14 tooth front is the ticket! - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 87 (permalink) Old 08-04-2010, 08:04 PM Thread Starter
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14 tooth front is the ticket!

Ooooooh yeah... just replaced the stock 15t front to a 14t - and man, the difference is quite enjoyable! Powerful takeoffs, wheelie power galore, and still a comfortable 6Kish RPM at 70 mph (speedo says 80 mph). If you're more of a sportbiker/racer at heart than a cruiser and value torque more than top speeds - consider this option! It's cheap and easy

Last edited by Martin Lindhe; 08-05-2010 at 11:27 PM.
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post #2 of 87 (permalink) Old 08-04-2010, 09:24 PM
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Thats cool that you enjoy it.

You sure youre doing 80 at 6 grand? Right now with a 16t on the front of mine, Im turning about 5100 at 70. Checked with GPS 71 on the speedo put me at 70 on the gps.
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post #3 of 87 (permalink) Old 08-04-2010, 09:37 PM
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I bet it is peppy!! Glad you like it!



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post #4 of 87 (permalink) Old 08-04-2010, 09:50 PM
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Wouldn't do that if I were you.

Chains aren't perfectly round as they go around a sprocket. They're polygonal. The fewer teeth, the sharper the angles, and the faster the wear on the chain and countershaft accordingly. Fewer mating faces, etc.

The comparative wear rate is supposedly near exponential as you go down in teeth, with 14t being pretty rough. If I remember correctly, it's something like 28 to 30% worse.
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post #5 of 87 (permalink) Old 08-04-2010, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Martin Lindhe View Post
and still a comfortable 6Kish RPM at 80 mph.
It would read 6K @ 80MPH even if you swapped to a 12T. The bike "reads" its speed from the CS sprocket, so it's directly related engine speed, not to actual speed. With a 14T CS sprocket you are going a little over 5 MPH slower than with a 15T sprocket at 6K RPM. Since the speedo is typically 8% off with stock gearing, at an indicated 80 MPH you are actually going ~69 MPH. At least you wont be getting many tickets for speeding without trying very hard...

Bicycle computers are cheap and very accurate if properly setup. It's probably the easiest fix for the speedo error you have now.


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post #6 of 87 (permalink) Old 08-04-2010, 10:26 PM Thread Starter
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Wouldn't do that if I were you.
Chains aren't perfectly round as they go around a sprocket. They're polygonal. The fewer teeth, the sharper the angles, and the faster the wear on the chain and countershaft accordingly. Fewer mating faces, etc.
The comparative wear rate is supposedly near exponential as you go down in teeth, with 14t being pretty rough. If I remember correctly, it's something like 28 to 30% worse.

It's already done. Life's short. I enjoy this setting - I'm gonna keep it!
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post #7 of 87 (permalink) Old 08-04-2010, 10:28 PM Thread Starter
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You sure youre doing 80 at 6 grand? Right now with a 16t on the front of mine, Im turning about 5100 at 70. Checked with GPS 71 on the speedo put me at 70 on the gps.
Ah - true - it's probably more like 70 mph with the speedo error. But nonetheless - I rarely go faster than that anyways for many reasons (traffic, cops etc).
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post #8 of 87 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 01:08 AM
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I've wondered about this mod. Would a stock Versys pull to redline in 6th with standard gearing?

While they're very different beasts, my Ducati was greatly improved by going down a tooth at the C/S, and I've wondered in the Versys would benefit similarly.

Thanks for posting.
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post #9 of 87 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 08:27 AM
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Glad you like it Martin.
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post #10 of 87 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 07:45 PM
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I've wondered about this mod. Would a stock Versys pull to redline in 6th with standard gearing?
Not positive, but I'm pretty sure mine won't. Or at least if it will, it would take 8 miles of straightaway to get there. I don't recall exactly, but I'm thinking at 116mph indicated it was right at or just slightly above 9000 rpm. I wasn't really looking at the tach very closely at the time. Without dragging out the calculator and measuring tape, I'm thinking redline of 10,500 rpm would net something like 132ish mph with wind resistance (ie not on a dyno), but since power drops off dramatically above 8500 rpm i'm sure its a moot point.
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Last edited by jcstratt; 08-05-2010 at 07:51 PM.
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post #11 of 87 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 10:20 PM
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If my first gear was any lower it would REALLY be useless!!!!
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post #12 of 87 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 11:26 PM Thread Starter
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If my first gear was any lower it would REALLY be useless!!!!
If you're in the habit of gearing up at 5-6K RPMs and mostly ride around 3-4K RPMs - then yes, agreed. It's a matter of riding style. For my high RPM riding style, the 14t front gearing is perfect.

