15T to 13T, easy and needed.

I'm so glad that Beta has decided to provide us with both the 15T front sprocket along with a 13T sprocket for the RR-S'.  I don't know if they do this for any other bike but thank goodness they do. 

Here I was, thinking that the stock 15T and whatever the rear is, 48T?, would work and that I could easily make it work, I was wrong.  15T is indeed too tall-or is it short?, for a lot of the trail riding that I do where there may be steep hills or tight turns.  I had learned it the first time I got into some tight trails the first day I got the bike off road but thought that it was because I was new to the bike, that once I got used to it I'd easily overcome whatever the gearing was.  

Even at my brother in law's farm, where he had a switchback road carved into the side of a mountain, the very steep parts needed a bit more wheelspin and throttle than I thought necessary, then this past Sunday, the gnarliest patch of land that we had ridden on for years, proved that I needed to try the 13T front sprocket.  

 

Thankfully the sprocket bolt came off with no trouble, I just had to put a stick in the spokes to get the sprocket to not turn.  There was no so much slack in the chain I had to move the adjusters way out.  I also learned that only one big nut on the rear brake-side needs to be loosened and that the adjusters are a 10mm and a 13 mm, I think the nut is a 24mm.  The sprocket nut is a 17mm.  

As soon as I let the clutch out for the test ride, I knew that I'd stick with the 13T.  Even on the street I didn't notice a difference at least while riding like I normally do on the street, it was when I tooled around the yard was where I found that I could creep up to the small hills and even the angled curbing and with no clutch or mad throttle, I could simply twist and go, no need for any clutching or picking up speed before hitting anything to go up and over it.  Nice.  With the 15T it was a lot more busy and way more clutching and speed was needed and I definitely didn't like it.  

 

I almost never used 6th gear on the street or anywhere as by the time I'd get up to 60+ MPH, the bike would be shaking so bad that I'd never touch the gear.  Now I think I'll use it and be happy with the speed.  

We can agree to disagree on this subject. To me the benefit of a big bore is to run the absolute tallest gear that the engine will pull so that there is less shifting. During break in I did run the shorter gearing but after lap time testing I will not go back. Stock has served me well in all types of TX riding except street where I run the 45 rear. 

TX is not gnarly, but we run scrambles laid out in sections by trials bikes. 

I can certainly agree that every riders gearing needs are different and is why Beta ships the RR-S (I don't know if the do it with the other bikes) with the 15T and the 13T.  

Here I was, thinking 'I can overcome the gearing, no way that I can't make a 15T sprocket work on the trail'.  

I have noticed that while there is the need to shift more and quicker on the street, I don't mind it so far and I have been able to use 6th gear whereas before, at least on the city streets I ride to and from work, the need to have more than a 50 mph steady speed is about nil as I don't ever plan on riding on the highway or even on 50 mph roads.  

Now I'll wonder what a 14T might be like and if it would be the perfect compromise but, and here comes the but, I want the bike set up for 100% dirt riding rather than compromise for the street.  I can ride on the street no problem as they are such short jaunts, but the most fun for me is off-road and I think the 13T will shine.  I have yet to get it on the dirt with the gear change though.  

Ben, you will find that 13/48 is perfect gearing for off road and short pavement to connect trails. 

40 minutes ago, ballisticexchris said:

Ben, you will find that 13/48 is perfect gearing for off road and short pavement to connect trails. 

Thanks!  

I am glad that I have ridden for just over 500 miles and almost 30 hours with the 15T so I know how much of a challenge it was to ride in some crazy hard terrain with the stock 15/28 gearing.  

The 13T will make the bike so easy to ride in the hard/tight stuff.  Sort of good to go from hard to easy.  

Here's a few things you will find as a nature of short gearing: Wheelie prone, breaks traction, more shifting often right at the wrong time, excess countershaft sprocket wear, more rear suspension squat under acceleration, worse gas mileage, less need for the clutch, more hillclimb capability, better towing, higher rpm resulting in more wear, the transmission becomes more of a close ratio. Not to start a fight, just information. I make the decision for lower gearing based upon if I struggle with 1st not getting the job done without excess clutch. Taller gears are a tool much like a WR transmission. It is expected that smaller bores need the shorter gearing since they lack the torque.

A few real world examples that may help explain the concept are the current raging success of the Alta Redshift dropping average riders lap times dramatically without any familiarity with the bike. This is a function of ridiculous torque allowing no clutch and transmission.

