With my last chain and sprocket change, I was using the stock size 14T front sprocket and the 30T rear sprocket, which isn’t the stock size. I’ve never used a stock rear sprocket on my bike, and I don’t know the last time that it had one on there, but most people talk about the high-end whine, or it sounding like bees are going to explode from the engine, and other redline sounds.
The last chain I was running was a 106 link chain. I went into detail earlier about how it wasn’t a good fit on the bike. Now that I’ve gone a bit with the stock size chain again (108 links) I’m pretty sure that’s definitely what to stick with. For some reason, I never counted the chain links from the first chain I had. The axle sits back a bit further (a little past the “new” marking on the swingarm) but there’s still plenty of space to work with when you’re using the 108 link chain.
Putting the 106 link chain on was hard, it was like I was stretching it myself, which would be pretty much impossible. Either way, it was the one that the folks at Bike Bandit said I should use because of the decrease in teeth of my sprocket.
The problem with having such a tight chain is that it will cause extra wear on the transmission. I started hearing a weird noise right before engaging in 2nd gear (so at a certain speed or RPM? don’t know!) but the noise and those problems are gone now, with the well-fitting chain and sprockets.
So my bike definitely sounded happier and more relaxed, but there’s a lot of other options out there, too. Once I’m done with need-it-to-run repairs, I’m planning on getting a few different sprockets and testing them out to see how they go.
When I was driving on I-94, I definitely had to shift into 4th gear to maintain 70mph indicated uphill.
I’m open to suggestions, definitely, and I’ve been playing around with things on gearingcommander.com to see what other kinds of options there are.
I’m planning on getting a 15 tooth front sprocket, the 33 tooth stock rear sprocket, and the 28 tooth rear sprocket so I can do some comparisons. Most of my riding is in 5th gear, I don’t do a lot of little tuttering around town, since it’s my main transportation vehicle. There’s tons of people’s experiences about this online, but the thread I keep coming back to read is the Sprockets and Speed one on the Honda Rebel Forums.