18 Tooth Front 37 Tooth Rear +2 / -1 Highway Gearing

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18 Tooth Front 37 Tooth Rear +2 / -1 Highway Gearing

This is a discussion on 18 Tooth Front 37 Tooth Rear +2 / -1 Highway Gearing within the ZR-7 Performance Upgrades forums, part of the Kawasaki ZR-7 category; Hey guys, this is my first post here. I picked up my 2001 ZR7s with 15k on it about a month ago. When I bought ...

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  1. #1
    Newbie prerunning's Avatar
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    18 Tooth Front 37 Tooth Rear +2 / -1 Highway Gearing

    Hey guys, this is my first post here.

    I picked up my 2001 ZR7s with 15k on it about a month ago.
    When I bought it I didn't know it was a 5 speed. Not that it really mattered, I was on a limited budget and got the bike for 1200.

    I've put about 300 in it to get it set up to my likings, which includes the highway gearing + Highlighter red chain
    55 watt HID and 2x 15 watt LED headlights, Barnett Clutch Springs, Ivan's Carb Kit, and 2 Bros Slip on(included). I will be doing the PVC mod soon.

    The previous owner had installed a 17 tooth front. This wasn't enough for me at all. I immediately noticed myself hunting for 6th and I don't like doing 6k+ to keep up with traffic.

    I looked online and realized this setup 18/37 was the lowest gearing I could get and probably about the max you should run. Both sprockets are made by Vortex.

    The cover needs clearencing as the 18t doesn't even fit in the hole. A die grinder and dremel handles this with ease. (I've read that the 17t front requires clearencing but the previous owner didn't. It didn't seem to make contact but it was damn close) the 18t WILL REQUIRE CLEARENCING.
    The rear sprocket uses oringal bolts and holes easy.

    I've now been riding with this set up for 2 weeks and I LOVE IT!!

    I DONT find myself looking for 6th anymore.

    It still has plenty of power in 5th at any speed above 50Mph. I've road 2 up for about 200 miles(1/2 freeway 1/2 city) and it was great no issues or lack of power.
    This gearing is 100x better when downshifting before a tight corner. It's not screaming and I can often hold the gear I was in before.

    I'm now averaging about 50-52 mpg (upfrom 42-45) when cruising at 75 mph. Now that the engine isn't screaming, she sips fuel.

    I'm going to pull my cover off in a few days to inspect the sprocket. I'll take a few pics so if anyone is interested in the swap they can see how much cutting and metal had to be removed(about 3/4 inch X 7 inch round )

    Here is some RPM / MPH difference between Stock, the popular 17 tooth front/stock rear and my Highway setup.
    70MPH
    Stock - 5077 RPM
    17t front/38t - 4779
    Highway (18t/37t) - 4394
    85MPH
    Stock - 6165 RPM
    17t front/38t - 5803
    Highway (18t/37t) - 5336

  2. #2
    SCB
    SCB is offline
    Newbie SCB's Avatar
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    Love the mods so far. Interested to see those pics.

    I'm surprised your mileage hasn't dropped with the jet kit.

  3. #3
    Rising Star lpscruggs's Avatar
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    I was not aware that 18 tooth countershaft (front) sprocket was available. I really thought 17 was it. I personally run a 16. Who did you purchase your 18 from ?
    99' ZR7 Blue
    01' ZR7S Red
    99" ZRX1100 Eddie Lawson Superbike Green
    05' ZRX1200R Green

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  5. #4
    Supreme Being carryall's Avatar
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    I see Vortex sells a steel 18T 525 sprocket for $29. They don't carry a steel rear sprocket(s) tho, for our application but, rear sprockets can be purchased plenty of other places... Most of their sprocket choices are for the 520 conversion and mare of T5 aluminum.
    Blue ZR7 with...color matched swing arm, heel plates, bar end mirrors, passenger pegs, F&R blinkers with smoked lens, oil cooler with mesh, carbon fibered side covers with mesh, custom made chin fairing, along with a tail trim, LED underbody lighting, Yoshimura RS3 muffler, Corbin seat, F15 windshield, 17t front sprocket, oil temp gauge, rim tape, custom grips, front spring preload adjusters, different handlebars with risers, Ivans jet kit with air box mod and snorkel removal and AIS removal.

  6. #5
    Newbie prerunning's Avatar
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    The carb kit dropped my Mpg from about 48-50 with the 17tooth front to 42-45. I leaned it out a bit, and now with the highway gearing I'm just above my original Mpg numbers.
    I bought the sprockets on eBay.
    Carryall found it, that's the front I bought, and I bought an aluminum rear 37. I kept everything 525
    With about 800 miles now, the rear sprocket has no wear or issues. I greased everything well for breakin
    I didn't forget about the case pics, just haven't taken it off yet. I think at about 1000 I'll do that.
    Last edited by prerunning; 12-30-16 at 03:27 PM.

  7. #6
    Rising Star lpscruggs's Avatar
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    I've tried Aluminum rear sprockets in the past and can say that I will only use them on race or track day only. Regardless of who makes them they just won't find a place on my bikes. When you are looking at saving ounces and tenth of a seconds go for it. High mileage on the street hardened steel is the way to go. In my opinion.
    99' ZR7 Blue
    01' ZR7S Red
    99" ZRX1100 Eddie Lawson Superbike Green
    05' ZRX1200R Green

  8. #7
    Supreme Being carryall's Avatar
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    I agree LPS. For maintenance free riding, ya can't beat steel vs Aluminum over the long haul. I'd try the 18T with the stock rear tho, just to see how it feels. Especially if I commuted on freeways/highways frequently, where my sustained speeds are 70-75mph. 5-6K seems to be the sweet-spot RPM range on mine for cruising with relatively decent mileage and power to still be had.
    Look forward to your review and pics of the extent of trimming for the chain clearance prerunning.
    Blue ZR7 with...color matched swing arm, heel plates, bar end mirrors, passenger pegs, F&R blinkers with smoked lens, oil cooler with mesh, carbon fibered side covers with mesh, custom made chin fairing, along with a tail trim, LED underbody lighting, Yoshimura RS3 muffler, Corbin seat, F15 windshield, 17t front sprocket, oil temp gauge, rim tape, custom grips, front spring preload adjusters, different handlebars with risers, Ivans jet kit with air box mod and snorkel removal and AIS removal.

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