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Discussion Starter #1
For my trip up North this June, I would like to have the 17t front sprocket on the bike, it keeps the revs down on the highway and will provide better gas mileage. For the parts in the dirt though, the 16t would be better since the speed will be reduced and it offers more pull at lower revs.

I could bring my breaker bar and torque wrench on the trip and swap it out when needed. Does that sound like a waste of time? It only takes a few minutes to switch it.

Anyone do this?
 

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I really liked the stock gearing of the Vee2 over the Vee1, for me I wouldn't change a thing even for plenty of off pavement.
 

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But the 16t is kind of fun, feels a little more sporty.
Oh for sure, but gas mileage will also suffer as well. Of course I own a 650 now after owning 2 previous 1000's, I find the 650 stock gearing to be ideal in most situations.
 

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Have you tested the gas mileage ?

On my Wee my mileage improved when I dropped a tooth from the front.

Until I dropped to a 16 on my V2 I never used 6th gear I also so never tested my mileage because from my first test ride I knew the 17 would be replaced.

I would much rather run a few extra RPM's than have my motor lug in the tough stuff and if you are carrying a load the 16 can only be a good thing.

So for me it is fit the 16 at home, leave the tools behind and enjoy the ride.
 

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go for something in between, by going +1 or 2 on the rear. Not worth having to carry that extra stuff and do all that the extra work.
 

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While not a Vee2, I experimented with 16t front and then 43t rear on my Vee. I found the ONLY thing it done was turn too many rpms on the highway at speed. In first gear, on dry dirt or rough ground, you might like the 16t. But even then it makes the bike a little snatchy. There is simply too much torque in 1st and 2nd gear to need lower gears. Either gear will spin the rear tire in off road conditions. I don't see where the trouble to change sprockets would make it worthwhile on any trip.

These bikes are too heavy to be doing slow speed maneuvers off road. Need to keep some speed up, and that is why I don't see where the 16t has any real advantage.
 
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I would not do the change from a 15, 16 to 17 or vis versa for the pavement. However, going from a 15 to a 14 for more serious off road(steep roads and trails) has it's merit. Not having to slip the clutch not only saves the wear and tear, it's safer by making ascents and descents smoother & less work on the part of the rider.
I still get 50mpg(ish) on the highway with a 14T if the wind cooperates.
 

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Your gas mileage will not suffer much (if at all) by dropping the front sprocket 1 tooth. Yes, your rpms will be higher, but the engine was designed to run at relatively high rpm. If you are loping along at too low an rpm you may actually be at a lower point in the torque curve.

I run a -1T (16) front and +2T (43) rear on my Vee and love it for both on and off road. You will get faster acceleration due to the increased rear wheel torque and the bike is a lot easier to ride off pavement with the lowered gearing.

Unless you plan on droning along on the highway for multiple days I wouldn't bother putting the 17T back on the front for the paved sections. Especially if you are just running along at or below 75 mph.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the feedback guys. I will keep the 16 on and see how it goes. I noticed my RPM's were around 5k when running at 120km/hr which I know will affect my gas mileage and thought this might be a way to get around that, but I can always ride slower speeds when I need the extra distance per tank.
 

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Don't assume that the mileage will be worse. Try it and calculate your own mileage yourself. Don't forget that your odometer will be off, so you'll need to use your GPS to figure distance between fills.
 

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Thanks for the feedback guys. I will keep the 16 on and see how it goes. I noticed my RPM's were around 5k when running at 120km/hr which I know will affect my gas mileage and thought this might be a way to get around that, but I can always ride slower speeds when I need the extra distance per tank.
I thought the same thing and am considering changing to 17t on a permanent basis. I can't imaging it would be sluggish at low speed and RPM due to the torque the Vee2 has on low end and my weight. I ride some off-road, mainly forest roads and gravel not severe trail riding or steep hills and I ride a lot of highway. Thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Don't assume that the mileage will be worse. Try it and calculate your own mileage yourself. Don't forget that your odometer will be off, so you'll need to use your GPS to figure distance between fills.
What I have found on long trips is, if I keep the RPM's below 4k my estimated KM/Tank stops going down, if I go just a little over 4k the number starts to drop again, and quite rapidly. Maybe the computer gets confused, not sure, but it helped me get past some long road stretches between gas stations.
 

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The slower you can spin that motor on the highway the better, for mileage and longevity. Automakers have known for years that an engine that is loafing in a taller gear, even with the throttle plates more open, gets better mileage. I can't personally imagine leaving for a long trip and lowering my gearing. Even with some offroad in the mix. There is a lot of resistance with closed throttle plates and a higher revving engine, leading to significantly lower efficiency.
 

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Depends on your average cruising speed. 16t definitely puts you in the thirsty fuel range above 4000rpm at 100-110km/h. 17t keeps you at 3600-3900 at the same speed. My unscientific logging of fuel economy has seen approx 3mpg better with the 17t and my driving style.
 

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Lets not forget this is a motorcycle not a family wagon.

It should be fun to ride, it should never be boring.

My bike and I are at our happiest at around 7000rpm, the motor is designed and built for it, it makes me feel alive and that is what bikes are about, living.
 

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Well when I'm just cruising down the open highway... for miles.. and miles.. and more miles.. I'm happier with 3600 rpm than 7000...

We've got a lot of open country out here in the western US and it's all connected by freeways or two lane highways.. and a lot of it is straight as an arrow.. for miles.. the more relaxed the better in my opinion.

I mean it's not like the motor needs to be spun up to make power.. the powerband is real fat down there..
 

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Well when I'm just cruising down the open highway... for miles.. and miles.. and more miles.. I'm happier with 3600 rpm than 7000...
Changing from a 17T to a 16T front sprocket would increase the engine speed by less than 6%. So instead of turning over at 3600 rpm it would be spinning at 3800. Big deal.





I mean it's not like the motor needs to be spun up to make power.. the powerband is real fat down there..
Well, since you brought it up... no. The torque curve on the Vstrom engine is nearly flat from 4k on up to 7k, but there is ~ 40% increase in torque at 4k rpm compared to 2k.

Power (horsepower) is not "real fat at low rpm" on this engine. It makes only 50 Hp at 4k rpm. It does need to be spun up to make power.

This is not some pushrod, cruiser V-twin with a 4k rpm redline



Link to CW article the dyno chart came from
 
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