Shaft Drive System vs Chain Drive. Any final drive optional ring and pinion gear sets available?

ballisticexchris

Chris Moritz
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What is with all this dislike for a chain? I would never ever base my purchase or like/dislike of a bike because of the drive system. The reality is they both have advantages and disadvantages. Shaft is less messy and that's about it. Chain drives are very reliable and gearing changes are very simple. With a good O-ring or X-ring chain you can get away to lubricating them once a day. The disadvantage is they have to be changed out every 15k to 20k miles.

Don't get me wrong. I really like the drive system on the Super Tenere. I am a little put off that the gearing changes are pretty damn hard to do and not something you can do in 5 minutes like a chain system. I used to carry a few countershaft sprockets with me for different riding conditions. That is not possible on a shaft driven bike.

BTW does anyone know of a company the sells optional ring and pinion gear sets. While the OEM gearing is not bad, lower gearing sure would be nice for slow speed work and freeway/canyon cruising. I find that 1st and 6th gear is way too high. 5th gear is perfect for 75mph cruising. 1st gear requires lots of clutch work at anything below walking pace. On my Ninja it was just a quick swap of countershaft and I could crawl the bike with almost no clutch. Good news is I am able to abuse the clutch and manage it.

I'm wondering how long the clutch is going to last on this bike. My Ninja plates were shot about the same time I had to replace the chain and sprockets. FWIW, I'm very hard on clutches. I don't knock my bike out of gear at stops. Clutch is always covered when riding and bike in gear at lights. I remember a master mechanic telling me that the local motor cops went through a lot of clutches on the BMW's and ST Hondas because of the requirement to cover the clutch and have it in at stops.
 

Top Ten

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From my own personal experience, I wanted to get away from chain drive because of the unpredictability of when they would reach the end of their life. It is not as easy judging chain wear and life expectancy as it is measuring tire tread depth, mileage on oil, time on brake fluid, etc.

On my previous bike, a 2008 V-Strom 650, I would occasionally take off on a 6,000-7,000 mile trip thinking my chain was in pretty good shape and fairly new, only to run into chain-wear problems out on the road and need a replacement. This was not a miscalculation on my part; I keep good maintenance records and know exactly when and at what mileage I installed the last chain. And I was cleaning and lubing the chain each evening. Maybe it is chain adjustment issues when carrying a heavier load.

Anyway, I feel like, for my riding style, a shaft drive gives me a better sense of reliability over a chain for long distance riding without the hassle of cleaning and lubing. For smaller, lighter, more off-road bikes that take shorter trips and are often trailered to a lot of places, a chain may be better.
 
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bimota

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From my own personal experience, I wanted to get away from chain drive because of the unpredictability of when they would reach the end of their life. It is not as easy judging chain wear as it is measuring tread depth, mileage on oil, time on brake fluid, etc.

On my previous bike, a 2008 V-Strom 650, I would occasionally take off on a 6,000-7,000 mile trip thinking my chain was in pretty good shape and fairly new, only to run into chain-wear problems out on the road and need a replacement. This was not a miscalculation on my part; I keep good maintenance records and know exactly when and at what mileage I installed the last chain. And I was cleaning and lubing the chain each evening. Maybe it is chain adjustment issues when carrying a heavier load.

Anyway, I feel like, for my riding style, a shaft drive gives me a better sense of reliability over a chain for long distance riding. For smaller, lighter, more off-road bikes that take shorter trips and are often trailered to a lot of places, chain is best.
exactly my opinion,

i,ve been in europe on trips and guys with good maintaince skills have lost aday looking for a shop abroad for a chain, and the cost difference to home is huge
 

tntmo

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Perhaps you would never ever base my purchase or like/dislike of a bike because of the drive system, but many of us (myself included) consider the shaft drive system as a big reason for getting the Super Tenere.

