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#995452 - 08/26/17 10:04 AM Re: Shifting gears in the WB's [Re: fastlarry]  
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LAF Offline
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Well can you splain why just about every Japanese bike shifts as smooth as butter. From a Yamaha R1 to the huge Star they make? The ne Ventura is also butter and is a HUGE bike.

Not buying it at all. My six speed I4 car shifts like butter just like my old 396 did.

Gear ratios have nothing to do with shifting. Just as short throw shifter and close ratio shifters do not make notchy and hard shifting.

It is not the ratios it is the drum and forks and selector and how gears are cut and fitted that make a smooth transmission.

Why do you think they attempted to improve shifting on the 17? It is getting better and I have no doubt it will continue to get better as BMW needs a smooth transmission to draw younger riders who have had Japanese bikes and walk away from a clunky tranny.

There is no excuse for the clunk from neutral to first on these bikes. It sounds and feels like a tractor!

Me I can get butter smooth shifts at times and other I get clunk. Either way I love my RT but I make no excuse for the tranny as it is what it is. Gear ratio means nothing to a tranny as far as shifting.

Not buying what you are selling.


Lee
15 RT LC
San Marino Blue
Dark Side 205 50 ZR17
#995461 - 08/26/17 01:33 PM Re: Shifting gears in the WB's [Re: LAF]  
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Paul De Offline
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Originally Posted By: LAF
...
It is not the ratios it is the drum and forks and selector and how gears are cut and fitted that make a smooth transmission....


I think you are on to the issue and I think this is where BMW made adjustments on the '17 MY. Also the amount/degree of undercutting of the gears dogs for a positive engagement on he next gear. Too little or none = missed shifts, and too much = a clunk into the next gear.

One thing that I noticed on my '99 RT it had an extremely long shift lever throw to get to the next gear. So much so, I rode that bike with steel toed work boots to be sure that I made the full travel to engage the next gear. That improved the shifts on that bike a lot, but you still need to have the Zen going to get smooth shifts all the time (ummm, ummm, see the gear-be the gear-see the gears mesh...haha).

On my '15 RT the shift lever throw is very much reduced and the shifting is much easier and more positive, no more steel toe boot needed. No more Zen required, so it is very much improved. That said, the shift throw is still way more than any of the Japanese bike transmissions I have ridden going all the way back into the 80's. Maybe a revised shifter linkage to further shorten the throw would help the '14-'16s and maybe even the '17. The penalty would be more pressure to engage the next gear as you are loosing leverage.

Not sure I buy the argument that slick shifting is a killer variable for younger buyers. Styling, performance and price are much bigger drivers. I would buy an all things being equal the bike that shifts better would win, but that would be pretty nit-picky at that.


If the good old days were so damn good, why did we bother to invent modern times?

Most missed bike: Bultaco Sherpa T 326
#995476 - 08/26/17 09:25 PM Re: Shifting gears in the WB's [Re: bewareboy]  
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Limecreek Offline
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Originally Posted By: bewareboy
Limecreek, When you say you've adjusted your shift lever/linkage, can you elaborate on this? Was this per the manual process and specs or to a different process and specs that can share with us?

Thanks,


The lever was adjusted to my foot/toe size and to ensure a proper throw of the lever. I typically make an adjustment, make a test run and adjust again until I get snick, snick shifts. That's it.

#995483 - 08/27/17 12:18 AM Re: Shifting gears in the WB's [Re: fastlarry]  
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old_farmer Offline
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Northwest IL
My 99RT was pretty clunky but I learned to live with it.

My 17 wethead is much better. No complaints.

The only other bikes I have ridden recently are Harleys, so I guess I don't know what a "good" shifting bike is like.


Dave
#995501 - 08/27/17 02:59 PM Re: Shifting gears in the WB's [Re: fastlarry]  
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ToddM Offline
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Besides the shape of the gears and synchronizing speeds I have a feeling that the clutch engagement/disengagement has a lot to do with that amount of clunk that is felt between gears. There is a certain amount of engagement even with the clutch lever fully depressed. More engagement = more clunk. My last bike (Kawasaki Vaquero) had a terrible clunk going into 1st from neutral. If the back tire was raised off the ground it would spin in any gear even with the clutch lever fully depressed. I just tried this on the BMW (going from neutral into 1st) and the first time the tire didn't move but I also did not get any clunk. The second time the tire jumped about a full turn and stopped.


