Originally Posted by DirtyDog
Jud, you realize that the stock setup is 15/43 (2.87), right?
Your gearing of 16/45 is 2.81, whereas 16/43 is 2.69. I'm not sure why you were aiming for 16/46 (2.88) because that is basically equivalent to stock. But, if you're like me and swap in the 14T for dirt duty, then I agree it's probably a good choice.
One thing I've found with doing this with a 14,16/48 combo is that I can't remove/install the 16T counter sprocket without taking out the rear axle. Complicates things and adds time. I even have a 110 link (IIRC) chain. Can you do this swap with stock chain (106 links) and without removing the axle?
And I agree with your aerodynamic statement.
Check out PBI for numerous options for KLR sprockets. They are aluminum, but I've had good results with them. Hard to find those odd sizes in steel. http://shop.pbisprockets.com/product.sc?productId=281
You are right on the money for shooting for 16/46: almost the same as stock, and an easy 2-tooth drop with a 14t chainwheel. I use 108 links with 16/45, and don't have to pull the rear axle.
I use only steel sprockets. My KTM came with aluminum: Gone in Sixty Seconds. I won't go that route again.