Gearing Suggestions for XR650L?

I have a 2003 stock XR650L. I want to gain a little more power by changing the front sprocket however I don't want it geared too low. I ride a lot of back roads and want to maintain decent gas mileage. By dropping down to perhaps a 14 or 13 sprocket will this gain me any more power? If so, will it kill the gas mileage? What would be the best combination? :)

By dropping down to perhaps a 14 or 13 sprocket will this gain me any more power?

You won't "gain" any more power. You're referring to reducing the extremely tall gearing, especially between 1st & 2nd, on the XRL. I ride the stock setup (15-45) for freeways here in So Cal. Then I change the front countershaft sprocket to a 14-tooth for off-roading. It takes about 10 minutes time, and isn't difficult at all. :D

Some guys carry spare 13's, 14's & 15's and swap them trail side depending on the terrain or if there's any real lengthy street riding involved. :)

The lower gearing is really noticable off-road & on. You'll lose about 5 mph on the top end of both 4th & 5th gear. But the real "gain" is when you're in the dirt. You'll finally be able to ride in 2nd gear in the technical stuff, and you won't have to abuse the clutch (as much) anymore. :D

For city streets and speeds under 60 mph, 14-45 is good to go. Any faster and you'll want to go back to 15 in the front.

The basic rule of thumb for gear changes is 1-tooth up front is equal to 3 in the back, up or down. :D

The lower gearing is really noticable off-road & on. You'll lose about 5 mph on the top end of both 4th & 5th gear. But the real "gain" is when you're in the dirt. You'll finally be able to ride in 2nd gear in the technical stuff, and you won't have to abuse the clutch (as much) anymore. For city streets and speeds under 60 mph, 14-45 is good to go. Any faster and you'll want to go back to 15 in the front.

You won't lose any top speed by going to a 14 tooth front. The XRL can't pull 5th gear stock (it won't fully rev out) and changing to a 14 effectively turns 5th gear into 4th allowing it to reach max RPM. You will affect the gas mileage slightly for long trips because you will be turning more rpms to go 55-65. It will go 100 with 14/45 so it will have no problem cruising at 75 as long as you want...the vibration/noise will be increased though.

I didn't like 13/45 because 1st gear became basically useless for me...too low.

You won't lose any top speed by going to a 14 tooth front. It will go 100 with 14/45 so it will have no problem cruising at 75 as long as you want...the vibration/noise will be increased though.

As long as you want...that I'd like to see. :) I know I wouldn't subject that single to that high of RPM's for any length of time, especially with lower gearing. :D But that's just me. Anyone can abuse their bike any way they like.

That's an overly dramatic reply.

It is only 300-400 rpm more. It still runs at 75% of max rpms on the limiter...which is set quite conservatively.

I think his question related to 55-60 mph back roads...not setting the land endurance record. Besides, how many people really care to spend much over two hours on the interstate with the stock seat??

Besides, how many people really care to spend much over two hours on the interstate with the stock seat??

Certainly not me.

I like a little bit of pavement mixed in with a lot more dirt. I ride locally (under 55 mph) around my neighborhood. But if I do ride long distances on the boring concrete abyss (better that nothing), I'll switch back to the 15, just for my butt's sake alone.

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