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  • The Dirt on Chain Wear

    dirty bike chain

    Dirt, mud and sand may be your chain’s worst enemy.

    Even Superman had his kryptonite—the one element that could bring the superhero to his knees. Dirt, mud and sand can weaken the most super bike chain just as easily.

    The modern motorcycle chain is designed to transfer power from the engine to the rear wheel with tremendous efficiency and smoothness. And, with proper care, it does a super job of that. Unfortunately, there is an arch enemy to the motorcycle chain: dirt. The dirt, mud and sand commonly found in popular riding environments can be as harsh as an industrial abrasive. Whether you’re riding in the dirt or on the street, those nasty elements can find their way onto your bike’s chain and wreak havoc on the rollers and seals that normally provide smooth and reliable operation. Dirt also accelerates wear of the chain and sprockets, shortening the service life of your drivetrain.

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  • The problem with dry, kinked drive chains.

    kinked drive chains

    Sometimes, despite our best intentions to maintain our bikes, we let things go a little longer than we should—especially if it’s an item that requires us to get down on the ground to take care of. Before we know it, that chain on our dirt bike or road bike is making noise and binding as we roll the bike around in the driveway. One look and the culprit is clear; the chain is a dehydrated mess.

    Is there any hope for that dry, neglected chain? Will some serious lubrication straighten out those kinks? Can a weather-worn chain ever be refreshed and trusted to deliver reliable performance? To answer that, let’s start with a little lesson in chain design.

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  • 4 Tips to Better Braking and Moves That Would Score a Perfect “10”

    Braking Techniques

    Nearly every rider wants more power. But power is only impressive if it can be managed with excellent braking. Done right, it’s as beautiful as a well-choreographed dance between rider and machine. Here are four ways to help you and your bike become better dance partners on the road or on the track.

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  • How to know when to replace sprockets

    replace sprockets

    The time to replace sprockets isn’t after the teeth are severely curled or worn down to a nub. Or when the chain starts jumping the cogs. To maintain top, reliable performance of your bike and to minimize damage to other components, sprocket replacement should happen long before then. But how can we know when those gearwheels have served their useful lifetime? Here are a few simple ways to know if your final drive is due for a swap out to new components.

    Look for the early warning signs

    Just as it’s best to see a doctor now and then for a checkup instead of waiting until you’ve got a serious problem, it’s a good idea to do regular checkups on your machine before things get bad (and expensive!). Taking just a few minutes each week to check out these handful of things will help you determine if you’ve got an unhealthy final drive.

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  • Braking: The Racer’s POV

    Racers POV

    How great brakes make the top race teams go faster.

    Nothing contributes to product development quite the way that racing does. After all, the race track is the ultimate testing ground for motorcycle components. Especially brakes. That’s why BRAKING® is so actively involved in off-road and on-road competition at pro and amateur levels (did you know that BRAKING has won more than 115 world championships since 1990?). We thought you might like to know what racers and their mechanics look for in brake components for their race bikes.

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  • FREE T-Shirt with Purchase!

    Free T-Shirt Ride Gear

    Get a FREE RideGear t-shirt and FREE Shipping during the Sunstar-Braking.com Website Launch Celebration.*

    Sunstar and Braking, the world’s top brands in sprockets, chains, brake discs and pads, unite in one awesome new website...

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  • How Losing or Adding a Few Teeth Can Improve Your Bike’s Performance

    Sprockets Lose Teeth

    No other final drive design has the gearing flexibility of a chain-drive system. By simply swapping out that stock front or rear sprocket with a different size, you can tune your bike’s performance to your distinct riding style and preferences.

    Why change gearing?

    Racers routinely change gear ratios to maximize speed and performance for each particular track. For the rest of us, a gearing change can enhance specific performance characteristics, like acceleration or fuel economy—and even subduing an annoying engine vibration.

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  • Are factory brake pads the best choice for your bike?

    bike brake pads

    Fact: factory pads are a compromise.

    Being a bike manufacturer isn’t easy. After all, factory engineers and bean counters have to balance performance, quality, cost, and a wide range of customer riding styles when specifying each component that will go onto that new machine. Including brake components. The result is often a compromise of price and performance that manufacturers hope will satisfy most owners. If you’re looking for more performance, you have options beyond what came on your bike.

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  • Do Modern Motorcycle Chains Have an Appetite for Chain Lube?

    Do Motorcycle Chains Need Lube?

    Motorcycle chain drive has been around for eons. And, after more than a century it’s still the most efficient way to get power to the ground. But don’t think today’s motorcycle chains are the same as they were back in the day; chain design has come a long way, baby! Better metals, tighter tolerances, improved efficiency and big improvements in durability have kept chain drive at the top of the game. Some “sealed” or “o-ring” chains, even keep themselves lubed for life. So, with all of this refinement, do chains still need care and feeding? Like any final drive system, the answer is, “yes.”

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  • Glazed and Confused

    Poor Brake Performance

    Poor brake performance got you baffled? It could be glazed brake pads and rotors.

    Top braking performance relies on friction—in other words, the brake pad’s ability to grab onto the metal brake rotor. When that ability is compromised, brake performance can go by the wayside faster than that turn entry point you just blew past.

    Healthy brake pads have a certain degree of designed-in flexibility. They are made to be soft enough to squeeze against a spinning brake rotor with great force. That pliability also makes them grip well at lower speeds and cooler temperatures. But if brakes are pushed beyond their limits, they can build up more glaze than a Dunkin’ Donut®.

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