Wheel base and handling ?

Xr650r. Just changed out my 14 tooth counter sprocket for a 15. Used the OEM chain length, so my rear tire has been moved forward about 1/4 in.

It may be my imagination but the bike seems to have a significant amount of headshake at speed in the sand. This is new.

Also, the forks seems to be less plush.

Could either of these be caused by moving the tire forward?


I don't think the forks feeling different is attributable, but if you were on the ragged edge of getting headshake before it's just possible the small change could put it over the edge.

You didn't change anything else? Tire pressure?


No, I didn't change anything else.

My XR always seems to handle the best when full of gas (4.7 gallons). Now it just feels light in the steering.

They adjust wheelbase on race bikes so I assume it changes handling characteristics. ??

1\4" ? I'd say it might be your ground condition\temp or the amount of fuel.

At 8lbs. per gallon,things change..

Mine definitely handles different when the tank is full. Four gallons of gas sitting on the front of the bike will make the forks squat and affect handling.

I went the other way 16T to 14T and noticed a difference in handling too. If you move the axle location, you effectively change the spring rate, which will affect the sag values.

Usually small differences like that are hardly noticeable, but as mentioned earlier, if you were right on the ragged edge of a handling trait, you could push it over the edge.

P.S. I went back to my original gearing and wheelbase. I like the feel of both better, even if the change is purely psychological.

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