Desert Gearing Question...

So I picked up a new to me 09 YZ450f  after years of riding the heavy Honda XR650 in the desert. I love the feel of the YZ but ran out of top end fairly quickly. The chain is in need of replacement as well as the rear sprocket so I thought I would drop a few teeth in the rear to see what I could get out of the top end. Any suggestions on what rear or counter sprocket to go to for desert riding? What your gearing for the desert?



Sprocket Gearing Chart.

Edited by Metal Twister

When I ran the stock gearbox in my '06 YZ450, I settled on a 13/48 (stock is 13/49)  Not too much help, but it did some.  After I installed the Rekluse, which made the tall low gear much less a problem, I was thinking of going taller, like a 14/49, but then I changed out 4th and 5th for the gears from a WR450, and I was able to drop to a 13/50 instead.  Works great. 

Thanks for the feedback. Thinking I should go with a 14 tooth and a 48 rear. That takes me from 3.77 to 3.50. I seldom use the first gear at all so this should make enough difference until I blow through the new rear sprocket. Thanks again.  Wr gearing sounds like the best option but I just got this thing and who knows how long I will keep it before I go back to Dual Sport?

I ran 14/48. Any taller and it will be a struggle in the tight stuff.

So do you think a 14/49 would be about right? was the 14/48 too tall or just on the edge?

14/48 is effectively the same as 13/45, or 4 teeth off the rear.  I ran gearing that was effectively 2 teeth off the rear on an '03 and first was still fairly usable in the tighter stuff.  I might have been able to go higher, but I'm not sure of it.  The areas of concern were rocky canyon bottoms, especially those that are also climbs, and places such as that, which are pretty common in desert racing in my area. 

I seldom use 1st at all so if I can gain a bit on the top it would be wonderful. Think I will go one tooth smaller on the rear and one tooth larger on the counter and see what that does. It will be a step in the right direction without going over the top. LOL Thanks again guys! 

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