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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got my black CBR300R on Valentines day to show myself how much I loved myself. Just got the first servicing done yesterday along with putting on a real plate (had to get my temp tag renewed a couple times while it was being made). I love the feeling of it being completely legit and broke in. No more anxiety about varying throttle speed or is my ring seating right, etc.

This is my third bike. I started on a Yamaha Vstar 650 about a decade ago. I broke my back in the military and the cruiser riding style is painful to me. I get pain relief in my back from the fetal position so the sport bike seating is much better for me, I have found. I come from a family of harley guys so getting a sport bike as my first seemed unthinkable. Now i just kind of chuckle when I ride around and see the disgruntled harley riders who are probably salty about all the maintenance they have to do (Maybe it's the monthly bike payment for their expensive machines, idk).

I get weird looks when I tell people "no, this isn't my first bike, my old one was bigger". This is not just a starter bike, unless you are in it for racing or stunting anyway. I spent half a year backpacking around India and a huge majority of the vehicles over there are bikes, anything not a royal enfield british model tops out at 220cc though. Granted they have lower speed limits many times but they also tackle the Himalayas on 100cc mopeds. Point is, it isn't all about displacement. The whole indian subcontinent does just fine with almost nobody having a bike as big as ours. I have always been a mpg guy, so small displacement just seemed perfect to me.

I have put 600+ miles on my new CBR and it was all at a mile high elevation in the rockies with plenty of it on twisty mountain roads. It can handle it all with ease. I see no reason to cut my mpg in half for a bigger engine. This bike is plenty fast for me. I might not be faster than everything out there but I can outpace just about any 4 wheeled cage off the line so I'm good.

Anyway, just wanted to introduce myself. Been lurking here for a little bit looking for mods. Pretty sure I am going for a 15T sproket up front soon. I don't enjoy how short first gear is and would rather have less screaming coming at me when on the interstate (75 mph speed limits out here o.0). Also thinking of getting something like a scottoiler since I haven't maintained a chain before. My shaft drives were pretty maintenance free. Cheers all, keep the shiny side up!
 

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I have put 600+ miles on my new CBR and it was all at a mile high elevation in the rockies with plenty of it on twisty mountain roads. It can handle it all with ease. I see no reason to cut my mpg in half for a bigger engine. This bike is plenty fast for me. I might not be faster than everything out there but I can outpace just about any 4 wheeled cage off the line so I'm good.

Anyway, just wanted to introduce myself. Been lurking here for a little bit looking for mods. Pretty sure I am going for a 15T sproket up front soon. I don't enjoy how short first gear is and would rather have less screaming coming at me when on the interstate (75 mph speed limits out here o.0).
Welcome to the forums...

So do you live out here in the RMW (Rocky Mountain West)?

If so, you may want to rethink switching to the 15T sprocket, which contrary to popular belief doesn't have a huge effect on first gear, but will really effect the higher gears. Yes, you will gain a bit of top speed under the right conditions, but you will at the same time give up quite a bit in terms of acceleration when shifting through the middle and upper gears.

I know a lot of people complain about 1st gear being too low on these bikes, but I think they are missing the point of 1st gear, or should I say the function of 1st gear... which is simply to get the mass of the bike & rider going from a dead stop. Who really rides around much in 1st gear? Besides in a parking lot situation, most riding is done in 3rd through 6th gears.

On the subject of riding at high altitude: I ride exclusively at altitudes between 7000 and 10,000 ft. above sea level, and one of the first things I did to my '12 CBR250R was change from the stock 14T front sprocket to a 13T. It made a big difference in how the bike performed at altitude. It made 3rd gear usable on twisty uphill roads where with the 14T, I had to run in 2nd gear at much higher RPM's than I liked. On other, less steep road grades, I'm able to use 4th gear where previously with the 14T I had to stay in 3rd. At the end of the day, my bike is much quicker on these high altitude, twisty mountain roads with the 13T than it was with the 14T. And I don't have to rev the snot out of it like I did with the 14T (because a had to stay in a lower gear than I want to).

While I rarely get on the interstate with my 250R, I can still do a true, steady top speed of 90 MPH (again, that's at 7000 ft. ASL) with the 13T sprocket, which is about 6 MPH less than what the top speed was with the 14T. That said, the slightest headwind or incline in the road would scrub off a few MPH's pretty quickly with the 14T in 6th gear, whereas with the 13T it is able to maintain that 90 MPH with varying road inclines and winds.
 

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Welcome to the forum! Glad you like your bike. You will love the 15t sprocket swap, it really tones down the engine on the highway.
 

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Welcome, nice intro. I too have back issues and find the 300R is most comfortable. Give the 15T a try, its only a 10 minute job to swap it out if you dont like it and at $20 it aint gonna cripple ya!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks MotoMike, I appreciate all the feedback. I live on the east side of the Rockies and most of my driving is around Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins areas. I am not sure what you mean by most parking lot driving being 3rd to 6th gears. My Yamaha was fine rolling through parking lots and taking a full turn in first and would rarely reach 2nd in a parking lot. My Honda is almost always in 2nd in parking lots (mainly because first is not practical). I can't see a reason to ever be in 5th, let alone 6th in a parking lot though! 4th is hard to fathom, honestly. Maybe you drive much faster through parking areas than I do.

I have gotten up into the mountains a bit out here and didn't have much issue with gearing. I feel quite comfortable losing some acceleration at low end in exchange for less screaming at high speeds. I am not going for higher top end. The max I ever go is 9mph over a posted speed limit which translates to about 84 mph out here and is not even a little bit of an issue for this bike. I still feel like there is plenty of acceleration available when I twist the throttle at that speed.

