Originally Posted by bxr140
But there's really no load change.
It takes the same amount of poop from the engine to go a steady wheel speed, regardless of what gear you're in. So it really boils down to the efficiency of the engine at those different engine speeds.
I'll agree it only takes 'x' amount of hp to maintain a given speed on a level road but a taller gear (if taken too far) will make the engine 'think' it's working harder and will require greater throttle for the given speed.
Sometimes I think you have to give the engineers credit for for picking the correct gearing, although I can see a case for going lower for off-road use.