Anatomy of a Ducati rear sprocket carrier group

Jul 2, 2019

One of the most unique ways to make your Ducati a custom bike, is to address the areas of the bike that are already unique. The singled sided swingarm on the Ducati is an area of the bike that lends itself to a wide array of custom options.

There are several parts that make up a rear sprocket setup. Shown below are the AEM Factory options.

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1. The Sprocket

Sometimes referred to as the "Ring Gear", the sprocket is the part that contains all the "teeth" and makes direct contact with the chain. Typically the sizes are 520, 525, and even 530. Those numbers explain the "width" of the sprocket, and should match the width of the chain. The other number commonly associated with the sprocket will be the tooth count. Different teeth counts are available to adjust the gearing range. 

The sprocket may be a simple part of the equation, but changing from a standard silver steel sprocket, to an all black aluminum sprocket is not only lighter, but the overall look is very noticeable.

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2. Sprocket Carrier (Quick Change Style)

One common choice for Ducati applications is the Quick Change sprocket setup. The outer sprocket ring is easily swapped out for different gearing setups when using a quick change. With this setup, the center portion (the sprocket carrier) is retained, and only the outer ring (with the teeth) is swapped out. You will notice the stock sprocket setup shown below is NOT a quick change. Notice how the sprocket is 1 solid piece, mounted behind a sprocket carrier flange. Yes, its ugly and heavy, but we can fix that...Keep reading!

stock ducati sprocket

Shown below is the AEM Factory quick change sprocket carrier. You will notice how the sprocket carrier is designed to mount inside the sprocket (ring gear). This allows the sprocket carrier to stay attached to the bike, while the outer portion of the sprocket is swapped out for different tracks or gearing changes.

Below is an example of an MV Agusta sprocket carrier, with no sprocket attached. Slight variations will exist in carriers. Some are 5 hole, some are 6, but the function is the same....they "carry" the sprocket.

aem factory mv agusta sprocket carrier


Below is an example of a Ducati sprocket carrier, with the sprocket attached.

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3. Cush Drive

The cush drive helps to provide a small amount of "dampening" for the energy transfer as the throttle is twisted. To be fair, it is technically possible to re-use the stock cush drive "bumpers" as long as the bike is fairly fresh and properly maintained. At a minimum, upgrading to some polyurethane bumpers will help. However, this is a great opportunity to swap out for a new set that is much lighter. This is where the AEM Factory titanium rubber cush dampers are awesome. The AEM kit includes new cush drive nuts as well. This is a great option to add a few custom color accents as well.

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4. Sprocket Carrier Flange

The function of the sprocket carrier flange is to hold the sprocket carrier into place. This amazing part ends up being very visible, so there are many options and styles to choose from. This piece allows you to really start to get custom and choose something that fits the style you are going for. Shown below are a few different style options from AEM Factory. All of them are MUCH lighter than the stock setup, and much better looking!

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5. Rear Wheel Axle Nuts

The icing on the cake! The rear wheel axle nut really ties the room together (Big Lebowski reference for those that live under a rock). The axle nuts are the final touch and offer one last chance to throw some custom color accents on there. These nuts are made STRONG. Holding the rear wheel on is obviously very important, so this final part of the setup is extremely important. Typically a setup requires a nut on each side of the rear wheel, with the wheel side getting whats called a Axle Nut Cone on the inside behind the nut. Think of this similar to a washer, and yes, another chance for custom color accent! You may notice that some manufacturers will offer a rear wheel axle nut that has a "built in" axle nut cone. These work just as well. Keep in mind, AEM Factory offers aluminum rear axle nuts, as well as titanium versions for those looking for the best setup.

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Once you have selected your rear wheel axle nuts, you are complete! Your Ducati single sided swingarm sprocket carrier setup is complete and ready to turn heads. is the preferred supplier in the USA for AEM Factory parts. With factory direct connections, and a wealth of Ducati knowledge, we are ready to help take your Ducati or MV Agusta to the next level.