Gear ratio - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 29 Old 02-24-2012, 05:30 AM Thread Starter
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Gear ratio

Has anybody changed the gear ratio from the standard factory sprocket. I have a 2008 KLR 650 and primarily ride it on the highway. I am thinking about changing the front sprocket so that the bike does not turn 4000 rpms at 60 mph.
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post #2 of 29 Old 02-24-2012, 05:42 AM
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Did not say but I am assumming you want to lower the RPM's Go one tooth bigger on front. Stock is 15 so you want a 16.It is a noticable change in gearing. Some like higher gearing some do not. Depends on a bunch of variables so you must try it for yourself. Good news is the cost is really low. 20 bucks or so and it is easy to do.
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post #3 of 29 Old 02-24-2012, 06:04 AM Thread Starter
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Did not say but I am assumming you want to lower the RPM's Go one tooth bigger on front. Stock is 15 so you want a 16.It is a noticable change in gearing. Some like higher gearing some do not. Depends on a bunch of variables so you must try it for yourself. Good news is the cost is really low. 20 bucks or so and it is easy to do.
I am trying to lower the rpms. It seems like I go thru the gears before I get out of the driveway. I live on the East coast of NC therefore the terrain is flat. I use the bike for short rides and enjoy riding speeds around 50 -55. I am thinking of changing the sprockets to 16/40 to obtain taller gears but I am not sure if the bike will be hard to get going in first.
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post #4 of 29 Old 02-24-2012, 08:06 AM
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Are you sure you are running stock gearing? 15/43 is stock. I would do the front sprocket 1st and see how you like it. Cheaper and has a noticeable effect. Going up one on the front and down 2 or 3 in the rear is quite a jump. I ran the 16/43 for about 12,000 miles and I am back to 15/43. I like it better. may even try 14/43.
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post #5 of 29 Old 03-03-2012, 04:43 PM
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I run a 16 tooth front with stock rear. I weigh a little over 200 pounds and took a 1200 mile trip (all highway) and heavily loaded. I had no problems even in the mountains the only time the 15 tooth will go on is in the woods.


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post #6 of 29 Old 03-04-2012, 02:35 PM
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Just made a 2,000 miles trip to the south of Chile with mostly highway riding, but 1/3 on country roads both asphalt and loose gravel. Very frankly, before starting this trip I thought that the 16/43 was a necessary change, however after this trip, I think that the stock 15/43 is the best gear ratio overall to face highway, city and off road. Maybe if usage is ONLY highway, I think 16 front is a good option. Further than that, frankly not recommendable.
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post #7 of 29 Old 03-05-2012, 10:24 AM
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I run a 16t countershaft sprocket. I don't do offroad, my klr is a commuter/economic street bike,(gasp!!). I prefer it to stock. JMHO.
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post #8 of 29 Old 03-05-2012, 07:39 PM
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I replaced my chain before a trip to Baja a few months ago.

(http://vicurious.blogspot.com/2012/0...-outbound.html)

My '02 has 30,000 miles on it, 10,000 of which I put on it since I got it last year. I figured I'd do the "right thing" and replace both sprockets at the same time...and while I was at it, I decided to go with the 16 tooth drive sprocket to try it out.

The stock setup leaves me stressed out on the freeway. I prefer driving in the carpool lane, at least as fast as the speed of traffic. It feels much safer than being in any other lane with traffic zipping in and out all around me. The stock arrangement in such a situation had me looking at RPMs consistently well above 5,000, and left me feeling like I was asking far too much of the bike.

I was amazed what a difference one extra tooth made. At freeway speeds, it dropped 500 RPMs and made for a considerably more comfortable ride. Since the bike is my only means of motorized transport, the sad reality is that I do far more riding on the slab than I prefer. The 16 tooth sprocket is an undeniable asset on the pavement.

On the dirt, however, I am always missing the stock sprocket. There's no doubt about it, having that extra torque would be far preferable for anything beyond hard-pack or flat gravel...especially any kind of climbing.

So, I wonder...

Has anybody heard of changing out sprockets temporarily for different applications? When I installed the new chain, I cut it to length as it fit with the 16 tooth. Is there enough play in the rear axle adjusting screws that I could simply switch them out at will? I know it's warned that a chain and sprocket should wear out together, and be replaced together, but surely switching down to a 15 tooth now and again during extended dirt rides wouldn't be too detrimental to the chain...no?
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post #9 of 29 Old 03-16-2012, 08:56 PM
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Stock 14T runs abt 5K at 70. Each tooth knocks off abt 4-500 RPM. You can go 17T on the C/S but there is some clearance issues with the guard. Nothing a little grinding wont fix. The KLR already has a pretty tall 1st gear so if you do any off roading it aint gonna be slow....
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post #10 of 29 Old 03-16-2012, 09:11 PM
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Last summer I rode to Colorado for some off roading action, then to Montana for some mountain work, and then back to Houston to home for some honey -do action.. I carry a 14T 15T 16T and a 17T and change when riding conditions change. I run a stock chain and stock rear sprocket. Change over takes about 20min and some hand cleaner then back on the road. Lets you get the best out of the KLR. Just my 2cents Bye
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