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Kiwi lost in europe
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Discussion Starter #1
Just completed an oil change on my new transalp and noticed the front sprocket has been welded on.

I am about to take it in to get a new set as the chain in knackered.

Is this as bad as i think it is?

It looks in reasonable condition, sorry i didn't manage to get a photo.

What would be the best solution? Is it best to get it grinded off and re-welded? How long will it last in this condition?

or should i just get the chain and rear done and see how it lasts? Is it possible to just keep changing the chain and rear? if so how long would i expect the front sprocket to last?

Thanks in advance.
 

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geriatric
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2,474 Posts
If it's been welded on it probably means the splines have had it on the output shaft. It's a common last resort fix with the alp and the AT.If you change the rear sprocket and the chain it can be a bit of a false economy not to change the front but sometimes this is a bit of a dilemna as it is more work grinding off the welds and re-welding the new one back on.
If you are having it done by a professional let him have a look before you decide what to do,he may look at the sprocket and decide it has plenty of life left in it and recommend leaving it on.
Some pics may help you get a second or even 10th opinion before it goes in from people on here so I would suggest getting the camera out and let us have a look.What age etc is the alp? How many miles etc can explain why it has been done in the first place.

Just noticed your post in the introduction forum, is it the 2000 or the 2003? and if your off round europe I would get a new one on,makes sense to chain the whole caboodle.
 

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geriatric
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2,474 Posts
Might explain it, but 40k is not high,the previous owner may have used crap sprockets or there may have been an incident that damaged the splines.
Replace it with a pucker honda sprocket and you may find a minimal amount of welding will do the job. Also the honda one will see you round europe and last longer than some aftermarket ones so the job shouldn't have to be re-done for a long time to come.
 

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That is a crap bit of welding you have there,all it's doing is stoping the sprocket from coming off ,you can see that there is still movement of the sprocket on the shaft by the rust-dust when all he had to do was weld from the splines to the sprocket .
I dont know how you would get that off ,and you do cos the sprockets had it.
Lots of time and a Dremel?.................. hell of a lot of time!:rolleyes:
 

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geriatric
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2,474 Posts
Yep,not good!
The sprocket has had it,very short teeth and I've never seen one welded all the way round with what looks like arc welding which hasn't actually caught the sprocket just lying next to where the retaining plate should be because it looks like it's missing. The bit it's attempting to weld to is the sprocket poking through the rubber of the sprocket it looks like anyway.

how are you for a dremel and lots of time?
 

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Hello,
it appears from the pictures that the sprocket has been pushed further inwards probably onto an unworn part of the spline.The weld was just put on to keep it there.If that is the case then chances are it is out of alignment with your rear sprocket.All in all a very unsatisfactory situation.

Your choices are to replace the old shaft with a new one , or perhaps weld a new sprocket on closer to the original position checking that it is properly aligned with the rear .

I can see that it will be difficult to remove the sprocket especially if you decide to reuse the shaft by welding a new sprocket on.The only thing that comes to mind is for you to split the sprocket with an angle grinder working in from opposite sides first and then splitting the halves if necessary.Have never done so cannot comment on the difficulties involved.Then if that goes well,I think the next step would be to grind that terrible weld flush to the top of the splines.The carefully with a cutting disc in the grinder (or dremel) , open up the splines where they are filled with weld until you can get the new sprocket to slide on. Hopefully you can put a few welds on the new sprocket to keep it in its proper place then.

Perhaps what I have suggested is not feasible but I think I would try it that way.
 

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Senior Member
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2,701 Posts
Yes, the sprocket has had it. If the sprocket is free of the weld and is not spinning on the shaft it may not be as bad as it seem's (if you're lucky).

A small angle grinder will remove most of the weld, then a narrow bull-nose chisel and a dremel to clear the splines to allow the sprocket to slide off.

Then re-assess the situation.
 

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12,768 Posts
That looks like a moron was let loose on it.
It may require a new driveshaft as well if too bad.
 

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Looks like I'm, the only one that thinks the sprocket looks in reasonable nick - all things considered.

Slap another chain on it & worry about it in 10 - 20,000 miles time!

Phil
 

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geriatric
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2,474 Posts
look at the difference in height of the teeth phil, the pic below is one from another thread, well worn and bent over but the teeth are longer and the shamferred tips of the teeth are quite clearly shorter and more worn down than the ones bent over below. You should at least be able to see the top of the tooth between the chain links in the bottom pic above shouldn't you,checked my chain etc and the tooth is definitely further though the chain link than this one.And look how far in it is away from the retaining plate groove,it's way out of line with the rear sprocket.I'm surprised the chain lasted as long as it did and if it snapped it might miss the case saver bar in the cover completely and damage the crankcase if it went.


