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Let's Talk Gearing (WR-450)


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31 replies to this topic
  • FirstXR

    TT Member

45 posts
Location: Pennsylvania

Posted October 09, 2009 - 10:11 AM


I recently decided to go with a WR-450 for my first bike. (with the help of many of you)
I have heard i may want to change gearing for my 50/50 split between street and trail. I have very little knowledge about gearing (I am counting on somebody to give me the basics of what all the numbers mean) since I have never owned a bike. So....While helping me learn lets see if we can make a list.

State what gearing you use (13/38, 12/50, etc..) and what type of riding your doing with it. If we get enough info on this thread it could be really useful to us new guys in helping figure out our setup.

Thanks!!

LOOK AT POST #22 ON PAGE 3 FOR AN AWESOME UPDATE !!

  • 123BigcoopDawg576

    TT Titanium Member

2,664 posts
Location: Other

Posted October 09, 2009 - 11:45 AM


This is a tough one...you dont specify what your 50/50 riding will be...

On the road, is all back country or highway? In the dirt is it tight or fast?

Also (based on your other thread) I assume that your going with an 07+ WR? If that is the case, stock gearing is 13/50...knowing this and the type of riding, we can help you find the right gearing :bonk:

  • rkwfxd1

    TT Silver Member

751 posts
Location: California

Posted October 09, 2009 - 03:57 PM


'09 here. Stock is 13/50. I'll be going to 13/52. I ride So cal desert. If I were a faster/better rider the stock gearing would be fine but right now I find myself wanting to ride in a gear between 2nd and 3rd. 13/52 will allow me to ride trails in 3rd and climb most hills in 2nd with 1st reserved for the really gnarly stuff.

  • sabrecat700

    TT Member

31 posts
Location: Michigan

Posted October 09, 2009 - 06:22 PM


I got a old 03 and put a 1 tooth bigger on the front and like it alot more than stock. Mine is steet legal so it is nice to cruz 55-60 with out reving the motor to much. have not had a problems in the slow stuff, but I know how to ride it well.

  • djv5

    TT Bronze Member

331 posts
Location: Michigan

Posted October 09, 2009 - 06:27 PM


2007 WR here. I run 14/50 for single track trail riding and dual sport riding. With this gearing, I am usually in 2nd & 3rd gear for the single track trails. Top speed is around 90mph.

I also have SuperMoto 17" wheels, and run 14/45 gearing on the track & street. The bike will still power up 3rd gear wheelies, and top speed is about 100mph and cruises nice at 60mph.

  • BajaFool

    TT Silver Member

571 posts
Location: California

Posted October 09, 2009 - 09:38 PM


I would advise you to ride it for awhile and decide if you don't like the current gearing. Then begin the process of changing the gearing. I have owned three WR450F's and below are my experiences with them.

I ride single track, no track (i.e., really ugly stuff), two track jeep trails, graded dirt roads and a little bit of pavement in Baja California, Mexico. I am a better than average rider, but not an expert. I owned a 2003 and 2006 WR450F and the stock gearing was 14/50. I geared two teeth bigger on the rear sprocket, 14/52. The bikes were just a little too low geared with this gear ratio, even for the really tough stuff, but they were not so bad that I felt that I had to change the gearing.

On my 2008 WR450F, with the experience of riding my two previous bikes geared a little lower in first gear, I went one tooth larger on the rear sprocket (13/51), instead of two teeth larger. Now, the bike seems to be geared just right for me. I can go slow enough in first and I can still go 60-65 mph on the pavement, on the rare occasion when I ride on the highway.

Remember that changing the front sprocket one tooth is the equivalent of nearly a 4 tooth change to the rear sprocket. Here are examples: stock gearing 13/50 is a gear ratio of 3.85:1 (50/13=3.85:1 ratio). Leaving the front sprocket at 13 teeth and increasing the rear sprocket four teeth (13/54) is a gear ratio of 4.15:1 (54/13=4.15:1 ratio). Returning to the stock gearing (13/50) and changing the front sprocket to a one tooth smaller sprocket (12/50) results in a gear ratio of 4.17:1 (50/12=4.17:1 ratio). As you can see 12/50 gears and 13/54 gears result in almost the same gear ratios. Personally, I think a gear ratio of 12/50 for your bike results in a much too low first gear for anything except climbing trees.

