I want to get a new tire fitted on my 2003 Suzuki DR650 and removed the rear wheel. Following the manual I took the chain guard off, removed the axle, made the wheel free of chain and brake caliper and slid the wheel out. However by doing so the sprocket fell of the wheel. From looking at manuals and youtube I don't see that happening.

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Is it only held in place by the axle? I would not know which of the black blocks was where and which block filled which gap on the weel, is that a problem?

What do I need to look out for for reassembling it?

  • 3
    I don't know much about MCs, but it appears pretty obvious which way it should go back together. There are three grey blocks in the sprocket and three holes in the hub with the same spacing on each. It doesn't appear that there is anything which will bind the sprocket to the hub (nothing broken). Assuming there is an axle which rides through the center, and the frame of the bike holding it together, I'm thinking this should just go back together when the time comes. Leaving this as a comment because safety comes into play here as well. Somebody may know better. Commented Jan 2, 2015 at 11:37

2 Answers 2


Take the hard rubber pieces out of the sprocket assembly and put them in the hub. Note that they can only be installed one way. It does not matter if you install them in different locations in the hub.

There should be something in your manual about greasing the parts that run around the axle, usually with NLGI 2.

Then install the sprocket assembly and other components.

The entire assembly is held together with the axle. Take care to get all of the little washers, spacers, and any other bits that were installed back into their proper place, especially the rear brake torque arm.

Tighten the axle nut to the proper spec and install cotter pins.

  • This was exactly my thinking ... thanks for confirmation. Commented Jan 2, 2015 at 13:56
  • 1
    The grey rubber blocks are part of a "cush drive". It dampens the effect of the chain pulling on the sprocket which in turn pulls the wheel round, without it you would get much harsher forces applied to the drive train.
    – Mauro
    Commented Jan 5, 2015 at 7:42
  • Paul is correct. I've owned a couple of DR's. Yes, you are right it's only the axle that holds it together. Be careful when reassembling that you put any spacers back in the right order. Also don't trust marks on the swing arm when adjusting the chain tension. The marks on my DR were skewed. Get down behind the bike and look along the chain to make sure it lines up and your back wheel is aligned correctly. From memory you shouldn't have to take the caliper off to remove the wheel. Just gently pry the pads open when putting the wheel back. Commented Jan 6, 2015 at 10:44
  • Oh yeah and Remember to pump the brake a few times after you've reassembled it before you ride it. Commented Jan 6, 2015 at 10:49

I know this doesn't relate to the reassembly process, that's been covered in the other answer by Paul. However most of the time, the rear sprocket is not physically attached to the wheel. They are two separate pieces which have rubber inserts between the metal "teeth". The rubber inserts are there for dampening torque from the motor if you let the clutch out too fast or drop the throttle quickly. If the sprocket were bolted directly to the wheel, anytime you applied or removed power, the difference in torque load being applied could be great enough to cause the tire to break free from the the riding surface unexpectedly, which depending in when it happens, could be catastrophic.

As long as those rubber inserts are still pliable and not degrading, they should be fine. They are a consumable part and relatively inexpensive to replace. You will get a smoother power delivery to the rear wheel with new inserts if the old ones are getting hard.

I am more concerned about the condition of your rear sprocket. The valleys between the teeth should be circular and the angles of the side of the teeth should be the same on both sides. Based on the picture you posted, your sprocket looks rather worn; I would recommend replacing the front and rear sprockets and the chain. Here's what a new front/rear sprocket should look like:

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