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Single Track Gear Selection/Riding Approach?

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What is the recommended gearing selection and riding approach for tight singletrack? IE first gear and lug the engine or clutch/slip in and out of second gear?

I ride an overbore single (675 xr650l) and find that the bike will respond either way. On a recent ride, I was crawling through some sections in 1st and a friend on a 250 four stroke was recommending clutchning in second gear. His recomendation is most likely grounded in that his smaller bike likes higher revs, but figured I'd ask.

TIA,

-Scott

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whatever works for you. there's no 'correct' way. I ride alot of tight singletrack in 3rd gear on a 250 2stroke, lug the engine, stay smooth, go fast, etc... It just feels smoother to me, and there's no doubt I go faster that way.

I only use 1st gear for really ridiculous stuff.

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i agee ride that pig a gear high & keep your idle set high. when you rev up a thumper its just creates more engine inertia and makes the bike feel heavy. hecne why xr's make all their power off the bottom/mid and fade on top.

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i ride in second in the tight stuff, i can almost come to a stop in second a lug it with out using the clutch on my wr250.

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I try do as much in second or third as possible on my 250 2T. But I rarely get in third, as I run outta talent somewhere inbetween shifting gears sometimes.

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It's a tough choice on the L since 2nd is a big jump from 1st.

I run it down in 2nd until just before it chugs and wants to tear the teeth off the sprockets with each huge chug of torque, then use 1st until it gets a bit faster than that.

Just treat the engine like an electric motor in 1st, anything below redline is fine for continuous running.

The engine and running gear are probably less stressed wringing it out in 1st than lugging in 2nd, with the added benefit that you never have to use the brakes, turning down the throttle is like throwing out an anchor with the braking power of a 650 (or bigger, in your case!).

Dave

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I prefer to gear my bikes in the low range (seems 13/52) on most bikes.

This accomplishes a couple of things: It allows me to stay away from the 1-2/2-1 shifts where neutral hits are a possibility. It also closes up the ratio's allowing me to use 2/3/4th in the tight woods which adds another gear choice.

The one drawback is available top speed, but who needs a tight woods bike that will top out at 70+mph.

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i did the same to my xr75 case it sucked on hills and it never got to top speed on trails and i agree with the 1-2 2-1 one thing rolling the wrong way is scary and painfull

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I prefer to gear my bikes in the low range (seems 13/52) on most bikes.

This accomplishes a couple of things: It allows me to stay away from the 1-2/2-1 shifts where neutral hits are a possibility. It also closes up the ratio's allowing me to use 2/3/4th in the tight woods which adds another gear choice.

The one drawback is available top speed, but who needs a tight woods bike that will top out at 70+mph.

+1 Especially if your 1-2 shift is a big change. And with 6 gears (I believe) on the 650L, you'll still have lots of top end. 13/52 might be a bit much, but you can try whatever you like - find what works for you.

Gazoo

P.S. XR650L has GOT to be a handfull in tight single track. Kudo's.

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I've already dropped down 1 tooth on the drive gear, so now at 14-45. The bike can crawl without stalling in the slow stuff, I top out around 80,if my vapor is calibrated correctly.

My xr650l is pretty heavily modded:

High Comp 1mm overbore piston

Hotcam

2006 CRF front end

Factory Connection rebuilt shock

So handles singletrack better than stock, but it's still heavy at 300 lbs or so.

Most of the terrain nearby is wooded sand, with lots of fast wide sand trails, perfect for big bores.

Sounds like consensus is to clutch the bike in second. I'll continue with that style. Thnx!

+1 Especially if your 1-2 shift is a big change. And with 6 gears (I believe) on the 650L, you'll still have lots of top end. 13/52 might be a bit much, but you can try whatever you like - find what works for you.

Gazoo

P.S. XR650L has GOT to be a handfull in tight single track. Kudo's.

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Try a 48 tooth on the rear. Makes the "L" much better in the tight stuff

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Went down the same road when I started riding my current machine. You may find that using the next higher gear will encourage smoother/faster riding in the tight-twisties. That Honda sounds like a very well set-up machine, surely it will keep up with you as your average speed goes up.

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