Jump to content
level41

Why I upgeared, instead of downgeared on my FZ-07

Recommended Posts

level41
Acceleration (0-60):
 
Here are my findings on how gearing up, rather than gearing down on the FZ, will make you accelerate faster, not slower (on a 0-60 run):
 
 
 
I put a 17t front and a 38t rear sprocket from 16/43t stock.
 
The stock 0-60 on sites is reported to be 3.3 seconds on an FZ-07.
 
I've seen a guy on youtube, doing 0-60 in 4.4 seconds, accelerating the crap out of the bike;
 
He geared down for greater torque, but it proved that that doesn't always mean greater acceleration.
 
 
This resulted him to go 60MPH at redline in 3rd gear, but it took him more than a second longer to get there than me.
 
 
 
I geared up, and my 0-60 is 3.3 seconds (totally same as stock). I might hit 3.2 or 3.1 seconds on a good run though, as I lose precious time by not being confident enough to go completely all out from a stand still.
 
 
The main reasons why my 0-60 is faster than a stocker (contrary to logic) is two fold:
 
1- I can do 60 MPH in second gear (redline), saving me a gear shift
.
2- First gear wide open throttle accelerates the bike just about as fast as you can accelerate a bike. While leaning over the handlebars, the front wheel barely lifts up off the ground.
 
Second gear, if I sit upright, front wheel lifts up, but leaning forward it stays on the ground.
 
This makes sure I accelerate as fast as the bike allows, without backflipping, or lifting the front up too far which will cause me to release the throttle a bit.
 
Granted, if we'd test zero to 65-75MPH, I might lose, as I would need to gear shift into third, while a stocker can easily continue in third gear to almost 80MPH.
 
So while I have no bragging rights of fastest acceleration, I do can say it accelerates faster than a stock bike doing just 0-60MPH, which is a benchmark a lot of people use.
 
Another reason why gearing your bike shorter than stock, results in slower 0-60 acceleration:
 
- Aside from you and the bike, your engine needs to spend a lot of power just revving up (accelerating) itself as well!
Like, try to rev your bike from zero to redline in neutral. Despite having no load, it still takes a second or two, to get there.
 
It is power lost to revving up the valves, cylinders, oil and cooling pump, etc....; that could have been transferred to the wheels, if the gearing was more optimized.
It does give you the impression that your bike accelerates faster, because the engine does reach the redline faster, it is not an indicator of actually accelerating faster.
To explain this, you can imagine setting gear ratios at 0.001:1 and 0.002:1. It would probably make you do 1MPH at redline (is very similar to neutral), has AMAZING torque (probably can tow an elephant with that gearing), but it does not accelerate fast at all!
You probably will have to shift thousands of gears, before you're in direct drive (like 4th gear stock), which obviously will take you forever to get there.
 
 
Because the engine is revving up much faster on a bike which is downgeared, a lot of that energy is basically lost to this, while still giving you the 'impression' of faster acceleration.
 
It gives me a distinct advantage over shorter geared bikes in terms of acceleration; so much so, that the loss from revving from stop to 8600RPM in first gear, compared to a stocker, is completely compensated.
 
 
 
Top Speed:
 
Not only acceleration, but also top speed:
 
while a stocker reaches top speed just over 8600RPM (130MPH), or at the end of the HP powerband, I reach this same speed at 7150RPM (or pretty much at the beginning of the powerband), and still have a good 1400RPM higher to go.
 
Reason I can go faster, is my HP curve goes up (to 8600RPM) while on a stocker, the HP curve goes down beyond 8600RPM.
 
Sitting upright, you'd never reach 130MPH, so you probably will have to use a windscreen, aerodynamic clothing (like leather suit), and tuck in head behind screen, and legs up the passenger pegs.
...Not that I ever plan on going that fast, but I did go 128MPH at one time, and never will do it again..
But it's worth mentioning anyway.
 
 
Fuel mileage:

As far as fuel mileage, I've done on average about just over 3k miles on my bike. That's a good 25 refills (it had 4.4k miles on it when I purchased it).
 
My average fuel readout on the stock gears, was 48.5 MPG to 52MPG.
 
My modified fuel readout is 47.8MPG (but it's reading off by 20.23%; thus it should read 57.4MPG).
 
Meaning, I already am averaging 10-18% better on fuel efficiency than a stocker.
 
 
 
My last readout was 62.76MPG, and it would have been more, if I didn't top off the fuel the fuel-up before (I did fuel-up completely now, so the readout is lower than it normally needs to be).
 
