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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Evaluation of Gear Up (higher gear) Decision. I went to 16T on front - stock on rear when I installed new chain, sprockets (I posted thread on here when I did the change over).

Just for information I ordered chain with two extra links just in case, then removed two links as it still reached. So, recommend buy standard length chain, 110 link, for a One T more front sprocket.

Just MY Opinion (for what it is worth) - Need to be around 3500 RPM (at least for decent power, but can run along at 2500 to 3000 on flat or down hill roads).

Gear Up OK for Street use even in the East TN Hills & Mtns of East TN is OK. Maybe a little week on some steep switchbacks, but I would probably do it again as I like the fact it does not wind up so fast in 1st gear on takeoff. Need to be at

Gear Up for Gravel Roads would be OK in Mild Hills or Flat Country on decent Gravel Roads where you can keep speed up to say above 8MPH. Note: I am not talking about severe trails or very steep rough gravel Mtn roads with steep switchbacks - then need to gear down).

Gear Up for my East TN Hills & Mtn roads that are sometimes rough with sometimes steep switchbacks is NOT OK. I would not go to the 16T sprocket as below about 8MPH, you are below 3000 RPM, it is weak. I would stay stock and maybe go Two T more on the rear and stay stock on the front. That decision based on how often you are on those type roads (steep , rough, switchbacks) VS how much you are on pavement.

In other words evaluate your needs. Basically, if you need so me pulling power below 10MPH, the Gear Up I did does not work well.

I will probably go back to stock front and stock back sprockets since the new chain is 110 links and doubt I could add two T on rear. I will need to buy another front sprocket (New) or maybe turn old over and put it back on (I think that will fit on this bike).
 

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Thanks for the in depth review man. I live in the mountains myself and rarely do long highway rides on this bike (I'd just ride my other bike with the V4 motor for that). I was also afraid I would lose some of the low speed take off rpms if I went higher on the sprocket and this confirms it. I have more than a few street lights in town on steep hills and I need my take off power from a stop when starting up hill. Most of my favorite roads are mountain climbs up to Skyline Drive/Blue Ridge Pkwy, I actually love winding it out going up and would probably not like being lower in the rpm range. Appreciate the info!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Droman --- It certainly depends on the type roads you are on and how slow (MPH) you have to get down to in order to feel safe with the higher gearing and lower RPM.

I am pretty comfortable with it for most all rides - hill takeoffs, street situations. That said, I have had some situations that needed more power at low speeds: Several very steep STEEP Switcbacks (mostly right hand inside curves where slow is required due to steepness, lack of visibility of what might be coming down in the other lane, or rough due to gravel road and washboard, etc.), and just plain rough gravel roads (up hill in forests mountain roads of E TN and W NC) that required a bit slower speed to figure out your path. When you get down below 8 more 10 MPH, RPM is in 2000s and not a lot of power.

Reckon if you were a Go Fast Cross Country Rider doing 20 mph in those situations (all would be OK). Actually, it is decent when staying above 10 to 15 MPH on gravel roads.

Anyway, for most of my rides it is OK at 1 T more. However, overall for my different rides, I would stay stock or go 2 T more on the rear (could do 1 T less on front also, but considering chain bend and wear, I prefer larger rear).
 

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practically the stock setup doesn't have any problems taking off from 2nd gear even with pillion rider, albiet with minimum clutch slips.
some rider even installed 17T/39.

the stock chain length is 112 links.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Yep, 112 is stock chain length (that worked for the 16 T front sprocket, so I would not have needed to order the 114 and remove links). As I remember the rear axle is set pretty far forward (near limit), give me plenty of room to adjust back. I reckon links will get sticky long before I reach the Red Zone on Adjustment.

17T front and 39 T rear ???? I suspect Way to high gearing for my rides on hills and Mtn roads of East TN. (especially on the Gravel Mtn Roads). Maybe OK on Flat Country, but I am guessing even then be selecting lower gear in transmission. I am near doing that with the 16T when running at medium speeds to keep in decent RPM range (I consider decent power at say 3800 RPM and up, but can run along at 2500 RPM on flat roads if not needing to accelerate). I had read one topic on here - guy went to 17T Front. Glad I did not.

As far as 2nd gear takeoff - Can do it on flat roads (stock gearing), but it does not have much zip.

