V-Strom gearing .... Too much??

Discussion in 'Land of the Rising Sun: ADV Bikes from Japan' started by ShooterDave, Sep 18, 2012.

  1. ShooterDave

    ShooterDave Adventurer

    May 30, 2009
    I have an '07 V-Strom 650. I want to put on a 16T front sprocket, however I'm having some doubts. I know that everyone has said it is wonderful when on the street. I have no doubt it will do just fine when riding around solo and 2-up. My problem is... Will it be too tall for when 2-up touring with all our gear???

    The weight should go something like this.....
    Combined 2 people plus riding gear - ~ 360lbs
    Camping gear and clothes - ~45
    Tools - ~15

    So figure once riding we will have about 420 - 430 pounds on the bike. I've raised the rear by 1 inch so I'm not worried about clearance. I'm worried that the 16/47 ratio versus the 15/47 ratio will be too tall? It would bring the RPM's down by 500 so it would be 5500 rpm's at 75 vs. 6000 at 75. I'm also wondering how it will affect gas mileage when fully loaded 2-up? Would it be so tall that the more effort at speed would actually use more gas, rather than less?

    Any input on this?
  2. No False Enthusiasm

    No False Enthusiasm a quiet adventurer

    Nov 4, 2009
    Small Town, Texas
    When I replaced sprockets and chain, I considered lower gearing, not higher.

    After study, I went with original ratios.

    Given, two up plus gear, higher gearing may not improve mileage but will make the bottom end gutless.

  3. Kawidad

    Kawidad Long timer

    Jul 9, 2005
    Central Coast, Cal
    Adding a tooth to the front was not that big of a change at starts and stops. However, was very noticeable at freeway speeds and honestly the way I thought the wee should come from the factory. I did it and was really glad I did. :freaky
  4. PeterW

    PeterW Long timer

    Nov 11, 2005
    Gold Coast
    I preferred 16T even off road so I doubt it'll be an issue even 2-up.

    FYI. The 2012 model I have now it's not so much of an issue, the engine is significantly less buzzy at highway rpms.

  5. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z I'm serious.

    Oct 17, 2006
    Around Denver
    My experience is exactly the opposite. :lol3

    I thought the most noticeable change when I went up a tooth was slow speed maneuvering and starting out. I could feel the lower torque.

    On the highway, it didn't make any difference in riding.

    I didn't dislike it, but it made the bike a little harder to control at slow speed and on loose surfaces, and there didn't seem to be any gain. Fuel mileage didn't change.

    So... I went back to factory, the way I thought it should be.

  6. vermin

    vermin unrepentant thinner

    Jan 20, 2007
    in the servis make the rear one a tooth smaller it will have less impact.

    I did the 16 tooth front deal and it is way sweeter on the freeway. Even two up.

    Around town you gotta get a little more revs at the lights no big deal.

    I was doing some mountain fire roads yesterday and it is the first time I thought I may have made a mistake. I had to rev it and use some clutch to get out of trouble. But really even that is NBD.

    Also I was going across Kansas a month ago at 115 mph (speedo reado) and it didn't have any more to give. It was no where near redline but it lost its balls. Maybe if I was reving the snot out of it it would have gone faster. If I had a brain cell I coulda downshifted and found out.


  7. glasswave

    glasswave Been here awhile

    Feb 4, 2007
    Wasatch Mtns, UT
    I have a 2012 and I geared down to a 14t. I like it, It gives me better access to the power band in high gears. It does not feel stressed at high speeds. One caveat, my mileage crashes HARD once I start doing 83-90mph for extended periods. I wonder if this is the same for others.

