How Do You Remove the Sprocket Nut? | ANSWERS

MC Garage tips on sprocket replacement.

The best way to remove the countershaft sprocket is with a large impact gun. If you're limited to hand tools, a cheater bar will usually do the trick.©Motorcyclist

Q. I have a Kawasaki Versys 650 and just bought new aftermarket sprockets and a chain for it. The old pieces were worn out, and, besides, I wanted to raise the overall gearing so I'd stop looking for seventh gear on the highway. After I managed to get the original countershaft sprocket off, I noticed that it has a rubber doughnut bonded to the inner and outer faces. The replacement sprocket is just, well, a sprocket.

Will I somehow damage my bike by using a different kind of sprocket? Also, my buddy and I had a bear of a time getting the sprocket nut off. Any suggestions on how to make that easier?

Arthur Sellers
Slidell, LA

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A. "Just a sprocket" will work fine. The rubber doughnut on the OE sprocket is there for noise reasons. If you've ever rolled down a steep hill with the engine not running, you know a drive chain can be pretty noisy. Anything the manufacturer can do to reduce the clatter is considered.

By far, the best way to remove the countershaft sprocket is with a large impact gun. A ½-inch-drive gun with a sturdy socket should do the trick. And while it’s proper to use sockets designed for impact guns, the occasional use of a standard, six-point socket probably won’t cause you trouble. Be sure to wear your safety glasses.

You can reuse the locking ring as long as there is enough unbent material to cover a new flat on the nut.©Motorcyclist

Okay, so you don’t have the pneumatic tools. Start by hitting the threads with penetrating oil an hour or two before you begin. Use a punch to flatten the locking ring against the face of the sprocket. You can reuse this locking ring as long as there is enough unbent material to cover a new flat on the nut. Grab the longest breaker bar you have, insert a piece of wood between a wheel spoke and the top of the swingarm (we used a plastic mallet handle with the SV example above), have a friend stand on the rear brake, and give it a go. The torque spec is around 90 pound-feet, so it’ll be very tight coming off—you might need to use an old fork leg or other extender for more leverage. Borrow a high-range torque wrench when it comes time to install the new sprocket and nut.