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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm a strong advocate of changing the stock 17/41 V-Strom sprocket setup to 16/43 for all-around use. This gearing change greatly livens up the bike at city speeds, makes first and second gear torquey enough to be useful on unpaved roads a low speeds, and makes sixth gear (finally) useful on 70 MPH interstate sections, where most people travel at about 75-80 mph.

For the V-Strom DL1000, churning along at 4500 to 5500 RPM is no problem (though it does make ex-Harley riders nervous; takes a while to get used to a higher-RPM engine). Remember, the DL1000 motor has a 9500 RPM redline, and its maximum HP level lurks around 7500-8000 RPM. Also, at 4500-5500 RPM you're still in the "left-hand side" of the torque curve's plateau of 4500-7000 RPM.

Having said that about the delights of the 16/43 sprocket change -- which is all the more delightful because you can do it with the original chain -- at some point you're going to wear out that chain. And when you do, I suggest doing as others have (and as I did), which is switch to a size 530 chain and a 17/46 sprocket setup. This is relatively big bike with a relatively big/powerful engine that is often loaded heavily for long trips. It really should have a 530 chain, in my opinion. And by some estimates, all other things being equal, the 530 chain should last at least 50% longer than the 525, and some say nearly twice as long. Plus it just makes me feel more confident to see that fat 530 chain hitched to a near-100 HP engine.

17/46 is as close as you're going to get to duplicating 16/43 ratio. Yes, 17/45 is also extremely close, and perfectly acceptable as a replacement for 16/43; I put over three thousand miles on such a setup. But on a heavily loaded bike on the interstate in a headwind, I could discern the throttle roll-on difference and the 6th gear RPM difference between 16/43 and 17/45; it was very small to be sure, but just enough to make me track down a 46-tooth rear sprocket to get even closer to the magic 16/43. Again, I will say that 17/45 is also about perfect for all around use.

Here are the ratios:
17/45 = .377777
16/43 = .372093
17/46 = .369565

As you can see, 16/43 is between 17/45 amd 17/46, with 17/46 roughly 50% closer to 16/43. Yeah, tiny numbers, but if you ride enough and pay close attention, you can detect the difference. I agree in advance that most people will not detect it because they will not be riding in more extreme conditions of load, speed, wind, and sheer time in the saddle.

To get the 530 chain setup in about the middle of the chain adjuster range, you should have a total of 57 outer chain plates when done, counting the master link outer plate in the total. I count outer plates only because for some reason it's clearer to me. And by the way, you can get everything you need from Blair at svracingparts.com. He doesn't list the 46-tooth sprocket, but he found one for me. Did I say how much I love looking at that fat chain?
 

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Hey!

Appreciate the good information. Already copying and pasting it into a document and filing in my "things to do to my Vstrom" folder. Well written and explained too.

The power advantage in wind/load/highway is paramount and I am right along with you for feeling the difference. I am a pretty big rider, 6'6'' 290lbs, and sometimes I bring a friend, who is also tall, and so these kind of things really matter.
 

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Thanks for the detailed post. I will remember to have a look at it again when it is time to change my chain as I would like to play with the ratios a bit, not to mention add a stronger chain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Making the change

Unless lots and lots of time is spent cruising at 80+ mph on the interstate, the vast majority of riders will benefit from a 16/43 or 17/45 or 17/46 sprocket change, whether it's with a 525 or 530 chain. Again, the 16/43 can be done with the factory 525 chain. The two sprockets will set you back about $75 total and they're very easy to install. This is a good start to get you hooked on this ratio.

Don't worry about the difficulty of installing an open-end 530 chain. You'll need a chain tool, of course (get a good one!) but it's easy to use. I've done every sort of mechanical work on my cars and motorcycles since I was a teenager, but as it happens I'd never installed an open-ended chain with a rivet tool. All you have to do is take your time -- a couple of hours, maybe three if you're obsessively careful like me, from start to finish.
 

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I went with the conversion you suggested a few years ago and I hated it. I switched back to stock. I didn't notice a lot of difference down low, but on the highway my engine was revving higher. It didn't make a lot of sense to me. And yes I am one of those guys that cruises at 80mph for hours on end.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
"And yes, I am one of those guys..."

Which is why you hated it, I would say.

Agree, the stock tall gear works for habitual multi-hour interstate travel above 80 mph. But I'd guess that most people don't use the Vee (or Wee) for that.

On long trips I take back roads and state highways, avoiding the interstate, but sometimes I have to get on it. Even then, 2 -3 hours with the 16/43 or 17/46 ratio is no big deal. The bike will be revving about 4500 at 70 mph, not even half way to the redline, and just entering its torque plateau.
 