If you want to play with different gears and you are a novice, I would try changing the rear sprocket just one tooth larger for a lower first gear and a little less top speed and see how you like it. Having said that, most people change the front sprocket one tooth, because front sprockets are MUCH cheaper than rear sprockets. However, remember the quadruple multiplier affect that occurs, when you change the front sprocket. Now, here is the good news, Rocky Mountain AT/MC http://www.rockymoun...vmc.com/home.do has steel sprockets for 19.95 in 50,51 and 52 teeth. I have the 51 tooth on my bike and it is excellent quality. Check around, there is always a free shipping coupon available somewhere for RM ATV/MC. If you don't like the gearing, send it back and ask for the next size, if you are gentle and don't ruin the new look. Also, remember that if you go too big on the rear sprocket, you are better off going smaller on the front sprocket, because of cost and you will have to add a link to the chain.

  • YamaLink

    TT Addict

4,039 posts
Location: Other

Posted October 10, 2009 - 06:40 AM


+1 !!

I'm a frugal type when it comes to gear changes, but, years ago, on the WR450F I found my cheapness led me to a countershaft sprocket that was not only 1 tooth smaller but way too undergeared for a majority of the riding I do. Hindsight tells me I should've done exactly what BajaFool recommended for my riding area and ability.

I would advise you to ride it for awhile and decide if you don't like the current gearing. Then begin the process of changing the gearing. I have owned three WR450F's and below are my experiences with them.

I ride single track, no track (i.e., really ugly stuff), two track jeep trails, graded dirt roads and a little bit of pavement in Baja California, Mexico. I am a better than average rider, but not an expert. I owned a 2003 and 2006 WR450F and the stock gearing was 14/50. I geared two teeth bigger on the rear sprocket, 14/52. The bikes were just a little too low geared with this gear ratio, even for the really tough stuff, but they were not so bad that I felt that I had to change the gearing.

On my 2008 WR450F, with the experience of riding my two previous bikes geared a little lower in first gear, I went one tooth larger on the rear sprocket (13/51), instead of two teeth larger. Now, the bike seems to be geared just right for me. I can go slow enough in first and I can still go 60-65 mph on the pavement, on the rare occasion when I ride on the highway.

Remember that changing the front sprocket one tooth is the equivalent of nearly a 4 tooth change to the rear sprocket. Here are examples: stock gearing 13/50 is a gear ratio of 3.85:1 (50/13=3.85:1 ratio). Leaving the front sprocket at 13 teeth and increasing the rear sprocket four teeth (13/54) is a gear ratio of 4.15:1 (54/13=4.15:1 ratio). Returning to the stock gearing (13/50) and changing the front sprocket to a one tooth smaller sprocket (12/50) results in a gear ratio of 4.17:1 (50/12=4.17:1 ratio). As you can see 12/50 gears and 13/54 gears result in almost the same gear ratios. Personally, I think a gear ratio of 12/50 for your bike results in a much too low first gear for anything except climbing trees.

If you want to play with different gears and you are a novice, I would try changing the rear sprocket just one tooth larger for a lower first gear and a little less top speed and see how you like it. Having said that, most people change the front sprocket one tooth, because front sprockets are MUCH cheaper than rear sprockets. However, remember the quadruple multiplier affect that occurs, when you change the front sprocket. Now, here is the good news, Rocky Mountain AT/MC http://www.rockymoun...vmc.com/home.do has steel sprockets for 19.95 in 50,51 and 52 teeth. I have the 51 tooth on my bike and it is excellent quality. Check around, there is always a free shipping coupon available somewhere for RM ATV/MC. If you don't like the gearing, send it back and ask for the next size, if you are gentle and don't ruin the new look. Also, remember that if you go too big on the rear sprocket, you are better off going smaller on the front sprocket, because of cost and you will have to add a link to the chain.



