Sunday, 14 December 2014

15T - Shakedown

It was recently chain and sprocket replacement time - why not opt for a 15T countershaft sprocket eh? Adding a little more immediacy to acceleration and bringing that punchy torque curve a little lower sounded like a great idea to on.

Living in Australia severely limits choice in terms of aftermarket parts, especially for a Euro bike. The search began. 

I found one Aussie importer - however they could only source rear sprockets for the Ape. My dealer told me it was hard enough for them to get OEM sprockets, let alone third-party alternatives........bah!

After further looking - and reading about other Ape-ists sourcing parts via a UK seller I was in business. Order placed: 1 x AFAM 15T 525 pitch sprocket on the way

A shameless plug is now required - I am a pretty organised kind'a guy (some say, anal-retentive) - so I placed my order well in advance, giving the sprocket plenty of time to arrive.

Then a month went by.........
Then another 2 weeks........hmmm - time to contact the seller.

I purchased from UK seller biketorqueracing - once contacted, the response was immediate.
Adam from BTR provided parcel tracking details and followed up with me within 24 hours. Looked as though the sprocket was en-route and already within Australia.

Then another week went by........nothing

Got back in contact with Adam - he was willing to swallow the loss and send me another part at no cost. I am astounded. What service.

Turns out when I got home from the office that very day the initial order had finally arrived after being held up with border/custom inspection - good news for both me and Adam.

So! Now time to get this part on the Ape and get going.

As a commuter, the 15T provides a brilliantly smooth bottom end. 1st and 2nd gear slow creeping work is an absolute pleasure, no chugging, very little need to feather the clutch. The transition from closed throttle to small roll on when filtering in tight places is significantly better.

When you need to pick up and get your butt out of trouble the acceleration difference is noticeable - albeit manageable.

Commuter approved modification? Check.

But how about the fun stuff.......the weekend blat - when you've got a devil on your shoulder willing you to dance?

Yesterday called for a shakedown blat in the hills - and dance we did. The Ape: 'Au naturel'

On the fast open sweepers - being a little higher in the rev range and with the shorter gearing the throttle action/response has improved - very smooth with better feedback.

Powering out of tight twisties in 1st and 2nd gear will now let the front end skip across the top of the black stuff. Snapping open in 1st as the forks unload will loft the front hoop without too much trouble - much easier than stock........that little devil was having fun.......

The only criticism I would report, minor however still valid, would be long hi-way hauls.

I returned from the hills via the freeway and constant, steady-state ~100 - ~120+ kmh speeds is less comfortable - now hovering around 6k rpm......again - MINOR gripe......but it is worth noting.

Weekend scratcher approved modification? Check.

Obviously my speedo is now out - but meh, I rarely look/care what speed is being reported. I know when to be a saint or a devil.......

All in all, the 15T modification is one of, if not the ultimate, cost effective way to make the Ape more responsive, less chuggy off the bottom and hell of a hoot to ride - now even moreso....

Game on.

Devil on his shoulder willing him to dance.


  1. Sick review I'll probably buy one tonight. If the difference was anything like that of the Ktm it will be a winner. Wheelies for days!

    1. Nice one mate.

      The change is not as drastic as I would have thought - that said it is noticeable and definitely worth it.