I’m not quite sure how, but the 2015 KTM 450xcw has hit the 157 hour mark. Where does the time go? The KTM takes on the miles so easy that I have seriously neglected many of the maintenance issues. Most obvious are the chain and sprockets.
The stock OEM chain is still riding on the 450. The original Sprockets were changed at about 60 hours. The replacements are at nearly 100 hours of ride time. Here is what I am running and what will go back on the bike.
With the miles I rack up, steel rear sprockets are the only choice for me. With a garage full of bikes, economy is the key. I may have to swap wheels or change gearing, so I need to have a few spare sprockets around. Therefore I don’t invest expensive stuff. I also want something that looks decent, some steel sprockets are like an ugly pair of shoes, not something belonging on a sexy dirt bike.
My current choice is the Outlaw racing sprocket. It is suitably attractive and at $30, a good value. It has done its 100 hours without any issue. Here you can see the old one next the new one that is about to go on.
In the front I am running the SRT Pro Line Countershaft sprocket. I have had these on all the bikes for the last two years and they work great. They may be the longest wearing CS on the market, regardless of price. SRT products are available from local dealers. This sprocket is $14.
Like sprockets, chains are strictly a value choice for me. If I had only one bike, I might consider investing in one high end chain and then forget about it. But I have lots of bikes, as well as buying and selling bikes regularly. So no high end investments.
Again I go with the SRT Gold O-Ring chain. At $55 it is another great value. I have multiple bikes that have seen 100 hours running these with no issues. But that is probably the max life expectancy too. At about that point the O-rings start to go away.
If you choose the SRT chain there are a couple of things to consider. First, it is big and beefy, a polite way to say it is a little heavier than average. The chain has a “tight” feel. Even new it always looks a bit kinked, so don’t take that as a sign of wear. It probably has more drag than a high end chain.
It comes with both a standard master link and a rivet link, so you can use either. The gold finish holds up well, even in salty Baja conditions.
I give it a qualified recommendation. It suits my purposes just fine. Again I am running these on multiple bikes without problem.
Finally, I should note that nearly all of my riding is in dry conditions, not particularly hard on the driveline. So the parts life spans are probably higher than many riders will see. One nasty race can be enough to destroy chain and sprockets if the conditions are right. But again, that might be a good reason to consider making value choices. If you change these parts regularly, it is a real sting to have to shell out dollars for high end parts.