2017 R1200RT
#995526 - 08/27/17 09:53 PM Re: Shifting gears in the WB's [Re: fastlarry]  
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Bill_Walker Offline
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I have a hunch that BMW has kept the clunking transmission in the wetheads as an element of tradition, just like the boxer engine layout, in the same way that Harley transmissions always clunk. They've always done that, so they always still do that, albeit less than they used to.


"Dry-Town" Crew, San Diego
'15 R1200RT
'12 Kawasaki KLX250S
'04 R1150RT (gone)
'02 Suzuki V-Strom (gone)
#995532 - 08/27/17 10:27 PM Re: Shifting gears in the WB's [Re: fastlarry]  
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fastlarry Offline
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Southern Ohio
I've ridden BMW's on 7000 mile road trips, 2-up and all the associated gear and clothes. Ridden them hard and fast in hot weather and cold, up and down mountains at speeds no Harley or Star can match, fully laden. (With only 70 hp on tap, but lots of torque, Harley's wont climb like BMW's. Sorry, simple physics) I don't care if they clunk between the lower gears. The engineers (and I'm a retired one, so I am biased) do the best they can with the performance and design parameters they are given. Given 2 more gear ratios and lighter components, they would eliminate this but then everyone would gripe about the price and all that extra shifting. I get a little sick of all this griping and complaining about BMW's on a BMW-centric forum. Shame on me.

Last edited by fastlarry; 08/27/17 10:28 PM.

Larry
2016 BMW R1200RT
#995572 - 08/28/17 01:12 PM Re: Shifting gears in the WB's [Re: fastlarry]  
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RecentConvert Offline
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Not bashing engineers in general, as that would be bashing my chosen occupation and my son, but as one of the earlier posts stated, the Japanese have figured it out. As evidenced by my son's Triumph Tiger, they have figured it out. The Ducati I test rode, shows they have figured it out. I think one of the earlier posts attributed the clunkiness to tradition. They've done it for so long, it is expected.

As stated, this is a BMW centric forum. Does that mean we can't talk about the turd in the punchbowl? I accept manufacturing variability, some are better than others, I just happened to get what I must assume is bad one. It has been torn down, conferred with the German mothership, reworked the clutch and "tuned".

The comment about the cost of fixing the problem seems a bit funny. Have you priced a BWM RT vs. a Yamaha FJR? There is already $6000 of premium built into the RT.

If you read many of the BMW forums, and I do, I find it interesting that so many that "drink the Kool-Aid" also have little work-a-rounds for the shifting woes they deny. "I always start it in gear" "I preload the lever before attempting the shift", "I shut off the motor at stoplights" "A good deliberate, deep clutch" "you will get used to it".

I appreciate the goodness of the RT, I am keeping mine, but it pisses me off that it shifts so poorly that my 125HP wethead has trouble keeping up with a 90 HP RT from 2004 until third gear is engaged. While so much of the RT speaks "premium", the clutch, transmission speak "old agricultural". At least mine does.

#995574 - 08/28/17 01:19 PM Re: Shifting gears in the WB's [Re: fastlarry]  
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marcopolo Offline
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For what it's worth, I have a 2015 GSA, with about 18,000 miles on the odometer. I have no complaints whatsoever about the shifting (and I don't have workarounds, tricks, or any other kind of magic).


Mark
2015 R 1200 GS Adventure
#995582 - 08/28/17 02:13 PM Re: Shifting gears in the WB's [Re: marcopolo]  
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Paul De Offline
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I guess I'm easy to please. A nice reassuring clunk into 1st while stopped is a big so what for me. My '15 RT shifts very well even w/o using Shift Assistant Pro. Is it a shifting benchmark machine, no, but it shifts well enough that shifting is no longer a top of mind deliberate process in the riding experience. The lizard part of my brain handles the shifting chore on my '15RT, and that is just as it should be. BMW engineers should sleep well are night as far as I'm concerned...or maybe they lay awake wondering if they have EPA cheater software some where in the product line, but it isn't the K52 transmission keeping them awake.

Facts are a stubborn things. I am not bashing my '99 or '71 BMW bikes, but the fact is they were not easy bikes to shift smoothly, it took practice and deliberate thinking to do it.

Can't speak to comparison with a 2004 RT but my '15 RT smokes my '99RT from 0 to what ever speed the '99 runs out of breath. Maybe turn off the ASC and do a hole shot to get the 2004 in the rearview.
Ain't no way that dry clutch beast will like that kind of launch burnout


If the good old days were so damn good, why did we bother to invent modern times?

Most missed bike: Bultaco Sherpa T 326
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