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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2011 DL-650 ABS that I use as a pretty heavy commuter by my standards. I have a 150 mile round trip commute three or four times a week and I've bought a couple of things to make it more tolerable but one thing still irks me: the freeway rpm's. Personally, I hate buzzyness, high rpm's, and an overworked engine so I've been considering a sprocket change.

Based on the posts of others and the replies I am leaning towards a 16 tooth front sprocket and I had a couple of questions (I have no mechanical inclinations or common sense so bare with me)

Do I need to change the chain to accomodate a bigger front sprocket or will the current one work?

How much would it cost to have someone do this for me (i.e. dealer, mechanic, etc)

Would a 17 tooth be too much? I've seen videos of the Vee cruising at 90+ at under 5,000 rpm's which is my idea of heaven. Would a 17 tooth be better for me on a wee?

Does the sprocket change alter the odometer readings? I've read posts on craiglist of bikes with different sprockets and they said that the actual mileage and the indicated mileage was different....what gives?

Would gas mileage increase with a bigger sprocket? I get roughly 220-230 miles per tank and the bike is indicating that it is empty yet when I fill it up it only takes 4.3-4.5 gallons and the tank is 5.8 so is the fuel meter off?

Any comments or answers will help. Thanks!!
 

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I have a 2011 DL-650 ABS that I use as a pretty heavy commuter by my standards. I have a 150 mile round trip commute three or four times a week and I've bought a couple of things to make it more tolerable but one thing still irks me: the freeway rpm's. Personally, I hate buzzyness, high rpm's, and an overworked engine so I've been considering a sprocket change.

Based on the posts of others and the replies I am leaning towards a 16 tooth front sprocket and I had a couple of questions (I have no mechanical inclinations or common sense so bare with me)

Do I need to change the chain to accomodate a bigger front sprocket or will the current one work?

How much would it cost to have someone do this for me (i.e. dealer, mechanic, etc)

Would a 17 tooth be too much? I've seen videos of the Vee cruising at 90+ at under 5,000 rpm's which is my idea of heaven. Would a 17 tooth be better for me on a wee?

Does the sprocket change alter the odometer readings? I've read posts on craiglist of bikes with different sprockets and they said that the actual mileage and the indicated mileage was different....what gives?

Would gas mileage increase with a bigger sprocket? I get roughly 220-230 miles per tank and the bike is indicating that it is empty yet when I fill it up it only takes 4.3-4.5 gallons and the tank is 5.8 so is the fuel meter off?

Any comments or answers will help. Thanks!!
I have a 17T, and I like it..keeps the revs down, 6th gear to me is a 6th gear now. I only kick to it around 70-75. I think I cruise at 80 around 5300. It won't change the speedo, as I understand it, the Wee reads off the front wheel, also no need for a new chain it fits. I still get around 210 or so before the gas tank starts to blink..and yes the gauge is way off..I don't drop a bar till around 100+ miles..if it was correct the thing should get 500 miles to a tank..hahaha Sorry my friend changed mine so I don't know the cost, but it didn't look that difficult. Good luck~!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I've read that a 17 tooth drops the low end torque and acceleration quite noticeably which is why I had initially shied away from it but I would prefer the much lower freeway rpm's as my commute is mainly there. Have you noticed such a drastic lack of acceleration low end wise? And if I may ask, what is the farthest you have driven between tanks so I can get an idea of how far I can really go...
 

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Went with a 16 years ago. Dropped the RPM 300 at freeway speeds & not noticeable on take off/acceleration. It's not hard to do but if you're not inclined, it shouldn't be that expensive to have done.

I might consider the 17 if I used it to commute but the 16 took the edge off the buzziness for me.
 

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I've read that a 17 tooth drops the low end torque and acceleration quite noticeably which is why I had initially shied away from it but I would prefer the much lower freeway rpm's as my commute is mainly there. Have you noticed such a drastic lack of acceleration low end wise? And if I may ask, what is the farthest you have driven between tanks so I can get an idea of how far I can really go...
I don't really notice it..and if I want to take off..I just wind it up..red line is 10500. I gave my friend a ride the other weekend since his wife was going to meet us at a party, and she drove from work..so between him and I, we're close to 400lbs, and the bike had no problems handling us..but it was the only time I was able to be flat footed with my knees slightly bent when I stopped..hahaha. I've gone 245 before chickening out..and I still think I had .8 gallons left.
 

