How much sprocket misalignment is acceptable?
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How much sprocket misalignment is acceptable?

This is a discussion on How much sprocket misalignment is acceptable? within the Technical forums, part of the Caferacer.net Forums category; I know that the ideal answer is "none", but what's the maximum amount of misalignment between the front and rear sprockets over a typical motorcycle ...

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  1. #1
    Senior Member whiskeysid's Avatar
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    How much sprocket misalignment is acceptable?

    I know that the ideal answer is "none", but what's the maximum amount of misalignment between the front and rear sprockets over a typical motorcycle chain run?
    I'm having difficulties with my SL350 lower end in my CB frame because the countershaft sprocket is placed further outboard in the SL cases than the CB cases. I can tweak things around to get the misalignment pretty small, but I can't get it perfect with the setup that I have. Chains have a bit of forgiveness for misaligned sprockets, but how much can I get away with without causing big problems? Thanks.
    -the Rad Baron
    -\'72 CB350
    -\'72 Kawasaki H1
    -\'72 Yamaha R5/RD350 hybrid
    -\'77 XS650
    -\'47 Harley U flathead
    -a bunch of other old Jap bikes

  2. #2
    Senior Member crazypj's Avatar
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    Can you shorten drive side wheel spacer and make longer one for brake side?
    I don't think you can go further than 1/16" without causing problems and possible chain derailment?
    I dabble in rocket science, when I\'m not picking my nose
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  3. #3
    Senior Member whiskeysid's Avatar
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    Changing the spacers would indeed move the sprocket, but it would also move the tire away from the centerline of the bike. That would have to cause strange things to happen, right? I'm hoping that an SL350 wheel will position the sprocket where it needs to be in relation to the drive sprocket. I've asked a few people to try to get me the measurement from the sprocket to the hub centerline on a '71-'72 SL350 wheel. I have a hard time believing that the motors are offset differently in the frame between the SL350 and CB350. We'll see.
    It would still be nice to know what the accepted standard maximum sprocket offset is, just for knowledge.
    -the Rad Baron
    -\'72 CB350
    -\'72 Kawasaki H1
    -\'72 Yamaha R5/RD350 hybrid
    -\'77 XS650
    -\'47 Harley U flathead
    -a bunch of other old Jap bikes

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  5. #4
    Senior Member freedomgli's Avatar
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    quote:Originally posted by whiskeysid

    It would still be nice to know what the accepted standard maximum sprocket offset is, just for knowledge.
    I don't know that there is a generally agreed upon value for this since everyone goes to great lengths to minimize chain misalignment. Any amount of chain misalignment is substantially less than ideal as it creates excessive wear and tear and is possibly indicative of other issues such as chassis or wheel misalignment. You really want your front and rear sprockets in straight alignment just as you want your front and rear tires in straight alignment. If your stuff doesn't line up because you've mixed and matched parts that don't belong together then you've got to do some work to make them work either by spacing the sprockets, relocating the engine, dishing the rear wheel and/or altering the frame/swingarm. I just don't see any viable shortcuts to this issue.

  6. #5
    Senior Member freedomgli's Avatar
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    That being said, I'm sure your UJM can tolerate some level of misalignment. We're not talking Swiss watches here. But I would sooner spend effort to minimize misalignment rather than seeing how much wrong you can get away with.

  7. #6
    Senior Member whiskeysid's Avatar
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    I agree. I have every intention of making it as close to perfect as I can achieve and I don't mean to imply that I want to half-ass it because it's easier. It's too bad that sprockets are so difficult to modify. On that note, I'm going to go start a new thread about sprocket modification.
    -the Rad Baron
    -\'72 CB350
    -\'72 Kawasaki H1
    -\'72 Yamaha R5/RD350 hybrid
    -\'77 XS650
    -\'47 Harley U flathead
    -a bunch of other old Jap bikes

  8. #7
    Senior Member Tonnystark's Avatar
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    I would space the sprocket in or out accordingly...wheels need to stay in as perfect an alinement to track correctly!!

    is it possible to mill one side of the sprocket or the hub mounting ?? or is there possibly is an offset from centerline gear available?? call the big gear makers as to what available!!
    78' SR500
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    15' XT250

  9. #8
    Senior Member whiskeysid's Avatar
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    The sprocket on the rear wheel needs to be spaced outward, but the way it's attached to the hub makes this harder than just putting some precision shims between the sprocket and the hub. The sprocket is held on with a large circlip, unlike most setups that use bolts or studs. The cush drive pins bolt onto the sprocket with converntional-looking nuts, but they just slide into bores in the hub. They prevent rotation of the sprocket, but the only thing really holding the sprocket onto the hub is the large circlip. It would take some fancy welding and machining to be able to move the circlip outward.
    I also can't move the front sprocket inboard much or the chain will rub on the case. I have decided that I will tolerate no misalignment, so if the SL350 wheel swap doesn't line things up I'll just have to swap yet another wheel onto it that will either line things up correctly or at least allow me more leeway on sprocket placement.
    I seriously doubt that an offset sprocket is available since even finding a regular 520 sprocket was a chore.
    -the Rad Baron
    -\'72 CB350
    -\'72 Kawasaki H1
    -\'72 Yamaha R5/RD350 hybrid
    -\'77 XS650
    -\'47 Harley U flathead
    -a bunch of other old Jap bikes

  10. #9
    Senior Member kerosene's Avatar
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    how much offset can you get from lacing a wheel off center. If you could do that then you could get the sprocket in lien with spacers but shift the rim in relation to the hub to get it back to center. Obviously no silly stuff like nipple at the very end of the threads etc.

    -

  11. #10
    Senior Member whiskeysid's Avatar
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    That had occurred to me because I've heard of it being done, but the idea just seems a bit squirrely to me. I think that I'd use that as a last resort. I'm not sure how much off set you could get, either.
    -the Rad Baron
    -\'72 CB350
    -\'72 Kawasaki H1
    -\'72 Yamaha R5/RD350 hybrid
    -\'77 XS650
    -\'47 Harley U flathead
    -a bunch of other old Jap bikes

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