Problem shifting out of neutral to first - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 17 Old Mar 11th, 2010, 8:19 pm Thread Starter
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Problem shifting out of neutral to first

South Carolina Newbie. Just got a 2002 K1200LT with 15,000 miles. Great condition except from time to time I'm having a problem shifting out of neutral into first gear. Generally I have to try to shift up to second and then down. But sometimes it won't go back to first until I start moving in second. Sometimes I have a problem even getting into second from neutral until several tries later. After I'm running no problem shifting up/down, but if I stop at a light and put into neutral it's a roll of the dice as to whether or not I can get into first without doing the above. Any thoughts. Once again I'm a newbie with a BMW so I apologize for my ignorance.
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post #2 of 17 Old Mar 11th, 2010, 8:33 pm
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Re: Problem shifting out of neutral to first

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Originally Posted by c_ford
South Carolina Newbie. Just got a 2002 K1200LT with 15,000 miles. Great condition except from time to time I'm having a problem shifting out of neutral into first gear. Generally I have to try to shift up to second and then down. But sometimes it won't go back to first until I start moving in second. Sometimes I have a problem even getting into second from neutral until several tries later. After I'm running no problem shifting up/down, but if I stop at a light and put into neutral it's a roll of the dice as to whether or not I can get into first without doing the above. Any thoughts. Once again I'm a newbie with a BMW so I apologize for my ignorance.
The most likely reason is due to the dry clutch used by BMW. Unlike wet clutches that have some drag due to the viscosity of the oil between the plates, a dry clutch tends to disengage completely. The slight drag of the wet clutch allows the transmission input shaft to rotate slowly which facilitates shifting into gear. With a dry clutch, if the engagement dogs are lined up in a "blocking" arrangement, the transmission won't go into gear. There are a couple of solutions, but I favor the first:

1. Hold light pressure on the gear shift downward and then SLOWLY engage the clutch. As soon as the clutch begins to drag a little, the input shaft will begin to rotate and the dogs will engage and you are in gear and ready to go. I generally then disengage the clutch to make sure the gears are fully engaged and then move out.

2. Leave the tranny in neutral and engage and quickly disengage the clutch. Quickly shift into first. This technique gets the input shaft rotating and then you shift into gear while it is "coasting down." Depending on how fast the shaft is still rotating when the gears engage, you can get a mild clunk or a hefty clunk.

I prefer optoin one as I believe it is easier on the tranny and faster once you get the hang of it.

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post #3 of 17 Old Mar 11th, 2010, 8:34 pm
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Re: Problem shifting out of neutral to first

+1

Also, check and re-lube your shift linkage.........

Hoss
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post #4 of 17 Old Mar 11th, 2010, 8:49 pm
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Re: Problem shifting out of neutral to first

Hold the clutch lever in & put slight down pressure on the shifter. Then slowly let the clutch lever out & stop when it goes in gear. Then pull the clutch lever back in. DO NOT FORCE IT INTO GEAR or the shift linkage could fail.

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post #5 of 17 Old Mar 11th, 2010, 9:43 pm
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Re: Problem shifting out of neutral to first

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager
...
1. Hold light pressure on the gear shift downward and then SLOWLY engage the clutch.....
Exactly! Standard procedure - I never even gave it a thought.
Then again, I grew up on manual transmission cars with straight-cut gears, no synchro in first, so that the release-clutch-a-bit technique is natural.

Robert in Northern NJ

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post #6 of 17 Old Mar 11th, 2010, 9:52 pm
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Re: Problem shifting out of neutral to first

Its normal, we've all found ways around it.

Move the bike back and forth so you look like a nubie try, try again.
or
if it didn't go release the clutch about half way and pull it back in again and it will usually go not as obvious as the above.
or
do the clutch slip in the previous messages.

Just Go
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post #7 of 17 Old Mar 12th, 2010, 4:49 am Thread Starter
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Re: Problem shifting out of neutral to first

Thanks so much I.
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post #8 of 17 Old Mar 12th, 2010, 8:05 am
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Re: Problem shifting out of neutral to first

"they all do it" as they say, yes they do, you'll find your own way to deal with it and it'll become second nature to you very quickly.

I took my bike for the MOT test last week. The tester got on it, started it but couldn't get it into gear. While he was sitting on it I tried but couldn't do it either. As soon as he got off for me to try I did the "clutch half out" thing without even realsing it! I'd just accepted doing it as a matter of coures... (mind you, I have had six of these things now....I love 'em)

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post #9 of 17 Old Mar 12th, 2010, 9:55 am
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Re: Problem shifting out of neutral to first

Even staight cut gears with no synchro's is easier (some what) than four widely spaced "dogs" in the BWM tranny. In fact most all bikes have same constant gear mesh/dog select design. They are a bit easier as they have a wet clutch that provides a rotational force input even when disengaged. It is the dry clutch that makes this technique nessesary in the BMW. If the parts are moving they can't always line up.

