Let's take a look at the Vortex sprockets. The steel countershaft sprocket has been machined with a diamond cutter, which work-hardens the steel and enhances durability. The 530 unit we used was black and had a nice, smooth surface on one side of the sprocket teeth, while the other side had slight ridges on the edge where it contacts with the chain rollers. The countershaft sprocket is made to spin one direction. We installed it with the smooth surface of the teeth bearing the load under acceleration. The rear Vortex sprocket is CNC machined out of 7075 aerospace aluminum.
Some manufacturers stack blank sprockets and cut the teeth into them all at once, then later cutting out the hub holes and bolt holes. The peril of this approach is that the teeth might not be concentric with the hub, which leads to a sprocket with an offset center. Vortex avoids this hazard by CNC machining each sprocket individually. The machining marks are not polished off, giving the rear sprocket a burly, high-tech look. Adding to that effect are the dramatic accents machined into the aluminum between the bolt holes and between each of the teeth. In a word, it looks trick. A special coating is added to the rear sprockets to make the aluminum brighter. Both front and rear sprockets bolted on with no fuss.
Retail price for the Vortex sprockets is on the high side, running from $52 to $56 for the rear and $11 to $22 for the countershaft.RK's new XW-ring 530LFO chain is an "extreme high-performance" chain. Innovation in the o-ring department has brought to market three sealing ridges on each flat, wide rubber o-ring that separate the inner and outer sideplates of the chain. Picture the ramparts on a castle and this is what the three lubricant-trapping ridges look like. RK states the XW ring setup leads to 50 percent longer chain life. The theory behind using fancy o-rings with multiple lube-sealing surfaces is that the lubricant sealed inside the rollers by the manufacturer is trapped by more than one seal. Because it is harder for the lubricant trapped in the chain to escape, the chain lasts longer. The LFO chain we used was a 530 gauge rated to 10,000 lbs/ft tensile strength. It is recommended for bikes up to 1000cc. Though our chain had a simple, rivet-style master link, a clip-style master link is also available. Installation of the new RK chain was uneventful. The master link worked perfectly with the rivets flaring out 15/1000ths of an inch on the outside of the sideplate after being pressed out with the appropriate chain-rivet installing tool. The chain has a heavy appearance and a plain steel color. Retail cost for the LFO chain runs from $170 to $188, depending on the number of pins needed.
Contact information: Vortex: 800-440-3559 RK Chains: See your local dealer or call 760-732-3161