Gearing options for a 2003 WR450

OK, I know this is a little like asking which girl is prettiest but here goes anyways..

I Have been riding my 2003 WR450 with the stock gearing (14-50) and IMHO it sucks! 1st gear is so low it is useless and second is too tall in really bad sections so I have been abusing the clutch like no tomorrow but as soon as the trail opens up a bit 2nd is too low and I'm revving the engine like a 250 and dealing with too much engine braking, or lugging 3rd.

I am thinking gear the bike up so 1st is rideable and it would be awesome if 2nd would be slightly lower than where 3rd is now so that I could run 2nd most of the time in the woods and have a true 1st gear for tech sections (I'm constantly going between 2nd and 3rd now).

I looked and couldn't find much on here that I thought applied to my situation. What would be awesome is about a half a gear jump up, 2nd becomes 2.5 etc.. My question is will one tooth on the rear make enough of a change (49) or should I go for a 48 rear or should I go up one tooth in the front (15) and if I do that is there enough clearance?

I ride mostly tight eastern rooty, rocky stuff (KY, WV, OH) and enjoy AA, black diamond type trail..

As always thanks in advance for any input.

There is enough clearance to go all the way up to a 16 front, if you remove the chain guard, so a 15 fits easily even with the guard. One tooth difference isn't much on the rear sprocket, but it is noticeable. I went the other way, and geared it down to 14/51 and just don't use 1st for anything except the truely nasty stuff. I guess to each his own.

Hmm. I'll try a 15 front. I'd be scared to go lower and use 1st as a throwaway as I was ringing it pretty good in fifth to keep up with my brother and his land speed record beta this weekend on the roads.

Ah! Roads!! For sure I wouldn't use that gearing for any kind of road riding. For Baja, we go 15/50 and don't have any issues what so ever. This is with a Rekluse auto-clutch though, so that helps.

Thanks maniac, as always you are the man. I'll get a 15 tooth ordered before my trip to Hatfield McCoy in a couple weeks.

I've been running 15/49 on my 04 for several years now and it's just about the perfect DS setup which still will crawl at a walking pace in first if needed.

I like 15/48 on my 03. It spelled the end for my long overdue clutch, but otherwise a good combo for dual sport.

Ordered a cheap 15 tooth to try. I'll see how that does for now and as soon as the stock rear wears out I will probably adjust it down a tooth or two..

Thanks for the great advice!!!

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