Itís that thread again; 46t Rear sprocket or bust? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-01-2019, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
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Question Itís that thread again; 46t Rear sprocket or bust?

Hello fellow riders!

Yes, I had to make my own thread about this issue, as it’s driving me absolutely mad.

Everyone talks about swapping the rear sprocket for a 44, or a 43, or even a 45, and they all cite that it’s too jumpy with acceleration as the reason and the fact that (I presume) they’re all old fogeys who like to ride slow.

So my problem is, while I agree the stock OEM sprocket has a rather stupid power band on the highway and on the streets (it’s either 1st gear or 6th gear), I absolutely LOVE the whippy acceleration it has. I don’t speed, but living in LA, I find myself rapidly accelerating and decelerating daily and often from my commutes. SO that has led me to considering changing to a 45 as a “best of both worlds”. But surprisingly, I can’t find much info on this sprocket size. I understand it loses ~2% loss in acceleration, so I can deal with that. I think it might be better over stock in terms of at least separating the power band just a tiny bit..



MY QUESTION: Who here likes to ride it fast? Which sprocket do you use, and what made you pick that one?

Thanks, ya’ll!
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-01-2019, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by loneranger650 View Post
...MY QUESTION: Who here likes to ride it fast? Which sprocket do you use, and what made you pick that one?...
ME!

OEM 15/46 sprockets (for 165,000 miles so far......).

WHY? Because that gearing gives me GREAT latitude in what I want to do, and am ABLE to do.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-04-2019, 02:25 PM
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I've been considering going to 47t or even 48t, but for now I'm going to focus on all my other farkles (including BoosterPlug) and revisit gearing afterwards
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-04-2019, 03:01 PM
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I've been considering going to 47t or even 48t, but for now I'm going to focus on all my other farkles (including BoosterPlug) and revisit gearing afterwards
Instead of the Booster Plug, the very best and most complete performance boost comes from the Shoodaben ECU flash. Many Gen 3 owners on the forum have gone this way with amazing results. I'm one of them! Feels like more power everywhere in the powerband.

https://sites.google.com/site/shooda...-650-ecu-flash
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-29-2019, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by loneranger650 View Post
So my problem is, while I agree the stock OEM sprocket has a rather stupid power band on the highway and on the streets (itís either 1st gear or 6th gear), I absolutely LOVE the whippy acceleration it has. I donít speed, but living in LA, I find myself rapidly accelerating and decelerating daily and often from my commutes. SO that has led me to considering changing to a 45 as a ďbest of both worldsĒ. But surprisingly, I canít find much info on this sprocket size. I understand it loses ~2% loss in acceleration, so I can deal with that. I think it might be better over stock in terms of at least separating the power band just a tiny bit..
@loneranger650, I see you didn't get very much in the way of valuable responses for whatever reason, but I'm interested in this as well. Did you end up trying a 45T in the rear and, if so, how did it work out for you?
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-29-2019, 01:51 PM
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@loneranger650, I see you didn't get very much in the way of valuable responses for whatever reason, but I'm interested in this as well. Did you end up trying a 45T in the rear and, if so, how did it work out for you?
It's generally not recommended to have one sprocket tooth count to be divisible by the other. 45 divisible by 15. Going to a 44 would be a better idea, at least for chain and sprocket wear.

A pretty good sprocket selector tool here:

https://www.gearingcommander.com/

Enter bike on top. Enter your desired sprocket sisez under current and or custom. Lots of good info. The chart on the bottom left shows number of chain revolutions between same tooth/link contacts, among other things. The higher these results are, the better chain wear you will have.

FWIW, I've put about 56k miles on my '15 and do not intend to stray from the stock ratio.

The best solution for jerkiness, that will actually work quite nicely, is the ECU re-flash from Shoodaben.

And yes, I ride the Versys quite briskly. I'm on my 13th rear tire, mostly quality sport touring tires, Angel GT, RSIII, Michelin PR4, T-31, T-023 and three short lived Shinko 705s(about 3500 miles). Favorites are RSIII and T-31.
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And most of Canada too, eh?

Last edited by SteveJ; 10-29-2019 at 04:14 PM.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-29-2019, 02:12 PM
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The best solution for jerkiness, that will actually work quite nicely, is the ECU re-flash from Shoodaben.
I'm on a Gen2, so the Shoodaben re-flash is not an option for me. I do experience jerkiness in low gears riding around the city, but those who know say that the Gen3 experiences this to a much greater degree and that the benefits of a re-flash won't be realized on the Gen1 and Gen2 bikes.

I'm dealing with a lot of hills in SF too, so that may exacerbate the issue for me, as I am constantly switching between 1st and 2nd while lane-splitting in traffic to and from work. Also, it's especially noticeable when I have a passenger knocking helmets with me.

I'm also considering Booster Plugs as that seems to lessen the jerkiness in lower gears. But since I'm approaching time for a new chain, I am wondering if anyone has benefited from reducing torque a tad with a smaller rear sprocket.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-29-2019, 04:12 PM
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I'm on a Gen2, so the Shoodaben re-flash is not an option for me. I do experience jerkiness in low gears riding around the city, but those who know say that the Gen3 experiences this to a much greater degree and that the benefits of a re-flash won't be realized on the Gen1 and Gen2 bikes.
That's pretty much what I've read and heard also.

