43t Rear Sprocket: An Urban Necessity
I rode 650cc Honda and Suzuki enduros and a Ninja 250 as commuters prior to the Versys. There's a wide randge of torque and performance between these bikes, and the sweetspot of the V with this gearing feels like a revolution!
Not to come accross like an anti-44tooth-er, but if your a city commuter and are considering a sprocket change, I'd steer you towards the 43t. A month after making the change and commuting through Washington, DC to work everyday... I couldn't be happier. The bike is still a powerhouse, no doubt, but given city driving, it's so much more well tuned. Slow crawling in traffic in 1st is a dream, and drifting off the line is effortless needing hardly any throttle. Accross town, when before I was frequently in 6th, now I cruise in 4th and 5th. Shifting, in general, feels 'smoother'. Engine braking is decreased by, to me, what feels like 50%. That might not be for everyone, but if it's for you... you're probably already wanting for it. Front end 'dive' is much more comfortable when you have come off the throttle unexpectedly. I was nervous too much low end and punch would be compromised, but I'm not dissapointed. Around town, there were no oppertunities to use the stock punch, and even with the new gearing... I still can't let it all out (safely). If you've never been to DC, it's quite hilly. The significant torque of the V has not been tarnished by the change, and at low rpms it will still climb right up the steepest of DC streets without having to work the gears. When I jump on the highway for a weekend trip, cruising around 80mph is magic. Agressive acceleration does require more downshifting than stock, but normal passing and accelerating is still brisk and defined. If your someone who likes the feel of opening the throttle til it's stop, and not fearing to wheelie (as easily, but she'll still pop up) its a nice balance. The bike is still a beast, just more tamed. Gas mileage is a little better, too... although It seems negligable in town. It's more notable on the highway, for sure!
Hopefully that helps any city slickers out there!