that a RS chain is about 1/4 the cost of the other two. Exactly the same chain,just sans o-rings and at that rate you can swap chain 4 times as often before breaking even)

I've spent very little time around mopeds and scooters but I still don't recall ever seeing a cast aluminium sprocket. I have used nylon sprockets many years ago though :-)
By fizzers do you mean the FZR's? I've never seen an OEM aluminium sprocket on one of those either - cast or otherwise.
You don't need to try to guess why steel sprockets are more expensive since they aren't - go to any motorcycle parts website and look at the prices of their steel and aluminium sprockets from the same manufacturer.
I have looked at industrial suppliers for chain, though not recently. None of them could supply motorcycle-specific chain at that time. Certainly I could buy as much non-o-ring 520 or 530 chain as I wanted, but it was not specified as suitable for motorcycle use.

"I won't forget that ride for a while. Maybe you're right. Living fast might be worth the final crash. Maybe that's the secret you fliers know." - Flight of the Intruder
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post #13 of 16 Old 07-15-2011, 9:18 AM
 
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Re: Chain/Sprocket Questions

So, who makes what?
It seems a lot of questions as to who makes what but I seem to miss the answers.

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post #14 of 16 Old 07-15-2011, 11:47 AM
 
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Re: Chain/Sprocket Questions

BR. As far as i know there is no real difference between anything "motorcycle" and the industrial part.
Again. An o-ringed chain carries the suffix S for Sigma. Alpha...along those lines as well and the RS chain is basicaly just a non o-ring variant of the same chain.
The OEM designation/nomer is 530SO108. S for Sigma(o-ringed) and 108 for number of links.
What we do,and have done for yrs,is use the industrial variety chains with no ills what so ever. Mark tho,none of us go racing with our bikes(We use cars for that)but i strongly doubt that would make for any difference.

Or iīll put it this way. My Blade sure runs with one of them since a number of days back. My fizzers and R6s has done the same for the last 20+yrs too.
(FZR600/FZR1000/FZR600R/R6 aso)
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post #15 of 16 Old 07-15-2011, 12:10 PM
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Re: Chain/Sprocket Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Racing View Post
BR. As far as i know there is no real difference between anything "motorcycle" and the industrial part.
Again. An o-ringed chain carries the suffix S for Sigma. Alpha...along those lines as well and the RS chain is basicaly just a non o-ring variant of the same chain.
The OEM designation/nomer is 530SO108. S for Sigma(o-ringed) and 108 for number of links.
What we do,and have done for yrs,is use the industrial variety chains with no ills what so ever. Mark tho,none of us go racing with our bikes(We use cars for that)but i strongly doubt that would make for any difference.

Or iīll put it this way. My Blade sure runs with one of them since a number of days back. My fizzers and R6s has done the same for the last 20+yrs too.
(FZR600/FZR1000/FZR600R/R6 aso)

The only difference would be the testing the chains have undergone to determine their suitability for motorcycles. Is the chain you're using specified for bikes?
Those suffix codes may apply to Tsubaki chain but they're different among different manufacturers. I've never head of sigma, alpha or RS chains before. I'm not aware of any manufacturer that runs Tsubaki chain as OEM, but that does vary by markets. I'd expect OEM spec for your '93 Blade would be EK 50MVX or DID 50VM.
I only run DID ERV3 520 on my bikes with aluminium rear sprockets.
If your FZR's had aluminium sprockets (cast or otherwise) on them they definately weren't OEM.

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