  • Diabs

    TT Member

73 posts
Location: Ontario

Posted October 11, 2009 - 05:21 PM


I'm thinking of going to 12/50...right now I'm stock. I find 1st way to short, and lack top end for the road. Not wanting to fly on the road...but would like less rpm's in fifth when trying to stay around 80 - 90 kph.

  • Alternative

    TT Bronze Member

259 posts
Location: New Zealand

Posted October 11, 2009 - 11:34 PM


^^^ Smaller front sprocket = lower gearing so changing to a 12 tooth front sprocket will do the opposite to what you want. If your stock front is a 13, I'd go to a 14 tooth and see if you like it, I've got 15/50 gearing on my 426 (equivalent to 14/50 on 07+ I think) and it's good for dual sporting. For road use on my 17s, I run 16/44 but am thinking of going to 15/39 for a little more top end.

  • foxomatica

    TT Member

72 posts
Location: British Columbia

Posted October 11, 2009 - 11:39 PM


Lots of single track and gnarly hill climbs. 05 Wr450 and running 13/52. Love it

Fox

  • FirstXR

    TT Member

45 posts
Location: Pennsylvania

Posted October 12, 2009 - 08:07 AM


This is a tough one...you dont specify what your 50/50 riding will be...

On the road, is all back country or highway? In the dirt is it tight or fast?

Also (based on your other thread) I assume that your going with an 07+ WR? If that is the case, stock gearing is 13/50...knowing this and the type of riding, we can help you find the right gearing :bonk:


Sorry I was gone so long... We went away for the weekend.
I will try to answer the best I can.

I didn't specify because I wanted to leave it open ended. I will be riding on the roads to get to trails and riding areas. Also for quick jaunts here and there. That being said I would guess that most road riding will be non-highway as finding a back way will be more fun and better on the bike. But I just can't say for sure until I am actually doing it.
The riding in the dirt will be both tight and fast depending on my mood that day. I have acres and acres of both fields and woods.

Yup your right. 07+Wr is what i want. Thanks for stating the stock... I was hoping someone would.

I should probably also say I personally dont need huge top speed but I want acceleration that pulls like a beast.

I dont want to make this thread about me though... I want to gather as much info on who is using what for what purpose as we can - so we can all benefit from it!
It's been great so far. We are putting together some good info. Especially for newbies like myself!
Keep it coming!

  • FirstXR

    TT Member

45 posts
Location: Pennsylvania

Posted October 12, 2009 - 08:20 AM


I would advise you to ride it for awhile and decide if you don't like the current gearing. Then begin the process of changing the gearing. I have owned three WR450F's and below are my experiences with them.

I ride single track, no track (i.e., really ugly stuff), two track jeep trails, graded dirt roads and a little bit of pavement in Baja California, Mexico. I am a better than average rider, but not an expert. I owned a 2003 and 2006 WR450F and the stock gearing was 14/50. I geared two teeth bigger on the rear sprocket, 14/52. The bikes were just a little too low geared with this gear ratio, even for the really tough stuff, but they were not so bad that I felt that I had to change the gearing.

On my 2008 WR450F, with the experience of riding my two previous bikes geared a little lower in first gear, I went one tooth larger on the rear sprocket (13/51), instead of two teeth larger. Now, the bike seems to be geared just right for me. I can go slow enough in first and I can still go 60-65 mph on the pavement, on the rare occasion when I ride on the highway.

Remember that changing the front sprocket one tooth is the equivalent of nearly a 4 tooth change to the rear sprocket. Here are examples: stock gearing 13/50 is a gear ratio of 3.85:1 (50/13=3.85:1 ratio). Leaving the front sprocket at 13 teeth and increasing the rear sprocket four teeth (13/54) is a gear ratio of 4.15:1 (54/13=4.15:1 ratio). Returning to the stock gearing (13/50) and changing the front sprocket to a one tooth smaller sprocket (12/50) results in a gear ratio of 4.17:1 (50/12=4.17:1 ratio). As you can see 12/50 gears and 13/54 gears result in almost the same gear ratios. Personally, I think a gear ratio of 12/50 for your bike results in a much too low first gear for anything except climbing trees.

