I’ve been riding everything in the garage the last couple of weeks. When I went down to pick up the ST2 after having its charging issues fixed I dropped off my FrankenMonster to see about an annoying oil leak from my cam belt covers. It was not leaking a lot, but enough that it was dripping on to my exhaust which was making quite a bit of smoke. It is embarrassing to sit at a stoplight with smoke pouring off your bike and pretending like you don’t notice…
While it was in there I decided to have them put on a new chain. After talking to Mike for a bit about it he suggested putting a heavier chain on it and see if we could get more miles out of it. (I’m notoriously hard on chains) Since we were replacing the sprockets at the same time this was a good time to do the swap as it required a different sized front sprocket to fit. The end result is that I have different gearing now, it is not a lot different, but it is not exactly the same.
The side effect of the change is that I’m now more tempted to ride a little faster (don’t tell my mom)… since the new gearing means that 5250 rpm is 75 mph instead of 72 mph. This may seem crazy, but below 5000 rpm on the freeway the engine is just not happy, it tends lug just slightly and lacks the immediate torque I need to accelerate easily. So just a little above 5k is my happy zone, enough that I don’t immediately fall below 5k if I run into a head wind or go up a hill.
It is not the end of the world, I’m still nowhere near the fastest person on my commute to and from work so I suspect I’ll be fine. It will be interesting to see how all this effects my gas mileage though.
The main thing to focus on is to really try and get the most life and miles out of this chain. I need to be much better about maintenance. I hope that this will be easier now that I have space to work on the bike.