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Discussion Starter #1
Hey,

I was wondering if the Radiator Fluid in my bike is the same as the Rad fluid for a car?

I need more, but I'm not going to my local Honda, because they'll more then likely sell the same stuff for 3 times the amount (if it's the same as a car).

And, I'm about to order some sprockets, I want it colored and they only do that on Aluminum Sprockets, So, My question is, I know Aluminum is weaker then Steel, but how much weaker is it?

Could there be a problem with having a steel front sprocket and a aluminum rear sprocket?

Thanks.
 

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It's not the same as standard car AF. Something about silicate content or something. I bought 2 extra quarts from HDL for 40-50% less than the dealer wanted.
Don't mess up your bike over saving $5! :shock:
Use the Honda stuff!
 

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I have some coolant information on my web page,
click the WWW at the bottom of this post, or the hyper link
MarkC
 

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Right, the bike will only hold around 2 quarts, so don't let $5 ruin your bike. Read MarkC's page, and if you're still not sure after that, just get the stuff from the Honda auto shop, (the blue stuff) and use that. It will work perfectly, even if it's expensive. A $15 gallon of that is twice as much as you'll need.

As for the aluminum sprocket, I'd avoid it. It's not a matter of the aluminum being weaker, since aluminum is fairly strong if machined properly. The problem is that it's much, much softer than steel. The hardened steel of the chain will grind an aluminum sprocket away in no time at all. Its service life is likely to be measured in hundreds of miles rather than thousands. Best bet is to just find a way get the color onto a standard sprocket. Maybe you can find a shop that will powder coat one for you.

--Justin
 

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I've used the Prestone 50/150 Extended in my bike with no problems, researching this it seems to meet the requirements. Here's a thread from a while back.

http://www.hondashadow.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=35589&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

MarkC has good info on coolants (oil and filters also)

As an update, the Prestone 50/150 Extended has been in my bike most of this year and 5-6000 miles with no problems.

Available at Wal Mart - but as MarkC warned - don't confuse it with the Dex-Cool

Gumpy
 

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i think if you find an aluminum sprocket out of 7075 alloy you will be happy. 100+ hp sportbikes run them. avoid it if you cant be sure its 7075
 

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Running an aluminum sprocket should be no problem. We run them on 150 hp custom bikes that guys ride the crap out of (yes, they ride them as much as much as I do my Shadow), and they wear the same as any other sprocket.

The people making the sprockets out of aluminum do know what you are planning to use them for after all.
 

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ShadowOSU said:
Running an aluminum sprocket should be no problem. We run them on 150 hp custom bikes that guys ride the crap out of (yes, they ride them as much as much as I do my Shadow), and they wear the same as any other sprocket.

The people making the sprockets out of aluminum do know what you are planning to use them for after all.
ShadowOSU,

I'd like to see a test, a real scientific test, conducted with the results showing that an aluminum sprocket will provide performance and longevity comparable to a steel sprocket before I'll believe it. I've been around sprockets and chains on Industrial, Construction and Farm machinery for many decades and I have to tell you, we haven't seen that happen yet.

As a practical test, just take a piece of steel and try to scratch a piece of aluminum, then take the aluminum and try to scratch the steel. What conclusion can be drawn from a test like that?

If people think they want aluminum sprockets, then they should go for them. But they should understand what they are getting.

Those people that make the aluminum sprockets do know what they're used for, and they are building them to make a profit. Have you ever seen any of them guarantee that they'll outlast steel?

That point shouldn't be lost.


John
 

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Epic said:
Hey,

I was wondering if the Radiator Fluid in my bike is the same as the Rad fluid for a car?

I need more, but I'm not going to my local Honda, because they'll more then likely sell the same stuff for 3 times the amount (if it's the same as a car).

And, I'm about to order some sprockets, I want it colored and they only do that on Aluminum Sprockets, So, My question is, I know Aluminum is weaker then Steel, but how much weaker is it?

Could there be a problem with having a steel front sprocket and a aluminum rear sprocket? Thanks.
Epic,

Regarding the steel front sprocket and aluminum rear sprocket: There are no inherent dangers to a set-up like that. Your sprockets wear at different rates, with the smaller one wearing out at a rate proportional to its ratio to the large one. Don't under any circumstances use a small sprocket made of aluminum. An aluminum rear sprocket will probably last as long as your chain. A good rule of thumb is to replace all the components at the same time because even though the old stuff may look serviceable there will be differences that will decrease the life of all components, even the new ones.