MotoGP bikes now require a SAT semi automatic transmission to compete at the top levels. Follow this link for a detailed description of the benefits, I will summarize by saying it is an effort to not upset the chassis and tires when shifting. http://www.cycleworld.com/2015/11/04/ask-kevin-would-you-please-explain-a-seamless-gearbox#page-2

"

As shown by data from onboard Inertial Measuring Units (IMU), even with a shifter switch, the upshift gear-engagement clunk causes the motorcycle to lurch forward, making the bike pitch slightly to the rear. Some of this motion is in the suspension and some takes place within the flexibility of the tires.

If the bike is leaned over, accelerating out of a turn, this pitch impulse continues as a slight fore-and-aft rocking, which causes the loads on the two tires to vary. Variations in tire loading reduce grip, so the bigger the gear-engagement clunk, the greater the potential upset to tire grip."

I could care less what gear anyone chooses to run, although I do find it frequent on this forum that Beta owners go the 13t direction. Whether that is a function of location or preference I'm not sure, wheelies and sliding the rear make riding fun and that is what we all do this for. It is however, a less efficient method of forward motion.

Personally I never use 6th either unless the bike was geared down, then I had a problem running out of torque to keep the front end light in the whoops at about 45/50 mph. With stock gearing the 480 will easily pull 2nd gear starts and will outrun any race 450, and would probably pull 3rd with a Rekluse easily. I have run some really tight stuff with the stock gearing, and although I have to cover the clutch, I seldom actually have to use it, the bike chugs through everything never breaking traction. It is a cheater.

For personal background, early on I migrated to an open bike, a couple of Montesa 360's and went from middle of the pack to the front and became aware of the ability for torque and tall gearing to make a big difference. The Montesa's had WR 4spd gearboxes and were awesome for MX. If I wanted "MX" type power I wouldn't have chosen a Beta, going with short gearing on a Beta is counterproductive to the Beta easy power delivery benefit unless you just can't pull 1st gear in my humble opinion. Just trying to share my experience, it may not work for others, it depends on what result you are after.

 

 

Edited by Johnny Depp

I am constantly switching back and forth between the 2 sprockets.

I use the 15 tooth on the street and the 13 tooth off road. I have to truck my bike out to the off road areas, so 20minutes switching things around is no big deal. I can make the 15 tooth work for off road and if I was to race more desert, I think thats what I would run for that kind of stuff with miles of big whoops and such. But the 13 tooth is more funn for goofing off and free-riding as well as enduro riding and practicing in the tight rocky stuff. and I can also pull wheelies wayy easier too.

On my old cr450r that came stock with 13/50, I also used to run it 13/48 & 13/49 for most places and tracks, and for the high speed stuff I also ran it 14/48, so I really feel the need to try out a 14 tooth on my beta as well...

This last weekend I did some high speed desert freeriding out in ocotillo wells, and my cruising speed with a 13 wasnt fast enough to go the speed I wanted to go. I felt like I was reving her too hard to just be cruising at speed through the desert roads and trails even in 6th. A 14 tooth counter sprocket would probably be in order as a compromise for the so cal desert stuff where I live. But, In the sand dunes I absolutely loved my Valentina bike with the 13 tooth, and we carved out some really nice speedway style flowing lines. Loads of funn, and I still havent crashed or laid her down. I wasnt exactly riding at the top of my game because I was constantly fighting 40-50 mph winds, so I was basically just cruising around checking stuff out and climbing to the tops of hills and riding ridgebacks and thru canyons and stuff. If it wasnt so windy I woulda probably been taking riskier lines and I'm sure the 13 tooth woulda been wayy better than the 15 tooth that I wish I had on the bike. I was simply fighting the wind to much to try some of the more technical lines that I wanted to try.

also I stall wayy less with the 13 than a 15 in the rocks, steps, and tech stuff.

Today i'm gonna ride to the carwash and scrub her down, then I'll probably switch back to the 15 tooth for a bit. I might even do some maintenance. We're supposed to have a heatwave so I'm gonna stick to the beach and late night romps through the hood untill it's over.

