Gearing Question


This probably has been covered before and if so, I apologize for the redundancy. My question is about gearing. I have a 99 YZ timed WR400 which I ride in the tight rocky single track here in New England. I went down one tooth on the counter shaft sprocket (from stock) to make second gear more suitable in the tight stuff. I am finding second gear still not low enough. I am considering additionally increasing a tooth or two on the rear wheel sprocket. Has anyone run this type of set up? Do you think one additional tooth on the rear sprocket will do it or should I increase by two teeth? Is the whole idea stupid and I should just figure out how to ride the bike the way it is?

Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


Just from personal experience, one tooth on the back is not much difference.

I would go 2.

I can't recall what gearing was stock on the WR400's, what is your gearing?

The gearing ratio's are:

13/52 = 4, 13/51 = 3.92, 13/50 = 3.84, 13/49 = 3.76.

14-49 is stock for that year, I play with the gearing on mine all the time and I think its great. I ride dual sport 75+ mph on days and tight tech. 1st gear stuff the next weekend and the gearing must be changed to perform at peak. Dont just ride it, set it up the way you want. Its worth it. I usually will buy 2 front sprockets, one tooth over stock and one under stock. Let me explain... I know its not the right way to gear a bike and it does add stress on the gear box but I can swap the front out quick and cheap. Every one tooth in the front is the same as 3 teeth in the rear so if the desired gearing is reached, then I go back to the stock 14 front and buy 3 tooth different for the rear, if its not enough I will buy more or less teeth for the rear but its a cheap easy way to get a feel for how much each tooth effects the performance. I agree with Matty 100% 2 or more teeth minimum. I have found on my 99 wr400 that 3 teeth in the rear effects my 5th gear pinned about 10mph either way but in 2nd.... I dont know. Hope it helps.

As a rule of thumb, one tooth on the countershaft is equal to three on the rear...SC

I ride an '00 400 on the same terrain and went up to a 52 rear sprocket with the stock front, it works perfect for me. Most of the time I am riding in 2nd or 3rd gear. If you have a flywheel weight on it you can lug it pretty slowly in 2nd. You can get stock steel sprockets cheap from MR cycles

Thanks guys for all the good input. I really appreciate it. I will check out Mr Cycles and plan on picking up a new rear sprocket that is 2 teeth larger. The bike is dual sported and I do not care about highway speeds. It is ridden in the dirt 99.9% of the time.

Thanks again! :thumbsup:


me i have a wr400 with yz timing and have found if i go and have a ride in the rock traks that runing a 53 on the back and a 13 on the front can realy help with getting over soom of the larger rocks one on the parth.

Theres are alot of guys i know in the UK with older wr's running 14-52 gearing.

And that makes 1st and 2nd gear a lot more user friendly.

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