12 tooth front or 52 tooth rear sprocket?

Hi guys, I have an 08 yz450f and its time for a chain and sprockets replacement. I ride about 80 percent tight woods trails and 20 percent track. My gearing for the track is perfect with the stock 13/49 setup, but for the woods first gear is a bit too tall. I was thinking of buying a 13 and 12 tooth counter sprocket so i could switch them back and forth for whether i am at the track or in the woods. My logic is simply that the counter sprocket is easier to change, cheaper, and i wouldn't have to worry about needing a different size chain for every switch. That being said, i have read some bad things on the effects of a 12 tooth counter sprocket. My question is whether i would be better off with switching between a 12 and 13 on the front, or is that so much of a problem that i should be switching between a 49 and 52 tooth on the back?

Even though a rear sprocket change is a bit more involved it may be a better bet in this case. The 12 won't damage anything, but it will increase the pressure between your chain and your chain slider. Thus the slider will wear much quicker, if you don't watch it you could wear through your swingarm....

49 to 52 = 5.7% change

12 to 13 = 7.7% change

I run a 13/48 for the tight woods and a heavy flywheel. Seams to work well. :thumbsup:

The 12 will also wear noticeably faster, and wear the chain more rapidly by increasing the pivot angle where the chain runs onto it.

Why don't you run a 52 on the rear and switch between a 13 and 14 on the front?

That would be a solution.

Is there enough room to slide the chain adjusters back with the 12t?

Stay away from the 12t. I tried one years ago and it made my chain wear really fast and it squeaked like crazy.

Thanks a lot for the replies! i think i will definitely go the route of putting a 52 tooth on the rear and switch between the 13 and 14 on the front, i didnt even think of that, thanks again!

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