Big Pig
Nov 20, 2000
lost in the deserts of NM
Just put a new rear sproket on the ol' '82 XL500r and was sorta curious......
The stock gearing on this bike was 15 / 43.
I've got it at 14 / 43 right now, but could barely notice a difference off-road.
On road it's top speed seems to suffer though.
(sounds a bit busy down there at 80+ mph!)
Do big thumpers benefit from lower gearing that much? (in y'alls opinion.)
Or is it just wasted because of big 4-strokers (500+cc) massive torque output?
Maybe i'm not gearing down enough to notice a difference though?
Any input from the big cc Honda XR / XL riders out there?
Thanks in advance!


Jun 16, 1999
One tooth on the front should have made a noticeable difference. When I first got my 600, I thought it'd be a good idea to gear it down. I didn't want more low end power, I just wanted to be able to tackle really tight trails easier. So I put a 52 tooth rear sprocket on (14/52 vs. stock 14/48). I rode it like that for a while, and there was quite a difference. I decided I didn't like it too much, though. Seemed like it ran out of gear to quick, and I was constantly shifting.

Personally, I wouldn't want to gear my bike any higher. The terrain I ride doesn't allow very fast speeds.

1999 XR600R
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