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Thread: Does your GS-W Shift Roughly?

  1. #1
    Registered User Emoto's Avatar
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    Does your GS-W Shift Roughly?

    For anyone with rough shifting...

    With just over 2500 miles on the bike, the only thing that I found troubling was intermittent rough shifting. It did not seem to follow a pattern that I could detect, but it seemed to be worst when going from 2nd to 3rd. I was thinking it was getting slightly better as the miles piled on, but I was still trying to figure out if it was really the bike needing to be shifted a certain way that I was not doing, or if it was me, or both.

    Earlier today in the UK forum, Magnon, who I shall now consider to be a prince among men, and whose shifting was similar to mine in its poor "quality" posted that he had discovered that his clutch master cylinder was grossly overfilled. He removed some fluid to bring the level down to where it should be, and now his bike shifts nicely.

    So... I had to go check mine. And here is what I found. No sooner did I get the bolts holding the master cylinder lid loose (T-20, BTW) but fluid started flowing out!



    Put a towel down, as there is quite a lot extra!



    I couldn't find my little squeeze-bulb thingie, so I just used a couple of paper towels to soak up fluid and pull it out of the master cylinder until the level was about half way up the inside.

    After buttoning it back up and cleaning off the bike where a few drips managed to go, I took it for a little test ride. I only rode a few miles on small backroads, but there was no traffic, so I was starting and stopping and running up and down through the gears constantly, using different rpm shift points, varying rates of acceleration, varying speed of moving the shift lever, and stayed out long enough so the bike was up to running temp. My opinion is:

    SHIFTING PROBLEM SOLVED!

    The bike now shifts as I would expect it to.
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  2. #2
    Outlander Omega Man's Avatar
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    There you go! Makes me wonder how they got the extra in there
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  3. #3
    Registered User Emoto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omega Man View Post
    There you go! Makes me wonder how they got the extra in there
    Yeah, I don't know what their process is, but damn, what a difference! They use Goodridge lines and Magura master cylinders (I think) so they are top quality, but either Hans needs to have two less beers at lunch, or an assembly robot needs recalibration.
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    Hmmmm, I can't remember for sure, but as the clutch wears doesn't it force fluid into the master cylinder? Would be the reverse for brakes. Might be worth checking into I guess.

    Rick

  5. #5
    Registered User Emoto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by motorcop@wi.rr.com View Post
    Hmmmm, I can't remember for sure, but as the clutch wears doesn't it force fluid into the master cylinder? Would be the reverse for brakes. Might be worth checking into I guess.

    Rick
    Yes, you are correct. It only takes a minute to check, so with multiple bikes known to have been overfilled, I think it may be worth your time.
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  6. #6
    Hammam
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    What I'd like to know, if someone can explain, is why too much liquid in the clutch master cylinder will cause rough shifting?

    Thank you for this interesting piece of mechanical discovery.

  7. #7
    Tourmeister gr8ridn2's Avatar
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    It is true the clutch master cylinder level will increase as the clutch wears, just the opposite of brakes. My clutch was overfilled and I removed several ounces to bring the clutch reservoir to half filled. I did this shortly after getting the bike in April. I think when the system is overfilled the bypass port of the master cylinder is pressurized so it doesn't completely release pressure to the clutch cylinder. Also the bypass port needs to draw in fluid when the clutch is pulled to get consistent action. This change slightly improved shifting, but I still had very rough 1 to 2 and 2 to 3 shifts. The fact that all the other upper gears were butter smooth suggested the clutch wasn't the primary problem. I figured like other bikes in my experience I would keep working with it adding miles to allow gearbox parts to wear in. Sure enough, after returning from the MOA rally with a bit over 5000 miles on the clock the gearbox has been transformed. No more clunky up or down shifts in the first three gears. This is one smooth shift gearbox/clutch system now. This might have been a combination clutch and gearbox break-in, but the bike is shifting as I always thought it should have. I do a lot of mountain riding and minimal interstate cruising. This means the gearbox got a good workout during the miles so far.

