Sprocket Change? - Honda CBR500R Forum : CB500F and CB500X Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-13-2019, 07:06 PM Thread Starter
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Sprocket Change?

I'm thinking of changing the sprocket sizes when it's time for me to install a new chain and sprocket set. I've done some research on the forums and internet but still, I'm not certain if deviating from the stock teeth count will give me what I want from my CB500F. I would like some advice from others who have made this change and what you think.

I ride my 2015 CB500F to commute to work on congested city roads with slow-moving traffic on somewhat rough and uneven roads, reaching up to speeds of 40/50 MPH but mostly on speed limits of 30 MPH. I also take my bike out to bigger and faster roads with speed limits of up to 60 MPH. However, this is not done very often and I rarely ever use the motorway (highway)

I've found the gearing range to be very short with the stock sprocket ratios and having to work through the gears a bit too much to my taste. I often find first and second gear to be too responsive and jerky, very small throttle inputs give drastic acceleration or engine braking effects. I feather the clucth at slow speeds but i still find it to be jerky often. Third gear in traffic seems to lug the engine, be less responsive which does help reduce the throttle jerk, however, the bike just feels wrong and unhappy in this gear.

I was wondering if changing away from the standard sprocket sizes would allow me to stay in gear for longer and not work through the gears as much, while still having enough torque with slower speeds and RPM's while also being responsive enough but not so jerky in responsiveness nor be lugging the engine? Am I asking for too much or is this possible to achieve with sprocket teeth changes?

I think back to the 2017 Honda NC750S I learnt to ride on, obviously, it's not the same bike as the CB500F, but I could comfortably reach 20-30MPH in second gear on this bike without it screaming, nor did it have any jerky responses from small throttle inputs.


Last edited by Konic; 07-13-2019 at 07:08 PM.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-14-2019, 08:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Konic View Post
I was wondering if changing away from the standard sprocket sizes would allow me to stay in gear for longer and not work through the gears as much, while still having enough torque with slower speeds and RPM's while also being responsive enough but not so jerky in responsiveness nor be lugging the engine? Am I asking for too much or is this possible to achieve with sprocket teeth changes?
I have a " Sprocket Calculator" link below. You can plug in your original sprockets' sizes, then insert your desired sizes to see the how they change the bike's torque and speed. It also tells you the proper number of links the chain has increased or decreased by the sprocket changes. Hope this helps. Good Luck
https://sprocketcalculator.com/

To ride or not to ride? What a stupid question!... Anon
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-15-2019, 04:09 AM
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I have '16 500F and the best mod ive done aside for gear indicator was to change the gearing... (stock gearing sucked IMHO)

JT Front Sprocket [JTF1381.16RB (55-138116R) steel 16 teeth with rubber damper](factory part has 15 teeth)
JT Rear Sprocket [JTR1303.39 steel 39 teeth] (factory part has 41 teeth)

I felt the factory gearing was too close.... i use my bike as daily commuter on crazy congested CA freeways and surface steeets. Before id often hit rev limiter on freeways and often feel gears were way too close together i could nearly take off from dead stop in second. I didnt like it at all... now the bike rides great - things are a bit more spaced out and since i have always driven a manual transmission vehicle - it feels way more natural in its current gearing configuration. Granted this mod did sacrifice a little acceleration but makes it purr a bit smoother, get better gas milage , and a tad more speed without hitting rev limiter. I still have plenty of torque but if i need more i can always downshift (like one should). Overall the bike so much more fun to ride.... would def recommend this mod to anyone... was so thinking about selling the bike before i did this mod and now i dont want to ever give it up. Id def add a DID Chain 520VX2-112FB (520 x-ring) & 12oclockLabs SpeedoDRD as well to complete the job.


Quote:
I was wondering if changing away from the standard sprocket sizes would allow me to stay in gear for longer and not work through the gears as much, while still having enough torque with slower speeds and RPM's while also being responsive enough but not so jerky in responsiveness nor be lugging the engine?
YES!


Quote:
is this possible to achieve with sprocket teeth changes
YES
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Last edited by steve77; 07-15-2019 at 04:14 AM.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-15-2019, 02:57 PM Thread Starter
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I'm very interested now, but I have more questions!