594409cdb5023_ScreenShot2017-06-13at8_22_58PM.png.0a380f769d5d13e5c29b7f5a7f032d47.png

 

 

Edited by surfer-dude

I'm with Ben, when your threading your way up steep rocky trails or even down for that matter it's a lot of clutch to keep the rpm s in traction range. Track is completely different 15 t would be great there because you seldom have extended areas where you are creeping along searching for traction. I loved my 15t but 13 takes a lot of stalls out of the picture if your clutch work is not perfect. I think it really shines in the steep downhill, easier to engine brake without picking up to much speed. Good for a rider of my capability. I wish I was good enough to do it all with the 15t I'd like the gas mileage .

18 hours ago, Johnny Depp said:

Here's a few things you will find as a nature of short gearing: Wheelie prone, breaks traction, more shifting often right at the wrong time, excess countershaft sprocket wear, more rear suspension squat under acceleration, worse gas mileage, less need for the clutch, more hillclimb capability, better towing, higher rpm resulting in more wear, the transmission becomes more of a close ratio. Not to start a fight, just information. I make the decision for lower gearing based upon if I struggle with 1st not getting the job done without excess clutch. Taller gears are a tool much like a WR transmission. It is expected that smaller bores need the shorter gearing since they lack the torque.

A few real world examples that may help explain the concept are the current raging success of the Alta Redshift dropping average riders lap times dramatically without any familiarity with the bike. This is a function of ridiculous torque allowing no clutch and transmission.

MotoGP bikes now require a SAT semi automatic transmission to compete at the top levels. Follow this link for a detailed description of the benefits, I will summarize by saying it is an effort to not upset the chassis and tires when shifting. http://www.cycleworld.com/2015/11/04/ask-kevin-would-you-please-explain-a-seamless-gearbox#page-2

"

As shown by data from onboard Inertial Measuring Units (IMU), even with a shifter switch, the upshift gear-engagement clunk causes the motorcycle to lurch forward, making the bike pitch slightly to the rear. Some of this motion is in the suspension and some takes place within the flexibility of the tires.

If the bike is leaned over, accelerating out of a turn, this pitch impulse continues as a slight fore-and-aft rocking, which causes the loads on the two tires to vary. Variations in tire loading reduce grip, so the bigger the gear-engagement clunk, the greater the potential upset to tire grip."

I could care less what gear anyone chooses to run, although I do find it frequent on this forum that Beta owners go the 13t direction. Whether that is a function of location or preference I'm not sure, wheelies and sliding the rear make riding fun and that is what we all do this for. It is however, a less efficient method of forward motion.

Personally I never use 6th either unless the bike was geared down, then I had a problem running out of torque to keep the front end light in the whoops at about 45/50 mph. With stock gearing the 480 will easily pull 2nd gear starts and will outrun any race 450, and would probably pull 3rd with a Rekluse easily. I have run some really tight stuff with the stock gearing, and although I have to cover the clutch, I seldom actually have to use it, the bike chugs through everything never breaking traction. It is a cheater.

For personal background, early on I migrated to an open bike, a couple of Montesa 360's and went from middle of the pack to the front and became aware of the ability for torque and tall gearing to make a big difference. The Montesa's had WR 4spd gearboxes and were awesome for MX. If I wanted "MX" type power I wouldn't have chosen a Beta, going with short gearing on a Beta is counterproductive to the Beta easy power delivery benefit unless you just can't pull 1st gear in my humble opinion. Just trying to share my experience, it may not work for others, it depends on what result you are after.

 

I hear ya JD, there sure is a compromise for everything, everything except the RR-S where we get the dirtbike that we can ride on the street, legally.  

I, like you, wonder if I'd have gotten an RR if I didn't want a dual sport.  I do know I'd have stuck with something with e-start and FI, and probably 4 stroke, but in thinking about it right now, I probably go with an RR knowing what it does.  

18 hours ago, surfer-dude said:

I am constantly switching back and forth between the 2 sprockets.

I use the 15 tooth on the street and the 13 tooth off road. I have to truck my bike out to the off road areas, so 20minutes switching things around is no big deal. I can make the 15 tooth work for off road and if I was to race more desert, I think thats what I would run for that kind of stuff with miles of big whoops and such. But the 13 tooth is more funn for goofing off and free-riding as well as enduro riding and practicing in the tight rocky stuff. and I can also pull wheelies wayy easier too.

On my old cr450r that came stock with 13/50, I also used to run it 13/48 & 13/49 for most places and tracks, and for the high speed stuff I also ran it 14/48, so I really feel the need to try out a 14 tooth on my beta as well...