John
 

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Olivereaman said:
ShadowOSU said:
Running an aluminum sprocket should be no problem. We run them on 150 hp custom bikes that guys ride the crap out of (yes, they ride them as much as much as I do my Shadow), and they wear the same as any other sprocket.

The people making the sprockets out of aluminum do know what you are planning to use them for after all.
ShadowOSU,

I'd like to see a test, a real scientific test, conducted with the results showing that an aluminum sprocket will provide performance and longevity comparable to a steel sprocket before I'll believe it. I've been around sprockets and chains on Industrial, Construction and Farm machinery for many decades and I have to tell you, we haven't seen that happen yet.

As a practical test, just take a piece of steel and try to scratch a piece of aluminum, then take the aluminum and try to scratch the steel. What conclusion can be drawn from a test like that?

If people think they want aluminum sprockets, then they should go for them. But they should understand what they are getting.

Those people that make the aluminum sprockets do know what they're used for, and they are building them to make a profit. Have you ever seen any of them guarantee that they'll outlast steel?

That point shouldn't be lost.


John
There is one major difference between the scratch test you are suggesting and the use of aluminum as a rear sprocket: The sprocket is anodized. A good hard anodize is actually harder than cold-roll steel, what most sprockets are made out of. Now if you chip off the anodized layer, you're right the aluminum sprocket will wear much faster. I have made many medical tools out of aluminum (yes, 7075 t5 or t51 is best) and had them hard anodized. We made TONS of 1/2" 8-tooth gears that run at high RPMs for hours in surgery and they wear just fine.. they wouldn't need to be replaced after that work load except they are part of a disposable unit made mostly of plastic that is shot after one use.
 

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Trueseaker said:
Olivereaman said:
ShadowOSU said:
Running an aluminum sprocket should be no problem. We run them on 150 hp custom bikes that guys ride the crap out of (yes, they ride them as much as much as I do my Shadow), and they wear the same as any other sprocket.

The people making the sprockets out of aluminum do know what you are planning to use them for after all.
ShadowOSU,

I'd like to see a test, a real scientific test, conducted with the results showing that an aluminum sprocket will provide performance and longevity comparable to a steel sprocket before I'll believe it. I've been around sprockets and chains on Industrial, Construction and Farm machinery for many decades and I have to tell you, we haven't seen that happen yet.

As a practical test, just take a piece of steel and try to scratch a piece of aluminum, then take the aluminum and try to scratch the steel. What conclusion can be drawn from a test like that?

If people think they want aluminum sprockets, then they should go for them. But they should understand what they are getting.

Those people that make the aluminum sprockets do know what they're used for, and they are building them to make a profit. Have you ever seen any of them guarantee that they'll outlast steel?

That point shouldn't be lost.


John
There is one major difference between the scratch test you are suggesting and the use of aluminum as a rear sprocket: The sprocket is anodized. A good hard anodize is actually harder than cold-roll steel, what most sprockets are made out of. Now if you chip off the anodized layer, you're right the aluminum sprocket will wear much faster. I have made many medical tools out of aluminum (yes, 7075 t5 or t51 is best) and had them hard anodized. We made TONS of 1/2" 8-tooth gears that run at high RPMs for hours in surgery and they wear just fine.. they wouldn't need to be replaced after that work load except they are part of a disposable unit made mostly of plastic that is shot after one use.
Trueseaker,

Yes Trueseaker...you are 100% correct about anodizing. But anodizing, at least as I understand it is a two-edged sword. The anodizing itself is only a thousandth or two thick and very brittle. That's probably fine for a sterile operating room. But if you put it outside that sterile environment in a place where lubricants are trapping and holding abrasive particles that are being slashed and flung all over the place and using them like a sanding tool or a hammer, I wonder what happens when that first one thousandth wears away, or gets a nick in it. A steel gear is hardened to a depth well past a thousandth or two.

I know full well that there are great differences between hardness and ability to resist wear. Once the coating is gone, so's the hardness.
(I also thought, but not sure that the factor went to 6, but I may well be wrong about that too)

Believe me, I'm not trying to assault your post, but it seems like I see the same arguments all the time about aluminum and they use the same terms. I'm sure the gears are fine like you mentioned. And aluminum is a more suitable material if for no other reason than light weight.

