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Hello, this is my first post on this forum. Last year I bought a used 2012 CB1000R, the bike has about 3,000 miles as today. I 'd used this site to learn all kind of cool things about this awesome bike, so I wanted to add my two cents.

Let me start by saying the CB1000R is an awesome bike, but the gearing was something I was not totally sold on, not that there was anything wrong with the stock gearing, but I felt it was too short, got a feeling that the engine was always too busy, and have to shift constantly, even in sixth gear I would find myself trying to go up another gear.

I know there are a few other posts on the topic, but those posts are only discussions about it, a lot of people love the way the bike is geared from factory, and that is great, we all ride in different ways, we all have different backgrounds of bikes and riding experience, so in my opinion the gearing comes down to a personal preference.

The difference with this post is that about two months ago I went on and changed the gearing on my bike, I installed a 17 tooth front sprocket, making the gearing a little 'taller', so here I am sharing my experience with the upgrade.

Results? I love the new bike!

It really makes it feel like a completely different bike, the 'busy' feeling of the engine is almost gone, except when pushing for higher RPMs, and the lower gears (1st, 2nd, 3rd) are now more 'street friendly'. I am now able to go for any period of time on any given gear with no 'need' to shift up. Also, cruising at 75 miles per hour on highways is a lot more pleasant.
Some people were concerned about the lost of torque by stretching the gearing, let me say that if anything the bike now pull off from stops faster, yes faster, I believe the 1000cc engine generates more than enough torque to get going without problems. It now feels that when opening the gas the bike is propelled forward while before all I felt was the engine getting really busy in high RPMs but not really moving forward. I ride solo always, so unfortunately I do not know how this mod will affect those riding 2-up.

Bottom line: if you are considering this update, that means you feel the same way that I did two months ago, so I would totally recommend this update for those looking for a more 'relaxed' ride.

The screw holding the sprocket is regular threat, meaning it loosens to the left and tightens to the right. I was able to unscrew it by just holding the rear brake down to stop the rear tire from spinning. That is all there is to it.
There is a little 'gotcha'. If you have ever changed the gearing of any bike, this one is exactly the same, but the chain guard around the rear swing arm is on the way, so it needs to be shaved off by 1/4 of an inch or about 5mm. It is not a big deal, it is plastic, and it is quite easy to cut, but be aware that is part of the process if you want to fit a 17 tooth front sprocket.

Now, for those of you that 'love' the way the stock gearing is, great! you can go ahead and get riding, no need to post your opinion in this post, let this post serve of reference for those that share my idea on the topic.
For those that did not understand that last sentence, it means: "if you don't want to change the gearing of your bike, then don't post here, thank you."

Have a great day!
 

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Hi Guilleusa2001, I too have fitted a 17 tooth front sprocket and found the same as you that it is now a totally different bike. I am not looking for 7th gear any more and have noticed that the speedometer is now spot on (have checked with GPS). The bike is way more suited to my style of riding now (old fart) but it can still put a smile on my face! If you like it the way it is then yes leave it alone but if you feel the bike is "buzzing" then give a 17 tooth a try. Happy biking :)
 

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That's the great thing about the internet, I'm free to completely ignore your last paragraph just as you are free to ignore what I am about to write. :thumbup

I had the same impressions as you when I first bought the bike. It was so different from anything else I had ridden. Usually I'm changing the gearing the other way on other bikes, but felt the CB was geared a little too short. I have put 10,000 miles on mine since then and feel quite differently now about the gearing on my own bike. I still think a taller gear is warranted for lot of high speed riding or highway commuting/travel, but since I mostly use the bike for it's intended purpose (sub 100mph hooliganism), I have come to love the stock gearing. After 10k, I'm also far more used to the bike. No more looking for 7th gear and I always know what gear I'm in. (glad I didn't install a gear indicator now!)

You Southern Cali boys have different types of roads than a lot of other areas. Lots and lots and lots of highways. I would most definitely do the same gearing change if I lived out there. It seems like most of the SoCal members on here have went to a 17. Suzukijo for one is a big advocate of 17t, he and others have done some great posts about it. This thread comes to mind - http://www.hondacb1000r.com/forums/modification/12448-cavitation-16-42-a.html

For others reading this, If the bike is new to you or you like spending time on the back wheel, drifting out of corners, etc., give yourself a chance to get used to the bike before you change it up. It's gearing is at least half the fun!


