Gearing Changes-Sprocket Sizes

Does anyone have any thoughts on sprockets sizes for the 2004 YZ 450? I have the stock 14 front 48 rear and I dont use a lot of clutch and it feels like the bike is lugging through some of the turns. I usually keep it in a higher gear(4speed). I rode a Honda 450 the other day and this had a 52 rear, not sure what was on the front but I liked the way it pulled through the turn,even though on the straights I think my YZ has more power, I like the torque the Honda has. I usually get great starts with the gearing I have but through the turns can be a problem for me.

On a suspension note, Factory Connection has done my suspension and when I assembled everything I put the forks so they were even with the top clamp. The bike always feels tall in the front end going through turns. This Honda I rode felt lower and tracked through the turns better. The kid suggested I raise the forks in the clamp a little and see what happens. I brought them up a total of about 1/4 inch and it feels better-not sure if I should go a little more? Factory Connection told me I might experience a little head shake but I race the Novice 40 class and not really riding a high speeds at my level so I am not concerned with that.

Thanks in advance for any feedback.

2004 YZ 450

White Brothers Aluminum Pro Exhaust

Factory Connection Suspension-Clamps

Pro-Taper Contour


For the gearing, you might want to try a 50 rear sprocket. If you can, try and find a few rear spokets that are different sizes. Try them out and see what you like, then buy a new chain and sproket kit.

(If I remember right the stock gears on a honda are 13/50 So going to a 14/50 would be equal to the 13/52 honda you rode)

You are right though, the honda will rip you off the bike on that low end torque, but the smoothness of the yamaha, will usually get you through the corner faster.

With the suspension, don't lower your forks any more, where they are at now is perfect. If you are experiancing wash out, then it's eather your front tire or you not up on the tank enough.

Thanks for the feedback - I will give it a shot with the drivechain.. As for body position - you are right. I ride with a pro-am rider and that is something he has been helping me out with. I will leave the front end alone and work on positioning.

I still think the Yamaha is a faster bike but some of my Honda buddies think otherwise..

The question, of course, is not which will win a drag race, or has more top end, or any of that, it's which will produce lower lap times, isn't it? The truth is that the CRF is an easier bike to ride fast on an MX track in most cases that the the YZ450, v 1.x. The '06 is a completely different tale, but you don't have one, so....

You can go fast and win on your bike, especially in your class, it just takes a bit more work, that's all.

You're on the right track with the suspension set up and body position thing. As for gearing, you have to decide when you have a condition where one gear is too high, and another too low for a spot on the track, or most of the track, but low gear is not too high, and fourth not already too low, you can go either way with the gearing to correct it. If 3rd is too high for a jump approach, but second is revved out, you can fix it by making 3rd lower, or 2nd higher. You just have to think it through a little and experiment.

I run a 15/49 (the same as a 14/46) most of the time, but will occasionally switch to a 14/49 for some tracks. For the situation you describe, a 14/49 is a good place to start. And, if you get your speed through the corner up a bit, second gear won't seem so high anymore, either.

While you are experimenting, buy inexpensive sprockets like JT's (about $35), and then upgrade once you figure out what one or two sizes you want to stay with.

Ok I also have an 04 450 . I bought a 53 tooth rear sprocket due to needing one at a race. With the stock 14 tooth front is was radical. I would wheely all the way through the gears. So then I decided to fix this and add more top end and bought a 16 tooth front. Now it feels slower in the top end and with my rekluse clutch I think it will overheat more easily. Already had one overheat after topping it out. I'm thinking of buy a 15 tooth front but don't know if this will fix my problem. Stock gear was great but needed just a pinch more top end for me. What do you guys suggest with the ackward 4 speed gearing?

Thanks Grey Racer for the reply. I know the deal with the 06-07's, it seems like my 04 is soooooo old now but I keep it in good shape and the machine only has 25 hours on it which includes about 20 races. First or second kick and very reliable. How is your 06 in comparison to my 04? Any idea how the 07's are going to be? Will have to do some research for next season.

I am thinking of maybe getting an 07 later down the line but other than the steel frame vs the aluminum, I like this bike-I just want to get faster on it.

My jumping ability is slowly increasing and the corner speed should come along with practice. My problem is I didn't practice- I just started to with some expert level riders once a week. Prior to that, it was just showing up at moto's (Southwick) 3 times a month and nothing in between.

I the agree that once my corner speed increases it will most likely be fine where it is, which is what my buddies say-don't change the gearing. I will get great starts-close to holeshots but back off earlier than others and then get passed. I just have learn to brake a little later and get faster on those turns.



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