The internal readout is reading about 7-10% low, from the results I get from the pump; not sure why.
 
 
 
I also tip off the fuel as much as I can, to get maximum range.
 
 
 
[u style=font-size:x-large]RPM range on the highway and interstates:[/u]
 
We all perhaps know, that RPM and MPG are pretty much linearly related.
Not exactly, but for the most part, if you're doing long rides at 60MPH, you'll do this in 6th gear, because of less wear and tear, as well as higher fuel efficiency (over, say running 60MPH in 4th gear).
The few hundreds of lower RPM, result in a few MPGs added, thus a few miles longer range!
 
Over here, most speeds on highways range between 55MPH and 75MPH.
 
While 55MPH with a 17/38t is revving very low (at 3k RPM), it's still possible to do, as long as you keep the throttle steady.
When accelerating it's best to shift down to 5th gear, to get the engine running at at least 3500RPM, not to lug the engine.
The best fuel mileage can be gotten between 3000 and 4250 RPM (running at 55-75MPH at sea level).
Above 4250RPM, the fuel consumption indicator indicates that MPGs lower a lot.
And above 5000RPM (90MPH) the bike is consuming nearly double the amount of fuel compared to at below 4250RPM.
 
The bike also feels very smooth cruising at 3500-4000RPM. Not a lot of engine vibrations when the engine is warm, not a lot of exhaust noise either.
The engine does feel a lot smoother at 3k-4k RPM when warm, than when cold.
 
On a stock geared bike, the 'eco' light goes off at just over 5000RPM (~75MPH if I'm not mistaken).
Paired with the knowledge I have from my previous bikes, it appears that most motorcycles start suffering a larger drop in gas mileage for every MPH beyond 75MPH as for every one below 75MPH.
Again, not exact, because there are a variety of factors to look at (like gearing, engine type, tuning, and drag coefficient), but for the most part this assumption seems valid; pretty much regardless whether they're smaller or bigger bikes.
 
 
Knowing the range of speed I ride my bike on most (between 55 and 75MPH), it made sense to do the change on my FZ.
 
 
 
Final gear acceleration:
 
I've noted that a lot of people expressed their concern about the acceleration in final gear on the highway.
Well, I might say, perhaps I'm spoiled, being used to riding a 250-500cc on the highways, but it still accelerates just like most cars do in the range of 3-4k rpm.
Once I downshift to 5th or 4th gear, and the bike is running at 6k RPM, it accelerates a lot harder. But 4-6k RPM gives a somewhat mild, yet safe, acceleration; which in my opinion belongs on the streets.
 
 
 
Extra, unused power available:

I do notice that the bike does have a lot of untapped power available in 6th gear, at RPM ranges and speeds I'll probably never see.
At 6k RPM, where the bike starts pulling harder, I would be doing well above any speed limit around here (105+ MPH).
Is like having a sports indie car and using it to do groceries.
The same is true for many liter bikes.
Just the thought that the bike COULD do it, is satisfying enough for me.
In the mean time, I don't worry, if I never get to use the full capabilities of the bike; and enjoy the ride, while saving some $$ on gas :)
 
 
Smoother acceleration:

The gear change more than definitely results in a lot smoother acceleration in all gears, but especially in 1st and 2nd gears, which a stock bike jolted a lot more in those gears.
I didn't have to re-flash my ECU, and acceleration in 1st gear, actually gets you across the intersection before shifting into 2nd gear.
 
 
City riding:
 
At speeds of 35MPH or below, I can ride 1st to 4th gear.
At speeds of 45MPH or below, 1st to 5th gear.
This means, less shifting in town. I don't even need to bother about 5th or 6th gear.
If I want to turn, in a street, I shift to 2nd gear, and almost always have a good speed.
Less gear shifts in town, means less chance on accidentally being in the wrong gear (without looking down on the dash), and taking a turn too fast.
 
 
  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
level41
Cons of a 17/38T
 
I think it'd be more than fair to also mention the cons I've noticed about this gearing.
 
A 17/38t is a very tight gearing, on the highway.
If speeds go below 55MPH, it'll be hard to keep using 6th gear, without stalling or lugging the engine, and there's a need to shift down to 5th gear.
 
In the city, it'll be impossible to maintain speed in 6th gear. So you'd have to downshift to a gear that may have been the same as 5th or 6th stock.
Meaning, you'd make no MPG gains below 55MPH compared to stock.
 