Welcome to the forum, guilleusa2001. Good first post! :respekt
 

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...great write up and a great outline of the enjoyment you're getting out of the bike - I don't think you'll stifle debate but I think it is a fair point of view for certain riders needs - Personally I was thinking about lowering the gearing to give the bike a bit more Oomph - Performance Bikes in the UK did a gearing experiment with a ZX10-R and they found, by recording and testing acceleration and speed, that lowering the gearing gave the bike up to a second in standing start times up to 70 and 100 mph without massively affecting top speeds (which can't be used on the road anyway) - it was something like £50 for a performance upgrade for speeds up to 100-120mph, that would ordinarily cost a couple of grand in engine work ...

I know the CB1Rs primary gear ratios will be different (the ZX10R is notoriously tall as stock) but essentially there will be similar benefits and only a difference of around 500 rpm at most cruising speeds (extra revs) - Personally I love the stock gearing as I'm after the best snap of power - If I'd bought the bike as a cruiser I'd probably do the same as you, but luckily here we can avoid motorways and hit some quite challenging twisty roads fairly easily ...

One thing is true though - Taller gearing will NOT make your bike accelerate faster !

The gearing mod seems to have fans either way which I suppose says a lot for its versatility !
 

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Could somebody answer me this ??????

If, with the present gearing, the bike will easily wheelie in first and second and the front wheel only brushes the road in third how can you apply More power ????????????????

Bearing in mind that at 10,000 rpm in third is about 100 mph anyway. ( Reached in around 8 seconds or so. )

Above a 100 I can see there might be a benefit and also lots of points on your license. Lol'

( Talking about general on the road riding and NOT track days. )






​I bet somebody will say------try sitting on the handlebars to put more weight up front and keep that wheel down.
 

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As a new CB1R owner I have only ticked off 200 miles on the odometer as there is almost six inches of snow and ice on the ground where I live at the moment. In this short amount of seat time I have found myself hunting for a seventh gear at 75mph. Even though the motor doesn't really seem strained or running that high of rpms. In the beginning I considered a 17t but I have already found myself getting used to it and now I can't imagine what I'd do if I lost any of all that low end torque. I may still consider the 17t if I plan any longer road trips. Nothing says that I can't go back and forth depending on that particular weekend's game plan. Great writeup.
 

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I ride the track quite a bit when time allows, I am not a Marquez or Rossi type rider, but I have always changed my gearing for the way I ride. I live in the Philippines we dont have many long straight roads so I want my torque down low and able to pull me out of the turns. Thought about doing a -1/+2 however I still have a while of riding before I am due for sprocket and chain change out. I know where I live the 17T just wont work for me. Now that doesnt mean I wont try it out for a month or 2
 

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Loz, in answer to your question, I personally have found that the acceleration "feels" stronger if that makes sense. You certainly do get more out of each gear. I find that third is my best gear for around town and top gear is spot on for around the 70/80mph speed but will still pull strong to overtake without having to change down. I prefer the bike this way but everyone has their own taste. Give it a go, you don't have to change or cut the chain to try it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I agree with Snowy. The 'feel' is of the bike taking off quicker. Now, the keyword there is 'feel'. In my opinion, one tooth will not add nor remove power from the bike, it just creates a little stretch in between gears.

DeLuth: I agree with you, I had the bike for about 8 months before I changed the sprocket. I was getting used to the way the bike handles with the 16T sprocket. I use the bike everyday as a commuter to and from work. The good thing about this mod is that it is not permanent, I could switch back to the 16T any time I want.

On the other hand, I notice a few comments about the "lots of highways" in Southern California, it may be the case in other parts of Cali, but here in Los Angeles it is bumper to bumper always, so moving faster than 45mph is rare. Occasionally, I will go for a ride on canyon roads on a weekend, this is just a nice change of scenery, but in the canyons there are lots of twists, so going fast is not option, at least not for me, I am an old fart and I ride like one. I try my best to keep the shiny side of my bike facing up.

Bottom line, I did not change the sprocket to go 'faster', I changed it to see how the bike will handle with it, I personally like the outcome.
For those seeking more 'speed' I will suggest getting a Hayabusa perhaps?

Thanks everybody for the great comments.
 
