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Thread: Best way to change gearing

  1. #1
    Junior Member sherm's Avatar
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    I just purchased an '08 with 2900 miles on it. The chain has been abused, and is worn out. I'll be changing both sprokets. I'd like to be able to ride at 60 mph on the highway without over reving the engine. Would it be better to go with a larger counter sprocket, or a smaller rear. And can anyone tell me the ideal number on teeth on each? I need to get them ordered as soon as possible. The bike had been in storage since early '09. Battery was dry and dead, carb fairly clean, but the slow jet was blocked with varnish. It cleaned up well, and now runs like a big Swiss Watch :-) Any help with the sprockets will be much appreciated. BTW, I traded my 2010 Tdub for a Harley Sportster...

  2. #2
    Senior Member owtcast's Avatar
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    I'm running a 15-42 and it seems fairly comfortable at 60mph. You will find yourself tap dancing on the gear shifter during uphill climbs and serious headwinds though. I'll take that trade any day to keep the rpms down.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Dark Sol's Avatar
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    The only way to comfortably ride on the highway at 60+ unfortunately is to use a different bike, even if you lower the engine speed enough to a reasonable point you'll be at a serious lack of power and probably won't even have enough power to turn 5th gear at 60 unless the land is flat and there's no headwind.



    But if you love your TW and you insist, it depends on where you live and how much you want to slow the engine down. First of all I would recommend going from 14 in the front to 15, and if you want to drop the engine speed more from there drop the rear.



    With stock 14/50 you're running roughly 7600 at 60, and yeah it sounds like it's gonna blow up



    If you drop it to 15/50, you're running 7200 at 60. Fair drop, but not much.



    If you can afford to drop it lower, the next step would be 15/47. This lets you run 60 at 6700, which is 900 lower than the stock bike. I have this ratio, and personally 6700 is way too fast for me to run without worrying..



    Next drop would be 15/45, which runs 60 @ 6400



    Or you can drop to what owtcast posted, 15/42 which runs 60 @ 6000.





    I highly don't you want to go lower than 15/42, heck I don't even know if you want to go that low. I have 14/44 equipped which is equal to 15/47, and I'll tell you my bike's 5th gear SUCKS. It has no power at any speed, and while it WILL climb from 45 mph to 65 it takes a long time. Like maybe 1 mph per second if you're lucky..and that's on a flat with no headwind! With head winds I've had trouble even holding 60 mph in 5th, it only holds 65 on a flat on a good day.



    If you will be riding mostly flat roads I'd recommend 15/47 or maybe even 15/45, I just don't know about 15/42...you can try if you want as sprockets are cheap & easy to do. If you have lots of hills to climb up maybe try 15/50, it won't drop the engine speed much and 60 will still be pretty high but you can't afford to lose any more power.



    But like I said it all depends on what feels too high for you. some people run 14/55 and run the damn thing at 60 still which is over 8000, I can't stand to go anywhere near that cause it makes me feel like it's gonna blow up in no time and leave me stranded. I like my bike best with 14/44 running 45 mph @ 5000, sounds perfectly relaxed and happy. If you can stand to run it at 7000 though, I recommend 15/50. If you are like me, you'll wanna get 15/45 or lower.
    2008 CRF230L

    2006 CBR1000RR

    2007 CB919 - 70k Miles and still runs like new!

    * 2001 TW200 (Sold after 15k miles of fun)

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  5. #4
    Senior Member owtcast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Sol View Post
    The only way to comfortably ride on the highway at 60+ unfortunately is to use a different bike, even if you lower the engine speed enough to a reasonable point you'll be at a serious lack of power and probably won't even have enough power to turn 5th gear at 60 unless the land is flat and there's no headwind.



    But if you love your TW and you insist, it depends on where you live and how much you want to slow the engine down. First of all I would recommend going from 14 in the front to 15, and if you want to drop the engine speed more from there drop the rear.



    With stock 14/50 you're running roughly 7600 at 60, and yeah it sounds like it's gonna blow up



    If you drop it to 15/50, you're running 7200 at 60. Fair drop, but not much.



    If you can afford to drop it lower, the next step would be 15/47. This lets you run 60 at 6700, which is 900 lower than the stock bike. I have this ratio, and personally 6700 is way too fast for me to run without worrying..



    Next drop would be 15/45, which runs 60 @ 6400



    Or you can drop to what owtcast posted, 15/42 which runs 60 @ 6000.





    I highly don't you want to go lower than 15/42, heck I don't even know if you want to go that low. I have 14/44 equipped which is equal to 15/47, and I'll tell you my bike's 5th gear SUCKS. It has no power at any speed, and while it WILL climb from 45 mph to 65 it takes a long time. Like maybe 1 mph per second if you're lucky..and that's on a flat with no headwind! With head winds I've had trouble even holding 60 mph in 5th, it only holds 65 on a flat on a good day.



    If you will be riding mostly flat roads I'd recommend 15/47 or maybe even 15/45, I just don't know about 15/42...you can try if you want as sprockets are cheap & easy to do. If you have lots of hills to climb up maybe try 15/50, it won't drop the engine speed much and 60 will still be pretty high but you can't afford to lose any more power.



    But like I said it all depends on what feels too high for you. some people run 14/55 and run the damn thing at 60 still which is over 8000, I can't stand to go anywhere near that cause it makes me feel like it's gonna blow up in no time and leave me stranded. I like my bike best with 14/44 running 45 mph @ 5000, sounds perfectly relaxed and happy. If you can stand to run it at 7000 though, I recommend 15/50. If you are like me, you'll wanna get 15/45 or lower.


