Downshifting Into First=Neutral - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 11 Old Dec 19th, 2006, 10:01 am Thread Starter
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Downshifting Into First=Neutral

Second thread I've started. Go me. On to the issue at hand.

Every now and then when I'm downshifting, usually at a stop sign or red light, after I go down from second the bike goes right into neutral. As I don't usually look at the instrument cluster, this has caught me several times, usually when I'm trying to turn and causing an "oh crap" moment. This also happens when I start the bike in neutral, but it's hard to get it out. I rock the bike to engage the gearbox and that gets it.

I had a similar issue with my old Harley, but then I couldn't find neutral.

Would moving over to synthetics help, or is this something I'm going to have to adjust to? If I haven't given enough information, which is very possible, please let me know what could help.

Cheers,

Adam
2006 K1200LT 2001 Kawi KLR650
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post #2 of 11 Old Dec 19th, 2006, 10:22 am
 
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I think it's all part of the learning curve of becoming an experienced rider. Yes there will be those that will tell you that synthetics fluids will help, but this will not make the issue go away entirely. FWIW, I always feather out the clutch a tad just to feel 1st gear grabbing while I'm sitting at a red light. This way, you know that you're ready for lift-off.

As for finding 1st gear after starting it...this is also typical of most motorcycles. Just rock it a bit and no big deal. These things are second-nature to me.

Keep the threads coming Adam. You're doing great.
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post #3 of 11 Old Dec 19th, 2006, 11:28 am
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Interesting. I've never gone from second down to neutral, but occasionally (once every 2 weeks?) hit neutral as I shift up from 1st to 2nd.

Re getting it into 1st gear: rather than rock the beast back and forth, try releasing the clutch just a little, then try the shift again. That's all it should take.

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post #4 of 11 Old Dec 19th, 2006, 11:52 am
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Use a slightly more "assertive" toe action when going from 2nd to 1st or 1st to 2nd. That's the biggest chasm between gears the tranny (any bike tranny, for that matter) has to cross so it take a little more throw to engage fully. I don't get it going down because I tend to downshift strongly through all the gears. BUt I do get it going up from time to time And yes, I feel like a dork, too.

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post #5 of 11 Old Dec 19th, 2006, 12:54 pm
 
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Synthetics have improved the shifting on every bike I've tried. I just switched to a PAO synthetic in the transmission this morning with my first transmission fluid change at 12,000 miles, but haven't ridden it yet. I was accidently finding neutral on occasion from 1st to 2nd. I'm hoping this helps, improve my gas mileage, and as this was a pain to change on the 2006, looking forward to doing this chore half as often.

Update: Went riding today. Easier/quieter shifting with no mis-shifts. I'll check gas mileage this weekend. Me likey.

Last edited by TimVipond; Dec 19th, 2006 at 5:13 pm.
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post #6 of 11 Old Dec 19th, 2006, 4:56 pm
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I also tend to feather the clutch at stops to be sure I know I'm in first. Also don't wait too long when slowing down to shift down and that includes first. It will go into gear much easier if the bike is still moving forward. If I'm not sure about first, and while still moving forward, I will clutch again and tap two or three times down on the lever. If it does not go further, you're prob there already. And down around 10 mph, be in first by then, go ahead and let the clutch out and let the engine slow the bike. If it does, your in gear!

Practice..............


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post #7 of 11 Old Dec 19th, 2006, 8:15 pm
 
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I also experience "oops!" on occasion with my shifting, either up or down. For me, I found that I wasn't moving my foot (toe) enough away from the shifter to allow it to rachet fully. I was unknowingly (unconsciously?) keeping pressure on the shifter pedal and bingo, goofing up the shifts. I have never had a "oops" when clearing my foot adequately from the shifter.
As for the first gear "find" I agree with the others to engage the clutch a little. The "clunk" always follows. And don't baby your shifting. A solid action on the shifter pedal will give you the desired results.
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post #8 of 11 Old Dec 19th, 2006, 9:54 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by browad
Second thread I've started. Go me. On to the issue at hand.

Every now and then when I'm downshifting, usually at a stop sign or red light, after I go down from second the bike goes right into neutral. As I don't usually look at the instrument cluster, this has caught me several times, usually when I'm trying to turn and causing an "oh crap" moment. This also happens when I start the bike in neutral, but it's hard to get it out. I rock the bike to engage the gearbox and that gets it.

I had a similar issue with my old Harley, but then I couldn't find neutral.

Would moving over to synthetics help, or is this something I'm going to have to adjust to? If I haven't given enough information, which is very possible, please let me know what could help.

Cheers,
Just a couple things.

If your speaking of finding 1st while still approaching a stopped condition, I would suggest clicking into 1st gear while still moving. A short throttle blip, clutch pulled in of course, will really help this transition past neutral. The non-synchronized tranny likes RPM's to shift smoothly. (Ever notice if you coast to or near a complete stop while in higher than 3rd gear you may have trouble getting down to lower gears?)

Another reason to be in 1st while approaching that stop is you are more prepared for evasive action if needed.

I feel a lot of the shift linkage failures can be attributed to forceful gear selection, especially on downshifts without a throttle blip.

On starting, I always shut down and restart with 1st gear engaged. Mostly because I've gotten in a habit of always leaving the bike in gear since I'm always parking on some kind of incline. This is just a habit I've gotten into with large touring type bikes. It could save you from a roll off the sidestand.
Plus on start up you're there. Of course, a little clutch release or rocking like others have mentioned works great also.

John

2004 - LT - Anthracite
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post #9 of 11 Old Dec 19th, 2006, 9:56 pm
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Adam, you should be in first gear before you stop. It is hard(er) to put it into first while stopped. The idea is to be in gear at a stop light so you don't have to shift to move the bike in case you need to get out of the way real quick. If you do it before you stop you don't need to look down to see if you're in gear or not because you felt it prior to the stop. My .02

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post #10 of 11 Old Dec 20th, 2006, 8:57 am Thread Starter
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I think perhaps I wasn't clear about how the bike goes into neutral when I'm downshifting. It usually occurs while I'm downshifting on my way to a stop, not while I'm actually stopped.

Hopefully this is just part of the learning curve for the bike, and I just need to learn how to shift the K.

Thanks all,

Adam
2006 K1200LT 2001 Kawi KLR650
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post #11 of 11 Old Dec 20th, 2006, 9:52 am
 
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That learning curve goes for any bike. Shifting up or down neutral is between 1st & 2nd so it's a little longer travel than any other shift points.
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