Katana of the Month - August 2008  lee3645

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Katana How-To's & FAQ's A forum filled with write-ups, FAQ's, and visual aids for
mechanical & cosmetic modifications to your Katana.

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Old 09-22-2006, 09:06 PM   #1
Kat Daddy
Join Date: Apr 2006
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Default Sprocket change how-to: 98+ specific but adaptable...

SO you want to change your sprockets and chain? Not sure where to start? Don't have the manual? Well you should. It's available for download in PDF format. The Suzuki manual doesn't really do things based on an entire breakdown of the bike like the Haynes or Clymer does. So I decided to try to do a detailed write-up here and provide photos of the various stages of the project.

First off, you want to make sure you have the right parts (assuming you want to keep things stock):

118 links of 530 size chain plus a master link -- either rivet-style or clip-style. See other posts about the finer points of using either. I chose a rivet link.

15-tooth front sprocket to fit your type of bike. For my 2002 Kat 600: Part# 8109247S from Dennis Kirk.

47-tooth rear sprocket to fit your type of bike. For my 2002 Kat 600: Part# 8098315

Now that you have parts ordered, you need to gather your tools.

A set of metric box wrenches from 8-17mm.

A 3/8" or 1/2" drive metric ratchet set with common sizes up to 22mm.

A torque wrench with a drive compatable to your sockets and capable of 9.5 - 87 foot/pounds. I have a 1/2" drive one, for instance.

A pair of snap-ring pliers.

A 32mm socket with appropriate drive to match your socket or an adapter.

A set of metric allen wrenches with at least sizes 3-6mm

A 6mm metric allen socket to match your ratchet.

Phillips head screwdriver.

A chain riveting tool (if you opted for the rivet-type master link)

Some engine degreaser.

Some quality grease.

Some thread lock. "Loc-tite."

So put your bike up on its stand(or a pitstand) and let's get started!

To get at the sprocket cover, we need to remove the belly pan and the top fairing. You will need your 3, 4 and 5mm allen keys for this along with your Phillips head screw driver. Remove all the hardware associated with the lower fairing and carefully pull it off the bike. Set it aside and begin removing the upper fairing bolts. Along with the bolts, you will need to remove the mirror on the left side & the little plastic clip above the front fender that holds the center piece and the lower fairing to each other. Pop the upper fairing off and set it aside well out of the way. Place all hardware together so you won't forget what goes where.

Now things should look like this. To remove the sprocket cover, first the shift lever must come off. Use either a 10mm socket or 10mm box wrench to remove the bolt that holds the front half of the gear shift linkage. Now, use your snapring pliers to remove the snapring that holds the shift lever on. Remove these parts together. No need to disconnect the linkage from each other.

Now use your 5mm allen key to remove the bolts from the sprocket cover. They have threadlock on them so they will be snug. Keep in mind what length bolt corresponds to what position on the sprocket cover. They are different lengths. Once you get the spocket cover broken loose, loosen the bolt holding the speed sensor and remove it from the cover but not from its wire. Move it out of the way.

The clutch cable should be the only thing remaining attached to the sprocket cover. Don't detatch it unless you plan to replace it as well. You can push the sprocket cover far enough out of the way with the cable still attached. Be warned, the back of the sprocket cover is very grimey. Here's where the engine degreaser is handy. You can use it to clean the area up a bit.
Using your 6mm allen key socket, remove the bolt that holds the speed sensor rotor. Place the speed sensor rotor and its bolt out of the way.

Using your 32mm socket on either a breaker bar or, if you must, your torque wrench (set at 90 ft/pd or above), apply the rear brake to hold the wheel from moving (engine compression alone won't hold it -- this is why we do the front sprocket before removing the chain), and loosen the sprocket nut by turning it counter clockwise (standard right-hand thread). Once the sprocket nut is removed, you can remove the chain. I used a set of bolt cutters to cut the chain off. Quick, easy, and painless.

Once you have the chain removed, remove the nut, washer and sprocket.

Take this opportunity to clean up the area with some degreaser. It's very grimey back there and any dirt you leave behind could get on your new parts. Details, details.

Place your new sprocket onto the shaft, place the sprocket washer on and run the sprocket nut down to hand tight. We now have to move to the rear.

