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n00b question of the day......

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Hi guys.  Forgive me, as I'm sure this is addressed a lot.  I am trying to find out the stock sprocket sizes for my 98 XRL.  During my searching, I've found 14/46, 15/48, etc.......  Please help!!!!!  Also, would love to get your opinion on what the best highway set up would be for extended periods of travel at 75-80 mph.  Thanks!!!

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Stock is 15/48. For highway speeds up to 70-75 I think stock is ok. Anything more and you'd want to gear down on the rear sprocket and maybe up on the front. There's a really good calculator out there somewhere that I'm sure someone will post soon. If not, I'll post it tonight since it's on my home computer.

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I currently use 15/42 for highway, this basically makes the rpms at 75 mph equivalent to 70 mph (stock), etc.  If you Google "Gearing Commander", the first link will give you a site which enables you to calculate various ratios.  For the record, I've tried 15/40 and was not happy with it (too high), this was on a stock bike, however.  In my humble opinion, 15/42 is probably about as high as you want to go unless you have a big bore kit or other performance enhancing mods.

 

I ride A LOT of freeway miles, keep an eye on oil temps and consumption!  After the purchase of my new XRL, I did some testing and found the oil in the frame would climb upwards of 270 on a long stretch of freeway.  This was with the air scoops, etc. (no mods).  I installed a Sutton oil cooler which dropped temps 20-25 degrees.  A "Big Fin" mod REALLY brought temps down so I now see around 210 on the freeway, this is with the 15/42 gearing.

 

I've heard that these bikes should not consume oil if in good running shape on the freeway but that has not been my experience...

Edited by condershire
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I currently use 15/42 for highway, this basically makes the rpms at 75 mph equivalent to 70 mph (stock), etc.  If you Google "Gearing Commander", the first link will give you a site which enables you to calculate various ratios.  For the record, I've tried 15/40 and was not happy with it (too high), this was on a stock bike, however.  In my humble opinion, 15/42 is probably about as high as you want to go unless you have a big bore kit or other performance enhancing mods.

 

I ride A LOT of freeway miles, keep an eye on oil temps and consumption!  After the purchase of my new XRL, I did some testing and found the oil in the frame would climb upwards of 270 on a long stretch of freeway.  This was with the air scoops, etc. (no mods).  I installed a Sutton oil cooler which dropped temps 20-25 degrees.  A "Big Fin" mod REALLY brought temps down so I now see around 210 on the freeway, this is with the 15/42 gearing.

 

I've heard that these bikes should not consume oil if in good running shape on the freeway but that has not been my experience...

 

 

How much of a hit did you take with off the line performance?  I'm not a racer, nor do I aspire to be one.  Just curious how the 42 does, say, from a red light?

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How much of a hit did you take with off the line performance?  I'm not a racer, nor do I aspire to be one.  Just curious how the 42 does, say, from a red light?

With 15/48 gearing it's easy to pull away from a stop in second gear on an XR650L.  First gear with15/42 would still be lower than that, so it shouldn't be an issue.  The big thumper has enough low-end torque to easily get moving from a stop even in higher gears.  I once proved that I could start out in 5th gear from a stop without too much drama and only a little clutch slipping.

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ZERO issues, I can still bring up the front wheel with the throttle in 1st gear, maybe even 2nd (have not tried).  Plenty of torque, even at speed.  My motor/carb/air filter/exhaust is stock with the exception of being bored 1mm over, which gives me a displacement of around 657 cc's and a theoretical horsepower bump of .7 hp.

 

Acceleration is fine, I do not feel I took any hit in moving up the gearing.  If you spend a significant amount of time in the dirt, you would probably not be happy with it (or maybe it would be fine), but for general street riding and freeway, it is the perfect gearing for me.

 

When I initially started experimenting, I tried the 15/40 combo and it felt too high although I have seen others use this combination and seem happy with it.

 

Whatever you choose, you will need to go down on the rear as there is not enough room in the front for a 16 tooth countersprocket unless you remove or mod the guard.  Going down 3 in the rear is equivalent to going up one on the front.  One thing you could do is go 15/42 and carry a 14 tooth countersprocket, which will give you stock gearing should you need it (swap out before you hit the trail).

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Be aware that you'll likely have to shorten the chain if you go from stock gearing of 15/45 to 15/42.

 

I can use 14/45 on my bike with the adjustment near the back and 15/48 (4 more teeth) with the adjustment close to the front.  There isn't enough additional adjustment on my bike, at least, to have a properly adjusted chain with 15/42, and 14/42 would need to be even further back.

 

I've made the mistake of riding some tough trails with the stock 15/45 gearing and it was quite a bit more difficult than with 15/48.  Be aware that 14/42 is likely still too high unless you're doing all easy dirt roads.

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For a reference, here are some tables showing various RPM's for gearing combinations we have discussed:

 

Stock (15/45):

 

Stock.JPG

 

Current for my bike (15/42):

 

15-42.JPG

 

Custom (15/40, I do NOT recommend):

 

15-40.JPG

 

Hope this helps...

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Be aware that you'll likely have to shorten the chain if you go from stock gearing of 15/45 to 15/42.

 

I can use 14/45 on my bike with the adjustment near the back and 15/48 (4 more teeth) with the adjustment close to the front.  There isn't enough additional adjustment on my bike, at least, to have a properly adjusted chain with 15/42, and 14/42 would need to be even further back.

 

I've made the mistake of riding some tough trails with the stock 15/45 gearing and it was quite a bit more difficult than with 15/48.  Be aware that 14/42 is likely still too high unless you're doing all easy dirt roads.

 

15/42 = 108 links, down 2 from the stock 110.  14/42 = 106 links, down 4 from the stock 110.  Carry 2 master links...

Edited by condershire

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The stock sprocket setup for all XR650L models is 15/45, not 15/48.  And that's the best ratio for highway riding.

 

I just finished a trip down to Mexico on my XRL and will have to correct my recommendation on the 15/42 gearing setup.  This setup works fine WITHOUT luggage.  With luggage, I found myself nearly lugging the engine so I'm going to have to agree with the 15/45 as the best setup for highway riding...

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