You can figure that a front and rear sprocket and a good, quality O-ring chain will cost around $200 to replace. The quickest insight into relative chain life is on the teeth of the sprocket, especially the front. Look for thin, sharp teeth, with a hook on the front edge. This warns the chain is ready to go. At the rear, check the chain by trying to lift it off the sprocket. A brand-new chain will sit tightly between the teeth, while a usable chain will have up-and-down movement yet no substantial front-to-back clearance. Also note if there is any side wear on the sprocket, indicating chain misalignment, a bent china guide, worn wheel bearings or possibly even a bent swingarm. Remember that a chronically over tightened chain will ruin the countershaft bearing, so be sure to check the output shaft for any up-and-down play at this time.
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