The Suzuki manual is pretty clear on how to get the rear wheel off. You will need your 12, 17 and 22mm sockets, a 13mm box wrench, a pair of pliers, a new cotter pin, and possibly an assistant. Remove the old cotter pin with your pliers. With your 22mm socket and either a 17mm box wrench or a 17mm socket, loosen the axle nut while holding the axle with the other hand. It will want to spin.

With a 12mm socket, loosen the brake caliper mounting bolts and emove them. This will leave the rear brake caliper attached to the support arm but easier to move out of the rim's way when it's time to drop it out of the swingarm.

Push the axle to the left side of the bike and slide it out while you or an assistant support the weight of the rear wheel. Move the rear brake caliper out of the way and slide the wheel free of the swingarm.

Place the wheel on a flat surface with the sprocket up with care as to not damage your brake rotor.

Using a 14mm socket, break each sprocket nut free. but don't remove them yet.

The sprocket carrier should lift right out of the wheel. Careful again as the retainer may slide out.

By hand, remove the sprocket nuts and keep track of the sprocket bolts. Toss that old sprocket.

Now basically do the reverse but with your new sprocket. The sprocket bolts have lands that fit in grooves that are on the carrier. Make sure these line up before you start snugging anything down. Tighten them to 36 ft/pds in a star pattern.

Place the sprocket carrier back onto the wheel making sure the tabs line up with the cush drive rubbers.

Now reinstall your wheel in the reverse order you took it off. Again, the Suzuki manual that is available for download is pretty clear on how to do this.

Now we can return to the front sprocket. Back the sprocket nut out and apply some thread lock to it then run it back on to hand tight.

Using your new chain, place it around your rear sprocket and run it on the underside up to the front sprocket. Wrap it around the front sprocket in a manner so that it won't fall off and that there are as many teeth engaged by the chain as possible.

Using your torque wrench and 32mm socket, hold the rear brake to keep the wheel from moving and tighten the front sprocket nut to 83 ft/pd. You can now take the chain back out or, you can go ahead and place the master link in it to hold it in place loosely.

Using your 6mm socket and ratchet, place the speed sensor rotor onto the shaft and tighten its bolt to 9.5 ft./pds.

Clean the clutch release mechanism and apply some grease to it. Put the sprocket cover back in place and insert the bolts into their corresponding holes. Remember, there are different lengths in different positions. Tighten the clutch cover bolts.

Reinstall the speed sensor.

Place some grease on the shift lever stud and in the sleeve bearing on the lever itself. Slide it onto the stud and reinstall the snap-ring using your snap-ring pliers.

Place the shift linkage back on the shifter stud and tighten the bolt.

Time to rivet your chain (or install the clip link, if you so choose). Follow your riveting tool's instructions or your chain manufacturer's instructions on how to do so.

Using your torque wrench and 22mm socket and a ratchet with a 17mm socket, loosen your rear axle nut, adjust your chain tension while making sure you keep the wheel aligned. Tighten your axle nut to 47 ft./pds.

Now, replace your plastics and you are done! Wash up and go for a spin. If your chain and sprockets were as worn as mine, you will notice a huge improvement on how the bike performs.
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Old 09-22-2006, 09:14 PM   #2
Special K
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So far, so good, but in pic # 6 you skipped a step! What about that pesky lil' 10mm head bolt with a washer that acts as a keeper over the 32mm big nut?

Moved it to the How-To section!

I've owned over 70 Katanas - you think I know anything about them?
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Old 09-22-2006, 09:44 PM   #3
Skid Mark
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keith the 98+ have a allen bolt that holds the speedo rotor on which acts at the 10mm head bolt and washer on the pre98
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Old 09-22-2006, 10:55 PM   #4
Join Date: May 2006
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looks good so far man... i just did mine on my '97 600 and wish i'd had time to snap pics in a how-to format :-/

my biggest issue was the rear wheel bolts... because of how they are prevented from spinning it was a REAL pita...
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Old 09-23-2006, 06:36 PM   #5
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Didn't read it all , but did you mention putting a dab of grease on the post for the shift lever ? Makes it feel NICE and smooth .....
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Old 10-11-2006, 08:57 PM   #6
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Additional related info:

98+ Katana GSX600F GSX750F Sprocket Ratios for Katana's (sprocket ratio table)

Sprocket Math and gear ratios (applies to any sprocketed bike)

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