The gearing thread

javahaxxor

New Member
A lot of people have questions about gearing, whether to change it or not, change the front versus the rear, what works with the stock chain, etc. I'll start by adding what I know and will soon be adding some more, as information becomes available. Feel free to add information. I'll add it to the first post so the info doesn't get lost in the thread ping-pong.
use Gearing Commander: Motorcycle Speed, RPM, Chain & Sprockets Calculator if you want to compare different possible setups

Most people will want to buy 530 sprockets as the OEM chain is a 530
Geometry
Modifying gearing will have geometry changes as an effect. In this picture yamaha-r1-2wd-chart.jpg You can see how the sprockets are wrapped in the chain. Imagine you change the front sprocket to a smaller one, that has a smaller diameter, which means it will take up less space within the area of the chain. That means you get chain slack. In order to not have more chain slack than recommended, you move the rear wheel backwards in order to tension the chain. That means the distance between the wheel axles (the wheelbase) is now bigger. If you put in a bigger sprocket in the rear, you will need to move the rear wheel forward in order to accomodate the larger size sprocket, and this means the distance between the axles will decrease, which means shorter wheelbase.

Shorter wheelbase => the bike turns quicker, and will wheelie easier in high gears. The shorter the wheelbase, the more "nervous" or sensitive the steering gets
Longer wheelbase => slower to turn in, but a calmer more stable chassis.
One can keep the wheelbase virtually unchanged by adding (or removing) links to the chain

For comparison ride the Daytona 675 with a very short wheelbase and the K1300, with a very long wheelbase

17/45 - Stock gearing
- (for newbies 17T means 17 teeth. => 17 teeth front, 45 teeth rear sprocket)
Acceleration: With stock gearing You will get a nice calm bike with fairly low RPM at freeway cruising speed. So most people will want to change their gearing since the FZ1 is very tall geared and makes about 84mph or 135 km/h in first gear.
Wheelies: 1:st gear wheelies will be easy and not violent. clutch it up at 30-40 km/h and its going to climb slow enough for you to stand up on the pegs. 2:nd gear is almost impossible
Top speed: it takes a while to get there, clearly this gearing isn't intended for reaching top speed fast
Wheelbase: 1450 mm
Chain: 122 links

16/45
Works with stock chain. This is what this bike should have had from the beginning
Acceleration: The difference to stock is huge. Now the bike really feels like a 150hp muscle bike. Acceleration is much harder than stock. wheelie, with the risk of flipping over.
Wheelies: It powerwheelies easy in first gear. Sometimes it powerwheelies slightly in 2:nd too. Close and open the throttle at 70km/h and it will violently climb with the risk of flipping over. It will clutch up in 2:nd, not so easy with more than half the fuel.
Top speed: reduced, but it's still plenty fast at ~260 km/h
Wheelbase: 4,5 mm longer than stock. this should theoretically increase high speed and cornering stability but make cornering a bit slower. Longer wheelbase makes wheelieing harder by a fraction, but is countered by the harder pull, so it still wheelies easier
Speedometer: will show 6% faster than you're actually going
Chain: 122 links

17/49 (thanks ballmead)
Chain: 124 links needed
Acceleration: The bike accelerates hard off of corners.It makes it feel like a much faster bike.
Wheelies: Wheelies easily in 1st and 2nd on power; although I am far from the expert here.
Top Speed is reduced to around 259 kph but my bike is naked so it's not an issue at all for me.
Wheelbase: is reduced around 5mm over stock.
Speedometer: will read around 9% faster than you are actually going.

16/48
Works with stock chain
I changed from 16/45 to 16/48. The bike breaks traction very easy in 1:st gear, 2:nd gear has become like 1:st. The bike power wheelies in second, and clutch up is Easier than in first gear with the former setup. The speedometer shows 130 km/h @ 5000 rpm.
This setup is a bit fun, but I think I'll
Switch back to 16/45 which in my opinion is better for all-round riding. There is so much torque now that I fear I will have a bad wheel spin on our spirited rides, where the throttle opens wide quite often.
 
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ballmead

New Member
I'm currently running 17/49 (+4 on rear)
Chain: 124 links.

