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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As sthe title says, the bike needs a new chain and sprockets. Dealer said they have a package of all 3 for around $275-290. Knowing the dealer ain't the cheapest place to buy parts I figure I'll order from someplace else.

But (1) what sprockets? What is the correct # of teeth of both sprockets? (2) is the chain a 520 or 525? Do they come in different lengths? Is it really worthwhile to spend BIG $$ on the absolute top quality chain?

Thx.
 

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'99 900ss needs Chain & Sprockets. What do get?

Only benefit to 520 is choice in sprockets and a little less weight. To each their own I guess. Either way I’m a huge believer in DID’s ERV-3 chain.

Kits can be ordered to length or get a 120-link and cut to suit. Remember to put chain adjusters to their larger range position before you snip!


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As sthe title says, the bike needs a new chain and sprockets. Dealer said they have a package of all 3 for around $275-290. Knowing the dealer ain't the cheapest place to buy parts I figure I'll order from someplace else.

But (1) what sprockets? What is the correct # of teeth of both sprockets? (2) is the chain a 520 or 525? Do they come in different lengths? Is it really worthwhile to spend BIG $$ on the absolute top quality chain?

Thx.
https://sprocketcenter.com/street-sprocket-applications/ducati/900-ss-sl-1991-1997.html

These guys make it easy with the "kit." $150 for the base kit. What to get depends on what you want and want to spend. Generally, the more you spend on sprockets/chain the better off you are. I'm not a fan of the Bikemaster brand which is the default at that price. I like my D.I.D ERV3 chain, has an excellent track record in the sportbike community and bumps the price of their kit to $210 which is still below what your dealer wants.

Sprocket ratios are personal preference. Stock is a 15/37, 520 chain. Our bikes don't make enough power to need a 525. Sprocket selection is personal preference. 15/37 was selected for noise/exhaust emissions requirements in California in 1992 and is decent for touring but the bike really wakes up with shorter gearing.

Generally avoid directly divisible ratios or like 15/45 or 14/42, also avoid common divisors like 15/40 (5) and 15/42 (3) to keep wear even. Some people don't like using a 14 tooth sprocket because they feel it winds the chain too tight. I love 15/41 - good acceleration, excellent responsiveness in the canyons, get you around on the highways but a little short for a long multi-day freeway cruising.
 

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I used and AFAM front sprocket and Supersprox rear on my '92. I originally bought a JP Sprockets front as AFAM wasn't available, but the hole for the little location screw was not properly threaded. The retailer sent me an AFAM as a replacement. No issues with it. The '99 sprocket fitment is probably different so the screw hole may not matter.
 

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the 900ssie has a 1.84:1 primary drive ratio. psyopper is talking his carb model, which has 2:1, so the gearing he is talking about isn't relevant to your bike.

std gearing is 15/40 with 520 chain.

i run 15/43 on them as i feel it's the best all round gearing, but they can hit the limiter in 6th with that i'm told. depends what speed you normally ride at, and how much variation there is in your riding. if you use the bike as peak hour commuter and highway touring you end up compromising.

15/43 is the same as 14/40, which we used to do a lot on new bikes.
 

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2001 900SSie
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15/43 is the same as 14/40, which we used to do a lot on new bikes.
I have used 15/43 since the second sprocket/chain change. The first one was 14/40.

I use the 15/43 on the basis that the higher numbers result in slightly less contact between a tooth and the chain.

I think you will be quite surprised and pleased how it changes the acceleration.
Yes you can hit the limiter in 6th, but I have only found that on track days, which are infrequent nowadays for me.

I also am pleased with the ERV3. From memory with 15/43 it is 102 links. Measure twice and cut once!
 

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You do not need the best chain but with 520 you also do not want a "cheap " chain. I have had customers bring chains in that were 525 and did not last 3 pulls on the dyno..... But they were cheap!!!

On average I see 520 chains last around 12000 miles, 525 last about 18000 on average. You could do the conversion and you would get longer life but it will cost a bit more for the chain and add a little weight. I will probably do this to my 851 as after the motor work chain life decreased. For a stockish 900 I would keep it 520 and the 15/43 is good gearing.

Look at bike ratings from chain manufacturers and pick one that is designed for your bike, do not put a 520 on that is rated for a dirt bike as it will not be up to the task of your torque for long. One of my go to chains are the RK GB520gxw that is made in Japan and is relatively cheap. Be sure to use a peen type link or at minimum safety wire your master link clip. Break a chain or lose a link and you may be shopping for engine cases.

I also would avoid aluminum sprockets as they do not last the life of the chain and will wear the chain prematurely. Jt sprockets are chap and seem to wear out about the same time as a chain but are about the minimum quality I would go.
 

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Which brings to mind installing a case saver. You can buy one or make one from a metal brace you can buy at a home improvement store. There’s a thread here somewhere.
 

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Case saver is an excellent investment. So is a high quality chain tool. Remember to use a Dremel or the like to grind the mushroomed end of a chain rivet before you use the tool to push it out
 

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Yes, a good chain tool is definitely necessary in my mind. I’ve gone through enough cheap ones and they don’t give good results. Also I would recommend DID master links as they are easier to mushroom properly. I’ve tried other brands that cracked as they mushroom, don’t trust the link if this happens.
 

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IMHO, if you want to save money, do not buy a kit -- the proper chain, and front/rear sprockets can be bought separately on the bay of E for much less than the "kits". As above, a proper chain tool is necessary -- with the money you save you can pick up a motion pro kit as well. I'm all for supporting your local bike shop, but online is cheaper. I'm in Canada, so perhaps the price difference is more pronounced, but even with the exchange, I'm ahead.
I've had good success with Renthal and Vortex alloy sprockets, but that is on my race bikes. 520 is plenty. I even used the strongest MX chain in a 520, non-oring, for several seasons on my tuned 900ss...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I use the 15/43 on the basis that the higher numbers result in slightly less contact between a tooth and the chain.

I think you will be quite surprised and pleased how it changes the acceleration.
Yes you can hit the limiter in 6th, but I have only found that on track days, which are infrequent nowadays for me.
How fast is hitting the limiter in 6th?

I also am pleased with the ERV3. From memory with 15/43 it is 102 links. Measure twice and cut once!
Would a 15/41 be a decent compromise between stock and more performance oriented gearing?
 

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You need to go up at least 3 teeth in the back to make a noticeable difference.
 

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How fast is hitting the limiter in 6th?
No idea, too busy looking at the track and traffic.

I recall the gearcommander web site or similar name will estimate that for you.

Just based on 40/43 results in 7% less
 

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How fast is hitting the limiter in 6th?







Would a 15/41 be a decent compromise between stock and more performance oriented gearing?


Depends on how many revs your bike will pull in top gear, and what your rev limiter is set to if you have one. My S2R1000 has the same primary gearing and I think a bit more hp but lacks in aerodynamics. I’m running 15/43 (41 is stock on this bike) and it won’t hit the rev limiter in top gear. With this gearing 9000 rpm is about 145 actual, not fake speedometer mph. I have my rev limiter set for 9500 rpm and I think stock was 9200 on this motor.

Yes, I think 15/41 or 42 is the sweet spot for these motors. And don't worry about the theoretical odd/even gearing combinations. You will never see any difference in the real world.


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shout out for SUPERLITE sprockets, 15/43, plenty good reasonably priced chains out there.
 

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My 2 Cents

I've been a long time fan if Regina's products. Their 525ZRP ticks all the boxes for me. Sprocket wise the last rear sprocket I bought was the Supersprox brand, the aluminum inner/steel outer. It only has a few thousand miles on it so far so a lot more to go.
 
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