I do like the 16 T takeoff OK on normal flat roads and even mild hills or when running along at say 15 mph. It does not wind up (RPM) as quickly as stock front sprocket. Other than that, I would not make the change for any higher gearing above stock.

I would consider lower gearing for my roads - Two T more on rear.
 

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sprocket changes

I've just purchased a leftover 2015 cb500x. Wanted to raise gearing for more relaxed highway riding as I have done with most other bikes. Wonder how/where you guys have gotten 16 tooth front sprockets. I find no listings and when I ordered one from a company called the Sprocket Center they were clear that it might not fit but that for some customers it had. This particular sprocket is their listing for the Honda CTX700. Its 'teeth' don't mesh with the more v-shape of the 'slots' on the transmission output shaft. In addition, there is a half-moon shaped drive chain guide in front of the sprocket that allows insufficient room for a larger diameter sprocket to fit without removing the guide. Removal would be easy enough but that piece is likely designed in part to protect the engine cased from a chain 'mishap'. So unless you guys are running earlier model year CB500X's which might have a different output shaft, I wonder where you are getting the 16 tooth sprocket? I'm pretty bummed about not being able to change this, although the 39 in the rear was a step in the right direction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I've just purchased a leftover 2015 cb500x. Wanted to raise gearing for more relaxed highway riding as I have done with most other bikes. Wonder how/where you guys have gotten 16 tooth front sprockets. I find no listings and when I ordered one from a company called the Sprocket Center they were clear that it might not fit but that for some customers it had. This particular sprocket is their listing for the Honda CTX700. Its 'teeth' don't mesh with the more v-shape of the 'slots' on the transmission output shaft. In addition, there is a half-moon shaped drive chain guide in front of the sprocket that allows insufficient room for a larger diameter sprocket to fit without removing the guide. Removal would be easy enough but that piece is likely designed in part to protect the engine cased from a chain 'mishap'. So unless you guys are running earlier model year CB500X's which might have a different output shaft, I wonder where you are getting the 16 tooth sprocket? I'm pretty bummed about not being able to change this, although the 39 in the rear was a step in the right direction.
I ordered from Chaparral in CA. chaparralmotorsports.com 1 800 841 2960
 

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what's your speed @6k rpm?
I have no idea :laugh:. I have not calibrated my speedometer and the local radar units don't see the bike :surprise:.
I am estimating at the speed is about 5 MPH faster than what the speedometer shows .
So if 6,000 shows about 72 MPH then I would estimate 77-80 MPH.

The calculations indicate about 10% change from the stock gear ratio.
If the speedometer reads 5% high for the stock ratio, then it should read 5% low for the new gear ratio.

ride safely.

PS> I can still start off in 2nd. gear with a little clutch slippage to get me going.
 

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Great info - here in Northern Thailand the mountain roads have vicious switchbacks, one can usually maintain speed through them unless some diesel pickup is poking along, which is always. I think I'll go with the 39T rear.
Saved me an experiment, I think.
 

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I was going to do this gear change and decided against it because I live in the foothills of the Sierra Mountains. We have some steep grades with many switchbacks.

I had geared the Bonneville up with a 19 from 18 and since went back to the 18, found the 19 weak too often.

Figured the same thing would happen to the CB with a larger front gear.

I've adjusted to the low first and second gear and don't really even notice that anymore.

Good evaluation and just about what I would have expected, especially since my conclusions

the same with my other bike as this report after changing the gearing.

What it comes down to these companies know exactly what they are doing with gearing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
A follow up on an Old Topic.

Just wanted to say, I went back to Standard Gearing when I changed the chain and sprockets last month. Have 52K Miles on the bike now. I say 52K, I might have the miles mixed up with my scooter but it is over 50K Miles for sure.

I kind of wanted to try a gear down with larger rear sprocket, but decided to stay at stock ratio.

It works better with Standard Gearing on the gravel back roads as can slow down below 7MPH when needed and still have enough RPM to not be lugging the engine.

I was happy with the up-gearing for normal riding, just was not happy with the speed needed (sometimes just need to go slower and have enough power) to keep RPM up in decent power range for some steep gravel roads (like with switchbacks).

Get about the same gas mileage at around 70MPG most tanks or say for a 200 mile fillup. Do notice it takes a few more RPM to run at 50MPH (think it is like 4200 vs was 4000 when geared up). No big deal.
 
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