Finally found 6th gear with this combo - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 07-28-2017, 07:06 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 35
Finally found 6th gear with this combo

2003 VN800B

I don't know who was drunk when they came up with the stock 17/42 gearing for my 2003 VN800B but I'm more concerned if whoever approved it at Kawasaki was on crack. In stock form I was afraid to hit 60mph because it sounded like a weed eater so I started by changing the stock rear to 39T. I liked it better but it still felt like it was revving to high and didn't feel comfortable trying to keep up with interstate traffic at 70-75mph. I know it's a Kawasaki but it's not supposed to be a sport bike revving at 5K or higher all the time. Could be that I'm used to my HDs which cruised on the interstate at 2800rpms all day.

I bit the bullet and ordered a 19T sprocket from Sprocket Center ($34 shipped) and had it on the bike in 30 minutes. Only modifying I did was to shave down the rubber chain guard at the front of the sprocket ever so slightly on my bench grinder and the stock chain still works fine.

I finally have the 6th gear that I've been missing since I sold my HD and very pleased. I don't need to shift into 5th until I hit about 60mph or so and can cruise comfortably at 75mph without feeling like the pistons are going to come through the top of the heads. I'm not hard into the throttle cruising along either, which is great.

I did notice a loss in power when I originally went from the rear 42T to 39T but don't really think I lost much of anything going from front 17T to 19T. Maybe some? A bit? A fraction? In any event, I don't care if I did because the benefit outweigh the loss, if any, to me. I haven't done any engine mods as of yet so I'll get a little of that massive 800cc fire breathing power back eventually

I'll be straight with you, your speedo is so far off it's not even worth looking down, especially for me because my rear tire is slightly smaller than stock as well. I still have to put my GPS on and get exact numbers but I used local traffic to gauge how fast I was traveling.

If you are constantly searching for 6th gear and don't mind giving up a little power to find it, this combo will definitely do it for you. Enjoy!

SUPERLITE (#28400R) 530 Pitch Chromoly-Steel Front Sprocket - VN 800 Vulcan (All versions) 1996-2006 - Kawasaki - STREET

Last edited by Bagger_Vance; 07-28-2017 at 08:01 PM.
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 07-31-2017, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 35
No one might care but I got my GPS out and my speedo wasn't off as much as I thought with my gearing/tire size changes:


According to Kawasaki specs, the 17/42 combo is supposed to run 3710rpm at 60mph in 5th gear which would mean the 19/39 combo would be 3080rpm (approx 17% decrease) if my math is correct. The bike feels much happier even around town and I'm not changing gears all the time. Hope this info helps someone out.

2003 VN800BOBBER
La Rosa 13" diamond stitch seat
BCB seat mounting kit
BCB rear fender
LED lighting
Shinko 777 whitewalls
12" ape hangers w/ internal wiring
Debaffled exhausted with wrap
Custom quick detach backrest/luggage rack
19T/39T sprockets (I HAVE 6TH GEAR)
eBay special swing arm bag
No front fender

Last edited by Bagger_Vance; 07-31-2017 at 09:37 PM.
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