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I recently purchased a used RC51 about 2 months ago... my first Honda since I was a novice street rider...(26yrs. ago)

Just purchased a stock chain and sprocket set for my 02 RC51 sp2... went to install, and everything was going fine until I tried to connect the chain.
With the axle all the way forward in the slides, I am still about a half link too short of installation... the swing arm looks stock... will be going out to the garage to check the link length with calipers today ( got frustrated after third attempt and called it a day yesterday).

after laying the chains (old and new) side by side, old is 106 links, new is 104 links (oem), the old chain is much heavier and not marked as to size.
the new chain (RK, never had an easy installation with them) seems to be about the same width, and I realize the old chain will have longer links due to stretching, but the old chain "seems" to be four links longer. I have counted links and they are 104 and 106 respectively.

anyone have any ideas as to why the RK chain would seem a link short?

The rear spring is at it's first lowest setting and the damper is set about half. haven't had the chance to ride it enough to set the suspension to my weight and riding... looks like that will happen next year as the north-central winter approaches...
 

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The variables to your problem/ being that the bike isn't "NEW" of the show roow floor.
In the factory repair manual- Honda specifies 530-102 to 120 links of chain. As specified your bike not being new- variables of sprockets being changed, could cause a differents in chain lenghths.. Yet I must point out, "You specified that the(OLD) chain was 106 links, and the(NEW) chain is 104 links. This is the reason Honda specified to purchase a 120 link chain.
As far a the size -There is a Industry standard on size of chain links/meaning that all links in that "Size"(530) will be the same (reguardless the manufacturer)
As far as wieght between the chains(OLD)and (New) That would be the advancements in "METALLURGIES" in the Industries of production.
Buy a 530-120 chain/ and cut in down , just like the rest of us....
 

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1971allchaos...wrong (edit: not completely, per jondog9)

Actually, you don't need a 530, and you certainly don't need 120 links

the SP1 2000-2001 models used 104 links. When they adjusted the swing arm length in 2002-2006 (SP2 version of bike) they bumped the chain link out to 106 links. I know this because i had to rivet two master links into my purchased 520 chain when i did my conversion. i originally bought 104 links, realized my error, bought and extra master link, put it together and i have a perfectly running SP2 with 15/41 520 conversion.
 

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I would exchange the chain. Shouldn't be a problem, I would think any distributor would understand your delima.
Are you putting that new chain on the old sprockets? If your chain was stretched, your teeth will be worn too. Not a good idea, Im sure you know that.
If you want to change gearing, that 104 may fit just fine with 15/41. That's a nice little swap that will give you a little better acceleration of the line. I have a 15/42, w/104 links and a 190/55 tire on my SP1. Clearance is tight, about 7-8mm, but adequate.
 

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1971allchaos...wrong

ACTUALLY, you don't need a 530, and you certainly don't need 120 links

the SP1 2000-2001 models used 104 links. When they adjusted the swing arm length in 2002-2006 (SP2 version of bike) they bumped the chain link out to 106 links. I know this because i had to rivet two master links into my purchased 520 chain when i did my conversion. i originally bought 104 links, realized my error, bought and extra master link, put it together and i have a perfectly running 15/41 520 conversion.

bam
awesome info... will be going back to the bike shop for the proper chain... as I had entrusted them to order the proper set... obviously an order error on their part. as I had specified 2002 SP2

was replacing with stock gearing 17/40 but also ordered a 42T rear.
any notice of countershaft problems with the smaller sprocket? I had a friend who bent the countershaft on his Suz TL when he went one tooth smaller...
 

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1971allchaos...wrong

ACTUALLY, you don't need a 530, and you certainly don't need 120 links

the SP1 2000-2001 models used 104 links. When they adjusted the swing arm length in 2002-2006 (SP2 version of bike) they bumped the chain link out to 106 links. I know this because i had to rivet two master links into my purchased 520 chain when i did my conversion. i originally bought 104 links, realized my error, bought and extra master link, put it together and i have a perfectly running 15/41 520 conversion.

bam
Good going winterboy04. It is probably that easy of a fix. I overlooked the swingarm difference between SP1 and SP2.
But 1971 allchaos is more right than wrong. JovialPrince should stay with the 530. I run a 520 and alum anodized AFAM, and I see how quickly my gears and chain are wearing. I've read and followed many threads in the recent past about 520 vs 530. If you look into it, you'll see that the really experienced members prefer 530 for the street. From this forum and Fireblades.
I'm going to go back to 530 this winter but definatly keeping 15/42.
 

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awesome info... will be going back to the bike shop for the proper chain... as I had entrusted them to order the proper set... obviously an order error on their part. as I had specified 2002 SP2

was replacing with stock gearing 17/40 but also ordered a 42T rear.
any notice of countershaft problems with the smaller sprocket? I had a friend who bent the countershaft on his Suz TL when he went one tooth smaller...
You mean 16/40 right?
 

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i'm pretty sure the stock gearing is 16/40, not 17/40. as long as you get a quality sprocket (i have vortex) you will be fine. My front 15 tooth is offset on one side to make up for the smaller chain. just don't put it on backwards and the shaft and chain should be just about perfectly perpendicular (ie. no bending). i had the same thought when i was doing mine so i know exactly what you are talking about.

i'm not sure if its the front sprocket, rear sprocket, or the chain, or even the combo, but the bike came ALIVE. i can use more gears aroudn town, the engine braking is no worse than before, and the thing pulls hard accelerating, significantly more so. The "Butt-Dyno" was a big fan.
 

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I think the way it works is that you can go from 16/40 (stock) to 15/42 without changing chain length. Depending on tire size, cause if you have the bigger 190/55, or plan on upgrading to it, then clearance may become an issue again.

As said earlier, I have 15/42 x 520. SP1 with 190/55 rear tire. 104 links.
That's about 7-8 mm of clearance you see there with a new tire.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
yep... my bad... it is 16/40... I really should focus before opening my mouth..LOL
but still curious about any bent countershafts like the TL's tend to experience...
 

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Hey winterboy, No problems excepting / someone else's opinion. and can except being wrong.. I suppose what I was really trying to relay - Industry standards are the same between Chain manufactures(530/ 520/ 420 and so on)
Factory sprockets for the SP-1,and SP-2 is 16/40 and the purchase of a 530-120 chain is alot safer than puting TWO master links in a chain, and alot cheaper to purchase / than the alternative..
What was attempting to be conveyed in statement before -sizes 530 or the (520 the conversion) a "120 link" chain would have solved the problem and eliminate the possibliities of your chain being to short..
Didn't mean to confuse or steer anyone incorrectly
Honda does recommend it the service manual- when replacing the chain / will maintance. Is to use a 120 link chain and cut it to length
 
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