This last weekend I did some high speed desert freeriding out in ocotillo wells, and my cruising speed with a 13 wasnt fast enough to go the speed I wanted to go. I felt like I was reving her too hard to just be cruising at speed through the desert roads and trails even in 6th. A 14 tooth counter sprocket would probably be in order as a compromise for the so cal desert stuff where I live. But, In the sand dunes I absolutely loved my Valentina bike with the 13 tooth, and we carved out some really nice speedway style flowing lines. Loads of funn, and I still havent crashed or laid her down. I wasnt exactly riding at the top of my game because I was constantly fighting 40-50 mph winds, so I was basically just cruising around checking stuff out and climbing to the tops of hills and riding ridgebacks and thru canyons and stuff. If it wasnt so windy I woulda probably been taking riskier lines and I'm sure the 13 tooth woulda been wayy better than the 15 tooth that I wish I had on the bike. I was simply fighting the wind to much to try some of the more technical lines that I wanted to try.

also I stall wayy less with the 13 than a 15 in the rocks, steps, and tech stuff.

Today i'm gonna ride to the carwash and scrub her down, then I'll probably switch back to the 15 tooth for a bit. I might even do some maintenance. We're supposed to have a heatwave so I'm gonna stick to the beach and late night romps through the hood untill it's over.

594409cdb5023_ScreenShot2017-06-13at8_22_58PM.png.0a380f769d5d13e5c29b7f5a7f032d47.png

 

 

Good stuff SD.  As I'm light at 170lbs dry, I have that HP-weight advantage and no wide open areas like you have out there in CA.  I wonder why I live here in MA where there isn't much riding as compared to so many other places in the US but . . . 

I could never get myself to swap the front sprocket as much as you but I'll bet you are a master at knowing exactly how the chain should be adjusted by using your fingers-like I do.  It definitely is not a big deal, at least the stock front sprocket guard needs to come off, the sprocket nut comes off easy enough, then it is just the rear axle nut and the adjuster that needs to go in or out a ways to adjust the chain.  I can't be bothered but if I could, I'd consider a spare set of street wheels and tires for full-on SuperMotard.  I know that I just don't want to be tempted to do any stunt riding on the streets anymore as I ride around as paranoid as can be nowadays.  I'd rather stay set up for full-on dirt riding as riding on the dirt is the most enjoyable thing I do and thankfully you guys love it too. 

Got to go for a good, really good ride this afternoon/evening, just got home a little while ago and it is now 1:06 am EST.  

The 13/48 is going to stay.  There was nothing but excellence with the bike all day today.  Started the day riding the designated trails, which are tight and winding singletrack with lots of puddles as it rained last night and there is just lots of standing water from the spring, then stuck to the fire roads and my oh my, it was heavenly riding.  The gearing is now perfect for me.  No need to go to a 14T front sprocket, the 13T now does it all.  I'm glad I learned to ride the bike with the 15T as it was harder to ride in the twisty stuff so with the 13T, it makes it so easy and there is all the top end I want in any gear, the 500 RR-S just pulls and pulls in every gear.  

In time I'll need to get a new chain and sprocket set but hopefully not for a while and definitely not for this season.  

On 6/16/2017 at 11:09 AM, ballisticexchris said:

Ben, you will find that 13/48 is perfect gearing for off road and short pavement to connect trails. 

You were so right ballisticex, so right.  The gearing was and now is perfect.  Even for high speed ripping on any surface the 13/48 is right there and makes my 500 RR-S rip all gear, every gear.  It woke the bike right up and it is even more beastly than it was with the 15T on there.  I'll never put it back on, even if I always ride on the street.  I also won't consider a 14T anymore, for all the tight trail. I never had to fan the clutch at all as the 13T made the bike feel, should I even say it because I don't have one, but Recluse-like.  

I can only imagine how nice it must be to ride with a Rekluse and not ever have to worry about stalling.  I have been tossing the idea around of dropping the $900 to have the ultimate in low-speed control.  Hmmmmmmmmmmm.  

Glad you like it Ben. I have tried a whole bunch of different gear ratios. IMO, 13/48 is best overall off road gearing. If you want even more snap get the quick turn throttle. I put quick turn throttles on all my bikes due to a bad wrist. You simply run a gear higher to tame the throttle when tired.

You have read my mind like a Dirt Jedi ballisticexchris.  I love it and am going to be going to bed thinking about the day's ride.  Today was definitely the best riding day by far.  We finally had the time to drive the 94 miles to some great trails.  New bike, running perfect, no one else on the trails at all.  Perfect.  