I had a Triumph Tiger 955i prior to this bike and I really liked that bike, perhaps one of my favorite engines of all time. After getting that British odometer to turn past 100k miles I knew I wanted another ADV styled bike. I'm not brand loyal, so I was willing to look at all offerings. The one thing that I hated dealing with on long trips was the chain maintenance. It's really not that bad, but it's just one more thing so I wanted to avoid it.

I understand all the limitations of a shaft drive system, just like the limitations of an adventure bike that weighs over 600 pounds.

Nobody that I know of makes a different set of gears for this bike. I personally like the gear spacing, Yamaha got it pretty good for the way I use the bike. The clutch in mine is still going strong at 50k miles, guess we'll see how long it lasts but that will be just in my situation.

Seems like the Tenere 700 would be a better fit for you perhaps? Lighter, less electronics, chain drive, etc. I'm looking forward to checking one out, could be the replacement for the S10 after this odometer gets to six digits.
 

gv550

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I got rid of a perfectly wonderful 2019 Tracer GT after only 9 months of ownership because of the mess, constant maintenance, noise and expense of the chain drive.
 

Checkswrecks

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Never heard of anybody offering, selling, or even making alternate gear sets for the Tenere final drive.
 

ballisticexchris

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Stop trolling the forum.
That is uncalled for Eric. I’m asking a serious question about this machine. I did a search and came up empty. I have been searching for an optional ring and pinion set since before I even took ownership of this bike.

If you don’t like my question then move on to something else or reply with something constructive please.
 

Cycledude

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My last chain drive motorcycle was 1980 model Kawasaki, chain never gave me any trouble but after owning a shaft drive Honda I pretty much decided no more chain drive for me.
Yes I believe the 1200 Tenere gearing is seriously messed up but its not the final drive that’s the problem it’s the transmission, the lower gears just ain’t right, it should be capable of going much slower in the low gears.
But these days I am quite interested in the New Honda Africa Twin and it has chain drive. Someday I hope to get a chance to take one for a test ride, who knows I might wind up not liking it at all.
 
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squarebore

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What is with all this dislike for a chain? I would never ever base my purchase or like/dislike of a bike because of the drive system. The reality is they both have advantages and disadvantages. Shaft is less messy and that's about it. Chain drives are very reliable and gearing changes are very simple. With a good O-ring or X-ring chain you can get away to lubricating them once a day. The disadvantage is they have to be changed out every 15k to 20k miles.

Don't get me wrong. I really like the drive system on the Super Tenere. I am a little put off that the gearing changes are pretty damn hard to do and not something you can do in 5 minutes like a chain system. I used to carry a few countershaft sprockets with me for different riding conditions. That is not possible on a shaft driven bike.

BTW does anyone know of a company the sells optional ring and pinion gear sets. While the OEM gearing is not bad, lower gearing sure would be nice for slow speed work and freeway/canyon cruising. I find that 1st and 6th gear is way too high. 5th gear is perfect for 75mph cruising. 1st gear requires lots of clutch work at anything below walking pace. On my Ninja it was just a quick swap of countershaft and I could crawl the bike with almost no clutch. Good news is I am able to abuse the clutch and manage it.

I'm wondering how long the clutch is going to last on this bike. My Ninja plates were shot about the same time I had to replace the chain and sprockets. FWIW, I'm very hard on clutches. I don't knock my bike out of gear at stops. Clutch is always covered when riding and bike in gear at lights. I remember a master mechanic telling me that the local motor cops went through a lot of clutches on the BMW's and ST Hondas because of the requirement to cover the clutch and have it in at stops.
Sounds like you need a DCT Africa Twin. Solve all your problems.

Sent from my SM-G965F using Tapatalk
 

ballisticexchris

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it seems to me that “maybe”, it is easier to modify the primary reduction, instead of the secondary reduction.
I do know that some bikes that come with cassette style transmissions have a bunch of “quick change” possibilities. From all the research I have done there is no gearing change options for the Super Tenere. The stock gearing is doable and the bike gets great mileage regardless of RPM. Even in hooligan mode I average close to 44mpg.
 