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I tried a 16T and found it made a big difference in off the line power but little difference in feel at speed and mpgs did not change. I went back to 15T. There are as many conclusions as there are people trying it. Try it and see if you like it. That's all that counts.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I don't really notice it..and if I want to take off..I just wind it up..red line is 10500. I gave my friend a ride the other weekend since his wife was going to meet us at a party, and she drove from work..so between him and I, we're close to 400lbs, and the bike had no problems handling us..but it was the only time I was able to be flat footed with my knees slightly bent when I stopped..hahaha. I've gone 245 before chickening out..and I still think I had .8 gallons left.
Thats my problem!! I wan't to keep going but that damn fuel gauge looks at me so accusingly and I inevitably give in and go fill up. I just need to ride it untill I run out and record it for future reference.

As for the 17t I might go with that instead of the 16. I can't imagine it would take a mechanic more than 30-40 minutes to do and the part can't cost that much...
 

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I tried a 16T and found it made a big difference in off the line power but little difference in feel at speed and mpgs did not change. I went back to 15T. There are as many conclusions as there are people trying it. Try it and see if you like it. That's all that counts.
I should have been more clear - not THAT noticeable - on off line acceleration. I just figure if I'm a cylinder head, and the piston's punchin' me in the face, lowering that frequency by 300 per minute would feel better.

I'm sure it's negligible in the Stroms life - but it's my justification.:biggrinjester:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I should have been more clear - not THAT noticeable - on off line acceleration. I just figure if I'm a cylinder head, and the piston's punchin' me in the face, lowering that frequency by 300 per minute would feel better.

I'm sure it's negligible in the Stroms life - but it's my justification.:biggrinjester:
Well I'm not into racing the bike off the line so that shouldn't bother me. I'm in college and I commute from Palmdale to Santa Monica in CA three times a week so I'm more into comfort and gas mileage than acceleration. Don't get me wrong, the ability to scoot out in front of traffic is important but I would sacrifice acceleration for more comfort at speed.

Coincidentally, I bough a Laminar touring lip and installed it yesterday and rode down to Santa Monica today and it made the Wee feel a lot better at speed and the rpm's/vibration bothered me a LOT less. Maybe it's the better wind protection, maybe not but I guess I'll have to ride a few more times to get a better feel. It gets really windy here so I'll report back later I guess
 

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Well I'm not into racing the bike off the line so that shouldn't bother me. I'm in college and I commute from Palmdale to Santa Monica in CA three times a week so I'm more into comfort and gas mileage than acceleration. Don't get me wrong, the ability to scoot out in front of traffic is important but I would sacrifice acceleration for more comfort at speed.

Coincidentally, I bough a Laminar touring lip and installed it yesterday and rode down to Santa Monica today and it made the Wee feel a lot better at speed and the rpm's/vibration bothered me a LOT less. Maybe it's the better wind protection, maybe not but I guess I'll have to ride a few more times to get a better feel. It gets really windy here so I'll report back later I guess
There's no worry about getting in front of traffic..just drop a gear and hit the gas..I'm always having to chase down my friend on his Busa..when it's rolling it still jumps. I hear you on the buzziness..with the 15T I would cruise in that 6000 to 6300 range and I didn't like the vibrations that's why I changed..also I didn't like have to change gears in rapid secession before I even got out of the intersection. The buzz does drop off some over 6500.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Im glad to hear the acceleration doesn't drop off too substantially. As to the buzzing dropping off after 6500: Im 6'0 and 240 lbs and at 6500 rpm's I'm doing 90+ so it's fairly useless for me! Especially considering the endless quantities of LAPD and LASD on the 5/405/14 freeways.

