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What a difference one tooth makes!!

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After reading numerous threads concerning potential countershaft wear and also those on how to gain a little more low-end torque, I decided to install a Moose Racing 14-tooth sprocket on the front countershaft (left the stock 45-tooth sprocket on the rear because at this point I am running 95% street and highway and didn't want to lose too much top-end speed). I only had 1200 miles on my new 2012 XR650L, so the countershaft was in pristine condition - had to dremel the sprocket's chamfered edge just a bit in order to get the retaining clip on. Used plenty of Honda's Moly60 Paste on the shaft and inside the sprocket upon re-assembly.

Before the conversion to 14T, I found myself having to downshift way too frequently because the engine would otherwise lug a bit going around corners or going up relatively gentle grades. Dual_Dog said it best when he stated, "No more lugging from first to second. The gearing is so much tighter all the way around!... Perfect fit, no problems & an easy swap..." That has been my experience exactly. Everything does seem to be much tighter and without the huge dead spots in between. Makes riding around town so much more enjoyable and I still have plenty of punch to blow past cagers on the freeway. And a couple of days ago I started off from a stoplight in second gear and didn't even realize it until I noticed how long it took me to shift into third.

So if your riding conditions are similar to mine and you want tighter gearing, a little more low-end pop, and don't want to sacrifice much on the top-end (reduction in top speed for each gear calculates to only 7%), then this simple mod is highly recommended. :lol:

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Ya it deffinately makes a difference, however that first to second gear gap was still a pain in the ass so when i rebuilt the engine i threw a second gear in there from an 88-89 NX650 and that elliminated the gap from 1st to 2nd and moved it to 2nd to 3rd. Lowering the sprocket a tooth or 2 deffinately makes a difference in performance.

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Wouldn't going up to a 48 tooth in the back be the same thing as going to a 14 in the front, as it is approximately the same gear ration as 14/45? (14/45=0.31111, 15/48=0.3125) Im asking because the xrl i bought came with a brand new uninstalled 48 tooth....

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Wouldn't going up to a 48 tooth in the back be the same thing as going to a 14 in the front, as it is approximately the same gear ration as 14/45? (14/45=0.31111, 15/48=0.3125) Im asking because the xrl i bought came with a brand new uninstalled 48 tooth....

Yes, a 15T/48T sprocket combination will produce the same results as a 14T/45T sprocket combination. :lol: I agree with the OP; stock gearing is too high, even for street riding. The engine wants to lug with stock gearing, and you need to shift far more often. :cheers: Even riding around town is far more pleasant with the 15T/48T, or 14T/45T sprocket combination. :)

Spud :banghead:

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ok cool I might try that 48 tooth and see how i like it. If i replace just the rear sprocket will it wear faster if i don't change the chain?

That depends on the condition of your drive chain. :banghead: A badly worn drive chain will quickly destroy a new sprocket. :lol:Never install a new sprocket on a worn drive chain. However, if your drive chain is still in good condition, you won't accelerate the wear very much on your new, rear sprocket. :cheers:

Spud :)

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