Pretty in Pink, dunno why
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Redondo Beach
Welcome to the forum!
What you want to do is perfectly reasonable, in theory.
The stock sprockets are a 15 front and a 43 rear. In order to have a more roadworthy gearing for a set of pure road wheels, you would need to go to a smaller sprocket in the rear. This is why I said 'in theory'. Finding a sprocket that is smaller than the 43 that will fit the KLR is a bit difficult. Not impossible, mind you, but it will take a bit of research.
Also, in order to make a significant difference, you will need to find a rear sprocket that is considerably smaller than the stock one, so that means finding a sprocket with something like 38 teeth on it. You are not going to find that listed as a replacement part for a KLR, so there's where you'll have to do some research to find a road bike with the same bolt pattern and hub boss size as the KLR. Now, if you wanted to go to a bigger rear sprocket, that wouldn't be much of a problem at all, as that's a common interest and there are Kawasaki dirt bikes that share the bolt and hub pattern.
Because of the difficulty of finding the smaller rear sprocket, the common approach is to go to a bigger front sprocket. Going up to a 16 is easy and a 17 is possible, though some work on the sprocket cover is often required.
If you get a prevailing torque nut to replace the stock Kawasaki sprocket nut you'll be able to swap out front sprockets very quickly; it will add a few minutes to the wheel swap-over.
What I do, in order to maintain the gearing as a set, is I swap the front sprocket, the rear sprocket, and the chain when I swap wheels. That way I don't' have to deal with differing wear amounts by mixing components.
As to whether it is worth it or not: Going from a 15 to a 16 is a change of 7%. Cruising at 70mph on stock gearing means the engine is turning over something like 5500rpm. That would change to 5150 rpm. That may turn in a bit better gas mileage, may get into t he rpm range where the KLR won't burn oil, will be less buzzy, etc. You will likely have to shift down for steep grades, though. First gear will be even longer-legged than it is stock, but starting up won't be an issue.
Tom [email protected]
“The kid poured him another straight rye and I think he doctored it with water down behind the bar because when he came up with it he looked as guilty as if he'd kicked his grandmother.”
'How' are words so important they cannot be too often used.”
Sting like a butterfly.
Noli Timere Messorem
Last edited by Tom Schmitz; 02-01-2015 at 07:57 PM.