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I put a 47 rear, 19 front on my 68 vs, I shift into 4th at 50mph and it pulls uphill fine, but I can now go 70 without earplugs.


Lyle '68 BSA B44VS

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18/47 was the happy place for me on both a B44 and a B50.
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Originally Posted by Mr Mike
18/47 was the happy place for me on both a B44 and a B50.
Mr Mike

Yes sir, you were the reason I went with18/47 with my first B44R.

But……did you ever try a 19? I swear I don’t remember them being an option 20 years ago???? I thought 18 was as big as it got???

I “almost” went with 18/47 on my B50SS but realized that

1. I’m not a B50 fan and really don’t use it.
2. The way it’s set up (single seat, no rear rack) even if I did use it it’d just be for shorter rides.

So I dropped back to stock and have faith in those engineers who made that decision that I’ll be happy “enough” with that…..heck if I don’t ride it how could I not?

Last edited by Gordon Gray; 05/12/23 1:07 pm.

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Throwing in my usual dollop of confusion, the 18/47 was shown as the stock sprockets for the 67 VR... after that, the SS went to 17/47. That's what motivated me to get a ground-down A65 18t for a VS (don't remember what I used for the rear, but the 18t made a pleasant difference I thought). I recall reading some riding reports on the 19t back then with comments about about having to slip the clutch...

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Originally Posted by Steve Erickson
Throwing in my usual dollop of confusion, the 18/47 was shown as the stock sprockets for the 67 VR... after that, the SS went to 17/47. That's what motivated me to get a ground-down A65 18t for a VS (don't remember what I used for the rear, but the 18t made a pleasant difference I thought). I recall reading some riding reports on the 19t back then with comments about about having to slip the clutch...

Steve with the 19/47 on my B50 the slightest uphill start off I had to slip the clutch….a lot more than I like to.

But on the B44R……that’s not the case. WHY? I haven’t a clue.

I really should wait till I get home to check but……I “think” Rupert’s got the 18/47 wrong for the 1967 Roadster. I think that’s where both of us might have picked up that info???? Check out the 1967 Owners manual…. 17/47 in the one I have???? I found another that says 18/49.

More BSA confusion??????

Last edited by Gordon Gray; 05/12/23 6:58 pm.

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I got my original sprocket info from Bacon's addendum lists, which I think were of factory origin? Believe Rupert wasn't available back then...

BSA might have been playing around with them a bit, first year and all. Like we all should do, I guess.

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I keep forgetting about Bacon's.

I just looked at Peter's owners manuals for 67........two different manuals......two different ratios?????

It never ends.

You do remember when getting an 18 tooth sprocket was almost impossible......not so now a days.

I need to put together another VS........before I get too old to do it.


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You know where you could pick a lot of low hanging fruit...

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Originally Posted by Steve Erickson
You know where you could pick a lot of low hanging fruit...

I'm going to keep that in mind.

I still have that frame I sent to your ole neck of the woods to get straightened.......68/69??? and pretty much everything that goes with it. Just need the drive and energy.

You better than most know my memory has always been suspect. It's getting worst. So the ratio stuff. I remember having these conversations and what came of it was I went to the 18/47 and loved the difference it made. Took that bike up to Mike G's OSMR and back one year....I thought the gearing was perfect.

richrd's the one who set this bike up with the 19/47. So far I'm very happy with it.

That other bike is waiting for an engine to come back from Ed V......then it's doing sidecar duty.

I'm slowly trying to build (pun intended) enough confidence in this bike (richrd's) to try a long run. So far the longest I've been away from home on it was around 260 miles one way. richrds work isn't the cause of my lack of confidence. 98% of my longest distance rides on a BSA unit single.....have been on points. Total EI system,battery, alternator, LED lights........it's all a mystery to me. I've had those systems on bikes but those were used for competition not riding 600 miles from home. I KNOW they work......but I don't want to be sitting on the side of the road kicking myself (another pun intended) because I missed something simple.

Last edited by Gordon Gray; 05/13/23 1:21 am.

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Back to the neglected OP...

As you can probably glean from all this, no simple answer except that there seems to be nobody complaining about the sprocket size reduction. At least the rear, anyway. It is a pretty simple matter to change to 47t... and simple is where to start.

Your particular bike, riding needs and habits, clutch and tire conditions, etc. make it hard to say what would be best. You've heard from Gordon, someone with more miles on a unit single than any sane man would ride, in all conditions, sheesh, take from that what you will.

My take... your being in Crestline, 47t is a good move, fine for uphill on Hwy18 (used to live in Arrowbear, up the road)... even off-road, you'd only be doing trails up there, should be good. Downhill, and taking it into the desert if you choose, you may find the 49t a better choice... but not a difficult switch.

HTH

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