In traffic jams, 1st gear needs more clutch feathering, only to maintain speeds slower than idle speed.
a 17/38t setup has ~20% faster idle speed in 1st gear, meaning, a stock FZ might do 5MPH without clutch, the modified one does 6MPH.
This is all fine, if traffic is moving at above 6MPH speeds, but if it's moving at 5MPH or below, there's more clutching with the 17/38t bike.
 
It also might be harder to start the bike from a standstill, with passenger, uphill.
While it's possible to do this, chances on stalling the bike, and looking like a fool, are slightly higher.
 
Some people say there's a higher chance on lugging the bike, but I would think this not to be the case.
It's easy to just listen to the engine, or look at the dash, and keep it running above 3k RPM.
Cruising at 3k RPM goes perfectly fine. Fast acceleration from 3,25-3.5k RPM onward goes pretty fine as well.
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
stickshift
I like the standard gearing, it suits the bike's intended use and character well.
 
For quick 0-60 sprints I just take off in second and minimise lift from the front wheel - zero gear changes.
 
Each to their own.
  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
peteinpa
I did the 17 front with no change in the rear. I find that perfect, dont want it any higher.
 
How are you figuring your MPG? Your speedo is WAY off now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gregjet
My preference for the 07 would be +1 front and -1 rear. Same length chain and should move the gearing just enough to keep it useable in top in the town and a bit lazier on the highway.
You didn't say where you are from, so we don't know if it US or Imperial mpg. Can I assume that as you bike is an FZ that you are US based or does Canada get the bike as an fz as well?
 
 
peteinpa: remember the speedo is about 6 to 8 kph (4 to 5mph) optimistic anyway. Still level41's gear ratio is no 8% out but 20% so you would have to use a GPS speedo. It also would make the DISTANCE for fuel economy problematic ( level41 has made the correction but as stated he hasn't defined his fuel units).
 
It looks a bit too overgeared to me. The speed/revs has been shifted down a little too far I think ( my opinion only). I think from some paper calcs that 17/40 or 41 would be a little easier on the motor for commuting/cruising. My preferred ratio is as much a nod to maintaining the wheelbase as anything else and added benefit that it makes the speedo accurate. If was more worried by improving the handling I would go a rear 41 or 40 to get a bit more front wheel grip from the increased wheelbase. Might even do that yet.
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
rhb
another opinion on gearing,
0-60 times are highly subjective for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is rider weight, so comparing these times is not necessarily valid.
Addressing the torque curve is not a bad idea, but choose your goal carefully, 6th gear is already weak in my opinion on the MT/FZ, gearing up will aggravate this situation. If you spend most of your time around town or small curvy roads then this is less the issue, and decreasing revs in any given lower gear will of course impact your mileage in a positive way.
 
There are ways to increase both acceleration and top speed by a gear change, but it is not common, Usually to do this you need not only to change the ratio, but the pitch/size of the chain must be decreased, which allows for a fast spin up due to decreased rotating mass. But to be sure this is a very small advantage and decreasing chain size also decreases its longevity. Pick your poison.
I worked a lot on 200cc bikes using all these ideas and had some interesting results. However,The larger the bike cc's, the less the difference.
 
The problem I see with the MT/FZ 07 is the disparity between the lower gear ratios and the top 2, 5th and 6th, where the bike seems to die (relatively speaking)
Gearing commander (http://www.gearingcommander.com/) is a very valuable tool for COMPARING gear ratios but keep in mind top speeds are theoretical not taking into account real world variables, inputting tire size is also possible which is another way to change your gearing, both of which are finite changes, not dynamic.
 
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
faffi
Wonder if we just have different seat-of-pants dynos or if bikes vary a bit? I find my bike to be really eager up to about 6000 rpm, but rather flat and uninspiring above that. Passing slower moving traffic in 6th gear between 45 and 60 mph is very rapid indeed - I rarely need to shift down to pass. Or climb hills.
 
As to top speed; give or take a few mph with an engines willingness to rev past its peak, top speed is always made when peak power match power needs. If you need 75 hp to do 130 mph, you cannot do 130 with the 65 or whatever your engine makes around 7k. Will not happen, even if the power curve is climbing.
 