I'll probably go to the 17 because I love the low rpm's. I considered switching bikes entirely up to the Vee but I have a nice bike that I got new (special for a college kid) so it's special to me (first new bike) and the Vee gets worse mpg so I stuck with the wee. Dad's considering the Concours 14...that's a hell of a bike. I'd love the overdrive sixth on that one!
 

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I use a 17 and couldn't be happier. 5th gear is almost the same as 6th gear was before, so now 6th is more like an overdrive. 4000 rpm at 60 mph now and still plenty of power.
 

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I had a 16-tooth. Then I found myself with a passenger and full luggage pointed uphill at a redlight. That was the moment I decided to go back to the 15-tooth.

If a 17-tooth makes fifth gear seem like sixth, I suppose it's like you're taking off in second gear all the time.

What you think you're saving in gas should probably be earmarked for a premature clutch replacement.

Be mindful of the trade-offs.

On the plus side, a larger front sprocket might last slightly longer.
 

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Dad's considering the Concours 14...that's a hell of a bike. I'd love the overdrive sixth on that one!
In the United States, overdrive on a Concourse is superfluous.
 

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17 for me.

I replaced the original 15-tooth front sprocket with a 16-tooth sprocket at 22000 miles, then at 44000 miles I went to a 17-tooth sprocket, and stayed with 17 when I had to replace chain and sprockets at 66000 miles.

I like the gearing and RPM and sound and fuel consumption, and I did not need to lengthen the chain or make any significant adjustments when changing front sprockets.

I find that I can use a rear sprocket 22000 miles in one direction, then reuse it for 22000 more miles in the opposite direction, simply by adding five washers to compensate for the slight asymmetry of the sprocket. Some people say this does not work for them, but I am convinced I save money this way.

My bike goes long distances on good roads, and is seldom used on rough terrain, but it handled a very rough rutty road in South Florida with no need for a gear below first. I did not enjoy that road a lot, but in this outfit the limitations are all due to the old fart in the saddle; the bike was perfectly happy.

Keith
 

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i personally also take the freeway to work (although not nearly as far) and found that i rather liked the 16t. i had considered the 17t, and i suppose i may try that when this one wears out. the nice thing is that sprockets are cheap! if you don't like one, it sure isn't very expensive to switch back to the other!
 

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I tried a 16T and found it made a big difference in off the line power but little difference in feel at speed and mpgs did not change. I went back to 15T. There are as many conclusions as there are people trying it. Try it and see if you like it. That's all that counts.
Agree.

I log all fuel use and there was no meaningful difference. A few hundred rpm when you are turning 6K is no big deal.

Oversquare engines have many advantages. Low cruising rpms is not one of them.
 

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Agree.

I log all fuel use and there was no meaningful difference. A few hundred rpm when you are turning 6K is no big deal.

Oversquare engines have many advantages. Low cruising rpms is not one of them.
A little aftermarket bolt-on part like his would help more than the sprocket, you'll still get the buzz but with $4.00+ gas...............................

 

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Im glad to hear the acceleration doesn't drop off too substantially. As to the buzzing dropping off after 6500: Im 6'0 and 240 lbs and at 6500 rpm's I'm doing 90+ so it's fairly useless for me! Especially considering the endless quantities of LAPD and LASD on the 5/405/14 freeways.

I'll probably go to the 17 because I love the low rpm's. I considered switching bikes entirely up to the Vee but I have a nice bike that I got new (special for a college kid) so it's special to me (first new bike) and the Vee gets worse mpg so I stuck with the wee. Dad's considering the Concours 14...that's a hell of a bike. I'd love the overdrive sixth on that one!
I agree with you. A new bike is special. Just got my first one and Im 41. I was in the same mindset about the Wee vs. Vee. I love power as my other bike is a V-rod. However, it sucks on gas mileage. I am more than happy....
 

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I have a little over a 60 mile, mostly 'slab run to work. I ride a 2011 DL650.

How long have you been riding this commute with this bike?

My observation is you get used to the revs. I average 54-55 MPG and have consistently got 250-300 miles between fillups.

Really? What are you looking for out of life?

Or is this just to tinker? That I could understand.
 
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