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Hi, Im new to motorcycles, KLRs and this forum. I had an idea I was checking out and this "calculator" seemed like it might have some answers. Being not a number minded person, I have a hard time making sense of it.

What I would like to do is get an extra set of wheels with street tires for when I'm not going to be off roading much. I thought it would be cool to also get a different rear sprocket for the "street" to make it a bit faster. I would like for this to be a quick change without having to do anything but swap the wheels and adjust the chain tension.

I have a stock 2014 and like it fine the way it is for the off roading I do. Just thought maybe I could make it a bit punchier on the road with a little tweeking.

Does this make sense? Can I do this and expect a difference worth bothering with?
 

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Discussion Starter #22 (Edited)
Frstone3 -

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
 

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Thanks Tom!
I figured there would be some detail involved. I love the klr just the way it is, and from what I've researched including your input, there's not much one can do to improve on it. I may try to find a smaller rear sprocket but it seems for now it wont make much difference.
I guess if I want to really tear up the road I better get a different bike for it...:D
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Yup. Re-gearing the bike will lower (or raise) the rpm at speed, but it won't make the bike faster - it just doesn't have the power to be faster.

If you want faster, ya gotta find a bigger hill, a stronger tailwind, or a different bike.

But if you want an all-around bike that does most everything decently but nothing splendidly, you've got the right bike.

Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #25
I went back and checked my notes on gearing. It seems that JT makes a 38 tooth sprocket that may fit.

It is the JTR487.38. It seems to be the same bolt circle and hub boss configuration.

Looking at their on-line catalog, they show it as a valid configuration.

The application is listed as a 'BJ Estrella 250', truly a thing of beauty and a joy forever:


As to real availability, who knows? Worth a shot at MotorcycleSuperstore or similar, even a dealer might be helpful.

Tom
 

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Is there a possibility of a larger rear wheel size that may do the same as gearing change? Would this be comparable/additional option?
 

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Discussion Starter #27
No, there's no room for a tire that's much larger in diameter.

Take a gander back there; it's pretty tight.

Tom
 

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So, if I were to get a 38 rear and a 16 front, would I have to use a smaller chain or could I adjust out the slack? I dont know why but I am just really excited to try this... Thanks again for all your info.
 

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Discussion Starter #30 (Edited)
Frstone3 -

I say yes, you can do it. I have been known to be wrong, though.

The stock combination is a 15/43 for a total of 58 teeth and the chain wraps 29 of those.

A 16/38 is a total of 54 teeth, and the chain wraps 27 of those.

As far as the chain is concerned, it's not much of a change.

Tom
 

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So, if I were to get a 38 rear and a 16 front, would I have to use a smaller chain or could I adjust out the slack? I dont know why but I am just really excited to try this... Thanks again for all your info.
Frstone3,
If Necessary, and you can Only Shorten 2 links at a time, you should be able to purchase/order a Clip Style Master link from any motorcycle dealership to fit an EK Brand, MVXZ 520 'o'-ring chain, to fit a Stock ENDLESS, KLR650, EK brand chain.
 

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okay, may be obvious to many but I need to ask. Why would I want to change my gearing that was engineered for the bike. It creeps when I want and does highway speeds when I want ????
 

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okay, may be obvious to many but I need to ask. Why would I want to change my gearing that was engineered for the bike. It creeps when I want and does highway speeds when I want ????
Only if one wants to go even Slower in the Rock Pile or Lower RPM at highway speeds.

Its your bike, ride it your way. I've used stock gearing forever (74,850ish miles), like yourself.
 

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I have been looking at lots of you tube videos. I notice that lots of people, as I also do, kill it at low speeds. Would changing of gearing help with the high rpm I hear most people use when creeping , just before they kill it. That makes sense to me, then, to be able to creep slower if one does a lot of "creeping" down trails. thanks.

thanks.

i started on this site yesterday to see about tech tips and help. but finding I am learning tips on "how to ride" also. I must admit that I can feel the pain of those on the videos I "hear" on the the huffing and puffing of lifting the bike up, especially on the downhill spills.
 

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Many, like myself, take the big KLR into places that the stock gearing could be a hindrance. I find the 14T front with stock 43T rear makes 2nd gear truly usable off road, allowing me to take many hills in 2nd, leaving a lower first if I run of steam. It is a bit buzzier on the road this way, however. I also have a 16T front I have put on for long road-oriented trips, and I like it for that purpose, too. One of the many virtues of the KLR, it is pretty easy to modify to suit you needs. YMMV.
 

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Just tried out my 17. This is in concert with a 42 rear.

Also, I run a 140/80 which totally fills up the swingarm to 1/4 inch all the way
around the front horseshoe and sides. (No chain guards anyway.) Guides, yes,
guards, nope.

At an indicated 62 mph the engine was lazy-ing along at 3700 rpms. That brought it
up to the mid 4's and up to 5k at interstate speeds of 70-85mph. With the power
delivery loss of the taller ratio, wind resistance takes over and top speed remains
the same in the mid 90's to 100 on a downhill straight in a wind tuck. lol

Trying different things as I have 15,16,17,42,43 all to play with and two tire sizes.
The file seems close to dead on accurate other than variables we bring to the table
such as a huge tire, the transmission gearing change in 2nd and 3rd with Gen 2, and
of course not dragging and cooking the clutch. I wouldn't want to use synthetic with
the tall ratios putting more force on the friction plates. Dunno if that'll come into play
with 40 hp or not.

CheapAndGoingRiding.
 

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okay, may be obvious to many but I need to ask. Why would I want to change my gearing that was engineered for the bike. It creeps when I want and does highway speeds when I want ????


Some states have high freeway speed limits. Here in Idaho, I am pretty much limited to highways due to the 80 mph speed limit on the freeway. The bike will do about 85 as it sits, but only with the throttle pinned. With all the hills that you drive over from the Idaho/Oregon border (where I live) and Boise (where pretty much everything is),I imagine it would be tough to not piss people off behind me that want to go 85-90 mph.

That's where my question comes in... I recently went to the local dealer to pick up a couple parts I ordered. While I was there, I checked out the 2017 KLR650s and pretty much fell in love. Though still rugged, they appear more street oriented than my 2001 KLR. Given my bike has almost 50k miles, would it be worth it to get a fresh machine? Or should I just re gear the one I have? Have they upped the top speed of the KLR650 as I imagine they are probable fuel injected now?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Nope still carb.

My '16 will run all day at 80. I put a 16T gear on, helps quite a bit to get it there. With 1200 miles on it now it started to develop a weave in certain road and wind conditions so I generally keep the speeds down. New tires may be sooner than later.
 
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