XR650L 14-48 Gearing ???


Since I have learned so much from the great and free advice on this forum, I was wondering if I could get some gearing advice for my 01 650L. I have done the common mods listed and I am very impressed especially with the jetting. However due to the overly tall 2nd gear on these bikes I was wondering if any of you are running 14-48 gearing? I am currently running 14-45 and find I spending too much time in 1st gear on tight wooded trails etc. Also some predictability in 2nd gear throttle wheelies would be nice.:cry: I really don't find these bikes overly enjoyable over 70 mph so I don't care about losing some top end. Thanks in advance for your time. Also I've seen a couple of scary threads on hardened countershaft sprockets, any horror stories to share??

I run 14-47 on mine for the dirt and its stilll a little too tall for me but i think Im gonna leave it at that since I ride on the road too and dont feel like switching from a 14 to a 13 tooth countersprocket every time I go on the road. Try a 47 or 48 rear sprocket and if that aint enough go with a 13 tooth countersprocket and that should get it low enough.:cry: One other thing is you'll have a hard time going any bigger than a 48 rear becuase of the way this bike is designed I tried this with a 50 tooth and there was not enough room for any adjustment.

I just changed over to 13/48 and it sounds like what you are looking for. 14/48 would not work for me because of chain length so I went to 13/48 and have no desire to change. 2nd gear controlled throttle pulls the front end up no problem. No whacking the throttle, no suspension bounce just roll it on and it rises up. 3rd shouldn't be a problems either. I haven't been able to really check it out yet due to schedule and weather. I can't wait to bring it out and flog it.

I haven't yet installed my new 14/48s on my 2001 Xr650L yet, but I read in one of these forums that the 14/48 will fit just fine with the stock chain ... ?? .. untrue ??

I use 15/48 for mostly street use with the stock chain. It just fits (adusters at 7). 14/48 works well for trail/street use. If I were doing much tight technical stuff 13/48 would be the ticket. Im sold on using the 48t rear and changing the front to fit the situation. I found the stock 15/45 way to high. My L cruises nicely at 65 with 15/48 and peaks out at about 90 on the speedo.


I think 14/48 is a great compromise for street / dirt. I'm running it and I think it's about perfect. If it was dirt only maybe a 13, but for both, 14/48 is perfect.

How well does the bike run on the highway with 15/48 gearing? I'm hoping to ride the Great Divide trail on my L this summer and I'm going to have to ride 1500 miles back home from Montana. I'd like to have good gearing for the trail, and maybe just put on a bigger countershaft sprocket for the ride home.

Also, Anyone read the article in Cycle World last month where they put in the 1st gear out of a XR600? Anyone thought about going this extreme?

I think 14/48 is a great compromise for street / dirt. I'm running it and I think it's about perfect. If it was dirt only maybe a 13, but for both, 14/48 is perfect.
I totally agree. I got my bike with 13/48 and it was way buzzy and wanted to spin too much. Around Christmas I put on all new chain/sprockets with 14/48 and its just about ideal. It takes advantage of the torque and I dont have to shift as much. Since I tend toward more low rpm/higher speed riding(ie desert), I've even considered a smaller rear sprocket.

My dad's '84 XL628 had 15/49 and I think it pulled comparably to my single carb 600. First gear was too tall, IMO. Fun on the street, but not on trails or anything under about 30mph.

Great Advice Guys!

It sounds like 14-48 is the way to go, I do more street than trail so judging from what I've read here 13-48 would be ideal for mostly trail, Due to the nature of dual sport bikes everything is a compromise of some sort isn't it? I'm going to have to bite the bullet for a chain anyway since I shortened mine when I dropped a tooth on the countershaft. Hindsight is always 20/20:cry:. Thanks again for the advice. For all the thumper dudes south of the 49th parallel take an extra ride today for your Canuck brothers who are looking out their windows at snow till at least April. and sitting on their thumpers in storage making lonesome Vroom! Vroom! noises.

If it makes you feel any better, the mountains of SoCal are in the midst of about 10 inches of rain.....that started two days ago.

you don't need 13-48 unless you ride tight woods with the terrorflex tire...


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