More highway friendly? - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 02-16-2016, 10:34 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2015
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Question More highway friendly?

I have a used 2012 KLR. I use it strictly as a street bike, never off road. I find that by 40 MPH I am in 5th gear. I want to change the gear ratio to make it easier on the engine at 60-70 MPH sppeds. I have heard changing the front sprocket to 16 teeth and the rear to 42 will greatly lower the RPMs at higher speeds. Ideas ?
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post #2 of 7 Old 02-16-2016, 11:02 AM
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That will work perfectly fine.
Might read what they said over here,

This is the one I was looking for,

Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 85,000+ miles & counting

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post #3 of 7 Old 02-16-2016, 12:45 PM
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The easiest and cheapest way to go is to change the front sprocket to a 16 tooth. Try that, and see how you like it before changing the rear too.

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post #4 of 7 Old 02-16-2016, 05:30 PM
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I did the 16 on the front of my 2008 and love it! Just enough to lower the rpms some and it feels more free. I didn't find myself looking for another gear all the time.
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post #5 of 7 Old 04-17-2019, 10:09 AM
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A 16 tooth front should serve you well for a start. If you’re going on a cross country all freeway trip then you might want to change the rear.
These aren’t street bikes and weren’t meant to run at 80 mph all day. But in the end it’s cheapest and easier to do the front.
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post #6 of 7 Old 04-17-2019, 11:27 AM
3rd Gear
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Keep an eye on the oil level, especially if run 5000 rpm and above. Some engines sip it, some drink. My ‘16 sips it, maybe about every 6-800 miles it needs a top-up from mid site glass. We ride her hard.
I have 16 tooth and like it for street and highway. Soon I’ll be putting the smaller gear back (or smaller yet) for single track and off road exploring.
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Last edited by dan filipi; 04-17-2019 at 11:32 AM.
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post #7 of 7 Old 04-17-2019, 06:00 PM
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Changing only the front sprocket from 15-tooth (stock) to a 16-tooth aftermarket sprocket, will, at any given speed, reduce engine rpm by a factor of: 15/16 (only 0.9375 as many rpm as before).

At 4000 rpm stock, the 16-tooth sprocket will reduce rpm by 250 rpm to 3750 rpm. (A side-effect: Torque multiplication will be reduced the same fractional/percentage numerical amount by the change.) 5000 rpm stock? 46875 rpm with the one-tooth "overdirve" (312.5 rpm less).

Want more torque off-road? Change from a stock 15-tooth front sprocket to a 14-tooth one, and your torque will increase by 15/14 (1.07) times the torque at the stock rpm figure.

One sprocket tooth oughta make greater changes? Sorry; the geometry and math tell me this is so.

(As always, contradictions, clarifications, and corrections welcomed!)
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