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I just put on the Holeshot XCT 22". I have a 14 tooth front sprocket and the bigger tire just negated the smaller sprocket.
My question is... should I drop to a 13 tooth... or make my rear sprocket bigger? The front sprocket is cheaper- but I don't want to cause too much tension on the chain. Is 13 Tooth too small? My neighbor said that a 13 tooth will make me loose top RPM's... (I don't believe this...) but has anyone ever heard of such a thing?
How many teeth do I need to go up in the rear to make it equivalant to a 14 tooth with 20" tires?
By going to a 22" rear tire you basically cancel the effect of the 14 tooth countershaft sprocket - or you basically returned it to stock gearing. By dropping to a 13 tooth, you should regain what you had for bottom end with the 14 tooth and the 20" rear tires. You will lose some topend, but it's not much. You'll also have to remove some chain links(3-4 I think) when you drop to a 13 tooth sprocket. Hope this helped.
Now as to running a larger rear sprocket you have to account somewhat for the larger sprocket presenting in some cases a clearance issue either with chassis components(which really doesn't apply to you, other than the skid plate) or actual GROUND clearance. But again, negated by the larger dia tires.
A 13 tooth sprocket really isn't going to be too small. The stock R's came with 13/38 & 13/39. I would however, not go any smaller than that. The teeth spacing on smaller countersprockets is greater, which accelerates chain wear, as the teeth are farther spaced, so the roller really doesn't roll in, the tooth kind of "bites" it in.
I would run a 13 tooth countersprocket, and then if you need to get more gear. Look at running a larger rear sprocket.
You won't loose top-speed RPM, you will loose top-SPEED, the engine simply will reach red-line(or close thereto) and not allow you to go any faster. This is somewhat where too, the unlimited rev CDI's come in. In that you are able to pull the same gears as your competitor, but then be able to rev a few hundred RPM higher in a given gear, that will give you an edge.
So let me get this straight; When I said put on the 13 tooth, you told me "thanks for stating the obvious". When Backcountry gives you three pages of text with an end result of "install the 13 tooth sprocket", he's exactly right. I guess it's true, if you write a big manual on something that could be simply stated in two lines, people generally will take the more complicated looking one because it looks more complex, thus appearing better. What a joke. Well, that's my psych lesson for the day. Tune in next week for lesson on what triggers dogs to pee on hydrants.
I am wondering why you feel you need lower gearing? I did the same thing when I went to the XCT tires-went to a 14 sprocket. It was great fun! I could loft the front end off even the smallest little berm. It was great for playing around, but out on the trail the bike was PRACTICALLY USELESS!! You punch it in a turn and the bike stands up and comes to attention, and you've lost steering control. As I moded my engine more and more, I realized that the 14 was just way to much, and quickly went back to the 15. My point is, a moded engine will more than compensate for the bigger tires, and leave you with a more rideable machine.
Before I added the 22" tires... I had a 14t sprocket. I need the bottom end for two reasons... I do a lot of hill climbs and my engine bogs in 2nd gear with the 15t. Secondly, I'm 6'2 - 250 lbs- so I need some quickness to compensate for the weight. That also means that my 400ex doesn't do salutes. I have to help it up a little. So when I put the 22" tires on.. it basically made my gearing as if I had a 15t sprocket. So I need to get back to that original gearing ratio I had before.
As for you (ME400EX)... Go back and read my original post. - and read your response. Your reply was exactly what I posted, just in a different way. I already know that dropping teeth in the front sprocket offers more torque. However you failed to recognize my question: which was should I drop to a 13t or go with a bigger rear sprocket- I'm worried the 13t will cause too much tension on the chain. ...and I wanted to know how much bigger I need to go on the rear sprocket to compensate. "Backcountry" hit the nail on the head and you get all pissed off! Chill out dude- don't take it so hard. I'll post other questions and you'll get another shot at showing your extensive knowledge.
....it's just that in this round- YOU are the "WEAKEST LINK"!
I'm not upset at all. I just find it amusing to see how some people respond to the bare naked truth as opposed to a long drawnout version of the same thing. There is nothing wrong with that, I'm glad that you got the answer you wanted and that it helped you make a decision. But the way I see it, and you may see it differently, the end result of both replies is the same.