Dealer Misadventure

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#1
This one’s for olderndirtmom because the race was postponed this Saturday because of torrential North Dakotan (which is correctly pronounced “Nort Dakoda” in the Minnesotan tongue) rainfalls.

Sprockets are evil.

Dealers are even worse.

Young newbies working in the service department are downright worse than the two above combined.

The chain on the CR was stretched so badly that I had to get it replaced. So I tried to buy a new one, and while I was at it I figured that I might as well replace the sprockets too.

I figure that I need a bigger rear sprocket for the thing so I’ll have a little better low end power (think “oomph” maybe?). So I go and count my teeth, er…tried to count my teeth, and figured that it was a 52.

I go and waltz into the dealer wearing my pink streetbike jacket. I have to note that I absolutely abhor the color pink in any way shape or form, but absolutely love my jacket. The one salesman-guy-person-whateverheis knows me pretty well because I am ALWAYS in there lusting after various bikes or parts.

He looks me up and down and says “Oh. It’s you again! You’re boyfriend was just here five minutes ago.”

At this point I got pissed off because I had NO idea that the boyfriend went and picked up his CRF 450 WITHOUT me! I got flustered to the point where I almost forgot what I was there for in the first place.

Finally after standing there staring at him stupidly for a good three seconds, I remembered. “Ah, yea. I need a rear sprocket, and chain for my bike.”

“Okay, you’ll need a front one too then. What size?”

Stupid salesmen are always trying to push extra stuff – the front sprocket was not worn looking at all!!

“I need bigger. For better low end power. It’s a renthal and that’s all I remember.”

“Stock is 51 tooth. You probably have a stock on there. Get a 52 tooth and you’ll be fine. BUT, for safety’s sake, go count the teeth though so we’re absolutely sure on what you’ve got.”

At this point he literally shooed me out of the store till I came back with the right number of teeth. So I “miffed offedly” called the boyfriend and had him count the teeth. To which he simply read the numbers that were stamped in under the grease. (I had no idea they did that but it makes my life better).

It had 55 teeth, which is SO not stock.

I went back in, and somehow the dealer convinced me that the bike had too much low end power for a little woman such as myself, and that a smaller rear sprocket would tame the bike down a little bit.

I bought the 51 tooth rear, a replacement front sprocket, and a DID chain, all the cheapest they could find. They sent the new (16 years old maybe?) kid to help me order the parts because NONE of them were in stock. And for those three parts it took well over an hour and a half to get it right (I think he’d been smoking something prior to work…).

Then I had to get oil, Honda brand antifreeze for the boyfriend’s bike, and an airfilter cleaning kit for his bike too.

They cheerfully rung me up at $92. So I painfully wrote out the check and left.

We switched the chain and sprockets on my bike that afternoon, and went to the gravel pits for him to try out the bike. He hadn’t ridden in about ten years, we just cruised around. When I got bored with that and went to play on some whoops and hilly-sandy-rocks-with-some-mud-and-grass-plus-all-sortsa-other-good-stuff, I tried out a few small places that I’d been before.

The bike was terrible. No power to the thing at all! I even had to “AIEYAH C’MAAAAAAANNNNNNNN BABY!” it up all the hills!

After fifteen minutes of the above with some added “You evil dealers are bike murderers! My poor little CR!!!!” we called it quits for the day. To add insult to emotional injury, the boyfriend wouldn’t let me try his 450 even in the flat hardpacked area.

The old rear sprocket is back on the bike.

It’s not in terrible condition yet, and should last at very very least three more races.

However, I realized that I liked my bike very much the way it was before. There’s just one problem.

The sprocket I want is 60$ in its least expensive form. I don’t exactly know what to do, and my money can’t be spent on another sprocket for quite awhile. Things like rent, gas, and motorcycle payments have to come first. Ideally, I want a renthal (or similar quality) rear sprocket with 55 teeth for a 420 chain.

Anyone have any suggestions?
 
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#2
By chance did you ever count the teeth on the front sprocket and compare that to stock?

I am taking a guess that you are not the original owner of this bike, else you would have known that the rear sprocket wasn't stock. It is entirely possible that a previous owner went a tooth larger on the front (which would make the bike's top end faster but with less "oomph"), which is a fairly dramatic change, then went a few teeth larger on the rear to partially offset it.

Your best solution at this point might be to go one tooth smaller on the front sprocket and use your new rear sprocket. This will get you your oomph back, result in new sprockets front and rear, and I think you will find that the front sprockets are cheaper than the rear.

Rod
 

oldguy

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#3
I think RMC gave you a good option. Front sprockets are about $11 to $17 depending on make and dealer. In defense of the dealer you really should replace both spprockets with a new chain as even tho it doesn't look worn out it probably is far enough that it will cause premature wear on both chain and new rear sprocket.
Welcome to the nickel and dime world of MX racing (just wish it really only cost nickels and dimes)
 
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#4
justalonewolf007-

You make learning FUN!

Great story. Great help. I came. I read. I learned.

Where's the next race?
 
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#5
Rod: Great info! I hadn't thought of that! However, after I went back to check, I found that the front sprocket was the stock size. After the next paycheck comes (Literally, I'm down to the dollar right now. Have the exact amount I need for entry fees for the race...)

