Is going up 1 tooth on the rear worth it??

14 replies to this topic
  • Decreasing Dave

Posted April 17, 2008 - 08:30 AM


As the title says. I have a 2006 YZ450F with stock gearing and the GYTR performance Flywheel (4.9oz. heavier than stock)

I run some faster desert stuff but nothing that I couldn't stand to lose a couple of MPHs on. The thing that has me considering the gearing change is some of the tighter trails that I get to run. I have a friend that runs a lot of single track with the Tucson guys and I'd like to play, but the stock gearing is horrible causing me to do LOTS of clutch work just to keep momentum, especially on rocky uphill sections.

I'm looking for a compromise in gearing. I don't want to be trading back and forth and I won't consider a Rekluse for several reasons, budget being one of them.

What do you guys suggest for gearing as a happy medium.


  • usmcpaul

Posted April 17, 2008 - 09:18 AM


I have a different front sprocket. Its easier to change, and only 10 bucks. I use the smaller front for the indoor tracks in the winter and the really tight stuff in the summer.

If I remember correctly, dropping one tooth in the front is equivalent to adding 3 to the rear. (not sure though)

  • grayracer513

Posted April 17, 2008 - 09:45 AM


If I remember correctly, dropping one tooth in the front is equivalent to adding 3 to the rear. (not sure though)

You're right.

But as to the clutch work thing, Dave, you have two choices, really. Either get used to it, or give up a considerable amount of top speed.

Adding 3 to the rear (or the equivalent drop of one in the front) changes the speed at 8000 rpm in 5th by 7.5 mph, starting with stock gearing, but only changes the speed in 1st gear at 2000 rpm by 1mph. You will notice an improvement in the tight stuff, but it won't be as big as you'd think.

MX bikes are all built with talll low gears and close ratio transmissions, and adapting them to tight trail work is usually a disappointing compromise in that regard. Your choices, other than lowering the gearing are:

> Go a little faster (my son's solution), or use the clutch a lot (my solution)

> Use an auto clutch like the Rekluse

> Swap in the wide ratio trans from an '07 WR450

  • CHRIS_YZ450

Posted April 17, 2008 - 11:34 AM


I put a 50 on my 08' and it helped a lot for single track trail riding. Now for the rocky tight stuff...still clutching. I would try a smaller CS gear first and go from there. It is a lot easier to change out and easier to eat the costs if this set up doesn't work for you.

PS..I was riding with a group of guys that had xr650's and ktm 525's in the tight rocky it was hard to keep up in that situation anyway. Those bikes are really set up for rinding that kind of terrain.

  • angrybob

Posted April 17, 2008 - 12:00 PM


> Go a little faster (my son's solution), or use the clutch a lot (my solution)

> Use an auto clutch like the Rekluse

> Swap in the wide ratio trans from an '07 WR450

Couldn't agree more. All I ride is the tight single track trails here in AZ (Lake Pleasant & Granite Mountain area) on an '06 yz450. Let me vote for the second option. I installed a z-start pro and couldn't be happier. Cost is always an issue, but there are ways to get them cheaper (used or find a coupon winner from raffles).

Granite Mountain was pretty tight and rocky stuff, and it was my first time on most of the trails. I was able to keep up with the regulars and keep luggin' up the rocks. I rode with my buddy who was on a CRF450R and after that ride, he is strongly considering a Rekluse.

I was able to keep 13/50 gearing which has plenty of speed for the open trails and the Rekluse allows me to lug.

  • William1

Posted April 17, 2008 - 12:42 PM


Being the old fart I am, the only thing on the trails slower than me is a snail. Dropping one tooth in front was just enough to enable infrequent clutching. I only see 5th gear on the road between trails, even then, I rarely go more than 60, if that fast. CS was only $20 for a real good one, delivered.

  • nap__kxf

Posted April 17, 2008 - 05:03 PM


i dropped one tooth to a 12 in the front on my 07, works like a charm. we don't do alot of fast riding, and even if we did i still have enough top end...its mostly the tight stuff out in the piutes behind jawbone. my dad has the 06 and his bike is a pain out there with stock jetting.

i'd get a 12 in the front, helps the power everywhere for me, i love it. kind of a pain when the dirt is wet at jawbone, hard to keep the front wheel on the ground but i bring my 13 with me just in case.

besides, putting a new front sprocket is a hell of alot easier and cheaper than swapping the rear. :thumbsup:

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  • hillclimbguy

Posted April 17, 2008 - 10:59 PM


I've tried both the smaller on the front and bigger on the back. I personally didnt like going to a 50 in the back. I didnt feel that much of a gear change for the trails. On the track was ok. But not worth the 50 bucks for a sprocket. Running the 12 in the front was ok when the ground was wet. When it was dry, seemed to rev out too quick.
I settled for a 53 and 52 for trail riding and 54 for real tight riding.
Now I would like to try a Fly wheel Weight. Good luck

  • Family Man

Posted April 18, 2008 - 03:11 PM


I likr s 50 tooth on the back alot. Adds alot more snap/response. I dont like the stock gearing. I dont run a fly wheel weight, I like the snap.

  • BRYANS01

Posted April 18, 2008 - 07:59 PM


just a thought because i know alot of guys who ride mainly trails run an 18 inch rear doesnt that change to more gear ratio options?

just a thought

  • grayracer513

Posted April 18, 2008 - 09:09 PM


...alot of guys who ride mainly trails run an 18 inch rear doesnt that change to more gear ratio options?

No. The 18" wheel lets you run a /100 tire instead of a /90, which puts more rubber and air between the tread and your rim, so as to resist rim damage and improve traction over roots and rocks.

That doesn't give you more options in gearing than you have with the 19, though.

  • Decreasing Dave

Posted April 18, 2008 - 11:57 PM


Thanks everybody for the advice. Gray, you're probably right on (in your first post), but as a traditionalist, I have a hard time grasping the "automatic" concept (insert pic of Honda CM400A here). I know there are tons of folks that have changed over and have wished they did it sooner. I'm not completely opposed, I just have to try the cheaper options first.

My friend that runs the singletrack suggested a 51 tooth rear. He doesn't own a YZ, he rides a KTM 380, so he's speculating at best. I know it doesn't sound like much but since I have to buy a new chain anyways, I think I'll go for it and see what happens. I don't mind a little clutch work in the tightest of trails and the flywheel actually helps quite a bit.

Family Man, I put the FW Weight on because here in AZ we see mostly sand on top of hard ground. Really slippery. The FW Weight actually made my bike feel faster due to the added traction I was getting. I don't think I lost "snap" because when I tried to "snap", all it did was spin, now it spins less, giving me the feeling of gaining "snap". Does that make sense??

Anyway, thanks again for the advice. I'm still taking it all in if anyone has more throw out.



Posted April 19, 2008 - 04:30 AM


I have an 01 426 ..14/52 gearing...ride upper sycamore singletrack mostly...Im happy with it..still have plenty of top end..In the tightest stuff, Im still grabbing clutch...but not as much as before...Im kind of stubborn..Im not paying 5 or 6 hundred bucks so I dont have to pull in my clutch.

I keep a fresh rear about 12 lbs. of air..The desert, decomposed granite is slippery when dry....

  • BRYANS01

Posted April 19, 2008 - 05:38 AM


thanks for clearing that up for me there gray.

  • SAGringo

Posted April 19, 2008 - 07:10 AM


you need a flywheel weight bro. low cost and it will fix most, if not all, your woes. unless you ride a lot of mx you could stand to get one of the heavier ones. i know fast dudes that ride both off road, and mx without ever removing the flywheel weight. you'll notice a big difference.

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