On-road/Off-road Sprockets


23 replies to this topic
  • Thesykboy

Posted November 11, 2011 - 12:06 PM

#1

I just plated my 03 WR450 and plan to use it to trail ride as well as ride TO the trail (when needed). However, with the current sprockets I'm running (14/50) I get about a top speed of maybe 55MPH. Granted, I don't expect to go that fast on the trails, but I could see the need for speed while riding in traffic.

So here is my question...

Do I need to carry sprockets in order to get the ideal riding experience I'm looking for? I know if I go from a 14 to a 16 in the front, or even just drop the rear from a 50 to say 42 I'm gonna get more speed. However, if I found that optimal rear sprocket, then I would just have to change out the front to go from "highway riding" to "trail riding" correct?

  • djv5

Posted November 11, 2011 - 12:15 PM

#2

With 14/50 sprockets on your '03 WR450 your top speed should be around 80mph. Is your bike uncorked and is the throttle stop removed?

I ran 15/50 on my 2003 WR450 and that was a good setup for trail & street. 1st gear was low enough to get me thru the technical stuff, and my top speed was around 90mph. Cruising speed was around 65mph.

  • zokalr13

Posted November 11, 2011 - 12:26 PM

#3

im dual-sporting my 99 wr400 and am going 15/47 to get a little more top end speed than the 50 tooth but not too much -say a [42tooth] as it will cause probs unless you have a cush hub- i plan on riding 80/20 ratio dirt to street btw...yeah,you should be going faster than 55mph sheesh..

  • miweber929

Posted November 11, 2011 - 02:03 PM

#4

Running 15/49 on my 04 and can crawl at a walking pace with the clutch completely out. Cruises nicely at 60 mph or so as well. Haven't tried a top speed run as that's not what this bike is for.

Mike

  • jcbikes

Posted November 11, 2011 - 02:55 PM

#5

I dual-sported my 2002wr426 and have been running a 16t with a 50 in the rear. It is close to the best of both worlds. can still do the tech. stuff with just a little clutch slippage on occasion. cruises pretty good on the road.

  • Thesykboy

Posted November 11, 2011 - 07:19 PM

#6

For the record, I should say that "cruising speed" in 5th gear is about 55-60. I'm sure I can go faster, but don't feel comfortable having the RPMs up that high for long periods of time. I'd rather just get a sprocket in place to allow the motor to do what it does while getting me the speeds I desire.

So I again have to ask... I was watching an old dirt bike movie and they packed a few extra sprockets (in case of breakage I'd imagine). So I couldn't help but wonder if it's terribly uncommon for folks to change sprockets as needed while traveling to suit a different type of terrain than what they are "geared" for at that particular moment?

  • zokalr13

Posted November 11, 2011 - 08:22 PM

#7

dont look to the past -look to the now-you have a dirtbike that has a wide ratio 5 -speed trans that does well in the dirt with its stock gearing -but its not designed to drone on and on -on the hwy..and changing out sprockets? im mean really,who does that? ive been riding dirtbikes for 30+yrs -never changed out my final drives while out in the bush,but i have heard of people that do that-personally i dont..[ugh] i determine the use of my bike and its capabilities then alter the gearing to suit my tastes- i personally like slightly higher gearing than stock only because im old school and hate high revs on my bikes engines...hope this helps

  • Thesykboy

Posted November 11, 2011 - 08:38 PM

#8

dont look to the past -look to the now-you have a dirtbike that has a wide ratio 5 -speed trans that does well in the dirt with its stock gearing -but its not designed to drone on and on -on the hwy


Forgive my candor but if it's not designed to drone on, what about those that motard them or do true DS?

As for the remark about carrying and changing sprockets, I've got no clue... but that's why I'm asking:thumbsup:

  • miweber929

Posted November 12, 2011 - 05:18 AM

#9

Read as to how many of them rebuild their trannies every few thousand miles, it's quite a few. Also a number of 4th and 5th gear failures on motards if you search as well.

It's a dirtbike designed to be dirt ridden. Anything outside of that is asking for maintenance issues mainly because there is no Cush drive on it which transfers street load directly to the driveline.

When I had a KLR, a lot of the guys carried 17 tooth hwy fronts and 14 tooth dirt and swapped. Personally I hate adjusting my chain and messing with things that can go wrong in the field so a compromise gearing is the best thing. Like was mentioned, running a slightly larger front or smaller rear will work just fine. I'd say stock gearing is comfy running in the 50 mph area in 5th, with my 15/49 close to 60 is the sweet area.

Mike

Edited by miweber929, November 13, 2011 - 04:34 PM.
Frickin' autocorrect


  • zokalr13

Posted November 12, 2011 - 11:04 AM

#10

yeah what he said ^^ an R1 is a no compromise street bike- a YZ250 is a no compromise dirtbike -but a dual sport bike is a COMPROMISE between the two extremes and your type of bike and use will dictate your gearing choice and suitability to tackle various terrains. I think you need a 6th gear type of bike IMO- not enough info anyway about how fast and far you go on hwy or type of off-roading you do...

