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What do you mean by "improve" your top end? The stock ratio is darned near perfect for true dual-sport riding. However, if you are a single-sport rider, or you must tinker, experiment with ratios by changing out the rear sprocket. It is easiest to change. Change your front only when needed because the current front is worn and needs changing anyway. It is a pain to take off the left case cover to change the front sprocket. Pre-purchase a gasket or 2 to have on hand for the job. Have an extra set of hands to help you re-install that left cover to help keep the stator wires where they should be so they don't get pinched or cut, which almost everyone has done because as carefully as you try to place it, the magnets make everything go wonky.
 

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Looking to improve my top end slightly...so would it be best to go for a 15 tooth front or a 47 rear?
This would keep the ratio about the same.
I put a 47 tooth rear (14 stock on front) sprocket on this past spring on my #2 TW. I've been pleasantly surprised at how well it rides in moderate trails and on the highway. Nothing drastic but a few less rpm's at highway speed and no loss of trail traction on moderate off-road tails. From what I've (read) the 15T front sprocket is about the same as the 47T rear. Matter of choice I suppose on which one to change.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
What do you mean by "improve" your top end? The stock ratio is darned near perfect for true dual-sport riding. However, if you are a single-sport rider, or you must tinker, experiment with ratios by changing out the rear sprocket. It is easiest to change. Change your front only when needed because the current front is worn and needs changing anyway. It is a pain to take off the left case cover to change the front sprocket. Pre-purchase a gasket or 2 to have on hand for the job. Have an extra set of hands to help you re-install that left cover to help keep the stator wires where they should be so they don't get pinched or cut, which almost everyone has done because as carefully as you try to place it, the magnets make everything go wonky.
By "improving top end" I mean to LOSE some rpm's at higher speed.
I agree that the trail gearing for these is downright perfect....in fact, I changed my DR650 over to 14/49 a few years ago and kept it as such until the day it died. I would like to have gone a bit higher yet (51 or 53) but once you go larger than 50 on the DR's you have to change the rear chain guide and that was another expense I wasn't ready to make.
My biggest concern about going to lower gearing on the TW is how it will perform on trails with a passenger...
 

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Total all up weight of bike, rider & gear, as well as elevations ridden in, will play a factor in how successful the proposed gearing changes will be. So no real easy answer to this subjective evaluation.
 

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I run 47 / 14 on both our bikes and are very happy.. 13 years now............ Oh howdy admiral long time no read............OMM

 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the input.

I realize that there is no magic bullet here...no single combination that will solve EVERY problem. Although I asked for the "Best combination", what I was looking for was opinions from others, regarding the gearing they used and how it fared for them.

Just like the CRF250L thread...I'm looking for options...and some pleasant conversation, of course! :)
 
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