1982 and 1983 Honda BIG RED Rear Sprocket Dampers
A question from a forum member rebuilding a 1983 Honda BIG RED 200 E inspired me to write this article on the rear sprocket dampers used on the first generation BIG REDS (1982 - 1983). First off lets talk about their purpose and the meaning of dampen. Dampen for this application would be to absorb shock impulses. The rear sprocket damper on the BIG REDS were made of rubber and were used to dampen the power transmission between the chain and the rear wheels. This should give a smoother ride and help extend sprocket wear especially when getting on and off the throttle and during shifting as compared to solid mounting the sprocket to the axle. The rear sprocket dampers on the 1982 and 1983 200E models are different. The function remained the same but the form and fit changed.
1982 200E BIG RED
The 1982 model BIG RED used two damper holders that were bolted to the rear axle. Five rubber dampers and the sprocket were in between the two damper holders. In effect the sprocket was a "floating" design as it was not bolted directly to the rear axle. You don't tend to see this design used anymore.
1983 200E BIG RED
For 1983 the damper holders were gone. Rubber dampers were still used but they were molded into the sprocket. You see this design more often in modern chain driven vehicles.
Check the rubber dampers like any other rubber component. Check for cracks and dry rotting and replace if required. At the time this article was written rubber dampers for the 1982 Honda 200E are still available through Honda. The rubber dampers are not replaceable on the 1983 200E models. They are molded into the sprocket.
Thanks to Rowland on the forum for asking some great questions which inspired this article. Keep the questions coming and I will do my best to help our community of BIG RED owners.