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Discussion Starter #1
After 2 years of having a 43 tooth sprocket, I changed mine back to 46 teeth. What a different bike. Whatever I didn't like then I sure like now. Like the pep, fun and ability to loft the front wheel in the air with the crack of a wrist. After 2 yrs of driving like an old man, I am a hooligan and loving it.
 

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I am a hooligan and loving it.

I have a 44t on mine and do think it has lost a tiny bit of that low to mid-range rush, but the overall feeling is that it is a much nicer bike to ride, it just feels better. Still hasn't stopped it doing wheelies tho'. :thumb:
 

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After 2 years of having a 43 tooth sprocket, I changed mine back to 46 teeth. What a different bike. Whatever I didn't like then I sure like now. Like the pep, fun and ability to loft the front wheel in the air with the crack of a wrist. After 2 yrs of driving like an old man, I am a hooligan and loving it.

EXACTLY.

:thumb:
 

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Not just for hooligans anymore.

Stock gearing is also nice for old turtles who enjoy good performance in 1st thru 6th gears. I did not buy Versys to cruise freeway at 80 mph.
 

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The engineers that pick the final drive ratios on a bike have done lots of testing and R&D to back it up, so unless someone has unique needs like only 4 lane cruising or only low speed city driving, I suspect it would be hard to improve on the selected ratios.
 

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I just completed a 560 mile rip through the mountains...everything from actual 20mph hairpin turns to blasts up to The Ton. From 1100 feet to 6000 feet above sea level.

There were times I wished for 2 more teeth on the rear sprocket as I needed more drive and times I wished for 3 less as 500 less rpm at 80mph would be nice.

We're not riding 800's or 1000's that have an abundance of acceleration even with taking 3 teeth off the rear. On a 650, gearing changes are always going to be a compromise.

Now, if I had another 5 or 6 hp and 5 pounds of torque at all rpm levels up to ~ 8,000 rpm, I might try 2 teeth less out back. The additional power might certainly negate the gearing change. For now, on a stock engined/piped Versys, I'm not inclined to make any changes as I ride in the slower twisty stuff as much as 70mph boring highway droning.
 

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The engineers that pick the final drive ratios on a bike have done lots of testing and R&D to back it up, so unless someone has unique needs like only 4 lane cruising or only low speed city driving, I suspect it would be hard to improve on the selected ratios.
I agree. Actually more bang for the buck than the ninja 650R I had. Different tool for a different purpose.
 

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I'm reserving my judgement on the stock ratio until I've actually put in some seat time but I will comment that the engineering is always a compromise. You can sometimes find a happy middle ground but you're always sacrificing one thing for another, acceleration for fuel economy in this case. Everyone's riding style is different and no one ratio will suit everyone, that' the beauty of chain drives is that it's so cheap and easy to change ratios. It's a compromise, the ratio the manufacturer choose may not be the best for everyone.
 

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I think the 44t rear is a good compromise on the ratio changing aspect. Usually it's either one tooth on the front or three teeth on the back to make a noticeable difference, so the two teeth on the rear (I think) is the best solution to many peoples feel of the bikes performance. I'll stick with the 44t for the time being and consider if it was the right or wrong decision at the end of my riding season.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I know for me the reason I changed to 43t I the first place was I thought I'd be doing a lot more hiway driving then I ended up actually doing. That and my previous bike, which was only my second, was a Triumph Thunderbird. When I got the V out on the hwy it seem to revy compared to what I was used to. I now get it that that's the point. Besides, it only took 20 min to change out so I could go back and forth if I was going on another long trip if I get the urge.
 

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As I have posted earlier, I just got back from Colorado after riding with my son up Mt. Evans (14,140 ft or so). My son was running his stock 46 tooth and I was running my 44 tooth that I've had on for almost 2 years. I noticed that he was pulling away from my quiet constantly through the ride and coming out of turns. At the time I really didn't equate why at the time, but now I realize it was the gearing difference.

I changed back to the 46 tooth yesterday and, yep it's a different bike. I don't intend to drone along the interstate so it's the 46 for me.
 

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Hummm, riding style couldn't have anything to do with your son pulling away from you could it???? hehe
Or weight? Us old dudes aren't as light as we used to be. :D I probably got at least 40 pounds on my son.

I'm content with the 44t sprocket on my Versys. In the rural area I live going anywhere requires highway speeds. The 44t is a great compromise for acceleration and relaxed highway cruising. An added benefit is an accurate speedometer.
 
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