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Old 15 Sep 2003
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Zambia
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Front Sprocket Change

I'm riding a DAKAR and my friend a KTM LC4. We're crossing Africa soon and I'm thinking of replacing my stock front sprocket with a smaller one to gear me down a bit to match his max highway speed of about 120 km/h.

What are the pros and cons of this for off road riding/on road riding? I don't care if I ever ride over 130 km/h again, and if it gives my bike a better chance of handling the rougher sections, I'd love to make the change. Or is there another option?

Cheers, Hunter

[This message has been edited by hunternielson (edited 16 September 2003).]
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Old 16 Sep 2003
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Putting a smaller front sprocket on will definitely improve the off-road capabilities. Well worth doing for Africa.

The other option is a larger rear sprocket, which has advantages and disadvantages.

-Negative of smaller front:

the smaller the sprocket the faster the sprocket AND chain wear out. One tooth on th front is significant.

-Positive of smaller front:

Easy and inexpensive to change, may not need to change chain length, and can easily carry the larger original and swap it back and forth as needed.

-Positive of larger rear:

Better chain life.

-Negative of larger rear:

May have to lengthen chain, (bad) and you don't really want to carry the old rear sprocket as it's big and pointy and heavy.

What would I do? Probably swap the front sprocket for a smaller one - one tooth - and carry the original. You COULD carry a two tooth smaller one for really nasty going.

Just make sure you can install it on the road yourself, and the chain actually fits - don't accept "it should" - test it yourself.

NOTE: a SMALLER front gives the bike less top speed and works better off-road. Larger rear is the same effect. Usually one tooth front = about 2-3 rear.

A LARGER front sprocket is great for highway use, lowers the rpm at any given speed, and is TERRIBLE for off-road. Smaller rear is the same effect.

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