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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2002 VLX 600, I just bought the bike and knew going in it was getting close to that time.

I am wondering, since it's time to change anyway, should I go ahead and change the number of teeth on the sprocket ? What disadvantages does that give? I think I understand the advantages I just want to weigh both sides....

Also, is there a brand I should look for, anyone have a preference, any good deals online and is it something I could do myself ?

 

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If you go to a longer gear to reduce RPMs at speed, you will need to manage starts (especially up hill) more carefully and may experience shortened clutch life as a result. If you think the trade off is worth it, go for it.

DID O-ring is most common but I am trying a riveted RK X-ring this time around due to reports of longer life.
 

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I have thought about this on my vlx too. But with the smaller motor of the vlx and the mountains around here, and I sometimes ride with the wife I decided to leave it stock. A bit higher revs on the highway but don't see any indication that the honda will be hurt with that. I use an O ring chain and have had great life with it. After 30,000 miles it is getting close to the time to change it. I do oil it quite often.
 

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As for me, when the time comes to replace the chain and sprockets on my '05 VLX, I'm going to keep them stock.

I've done hundreds of interstate highway miles since I bought it earlier this year, and it handles it just fine as it is...no need to change. And there's those hills, too. :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yea I think I'm going to stick to what I have, I don't have any problems with it so why change it.... Now im just trying to find a good deal and looking up how to's
 

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I did the 38 tooth, and I'll never regret it. I'd suggest finding someone near you that's done the swap and check it out. I know it might be hard to find, but you never know.
A friend of mine did it on his '06 shadow and swore by it. I never got around to riding his to test it out.

I talked to another friend with an '03 750 like mine who's gone thru a handful of bikes for the last couple of decades and he told me that I'd probably hate city driving if I did it. Me and that guy went cruise the weekend before last. We swapped bikes for a few miles and he ate his words. We ran side by side so he could see when it shifted compared to his. We were at 50 and he was in 5th, I was just shifting into 4th.
It's awesome in the city because you're not constantly looking for that magical 6th gear. The torque loss off the line is minimal. Even my buddy said he like the takeoffs with it because it was still smooth. He actually ordered his 38T that night after we rode.

Anyways. Just my thoughts on it.
We installed mine at his house and instantly
 

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Take off the rear brake connections, 1 is the the brake extension, and 1 from the swingarm (at least on my '03 750).

Remove the front sprocket cover and the chain guard. Loosen the 2X axle bolts. Take axle out and drop the tire. Take the 5 bolts off the existing sprocket, and put the new one on, torque to spec.

You can either remove the front sprocket or cut the chain off. My bike only had 10K miles and was in good shape so I didn't swap the front sprocket. Next time I do some major maintenance I'll get on that.
From there it's just putting it all back together in the reverse order you removed it.
Check the chain for the right amount of slack and lock it down.

It should take less than an hour. Should actually take less than that actually if you move thru it. It took me longer to cut my chain than the rest of it did. It's pretty straight forward.
 

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What are the downsides to changing the tooth count on the sprocket?

I found a 40 rear 16 front that claims it's like adding a 5th gear to the bike, which of course i'm taking with a grain of salt. Any real downsides to this at all?
 

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Going up in the front is equivalent to going down 3-4 teeth on the rear. The problem is there's not always a lot of breathing room to fit that bigger front gear. The rear, you can go up or down all you want and not really create any major issues.

The downsides are that you're changing your gearing to be taller. So your first gear take off is theoretically tougher on the motor. But in reality, it's not even noticeable. You'll do less shifting in the city, and highway riding doesn't feel like you're SCREAMING in the rpms at 70+ mph.
And as far as the claims that it's like adding a 5th gear to the bike, don't take it with a grain of salt. It's pretty literal. I don't even need 5th gear in the city any more. Doing 50 mph in the city and going between 4th and 5th barely changes the rpms. It's when you get higher up that 5th shines... (of course that's me talking about my '03 750 with 5 gears).
 

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first being taller wouldn't bother me at all. It seems a tad short as it is.

I might have to look into doing this. I dunno when the chain was last changed on this bike so once i have some extra cash i might have to give this a shot. The 4 spd is really my only complaint about this bike so far.

Thanks for the info.
 
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