1. How do sprockets work?
Motorcycle sprockets work very much like gears in that they take one form of motion and transmit it into another form. Sprockets have toothed edges that mesh with the motorbike chain in order to transmit the power from combustion engine into linear motion in the wheels. Sprockets can be adjusted in order to adapt the power delivery from the engine and this is an important form of modification available to riders. You can buy a great range of different JT Sprockets from independent suppliers and dealers to modify your bike with.
2. How can you adjust torque with bike sprockets?
Bike sprockets provide you with a straightforward way to adjust the torque produced by your engine. Basically torque is low down power that provides you with fast acceleration in the low rev range so you can pull away quickly from a stop or accelerate fast out of corners. Torque is important for fast, responsive riding but will come at the expense of top end speed. You can change the gearing of your sprockets by reducing or increasing the tooth count. If you increase the tooth count on your motorcycle rear sprocket and decrease the size of the front sprocket then you can achieve greater torque for faster acceleration and more power in the lower gears. Alternatively you can achieve high top end speed by reversing the process and decreasing the rear sprocket and increasing the front sprocket. Whether you want more torque or more top end speed will depend on your own riding style so you may need to experiment before you find the right motorcycle rear sprocket and front sprocket set up.
3. What sprockets should I choose for track racing?
If you are going to get involved in competitive events then you need to consider the weight of all the drive components on your bike. The less weight you are carrying the more power you can achieve from your engine so you do need to think about replacing standard motorcycle sprockets with lighter weight high performance options. These are typically made from high grade aluminium that is much lighter than the factory standard steel options. Race-spec sprockets can be more expensive but they will be carefully machined in order to reduce drag and friction and enhance performance. JT Sprockets are lightweight and there are a number of designs available for high performance sports bikes.
4. What types of sprockets are available?
There is a wide range of different bike sprockets available. You can choose from a number of different finishes, materials and colour options to create that special look for your bike. Sprockets can be made from steel, carbon steel, polished nickel steel and aluminium and are widely available from independent suppliers and dealers. For additional durability some designs are finished with an anodised hardcoat (PTFE). These sprockets are ideal for dirt bikes that typically ride in challenging conditions that could damage standard steel sprockets.
5. Are aluminium sprockets better than steel sprockets?
High grade aluminium motorcycle sprockets are much lighter than steel and are very durable. This can benefit bike owners who want to achieve maximum performance as there is a direct relation between weight and velocity. This means that the less the bike weighs the more power the engine will produce and the more performance can be achieved. Because aluminium sprockets are lighter they can cause less wear on the drive system and improve acceleration. Race-spec aluminium sprockets have high tolerance levels and are designed to reduce friction and drag. There is a wide range of JT Sprockets on offer to enhance your engine performance.
6. Why do some sprockets have grooved surfaces?
You can get motorcycle sprockets designed for specific purposes. Those sprockets with grooved surfaces are designed for rough and dirty conditions and will help to keep your drive components free from mud and grime. This is very useful for off-road racing and all season riding. Grooved sprockets can help to reduce wear on your drive components and improve performance in tough conditions. They are often combined with special friction free coatings such as PTFE for additional performance.
7. Do I need to change my chain with new sprockets?
If you do upgrade your motorcycle rear sprocket or front sprocket then you do not necessarily need to change your bike chain as well. However if the reason you are changing your sprockets is to reduce the weight of your drive components for additional performance then it is a good idea to swap to a lighter weight chain as well. By replacing your standard sprocket and chain set with a smaller 520 size you could save over 8lbs in weight on your drive components which can translate to a lot more useable power from your engine.
8. Do I need to lubricate my sprockets?
You do not need to lubricate motorcycle sprockets as the teeth will be automatically lubricated by the chain. You do need to make sure the chain is lubricated regularly though. This will ensure the chain and sprockets are meshing properly and not causing any unnecessary wear on either parts. You should check your chain every 500 miles or so and give it a quick lube. It is also a good idea to completely clean your chain and sprockets every 3,000 miles of road riding to get rid of dirt and grime. Make sure you clean around the front sprocket well as this is where most of the old lube will build up.
9. How often to I need to replace sprockets?
Bike sprockets are durable and as long as your bike is in good working condition and well looked after they should last for years. However if the chain is poorly adjusted it could wear down the teeth and this means the sprocket will need replacing. You cannot run your bike with a worn sprocket as the teeth will not mesh properly with the chain and this could cause it to jump off when you are riding which could be very dangerous.
10. Can I use WD40 on my sprockets?
WD40 is a common lubricate which can be used to clean and lube various metal parts. Despite this, you should not use it on sprockets as it will transfer onto the chain. WD40 will displace chain grease and leave some patches unprotected against the high running temperatures. This will wear the chain and also the bike sprockets much more quickly. Only use proper chain lube and cleaner on your sprockets. We recommend Motul Chain Lube.