I would get that weld off at least just to check out the splines behind it,at least you would know why it was done. You never know it might have just been a cowboy mechanic who didn't know a new retaining plate was only a couple of quid or he just couldn't be bothered to order one and took the muppet option with an arc welder. At least a new sprocket will see you and the new chain round europe with no worries because if it was me I would have this on my mind all the time I was riding and it might spoil your enjoyment of the trip if you are anything similar. I'd say worth a go just for the peace of mind.
Just my opinion of course we're a varied lot on here so at least you get diversity.
 

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Kiwi lost in europe
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46 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
I would get that weld off at least just to check out the splines behind it,at least you would know why it was done. You never know it might have just been a cowboy mechanic who didn't know a new retaining plate was only a couple of quid or he just couldn't be bothered to order one and took the muppet option with an arc welder. At least a new sprocket will see you and the new chain round europe with no worries because if it was me I would have this on my mind all the time I was riding and it might spoil your enjoyment of the trip if you are anything similar. I'd say worth a go just for the peace of mind.
Just my opinion of course we're a varied lot on here so at least you get diversity.
Yep good point.

I took it down the road to the local workshop and the guy there basically said it was a no-go on welding it again, as the heat would damage the shaft and then it would come apart eventually.

He also said that a rebuild and new shaft would cost a fair bit, so just to look for a new engine ...

Will have a think over the weekend, but it looks like a good £800-1000 for an engine change.
 

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I don't think the movement of the sprocket is a problem, I think it's designed to be like that, my 8000 mile bike is the same. The clamp plate stops the sprocket coming off but it doesn't hold it tightly, you can move it sideways a little and it can waggle (dampened by its rubber side plates. This must be to allow the chain/sprocket to move and stay aligned.

This is probably what causes the wear to the shaft, mine was bone dry so I greased it up recently. If it were fixed the splines wouldn't get worn down.
 

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SOTGATT
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3,522 Posts
You don't think that the weld is just there to hold the sprocket in place 'cos someone misplaced the retaining plate and had a welder handy but not the part do you? :confused:
If you can remove the weld well enough to get the sprocket off it may be that you can replace it with the retaining plate (OR 2 retaining plates as Grendel of this manor did)

These sprockets are supposed to have a little movement on them

I think you'll manage to work round it......:)

Failing that......I got a replacement engine off ebay for £200 and it's in the bike running now....I'd never done tha job before but it wasn't so hard or complicated...took me a while but I'm a messer...:cool:

A 650 will cost more but it'll be worth it.

You need a manual....I used haynes.
 

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geriatric
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2,474 Posts
Your welcome to bring it up here and I'll give it a once over,I've got an angle grinder to take off the worst of the welds and a Mig to tack it back on but you'd need to buy/borrow/beg a dremel from somewhere to do the inside of the splines.And worth ordering a new retaining plate and some bolts,if you don't get to use them on this bike they can be spares for the other bike for the trip.
As for the welding,I would disagree with the guy,as long as you cooled the shaft correctly it should do no furhter damage if it did have to be re-welded,If there were any damage it would have already been done with the amount of weld on it already,at least if it was re welded in the correct position it would be on for another 20k and not a worry.Especially if was welded properly.Some guys on here have ground off and rewelded several times with no ill effects.
 

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Kiwi lost in europe
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Discussion Starter #19
Your welcome to bring it up here and I'll give it a once over,I've got an angle grinder to take off the worst of the welds and a Mig to tack it back on but you'd need to buy/borrow/beg a dremel from somewhere to do the inside of the splines.And worth ordering a new retaining plate and some bolts,if you don't get to use them on this bike they can be spares for the other bike for the trip.
As for the welding,I would disagree with the guy,as long as you cooled the shaft correctly it should do no furhter damage if it did have to be re-welded,If there were any damage it would have already been done with the amount of weld on it already,at least if it was re welded in the correct position it would be on for another 20k and not a worry.Especially if was welded properly.Some guys on here have ground off and rewelded several times with no ill effects.
Thanks for the offer, i'll have a think about it over the weekend and let you know. Where can i get the retaining plate and bolts from?
 

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Premium Member
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7,170 Posts
I'm sort of with the others here. It's been bodged, but actually not the worse bodge.

Usually, once you go down the route of welding the sprocket, you're committed to welding the next sprocket once it's worn out.

In your case, it would seem the band of weld has just been used to retain the sprocket on the shaft, so it's not actually bonded to the shaft.

If you can get a grinder and carefully remove the weld, you could then use the grinder with a thin disk, or a dremel, to try and reform the splines out of the excess weld. To be honest this would be easier if the sprocket wasn't in the way, but cutting it off will be even more difficult. Once you've spent some time grinding the welds so the old sprocket slides off, or a new one slides on, you could even reform the valley that the retaining plate sits in by carefully holding the grinder, putting the bike in gear, and slowly forming a slot on the spinning shaft.

Welding a sprocket on isn't the end of the world, as long as you weld a new one on, it is in the right place on the shaft and aligned with the rear sprocket, and you keep a hose running ready to cool the shaft so the oil seal doesn't get damaged.

Failing that, a secondhand engine would do the trick I reckon.


Good Luck



Bob :thumbup:
 
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