Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Left of the Left Coast
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15 Tooth Musings
Well, since my chain was done at 20,000 km (if I was a better chain-keeper, Iím sure it would have lasted longer) I went with a 15T countershaft sprocket. It always seemed like a good idea, but when I first got the 300, I had a very steep driveway with a tight turn into my parking space, so the 14T made sense. Now I have a less tilted entry to my parking, but I have to squeeze between a post and my car. Anyway, by that time, I figured I would wait until I needed a chain/sprocket replacement. Here are my thoughts:
I am surprised at how noticeable the change is. I have changed gearing on bikes before, but not on a long-term street bike that I ride on the same roads every day. If you change gearing to suit a particular track, you donít have a basis for direct comparison. Now, I do, since I ride the same roads all the time. My commute is urban, but winding and low traffic. I tend not to watch my speedo, but ride by sound and feel. On paper, I suspect the change is insignificant, but for the speeds I ride, the gearing has mostly moved the RPMs into a better spot.
The bike has less ďsnapĒ off the line. This is not necessarily a bad thing. I would have to put more thought into doing a wheelie, but Iím not an idiot, so I donít do wheelies. In the first three gears, I would probably have to pay more attention to my revs to get max acceleration, but after third, the difference is negligible, and I donít live at a racetrack anyway. Besides, having to make the 1-2 shift so quickly after launch with 14T probably negates the difference. Engine braking is softened; mostly a good thing, since a single has more than enough of that.
The speedo is corrected. I have a speed sign on my way home from work, and at 60 kph indicated, it now registers 58 or 59. Actually, I have noticed that when I actually DO look at my speedo, I now think ďreally, thatís all Iím doing?Ē since it was so optimistic before.
The main reason most people switch to 15T is to calm the RPMs at highway speeds; I actually havenít gotten out onto the highway since the swap, but I already like the change anyway.
I can see why the bike is geared the way it is, given the target demographic, but I think it is a superior bike with a 15T sprocket.