One of the easiest ways to give your dirt bike snappier acceleration and feel like it has more power is a simple sprocket change. It’s quite an easy job to find the best motorcycle sprockets for sale but the hard part is figuring out what size sprockets to replace your stock ones with.
Once you know the number of teeth on your bike’s countershaft sprocket and rear sprocket, you can determine a reference number called a “gear ratio”. That tells you exactly what is happening to your motorcycle’s driveline.
You don’t necessarily have to get the best motocross mods to make your dirt bike perform better. Choosing the proper gear ratio is a cheap way to make your dirt bike perform better by making it feel more powerful (by gearing it down) or more manageable (by gearing it up).
Your gearing ratio is the ratio of teeth between the front and rear sprockets. This ratio determines how engine RPM is translated into wheel speed by the bike. Changing sprocket sizes, front or rear, will change this ratio, and therefore change the way your bike puts power to the ground.
It is a simple math equation. There are two sprockets on every bike:
(1) The smaller countershaft sprocket is attached to the engine.
(2) The larger rear sprocket is attached to the rear wheel.
The two sprockets are measured by their number of teeth. As a quick rule of thumb, the more teeth on the rear sprocket, the lower the gearing. Conversely, the fewer teeth on the countershaft sprocket, the lower the gearing.
You get the gear ratio by dividing the number of teeth on the rear sprocket by the number of teeth on the countershaft sprocket. For example, a 13-tooth countershaft sprocket will divide into a 49-tooth rear sprocket 3.77 times. This gearing combination is said to have a 3.77 gear ratio, because that is how many times the countershaft sprocket turns before the rear wheel makes one full revolution.
When thinking about your bike’s gearing, the goal is to maximize performance for your riding style, skill level and track conditions. For example, a 14/52 gearing combo has a 3.71 gear ratio. But, if you want lower gearing, you would most likely add one more tooth to the rear sprocket. This 14/53 combo would lower the gear ratio to 3.79 (compared to the stock 3.71).
Gear Up or Gear Down?
Gearing up and gearing down are not the same; make sure you know the end results of both. You can gear up by using a smaller rear sprocket or a larger countershaft/front sprocket.
Gearing up adds more speed and decreases the final drive ratio. You can gear down by using a larger rear sprocket or a smaller front sprocket. Gearing down reduces speed and increases the final drive ratio.
You’ll find a wide range of motorcycle sprockets and OEM motorcycle parts at BikeBandit.com. There is a guide to choosing motorcycle sprockets at this site and if you have any questions, you can chat with their tech team online. Plus there’s a Lowest Price Guarantee on your purchase – if you find a lower price, they will match it.