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Discussion Starter #1
I've noticed my bike likes to hit neutral when trying to shift from 1st to 2nd at high RPM. The bike has 4600 miles to date and I've owned it for 3 weeks now. Additionally, I find myself hunting for neutral when stopped at a light with 1st selected w/ the clutch in. I kind of have to slip it a tad to get the gear to drop out. To add to it, the reverse selector can be cranky too, requiring some fiddling to get it to drop in. Can there be any less then optimum clutch engagement causing this? Any other suggestions?
Thanks for any help.
Ed
 

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The clutch on this bike is very different than any other bike I have owned. Try pulling in the clutch only part way. For my bike its about 1/4 of the lever action at most! I believe it has something to do with it being a dry clutch. I think I know why but do not want to be flamed for being wrong!!!! I thought the LT was the worst shifting bike on the market until I figured that one out.
 

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edonthenet said:
I've noticed my bike likes to hit neutral when trying to shift from 1st to 2nd at high RPM. The bike has 4600 miles to date and I've owned it for 3 weeks now. Additionally, I find myself hunting for neutral when stopped at a light with 1st selected w/ the clutch in. I kind of have to slip it a tad to get the gear to drop out. To add to it, the reverse selector can be cranky too, requiring some fiddling to get it to drop in. Can there be any less then optimum clutch engagement causing this? Any other suggestions?
Thanks for any help.
Ed
The clutch design explains most of this. Up until the new K12S (and excepting the Rotax-based F650), BMWs have all had a single plate dry clutch. Japanese bikes have wet multi-plate clutchs. When idling, there's enough plate-to-plate vibration and between-plate fluid drag in the wet clutch to "shake" (for lack of a better word) the tranny input shaft so that if the gear teeth are not aligned, or the tranny output shaft is applying pressure to the sides of the dogs to resist their sliding out of engagement, the gears will vibrate to align (or free) themselves.

With the single-plate dry clutch, the input shaft is *completely* disconnected from the engine, so the input shaft isn't "excited" -- at least not enough to help the shifting. The reverser works by transefering power via a gear train between the rear of the starter and the tranny output shaft. When you move the lever, a gear slides into engagement to engage that gear train. If the output shaft gear teeth aren't aligned, the gear can't slide into engagement. By moving the bike fore/aft an inch or so, the rear wheel turns the driveshaft, causing the tranny output shaft to move enough to let the reverser engagement gear slide into place. As to shifting, slipping the clutch does the same thing as turning the rear wheel, but from the other direction -- lightly engaging the clutch bumps the tranny input shaft, shaking the gearset so the dogs can align to engage/disengage their respective gears.

So, unless your clutch is not fully disengaging (i.e., engages right at the grip end of its travel), I can't say what you're experiencing is all that unusual.
 

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Well said Mark.
As a mechanic in a former life, I could not have worded it better myself. :)
 

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Was just about to post about exactly the same issue.

Thanks for the explanation.
I also on occasion find false neutrals between gears - does not make pleasant noises from the gearbox!
The gear indicator on the dash also goes blank and/or shows neutral while still in gear.
Sorts itself out with a bit of tap on the gear/ clutch lever.
 

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I find the inability to shift correctly is more of a problem when the engine/oil is cold and less of a problem when warm. I use Penzoil 20/50. This is just one of the quirks of the bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I found the bike shift much better today using a different technique. I call it preshifting, where I apply shifter pressure (just slight) to the pedal before applying clutch. As soon as there's enough clutch applied the gear pedal will glide right to the next detent, swiftly and solidly. Then it's dumping the clutch and running with it!
Like they say, ride it like you stole it, holds true for me.
Ed
 

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Improved Shifting

I have found that changing from conventional to a synthetic gear lube will greatly improve the shift quality. My personal favorite is Bel-ray 75w140, But I've had good luck with Mobil1 and Valvoline.

Chuck Swenson
00 LTC in Pacific Blue
 
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