I finished everything up today, and the bike is ready to ride!
I got the rear tire mounted without a problem. John, plenty of lube is the key! I didn't have to wrestle it or fight it at all. It went on for me just like the guy at the cycle show. It wasn't all easy though The rear tire didn't want to balance without 1.25 ounces of weight. I tried turning the rim inside the tire 90 degrees each time. Some positions were worse yet, almost 2 ounces off. I chose the position that required the least weight.
The chain went on with no problems. The tool I bought worked just like it should. After lubing up the master link and slipping the O-rings on it, I pressed the master link side plate on. I switched the tool parts from press to rivet and pressed on the exposed mater link pins to give them a mushroomed head. Both the directions for the tool and the chain said that the chain would now be as solid and dependable as a factory riveted link.
The rest of the re-assembly was just the reverse of yesterday. I did take the tank cover off so I could check the air filter. Just like the last time, 15,000 miles ago, the filter was filthy. I ordered a new one.
Here's a few pictures of the new nickel silver chain/sprocket set.
My wore out Michelin PilotRoad2 tires with 11,548 miles on them.
Rear tread wear indicator.
The front was starting to cup and the rear had quite a flat spot in the center. It looked like it was starting to wear funny, almost like it was cupping like the front tire.
There's now 29,653 miles on the Ninja.