That's all I'm saying here peeps If you enjoy high RPM riding, then this is a fun and cheap little modification. I'm not saying it's for everyone.
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post #13 of 87 (permalink) Old 08-06-2010, 12:18 AM
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If you're in the habit of gearing up at 5-6K RPMs and mostly ride around 3-4K RPMs
I've noticed a lot of folks that ride the V seem to want to run it at 3500-4000. That's a fairly low rpm for this motor and often has that lugging feeling. When you're lugging it, the transmission gears suffer. They take a hammering, literally. If you're wanting to cruise down the road at 70mph and 3500rpm, you bought the wrong machine. These motors are happiest between about 5000 and 7500 with 5500-6000 seeming to be the sweet spot.

Seems to me it's geared fairly right from the factory, but if your game is 80mph and higher, the 16t/43t/44t setup is the way to go. For Those not really caring to exceed 70mph (ie city bound), the 14t/48t may well be the way to go. I have no doubt the V would be fun as hell geared a little shorter.
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post #14 of 87 (permalink) Old 08-06-2010, 12:34 AM
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With stock gearing my speedometer showed 63MPH with 60MPH on the GPS. I swapped the rear with a 44t and the speedometer is exactly the same as the GPS now. The bike has a 6th gear right when I need it too. With almost 3K miles, the bike feels great!
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post #15 of 87 (permalink) Old 08-06-2010, 02:05 AM
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I've noticed a lot of folks that ride the V seem to want to run it at 3500-4000. That's a fairly low rpm for this motor and often has that lugging feeling. When you're lugging it, the transmission gears suffer. They take a hammering, literally. If you're wanting to cruise down the road at 70mph and 3500rpm, you bought the wrong machine. These motors are happiest between about 5000 and 7500 with 5500-6000 seeming to be the sweet spot.
I've re-written this about three times to try to express my take on this. 3.5-4K seems to work fine without lugging, at least through 4th and possibly 5th gear. My bike doesn't feel like it's lugging until below 3000 in 1st-4th. The happy range definitely moves up from there; under 4000 in 6th just plain doesn't work. So here's a rough breakdown of where I feel the need to downshift, give or take a hundred or so:

6th: 4000
5th: 3500
4th: 3000
3rd-2nd: under 3k

First feels alright down to 2500 or so, but who spends any time in first, anyway? This is all at steady cruise; go time is a different story.

Jon
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post #16 of 87 (permalink) Old 08-06-2010, 06:57 AM
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Thats cool that you enjoy it.

You sure youre doing 80 at 6 grand? Right now with a 16t on the front of mine, Im turning about 5100 at 70. Checked with GPS 71 on the speedo put me at 70 on the gps.
I have the 16t on front as well - this is exactly the same for me 71 on the speedo is 70 on the GPS.
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post #17 of 87 (permalink) Old 08-06-2010, 06:22 PM
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All boils down to riding style. I like a little more pep than the 16T on the front gave me, but didn't realize it until I went back to stock. It was a little smoother with the 16T, but man I love the 15T peppiness. I can imagine what a wheelie machine it is with a 14T....



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post #18 of 87 (permalink) Old 08-06-2010, 06:30 PM Thread Starter
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I can imagine what a wheelie machine it is with a 14T....
Yes, it's quite fabulous
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post #19 of 87 (permalink) Old 08-08-2010, 09:28 AM
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Yes, it's quite fabulous

Martin was kind enough to let me take his V for a spin and I can confirm that it is fun. At the end of our 150 mile ride yesterday, three people in our group decided to buy the 14T!

Someone had to be stopped from buying a 12t! (not really )

Last edited by Jack425; 08-08-2010 at 09:31 AM.
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post #20 of 87 (permalink) Old 08-08-2010, 11:03 AM
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Someone had to be stopped from buying a 12t!
This made me spit a lil coffee. Too funny!
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