John
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post #10 of 17 Old Mar 12th, 2010, 2:10 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Problem shifting out of neutral to first

I tried the half clutch. Works great! Sorry for bothering you guys, but everybody's got to learn sometime even after riding 40 plus years of HD and japanese bikes, it just that this is the first dry clutch I've had.
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post #11 of 17 Old Mar 22nd, 2010, 12:43 pm
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Re: Problem shifting out of neutral to first

After I back out of my garage, I sometimes have trouble shifting into first. "Double clutching" seems to do the trick for me, I think it is a variation of what has been described above. (I pull in the clutch lever, step on the shifter...nothing. So I let the clutch out, then pull in again, she goes into gear with no problem.)

On another note, I just changed the clutch fluid and lubed the linkages...AWESOME! Shifting seems less clunky, almost "silky"...ok, I know I won't get away with that on this board...but seriously, what an improvement. I ride an '02 with 21k miles. At this rate, I will be upgrading the throttle cables soon...

Best of luck!

Peter
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post #12 of 17 Old Mar 22nd, 2010, 12:57 pm
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Exclamation Re: Problem shifting out of neutral to first

Quote:
Originally Posted by c_ford
South Carolina Newbie. Just got a 2002 K1200LT with 15,000 miles. Great condition except from time to time I'm having a problem shifting out of neutral into first gear. Generally I have to try to shift up to second and then down. But sometimes it won't go back to first until I start moving in second. Sometimes I have a problem even getting into second from neutral until several tries later. After I'm running no problem shifting up/down, but if I stop at a light and put into neutral it's a roll of the dice as to whether or not I can get into first without doing the above. Any thoughts. Once again I'm a newbie with a BMW so I apologize for my ignorance.
I won't discuss the difficulty shifting into first gear, instead I will comment on the fact that you seem to shift to neutral at traffic lights. That leaves you vulnerable to fumbling with shifting into first gear when the light turns green (best case scenario) and also to being rear-ended by impatient or distracted drivers (worst case scenario). Best practice is to remain in first gear, left foot on the ground and right foot on the peg, eyes peeled to the mirrors, ready to roll if/when needed. It's just me and YMMV.

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post #13 of 17 Old Mar 22nd, 2010, 4:40 pm
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Re: Problem shifting out of neutral to first

Quote:
Originally Posted by pburhoe
On another note, I just changed the clutch fluid and lubed the linkages...AWESOME! Shifting seems less clunky, almost "silky"...
I'd better check the calendar. Is it April 1st yet?

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post #14 of 17 Old Mar 22nd, 2010, 9:05 pm
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Re: Problem shifting out of neutral to first

Quote:
Originally Posted by PMitchell
I'd better check the calendar. Is it April 1st yet?
Huh... the clutch is hydraulic, and the fluid does need to be replaced - along with the brake fluid - on a regular basis.

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post #15 of 17 Old Aug 28th, 2011, 6:00 am
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Re: Problem shifting out of neutral to first

Also a newbie. Just bought a 2002 K1200RS, only has 8,000 Oahu miles, but I thought something was kinda hinky with the clutch...until I found this forum. Thanks folks. I'd been adjusting, but this sounds like it's to be expected and can be worked through with some ease.

Cheers.
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post #16 of 17 Old Aug 28th, 2011, 12:24 pm
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Re: Problem shifting out of neutral to first

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Originally Posted by StreetPhilosopher
Also a newbie. Just bought a 2002 K1200RS, only has 8,000 Oahu miles, but I thought something was kinda hinky with the clutch...until I found this forum. Thanks folks. I'd been adjusting, but this sounds like it's to be expected and can be worked through with some ease.

Cheers.
Welcome aboard Nick. This is a great place to be for a BMW rider. Can you really get that thing in high gear in Hawaii?

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post #17 of 17 Old Aug 28th, 2011, 9:22 pm
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Re: Problem shifting out of neutral to first

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Originally Posted by Razmataz
Welcome aboard Nick. This is a great place to be for a BMW rider. Can you really get that thing in high gear in Hawaii?
Thanks, and hah! In all seriousness, I've put it into 6th on the H1, but not for very long. I'm still feeling it out and getting used to matching the rpm's and the mph's, so I was probably in 6th at 70mph a little prematurely, but I'm learning.

I'm actually really glad to have found this site. The community seems pretty solid and welcoming, and honestly just reading over the faq's as well as the forum q&a's have been immensely helpful. After some minor paranoia I'm feeling pretty good about it.

By any chance, what's a good manual to get besides the factory manual to help with regular service that I might do myself?
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