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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been using +1 / -4 (16T / 42T) which is a huge change from stock, and required jumping the clutch pull switch to get rid of CELs. I wouldn't recommend more than +1 / -1 because the chain runs too close to the swing arm. Also, you will have to trim a tiny bit away around the counter sprocket guard for the 16T, it just runs too close for comfort. Which means there is absolutely no chance of running +2 (17T) up front, it's literally physically impossible, you'd have to dremel into the engine case.

So I tried the opposite yesterday, -1 / +1 (14T / 47T). I suppose it is slightly quicker as it feels a bit more buttery right from 0 mph, but wow short gearing seems annoying imho. I feel like the torquey engine is better at punching hard with longer gearing, than it is trying to spool up fast with shorter gearing. Or maybe it's just this rider's preference.

My plan is to use +1 / -1 (16T / 45T) going forward, to better keep the chain away from the swing arm / plastic guard.

Anyone else's oem N650 chain fail by 8K miles? The one on my 765 was fine when I sold it at 8K miles. My Ninja's chain is 110% shot, missing seals, red stuff pouring out of the links. In fact I first noticed chain issues around 5K miles during regular maintenance, stiff links. Maybe it's something to do with my sprocket changes, but I kinda doubt it. I always aligned the rear tire, and made sure the chain wasn't too loose or too tight. Riding in California sunshine, no rain no salt on the chain.
 

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Not sure what "CEL's" stands for.. :)

All chains require regular maintenance, both cleaning/lubing and proper adjustment. Not saying you didn't do this, just saying it for those other readers who may be here in the future.

If you've swapped sprockets for more torque (and ride it hard) that's hard on a chain, even if maintained. The manufacturer of a chain matters too. Buy a cheap chain, get what you pay for.

Don't ride with a damaged chain. If it fails it can break stuff (engine case etc) or lock up the rear wheel and cause a crash.
Yes, you might get lucky and only end up stranded, but that's not the normal scenario!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
CEL = Check Engine Light, aka MIL malfunction indicator lamp

Yeah I'm ordering a chain today.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The original oem chain was "520 D.I.D. VE" which I can't find on their site. Installed a Vortex V3 520 SX3 (114 link). Used the RK UCT2100(50) universal chain tool, easy to break chain. A bit more challenging to do the rivets but nothing too hard.
 

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I never use a tool to remove the chain or extra links. It's just easier to use a grinder to cut the chain off, and to remove extra links you just lightly take off the 2 pins on one side of the link and then use a punch over a socket with a light tap. I've seen too many folks break a press tool trying to push out the pins. Usually they say to grind the head before you use the press tool anyway, so why not just cut the old chain right off. You're not going to reuse it.
 
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@Obo - I used to use a chain breaker many years ago, and broke the pin on a couple. Then I bought a grinder. I do exactly as you describe - makes it a 5 minute job.
 
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