Re-geared - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 38 (permalink) Old 07-25-2013, 09:46 AM Thread Starter
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Re-geared

After buying my '09 Versys, even the quick short rides around town let me know the bike was geared way lower than it needs. I put a 16T C/S sprocket on it and it helped immensely. Spreads the power out more and lets me use that 3-6K rpm range more effectively. I've since gone down one tooth to a 45T rear sprocket and put a couple hundred miles on it that way. It really makes the powerband more flexible. Less shifting, but still accelerates plenty above the 6K mark. If you think it still needs a little more oomph under hard acceleration, downshift a gear. Just changing the C/S sprocket put the speedometer right on the money. Not sure what effect going down one on the back will do, but it should be close enough. Stock gearing had a 3.067 final reduction. The 16T up front changed it to 2.875, and then going down one on back makes it 2.813.
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post #2 of 38 (permalink) Old 07-25-2013, 02:40 PM
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I agree that re-gearing the Versys is a great I idea. I put a 43t rear on mine when I switched out the stock chain and sprockets and I wished I had done it sooner. All pluses, no minuses IMO. In fact, it's rumored that this mod turns the V into a 750....

I'm curious...where did you get your c/s sprocket? What brand is it? I ask because I have been told the "hot ticket" is to get an OEM 16t c/s sprocket for a 2009 (I have a 2009 too) Ninja 650--it bolts right on the V and from what I understand it has a rubber damper and the other aftermarket ones don't. Anyway, I went down to my dealer a while ago and the parts guy searched "the system" and told me there was no Kawi 16t c/s sprocket available for the Ninja 650 (or the Versys for that matter). The guy was, ummm, not exactly, ummmm, confidence inspiring, so I planned on trying again somewhere else later. I am pretty sure it is available because I have read a few people on this board that are running an OEM 16t c/s....

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post #3 of 38 (permalink) Old 07-25-2013, 04:44 PM
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I agree that re-gearing the Versys is a great I idea. I put a 43t rear on mine when I switched out the stock chain and sprockets and I wished I had done it sooner. All pluses, no minuses IMO. In fact, it's rumored that this mod turns the V into a 750....

I'm curious...where did you get your c/s sprocket? What brand is it? I ask because I have been told the "hot ticket" is to get an OEM 16t c/s sprocket for a 2009 (I have a 2009 too) Ninja 650--it bolts right on the V and from what I understand it has a rubber damper and the other aftermarket ones don't. Anyway, I went down to my dealer a while ago and the parts guy searched "the system" and told me there was no Kawi 16t c/s sprocket available for the Ninja 650 (or the Versys for that matter). The guy was, ummm, not exactly, ummmm, confidence inspiring, so I planned on trying again somewhere else later. I am pretty sure it is available because I have read a few people on this board that are running an OEM 16t c/s....
Bike Bandits Parts diagrams show the OEM front sprocket as a 15t...
http://www.bikebandit.com/houseofmot...8818#sch618228

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post #4 of 38 (permalink) Old 07-25-2013, 04:48 PM
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I agree that re-gearing the Versys is a great I idea. I put a 43t rear on mine when I switched out the stock chain and sprockets and I wished I had done it sooner. All pluses, no minuses IMO. In fact, it's rumored that this mod turns the V into a 750....

I'm curious...where did you get your c/s sprocket? What brand is it? I ask because I have been told the "hot ticket" is to get an OEM 16t c/s sprocket for a 2009 (I have a 2009 too) Ninja 650--it bolts right on the V and from what I understand it has a rubber damper and the other aftermarket ones don't. Anyway, I went down to my dealer a while ago and the parts guy searched "the system" and told me there was no Kawi 16t c/s sprocket available for the Ninja 650 (or the Versys for that matter). The guy was, ummm, not exactly, ummmm, confidence inspiring, so I planned on trying again somewhere else later. I am pretty sure it is available because I have read a few people on this board that are running an OEM 16t c/s....
I got mine from BikeBandit. Go to their website and pull up the Ninja parts sheets. It's in there.

