Ask the Editors: Changing My ATV’s Gearing

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The mysterious world of gear ratios.

Dear ATVC: So I got a 2016 Rhino 250 and it’s missing the front sprocket and chain. (way I bought it) My rear sprocket is a 32T and I believe the front was originally a 13T?
Has anyone upgraded to the 11 tooth 530 front sprocket and did it help with take off and torque? Id like to climb hills and pull a garden trailer behind it.

When it comes to altering your ATV’s gearing by adding or removing teeth, always remember that changes made to the front sprocket are going to be much more dramatic in action than those made to the rear.

Going from 13 teeth in the front to 11 will be considered gearing the machine down – or in other words trading top speed for torque throughout each gear. So in answer to your question, yes this would provide more instant throttle-response and more pulling power. However, that being said- a relatively small bore machine and such a dramatic gearing change could prove too much in action. This is where trial and error comes into play. Gearing a machine too far down can result in it revving out too early to be of much use – you want to find the sweet spot between torque and speed in an engine’s power band.

In short, the transition you are debating will work – but whether or not it will provide the range you seek will have to be answered through trial and error. We usually recommend tinkering in these situations on the number of teeth of the rear sprocket because you can make changes in smaller increments (as there are more of them) and they’re more accessible. Just remember less teeth on the front sprocket is equal to more on the rear.

Here is our guide on putting these principles into action.

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