    Another item, while having shifting problems I had set the clutch lever to position 4 trying to fully disengage the clutch during shifting. I now run position 1 and get perfect clutch action. I little less clutch release from the lever position has not hurt the shifting.
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    Tourmeister gr8ridn2's Avatar
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    Double Post, Sorry
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by gr8ridn2 View Post
    I little less clutch release from the lever position has not hurt the shifting.
    This is what I'm finding... only pull the lever in partially which clicking up (sorta like speed shifting, but not abusive) is making shifting better.

    Shifting has improved now that the bike is approaching 10K miles.

    Need to go check the reservoir level, will be interesting to see if it's overfilled.

    Ian

  10. #10
    Registered User Emoto's Avatar
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    On the UK forum, they are reporting one or more new parts being supplied as fixes.
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  11. #11
    Cam Killer marchyman's Avatar
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    I find the shifting a bit abrupt when the bike is cold. Until I got used to it I sometimes stalled the engine leaving my driveway. Within a mile shifting is normal. I did play with the handlebar lever adjustment and notice it had quite an effect.

    After reading about "too much fluid" I had to remove the reservoir cap and see. Fluid did not come gushing out, but the bellows was partially compressed. Putting the cap back on the reservoir with the now expanded bellows caused a slight bit of fluid overflow. Now there is more room for fluid expansion. On the Hexheads I checked the fluid level every 12K and usually had to remove a tiny bit.

  12. #12
    Hammam
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    I had my chief mechanic remove some liquid from the clutch reservoir, and, bingo! shifting greatly improved. That, plus some preload up on the gear lever and very litle clutch action will shift without drama.

  13. #13
    Registered User Emoto's Avatar
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    I just complained about the shifting to BMWNA. The rep I spoke with asked that if I knew anyone else with that problem to tell them to call in about it. I've tired different techniques, adjusting the controls, even a different shift lever. Sometimes the shifts are fine, other times they really suck. It isn't me.

    From the US site:


    Call our Customer Service Department at 1-800-831-1117 and follow the automated voice prompts. There is a live representative between the hours of 9:00AM - 9:00PM EST. Mon-Fri, if someone's not there to take your call, you can wait and the automated voice will prompt you to leave a message.
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  14. #14
    Hammam
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    Quote Originally Posted by EMOTO View Post
    I just complained about the shifting to BMWNA. The rep I spoke with asked that if I knew anyone else with that problem to tell them to call in about it. I've tired different techniques, adjusting the controls, even a different shift lever. Sometimes the shifts are fine, other times they really suck. It isn't me.

    From the US site:


    Call our Customer Service Department at 1-800-831-1117 and follow the automated voice prompts. There is a live representative between the hours of 9:00AM - 9:00PM EST. Mon-Fri, if someone's not there to take your call, you can wait and the automated voice will prompt you to leave a message.
    Good for you you're dealing with BMWNA. Had you dealt with BMW Canada, you would have gotten this reply: "Sorry, we cannot provide any technical information regarding your motorcycle. Contact the service depaetment at one of our dealers... blah... blah... "

    Is that friendly and helpful or what?

  15. #15
    Registered User Emoto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammam View Post
    Good for you you're dealing with BMWNA. Had you dealt with BMW Canada, you would have gotten this reply: "Sorry, we cannot provide any technical information regarding your motorcycle. Contact the service depaetment at one of our dealers... blah... blah... "

    Is that friendly and helpful or what?
    Yes, you are substantially correct about what to expect. But, part of what any manufacturer considers is feedback from owners. So, if everyone who is having rough shifting were to let them know, there is the chance (we could debate endlessly about how much of one) that BMW will decide to look into it and then another chance that they might decide to take some action in one form or another. I know that is a tad nebulous, but I am trying not to indicate my belief in anything specific happening other than BMW getting important info from owners.
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