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baja gearing??

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I am going to be riding Baja for the first time in a couple weeks and was wondering what you all think about gearing? i have read the top speed thread but i want to make sure that how ever i gear the bike it will be something that i will enjoy while riding all that baja has to offer.

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Where will you be riding? What will the pace be like? Who will you be riding with, and how (if at all) have they modified their gearing?

These questions need to be answered before you go installing new sprockets to go to Baja. The pace and terrain can vary more than you think - it's not all blasting down wide-open beaches and dry lake beds at 80-90 mph.

I go down there a couple times a year with a group of guys and hardly anyone uses anything but stock gearing, or close to it. We're cruising though, not racing.

We have brought guys who, having heard all about Baja, decided to install a much smaller rear sprocket on their bike. Trust me, that setup does not work well when going up the back way to Mikes, climbing Cadillac hill, or going into Catavina in the dark.

I'll say it again - Baja is way more than wide-open roads, beaches, and sand washes. Unless you're pre-running or plan to be on open terrain the entire time, I'd think twice about making dramatic gearing changes.

Ben

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That is my thing i am a rookie when it comes to baja, so i am not really sure what it is going to be like or what i am going to need as far as gearing. We have not completely planned out our ride yet, but we would like to hit places like mikes, shipwreck, etc.

If stock gearing is good for baja then i am cool with that. Myself and the guys i ride with usually ride pretty fast but since this is our first time we will probably be taking in the views a bit more.

I just want to make sure:

1. i don't blow up my new bike :thumbsup:

2. i have the appropriate gearing to ride all types of terrain

3. haul ass

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15/48 works pretty good for most open bikes in Baja. Bring a smaller CS sprocket in your fanny pack in case its too high geared (13T or 14T) if your worried. :thumbsup:

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That is my thing i am a rookie when it comes to baja, so i am not really sure what it is going to be like or what i am going to need as far as gearing. We have not completely planned out our ride yet, but we would like to hit places like mikes, shipwreck, etc.

If stock gearing is good for baja then i am cool with that. Myself and the guys i ride with usually ride pretty fast but since this is our first time we will probably be taking in the views a bit more.

I just want to make sure:

1. i don't blow up my new bike :ride:

2. i have the appropriate gearing to ride all types of terrain

3. haul ass

I agree -- 15 counter is perfect for Baja..Better gas mileage, less RPM's= no blowing up bike..

Be careful with the "hauling of ass"..never know what's around every corner :thumbsup: ..

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I'm with Bhiggins on this. I ride Baja a few times a year, and the stock gearing on a 450X should offer all the top speed you want to go. I ride with guys who race the SCORE races down there, and it isn't that often where you'll be pinned for long lengths of time, of course depending on where you go.

Here are a couple things to consider when talking peak speeds:

Booby traps - they're everywhere! You want to be able to see the trap and be able to slow down by the time you get to it. Traps can range from telephone poles layed across a high-speed section of trail covered with sand to hide them to sharp-edged ditches dug just after a high-speed sweeping turn to wire strung across the trail. Yes, I've seen these. Don't forget about that '73 Dodge loaded with the entire family that comes from nowhere. You should never go faster than what you can see and react for. Sure, the run across Diablo is a blast, but there aren't many of those. You're likely to spend more time riding whoops - again, depending on where you go.

Medical help in Mexico - depending on where an injury occurs, you're not likely to get help very soon. And consider the help you're getting. If you're down there on a ride, remember, it's not a race and you're probably not as well supported as in during an event. You obviously don't want to ride overly cautiously - which also seems to cause crashes - but you should always have this in the back of your mind as you wick up the throttle. Remember, it's a fun ride, not a race.

Taller gearing doesn't always help mpg - Yes, that is true. Theoretically, taller gearing can help mpg, but the real world doesn't always show that. When you're running taller gearing, the engine is often loaded more, increasing fuel demands. And if you're running 100 mph, you're not saving any fuel - trust me.

Save the low gears for the hills - Like bhiggins said, if the ride you're doing has some technical stuff, you may want the lower gears you have, or you may end up toasting a clutch, which is not a good thing to do 100-200 miles away from your truck. When we go, we also always find ourselves on very tight, technical, and sometimes steep trails where you're only in first gear - yes, there are plenty of those.

Be safe and prudent - I hope you're getting my point that the safest and the most prudent thing to do is run the stock 450X gearing. You can't go wrong with that. You wouldn't want to put gears on the bike that you're not used to. On top of that, it really sucks to be misgeared and to always feel you're in the wrong gear (or in between gears).

But that's just my opinion.

Lee

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Higher gearing and 1/2 throttle always got our 2 strokes better gas mileage thru out the 70s to the 90s. It works the same for 4 strokes. Depends on how you ride and how your buddies ride. Baja is mostly roads with trails here and there. Roads are dirt farm roads, meaning wild stock and trucks on them. Seen to many hot shoes, first timers and MXers blasting around corners and over hilltops and WHAM! Off the road into a ditch, off the side of mountains, head on into trucks, cows and horses or just that hard right or left hand turn. Baja is about adventure and making it from point A to Point B without pushing or being disabled. 15/48 works good everywhere and you bring along a 13 in case you want to play billy goat and not dirt road queen for a day. :thumbsup: Steny

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I think i am just going to start out stock and if it is not working for me switch it up back at the house before the next ride. We have 3 days of riding so my biggest thing is enjoying the scenary and making it back in one piece (myself and bike).

Thanks everyone for the ideas!

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Bajahusky, I don't know about the people you ride with, but some of our rides go from high speeds to making a left turn at the tree with the rock in front of it, and suddenly riding tight twisty stuff. If you whine and want to stop to change your countersprocket because you're overgeared, you're going to be ridiculed for that far more than being last across Diablo.

No, I'm not against running tall gears. My YZ250 2-stroke, which has thousands of Baja miles on it, has 15/47 gearing, which is just perfect. As Dust Devil mentioned, 13/49 is said to be a good combo for the 450X.

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I ran a 13/49 on my X in Baja. Worked well. About 90 mph top speed for the dry lakebeds, but plenty low for the technical, tight single tracks. Better gearing than stock for most riding conditions, I think.

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I ran a 13/49 on my X in Baja. Worked well. About 90 mph top speed for the dry lakebeds, but plenty low for the technical, tight single tracks. Better gearing than stock for most riding conditions, I think.

Exactly, It's a perfect compromise between speed and grunt.

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With the stock gearing, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd are pretty close together, with a gap to 4th. Even on single tracks, I was using 3rd gear up pretty quickly, but 4th would often times end up just a tad high. I spend the vast majority of my time in 3rd, 4th, and 5th, even on trails. It just seemed like awkward spacing to me.

When I went to the 49 tooth, it stretched 3rd gear out just enough to make the 3rd to 4th gap not so much of an issue. That's why, for me, it just ended up being better gearing, not just for Baja, but for everything.

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