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  #1  
Old 9 Mar 2010
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DR650 Gearing

So we're begining the final stages of prep before we set of on our RTW at the end of April and I'm after opinions on gearing before I order new chain and sprockets for both bikes.

I find the stock 15-42 a little tall and wonder whether to go down to 14 tooth c/s or possibly even up to 46 tooth rear sprocket. It still needs to be comfortable cruising all day, but not really in excess of 65-75mph.

I could carry both 15t and 14t c/s and change when necessary, or I could just stick with the stock and deal with the extra clutch work in more technical off road stretches.

Opinions Please

Matt
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Old 10 Mar 2010
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I'm prepping a DR too. But this one is not my first, so I have time on the bike. You have a few options. Mostly you have to decide how much off road you are doing and how technical it will be. Unless you doing steep trails or very slow going in rocks, then most always the stock gearing is not too bad, but certainly not ideal off road unless you can go at least 20 mph. Under that, lower gearing can help a lot.

In Baja I switched to the 14 countershaft and it helped a bit on steep going, sand and rocky sections. But 5th gear highway cruising was still just fine, as was fuel economy. Fine at 70 mph or above!

If you really want more gearing choices then you'll have to do a 520 conversion. This will open up a lot more sprocket options for you. Lots of odd sizes available with the 520 set up.

The 525 stock chain will likely out last the 520 chain however. So, to me, this makes the 525 the way to go for long range travel.

I carry a 14T with me and when heading into the dirt for a while, switch over. Then back to 15T when I feel like it or am back on highway for a while.

I hope you are using DID VM-2 X-ring chains. Best you can get. I prefer stock Suzuki sprockets as well, but the 14T will have to be a JT or AFAM.
My current VM-2 chain now has 18,000 miles and is just now starting to show a bit of wear. Probably good for another 5000 miles. That is a GOOD chain.

One trick I do is to change my C.S. sprocket out at about 8K to 10 miles.
Extends chain life quite a bit. Carrying a spare is easy and you will probably do it anyway cause you want that 14T for off road sections.

Don't buy a cheap chain, you will regret it! (and compared to DID they are ALL cheap!
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Old 10 Mar 2010
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Thanks for the input Mickey, confirmed what I was leaning towards, will stick with the stock and take a 14t c/s to swap out when needed, have ordered the did vm2 x-ring chains today with standard sprockets, just need to get the 14t from thee states as parts are hard to come buy in the uk.

when and where are you off to?

Matt
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Old 10 Mar 2010
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I'm trying to ship my bike to Colombia or really any where in S. America. Looking at options now. The bike is pretty much ready but I'm not! (typical!)

Where are you starting your trip? Route?

I'm not doing RTW, just a few months in S. America this time. I've ridden in Morocco but not seen much of it. I'd like to come over to the UK, buy a bike and ride down to S. Africa. But that's another trip!

Cheers!
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Old 11 Mar 2010
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First up, I'm assuming we are talking about the SE model here, SP46.

I have to disagree with the previous advice, I'm afraid. I have just ridden solo on my SE from Europe to Timor Leste. I find the stock gearing too tall as it is and once the bike is loaded up it's definitely too tall.

The 525 chain is merely wider than a 520, not stronger, or so our DR specialist in Germany tells us.

So, I changed the rear to 45 and, like recommended above, have a 14 spare for the front. Minimum speed in 1st is now about 13 km/h, which is ok until the going gets a little tough. I can still cruise at 100 km/h and fuel economy hasn't changed.
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Old 11 Mar 2010
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Hi
Just a word of warning i tryed a 14 front sproket on my 650se but i found that with all my luggage on i nearly wore the the plastic swing arm chain guide out, with this sproket being smaller it move's the chain closer to the swing arm nearer the front, i found it better to use a larger rear even if it was a bit more hassel when i needed to change back for the road. Skip
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Old 11 Mar 2010
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Well thats thrown a spanner in the works!

Did it really not affect the fuel consumption? That was my worry as 2 bikes over three years could work out to a fair bit extra cash on juice if it did!

I'm not a speed freak (anymore) and the missus and I are more interested in an ambling approach to the tour, the added useability at low speeds would be really nice, especially once we've got all the gear strapped on.

Decisions decisions
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Old 11 Mar 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickey D View Post
I'm trying to ship my bike to Colombia or really any where in S. America. Looking at options now. The bike is pretty much ready but I'm not! (typical!)

Where are you starting your trip? Route?

I'm not doing RTW, just a few months in S. America this time. I've ridden in Morocco but not seen much of it. I'd like to come over to the UK, buy a bike and ride down to S. Africa. But that's another trip!

Cheers!
We're heading from UK into Europe, then down east Africa route to South africa before shiping to India - SE Asia then Oz and NZ before shipping to US and down though Central and S America oall over approx 3 years!

Ta

Matt
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Old 28 Apr 2010
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Here is a great discussion of the gearing choices (and how to change them):

How to change and adapt gearing on a dual sport (DR650) - ADVrider
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