I work with machines that have 800-1000 HP, cost between $650,00 and $850,000, and work continuously for thousands of hours in nothing short of hostile conditions, without rebuilding. I beleve these machines are engineered to be as trouble free as possible. I've never seen one....not one out of dozens of machines from different manufacturers use anything except steel. The sprockets themselves have weighed as much as probably 75 pounds. Aluminum could cut that number to a 1/3. I'm sure that cost is a factor in any machine but these machines put their value on durability, and they all use steel.

Even though I've been away from the business for awhile, I know that chainsaws used steel sprockets and there are few applications more demanding than that.

Augers for material movement that didn't dictate special conditions...again, never seen aluminum.

Aluminum is probably an exellent choice for things that are clean and don't impact much. But if you have either/both of those conditions.....I'm not an engineer and can't provide you with ASTM specs, just everyday experience, then I think steel is the material of choice.

We used to run race cars, they also used a bunch of lightweight materials. One thing to remeber it was that they had a crew of mechanics following it whenever it ran and they didn't really worry about what the cost of aluminum and titanium were. The budget for one car was something like $350,000/year and might have ran 40 hours/year. That's the difference between the race cars and the Asphalt Milling machines. They run at least 40 hours a week. The Milling Machines paid for the race cars, not the other way around.

Around here they do quite a bit of ATV racing and pulling. They measure their sprocket life in hours if they're running aluminum and years if they're running steel. The aluminum guys are the ones with deep pockets and the steel guys are usually paying their own way.


I'm still looking for that company that will guarantee that their aluminum sprockets will outwear steel. I think that was the main point of the discussion.

I'll even concede that there may be absolutely no reason to have such durabilty because on the technical side, the sprockets should be replaced at the same time as the chain, but again, that wasn't the point.

I enjoy these types of discussions because Ive been around long enough to know that things change all the time and I don't always, heck...hardly ever would be more like it, know about the new and different ways to do things.

John
 

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Well, the only thing that I've ever seen that wore out a sprocket was stratched chains. As the links and the rollers wear the chain gets to where it starts to not fit right with the teeth on the sprockets. The chain starts riding to high on the side of the teeth and not down to the bottom of the valley. As this happens the teeth on the sprocket start to wear on the upper end of the teeth, this will make the teeth on the sprocket look like they are leaning forward.
That's why chains and sprocket are supposed to be replaced at the same time. So I would think that the aluminium sprocket would last as long as the chain.
The reason for a sprocket chain to need adjusting is because it has stratched, if you've adjusted your chain even a couple of times then it is damaging your sprockets and it don't matter what the sprocket is made of. Putting a new chain on with old sprockets will quickly "force fit" the new chain to the old sprocket and it don't matter what the chain is made out of, they wear together.
I like the idea of steel, but with a sprockets and chains on a motorcycle it might be a good idea to think "Outside" the box.
MarkC
 

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Trueseaker said:
There is one major difference between the scratch test you are suggesting and the use of aluminum as a rear sprocket: The sprocket is anodized. A good hard anodize is actually harder than cold-roll steel, what most sprockets are made out of. Now if you chip off the anodized layer, you're right the aluminum sprocket will wear much faster. I have made many medical tools out of aluminum (yes, 7075 t5 or t51 is best) and had them hard anodized. We made TONS of 1/2" 8-tooth gears that run at high RPMs for hours in surgery and they wear just fine.. they wouldn't need to be replaced after that work load except they are part of a disposable unit made mostly of plastic that is shot after one use.
Ahh... but the key isn't RPM in a motorcycle. It's torque.
Just because something can withstand RPM doesn't mean it can withstand torque.
Sprocket teeth have to withstand "sheering" from torque.
Anodizing does not provide that much increased sheering strength,
but improves 'impact' protection. Not much "impact" protection needed
for sprocket.


As far as the correct aluminum sprocket outlasting a chain...
The biggest enemy of a chain is heat.
What causes heat? Friction.
Without friction/heat, wear doesn't occur in large amounts.
No matter what you use, providing it's designed for what you intend to
use it for, keep it well lubricated and make sure it's pitch matched to
the chain, and it should be fine.
 

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Aluminum sprockets vs. steel sprockets

I was in hurry to go skiing this morning and wasn't really thinking about everything correctly. When I mentioned the chainsaw sprockets, I was thinking about small sized high speed things.

In truth, the most severe duty sprockets I've ever encountered were driving chains on track-driven earthmoving equipment. Again, never seen a set made of anything except steel.


I remain unconvinced that aluminum will outwear steel. I do not say that aluminum can not make suitable sprockets and under proper conditions can not last as long as the chain. That is really the life expectency of a sprocket anyway. I agree that stretched chain is the number one cause of chain wear ....in a clean condition. I am also saying that there are conditions where aluminum sprockets wouldn't last as long as it took to put them on.