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I cant see the 17T change would be for everyone, and as Deluth mentioned, it could be we have different roads, and it 'seems' better because of that.
I thought it was an improvement. In quality of ride, drivability, and comfort.
I would love to get a side by side comparison with someone with stock gearing, to see if its any slower, but I would bet it would be the rider who would win, not the bike.

For normal riding most of the time, I spend less time shifting. Glad to see others have tried it, and like it also.
 

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Umm interesting posts!
When I first purchased my bike I too thought the gearing was seriously short and would fully agree with the OP.
After a few miles of use I decided to get a 17t sprocket and put it in the toolbox ready for the next service. However before I got to the next service I decided to fit a few mods to up the HP and noise etc. Thinking I would need bigger gearing to go with this I thought I might as well fit the sprocket at the same time, however I didn't (for reasons now unknown). Now at this point my feeling of low gearing had not changed. I fitted a decat, PCV and Akrapovic and thought I'd do a quick blast.

Yes I liked it better :thumbup.

The sprocket is still in the toolbox and I may try it one day but I've no intention currently. The change of exhaust noise seemed to satisfy the gearing thoughts, yes I know sounds weird and I don't get it either.
 

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Best description EVER!

:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap
 

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There is a little 'gotcha'. If you have ever changed the gearing of any bike, this one is exactly the same, but the chain guard around the rear swing arm is on the way, so it needs to be shaved off by 1/4 of an inch or about 5mm. It is not a big deal, it is plastic, and it is quite easy to cut, but be aware that is part of the process if you want to fit a 17 tooth front sprocket.
I'm about to go 17T on the front. Could someone point out to me exactly what needs to be shaved around the swing arm to accomodate the new sprocket? Thanks.
 

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I'm about to go 17T on the front. Could someone point out to me exactly what needs to be shaved around the swing arm to accommodate the new sprocket? Thanks.
I didn't do the job myself - I had a mechanic swap my sprockets and chain - but he mentioned afterwards to me that there was one area where the chain would rub slightly because of the larger diameter sprocket - don't recall it exactly, and I can't seem to find it looking at the bike, but I seem to recall it was the front end / underside of the guard? in any case, there's no real issue. it IS just plastic, and the chain will take care of creating the clearance it needs, without any 'shaving' from you.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I'm about to go 17T on the front. Could someone point out to me exactly what needs to be shaved around the swing arm to accomodate the new sprocket? Thanks.
It's hard to explain, but quite easy to see once you remove the old sprocket and try to fit the bigger sprocket, it will not fit. You will see that the new sprocket hits a piece of plastic on your right side when looking at it.
The plastic is there to protect the swing arm, you will need to cut or shave a little bit off until the new sprocket fits in and turns freely without touching the plastic.

Trust me it sounds worse that it is. Sorry for the late replay. Good luck.
 

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I didn't do the job myself - I had a mechanic swap my sprockets and chain - but he mentioned afterwards to me that there was one area where the chain would rub slightly because of the larger diameter sprocket - don't recall it exactly, and I can't seem to find it looking at the bike, but I seem to recall it was the front end / underside of the guard? in any case, there's no real issue. it IS just plastic, and the chain will take care of creating the clearance it needs, without any 'shaving' from you.
It's hard to explain, but quite easy to see once you remove the old sprocket and try to fit the bigger sprocket, it will not fit. You will see that the new sprocket hits a piece of plastic on your right side when looking at it.
The plastic is there to protect the swing arm, you will need to cut or shave a little bit off until the new sprocket fits in and turns freely without touching the plastic.

Trust me it sounds worse that it is. Sorry for the late replay. Good luck.

Thanks fellas.
 

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17T front sprocket installed and the engine does feel more relaxed now. Where does the tacho get its data from and how accurate is the tacho? According to gear commander the RPM at 75 MPH in 6th gear on a 17/44 teeth set up should be 4708 RPM which is almost 300rpm less than a stock set up but I'm still seeing around 5000rpm on the tacho. My speedo is accurate having checked it against my GPS.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Well, I do not have the technology to test any of that. However, before I replaced the sprocket I tested the bike on a straight open street at 60 mph on 6th gear, and took note of the rpm's, then I repeated the test with the bigger sprocket. The rpm's were down about 200-300 at that speed. The difference is subtle, in my opinion the bike could relax even more, maybe an smaller rear sprocket is in my near future. I rode a Yamaha FZ09 a few weeks ago, now that's smoooooth.
 
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