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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
I am a newbie motor driver and just have my R1200R model 2011. As I did not drove a lot yet, I have a small question.
I have chosen this bike because it is so universal: not too big, not too small; suitable for long road trips and also for short home-office distances and I could mention a lot of other items.
The question is: at which point is the best way to shift gears? I have heard that it is possible to start even in 2nd gear...?
As it is not a new bike, I do not have to be carefull about the first miles/km.
Do I have to go from 0 to 90 km/h in first gear or should I shift earlier?
I am sure I will get it myself once I ride it, but I just wanted some advice from the die-hards here!

Thanks!
 

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Forget about speed, engine RPM should be the focus of when you shift. There will be various responses as people ride bikes differently.

Personally, if traffic is not an issue I typically shift at 4000 Rpm in suburban/city riding. If I'm merging onto a highway, again traffic permitting I'll shift through the gears at 6000 RPM.

I would not start riding in second gear, even using the clutch as low RPM put a strain on the engine. That is my 2 cents :)
 

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^ i concur with fleuger 99. I wouldn't ever start it in 2nd. But if 1st gear is too torquey and you are having traction issues because you got caught in a snow/ice storm and still have street/summer tires (and I would question how you got yourself in that situation to begin with), THEN maybe I could see you using 2nd gear (that's an extreme case). So generally and 99.9% of the time, no. Properly feather the throttle an clutch and you can take off smoothly. Is it possible to start in 2nd gear? Sure! It's not a good idea though if you value/care for your motorcycle's mechanical well-being.


As for shifting...

*while the bike is warming up, I try to keep the rpm's below 3,500.

After the bike's warmed up 100%
*During a typical commute about 3k.
*4-5k when riding enthusiastically.
*Extreme enthusiasm (ie: highway on ramp, clear traffic, etc), I'll ride it up to just before it hits the redline (7,500 rpm)

Do I have to go from 0 to 90 km/h in first gear or should I shift earlier?
Nope! I will sometimes shift when going ~20km/h, like say around a parking lot or in slow traffic. You don't want to labor the engine, so never let the rpm's drop below idle (~1k rpm) while a gear is selected and the clutch is fully engaged. Keep in mind, the bike has a lot of torque, especially on the low end. you can get up and go in 6th gear from 40km/h. But you will also labor your engine/drivetrain and that's bad for longevity. If your motor isn't able to pull through the rpm's smoothly, you are in the wrong gear and you should downshift to the appropriate gear. When shifting down, especially into first when slowing down, make sure you disengage the clutch and try to rev match. This will help keep your synchros in good shape.

This was my first bike and I found myself having a hard time shifting smoothly below 4k rpms. The bike has a lot of power and just wants to get up and go! But over time as you familiarize yourself with the bike and get more comfortable with it, you'll be able to hear the engine and know how fast it's turning over. you'll also start to develop muscle memory for your shift points. You know you are comfortable with your motorcycle when you know exactly how fast you are going, what RPM you are turning, and what gear you are in without looking at the gauges. Since this if your first motorcycle, you just need to give yourself time to adjust. It'll come to you :)
 

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Coming from a Jap bike many years ago and 25 years out of the saddle, there is only two things that concern me with this wonderful machine.
The individual turn signal buttons ( I am getting used to the little devils)

First gear. I find I am changing at 3-3.5k rpm from 1st to 2nd, but the engine ( to me) seems to be screaming for another gear (2nd) without much forward motion. I am not a tech, but it is as if 1st is geared very low. After 2nd life is great.
I am an old guy and as the bike is new and I must do all I can to support our miserable Prime Minister, I will rarely be travelling over 120Klms ( just can`t pay the fines).
Regards
John
 

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Ride the bike, you will get the hang of it.

Shifting at too high of RPM, you will not have as much control. Once you have been on it for a while, you will see. Relax, enjoy and dont think about it much.

Rule of thumb for a new rider. 10 in first 20 in second, 30 mph in 3rd....
This will help you know what gear to down shift into.
Its not that first gear is low, its the power the bike has. You can shift almost when ever you want. The torque curve is pretty flat.

For tight conditions or tricky maneuvers, keep the RPM down. For fun CRANK It up! And hang on.

Transmission has no syncros. Its just a crash box, try to match RPM and bike speed. At first its a little tricky. Once you get the hang of it its second nature. Be careful respect the bike and speeds it will do.

Most of all enjoy your new R
David
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hey all!
Thank you very much for the interesting replies!! Makes much more sense to me now!

Greetings from Belgium.
 

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Transmission has no syncros. Its just a crash box
I'm not too familiar with transmissions, so I assumed it had synchros. haha. Did some wiki readup. I find this interesting...

Thanks for the correction David R!
 

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ride ride ride, and you'll learn it. There is no set shift point. It is similar in feel to when you shift a manual tranny automobile. You'l have a sense about it.

About the only wrong thing to do is lug the engine, ie run it too slow for the gear you're in.
When in doubt REV IT
John

PS welcome to the forum
 

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rolling stops can be done in 2nd. Full stops in 1st. If I'm saving gas and being leisurely, I shift around 3000-3500. If you need zip, shift at a higher RPM. as others have said, feel it out; the bike will pretty much let you do anything :)
 
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