Steve77, If I change the front sprocket to a 16 tooth, will this fit without any issues on my 2015 CB500F? Also, If I change the rear sprocket to a 39 tooth, along with the 16 tooth front, will this still give me enough power to climb hills, as my commute to work does involve some semi-steep hills?

Considering perhaps only changing the rear sprocket to a 38 tooth or the front to a 16 tooth, not sure if this will give me what I want however. As mentioned in my first post, I'm not really looking to increase my top speed, I rarely ever do more than 70 MPH, 90% of the time i'm in 30/40 MPH zones, and I dont use the motorway. I want the gears to be taller but still have enough power at low speeds / RPM's to keep me going on flat ground and hills (nothing too crazy) without the engine bogging down, I fear this will happen if I change to a 16/39 tooth set but I have no idea if this is true

I used the SprocketCalculator airhead83 linked, If I change to a 16 tooth front / 39 rear sprocket set, It says I loose around 12% torque and gain 12% speed. I really dont care about the speed but the torque loss concerns me. Would losing 12% cause issues with hills?

If I change just the front sprocket to a 16 tooth and keep the 41 rear, I loose around 7% torque. This seems more reasonable to me but I'm unsure.

Last edited by Konic; 07-15-2019 at 02:59 PM.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-15-2019, 06:00 PM
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I recommend the 16T front sprocket change. I did that and liked it.
I tried also changing the rear sprocket to 39T with the 16T front.
It worked fine for my riding. Just remember that 5th gear acts much like the original 6th gear in that arrangement... so you don't loose out at all.

I went back the std on the rear and remained pleased with the 16T front. sprocket

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-16-2019, 05:06 PM
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Quote:
Steve77, If I change the front sprocket to a 16 tooth, will this fit without any issues on my 2015 CB500F? Also, If I change the rear sprocket to a 39 tooth, along with the 16 tooth front, will this still give me enough power to climb hills, as my commute to work does involve some semi-steep hills?
I dont know... how steep we are talking like San Francisco steep ? I seem to have plenty of power and do take my bike on mountain runs on some weekends without issue. Sure i have to downshift sometimes but its not like a super dramatic maneuver. And didnt require any mods - although i did elect to install a new chain and a speedohealer.

I was pretty apprehensive when i was in your shoes (although for different reason).

But yes ExTex is right when he says..
Quote:
Just remember that 5th gear acts much like the original 6th gear in that arrangement...
With my setup its almost like you have wider spaced gears and a new overdrive 6th gear (which is great as for my long commute it helps save fuel).
When i need more torque i can simply drop into 5th and go.

The setup works good at slow speeds (20-50) as well, as my commute isn't all on freeway. You wont be able to do a wheelie but doesn't seem like thats your jam anyhow.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-20-2019, 06:12 AM Thread Starter
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After doing more research about the speedo being offer with non OEM sprocket sizes, I've been put off making the change. Unless changing the front to a 16 tooth would not cause the speedo to be too far out. However, the whole thing seems like a bit of an investment to try, which I'm not keen to make at the moment. Maybe sometime in the future, if I hang onto the bike for the long term. Just have to put up with how it rides stock for now.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-23-2019, 11:30 PM
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I have got a 16 tooth on the front and like it. No chain change. With 39 on back if it gives a 5th that feels like 6 then it must also give a 1st that feels like 2nd.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-12-2019, 02:40 PM
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Steve77, what RPM does your 16/39 setup run at 65mph? Also do you have to give it much throttle to start from a stop without stalling?
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-12-2019, 03:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Konic View Post
After doing more research about the speedo being offer with non OEM sprocket sizes, I've been put off making the change. Unless changing the front to a 16 tooth would not cause the speedo to be too far out. However, the whole thing seems like a bit of an investment to try, which I'm not keen to make at the moment. Maybe sometime in the future, if I hang onto the bike for the long term. Just have to put up with how it rides stock for now.
$20 for a front sprocket

Ride for a few days and if you like it buy the speedo correction module.
Not too much of an investment

2014 CB500F White
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