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XR650L gearing?

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I was reading through an old comparison road test of an XR650L, a DR650, and a KLX650.I think it was from www.motorcycleonline.com?Anyway, in that test, they state that the other two bikes leave the Honda behind on the street due to the Honda having too low gearing.But I've read many messages about the Honda being geared too high for off road. Which is it?Too high, or too low? I do mostly street and will use whatever 650 dualsport bike I get for commuting some on the freeways, so the bike must be able to run 65-70 with ease.

Thanks, Jon Neet

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I have a 2002 650l and it will do about 85 with stock gearing. It is way too tall for tight or tech. stuff. I am going to put a 48 tooth rear on this weekend. That is what the other guys that I ride with are using. Two of the guys also have 2002s, one has a 2005 and the other has a 99 all of them 650l. They all said that they didnt notice any change untill they get off road on the slow speed stuf with this setup, but they have not said anything about top speed on the road with this setup. Hope this helps.

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If you do mostly street, the stock gearing is good for almost 100.But there is a first to second gear gap thats way too big off road at slow speeds.I've owned three XRL's and the best compromise i found was 15/48. Low enough off road and could get up to 90 on road (screaming). my .02

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Wow, you guys must have huge balls :cry: . I have had my 02 XRL to 85 on the street with MT-21's and I was blown all over the road. I currently have my gearing set at 14/48 but I ride more in tight stuff on georgia clay.

I would say 15/48 would be a good ratio if you do a good bit of actual road riding, or more open desert stuff.

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That motorcycleonline.com comparison was for the`96 model year. Amazing how little these bikes have changed from that time. I believe xr650ls came with 14-45 from the factory until 1998, when they changed to 15-45. The stock EPA lean bikes don`t really pull the 15-45 gearing well but it does make fifth gear like a overdrive and that has some benefits if your going to commute on the freeway with the bike. A 14 tooth countershaft sprocket is easy to install and less expensive then a rear sprocket. A 14-45 setup yields virtually the same ratio as 15-48 for offroad days and put your 15 tooth back on for freeway commutes.

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That motorcycleonline.com comparison was for the`96 model year. Amazing how little these bikes have changed from that time. I believe xr650ls came with 14-45 from the factory until 1998, when they changed to 15-45. The stock EPA lean bikes don`t really pull the 15-45 gearing well but it does make fifth gear like a overdrive and that has some benefits if your going to commute on the freeway with the bike. A 14 tooth countershaft sprocket is easy to install and less expensive then a rear sprocket. A 14-45 setup yields virtually the same ratio as 15-48 for offroad days and put your 15 tooth back on for freeway commutes.

I ordered a 14 front and a 48 rear but was told that the smaller front will cause the chain to ride on the swingarm more causing it to ware out faster and start to eat into the swing arm so I am going to take it off and install the 48 rear in the morning.

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My '94 650L came stock with 15-45 gearing. When new it would do 100 by the speedo on pavement if I laid on the tank. I know there is notoriously a lot of error in the speedo's but she was dancin around pretty good :cry:

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15/45 was stock gearing on all XRL's -

a 48 rear (aluminum) saves a couple of pounds of unsprung weight

a 14 front sprocket won't cause additional significant wear

yes ,changing the front only(14) is eaiser/cheaper than the rear,but once you have 48 on the rear,you can drop to a 14 front for those days when your only going to ride off-road(makes a big difference)

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I've read many messages about the Honda being geared too high for off road. Which is it?Too high, or too low? I do mostly street and will use whatever 650 dualsport bike I get for commuting some on the freeways, so the bike must be able to run 65-70 with ease.

The BFP (Big Fat Pig) with stock gearing, 15-45, will run 70 all day long. Except for the thimble of a gas tank, it's your butt that won't last that long. :cry:

14-45 works (much) better for dirt with stock-sized tires, not the stock tires. :cry: It will be a lot more buzzy on road at 70 and the gas mileage drops off as well. If the chain is too long with this setup, it either has too many links or its beyond it's service life and should be replaced.:cry:

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:cry: Four Stoked , MotoChris521 thanks for the correction. Relying on vague memories from 6-7 years ago on when I bought a 98 650 and my conclusions on that comparison test in Motorcycleonline.

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