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I do more on road than offroad riding, and most off road is back roads, fire roads, and trails. After riding with my dad, on a triumph 990 and my brother on a Suzuki V storm 650 the difference in speed is obvious. I've considered upgrading my sprocket to give me a little more higher speed comfort. Does it give a noticeable difference and is it worth the money to buy a new sprocket
 

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I upgraded to 16 tooth and the bike is much happier on the highway. Nothing is free - there's definitely a penalty when you go off-road. Let's just say you'll get more practice on the clutch.
 

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If you use your bike for transportation you must change the gearing. I don't know the numbers at the moment but my 1994 was good tall gearing and on my 2011 I went up in the front and down in the rear to keep the stock chain and I think the 1994 was still better so if we can find out the OEM ratios I'll know what to do with mine too.
Good luck with it
 

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If you change the front sprocket do you have to change the rear? I ask because my bike came with a 15 tooth and I just ordered a 14 tooth to go back to stock.
 

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They come with a 15 tooth front/ 43 rear.

I'm running 16/42 and stock length Tsubaki roller chain.
Rpms are in the low-mid 4's on the interstate.
Lost bottom end takeoff, got it back upstairs.
I rarely use more than first and second offroad, and
yes feathering the clutch will become a skill to you
slowing for the tight stuff while keeping it running.
 

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You need available adjuster travel of 1/2 a link per tooth. Should be ok with a one tooth change.
For the sake of accuracy, you need 1/4 of a link (5/32") adjustment room for each tooth added or subtracted on a sprocket.
 

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Thanks for correcting my statement. Would it be because the chain makes 2 U turns to do it's job? Makes sense. Hope I didn't mess anyone up.
Thanks again
 

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Thanks for correcting my statement. Would it be because the chain makes 2 U turns to do it's job? Makes sense. Hope I didn't mess anyone up.
Thanks again

Two things happen.
1. The chain only touches 1/2 the sprocket, so you only need 1/2 as much extra/less chain as the number of teeth added/subtracted. 1 tooth = 1/2 a link.

2. When you move the adjuster 1/4 link forward/backward you gain/loose 1/4 link on the top run and 1/4 link on the bottom run = 1/2 link total.

So, 1 tooth on the sprocket = 1/2 link of chain = 1/4 link of adjustment .

A link of 520 size chain is 5/8" long as indicated by the 5 in the size. 1/4 of 5/8"= 5/32" adjustment required per tooth added/subtracted from a sprocket.

When I go from Houston to the Rockies to ride the high dirt passes, I ride the highway with stock 15/43 sprockets and change to 13/45 when I get to the Rockies. Two down on front and two up on the back means very little adjustment needed. The gen2 adjusters are a pain to move any distance at 1/6 turn at a time on the hex bolts in the channels on the swingarm.
 

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Thanks for clearing that up...great explanation too. As I read about your ride to the mountains and gear changes I wonder if you are able to stack sprockets on that bike or must remove and replace each time.
 

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Thanks for clearing that up...great explanation too. As I read about your ride to the mountains and gear changes I wonder if you are able to stack sprockets on that bike or must remove and replace each time.
You figure that out, and it will forever be known as the "vrbob mod". :)
 

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Thanks for clearing that up...great explanation too. As I read about your ride to the mountains and gear changes I wonder if you are able to stack sprockets on that bike or must remove and replace each time.


I just pop one set off and a new set on when I get to the steep rocky stuff. Using a lock nut in place of the bent washer in front and installing the axle bolt from the right makes changing the sprockets easier.

I have ridden the TAT 2-3/4 times. I ride out to the Atlantic at Kitty Hawk, NC and then ride NC bicycle route #4 to Tennessee and pickup the TAT at Jellico -its original start point. Then on to Salida, Co where I change to low geared sprockets and leave them on to the Pacific. You can ride the TAT all the way on stock sprockets. It is just more fun and easier on your clutch with low gearing in the mountains and the sand in Nevada. Especially if you ride Hancock and Tomichi Passes out of Salida.
 

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Hi, I have a 2014 (NE) and rode the first 1,000 miles with stock sprockets. I'm 60% road, about 30% rough road surfaces in the back country but am only 10% true "off road" trail riding.
With stock gearing the bike was happy 40% of the time. while I was running 50mph or under on the rougher surfaces and that rare occasion where I went truly off road was fine. But 60% of the time it was unhappy (though still capable) when I was running 55 mph and above on the road. I switched to the 16 tooth primary sprocket and the bike is now happy 90% of the time. I have a Gold Wing also and the KLR is not a super slab machine but if I need to get on a interstate and run 70-75 I can with out feeling I am pounding down the road at near WOT. What is really nice is that 60-65 has become a really "sweet spot" to cruse on secondary highways while 3rd gear has become great for running the rough and dirt roads. When I am in third gear running from 25 to 55-60 mph with the wick turned up a bit and drifting the rear wheel a bit in the bends it is just a great combo. So far I have not come across that time where I am trying to climb straight up out of a gulley at 5mph where I will wish 1st gear was a little more of the stump puller it used to be. I may some day but till then I am a happy camper. I will add though that if I didn't have the Wing and was using the KLR on the interstate daily I might be tempted to drop the rear sprocket a couple teeth in combo with the 16 tooth on the front, but people caring a lot of weight might regret that and so far, I just don't need to.
 
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