Check your front sprocket retainer clips! - - The Ultimate Ducati Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 2007, 2:43 pm Thread Starter
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Check your front sprocket retainer clips!

Here is a pic of the retainer that holds the front sprocket from sliding off its splined drive shaft. Note all the teeth are gone. It was taken off my 99 ST4 with 30,000 miles. I recently did a long (2200 mile) trip to Utah and did many high speed runs while crossing Nevada. When I got home to Calif., I was accelerating from a stop sign and my chain came off. Upon inspection I found the front sprocket retainer clip failed and the sprocket moved over and caused the chain to rub against the clutch slave cylinder which wore against the side of the chain and I lost the outer plate on the masterlink and then the link fell off and so did the chain. Didnt find anything else unusual. The chain was fairly new as were the sprockets.

I recommend you check the retainer and replace it each time you replace the sprockets. I did not do that, so this retainer has probably 30,000 miles on it. Was very lucky the chain didnt let go at 140 mph! Dont want to even think about that.

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 2007, 3:45 pm
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Besides the obvious as you stated. Sounds like another reason to upgrade! Vented sprocket covers are stylin'! ...and you can see what ya need to see within' without removing anything.

Found my 999 with a missing outer link that had failed after a, um, fast ride a few months back too while cleaning the chain. Can't say enough about visual inspections.

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...previous Ducatis now sold... '05 999 and '02 ST4S
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 2007, 4:25 pm
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If the chain and sprockets were fairly new I'm surprised you didn't see the wear on that retainer when they were put on!
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 2007, 4:47 pm Thread Starter
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Frankly, I probably didnt pay enough attention when I last installed the sprockets about a year and a half ago. I do remember the retainer locking the sprocket, but dont remember scrutinizing its condition. Also, I have never run a bike so fast for such a long time when going through Nevada. I am sure that had a lot to do with it.

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 2007, 4:57 pm
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My retainer clip fell off - the two bolts came loose and fell out, it was working fine with no clip and I don't know how long it was like that before I discovered but it was around a year since last checked!

I bought a new clip and Loctited the bolts, there was no damage to anything, except some scoring on the inside of the sprocket cover - I think I was lucky.......

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 2007, 5:56 pm
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Mike, you're also lucky you didn't tear up more stuff, especially your engine cases. Do you have one of LTs case saver inserts installed?

'16 Motus MST-R /'04 ST4s/ '95 916 / '93 888SPO (Sold&#128557 '92 900SS / '01 HD FLHRi / '11 Multi S- Touring (Sold)
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 2007, 7:20 pm Thread Starter
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No, I didnt have the case saver. Luckily when the chain came off, I was just puttin so it didnt slap hard on the case when it let go.

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old Jul 5th, 2007, 1:08 am
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glad nothing bad happened to you, Mike. I've never seen anything like that before.

While it may not have happened to you, it might not be a bad idea to remind people about chains:

with high torque motors, it's important to use a rivet master link. if one has to use a clip master, cleaning the clip and outer plate off with contact cleaner, then wiping RTV silicone over the clip and plate, will prevent the clip from coming off.

a rivet tool is cheap insurance. and handy to change chains.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old Jul 5th, 2007, 8:17 am
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I recently replaced the chain/sprockets on my 18,000 mile 900SS.

The stock retainer clip was worn but not as bad as your pictured example. I replaced it as well. Also went with an open cover and LT's case saver insert.

Glad you did not do some serious damage,


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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old Aug 9th, 2013, 12:02 am
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Just has this happen on my 2011 Monster 796. The sprocket moved towards the motor and shaved away at the swing arm....only have 7,100 miles. Original sprockets & chain
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