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18in. vs. 19in. rear wheel debate

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Ok, I'm wanting to get lots of opinions on which rear wheel would be best for my application. I'm doing a conversion; XR 200 motor in an 05 CRF450 roller. It already has a 19in. rear wheel. Would it be better to have an 18in. rim laced up or leave the 19in.?

Will there be more drag or resistance with the 19in.? If so, will it be much?

Some things I've been pondering;

18in. vs 19in. tire selection

running a 125 type of tire regardless of 18 or 19 for lower weight and less resistance

whether or not I would notice if the 18 offers more stability and less deflection with the low power output of the 200 (I am planning on doing a Powroll 218cc kit with stroker crank and mild cam, larger exhaust header)

I'd appreciate all the advice/input I can get. Thank you

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It all depends on the type of riding you plan on doing. I am going to assume this is an offroad bike right?? If so I would go with the 18. If you plan on riding MX then I would reccomend the 19.

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This sounds like a really cool conversion!!!!

It would be cool if u could post some pics of it.

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If you're west of the cascades you may prefer a trials tire and for that you would need the 18 inch. Other than that, I don't see any other reason to go smaller.

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Thanks for the input. I ride mainly trails, but really enjoy riding small,"rough scrambles" type tracks that I have at my house or that I'm lucky enough to find when I'm riding in other areas.

I'm psyched about this conversion,and I will happily post pictures.

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Sounds like a cool conversion. Gotta go with the 18". It hooks up better , braking is better, there are more choices in tires and it rides so much smoother. It just adds to the suspension and handling to me. There's a reason the woods bikes come with an 18. You might want to check out warp 9 for a whole wheel already set up. It may be easier and more worth your while than doing it yourself even though it shouldn't be that hard. ..depends on the cost of your spokes and rim etc.👍

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What countershaft sprockets are available for that motor? Different wheel size changes the overall gearing, so that COULD be a factor for you conceivably.

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I have a 218 motor in my 200 and I've ridden various bikes and tire combos. I ride 50/50 Woods and MX. I have a buddy who put an xr250 motor in a crf450 chassis who rides with me a lot, and he stayed with the 19". Yogi prefers the trials tire since he rides very tech. and slippery PNW woods and he doesn't ride mx, it is superior in these conditions. I did notice my 200 climbed better and was nicer in the woods with a taller-profile/wider rear tire (110/100-17). With a H.D. tube it allows me to run 8-10psi and it works well in slick conditions. The trade off is it's heavy and doesn't spin up as fast (mimics a larger flywheel).

It really depends on your type of riding....for you it sounds like a knobby for the most versatility. If you’re an expert in the woods and you tend to hit rocks/logs at full speed, then you’d like the taller 18” tire with HD tubes. It will protect your wheel better while running lower pressures. You could also run a 19”low profile with foam inserts like a lot of the pros run…but this isn’t practical for most weekend warriors.

I think I would steer you towards the 19” with a med. HD tube, it should get you through the woods at lower pressures, and it will work well on the faster mx/harescramble stuff. The advantages would be lower rotational mass and unsprung weight. Since you already have the 19” you can spend the extra money on getting the suspension tuned for your weight and riding conditions (a better bang for your buck!). If you start tearing up rims and flatting, then go to the 18”. My friend with the XR/450 conv. likes the 19” and we haven’t had any problems with flats or bent rims to date. He also rides 50/50 woods and MX and is a “B rider”. As far as sprockets go there are plenty to choose from, start with 12/47 or 13/50-51. Hope this helps…..👍

Old School Jeff

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