The Starting Line : Sprockets – How do you determine what size you need?
The Starting Line is a biweekly column for our Sportsman drag racers. Every other week we will feature a frequently asked question and have it answered by a panel of experienced sportsman racers, led by Ben Knight. Having questions answered by multiple racers will give our new racers several perspectives on the information they want. If you have a sportsman related question, submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sprockets – How do you determine what size you need?
There are really many factors that go into choosing the size of the sprockets you use; application (1/8 mile, 1/4 mile), rider weight, shift points and probably more that I am not aware of. I have always stuck with stock gearing as I mainly bracket race so it works well for me. I have to admit that this is one thing I really leave up to my mechanic to determine.
Sprocket size is determined about the type of bike, if engine is stock or modified and rider weight. This is something that needs to be tested per your riding style and setup.
– Good luck and be safe
A good starting point on most stock street bikes is 1 down on the front and 2 up on the rear. Generally, 1 tooth smaller front sprocket equates to 3 teeth larger on the rear. Different bikes will work best with different combinations and that depends on rider size, wheelbase, rear tire and a whole lot of other variables. I suggest asking other racers that are riding similar bikes what they are using. You may need to change gearing as you make modifications to your bike such as longer swingarm, adding nitrous, etc…
Every bike is different, best way is to ask someone with same bike, weight, and HP. Make sure your not shifting at the finish line. I like to be in 5th as close as redline. I use two different rear sprockets, I call one my good air sprocket and the other my Hot weather sprocket (1 up).
If it’s a new bike or a new set-up, I always ask other racers with similar combinations what they are using to get me close. After that, I make sprocket adjustments to ensure I am going thru the finish line towards the high side of the gear.
Depends on the setup of the bike also. You want to have it shift at its peak performance level and go through the finish line at or close to that same level.
We’ll see you in two weeks for another edition of the Starting Line.
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