I am already on gear 4 at 30mph, is that normal? - BMW R1200GS Forum : R1200 GS Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-May-2019, 11:22 PM (181) Thread Starter
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Question I am already on gear 4 at 30mph, is that normal?

I recently bought a wonderful used R1200GS, my only gripe being, i feel like i have to constantly change gears, especially for city commute. I am at about 25mph on 3rd gear and it feels like the bike continuously wants me to go a gear up, so i end up at 4th gear when i am at 30mph. Isn't that a bit much? this results in too much gear shift (both up and down).

Prior to this i used to ride a honda vtx1300 cruiser, and i used to easily go upto 40mph on gear 2 without any issues.

Thanks for your inputs in advance!

Edit: Its a 2016 R1200GS

Last edited by BikerScript; 09-May-2019 at 05:30 PM (937).
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-May-2019, 04:22 AM (390)
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Boxers like some RPMs. 2500/3000 is good. Drive the tach in traffic and stay in a gear that that keeps your RPMs up. Lugging along isn't good for performance, the engine or gas mileage. A lower gear also has the benefit of engine braking when you get off the throttle.
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Last edited by Crucian; 09-May-2019 at 04:23 AM (391). Reason: sp
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-May-2019, 04:34 AM (399)
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What he said, above.

I own both a GS and a Harley Road King, and it took a while to get used to the different feel of the two engines. The Harley is quite happy to putt along at 2000 rpm, and will respond happily if I whack the throttle at that speed. The GS really feels like I'm lugging it anywhere below 2500, and a quick twist of the throttle is met with little real ooomph if it's under 3000.

In addition, the Boxer's busy valve train is sticking out on the sides, and the valve covers are not stuffed with sound insulation, so you will hear a lot of mechanical racket that's muffled by the gas tank on a V-twin bike. The engine does sound rather busy at fairly low rpm. I suspect that's what's making you feel like it wants you to shift up a gear. That's just the way it is and not a problem.

Stick with it, pay attention to the tach, and one day you will notice that it suddenly feels all natural and right.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-May-2019, 04:36 AM (400)
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4th gear and 30PMH gotta really be lugging the motor. You are used to a low reving cruiser you gotta get used this Euro stuff wanting higher RPM's. In traffic 0 to 30MPH +/- I'd be in 2nd gear and only dropping to 1st if I came to a stop.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-May-2019, 07:28 AM (519)
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what year?
2016 here and riding in the congested narrow streets of New Orleans--lots of stop and go, school zones, 30-35 mph speed limits, threading through traffic, etc. IOW, not fast.

At 30 mph I am probably in 2nd, maybe third???, but probably second.
As been said these engines loved to be flogged, and run up, and run hard (the so-called Italian tune up). Depending on year, at least 2k rpms, maybe 3k for later models--according to the wisdom on the internet. And that feels right for control in city traffic.
So, the next question you may ask is where are the shift points, and that is definitely personal and depends on circumstances...may be 3500-4 k or higher. If I am not hooliganing and in well paced city riding, probably 4k, though I use engine braking a lot in the city.
If you are under 2 k, you are lugging the engine.

I will add that when I got the 2016 it replaced a 2009 roadster. On that 2009 I felt like I was always searching for the gear between 2nd and 3rd in the city. On the 16, one of the first things I noticed was how it felt better geared for city traffic.
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Last edited by Dr. Strangelove; 09-May-2019 at 07:30 AM (521).
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-May-2019, 07:29 AM (520)
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The only time I'm under 3k is in first otherwise it feels like I'm lugging the engine and that can't be good.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-May-2019, 10:48 AM (658)
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My riding habits are similar to those of Rick92040. Riding below 3,000 RMP is somewhat rare on the street.

I may cruise down city streets at 3,xxx RPM. I'm probably between 4K and 6K having fun in the twisties. On trails in enduro mode I may be in the 2,xxx range in 2nd gear.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-May-2019, 11:03 AM (668)
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Speedo is secondary, except to avoid tickets. I drive by tach and ear. 3-4000 in any gear works for me.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-May-2019, 12:29 PM (728)
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Got my 2017 1200 GSA registered and on the road two days ago and already have found my self in 4th at 65 MPH and not thinking anything about it. But when I do realize I bump er up to 6th...My point is when you have a 9000 RPM red line dont be afraid to give her a good spin!!
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-May-2019, 12:52 PM (745)
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maybe if I could borrow your bike and see if that happens to me.......
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