Essentially you're saying that downsizing both sprockets should change the gearing, but keep the 'oomph'? I have to make sure I've got this in my head straight before I

oldguy: I've read enough of your posts and value that you left your opinion as well! I'm hoping to scrape by for this race. It's hilly, but not much for jumps or whoops (one very flat table top). Then will treat my bike to the new ideas and see how it plays out in a gravel pit. I'll have the old sprocket off ASAP!

olderndirtmom: OH! I didn't mean for the learning part to be for you, I just figured I'd leave another one of my ramblings for you since you seem to enjoy them :cool: I also nominate you to be the DRN's guardian angel figure 'cos you've definitely done a good job of looking after everyone here :) and you're awesome!

Race is this Saturday (June 2nd).
 
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#6
Enjoy them I do!! :nod: You have style and humor to boot! I wouldn't call your prose rambling at all. Very descriptive.

As to learning.... It was a compliment to your writing. I learned despite my own ignorance!! I do not have enough experience and know-how to understand some of the other mechanical failure posts. I understood yours completely, because it provided me with the physical description to know what the problem was and what you were trying to get. It's all in the telling. :laugh:

Good luck Saturday.

Please post your race report in when you get a chance! Don't spare a word. I'm looking forward to it.

and thanks for the kind words. ;)
 

oldguy

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#7
Lonewolf
Do not go down teeth on both sprockets
It works like this
To gain low end power drop teeth off front and/or put some on rear
for topend put teeth on front and /or take away from rear
Do you Bicycle? look at the gearing ratios for hills vs flat road speed peddling and that will give you a better idea

BTW I also enjoy reading your reports and hope someday to meet up with you at a race maybe when we are in Minnesota- I won't pester you as much as the Quad dads did but my son may hang around your pits until you shoo him away
 

Moose

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#8
you had to have heard the voices in your head screaming "cr125...cr125" by now. :)
 
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#9
Yes...they are!

...Except...I'd need starting blocks at least two feet high...don't know if I could even push a bike that size...

...but I would love to try one!
 
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#10
oldguy said:
Lonewolf
Do not go down teeth on both sprockets
It works like this
To gain low end power drop teeth off front and/or put some on rear
for topend put teeth on front and /or take away from rear
Do you Bicycle? look at the gearing ratios for hills vs flat road speed peddling and that will give you a better idea

BTW I also enjoy reading your reports and hope someday to meet up with you at a race maybe when we are in Minnesota- I won't pester you as much as the Quad dads did but my son may hang around your pits until you shoo him away
I made a simple ratio of the gears- just dividing the bigger sprocket teeth by the smaller...essentially the 14/51 is a 3.64 and the 15/55 is a 3.66 and the not so pleasant combination of 15/51 ended up being a 3.40.

Being a female, and new to the industry of riding....these numbers...really don't do much for me. I would assume that the larger number means more bottom end power, but this basically means that I need to do a little homework and research.

As for your son, well...I'll let pretty much anyone hang around as long as they want. Just as long as they help me push the bike to and from the starting gate :D
 
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#11
Out of curiosity which dealer was this?

You don't have to name him by name, a approx. location would do fine too :)


If you haven't yet, I would suggest looking at ordering stuff online. I regularly compare in town dealer prices to online prices, and most times the online people (even with shipping) are much better.

Only items that I want to try on ahead of time, or small items do I go pickup around town. Even then the only dealer whose prices aren't totally outrageous around here are Bob's Cycle.


Particularly rocky mountain atv has front sprockets for $7.99 + shipping. Can't really beat that.


On a related note. My sister rides a YZ125, she absolutely loves it. My 250 scares here, but I think if you got some seat time on a 125 you would be upgrading shortly after :)
 
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#12
It's in Grand Forks ND, on the North-West end of town on Highway 2 (I think...).

If I order from the dealer, it saves the 7$ shipping or so from ordering online. So far, from what I've seen the rear sprockets I was looking at all run about 60$ give or take a few. For me, 7$ is a good three meals...You can do the math :)

But I'll definitely check out the Rocky Mountian site!

In reply to your side note...I'd LOVE to try a 125...but I'd definitely need a pit crew then! At a nearly 38" seat height, I'd be struggling!! I can barely manage the 34.5" that I've got right now!

It'll probably take a lot of flirting to get one of the local guys to let me try theirs out...I'll have to see what I can manage this weekend :)
 
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#13
If I had the cash, I'd already have one :D and a 450 too!
 
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#14
Ahh I thought it might be closer to the Twin Cities. I'm not familiar with that area waaay up there.


Rocky mountain ATV has rear steel sprockets for about $30. Even if you add the $7 shipping, thats still cheaper than $60 + tax.


Even after shipping, the internet sites are usually a lot cheaper than the dealers. You just have to order a week in advance or so.
 
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#15
Hey there,

Dropping a tooth in the front is like adding (Approx.) two teeth in the rear. And you get the benefit of not needing a longer chain for the most part. Don't go down more than one in the front or the effective diameter of your chain will decrease and you’ll get more chain wear.

As for ratios, use what you did for comparison to compare combos, but your transmission’s ratios will prevent a direct comparison to another (non identical) bike. So a 1:3.6 on your bike is not the same as a 1”3.6 on your boyfriends bike.

Chris