Not much to write about here really – but the opportunity to use that awful title was just too good to pass up.
One of the last major items to sort out on the SV was the chain and sprockets. I’d cut the rusty chain off when the thing first turned up in my garage, as I just couldn’t bring myself to look at it any more, and really fancied some angle grinder action. And as much as anything else, it was so rusty and tight that it made wheeling the thing around a massive chore. So, I think that got the chop on day one, and went straight into the recycling. The sprockets, on the other hand, I pretty much left well alone as they weren’t getting in the way. And anyway, now that I’d taken the chain off, I couldn’t think of a decent way to get the sprocket nut undone. Pillock. Now, as you’re no doubt well aware, when it comes to buying parts I’m a massive tightwad. If I can find a half decent second hand set of tyres or brake pads I’ll pick them up, no problem. But when it comes to transmission, I’ve learned my lesson the hard way on a couple of occasions. Notably on the TRX850. Firstly I tried to change from a 525 to a 520 chain on the grounds that it would be a couple of quid cheaper, and then I bought a cheap JT chain and sprocket set. This lasted about three or four months before I needed to throw the whole lot in the skip, and buy a nice DID chain and set of Renthal sprockets. Which are still going strong 18 months and tens of thousands of kilometres later.
Having looked at the sprockets on the SV, they seemed to be pretty serviceable still, but I had no idea of the manufacturer, and so the quality remained a mystery. With the TRX experience in mind, I dipped my hand in my pocket, and ordered a similar DID X-ring chain and set of Renthal Ultralight sprockets from the marvellous Alan Russell Racing. Over the years I’ve probably given Alan more money than I’ve given my mortgage company. Such are the joys of racing a TZ250. But he’s always been unfailingly helpful and cheerful. And a couple of days later, sure enough, a large box turned up with all the right bits, and as a bonus he’d even cut the chain to the right length for me. First thing to do was to wrap the chain around the sprockets, stick a bar through the rear wheel, and try to get the sprocket nut off. I tried the old-skool method of a long bar on a socket, but there was no way this was moving. I’d already spent a few days soaking it in penetrating lubricant, so the next logical step was to get the impact wrench out. I really should have done this to start with, as within about 20 seconds the nut was off. So. a quick compare and contrast photo:
Yeah, that’s not my finest photographic moment for sure, but you get the idea. The old sprocket was rusty, worn, and really only fit for the bin. I cleaned up the nut, and slipped the new sprocket on. The rear sprocket was a fair bit easier, as once the rear wheel is out it practically fell off. I’m glad that I took the decision to replace the sprocket, as I reckon the nuts were only finger tight. Still, I’m sure I would have checked them, right? The chain went on with a couple of stout taps from the trusty old club hammer and Whale chain tool, and we now have a lovely new transmission on the bike. It really does make the state of the wheels painfully apparent though – so I think I’ll be painting those sooner rather than later now. If I win the lottery any time soon I’ll replace the sprocket nuts too, as they rather let the side down now.
Only thing left to do now before the first shakedown run is replace the tyres. If anyone out there has a set of ex-race 120/70 and 160/60 tyres I’m all ears. I will, of course, fit a set of new Contis if all proves well. But I don’t want to spend that amount of money if the first time it turns a wheel it catches fire. See? Told you I’d happily use second hand tyres. As for the brake pads, well, there’s a bit of a story there. Along with the brake hoses and the rather lovely Nissin radial master cylinder that are now fitted. But that’s a story for another post.