Re: What do you think? Shift kit or new sprocket?
I have a shift kit and love it!
With a shift kit, there is RARELY need for pedal assist, even to start from a dead stop, where as, a smaller rear sprocket will require more pedal assist than the stock 44 tooth, particularly in climbing hills. I really don't need to pedal at all to start moving from a dead stop, I just do it to save unnecessary wear on my clutch pads.
Gas saving with the shift kit is a consideration also. I went on a ride with 24 other people in L.A. a few weeks back. While their engines were "wound out", I was at half throttle or less. I hardly used any fuel while others were near an empty tank.
Only drawback to the shift kit is starting the motor. Starting the motor is more like kick starting a motor cycle engine than pedal starting a motorized bike. You really have to stand up on the pedals to get the motor to kick over. And then chances are you'll only be able to get 1/2 a turn of the pedals because the engine compression won't let you get over the top to get your pedals around for the second 1/2 turn. This can be a real chore on cold days. Of course once your motor has warmed up a bit, starting is much easier.
I'm seriously considering getting one of those 2 legged kick stands that hold the rear wheel off the ground just for easier starting of the motor.