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Yamaha Tech Originally the Yamaha XT600 Tech Forum, due to demand it now includes all Yamaha's technical / mechanical / repair / preparation questions.
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  #1  
Old 7 Sep 2008
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Gearing a XT600 for road trips?

It's probably not the most practical thing to do at the side of the road when you are doing a RTW trip but do you change your gearing to suit the conditions?

The easy option is obviously to change the front sprocket up or down a tooth or two.

I'm wanting to gear the bike down as much as I can so the engine isn't being revved to death on long motorway journeys.
I read on one of the XT/TT forums on Yahoo groups that it can be taken as far as 17/40 as opposed to 15/45 standard (I think).

I'm not too worried about losing a bit of accelleration as I think the XT can handle it.

What ratios do you use for road use???
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Old 7 Sep 2008
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gearing

hi there my 1985 43f is on 14/40 it was like that when i got it and when i changed the chain and sprockets i changed like for like . it feels fine to me , on the motorway 4000 rpm is 100/110 kph ,with plenty in reserve , around town all feels well. in some old xt service manual i have it says 15/40 for 43f and 15/39 for the xt600z which i think is the tenere. if i was to do a long trip i would leave mine alone ,so i am down on standard , but it feels just right with no high gear judder or over revving . zigzag
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Old 7 Sep 2008
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I stand corrected the rear is 40 as standard.
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Old 7 Sep 2008
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I can't comment on your particular model but my 1999 XT600E is very highly geared indeed. My 5th gear allows me to maintain a steady 70MPH running at only 4,000 which is pretty laid back. In a ideal world I would leave the 5th gear alone and downgear the others to produce swifter excelleration and control when offroad at low speed.
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Old 8 Sep 2008
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I run two different gearings on the Tenere.
One is a 14/45 for offroad and around town when I can't be bothered changing it back after a weekend offroad.This gives me 100km/h at a footpeg/handlebar buzzing 5000rpm.
Then I use 16/45 for road use,which sits me at 4000rpm at 100km/h.
Still,it's not as tall as the stock gearing,but it feels quite sluggish around town in stop-start traffic.I have been tempted to change the rear sprocket to a 42 or 43,but the change isn't really going to make a lot of difference other than make me need a 13 tooth front sprocket for offroad use.
BTW the standard gearing on my 86 Tenere is 15/40.
You can find online gearing charts which will give you an idea of what to run
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Old 8 Sep 2008
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At my local bike shop the 'extreme' I could go to would be 16/36.

This gives a 2.25:1
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Old 9 Sep 2008
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hi tom 16/36 seems very tall , the gearing would have been worked out for what a standard engine was happy with, my 85 43f is down 1 tooth on the gearbox sprocket and feels fine , so maybe try 1 tooth more on gearbox or 2 down on rear and see how that feels. with too tall gearing would the bike pull 5th gear happily with out bogging down when you need to overtake ,and would you spend too much time in 4th when you should be in top . zigzag
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Old 10 Sep 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tenere Tom View Post
The easy option is obviously to change the front sprocket up or down a tooth or two.
The problem with swapping the front sprocket on the side of the road is that the chain needs to be split to allow the 16 tooth sprocket to slide on and off. When the chain is on the front sprocket, on a 16 tooth one, the chain won't lift off and it catches on the engine casing bolt castings.

The easy alternative to adding a new soft link and riveting it every time is to use split links. (And just mentioning them is going to start a barrage of opion!)

You can calculate the difference in engine revs at a given speed as follows:

(Rear Tooth count / front tooth count) = Drive ratio

((New ratio / Old ratio)-1)*100 = Change as a percentage

RPM at a given speed will increase or decrease by the percentage change
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Old 11 Sep 2008
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hi there personaly i love split links , if used correctly zigzag
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Old 11 Sep 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zigzag View Post
hi there personaly i love split links , if used correctly zigzag
Me too. Much better than my last attempt at riveting my own chain!
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Old 11 Sep 2008
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Split links rock!!!

No seriously they are the best thing since sliced bread - they make life so much easier.
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Old 12 Sep 2008
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Some bikes make changing the counter shaft sprocket easy,

Last edited by mollydog; 25 Mar 2009 at 08:32.
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  #13  
Old 15 Sep 2008
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Standard on the Xt600E is 15/45.

Its reving its balls off over 70mph which I think is a good touring speed for the road.

I changed mine to 15/43 and it was too long. The engine wasnt strong enough to really pull it when loaded up.

The perfect road set up would be 15/44. Just enough to lower your cruising revs but still plenty to pull past traffic.
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Old 1 Dec 2008
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My 600e came with 15/39 gearing which I find fine on the road but lacks pick up when green laneing.

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Old 2 Dec 2008
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Just a general point, seeing all the wild variations people are talking about. A one-tooth change on the front can make a massive difference. I've just sold a Ducati GT1000 which came as standard with 15/45. It was way over-geared for the road, with sixth gear useless below 80mph and first gear required for slow corners. I changed the front sprocket for a 14T, and the difference was amazing, with 2nd-gear corners taken in 2nd, and top gear a useable road ratio. And that was with a gearing down of only about 7%.

What I am saying is not to be too radical when changing gear ratios. A little change goes a long way, especially on the front. I would change one tooth at a time and see how it goes. Sprockets are cheap enough. I was advised not to go below 14 on the front, though, for reasons of wear as mentioned by Mollydog. If you need to go lower than that, go up on the back, roughly 3 teeth per one tooth on the front. Then you start getting chain length issues, and so it goes ...
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