My aim is to get over 100mpg consistently. A 13t is counterproductive to that goal. I understand that everyone rides for different purpose, if I wanted something that was fast, I wouldn't have got this bike. I enjoy cruising at a nice pace for less than .03 cents per mile. Also my elevation is a bit lower than yours so I don't face the challenges quite as much as you do. Thanks again for the input though, I am only doing the front for now because I am not sure if the front and back would take too much off for these mountains.


I too see little risk in a cheap sprocket and little time investment which can be easily reversed. Thanks for the replies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Just ordered my 15T sprocket. Closing in on 1,000 miles I can definitely see a desire for less rpm at higher speeds. Couple longer road trips this summer so I went ahead and bought it so that it will pay for itself sooner rather than later.

Heading to Kentucky later this month for a Permaculture Design Course which is about 1,300 miles each way. Then planning on spending most of August in Seattle Washington area which is roughly 1,300 miles each way as well, in the opposite direction.

Both rides excite me, and I am looking forward to having my engine scream at me less audibly while scooting across the country.
 

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I hear a lot about a 15t sprocket being better on highways. I ride the highways everyday so I think I need to get on board.... is there an installation tutorial on this forum Mike or Kiwi?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
If you sort through towards the end of the sprocket thread on here there is a very brief run down that makes it sound quite easy. I will add my experience soon. There might be more info on the 250 forum as it is the same part.
 

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mm; 'who really rides around much in 1st gear, besides in a parking lot' [etc]

succinctly put it seems to me..
our first gear - of 6 gears - is perfectly designed
for its role in life, getting smartly off the mark,
taking off uphills, with a load or pillion on board..

also riding at walking pace approaching stop lights etc,
or any other slow riding or maneuvering such as
in parking lots or threading thru tight spaces etc..

when used for quick starts off the line [lights etc]
first does a great job, flowing into 2nd for
continuing acceleration if needed..
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·

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Thanks Kiwi... that's exactly what I wanted to see.
 

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Welcome.

(Yes, I want to rack up my post count! :p)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Somehow I managed to accidentally order a 13t front sprocket instead of 15t. Didn't realize my mistake until it arrived in the mail. Got the 15t ordered and it should be here tomorrow. Plenty of time to install it before I start the first part of my 2600+ mile trip Monday. Looking forward to seeing what kind of difference it makes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Welcome to the forum :)
Thank you much :)



I finally got my 15t in today, installation was easier than anticipated even with how easy the Swood images made it look. I had zero motorcycle maintenance experience prior to this so I learned a few small things in the process. Still easy. Only problem is that I can't seem to get the sprocket cover back on. Anyone else had this issue with the stock chain?

Part of me wants to half destroy the sprocket cover by removing the metal piece and make it work. Half of me thinks I should swap to a non o-ring chain sooner rather than later.

Review on the sprocket being on the bike is that I love it. First is so much smoother and easier to use now. It isn't nearly as jerky which is good for me. The rpm drop wasn't as much as I hoped it might be even at nearly 80mph. I am not sure how fast I am actually going now when my speedo says 75 but the rpm are now at 8000 instead of 8400 or so like it used to be. Perhaps when it says 75 I am doing closer to 80 at 8000 rpm? What I do know is that I didn't lose enough low end for me to worry, I definitely plan to go with a 33t rear in the future to further me along this path of lower high end rpm. If I was able to put the sprocket cover back on properly I would have no complaints and all positive feedback. I am sure I will figure something out with the cover before I head off to Kentucky on Monday, any tips?
 

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It does fit! You just have to jiggle it and dick around a bit but it goes on. I had the same prob when I first fitted a 15T to my old CBR250 and I ground down the metal plate but I didn't need to.

Gearing is a very personal thing but, like you, I wasnt fully happy with the rev drop with the 15T alone so I put a 34T on the back. This is as small as you can go before you run out of clearance between the chain and the rear wheel hub. Have a trawl through the gearing thread for more info.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
It does fit! You just have to jiggle it and dick around a bit but it goes on. I had the same prob when I first fitted a 15T to my old CBR250 and I ground down the metal plate but I didn't need to.

Gearing is a very personal thing but, like you, I wasnt fully happy with the rev drop with the 15T alone so I put a 34T on the back. This is as small as you can go before you run out of clearance between the chain and the rear wheel hub. Have a trawl through the gearing thread for more info.
Thanks for the input. I did go back and read through the gearing thread again where everyone was saying they just took the metal off. I was playing with it quite a bit and couldn't figure out how to get it to clear. I will mess with it some more before I give up and pull the metal piece off.

I did mean 34t on the back and not 33t, the mushrooms were starting to kick in at that point though so things were fuzzy in my head. I totally get the gearing being a personal thing, it wasn't too many years ago when I probably would have preferred the faster acceleration of a 13t. I am a little older now and have had plenty of thrill seeking in my time so at this point I am content to just cruise smoothly.

Very glad you and mike help make this forum so informative (not to take away from anyone else's inputs) I just appreciate the level of commitment you two put in. Cheers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Just fiddled around with it and my final solution was to cut the little plastic buttons off but leave the rest of the pegs. Took the metal off then fitted it on the bike, had to use a small screwdriver to lever it around the chain bit by bit. After the metal was in place the plastic was able to easily slide into place since I left the pegs on. Bolted it down snug and I see no problems. Half way compromise between destroying it and leaving the metal off and then other option of somehow getting it on without breaking anything. Thanks again for telling me it was possible to do it Kiwi.
 
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