Shifting/RPMs - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 9 Old Sep 20th, 2010, 6:40 pm Thread Starter
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Recently changed over from V-Twins (last bike was a BigDog K9) to my 08' K1200 GT. Just learning to ride this type of bike and had a question on when to shift. I always shifted my Twins at 3500 to 4000 rpms. I know its a lot different and the dealer told me this:

1st and 2nd. shift after 4000 rpms and 3rd gear on up shift between 5000 and 7000 rpms. He also said that everyone under drives BMWs and they like high rpms. He stated that under 3000 rpms is lugging the engine and to actually red line (10,000rpms i guess) every once in a while. He stated that the manufacturer recommends driving at high rpms.

How is anyone else riding theirs. I want this bike to last a long time and want to drive it the best way possible. I tried finding how BMW wants you to drive their bikes but couldn't find anything specific.

thanks in advance,

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post #2 of 9 Old Sep 20th, 2010, 7:00 pm
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Re: Shifting/RPMs

These K engines do like to scream..........if your used to big twins, well, it may take some re-adjustment..........but on the other hand...........your max torque is going to develop @ 4700 RPMs...........max ponies around 6300 RPMs.................When you have it on the pipe, you can use engine decompression for desseloration, saves on the brakes...........Red line is set pretty high, but I'v spoke to a few that have totally ignored the tach and just twisted it on.......I stay on the light side of the tach..............just me..................

I'm pretty sure you'll get some more hits here but have the confidence in that engine that you can wrap it pretty likes it, really................
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post #3 of 9 Old Sep 20th, 2010, 7:19 pm
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Re: Shifting/RPMs

I had a difficult time shifting my 1300GT after I first bought it. Went on a ride with a 1200GT owner and he offered me some advise on getting used to the shifting. He said that in low load situations try going from 1st to 3rd to 5th or going from 2nd to 4th to 6th. I took his advice and got comfortable with the shifting operation. I very seldom skip gears now but I did do it until I got the feel of it.

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post #4 of 9 Old Sep 20th, 2010, 11:42 pm
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Re: Shifting/RPMs

We have a saying around here . . . Ride It Like You Stole It.

Seriously, inline 4's love to be revved up. You won't damage the engine that way (due to all the modern sensors and safety cutoffs), and the bike will thank you for it.

Basically, two large, heavy, long-stroke pistons take a lot to spin up, so they make power very low in the rev range, but push very hard (lots of torque x low rpms = power).

But 4 smaller, lighter, short-stroke pistons spin up much faster, so they make power higher up the rev range, and thus have much higher redlines (good torque x lots of rpms = Power!).

So don't be afraid of the tach or the throttle. The bike will handle it just fine.

But do keep an eye on that speedo though . . .

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post #5 of 9 Old Sep 20th, 2010, 11:58 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Shifting/RPMs

Thanks for the advice. I have been having lots of fun with it and can hardly wait for longer rides.

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post #6 of 9 Old Oct 26th, 2010, 3:56 pm
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Re: Shifting/RPMs

Basically I shift according to what kind of riding I do. As a general rule, never let the tach drop below 3,000 rpm, your bike develops 75% of it's max torque at around 3k and dropping below it means you are underpowering your bike. Don't upshift until you get above 4k rpm, it helps to keep you above that 3k mark in the next gear up. If you are looking for a slow, leisurely ride with good gas mileage, just keep that tach between the 3k and 4k mark. If you want to have fun, twist through the turns and accelerate at break neck speeds, let that tach rev up to the 7-9k mark and enjoy. I think someone on this board once said, "you aren't having fun until either you or the bike is screaming."

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post #7 of 9 Old Jan 11th, 2011, 5:32 pm
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Wink Re: Shifting/RPMs

I can't go above 6k rpm at the moment... not till I've done at least 600 miles the dealer said. Shouldn't take too long tho'
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post #8 of 9 Old Jan 11th, 2011, 7:57 pm
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Re: Shifting/RPMs

There's a reason that the GT does NOT have a radio: the engine signs the opera to you--especially over 7k. That sound is what I miss most about my GT.

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post #9 of 9 Old Jan 14th, 2011, 7:51 pm
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Re: Shifting/RPMs

Depending on what kind of riding you are into, I think 4k is a good shift point for conservative riding. 5 - 7 k for moderate and run to near redline for balls out riding. I found smoother shifting when I shift above 4K. That 4 does not wake up till about 7k.
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