I gave up using the dealer for any parts. Order online, and usually you'll get the parts faster than the dealer does.

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post #5 of 38 (permalink) Old 07-26-2013, 10:20 AM Thread Starter
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I went with a Sunstar (I think). There are only a couple aftermarket sprocket makers that show a listing for the Versys. I think I paid about $12 for it, but my local dealer treats me real well. I could tell no difference in sprocket noise from the Sunstar and the stock rubber-damped Kaw part. I'm sure the Kaw microfiche shows a 16T available from them. I went with a Vortex aluminum for the rear. Aluminum decreases your unsprung weight a bit and is also less mass for the engine to rotate. I've used aluminum rears on my RC51 and get over 20,000 miles out of them, so wear is no issue.
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post #6 of 38 (permalink) Old 07-26-2013, 11:20 AM
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I went with a Sunstar (I think). There are only a couple aftermarket sprocket makers that show a listing for the Versys. I think I paid about $12 for it, but my local dealer treats me real well. I could tell no difference in sprocket noise from the Sunstar and the stock rubber-damped Kaw part. I'm sure the Kaw microfiche shows a 16T available from them. I went with a Vortex aluminum for the rear. Aluminum decreases your unsprung weight a bit and is also less mass for the engine to rotate. I've used aluminum rears on my RC51 and get over 20,000 miles out of them, so wear is no issue.
I like the Supersprox. Hardened steel teeth riveted to an aluminum center.

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post #7 of 38 (permalink) Old 07-26-2013, 07:59 PM
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Yeah, I found this one http://www.ebay.com/itm/350728443127...84.m1438.l2649

If I can't find the OEM one I will go this way, but I really wanted the rubber dampened one.... Anybody have a part # by chance? I have read multiple people on this board that have bought an OEM 16t Ninja sprocket and put it on their V...at least I read about it.
Perhaps they used to offer it and no longer do?

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post #8 of 38 (permalink) Old 07-26-2013, 07:59 PM
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In fact, it's rumored that this mod turns the V into a 750....
I would think that changing the gearing that way would turn the V into a 500. If you went with more teeth on the rear sprocket the V would be a wheelie machine and would feel more like a 750. Might even be able to go faster in 6th than 5th.

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post #9 of 38 (permalink) Old 07-27-2013, 08:51 AM
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Rode a stock 09 Versys last week. I wheelied that thing across the first 4 intersections I came across. Smiles for miles!

But the 43 tooth on mine is 10x better for putsing and cruising around town. Way better for highway riding as well! I cruise at 80mph at around 5300rpm.
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post #10 of 38 (permalink) Old 07-27-2013, 12:52 PM
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But the 43 tooth on mine is 10x better for putsing and cruising around town. Way better for highway riding as well! I cruise at 80mph at around 5300rpm.
GPS indicated 80MPH? Obviously not speedometer indicated 80. Speedometer indicated 80 is about 6000 RPM with stock sprockets, and doesn't change when you change the sprockets.

The RPMs for 80MPH would change by (43/46) when you change the rear sprocket from 46 to 43. If the indicated figure (6k) was real, this would yield 5.6k RPM (which is higher than your number). But it's not: the indicated speed is optimistic (higher than actual), so the actual RPMs would be higher.

Maybe I should try one of y'alls bikes with the regearing. The stock gearing seems fine for riding around town. I don't get it. Maybe I would if I tried it?


Have any of you checked indicated GPS top-speed with and without the taller gearing?

Top speed on the Versys is well beyond the RPMs where it makes peak power, so taller gearing seems likely to improve it. Although if you wanted to increase top speed a more effective way would be a Ninja 650R engine swap.
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post #11 of 38 (permalink) Old 07-27-2013, 02:04 PM
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Re-geared the GPS and MPH on the gauge reads spot on. Maybe 80mph is around 5600. I am probably thinking of 75ish.
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post #12 of 38 (permalink) Old 07-27-2013, 02:34 PM
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One issue that WILL arise IF you change sprockets to give you a higher gearing ratio, that might just "rain on your parade":

...if riding somewhere 'tight' (as happens on dirt when you need to make a tight, low-speed turn particularly a 'climbing-turn', as well as in other tight-turn scenarios) and you try to add just a few revs in the middle of that tight-turn, your handle-bars against the 'stop', often the engine stalls, which is an instant fall-over. Lower gearing helps to keep this from occurring. (Happens often on KLRs with stock or higher gearing....)

