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First off thanks everyone for all the info.My first BMW.Another question I have is I cannot shift into first from a stop with the clutch fully engaged.Lever pulled all the way in.I have to hold down on the shifter and slowly release the clutch lever until it drops into gear.Is this normal or is something wrong?
 

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Re: shifting into first whiles topped

First off thanks everyone for all the info.My first BMW.Another question I have is I cannot shift into first from a stop with the clutch fully engaged.Lever pulled all the way in.I have to hold down on the shifter and slowly release the clutch lever until it drops into gear.Is this normal or is something wrong?
Yes, this is common complain and has been discussed in the past on many BMW forums.

I have to assume your background is from other motorcycles having a "wet clutch" (roughly 95% have wet clutch except many BMW and some Ducati)
- most bike on the market (Japan or others) have a multi-plate WET clutch (in oil bath).

- on a WET clutch transmission, the oil will cause some friction to remain - hence the transmission shaft(s) will continue to turn even with clutch lever fully pulled.

- when the clutch lever is pulled fully on a DRY clutch motorcycle (like a boxer BMW or your K1200LT), the transmission shaft will often stop turning completely as there is no friction remaining within the clutch mechanism.


So based on the above, if the shaft does not turn, and the gear are not exactly aligned, they need to turn just a way bit to engage together. Most common solution is to move bike back-and-forth about 6 inches (not very practical) or better: just release the clutch lever slightly to create a bit of friction as you engage 1st (from a standstill).

If you are still having problem using this common tip above, then the next step would be to clean and grease the external gearshift linkage. It has a tendency to be rough and not move smoothly after many years or usage (if not cleaned and greased).
Check this video for help:
 
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Re: shifting into first whiles topped

First off thanks everyone for all the info.My first BMW.Another question I have is I cannot shift into first from a stop with the clutch fully engaged.Lever pulled all the way in.I have to hold down on the shifter and slowly release the clutch lever until it drops into gear.Is this normal or is something wrong?
Clutch fully disengaged (lever pulled in.) Not uncommon to have to roll it a tiny bit to allow 1st to engage. You get used to it. I had to think whether that even happens. It does. I think I let the clutch out a tad, pull it back in, then drop it into 1st, then go.
 

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2005 K1200LT
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Re: shifting into first whiles topped

I always shift into first before I stop and I remain in gear for the duration of the light. I only go to N at RR crossings where I have a bit of a wait.

But yes let the clutch out a small amount and she will slide right into gear, don't "stomp" on the lever.
 

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Re: shifting into first whiles topped

First off thanks everyone for all the info.My first BMW.Another question I have is I cannot shift into first from a stop with the clutch fully engaged.Lever pulled all the way in.I have to hold down on the shifter and slowly release the clutch lever until it drops into gear.Is this normal or is something wrong?
Normal for a dry clutch.
 

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Re: shifting into first whiles topped

I have also found that new gear oil in the transmission makes it shift easier as well. The LT has its quirks, but once you figure them all out and get used to them she is a beauty.
 

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Re: shifting into first whiles topped

I have also found that new gear oil in the transmission makes it shift easier as well. The LT has its quirks, but once you figure them all out and get used to them she is a beauty.
Yes I had all kinds of trouble shifting gears when I first bought mine. I changed the shift linkages to Power Shift units, changed the oil ( a couple of times )

Now it shifts as smooth as snot on a todlers face.
 

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2005 K1200LT
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Re: shifting into first whiles topped

If you watched Kirk's video you know what is in there now this is picture of what Wazza is talking about. On e-bay for $110. They do not come apart and are sealed.
 

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Re: shifting into first whiles topped

If you watched Kirk's video you know what is in there now this is picture of what Wazza is talking about. On e-bay for $110. They do not come apart and are sealed.
Yes sorry I should have explained what I was talking about. One of the best things you can easily do. They are far more robust than the original shift linkages and you never need to pull them apart to service them. Of course it never hurts to at least periodically check to make sure none of the mounting threads have come loose. My original ball joints were a bit shaky.
 

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Re: shifting into first whiles topped

All the above..
Also,if you haven't already, try lifting to shift into second then down to first while stopped.
 

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Re: shifting into first whiles topped

My 05 sometimes does that when cold start, I try with a combination of releasing the clutch while in N, rocking the bike a bit back and fro, and also throttle up a bit and release. It works. At stops I try to stay in 1st, clutch disengaged, if the red light lasts too long, I set to N, then do the aforementioned if 1st gear refuses to engage, to prevent impatient driver reactions, I look to switch into 1st some few secs before light goes green, more because I'm trying to be courteous to all, not because I worry someone may honk. The bike is so big, people just don't honk at it. Which is very cool.
 

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Re: shifting into first whiles topped

My 05 sometimes does that when cold start, I try with a combination of releasing the clutch while in N, rocking the bike a bit back and fro, and also throttle up a bit and release. It works. At stops I try to stay in 1st, clutch disengaged, if the red light lasts too long, I set to N, then do the aforementioned if 1st gear refuses to engage, to prevent impatient driver reactions, I look to switch into 1st some few secs before light goes green, more because I'm trying to be courteous to all, not because I worry someone may honk. The bike is so big, people just don't honk at it. Which is very cool.
The easiest method is the one Sailor mentioned and the one I also use. Just put slight pressure downward on the shift lever and slowly release the clutch. As soon as the clutch starts to engage, the transmission will snick into gear slick as the scum on a Louisiana swamp. Then just add throttle and ease out the clutch and move away as from any other stop. Easy peasey.

No need to rock bike back and forth or any other histrionics.
 

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Re: shifting into first whiles topped

Colourful description, I must give it a try sometime! >:)
I am pretty sure that is from a song which I can’t for the life of me remember at the moment.
 

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The easiest method is the one Sailor mentioned ...slick as the scum on a Louisiana swamp. Then just add throttle and ease out the clutch and move away as from any other stop.
Thanks! Will try! As soon as the yearly SoCal 3 Storms Celebration Week is over and the swamp outside turns back into roads again. 🙂
 
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