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The clutch isn't slipping and I do prefer it so I can shift faster/more smoothly.
You can up-shift quite quickly and smoothly without using the clutch. Downshifting (more than one gear, especially) is never really a "smooth" operation, since you have to make sure your engine revs are roughly speed-matched.
 

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The stock sprocket is glued on with a Loctite type substance that needs to be heated around 300-350F to melt it. Most people apply heat but are too timid with it to work. Cook that sucker until it smokes....which will be the locking compound giving up. You can tell by smell when you've cooked it to death. Then the nut will come off pretty easily.

Only thing doing this is to NOT mess around and get that nut off PRONTO! You don't want the shaft getting very hot and killing the seal behind it. So speed is of the essence. The sprocket works like a pretty good heat-sink so you've got some time, so cook the nut with the hottest torch you can scrounge up and as soon as it smokes get it off.:)
 
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