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  • CanadianWR450

Posted November 13, 2011 - 04:27 AM

#11

I'm running 14/48 right now on my plated 04 and it works pretty good. Going to put on 15/50 in the spring and I figure this should be close to perfect for DS running. Also adding a trailtech vapor in the spring, so I will have a speedo and tach...lol

Edited by CanadianWR450, November 13, 2011 - 12:43 PM.


  • bg10459

Posted November 13, 2011 - 06:45 AM

#12

I dual sported my 03 WR with the stock 14/50 gears for quite a few years and only recently switched to 15/48. First gear is so low on these bikes that you hardly notice the new sprocket combo and IMO, it makes first gear more usable. Top speed is noticably improved, but my worn clutch also became more apparent. Depending on the terrain, I'm either running 15/48 or 15/50 :busted:

  • Thesykboy

Posted November 13, 2011 - 09:41 AM

#13

So am I to understand that the WR450 was not necessarily designed for the use in which I wanna use it? I thought it was a dual sport bike since it's street legal and able to be plated.

  • CanadianWR450

Posted November 13, 2011 - 12:48 PM

#14

Oooop's I just realized I put 15/48 and going to 16/50....it's actually "I now have 14/48, and I'm going to 15/50..."
To answer your last question though, the North American WR's are not street legal ...no brake light, no signal lights, and no hi/lo beam, no horn....all boils down to your local rules though.
Also, there is a big difference between "Street Legal", and a good DS setup.
A John Deere farm tractor is "Street Legal", but that doesn't mean it's a good commuter vechicle!

  • YamRZ350

Posted November 13, 2011 - 01:17 PM

#15

I just got bck from another street ride on my 05 450. 5200 mi so far since I converted it to motard/street legal, and it had 80 hours on it when I bought it. Zero issues. It doesn't use oil, the valves haven't moved, it's the best shifting bike I've ever owned.

I did install a YFZ clutch, as a precaution.

Change the oil / check adjust the valves and you're good. It's been a strugle to get the suspension right, but it's getting close. It's a weapon on tight goat path type roads.

  • miweber929

Posted November 13, 2011 - 04:40 PM

#16

So am I to understand that the WR450 was not necessarily designed for the use in which I wanna use it? I thought it was a dual sport bike since it's street legal and able to be plated.


Correct. A US WR450 is NOT a dual sport bike NOR is it street legal stock. You can plate it in some states, with several changes to stock components and while many have played theirs, they usually use them to connect trails legally. It is not a great DS bike as it has a pretty limited oiling system and no Cush drive.

It's a great trail bike, but depending on your on/off road ratio, there are better on road choices.

  • Thesykboy

Posted November 15, 2011 - 01:07 PM

#17

So for folks that do desert racing that go for sometimes hundreds of miles a day, what kind of setup would they have? Or is the WR not designed for that kind of riding?

I just wanna know that if I take my 35-40 miles to ride trails that I'm not looking for trouble.

  • YamRZ350

Posted November 15, 2011 - 03:02 PM

#18

Again, I've put a little over 5000 miles on my WR450 in the last 6 months. All of them on the street, most of them with 17 in. roadrace take-offs mounted.

Zero issues.

It's the most fun I've had on the street in a long time.

Do the required maintenance when it's needed and as far as I can tell, it's very reliable.



Hope you're happy, now I just jinxed myself for sure. Stay tuned for my "motor melted down" post any day now...LOL

  • Krannie McKranface

Posted November 15, 2011 - 04:03 PM

#19

Forgive my candor but if it's not designed to drone on, what about those that motard them or do true DS?

As for the remark about carrying and changing sprockets, I've got no clue... but that's why I'm asking:thumbsup:


You can make any off-road bike into a dual sport. Some work better than others. The WR and the CRFX seem to work the best, longevity wise.

Everything wears out. High performance vehicles wear out faster. Dual-sported high performance vehicles even faster. If you DS & SM a WR, and ride it a lot, you will eventually sell it and get a Ducati or another true SM bike for the street. The WR is a very, very, tame SM bike. Not fast enough, or with good enough brakes to do any real speed on it.

Put a 14 tooth in the front, get used to it, improve your riding skills and clutch control, and eventually, to up to 15 tooth.

There is no substitute for saddle time.

  • Thesykboy

Posted November 15, 2011 - 07:56 PM

#20

Being that I've grown up trail riding (still the BEST way to learn how to ride a motorcycle IMHO), riding skills and clutch control are a non-issue for me. I feel more at home on the trails than I do riding my Harley...

So far, it seem like a 50t rear is the preferred sprocket by and large. I think I may bump my front to a 15t or perhaps a 16t and see how she rides. I just wanna make sure that I'm not gonna have any issues riding to the trail and then back. Bike is running beautifully, I just wanna boost the top-end up a little for those 55 MPH zones and make sure I'm not gonna break the thing doing 55 for 30 minutes or so...




 
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