YZ450f Woods Gearing recommendations

Hey guys,

My buddy just picked up an '03 YZ450F and we mostly ride woods/enduro stuff. It's geared like a MotoGP bike right now and we need to have it crawl! What do you guys recommend? I have a YZ250F and I recommended 12 in the front and 48 in the rear. What do you guys run? Thanks!

I have an 08, 450 and all I do is woods ride, I run 13 / 51-52. I like to hang it in 3rd and just let it flow, and drop to 2nd for the tighter stuff.


Edited by skull1971

Oh cool we'll try 13/51. Thanks!

For gnarly goat trails I put a 12 on. For most trails two larger in back does the job.

The 4spd can be a little tricky in the woods in really slow stuff. The stock gearing is 14/48. You may want to try 13/48, 13/49, or 14/50. Personally I like 14/50.

Edited by tech24

i run 14/49 on my 03. I think stock is 14/47. I also have a 13oz flywheel weight.

i run 14/49 on my 03. I think stock is 14/47. I also have a 13oz flywheel weight.
Stock is 14/48.

Bear in mind that the internal gearing was changed on the '05 model year and all later models so that the stock 14/49 that the '02 came with is just about the same overall as the 14/51 on the '05, or the 13/49 on the '06 and up. When someone with an '06 tells you he runs a 12, it's the same as you running a 13.

A 9-11oz fww is needed to stop a YZ from flaming out a low speeds. I use a 13 front and 49 rear and do just fine with that for single track riding.

I have an 07 model and have done the flywheel which made a huge difference in the tight stuff but also going to go to a 51 rear sprocket currently have the stock 49

Lower your gear ratio will also make your front end lighter when you blurp the throttle......found myself narrowly missing trees when it got real technical. Changing the cams on the throttle tube helped me out better than going to a larger rear sprocket, it allows lesser throttle response at lower speeds. And I don't have to change out sprockets when I hit the local mx track.

Thanks all the responses. It's loaded with a bunch of trail goodies including a 13oz flywheel weight and revalved/sprung suspension for his weight, which was all done by the original owner (we are 3rd owner). The second owner liked to blast it up and down fire roads at 250mph and didn't include for us any of the sprockets that the original owner had given him I think it's geared 14/45 right now. haha.

Would going down to a 12 in the front be hard on the chain? I was thinking that 13 and around 50 in the rear would be a good compromise.

a 12 tooth would wear a good bit and would be a drastic change. Even 13/50 would be significant over stock gearing but may work for the situation and is a much better idea than a 12.

^^^ I'd have to agree ... I run a 13-51 on my 04' and spend 95 percent of my time on single tracks in 2nd ... I'll have to dip into first every once and a while for a nasty switchback, but that's about it ... The only downside is that 4th gear has pretty much no top end for the fire roads, but I'm ok with that ...


I had a Rekluse on mine and geared it up to 14/47 and I thought it became perfect. Also had a Steahly 9oz FWW.

Every gear was really usable. 1st for tricky parts, 2nd for tight going, 3rd for when there was flow and 4th as as an overdrive.

If it's geared down too much it only gives a short uncontrollable burst in each gear with lots of wheelspin and making you tired.

Taller gearing and a FWW really lets the engine pull with it's full smooth power.

The Rekluse also pays for itself in reduced wear on chain n sprockets.

Good luck whatever you choose.

I've got an '03 and changed to 13 front and 50 rear. Much better in the tight stuff. Thinking about going back to 14 front and maybe 51 or 52 rear.

I have an 04 that i probably ride alot of the same trails as you do-Blue lake-Little naches-Crapital forest,14-49-recluse-gytr fww,some of these trails are a little tight as you might know.I would'nt go extreme with gearing down because it will make it to lurchy in the tight stuff.14-48 is stock on my bike and i tried 49-50 and 51.i found for me that 49 was the better combo for my setup.good luck and hoppy riding.

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