Again, I remain unconvinced that aluminum will outlast steel. That was my point.

John
 

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John, you're right aluminum won't outlast steel in the same application. I wasn't trying to say it would, only to say that anodized aluminum should be able to take any punishment it gets in a motorcycle rear sprocket application. The only thing I can think of that would really wreck it would be if the sprockets weren't aligned correctly with each other or if the rear wheel wasn't straight in the frame, side-to-side rubbing would go through that anodized layer pretty quickly. I still think the chain would be shot before the sprocket. As far as shearing forces, with the difference in diameters from the front to the rear a rear aluminum sprocket should take any shear load the smaller steel sprocket can dish out.

Litnin, actually I don't think of anodizing as giving much impact protection, only wear (rubbing) protection. If you hit a piece of anodized aluminum hard enough to ding it, the anodized coating crumbles because of how brittle it is. That's why a misaligned sprocket would be so bad, the chain would round the corners of the teeth, then continue to chip and peel the anodizing right down the sides of the sprocket.
 

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Trueseaker said:
As far as shearing forces, with the difference in diameters from the front to the rear a rear aluminum sprocket should take any shear load the smaller steel sprocket can dish out.
Every front sprocket (counter shaft sprocket) I've ever seen is made of "Case Harden" steel of some sort, while the rear is either steel or aluminum.
Sprockets and gears differ a lot, very few of the teeth of a gear set mesh together at one time, maybe two. But with sprockets the strength is in numbers. Lets say you have a forty tooth rear sprocket, the front has 14 teeth. The chain will always have an engagement of over 50% of the total teeth on the rear sprocket, but much less than that on the front.
The front is smaller, has WAY less teeth so it would make sense that the front would need to be made stronger.
The weak link (a little play on words LOL) in a sprocket and chain setup is the chain, not the sprockets.
I've seen sprocket chains break more than once, but the only time I've seen a sprocket fail was when someone had replaced "Only the chain a couple of times without changing the sprockets and the teeth laid so far forward that the chain would slip over the top of the teeth (that was the rear one). I have seen the teeth on the counter shaft sprocket worn to short little nubs was all that was left, but only after it had went through two or three chains.
MarkC
 

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Ok...

Here is my 0.02.

Here are the bikes I've owned and the miles I put on them with alu. sprockets:

First I have a lead wrist and I love to accelerate hard off the line.

YZF-R1 - 27,000 mi. Dyno @ 175hp at rear wheel never replaced the sprocket.

ZX12R - 32,000 mi. Dyno @ 190hp at rear wheel never replaced the sprocket.

Honda Shadow - ~15,000 Never dyno'd but probably 50hp at rear wheel and I have been running a 37t alu. sprocket since ~1700 miles. No noticeable wear to date.

Good luck! But Shadow's just don't put out enough hp to be worried about alu vs. steel.

-JSW
 

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j2man said:
Ok...

Here is my 0.02.

Here are the bikes I've owned and the miles I put on them with alu. sprockets:

First I have a lead wrist and I love to accelerate hard off the line.

YZF-R1 - 27,000 mi. Dyno @ 175hp at rear wheel never replaced the sprocket.

ZX12R - 32,000 mi. Dyno @ 190hp at rear wheel never replaced the sprocket.

Honda Shadow - ~15,000 Never dyno'd but probably 50hp at rear wheel and I have been running a 37t alu. sprocket since ~1700 miles. No noticeable wear to date.

Good luck! But Shadow's just don't put out enough hp to be worried about alu vs. steel.

-JSW
j2man,

Just curious about something....did your chain last 27,000+ miles?

John
 

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Yes.

The r1 had a noticable droop and was probably close to end of life specs but as I recall the 12r was still rock solid.

The r1 was the quickest bike I have ever owned and I would consider it a "newbie killer".

The 12r had a far more forgiving power curve and quickly detuned after 4k miles past the valve interval. That might explain the chain wear differences.

I have also owned other commuter cruisers...
Honda Heritage Special 72,000 miles and two chains. Great Bike!
Yamaha Virago ~78,000 miles shaft drive.
Suzuki dr650 - Sold after base gasket leak repair cost me 500 bucks.
Suzuki gt250 two stroke - my first bike

And...
Honda xr500r - current dirt bike. Alu sprocket, and I have never replaced the chain.

-JSW
 
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