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February 19th, 2009, 10:56 AM   #1
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16/38 vs 15/40 on my FS550E?

Wanna get it setup for our track, rode it with 16/38 (stock) for one track day last year and it felt too tall.

Initially I was thinking of just going 1 down on the front but if i go 1 down and 2 up I can retain the stock chain length...

Will this thing put me on my ass?

thanks..
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February 19th, 2009, 01:04 PM   #2
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RE: 16/38 vs 15/40 on my FS550E?

The stock 16/38T sprocket combination results in very tall gearing. Almost impossible to touch 6th gear unless you're doing 80mph.

I've switched over to 15/42T sprockets and it seems to be a good balance for me.
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February 19th, 2009, 02:19 PM   #3
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RE: 16/38 vs 15/40 on my FS550E?

Thanks for the response.. I guess I'll go 15/40 and see how it feels, worst case I can go back to 15/38!!

thanks!!
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February 20th, 2009, 03:41 AM   #4
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When I got my FS650 it had 16/38 as standard & like supertyreguy said, way tall. Went to 15/38 & could use 6th gear at 70mph/112kph. Now run 15/42 as I'm looking for the grunt to 100kph ( which is our max speed limit just about everywhere ). Good for power wheelies in 5th to about 120kph which is about as fast as I want to go on the road.
If you've got 15/16 & 38/42 combination you'll be spot on no matter where you're racing. If you swap them over regularly you'll get good life for the initial outlay. You can use the same length chain, just turn your adjusters around.
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February 20th, 2009, 09:33 AM   #5
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For reference, this is the track I'm trying to gear for.. the longest way around

http://stratotech.ca/park_facility/track_layout.pdf
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February 20th, 2009, 10:47 AM   #6
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Just thought I'd throw my two cents in here........ I don't have, nor have ever had an FS model bike, but, I do have some opinions on setting up the final drive. I have been a big fan of using the largest chain wheels you can for some time, as this helps keep the tension on the chain slider on the swing arm to a minimum, and it also extends the chain life as the chain doesn't have to make such a tight bend at the counter shaft sprocket. I do have some asphalt racing experience too.

So, it seems like the hot set up is 15/42 which is a 2.8:1 ratio.

Since your bike came with a 16 counter, why not go to a 45 rear sprocket and this will give you a ratio of 2.81:1. Very close to what supertireguy and wildman are running.

IMHO, if you are trying to set it up for the track that you linked, then you should be just reaching peak revs in 6th at the end of that 1400' back straight. Now is that 1400' straight a true straight or do they have you go through those chicanes? Otherwise it looks like the start straight would be the longest flat out straight.

What do you think?
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February 20th, 2009, 11:20 AM   #7
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Thanks for your input!! It definitely is a true straight, no chicanes.. I'm worried if I set it up to be maxed out in 6th by the end of the longest straight I'm going to be doing a TON of shifting.. But I'll keep this in mind and probably end up playing with a variety of setups til I find one that suits me, the bike and the track
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February 20th, 2009, 11:30 AM   #8
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Right on,

You may end up doing more shifting, but, it comes down to how hard you want it to pull. If it's geared too tall it's not going to accelerate as quickly as it could. I set up my off road bike so that I can use most of the gears most of the time. It's very seldom that I cross a dry lake bed in a full tuck, and need 6th gear to pull me to 110 miles an hour. On my FE550, I am geared 15/52, that gives me a 1st gear that is good for the gnarliest of technical sections, and I can use 6th in the sand washes, and, on a dry lake it will still pull me to 102mph.

I used to race a 250cc shifter kart for 5 years, and I would always set up my gearing so that it would just be topping out in 5th gear at the end of the longest straight. And, now matter where I was at on the track, I had a gear that would pull strong out of each corner.
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February 20th, 2009, 11:34 AM   #9
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My honest worry is ridability.. The shorter it's geared the smoother I have to be and every minuscule input mistake with the throttle hand will definitely be accentuated. That's more an issue of skill than set up though ha!
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February 20th, 2009, 11:55 PM   #10
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I ran a 15/50 on my 06 FE550 & no way would I rev it to 100mph/160kph. I did a main bearing in my 06 FE550 wraping it out to 140kmh & letting go of the throttle so not keen to do that again. Especially 15hrs after a rebuild. I now run 15/48 onmy 07 FE550 & whilst I have to fan the clutch a bit in the tight stuff I've still got heaps of revs in the bag on the open bits.
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