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post #13 of 38 (permalink) Old 07-27-2013, 03:32 PM
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Rode a stock 09 Versys last week. I wheelied that thing across the first 4 intersections I came across. Smiles for miles!

But the 43 tooth on mine is 10x better for putsing and cruising around town. Way better for highway riding as well! I cruise at 80mph at around 5300rpm.
My '11 with stock gearing has a higher top speed in 5th gear than 6th gear. I couldn't imagine 6th gear with a 43 tooth. I have no complaints with stock gearing in over 20,000 miles of smiles on everything from gravel roads to interstates. Of course I avoid interstates as much as possible and only ride them a few exits to get from one road to another without having to putz through a town.

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post #14 of 38 (permalink) Old 07-27-2013, 03:47 PM
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My '11 with stock gearing has a higher top speed in 5th gear than 6th gear.
What are the top speeds in those gears?
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post #15 of 38 (permalink) Old 07-27-2013, 03:49 PM
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Re-geared the GPS and MPH on the gauge reads spot on. Maybe 80mph is around 5600. I am probably thinking of 75ish.
OK thanks. If I changed the gearing on mine to the point the GPS matched the speedometer, it would mean I was turning 6k RPMs at 80MPH--the same as my speedometer indicates now with stock gearing on my 2011. Maybe our speedometers differ.
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post #16 of 38 (permalink) Old 07-27-2013, 04:52 PM
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One issue that WILL arise IF you change sprockets to give you a higher gearing ratio, that might just "rain on your parade":

...if riding somewhere 'tight' (as happens on dirt when you need to make a tight, low-speed turn particularly a 'climbing-turn', as well as in other tight-turn scenarios) and you try to add just a few revs in the middle of that tight-turn, your handle-bars against the 'stop', often the engine stalls, which is an instant fall-over. Lower gearing helps to keep this from occurring. (Happens often on KLRs with stock or higher gearing....)
Never had that problem, and I've used a 43 for over 4 years. Just feather the clutch a bit. The gearbox on these has a fairly wide ratio spread, and I'd rather be able to use 6th as an overdrive ratio. I can cruise at 85, no pain, no strain, and there's a lot of throttle left over. It's a nice all-around machine. If I want performance, I get the Ducati out.

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post #17 of 38 (permalink) Old 07-28-2013, 09:25 AM Thread Starter
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Even with the 16T/45T combination I find when I'm out cruising on a higher speed road I go to upshift and find I'm already in 6th gear. I know this bike could use even higher gearing. Would it have enough power to hit redline in 6th gear? Who knows? Who cares? It's about improving the performance and utility of the engine where you spend 99% of your time. And wheelies? Who gives a damn about that? The only wheelies I've ever done is on the dirt bike when you need to carry the front wheel over a water hole or some other obstacle.
First gear is still so low that any off/on camber up/down hill turn would be no problem.
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post #18 of 38 (permalink) Old 07-28-2013, 07:25 PM
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It's about improving the performance and utility of the engine where you spend 99% of your time.
I agree. That is why I retain the OEM gearing. Just rode 435 miles of beautiful two lane curves and hills. 55 to 75 mph is perfect with the stock gearing and only have to occasionally downshift on the hills.

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post #19 of 38 (permalink) Old 07-28-2013, 07:26 PM
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What are the top speeds in those gears?
I don't remember the exact numbers. It happened last summer running across WY. I ran out of steam in 6th gear at around 115 indicated. Down shifted into 5th and gained a few MPH, but not much.

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post #20 of 38 (permalink) Old 07-28-2013, 10:41 PM
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I must be one of only a few here that feels the stock gearing is just right.

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