    Everything he said is correct. I am fortunate that I live right on the coast at sea level and it's flat as hell here. So the TW isn't starving for air and makes the most of it's meager power. And the only hills around here are overpasses on highways. Note: I'd gladly trade that all for some topography which makes riding so much more interesting and enjoyable.

  6. #5
    Senior Member Dark Sol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by owtcast View Post
    Everything he said is correct. I am fortunate that I live right on the coast at sea level and it's flat as hell here. So the TW isn't starving for air and makes the most of it's meager power. And the only hills around here are overpasses on highways. Note: I'd gladly trade that all for some topography which makes riding so much more interesting and enjoyable.


    Pretty much the case for me too. There's a hill every once and a while but only for maybe 10 seconds at the most. In most situations I'll just charge up the hill in 5th, usually on a moderate hill if I'm going 55-60 I might drop to 50, and that's without WOT..might hold 55 if I held 5th wide open but I haven't tried yet cause the small tank worries me a little.



    My stock chain is on it's last adjustment and totally out of spec at 4600 Mi., and when the new chain gets here(ordered a few days ago) I think I am gonna swap the front and try 15/44 for the heck of it. If I don't like it I am gonna try 15/50, and see if 5th gear gains enough power to be worth it. 4th and 3rd for that matter too, they're somewhat weak as well when it comes to getting yourself moving.
    2008 CRF230L

    2006 CBR1000RR

    2007 CB919 - 70k Miles and still runs like new!

    * 2001 TW200 (Sold after 15k miles of fun)

  7. #6
    Member bluedevilfootballman's Avatar
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    i'm at 15/50 and feel comforatable at 55mph, 60 does feel like your pushing it a little too hard, but 60 doesn't scare me to the point where i think it's gonna blow up, i still go 60. at my weight (205ish) i dont know how well 15/44 would push me. if my oring chain and sprockets wear out before the rest of the bike does i'm gonna go with somthing more like 15/48 i think.

  8. #7
    Member dalsco's Avatar
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    I've got 15/50 on my 91 and would ride 60 all day long. i've even hit 75 for 10-15 min rides on the freeway with no problems (even had a little power to spare ran at about 7600rpm). this little engine will handle those rpms as long as its well taken care of. on bigger hills i do have to downshift but its no different than the car driving next to me. I'm in Utah so I figure (depending on what part of oregon you're in) your topo is about the same. In the end its up to you I'ld recommend starting at 15-50 and if you dont like that change the rear sprocket accordingly. Your happiness with the TW is well worth a few 10-20 dollar sprockets!

  9. #8
    Banned qwerty's Avatar
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    I've run 14/54 to 15/44 and my favorite for most purposes is 15/50. Tdub just doesn't perform well pulling gears taller than that. I run 70-75mph often. I'll run 15/54 on a dualsport ride in the Ozarks, Smokies, or desert, but I'll switch to 14/54 up in the Rockies. Makes a big difference around Buena Vista and Leadville at 9,000 to 12,000 feet. I've taken Tdub up Pikes Peak, over 14,000 feet, when altitude drops your horsepower 50%. You might not can stand to buzz a TW engine all day at 8000rpm, but the bike doesn't care. The engine is tuned so mildly you can't hurt it by using it. The carb is so small it is like running half throttle on other bikes when held wide open. I've done a SS1000 in 19 hours, and didn't kill Tdub. I've flogged her across hundreds of miles of desert highway 4-5000ft altitude at 112*F, and didn't kill Tdub. Tdub is happiest turning about 7000rpm. Tdub has 45,000+ miles, and no internal engine work other than valve and cam chain adjustments. I think good quantities of clean, quality oil are much more important to your TW than engine rpm. Spin 'er up, let 'er rip. That's the way TWs are.



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  10. #9
    Junior Member tampabrian's Avatar
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    But like I said it all depends on what feels too high for you. some people run 14/55 and run the damn thing at 60 still which is over 8000, I can't stand to go anywhere near that cause it makes me feel like it's gonna blow up in no time and leave me stranded. I like my bike best with 14/44 running 45 mph @ 5000, sounds perfectly relaxed and happy. If you can stand to run it at 7000 though, I recommend 15/50. If you are like me, you'll wanna get 15/45 or lower.







    I just now bought the 14/44 on ebay based on your input, thanks for the info

  11. #10
    Member michael's Avatar
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    Hi, this is my first post I really like all the input from everybody and I am much more informed on the sprocket issue.



    I would like to change my gearing on my TW to lower the rpm's on the highway but I have to make a choice between a 14/48 or a 14/45.( I have a deal with a supplier and they only make does rear sprockets).



    I don't know if a 48 will make any noticeable difference and I'm worried a 45 will kill to much of the torque.



    I ride both trails and highway but I will use it a lot to go to work which is 45 miles of highway and would like the rev's to come down a bit to extend engine life.



    Right know the bike is stock with the 14/50. I weigh 155 lbs and it feels like first gear is almost useless for my style of riding and pushing over 50 mph feels hard on the engine ( but I am reassured buy qwerty's post ).



    I dooooooo like the occasional wheelie in 2nd gear and without being to hard on the clutch.



    I would really like any insight and thanks in advance.



    The site is great and I Love my Tdub.
    The journey is more important then the destination and to have someone to talk to about your journey is the most important of all. Enjoy every day and keep riding.

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