instead of fitting a 16t front sprocket what size rear sprocket could give me the same gearing ?
There will be no difference in performance between the 15-44 and 16-47. I normally change front sprockets on my dirt bikes as they are cheap and easy to swap gearing back and forth if I need to.Assuming a 47t rear, then changing to a 16t front would give you
47/16= 2.9375 sprocket ratio. To keep the 15t front and get a similar final ratio you would need 2.9375 X 15 = 44.0625. So a 44t rear sprocket would be essentially identical. Aside from cost and ease of replacement, I am now curious as to whether there it makes any difference between setups which yield the same mechanical ratio.
Maybe, but that's not what the OP wants to do... He wants a higher gear ratio, not lower... up one in the front or down 3 in the rear...and by the looks of it, he owns a 2012 Wee... Probably won't need a new chain right now...Better to go up on the rear than down on the front. Front spocket will last longer. Less chain slider wear.
BUT, it may mean you need a chain if you aren't replacing the whole drive system.
This has been argued before in another thread. Most will dissagree with me based on doing the cheapest thing.