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What would you think of a 17/44 combo for city and twisty roads ???
I have a 17/42 set up now and find it a bit of a hand full in the city, jerky in 1st gear in traffic, we don't have many highways over here so most of my day is spent on 60/70 mph twisty roads

All opinions and inner thoughts most welcome
 

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Hey!

Appreciate the good information. Already copying and pasting it into a document and filing in my "things to do to my Vstrom" folder. Well written and explained too.

The power advantage in wind/load/highway is paramount and I am right along with you for feeling the difference. I am a pretty big rider, 6'6'' 290lbs, and sometimes I bring a friend, who is also tall, and so these kind of things really matter.
Before you go out and do this, remember that 1. gear ratios won't be as close, 2. stop and go driving will require more clutch work, 3. motor won't feel as punchy: there IS no "power advantage".

My 650 had a 16 tooth on it when I bought it and I immediately decided to go back to the stock sprocket. Mainly, first gear was too tall for slow riding. I don't do a lot highway miles though. To each his own and according to the riding style and roads. You're on a 1000 but you're also heavier than me (180) and all my 180 liters of luggage, all loaded up, so you may notice the loss of torque with the 17 tooth front.
I just want to make sure everyone is aware of the trade offs. :yesnod:
 

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I just read the OP.
Egg is all over my face!!:headbang::headbang:
Note to self: post only on the 650 threads!
 

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I just read the OP.
Egg is all over my face!!:headbang::headbang:
Note to self: post only on the 650 threads!
DAMN YOU, DAMN YOU TO HELL!!! Oops, thought we were in the free for all section. :mrgreen:
 

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Changing final gearing won't change the space between the individual gears, only the final drive ratio. Matching the powerband and torque curve to prevailing road conditions is a bit of a science..the bike comes from the factory with overall gearing that is, necessarily, a compromise. Those lucky enough to live with lots of tight twisty roads will benefit from a very different final drive gearing than those of us who live on the prairies with our arrow straight roads.
 

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I am a fan of stock gearing

It is a 5 speed plus overdrive for the expressways

On 2 lanes the whole day is 3,4,5 gears

530 chain conversion will last longer. A better quality 525 is strong enough for over 20,000 miles plus which is adequate for me

Theoretically a heavier chain has more inertia and unsprung weight, This also increases inertia for speed changes of the drive line. Neither of these factor has real effect on a Strom in the real world
 

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I am a fan of stock gearing

It is a 5 speed plus overdrive for the expressways

On 2 lanes the whole day is 3,4,5 gears
+1

I rarely even get into 5th for secondary road riding

the only thing I don't like about stock gearing is 1st is a bit taller than I like but it's not big deal to slip a wet clutch,

go to 16/43 or 17/46 and you loose overdrive for highways

much easier just to not shift into higher gear before you need to, not sure why riders feel the need to be in top gear all the time

I am a big proponent of 530 chain though, it had nearly tripled my chain life



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I am not sure now but back in the day most highest top speeds were found one gear down like 4th in a 5 speed, because of the power curve.

I agree with Randy about the 530 but my 06 obtained in 08 only has 20K on it now. SO that is like 3500 a year. However I am now forced into 1/2 retirement so maybe those numbers will go up.
 

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16/43 was best mod I have ever made.
I rip down for coffee on our highway utilizing a 16/41 which I'm told is similar to a 17/44. I have yet to get a good solid 40 mpg traveling on the freeway @ 80-82mph. I'm thinking why did I bolt on a 16 before even trying out my new bike. I'm now so broke from frequent, (also embarrassing), fill ups, I ask myself why don't people just hang the shift out longer to keep the revs up while using stock gearing? My 150 low fuel alarm range sucks. Sure, starting out from a dead-stop might be a little underwhelming but once you get moving....
 

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I love my sprockets changed. But since your all flipping sprockets Id like to know if you all have speedo fixers?? My inly issue with the new found torque!!!
 

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I love my sprockets changed. But since your all flipping sprockets Id like to know if you all have speedo fixers?? My inly issue with the new found torque!!!
I'm using a SpeedoDRD, easy to install, affordable and easy to calibrate. Your odo is out to lunch however.
 

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I rip down for coffee on our highway utilizing a 16/41 which I'm told is similar to a 17/44. I have yet to get a good solid 40 mpg traveling on the freeway @ 80-82mph. I'm thinking why did I bolt on a 16 before even trying out my new bike. I'm now so broke from frequent, (also embarrassing), fill ups, I ask myself why don't people just hang the shift out longer to keep the revs up while using stock gearing? My 150 low fuel alarm range sucks. Sure, starting out from a dead-stop might be a little underwhelming but once you get moving....
How many Gals are you putting in at 150 miles?
 
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