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Thread: Hexhead - shifting - into 1st from neutral

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    Registered User talmadge_w's Avatar
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    Question Hexhead - shifting - into 1st from neutral

    Apologies if this is a repeat question but I'm new to 1200s. I recently purchased a low miles 2008 R1200Gs in apparently excellent condition. My only gripe is that (warm or cold) it's difficult to engage 1st from neutral. This normally requires 2-3 attempts with revving the engine between before it catches. Once in gear and in motion there are no shifting problems. The dealer says this is not unusual for this bike. If this really is "normal" I can live with it but if it is a problem I want to get it fixed while the bike is still in warrantee.

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    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    I think I'm going to make this a "stickie".. it is very frequently a concern with new BMW owners.

    Normal. Unlike bikes with wet clutches (which always have some "drag" through them - keeping the transmission gears spinning slowly even when the clutch is pulled in) - a bike with a dry clutch allows the gears to come to a complete stop when the clutch is pulled in.

    The gears engage via nubs on the sides of the gears - and if the nubs are lined up nub to nub, rather than nub to recess - you can't get into the gear.

    The technique to use is - engage (let the lever out) the clutch to get the gears spinning again, then pull it in (disengage) and QUICKLY shift into 1st (before the gears stop spinning.) It will snick right into 1st gear. There is no need to rev the engine doing it this way.

    If you're sitting at a light waiting to go - and you've shifted into neutral while waiting (we won't go into why this isn't a good idea..) - as soon as you pull in the clutch lever - push down on the shifter. It should snick right into gear. No delay is the "trick"..

    It's normal, the dealer would have nothing to fix.. it's all technique.

    Good luck!
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders New Sweden BMW Riders
    '07 R1200R (current ride) and some bimmers.. and a Porsche

  3. #3
    planepaul1949
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    The technique I use when I don't get the direct shift into first is to simply roll the bike back a few inches. This rotates the driven gear set, and allows engagement without the possibility of inadvertantly getting the drive gears spinning too much and really clunking the N-1st shift. I'm a little conservative, mechanically speaking, which is to say "why do it rough when you can do it easy?". My caveat to that is in a traffic light situation where I don't anticipate the light sequence and get stuck needing things to happen in a timely manner.
    Paul in CA

  4. #4
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by planepaul View Post
    The technique I use when I don't get the direct shift into first is to simply roll the bike back a few inches. This rotates the driven gear set, and allows engagement without the possibility of inadvertantly getting the drive gears spinning too much and really clunking the N-1st shift. I'm a little conservative, mechanically speaking, which is to say "why do it rough when you can do it easy?". My caveat to that is in a traffic light situation where I don't anticipate the light sequence and get stuck needing things to happen in a timely manner.
    Paul in CA
    Ah - things are so much more mellow in CA...

    In NJ if we did that we'd be run over from behind..
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders New Sweden BMW Riders
    '07 R1200R (current ride) and some bimmers.. and a Porsche

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    Registered User talmadge_w's Avatar
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    Thanks!

    Thanks for the replies! Sort of figured there was "operator error" involved somewhere but it's good to know I'm not going to leave a pile of gears on the ground at the gas pump next time I start off.

    Talmadge

  6. #6
    DWR302
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    Roger that.

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    Registered User joelaw's Avatar
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    I guess I am a sissy, and have been for 50 years, even when riding bikes with wet clutches.

  8. #8
    Registered User 802's Avatar
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    With the clutch lever back, I apply pressure to the shift pedal, then slightly release the clutch lever to snick into 1st, then squeeze the clutch. Discovered it one day in my driveway. So when I pull up to a stop light, I usually go to neutral and snick (good description) it into 1st to go. This process takes less than a second. Works very well .

    Ride safe.

    Rich
    Last edited by rich223vt; 04-26-2009 at 02:00 AM. Reason: Grammer
    RichW
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    Seeking the 4TH dimension _RockZ_'s Avatar
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    So does letting it warm up also help?

    or I also heard that letting the Bikes warm up,is not a good Idea,although mine shifts better when warm .

    So does any body have any input?
    Friend of Bill W. Kiss the Wife.Love the Kids.Live the Day.

    2005 R1200RT
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  10. #10
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by _RockZ_ View Post
    So does letting it warm up also help?

    or I also heard that letting the Bikes warm up,is not a good Idea,although mine shifts better when warm .

    So does any body have any input?
    As the gear oil warms up - it thins out - and the gears continue spinning longer since the oil isn't dragging the spin down as quickly. That can make it easier to get into gear. But - use the right technique (pull-in clutch/shift immediately) and it shouldn't be a concern.
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders New Sweden BMW Riders
    '07 R1200R (current ride) and some bimmers.. and a Porsche

  11. #11
    workin' them angels indycar's Avatar
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    Since we seem to be tackling various shifting issues ~ I notice the shift from 1st to 2nd to makes a 'thud' ...sort of . . There are times when it doesn't thud and the shift seems like all the other gear changes. But I have yet to figure out exactly how to get the non-thud shift to 2nd every time. Low RPM's help, but don't always guarantee.

    anyone figured this out?
    2006 R1200RT 1982 CB900F (Honda)

    "Mr. Treehorn treats objects like woman, man."

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    Yesterday I re-learned that this works much better if the kickstand is up. Doh!
    Used to the old Airhead.

  13. #13
    Rocky Bow BMW Riders #197 bogthebasher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swall View Post
    Yesterday I re-learned that this works much better if the kickstand is up. Doh!
    Used to the old Airhead.
    For such a simple thing - I can't count how many times I have done that; and most times right in my driveway.
    Ken
    [2008 R1200RT (Biarritz Blue) - Mine]
    [2007 R1200RT (Sand Biege) - Hers]

  14. #14
    RSPENNACHIO
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    Quote Originally Posted by indycar View Post
    Since we seem to be tackling various shifting issues ~ I notice the shift from 1st to 2nd to makes a 'thud' ...sort of . . There are times when it doesn't thud and the shift seems like all the other gear changes. But I have yet to figure out exactly how to get the non-thud shift to 2nd every time. Low RPM's help, but don't always guarantee.

    anyone figured this out?

    I have been able to eliminate the 1st to 2nd gear clunk most of the time by adjusting my clutch timing and lentgh of pull depending on how easy or hard I am accelerating. Brisk clutch and shift action above 4500 rpm almost always eliminates the clunk too.

    This also happens to me when down shifting but I say "loud grears save lives!"

  15. #15
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    Shifting

    So does letting it warm up also help?

    or I also heard that letting the Bikes warm up,is not a good Idea,although mine shifts better when warm .


    I say no need to warm up, also noticed no one has mentioned the amount of clutch pull you need, or don't need, to shift. How about one of you higher tech guys/ladies covering this. My impression is one may be over pulling the clutch and this is not required to effectively shift. And is actually a no-no. I defer to the 'real wrenchers'.
    Graham

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