16/45 Sprocket Combo, Am I on the right path? - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 10-18-2015, 09:10 AM Thread Starter
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Question 16/45 Sprocket Combo, Am I on the right path?

So I am about to change my first set of sprockets and chain on my KLR. I have been happy with the setup I have, most of the time. On the highway it is fine, but off road the gears are a little too far apart for my liking.

As far as I can tell the current setup is the factory 15/43. The rpms seem correct, I will have to pull them off and verify before I order new parts though.

What I am thinking though is to get a 16/45 combo which should only be 1.9% faster, then with my current 15T front sprocket (still looks new) I would have a 4.4% slower setup and then stock, and if after all that it still isnt enough change I can get a 14T front sprocket which would be 10.8% slower than stock, almost like the 13T stock front setup.

Am I looking in the right direction?

Has anyone ever had experience with this setup.

I do ride it on the highway a lot, but I have been getting more and more into trail riding, so I would like to have options and one thing I do know is that I don't want lower gears. I have to goose it a lot as is on the highway, of course me being 6'6" and 300lbs doesn't help the situation at all either so a 16/43 is out of the question for me.
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post #2 of 8 Old 10-22-2015, 08:34 AM
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Try14-43 for off road. It will add about 400 rpm to your hwy speed. A guy your size will like a little more pep at lower speed off road.
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post #3 of 8 Old 10-22-2015, 02:50 PM
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If you go to 16/45 I would think that you would need a 108 link chain versus the current 106. The 108 will likely be too long if you change back to the 15 and for sure on a 14.

To me the best combo with a 106 link chain is the 16/43. Dropping to a 15/43 or even a 14/43. (I'm thinking that a 106 link will work with a 14 but never tried so don't know.)

Check this thread:

http://www.klrforum.com/2008-klr650-...xcel-file.html

My Kaw Barn - 2004 KLR, 2006 Concours (sold), 1997 Bayou 400.

"It's a friggen motorcycle, it's not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you shit your pants every now and then. "

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Last edited by klr4evr; 10-22-2015 at 03:05 PM.
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post #4 of 8 Old 10-22-2015, 07:36 PM
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I run stock (15/43); rather satisfactory for my general riding style and environment. However . . . on some rather steep George Washington National Forest trails, with corresponding rather sharp switchbacks, I have asked: "Ain't this thing got a LOWER gear???????????"

The expedient response to the situation, is . . . slip the clutch. While I'm loath to slip the clutch (my intuitive inclination, from learning to drive and years spent with dry clutches and manual auto/truck transmissions ("Clutch should either be all IN, or all OUT, except when starting off."), beats stalling on the trail and tumbling down the mountainside. The clutch disks can always be replaced, later!

[RANT]Betraying my age, I CRINGE when I observe young automobile drivers use their clutches as HILL HOLDERS! Even . . . some auto-clutched ATV riders will start off in any gear (including the top one), as though their entire drivetrains were "automatic." The clutch part is, but . . . starting up a hill from a stop in the highest gear isn't friendly to the engine or the drivetrain.[/RANT]

Last edited by Damocles; 10-22-2015 at 07:47 PM.
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post #5 of 8 Old 10-23-2015, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jollykreiger View Post
So I am about to change my first set of sprockets and chain on my KLR,,,,,,, but off road the gears are a little too far apart for my liking.

I do ride it on the highway a lot,,,,,, and one thing I do know is that I don't want lower gears.
jollykreiger,
Are you confused? Higher numeric ratio means more engine RPM.

Sorry but you can't have it both ways, with only one set of sprockets.
45 / 16 = 2.8125 Which is lower rpm for highway. Worse off-road, makes bigger steps between gears.

43 / 15 = 2.866 Stock Gearing It is what it is. Great compromise.

43 / 14 = 3.0714 Higher RPM on highway. More torque in the steep and deep off-road. Makes smaller steps between gears.

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post #6 of 8 Old 10-23-2015, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
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pdwestman, To answer your question, I do often get the words lower and higher backwards to with what I mean which is to why I only mentioned it once in my original post.

What I am asking was is it crazy talk to use the 16/45 for most Highway riding as it will be a 1.9% difference or a .054 ratio difference according to your numbers. I am hoping that the difference is very marginal from stock.

Then using the 15T front sprocket that I currently have that is still in good shape, put that on if I intend to do trail riding. That would be an even ratio of 3... so not quite the same as a 14/43 (3.07).

But then I would still have the option of buying a 14t sprocket and going to a 14/45 if I was not satisfied with the 15/45 setup. That would give me a 3.214 which is almost the 3.308 that the 13/43 gives but without the excessive chain wear that I've read about.


I am not worried about chain length. I need a new one of those as well, and I have read where a few guys ride to there spot with a 16 front then put the 14 on when they reach the spot, I cant imagine they are changing the chain length too while they are there but you never know.
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post #7 of 8 Old 10-23-2015, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by jollykreiger View Post
pdwestman, To answer your question, I do often get the words lower and higher backwards to with what I mean which is to why I only mentioned it once in my original post.

What I am asking was is it crazy talk to use the 16/45 for most Highway riding as it will be a 1.9% difference or a .054 ratio difference according to your numbers. I am hoping that the difference is very marginal from stock.

Then using the 15T front sprocket that I currently have that is still in good shape, put that on if I intend to do trail riding. That would be an even ratio of 3... so not quite the same as a 14/43 (3.07).

But then I would still have the option of buying a 14t sprocket and going to a 14/45 if I was not satisfied with the 15/45 setup. That would give me a 3.214 which is almost the 3.308 that the 13/43 gives but without the excessive chain wear that I've read about.


I am not worried about chain length. I need a new one of those as well, and I have read where a few guys ride to there spot with a 16 front then put the 14 on when they reach the spot, I cant imagine they are changing the chain length too while they are there but you never know.
First, your bike, jollykreiger! Gear it like YOU want it!

Hadn't read myself about any "excessive chain wear" from the 13/43 configuration; I wonder about the magnitude, in miles truncated, from a chain's service life, and how the effect was measured.

I think a basic and critical unknown in your conjectured modifications is: Will a stock length chain fit 16/45 (raised by klr4evr above)? And, if not, will a longer chain be appropriate for a 14/45 setup?

If unsure, an extra master link an short chain segment can augment a stock link numbered chain; no need to carry a complete extra chain, if a stock length chain is incompatible with sprocket teeth choices.

Lots of cogitation of rather small percentage-wise differences from using a 43-tooth rear, stock length chain, and changing the front sprockets, but again, your bike! Best wishes.
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post #8 of 8 Old 10-23-2015, 05:31 PM
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My experience with a 16 -43 was that it was a more sluggish. At hwy speeds it was over geared and the engine got worse mpg and you had to dial in more throttle to keep the same mph. Forget about riding into a headwind. I'm also a big guy with a lot of wind drag. I've ridden a lot of passes and steep rocky trails in Co. and Utah and a 15-43 or a 14-43 is usually about right, but not perfect.
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