I think one of the very next things I need to get are a quick turn throttle, I agree.  It is pretty good now and the instant acceleration is a thrill but I can imagine having a QTThrottle to make what is already good, even better.  I am, though, trying to make my rear wheel last as it would be so easy to just spin this rear all day, till the knobs were worn to knubs, but I  have restraint as it is also not much fun changing tires sooner if one doesn't need to just yet.  

 

Grabbing a handful of the 500 at anytime is just the balls.  I'm hooked.  I'm going to look forward to waking up and rinsing, maybe cleaning up the Beta a bit as it got covered today/yesterday.  

For me final gearing is all about what matches your most common riding conditions best. I don't see any one sprocket combo/ratio that's ideal for everybody. If you toss pavement riding into the mix then it becomes even more complicated. So you pick the best compromise for your conditions..... until one day we have a 7 speed gnarl single track to interstate transmission, LOL.

I was just so happy to finally have a decent wide ratio 6 spd coming off a DRZ close ratio 5 spd. Talk about never ending sprocket changes.....

For reference my "standard" gearing is now 15/50 with dropping to 14/50 for tighter riding. I've tried 14/48 and felt it was pretty good also. I haven't needed to go down to 13/? yet but it's in the box if needed.

So right-on danketchpel.  

I was in heaven riding yesterday as I could chug slower than I have ever chugged before, but when I got to the WOT fire road trail, between the 6-speeds and the 477.5 cc Beta mill drinking from fuel-injection and a 4 valve head, along with a new air filter as the one I had been using was pretty filthy, the 500 RR-S was once again, and always, a B-E-A-S-T!  

For me, the combo works.  

You guys crack me up, I thought about suggesting a quick turn throttle since it would have similar effects, but thought that might be rude. It turns out that is the direction you wanted to go! I'm sure you're well aware many have gone to the throttle "tamer" but the cool thing about these bad boys is that they are very tuneable to suit different tastes. I'm not going to even think about suggesting a nitro boost just because, well you know. :rolleyes:

4 minutes ago, Johnny Depp said:

You guys crack me up, I thought about suggesting a quick turn throttle since it would have similar effects, but thought that might be rude. It turns out that is the direction you wanted to go! I'm sure you're well aware many have gone to the throttle "tamer" but the cool thing about these bad boys is that they are very tuneable to suit different tastes. I'm not going to even think about suggesting a nitro boost just because, well you know. :rolleyes:

I have the G2 "tamer" and yes, being able to tune the response to your preference or needs is very cool. I am still getting used to the cam in the G2 but kinda think the one they are working on to be a "medium" version between stock and full "slow" (the current 700X cam for the EFI bikes) will be ideal. I love the initial ratio but think it could speed up a bit faster starting around 1/3 throttle instead of about the 1/2 throttle now. It works as is, you just need to learn to twist the grip faster to get a quicker hit when you need it. But overall I like it better than stock.

So far.... no need for the laughing gas..... ;)

11 minutes ago, Johnny Depp said:

You guys crack me up, I thought about suggesting a quick turn throttle since it would have similar effects, but thought that might be rude. It turns out that is the direction you wanted to go! I'm sure you're well aware many have gone to the throttle "tamer" but the cool thing about these bad boys is that they are very tuneable to suit different tastes. I'm not going to even think about suggesting a nitro boost just because, well you know. :rolleyes:

Thank goodness for the entertainment Johnny Depp, it is all good fun.  I learn a lot from y'all and love this bike.  

 

I like the instant on torque of the 13T and all the benefits of the quicker mid-range, it is all awesomesauce!  

I am considering a quick turn throttle as  I get more used to riding the 500, my confidence is coming back after having been off the dirt since 2009.   I now have almost 600 miles and almost 30 hours.  Thankfully I'm still in good shape after all these years.  

I definitely don't want or need a throttle lamer, no, no, no.  

I'm going to need a new DOT rear tire, hopefully very soon as all I want to do is ride on the dirt and the sooner I need a rear tire, the more fun I'm having with this bike. 

Edited by Ben500RR-S

Good luck wearing out the Michelin's, I finally decided to pull mine at 63 hrs. after riding it on pavement for a couple of months with a brand new set of dirt sneakers waiting in the garage. I've got my dual sport IRC GP1's on it on my 2nd set of wheels for now and am going to finally try to put some miles on them for a while.

I figured you went for the 13t for the better towing..

Edited by Johnny Depp

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