IMO, the benefits of taller gearing are; more relaxed cruising, sometimes saving gear changes (town), potentially lower consumption and longer pull for each gear. The downsides are less acceleration, sometimes having to change gears more often (country roads) and more strain on the clutch at times (taking off up a steep hill fully loaded). Yet I agree that the 07 can easily pull a taller gearing than stock without causing any strain on the drivetrain. Since I ride a lot in the mountains and rarely go faster than 60 mph, stock gearing is splendid. For primarily cruising, I'd gear it taller.
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
markstertt
gregjet...what gearing would equate to the most accurate speedo readout? I'm thinking that's what I'd like to gear for.
 
I went to 17/44 sprockets primarily for the larger diameter to get the chain off the chain slider (made worse by raised rear ride height) and to extend first gear just enough to make it more useable around town and perhaps to move the speedo into a more accurate read out range...if I'm thinking right.
 
The spread of power (even better w/Hords mods) of this engine, makes taller or shorter gearing more a personal choice then a performance requirement to attain good acceleration, easy cruise or good gas mileage and a very appealing attribute of this engine...we CAN have our cake and eat it too!
 
 
 
 
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
faffi
While speedo is optimistic by 8%, give or take, the odo seems spot on. So if you get the speed correct, the odo will under-read.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gregjet
Speedo is usually dependant on odo for it's calcs, so the 2 are numerically linked. If one is out so must the other be.
It may be possible to make a speedo based on calculated wheel rpm rather than rollout ( ie use a constant instead of the actual rolling distance)but that would be a bit pointless and would then be two separate algorithms which seems like sloppy programming, but I can see production reasons why it would be done. Might have to get out the GPS and do a real comparo.
PROVIDNG all speedos are similiarly out, 17/42 gives almost spot on speedo reading. Of course if you change tyre size you will add another factor ( eg going to a 170/60 will make the speedo 3% less optimistic)
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
markstertt
While speedo is optimistic by 8%, give or take, the odo seems spot on. So if you get the speed correct, the odo will under-read.
Oh interesting, I had made an assumption and I'd rather have the odo correct then the speed so need to get back to closer to stock gearing I guess. I'm thinking 45t. rear would put me close and give me a bit more diameter. Will have to think on this...hate to lose the slightly taller first gear...thanks faffi. 
level41...with your taller gearing, how were you calculating your mpg's?
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
markstertt
Speedo is usually dependant on odo for it's calcs, so the 2 are numerically linked. If one is out so must the other be. It may be possible to make a speedo based on calculated wheel rpm rather than rollout ( ie use a constant instead of the actual rolling distance)but that would be a bit pointless and would then be two separate algorithms which seems like sloppy programming, but I can see production reasons why it would be done. Might have to get out the GPS and do a real comparo.
PROVIDNG all speedos are similiarly out, 17/42 gives almost spot on speedo reading. Of course if you change tyre size you will add another factor ( eg going to a 170/60 will make the speedo 3% less optimistic)
Argh! Yes, I guess a GPS would settle this, I wouldn't mind trying 17/42 gearing if that would make speedo and odo more accurate but not sure I'd want to stay there, I also wouldn't mind trying level41's 17/38 just for grins but I'm pretty sure I know what my impression would be but that's just me...Mark 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gregjet
Level41's gearing isn't wrong, it just is a unusual way to ride . It definitely has it's benefits but some drawbacks as well.
17/41 is going to make the speedo read 11% less so you would have to watch you speedo if you are a speed limit skimmer of use a gps speedo . You can get a little speedo gps based that uses a 12v power supply. No directions just speed readout. I use one in my car as I have 30mm bigger diameter wheels in it.
 
It is nice to see people experimenting with their gearing though. Most riders of most bikes don't even consider it. It is one of those " adapt the bike to the rider, not the rider to the bike" things that in am a bit passionate about. I believe it shows that a lot of the riders here actually THINK about their bikes and their relation to how it rides and can be improved/personalized. In a time of " Just accept what you are given. We know best. We are the manufacturers. Dues ex manufactura", it is refreshing. ( yes I know that isn't real latin)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
markstertt
Ha Ha! You're preaching to the choir and it's nice that level41 is willing to experiment and share it with all, it seems now a days a lot of guys are afraid to modify or take anything apart to see what's up inside.
 
I have an old gps around here somewhere so will find a place to stick it and give it a try, my fuel mileages have been calculated using my odo, my buddies BMW odo and comparing with maps. The BMW actually shows more miles per gallon for me. If I remember right, we were within 6 to 8 miles difference in 600+ miles.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
valvestem
While speedo is optimistic by 8%, give or take, the odo seems spot on. So if you get the speed correct, the odo will under-read.
My speedo is correct on my 07 and 09.. You must have bad unit! 
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.