Mi. Trail Riders
Dec 6, 1999
Since I've decided to keep my WR400 another year and see what shakes out with the CR450F and a trail version, I'll need a new chain and sprockets. I've ridden with stock gearing, and often find the space between second and third a spot I'd like to be, but the bike rev's too much in second and feels too boggy in third. I'm thinking of going with a 52 rear sprocket. Can anyone doing the same characterize the differences on this bike in trail riding?

Thanks ahead of time for your help.


Sponsoring Member
Dec 30, 2000
Sandbar, NY
Go 52

I have just ordered my 52 for the same reason you mentioned. At times I also feel inbetween gears. After reading several posts regarding this, I had to do it. Word is, that you'll be able to really burst out of turns, and will feel a vast improvement in the usability of those "inbetween" gears.


Feb 16, 2001
52 tooth rear is SICK!

I had the same expereince
The spot between second and third was where I wanted to be.
With a stock length chain it moves the rear wheel forward making it turn WAY better with a minimal loss in stability.
Best mod and cheapest by far.
And first becomes a super granny, second becomes first and third is the woods ripper!


Jun 15, 2001
Hmm, I have 3 gears for the front, 15, 14, and a 13. I have tried them all and like the 13 on my WR 400 the best. First is super granny and I only use it riding in slow group rides. The bike works best in 2nd gear on technical stuff and hill climbs. With a smaller gear on the front you dont get the shorter wheel base, you get a slightly longer one, but if thats the gear you like you can just shorten the chain. I dont like going biger on the back because it cost more, is harder to change, weighs more (unsuspended rotating mass :( ) and to me it seems like it would cause more chain ware cuse the chain guide is so close to the rear sprocket it looks like it might push the chain into an s shape for the bigger gear that is now even closer to the guide.
What gear are you running on the front ? Changing the front by 1 tooth dose not give you the fine tunability of going one or 2 on the front, but depends on the final ratio of the two gears. Just a few thoughts. BTW, I ride in the tight woods and coal hills in the east, I would definatly gear up for straighter or faster areas like NJ pine barrens.


Aug 5, 2001
I've heard that 1 tooth on the front sprocket is like 3 on the rear sprocket. Either way, you make a much bigger step changing the front than the rear. If you are close to where you want to be, gearing wise, I would be reluctant to make any big changes. One tooth on the rear is the smallest change you can make and will probably be exactly what you wanted. I didn't believe I would notice only 1 tooth difference when I changed my rear sprocket on my old XR200. Believe me, it made a huge difference. I went from bogging in 3rd gear in the deep, soft sand here in Florida, to being able to pull up to 5th with no problem in the same sand. Unfortunately, as was mentioned in the other posts, 1st and almost 2nd, were only good for uprooting stumps and climbing telephone poles :) Good luck.

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