    Were it up to me, I'd open the gear range.
    1st -15%
    4th same
    5th +2%
    6th +7%
  8. McB

    McB Joe 40 ouncer

    Apr 8, 2005
    North Slope of the Flint Hills
    Same here, Jamie. I've had three of them; two with stock gearing and an '08 I bought with the 16T installed. The stock gearing just felt 'right' compared to the 16T. Around town with the 15T I could generally run a gear higher and still be in the fat of the power range. On two-lanes I was more likely to feel I needed to downshift to pass with the 16T, and on the slab, it just wasn't that noticeably different. Gas mileage was slightly better on the '08, but it also had a K&N filter, and had the newer two-plug heads; so who knows? If I'd kept the '08 longer, I would have gone back to stock when it was due for a change; and I'll keep it stock if I get another. With stock gearing, I never, ever felt like that smooth little V was overworked or wound too tight. YMMV.
  9. MiteyF

    MiteyF Long timer

    Jul 23, 2010
    Michigan... temporarily
    I upped my front sprocket by 1 tooth and love it, riding single or 2 up
  10. Jaeger22

    Jaeger22 n00b

    Mar 6, 2007
    Let me jump in here. I say it would depend on how you use it. I have 92,000 miles on mine and most of that was road trips loaded often two up. (including 3 coast to coast the long way, FL to Washington State and back) I put on a 16 tooth front 4 or 5 chain sets ago and never went back. It is MUCH better for high speed cruise. At an indicated 80 MPH, true (GPS) 72 MPH, it is running right at 5,000 RPM. At that speed it will run forever with no real strain. And the MPG is slightly better. The down side is when I have to take off from a stop going up hill, riding two up, I do have to slip the clutch a bit more. At that point I would prefer the lower gearing but that is about .1% of the time. The other 99.9% of the time the 16 is fine. So if most of my riding was around town, I would stick with the stock gearing. But for touring, or a lot of super slab, even two up, I would absolutely go to the 16. As always YMMV.
    Speaking of mileage, my bike's MPG seems to be effected by speed even more than the V squared law would account for. It may be a fuel map thing in the EFI. Around town, even two up, I get 50 to 52 MPG. On slow back roads around 55 MPH, I still get right at 50 or so. But out on the interstate running 75, it drops as low as 39! :eek1Usually around 40 to 42 depending on wind direction and speed.

    CAMODUDE Adventurer

    Apr 15, 2009
    Bedford PA
    I did the 1 up on the front and gained 4 mpg I did notice a small change in pulling out at 70 mph my rpm is 4600-4700 in 6 gear, I'm glad I did it but if you r going 2 up with a load on you mite want to stay with what you have
  12. ShooterDave

    ShooterDave Adventurer

    May 30, 2009
    Thats great fuel milage. I live in the valley at 1400 feet. My girl lives up the mountains at 5000 feet. Its a 30 mile ride with about half of it being freeway, that I cruise at about 75-80 on. I get an average of 46 mpg when I fill up, and that includes riding in the mountains. I've decided to stick with stock gearing for now, and just cruise slower, probably at about 70-75 range.
  13. mike1952

    mike1952 Long timer

    Jan 27, 2008
    north of ann arbor michigan
    I went with a 15T and lowered the RPMs at 70 by about 500 and still has good low end. When I replaced the chain and sprockets I did the same.
  14. BikeMan

    BikeMan smoke, drink, screw, ride

    Feb 28, 2008
    columbus, ohio
    Don't forget the placebo effect. :rofl
  15. garandman

    garandman Wandering Minstrel

    Feb 5, 2007
    Dorchester, MA / Sunapee, NH
    I did the change on my first V-Strom and logged all fuel use before and after. There was no difference. I didn't bother on V-Strom #2 even though I have the spare sprocket.

    FWIW the SV650 is 15/45 and the more-aerodynamic SV650S is 15/44 compared to the V-Strom 15/47.

    16/47 makes the V-Strom the same as the SV650S.
  16. Smola67

    Smola67 AdventureTard

    Jun 26, 2010
    Inman SC
    16/49 on mine. Hauls but out of the tight turns and a little more revs up top. Great for the type of riding I do.