6 Gears!? (new member) - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-07-2013, 07:51 AM Thread Starter
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6 Gears!? (new member)

This is my 2nd post to the "new member" section so hopefully now I'll be able to dive in to the other sections with questions regarding my (new to me) 08 Versys I just got.

So, the Versys technically has 6 gears but what's up with the extrememly narrow range of each gear?! After a wide assortment of bikes over the past 7 years (Honda 600, Kawa 900, BMW1100 and finally a Honda Rebel 250) the Versys caught my eye and I took the plunge.

My first ride on the Versys left me happy and excited . . . but . . . it seems like I go through the gears soooooo quickly! I used to say, "On the Rebel (the Honda beginners bike with only 250 cc's) I'm in 4th gear before I get through the intersection!"

I'll continue getting used to the Versys and enjoying every mile while I go through the "break-in" period. The bike, with 15K miles has the original chain and sprockets and they still look like they're in very good shape.

Is it too soon to start thinking about different sized sprockets and the effect that would have on lowering the RPM's at cruising speed?
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-07-2013, 07:59 AM
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I suggest the 44 tooth rear sprocket. Makes the gears more useful but still plenty of spirit and fun. Search around, many threads on the 44 tooth rear and I waited too long to try it. Not to mention, the speedo is now 100% spot on in all gears and at all speeds according to my GPS.

Last edited by Capn Kirk; 05-07-2013 at 08:08 AM.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-07-2013, 10:29 AM
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When I first got my V, I kept looking for 7th gear too...
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-07-2013, 10:38 AM
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good observation, you really gotta





to make it go.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-07-2013, 10:47 AM
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yes ... I am always pullin up on the shift lever - wish there was an indicator light to tell you were in sixth gear.

I will be going to the 44T - I have read all the posts.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-07-2013, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by PeeWee-Houston View Post
This is my 2nd post to the "new member" section so hopefully now I'll be able to dive in to the other sections with questions regarding my (new to me) 08 Versys I just got.

So, the Versys technically has 6 gears but what's up with the extrememly narrow range of each gear?! After a wide assortment of bikes over the past 7 years (Honda 600, Kawa 900, BMW1100 and finally a Honda Rebel 250) the Versys caught my eye and I took the plunge.

My first ride on the Versys left me happy and excited . . . but . . . it seems like I go through the gears soooooo quickly! I used to say, "On the Rebel (the Honda beginners bike with only 250 cc's) I'm in 4th gear before I get through the intersection!"

I'll continue getting used to the Versys and enjoying every mile while I go through the "break-in" period. The bike, with 15K miles has the original chain and sprockets and they still look like they're in very good shape.

Is it too soon to start thinking about different sized sprockets and the effect that would have on lowering the RPM's at cruising speed?
First gear is quite low like a lot of "adventure" bikes. I guess for crawling along at slow speeds on bumpy dirt roads, but the other gears are IMO quite well matched to the bike on pavement. Make sure you are not short shifting as the engine loves to run at higher revs and will bog down below 4K.

Last edited by twowheels; 05-07-2013 at 11:15 AM.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-07-2013, 12:09 PM
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yes ... I am always pullin up on the shift lever - wish there was an indicator light to tell you were in sixth gear.

I will be going to the 44T - I have read all the posts.


You can get an indicator...I went with the 16T Front Sprocket...


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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-07-2013, 01:40 PM
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Thanks .... I just checked out your farkle link.

Looks like something I will try. The indicator anyways.

I went with the front sprocket change on my KLR, but I can't tell you why I think I would do the rear on the versys. In theory a smaller sprocket would have less mass to rotate so maybe that's a good reason?
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-07-2013, 02:15 PM
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I don't think that miniscule amount of mass will make much of a difference. I went with a 44T or 43T in the rear. I can never remember which. But I didn't like changing from first to second in the middle of intersections. I made the rear sprocket change with like 80 miles on the bike.


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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-07-2013, 02:47 PM
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Thanks .... I just checked out your farkle link.

Looks like something I will try. The indicator anyways.

I went with the front sprocket change on my KLR, but I can't tell you why I think I would do the rear on the versys. In theory a smaller sprocket would have less mass to rotate so maybe that's a good reason?

Whether you go with the 16T Front or 44T Rear. They both accomplish the same thing. After changing the sprocket i hardly ever notice the indicator.

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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-10-2013, 05:24 AM Thread Starter
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I guess some of the old sayings (such as truckers getting a new Peterbilt, etc) applies to us motorcycle riders. We're ALWAYS looking for another gear! Heck, if the Versys had 7 gears, I'm sure some of us would wonder why they didn't make it an 8 speed!
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-10-2013, 06:54 AM
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The Versys has a Close Ratio gearbox. Combined with its flat power delivery over a wide RPM range I find it ideal.

I'm no diplomat
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-10-2013, 07:02 AM
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Yeah, the gear ratios are close enough and very well staged.

One tooth difference on front sprocket changes ratio as much as about 3 tooth difference on rear sprocket... You can also go with a lighter rear steel sprocket of any size. 44T rear is a geat compromise, without going overkill on taller gearing.

http://www.drivesystemsusa.com/p/734...-kawasaki.html

New Superlite RS7 Series lightweight steel rear race sprocket by Drive Systems USA.

Designed from MotoGP technology, the RS7 Series rear has a new and improved tooth design for better contact and longevity, a CNC machined recessed face for a 20% weight savings over the standard design and the Supersprox Tri-Metal rear. The unique spoke design offers superior strength with maximum weight reduction making the new RS7 rear the lightest and strongest 520 steel sprocket on the market today. These sprockets meet and/or exceed O.E.M specs and offer a perfect fit.

http://sprocketcenter.com/index.php/...sys-07-12.html

Last edited by invader; 05-10-2013 at 07:12 AM.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-10-2013, 08:11 AM
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Going with a 16T will lift the chain up slightly - keeping it a little farther off the swing arm. The 44T will lower the chain a bit, causing a little more rubbing on the swing arm.

Also, with the 16T, its easy to tell if it's in 6th gear - when I'm riding, if its at 4,000 rpm at 55 mph, or 5,000 rpm at 70 mph, then I know its in 6th and I don't have to try the gear shift lever (again). The round numbers are easy for me to remember.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-10-2013, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by aka Yamadog View Post
The Versys has a Close Ratio gearbox. Combined with its flat power delivery over a wide RPM range I find it ideal.
Ditto.
I like the gearing right where it is.

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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-10-2013, 08:24 PM
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I went with a 44 tooth and like it. I still find myself looking for another gear sometimes. I noticed that you can feather the throttle and keep going faster in those cases.
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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-10-2013, 09:19 PM
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2nd post.... interesting thread.
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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-10-2013, 09:35 PM
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Being new to the Versys I do find myself in 6th gear a lot more the I did with my liter bike, not a bad thing just a different animal
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