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I just replaced my stock 15t sprocket with a 17 tooth on my 88 650 for touring. Where I was hitting about 5100 rpms at 70 with the 15t I now only hit 4100 rpms at 70. seriously. I took the bike on some riverbed trails...briefly... but had to do a lot of clutching. The bike still punched up a couple big gullies with no problem, however, the min speed without lugging below 3000 rpms is 15mph, a lot for trails.

just some info for anyone looking into the 17t

It's rad!!
 

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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.
 

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I am also considering adding a 17T to my 03 to keep the RPM down. Not planning on taking the pig off-road anytime soon. Anyone have some experience with one that they would like to share?
 

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I've done a couple of them and they were a bit of a problem. There's less clearance than I find comfortable. The 17 doesn't clear the guard that protects the wires very well and some dungeoneering and butchery are often required.

I'd advise going, instead, to a 15/38 combination to get the same ratio. You'd still have the option to gear down to a 14/38, which is within 5% of the stock ratio and would be a bit more-off-road friendly if you ever wanted to go in that direction.
 
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I did the 17 at around 600 miles on the bike, and now have 6,600ish, and love the 17, as mine is mostly a tar-baby. I don't do much off roading, only gravel roads and fire trails kind of riding. The motor loves it. I do have a new 14, incase I decide to do off roading. Doing 70-80 the bike really thanks me, as being a winter Texan, lots of roads posted at 70-80 speed limits. Mine had the hard break in. As the first miles I was at a campground that soon as ya pulled out of the drive it was a 70 speed limit, which means 80 to most, that's when I had the stock 15.
 

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I did the 17 at around 600 miles on the bike, and now have 6,600ish, and love the 17, as mine is mostly a tar-baby. I don't do much off roading, only gravel roads and fire trails kind of riding. The motor loves it. I do have a new 14, incase I decide to do off roading. Doing 70-80 the bike really thanks me, as being a winter Texan, lots of roads posted at 70-80 speed limits. Mine had the hard break in. As the first miles I was at a campground that soon as ya pulled out of the drive it was a 70 speed limit, which means 80 to most, that's when I had the stock 15.
How much modification did you have to do to the front sprocket cover? Still debating if I should get the 17 or 16.
 

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I would re-route the alternator & ignition wires Straight UP and then across, rather than Across then Up to get them completely away from the chain & sprocket.

I would separate the green Neutral light wire from the others and leave it in its original Routing Channel.

Of course your wires have to be 'young enough' to be flexible enough to do so.
 

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Sorry been out n about on the bike.
Not to undo the very nice gurus that helped me and others.

20mns to installed 17 front sprocket, very little modification to plastic guard, simple dremel tool is what I used. no problems yet with stock wires for neutral switch. And with a tail wind have hit a real (unofficially) well over 100mph, and didnt rip wires or anything,, damaged
I was outrunning a thunder storm.
 

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Sorry have to add,,, I try my best not to speed, as I have no reason to be in a hurry... That said. With the 17 front sprocket, on streaght and flat, I have a hard time doing 55mph or 60mph in the posted limets. The pig wants to and can run. But it wont run offroad in that configuration.
This is the best of a chain design, as one can change gearing simple and sweet to match needed.
 
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