Need help/info for gearing down XR600

I recently purchased a 1995 xr600r which is in great shape. The seller had had the bike serviced and the dealer installed a new set of factory original sprockets (14:48)and chain. I would like to gear the bike down as I use it mostly for tight trails and woods riding and I am six foot 240 pounds and almost 40years old.

What would you recommend? I am thinking of going to 14:50 or 14:52, but I don't want to get so low that first gear is useless.

I also do not want to run into any clearance problems.

My original thought was to go to a 13:48 but the local guru says that is not an option for me?

Thanks for any help. I am sort of a born again newbie, as i have been out of riding for nearly 15 years.

Also after today this sprocket/chain set has 73 miles and I am considering only changing the rear sprocket.


If I were you I would just swap out the countershaft sprocket for a 13 (with the stock 48 rear) and see if you like it. I've heard that it makes first gear about for tight trails. I think the only one I found when I looked was sprocket specialists (about $17). I wouldn't worry about the 78 miles; a lot of guys change out the front sprocket to match their current riding conditions. Enjoy your new bike. :)

Thanks for the advice.

Are the front sprockets for the XR600R and the newer XR650R the same?

Most mail order websites have a 13 tooth frt listed for the 650 but nothing for the 600.

In my experience no, the XR650R countershaft sprockets are a little bit thicker (been there done that). has a couple different brands of 14 tooth sprockets, but the only 13 tooth I have found is at sprocket specialists.

I had a 97 XR600 and I dropped the front down to a 13 tooth and loved it for the tight stuff. Made better use of 2nd gear and eliminated the first to second back and forth thing. I used the 13 for trail riding and a 15 for dual sporting. Easy swap out and made all the difference in the world. Go for it :)

Looking for more experience ppl have had with 13/48 on the xr600R. What is actual top speed with 14/48 and then with 13/48?

What does the 13/48 combo do for you as far as gear use? Does it make it necessary to shift more often when running single and even double track?

I would use what came stock on 88-90 bikes. 14-50

By keeping the 14 you gain chain life, bigger sprockets are easier on the chain,if you dont care about that then 13-48 seems good as you dont have to take off the wheel for a change.

14-50 on my 88 was monster power...too much so I geared down(up sorry!) to 14-45 which is one step smaller on the back from stock later years(91+) at 14-48

Every once in a while I feel that I would like to gear down when Im in tight singletrack so I can just keep it in second...I always feel like Im either lugging in second or revving in first and that can be the difference between staying upright or falling down.

So maybe for me perfect would be 14-48.

Now with the 14-50 my topspeed was way down around 75-80mph tops!

Im around 95mph now with 14-45

hope that helps!


Edited by elsalvadorklr

yes thanks. I think I will stay at 14/18, stock gearing. The reason not to change the rear is that this bike I just bought came with a Dirt Trix rear sprocket! Very nice 48 tooth. Not going to part with it. May just swap 13/14 every now and again to see what works best.

funny enough I found that a few days ago and was playing with it.

My bike had 13/48 on it when I bought it. It was probably good for tight trails, but I don't ride a lot of tight trails, so I went to stock (14/48) for a while, and then to 15/48 that I have now. The 13t made traction nonexistent on hardpack and it wasted the back tire pretty quickly. My top speed on GPS was 97mph with 14/48 and RPM around 7200-7400.

As was mentioned earlier, larger sprockets are easier on the chain and themselves, so 14/50 or 51 is preferable in that respect.

Edited by HeadTrauma

Wow. 97mph with 14/48? That's dang good. Honestly when I had my XRR I had it geared up to one tooth up on stock: 15/48 and during a desert race the fastest my Trail Tech had me up to was 84 mph. So honestly I don't need 100mph even at desert race speeds. But I certainly don't think a lack of traction with 13T front is worth it. I'l stick with stock .Thanks for insight.

No practical experience, but have been told by several experienced people that a 13tooth from sprocket stretches the chain very fast on a xr600r

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now