If you want to play with different gears and you are a novice, I would try changing the rear sprocket just one tooth larger for a lower first gear and a little less top speed and see how you like it. Having said that, most people change the front sprocket one tooth, because front sprockets are MUCH cheaper than rear sprockets. However, remember the quadruple multiplier affect that occurs, when you change the front sprocket. Now, here is the good news, Rocky Mountain AT/MC http://www.rockymoun...vmc.com/home.do has steel sprockets for 19.95 in 50,51 and 52 teeth. I have the 51 tooth on my bike and it is excellent quality. Check around, there is always a free shipping coupon available somewhere for RM ATV/MC. If you don't like the gearing, send it back and ask for the next size, if you are gentle and don't ruin the new look. Also, remember that if you go too big on the rear sprocket, you are better off going smaller on the front sprocket, because of cost and you will have to add a link to the chain.


Great addition to this thread! Thanks for all the info!
Yeah I agree... riding stock for a while is the way to go. Who knows I may end up leaving it there.... but overkill has always suited me just fine! :bonk:

  • thatraptorguy

    TT Bronze Member

119 posts
Location: Ohio

Posted October 12, 2009 - 05:09 PM


i have a 07 and i want gearing that will cruise at 60-65mph on the road at low rpms but still have enough power to power it up in third gear easily any idea's??

  • Alternative

    TT Bronze Member

259 posts
Location: New Zealand

Posted October 12, 2009 - 08:51 PM


^^^ Cant be done. With my 17s and 16/44 gearing it's still doing 6,000RPM @ 100 km/h (62 mph) and can't easily "power it up" in 3rd, but if you give it a reasonable tug on the bars it'll do it. Whereas with my stock wheels and 15/50 gearing 3rd gear wheelies don't require any body language.

  • ak567

    TT Member

38 posts
Location: Newfoundland

Posted October 13, 2009 - 07:20 AM


I got a 08 wr450f and i run 15/44 for supermoto (17" wheels). I am going to switch a dirt setup and was thinking going with a 14/48. Can I use the chain i have now with the supermoto.

  • Diabs

    TT Member

73 posts
Location: Ontario

Posted October 13, 2009 - 10:02 AM


So, to gain some better top end....I should go bigger on the rear...say one or two...but, if i go bigger on the front, its like going 4x bigger on the rear?

If the above is correct, I should have a longer 1st gear(not sure how much longer, if any) and lower rpms crusieing in fifth?

  • diegox450

    TT Bronze Member

308 posts
Location: Argentina

Posted October 13, 2009 - 10:05 AM


Single track and hillcimbing, using 13 / 49... but i feel it a little on the long side... going to 13 / 51 in a future

  • diegox450

    TT Bronze Member

308 posts
Location: Argentina

Posted October 13, 2009 - 10:06 AM


So, to gain some better top end....I should go bigger on the rear...say one or two...but, if i go bigger on the front, its like going 4x bigger on the rear?

If the above is correct, I should have a longer 1st gear(not sure how much longer, if any) and lower rpms crusieing in fifth?


For better top-end you need a smaller rear or bigger front. Going 1 tooth bigger on front is similar to going 4 tooth smaller on rear.

  • thatraptorguy

    TT Bronze Member

119 posts
Location: Ohio

Posted October 13, 2009 - 12:59 PM


^^^ Cant be done. With my 17s and 16/44 gearing it's still doing 6,000RPM @ 100 km/h (62 mph) and can't easily "power it up" in 3rd, but if you give it a reasonable tug on the bars it'll do it. Whereas with my stock wheels and 15/50 gearing 3rd gear wheelies don't require any body language.


you serious man right now with stock gearing and rims it cruises at lower rpm than that going 60.....that really bums me out

  • Alternative

    TT Bronze Member

259 posts
Location: New Zealand

Posted October 13, 2009 - 09:35 PM


Really? I have a trail tech vapor an it sits right around 5990-6000RPM at 100 km/h, and yes it's calibrated properly for the 17" front wheel. Maybe you're speedo is inaccurate? Or maybe the gearing is even wider on the later WR's, I dunno, but that's what my bike does.




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