Acceleration: The bike accelerates hard off of corners. Pulls really well from 5K and up. It makes it feel like a much faster bike.
Wheelies: Wheelies easily in 1st and 2nd on power; although I am far from the expert here.
Top Speed is reduced to around 259 kph but my bike is naked so it's not an issue at all for me.
Wheelbase: is reduced around 5mm over stock.
Speedometer: will read around 9% faster than you are actually going.
 
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ballmead

New Member
Due to the different size front and rear sprockets and in my example, chain length (124 links); the distance between both sprockets is also different.
As the rear wheel is connected to the rear sprocket then the wheel base also changes.
 
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javahaxxor

New Member
I'm currently running 17/49 (+4 on rear)
Chain: 124 links.

Acceleration: The bike accelerates hard off of corners. Pulls really well from 5K and up. It makes it feel like a much faster bike.
Wheelies: Wheelies easily in 1st and 2nd on power; although I am far from the expert here.
Top Speed is reduced to around 259 kph but my bike is naked so it's not an issue at all for me.
Wheelbase: is reduced around 5mm over stock.
Speedometer: will read around 9% faster than you are actually going.
Thanks ballmead
 
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harrisch

New Member
im still a bit confused as to why going -1 in the front would lengthen the wheelbase and going with a larger rear sprocket would shorten the wheelbase.... isnt wheelbase the difference between the centers of the front and rear wheels, ie measured axle to axle? and if so, if say the front sprocket was smaller and required a slightly shorter chain wouldnt that mean that the wheelbase would shorten due to the rear axle adjustment for chain tension and not lengthen the wheelbase?

i guess my confusion is stemming from where the wheelbase is actually being measured such that its changing in this way - i assumed that since the sprockets are mounted in physically the same location, a larger rear sprocket would actually shorten the wheelbase because ud have to effectively move the rear wheel slightly closer to the front of the back to maintain proper tension and a smaller sprocket up front would require lengthening the wheelbase slightly to maintain proper tension
 

Lonney

New Member
Harrish , when you mess with the sprockets your only making the chain lenth shorter or longer .
Im running 16/47 and the stock chain just makes it .
I dont understand how that increases wheelbase either .
 

javahaxxor

New Member

Replacing 17T front with a 15T. Chain is still the same length so the rear wheel needs to be moved back to fit the chain properly
 

javahaxxor

New Member
You then see that the rear axle has moved back and thus created a difference in wheelbase measurement. - see 2
 

javahaxxor

New Member
3- you then add a bigger sprocket, 47T in the rear. In order to make this work with the same chain length the rear wheel needs to move forward. Now the wheelbase is shortened.
Is it any more clear now?
 

harrisch

New Member
Wow that was awesome!

thanks so much for the explanation that makes total sense now! i really appreciate the pictures.
 

Lonney

New Member
Aaahhh so the difference in the wheelbase is the 1" - 2" that you move the wheel back or forward depending on the gear you change .
Thanks for the model Javahaxxor !!
Harrish i dont think the 47 tooth rear sprocket will fit with the stock 17t sprocket
 

javahaxxor

New Member
Harrish , when you mess with the sprockets your only making the chain lenth shorter or longer .
Im running 16/47 and the stock chain just makes it .
I dont understand how that increases wheelbase either .
Your setup has somewhat shorter wheelbase than stock. According to gearing commander it's around 5mm shorter. That is mostly because the effect the rear sprocket has on the wheelbase is bigger than the effect of the smaller front sprocket.

It would be interesting to read your impression about your setup as me and ballmead have described it above, especially since I'm planning on trying the exact same thing
 

harrisch

New Member
Aaahhh so the difference in the wheelbase is the 1" - 2" that you move the wheel back or forward depending on the gear you change .
Thanks for the model Javahaxxor !!
Harrish i dont think the 47 tooth rear sprocket will fit with the stock 17t sprocket
I actually just dropped my front sprocket to 16t and kept the stock rear sprocket -- gonna be picking up the bike next week after a bunch of mods - will def do a post reporting my impressions!
 

Dicko

Active Member
Aaahhh so the difference in the wheelbase is the 1" - 2" that you move the wheel back or forward depending on the gear you change .
Thanks for the model Javahaxxor !!
Harrish i dont think the 47 tooth rear sprocket will fit with the stock 17t sprocket
I run 17/47, the stock chain is just long enough. Rear wheel is almost on the stop though.
 
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