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Old 30 Oct 2008
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2 basic questions...XT600E

Hi all, read lots of threads here and clearly there is a wealth of knowledge to access so here goes...

Firstly, as a relative newbie what are the essential/desireable mods for my 2001 xt600e that is in its basic state at the moment. ( used mainly for road but occasional off road use). I stumble across threads like the carb breather mod to stop it cutting out in water but wonder if anyone has compiled a list to cover these things without coming across them by chance?

The other question is, assuming that I have the factory fit front sprocket, what should I get if I want to come down a tooth for a bit more bottom end power. Can I just get a front cog and any recommendations?

Thanks in advance for the responses I hope to get and for those comments and threads that already teach so much!
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Old 30 Oct 2008
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Regarding the front sprocket. It depends on the condition the rest of the set (chain and the cog on the back) are.

Basically if you just replace the front sprocket on a set that's near the end of it's lifetime, the front will wear out much quicker and in the end you end up replacing it all together soon.

It's best to replace them all together or at least only change single items on fairly new sets.

Otherwise you end up wasting money on a part that could have lasted a lot longer.
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Old 30 Oct 2008
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Hi, regarding the sprocket, I did exactly the same thing, looking for a bit perkier response, and it certainly helped.

I just went out and bought a front sprocket one tooth smaller than standard gearing.

It was only when I took the old one off, that I realized the previous owner had fitted one a tooth bigger than standard to the front!

The difference wasn't that great, to be honest, so I'm glad I didn't know, 'cos I would have only dropped one tooth.

Of course it does affect the rpm for any given speed. (Take the percentage difference of your gearing - i.e 5 teeth more on a rear 50 tooth sprocket is 10% - and apply that to the revs, so if 70 mph is 4,000 rpm, 70 mph will become 4,400 rpm).

But make sure you go on what is fitted to your bike, not what standard fitment is!

Hope this helps.
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Old 31 Oct 2008
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Most important mod:
Progressive fork springs. From Benny Wilbers for example.
You can also raise the fork oil level a bit as a cheapo alternative.

The OEM springs are too soft. Do not use spacers to increase preload as 1. this does not change the spring rate but only changes the ratio between positive and negative travel; 2. does not reduce brake dive; and 3. causes the OEM springs to "sag" (permanently shorten which aggravates the squashy front end problem as the reduction of the springs free length it causes a decrease of the spring rate).

Always replace both sprockets and the chain as a set. Partial replacement causes rapid wear.
Try not to go smaller in the front as smaller sprockets also wear faster. Rather go bigger in the rear. Remember that going bigger in the rear might require a longer than OEM chain. Try to avoid "even" transmission ratios like 15 : 45 with a 120' chain (kind of worst case scenario) or 16 : 40 with 96' chain for example as this causes periodic wear. Ideal is for example the Kawasaki KLR 650 with 15 : 43 and a 104' chain which excludes periodic wear.
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Old 31 Oct 2008
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Originally Posted by lecap View Post
... as this causes periodic wear.
What is periodic wear?
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Old 1 Nov 2008
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Originally Posted by angustoyou View Post
What is periodic wear?
Take my first example: 15' front sprocket and a 120' chain: After six revolutions of the front sprocket the same roller of the chain will mesh with the same tooth of the sprocket.
Same for the rear in this example: Six wheel revolutions will bring the same tooth in contact with the same roller. This is about as bad as it gets. A damaged front sprocket tooth always hits the same rollers. A seized roller always hits the same tooth on the front sprocket and the same three teeth on the rear.
In this case the chain is very likely to wear unevenly.

Compare with the KLR: 15 and 104 do not share common factors. Means the same tooth of the front sprocket meets the same roller only after 15 x 104 = 1560 turns of the sprocket and after every other tooth has met every other roller. Same between chain and rear sprocket.
The KLR's final drive should not wear unevenly.
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