Mak10

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If I didn’t have shaft drive as a top priority, I would be riding a different bike. Complaining about 1st gear being to high means I picked the wrong tool for the task. We have the luxury of many great, reliable bikes to choose from. It wasn’t always so.
 

Dirt_Dad

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... And I was cleaning and lubing the chain each evening. Maybe it is chain adjustment issues when carrying a heavier load.
That about sums it up for me. Working on a bike is what you do when you are home and have it up on the lift table. I do that at my own pace and on whatever schedule I choose. I have zero interest in doing that on a trip, in a parking lot or gas station, at the end of a nice ride day when I want to be doing anything other than serving the drive system. It's there to serve me.

There are so many interesting Adventure bikes out there now. SUCKS!!! that so many expect me to be working on them at the end of each ride day when I'm on vacation.
 

ballisticexchris

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There are so many interesting Adventure bikes out there now. SUCKS!!! that so many expect me to be working on them at the end of each ride day when I'm on vacation.
Come on now, spraying or squirting a little lube on the chain takes less time than doing a proper post check or pre trip ride. Chains are not that big a deal to maintain at all. The shaft drive system is for sure nice feature. I get it that a lot of guys just like to ride. IMHO, It is just as important to keep an eye on your machine during your travels when far away from home. At the end of each ride I do a minimum of going over the whole bike checking for loose hardware/nuts/bolts, spokes, lighting/signals, electronics function, tire condition and pressure, side stand switch, and suspension/chassis components. If I'm traveling then in the morning it's a simple check tires, lights/signals and go.

Once again, under what circumstances do you feel you want to ride at speeds under 7 mph for any sustained period? @Cycledude feel free to share the circumstances when this would better meet your needs as well.
Almost anyone can ride fast in a straight line. I'm all about the slow speed handling. I have spent hours upon hours in parking lots practicing slow speed riding on this bike. When I say slow I mean slow baby crawl to almost track standing. Sure I can use the clutch, I'm not a wimp. Lower gearing would help. I figure after time it will get easier. I'm just not there yet. I'm still struggling to do full lock to lock turns standing full lean with the clutch all the way out. On my Beta I'm able to do full lock to lock turns clutch out. It's because of the gearing and low idle.

On the freeway I find that I'm running in 5th gear and have to think about shifting into 6th. This tells me the gearing is a bit too high. I'm sure over time I'll get used to it. I have not ridden it frequently enough to adapt. That being said, my preference is have lower gearing so the bike will suit my needs. Not so easy with the shaft drive to swap gearing for different riding conditions.

I have a full container of different sprockets and chains that I've used over the years for different types of riding. For both street bikes and my dirt bikes. It was no big deal at all to change out to lower gearing for a day in the canyons or on dirt bike slap on my 10 paddle and drop the countershaft for the dunes. When traveling cross country or days in the desert I raise the gearing.
 

Mak10

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You bought the wrong bike for you. Should have bought one with a chain. There are some excellent bikes with chains. Easily change the gearing ratio.
With your OMCD, a small task such as lubing a chain should be nothing
 

Mak10

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There have been a few times I have wanted a lower 1st. I have to realize the limitations of the bike and remind myself why I bought the bike. It’s much steeper than the photo looks.B703F7D0-D465-40D8-A693-D3F729C6C3F2.jpeg
 

RogerRZ

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FWIW, if it weren't for the shaft drive and tubeless tires, I might have looked at another bike. Also, even with the slightly tall first gear, on a nasty, rocky mile long hill, I´ve held back non DCT Africa Twins, as they couldn't go as slow as I could, and had to stop and let me get ahead. I don't know if is because of my superior low speed skills (i strongly doubt it), or the to torquier nature of the S10 (way more likely), but for what I do with it, I think it does what it does, pretty well.

Also, coming here and complaining about not being able to alter the gearing on a S10 is kinda like going to a Gold Wing forum and asking why you're not able to get a potato-potato sound at idle on your GL1800
 
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