For that reason, I carry a smaller sprocket with me when I take a long highway ride to get to some good sand, gravel, rocky, steep dirt riding. Put the smaller sprocket on and save the clutch and enjoy the riding.
I will point out that going from a 15 to a 17 front sprocket would cut your engine speed to 15/17 of the original speed. 15/17 x 5,100 rpm = 4,500 rpm, but that is still like having a 6th gear.
You may have drop down to 4th gear to maintain 70 at higher elevations like 7,000 feet or into a head wind, but that is what 4th is for.
Last edited by GoMotor; 02-02-2017 at 06:55 PM.