- Front sprocket change-

from: Transalp mailinglist, June 2001

The jury is still out on my change to a 16t countershaft sprocket. I can tell the difference when accelerating onto the highway's. 4,500 rpm=60 mph, 5,000=68 mph and 5,500=75 mph (indicated on my bicycle computer not the motorcycle speedometer). While great for highway riding it has made a difference in town--not really bad but just different. I kept thinking where did the power go.
I think I might go back down to a 15t after my summer trip.
- Wayne
I have been riding on a 16T sprocket for 6 months now. Reduction of engine revs on motorway is definite improvement (agree with Wayne). There is an effect on acceleration, but I don't find a problem, because it just changes the speed at which you change gear - it has a minor effect on overall acceleration but that is f(for me) greatly outweighed by the more relaxed ride at 70-80 mph. Another bonus is that in towns, when previously I used 3rd gear a lot of the time, now 2nd gear offers better acceleration and flexibility.
So I am staying with 16t permanently!
- David Horne, '91TA
I'm changing back to 15t right after trying a 16t on my TA650 and wondering "where did all the fun go?"
Gear ratios are slightly different between the 600s and 650s and the 650 also puts out an extra 4-5 hp, but I still noticed a definite loss of drive, especially in town traffic.
70-80mph in top gear feels flat with the 16t fitted but was right on the power with the 15t... 60mph now equates to about 4000rpm and a slight rough spot that I never noticed before - the pattern sprocket's probably to blame here as it lack the rubber damping of the original.
Honda surely experimented with front sprockets and settled on the 15t for good reason...
- David Healy
I wish the 15 was on around town-----and the 16 was on when blasting down the pavement. However what I really would wish for (we all can wish can't we??) is a six speed with a low first gear-----and an overdrive sixth. Now----that's what we need :)
- Mark Sampson
Well there you go - 2 UK riders, 2 different opinion2 :-)
I must admit that I wouldn't have a problem going back to the 15T sprocket (I have kept it, as it was in good condition), but prefer 16T now. I guess it comes down to individual riding preferences, style, and the types of road used most frequently.
- David Horne, '91TA
Of course. Think about it - you have the same power to weight ratio. The only place acceleration will be different is from a start. Once under way, it's all about when you shift!
- Jay (never missing the 15T except off the road)
Also, we do most of our riding 2-up, and the 15t seems a lot torquier when pulling the extra weight - don't tell Emily I said that ;-)
- David Healy, Edinburgh TA 650
I just changed a few weeks ago, and had much the same experience. There's one tiny thing that bothers me, though.
With the 15 sprocket, the tach and the speedo needles were in sync in high gear. For some reason that was comforting, because cruising speed happened when both needles were straight up at 12 o'clock. That's not the case anymore.
Maybe I'm just being anal!
- Brian Sawert
Went out for a early morning ride for about 2 hours and managed to ride, at least for a short time, on most types of roads. I think what I'll do seeing as how the countershaft sprocket is so easy to change is order a new 15t and just swap them out as needed. Put the 16t on for long high speed highway runs and revert back to the 15t for around town/local riding.
My buddy I ride with is looking forward to riding with me with the 16t sprocket--my TA easily pulls away from his 750 Nighthawk--he's hoping this change will keep him a little closer--We'll see........
- Wayne
It's funny how the 16T sprocket gets all this attention all of a sudden. Is that because I just mounted one last tuesday!? :-)
At first I had a humm and the chain slapping 'something'. It turned out that the chain was rubbing the plastic cover, which I fixed by having it move outward a bit through a washer between the lower screw. Humm gone! The chain slap was fixed by fine tuning the chain tension. I would say that the chain tension is a bit more critical with the 16T. When you do the math it doesn't seem like such a big deal. The speed at which you get 5000 RPM (~65mph) with the 15T, will show 4688 RPM with the16T. Doesn't look like a lot of difference....
But surprisingly, the famous vibration at 75~80mph is MUCH less with the 16T!! And it's not that the vibration moved to a higher speed, it simply is less altogether. Tonight I was 'flying' home from work in the fast lane, moving along with other 'fast' traffic. "She's purring nicely, let's look at the speedo: Oh my god, I'm doing 90!!!". Now this would never have happened with the 15T. :-)
Yes, when I take off at a traffic light, it sometimes feels like I left it in 2nd.... Personally, I take that inconvenience for the grately improved comfort at 75mph. If you hardly get up to 75mph, it might not be worth putting a 16T on.
- Eddy van Keulen
I have tried the 15-to-16t sprocket trick but preferred the stock gearing. Cruising was better, but I noticed different vibrations which annoyed me a little, and slower acceleration in the high gears. This was like 4 years ago so I don't remember that much from it, but here in Norway,speed limits are lower and I don't need improved cruisingcomfort at high speed (above 110 km/h). I like to feel when I'm riding to fast and I lost too much of the torque feeling in the higher gears. I found myself shifting from 5-to-4 too often where I used to twist the throttle and pass cars i 5.th..
However, I ordered a 49T rear sprocket from this spring, mainly just for fun and a little experimenting when I was changing the drive packet anyway and have found the following when comparing to stock 15/47t gearing: BTW. I tested the XL 650V a while ago and it certainly is _much_better on the motorway above 110 km/h. Less vibrations, and strong, smooth power for a 650, a better seat - veery nice bike :-)
- Tom Cevro (OTC # 002) (94 Transalp)
525 and 520 refer to the width of the chain. 520 is narrower, so if you get a 520 chain you need 520 sprockets to match. There are a few performance reasons people desire 520 chains, none of which are relevant to Transalps.

You can get some different sized sprockets in 525. I have no idea so I'll assume your Transalp has the same OE gearing as our ancient yankee TAs: 15/47. The ratio is 3.133 to 1. Switching to 16/49 makes it 3.063. The change is insignifcant (2.2%) and probably won't do you much good. Must people over here who raise their gearing go to 16/47, which gives you 2.94 to 1. That's 6.2% and is noticable, especially in reduced vibration at speed. If you want to change the rear sprocket instead, you'll go smaller, say 44 or 45. 15/44 gives you 2.933:1. I ran both a 16/46 and a 16/44 combo for a while. 16/44 = overdrive.

The question is: Can you get odd-sized sprockets in 525. Depends. You can probably get a 16t front sprocket in 525 since the Bros650 uses them. That, with a standard sized rear sprocket, would probably get you the desired result. If you want to go taller, then you may need to switch to 520 to find sprockets in the sizes you want. That's what I had to do for the 16/44 and /46 combinations. But I had to get aluminum sprockets which don't last nearly as long as steel.

clear as mud, but i hope that helps.
kevin daniels