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Discussion Starter #1
I feel like this is a dead horse beaten into a pulp question for this forum, but maybe my specific conditions can elicit a response that isn't advice about the loss of low end torque, because really the occasional city driving I'll be doing would be worth the trade off for higher speeds at lower RPM. 95% of the miles I will be doing, and have been doing (and its about to take a huge jump up on the highway miles) are on the highway. Right now i have the stock 14/33 setup and going over 70 just gives me too much buzz and vibration to make it comfortable for long hauls with too low a speed. Has anyone here, with highway driving (in flat Texas like conditions) have any experience with optimal highway sprocket changes? I'm not a big dude, only 175 lbs so I'm not to worried about the weight factor, I mean I've pegged this thing going 85 mph but it vibrated so hard it felt like a dog ****ting a peach seed. Is 14/30 a good ratio for these conditions? Maybe 15/30, but that feels like it might just be a half measure. Also, would I need to change the chain if it makes sense to go 15/30? Thanks for your insight HRF.
 

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I assume Louisiana's flat roads are close to what you describe, and I have first hand experiencethere. 14/30 will slightly reduce the rpms (emphasis on slightly). It's will still be noisy and vibrate, but as you know, top speed will suffer.

Are the wheels balanced? If not, doing so may reduce vibration some. The Rebel is what it is, and some things can't be changed much by simple mods.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well that tells me at least that the 14/30 isn't going to be enough to accomplish what I need. The tires are balanced, its just the buzz of the RPMs that I can feel getting up past 70 that I can feel. I may try a 5w30 10w40 oil blend to help alleviate some of the vibration from the engine as I have read elsewhere that can help with that issue also. Appreciate the response.
 

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Seriously.. If you want to routinely go 70 plus without the buzz you should get another bike. The Rebel is what it is. Taller gearing may smooth out lower cruise speeds at the expense of highway top speeds, and this may be seen as an improvement by some people.
 

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I don't care so much about the top speed as much as i care about relative comfort at its top speed
Since top speed will be lower with altered sprockets, just ride a little slower with the stock cogs and you'll achieve the exact same feeling. ;)
 

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50-55 mph will be a bit less busy sounding with taller gears, but if you go faster, you risk frustration due to the lack of available torque for hills and headwinds. Personally, I like to push through the buzziest speed and go for the high RPM wail you get at 70 or so.
 

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I have done extensive full throttle riding on a Rebel with stock gearing, and it seemed very smooth to me. At 80 mph, wind becomes more of an issue than almost anything else. I'm 6' 240.
 
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