Keeping throttle play and drive chain slack at minimum (not too tight) can help mellow things. Also, though I'm not sure about availability, a throttle ramping throttle tube can help. You could even make one. It will give less throttle cable pull in the smaller open stages. Homemade is possible with a Dremel disc to carve away at the cable groove to make a smaller radius in the low throttle position, ramping up toward the original radius. It would be interesting to try.

Good luck.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-29-2019, 08:02 PM
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...FWIW, I've put about 56k miles on my '15 and do not intend to stray from the stock ratio....
I have OVER 167,000 miles among three V650s, ALL w/ stock gearing - 15/46 and see NO reason to change.

Ed
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-21-2019, 07:55 PM Thread Starter
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Quick update;

I swapped the rear sprocket to an aluminum 43 and it felt great! I lost what I felt like was just a tiny bit too much "mid-end", and ended up going back to the 45 because it turns out I actually like that extra "oomph" when lane-splitting. The 43 was so amazing for economy and high-end feel. I'm sure it would be perfect for people who commute 20+ miles a day, but it's just not versatile for my city riding in LA.

Unrelated note: I swapped a new 45 on the rear along with a new chain, and my mechanic failed to install that chain correctly.

One small snap in my chain and two months of waiting later, and I was out $5000 in damages to my crank, crank case, pistons, rods, bearings, gaskets, and front sprocket!

Just kidding, I made my POS mechanic pay for the damages. But hey, now I have a brand new versys engine.

Lesson learned? Keep the rear sprocket OEM. (or work with a competent mechanic)

https://imgur.com/a/Vso0FPv

Last edited by loneranger650; 11-21-2019 at 07:59 PM. Reason: pictar
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-22-2019, 08:12 AM
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Quick update;

I swapped the rear sprocket to an aluminum 43 and it felt great! I lost what I felt like was just a tiny bit too much "mid-end", and ended up going back to the 45 because it turns out I actually like that extra "oomph" when lane-splitting. The 43 was so amazing for economy and high-end feel. I'm sure it would be perfect for people who commute 20+ miles a day, but it's just not versatile for my city riding in LA.

Unrelated note: I swapped a new 45 on the rear along with a new chain, and my mechanic failed to install that chain correctly.

One small snap in my chain and two months of waiting later, and I was out $5000 in damages to my crank, crank case, pistons, rods, bearings, gaskets, and front sprocket!

Just kidding, I made my POS mechanic pay for the damages. But hey, now I have a brand new versys engine.

Lesson learned? Keep the rear sprocket OEM. (or work with a competent mechanic)

https://imgur.com/a/Vso0FPv
Re: chain failure. Was this a clip master link or poor install of a rivet or ?? ? Two months down time really does suck.

Yeah, if you want true ram air tuning, you better be willing to ram some air! (SteveinSunnyFlorida)

'15 KLE650LT
'99 Concours(with 234,xxx miles on it), sold
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And most of Canada too, eh?
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-22-2019, 08:30 AM
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I don't exactly poke down the road cruiser style. Acceleration is my friend.

I have the stock rear sprocket but added one tooth (16) to the countershaft (front) sprocket. Can still wheelie if desired.

I found first and second gears a bit short with the stock setup , plus it's a bit easier on the chain with a slightly larger front sprocket. Well, that's what the boffins say.

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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-23-2019, 03:21 PM
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...Well, that's what the boffins say....
I used to fly to "boffin Island" back in my RCAF days....


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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-13-2019, 11:22 PM
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I don't exactly poke down the road cruiser style. Acceleration is my friend.

I have the stock rear sprocket but added one tooth (16) to the countershaft (front) sprocket. Can still wheelie if desired.

I found first and second gears a bit short with the stock setup , plus it's a bit easier on the chain with a slightly larger front sprocket. Well, that's what the boffins say.

I went to the 16t front on my 16 model and still think the gearing is short. I may drop the rear to a 45. even w the 16 front ive occasionally started in 2nd with no issue. tirst gear is like nothing, just zoom and done faster than it takes to read.

to the original poster the reason we dont run 15/45 gearing is wear, every 3rd trip around the same tooth hits the same link on the chain, leads to faster chain and sprocket wear, the optimum for wear is one tooth from evenly divisible. in this case with a 46rear and a 15 front i think it has to make 108 rounds before the same tooth hits the same link and spreads the wear out evenly along the chain. you could get the same results with a 44 rear which is why so many go there. me i prefer the 16t front up one in the front is equal to down 3 or close to 3 in the back. and makes the speedo correct, at least on mine. its not optimium for wear like the 15/46 but its good enough.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-26-2020, 12:02 PM
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15/49

I just decided to go 3 up on the back, sprockets came in and going to get them installed next week. I decided to go 3 up on the back as the road conditions here do not allow for too much of high speed riding so prefer the acceleration over the top end. Also 3 teeth up do not make a huge difference as far as speed difference in each gear goes... We'll see how the bike feels once they are installed
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post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-26-2020, 01:58 PM
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...I don’t speed, but living in LA, I find myself rapidly accelerating and decelerating daily and often from my commutes. SO that has led me to considering changing to a 45 as a “best of both worlds”....
I would suggest that using a 15/45 combo would be a BAD idea, because 45 divided by 15 is THREE meaning that the sprocket teeth on the rear will keep being affected by the SAME teeth running the chain!

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