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Discussion Starter #1
Got the wheels off my '12 ve to change tires and thought that this would be a great time to go to a 16T countershaft sprocket.
I've been reading some of the members making the change from the stock 17T for a bit more bottom and mid range acceleration.
I do get a little shudder when I lug it sometimes.
Anybody have any negatives or positives to share.
Thanks in advance for the input.
 

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Check your rear wheel tension adjustment to see if it happens to be towards the front of the adjustment slot. When you reduce the size of either sprocket, you need to move the rear wheel back to compensate. The smaller the front sprocket, the tighter the chain must wind around it, so there could be slightly faster chain and sprocket wear. And your speedo will be an additional 6% off. It's about 6% off from the factory. Total of 11-12% fast. A speedo healer is needed to get it to read right again. Then, after correcting the speedo, your odometer will be 11-12% off. Or you can install a new adjusted face to your speedometer.

An alternative is to use 17-43 gearing like I do or you can go to 16-42 to keep the stock chain length. No matter which way you gear it down, your speedo or odo will be off. You can't make them both correct. (OK, you can, but why would you bother leaving the gearing stock and changing the speedo face to read correctly.) I don't think anyone makes a face for that situation. New faces for our speedos may no longer be available.

The bike will be more wheelie-prone, but that's just fun, not a problem. Enjoy.
 

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You can run a 16/43 with stock chain. Or a 17/43. Or a 16/41.

The 16t will give the impression of quicker acceleration. Most if not all of that is because you are shifting sooner. If you ride in off road conditions like going through deep ruts and tight sections the 16t will help there a lot. Once on pavement, it makes it easier to take off on a hill or when loaded, but after that most of the positive effects go away. I tried the 16/43 and it was simply too low if you ride on interstates. I left the 43 on the rear and went back to the 17t front. That isn't bad at all. Not quite as much change as adding a 16t front to a stock 41 rear. But if I had used that bike for long distances more I would have gone back to the stock 17/41.

16t front sprockets wear noticeably faster than a 17t will. Not just because of one less tooth, but the angle the chain works at.

If you have clutch chudder/shudder, lowering the gearing won't help that much. If you are trying to help that, replace the clutch basket. You might find you like the gearing as it is a LOT better then!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
A big thank you for the information, you senior members always have some great information to share.
 

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I switched to a 16T front and I love the improvement off road and in traffic, but the gas mileage took a big hit. I use the bike for commuting, adv touring, and some trail riding. Commuting is generally in heavy traffic, so the 16T is better there since I am spending a lot of time between 10 and 40 km/h, also in general for city riding it's an improvement. It's nice in the twisties too because I can ride inside the powerband a little better for my riding style. The only drawback is the lower mileage on long highway miles.

I am thinking about having a 17T as kind of a spare, using it for long distance rides, and then carrying the 16T with me for a roadside swap when I need it if I take a detour on a technical trail. The swap is pretty easy so I think this may be a good option for me.
 

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I've kind of thought that the stock setup was 15T:47T (Gen2 650). From what I've been reading here in different threads, some say that the 16T:47T setup gets the speedo to read true to actual mph. I'm running a 15T:48T to be more dirt-worthy.
 

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V2: I run 16 whilst riding in the NE where there is generally 70mph max legal speed. So that way at least I can get into 6th gear when on a major road. When going west I change back to 17 to accommodate for the faster travel on many roads. Plus we need to slab some to get through the central US/ Canada on these trips. For regional riding I really like the 16 setup much better. I don't do local riding or commuting and I don't care about mileage, only about reach not to run out when in remote areas.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks again for all the input.
Interesting idea about changing countershaft sprockets enroute...
 

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Thanks again for all the input.
Interesting idea about changing countershaft sprockets enroute...
I don't change sprockets en route, only at home depending on where I am going. That swap is not difficult but needs some serious breaker bar and a 2x2 through the rear wheel, not so practical to carry all that. Typically coincides with a rear tire change to give me the tire mileage necessary to finish the trip, especially if we were going west (8k trips).
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The chain was looking a bit stretched so I opted for a new chain and sprockets, 17F and 43R.
Thanks again for all the great input.
 
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