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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2010 GS- I've been riding this bike for about 3 weeks now. Loving it, but I noticed right away that the shifting of this bike seems clunky, Especially going from 1-2. Going 2-3 isn't so bad, and 3-4 is even better, smoother. One in ever 10 times I seem to be able to smooth out that 1-2 shift. I Youtubed it, found a good video on preloading the shifter slightly before pulling in the clutch. The comments reflected this as great advice. So I'm going to try this. I've also read that shifting faster results in more smoothness. But I suppose that depends if you become more sloppy with the controls when you go faster. I tend to do this, but with practice...

Any of you guys have anything to add? Thanks!!

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I have 2021 GS that compared to your bike has much improved shifting. However, on my bike and all other bikes (non-BMW) I used preload and it's not "Slightly" as you say. I preload it good and when I close the throttle and squeeze the clutch lever (you do it in the same time) it shifts perfectly. And, you have to be determined. The shifting on a bike is completely different then on a car. When driving a car (manual shifting), you want to be smooth and slow for the shifting to work well. On a bike, it's completely oposite. Faster and abrupt and it will work well.
I started riding back in 1983 and rode and owned zillion of bikes. Since back then, up to my actual bike, shifting smoothness improved a bit but not that much you'd expect in 40 years. That is because of the nature of sequential gearbox.
So, I use the same technique for 40 years and it works. When I went to purchase my GS, I had to place specific order and wait for the bike 3 months to be build as per my specs. One of the things was, I didn't want quickshift, just because my muscle memory is too old to be changed now and you can't preload a quickshifter.
 

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I just sold my 2010 RT to a mate , so I could buy a GS , a 2013 , that 2010 gearbox is lightyears ahead of the wethead IMO .
At least mine was .
Now , being a separate box , with separate oil to the engine , don't be afraid to try some additive .
I used a gearbox additive and changed the oil in both the GB and fd at every engine oil service .
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I just sold my 2010 RT to a mate , so I could buy a GS , a 2013 , that 2010 gearbox is lightyears ahead of the wethead IMO .
At least mine was .
Now , being a separate box , with separate oil to the engine , don't be afraid to try some additive .
I used a gearbox additive and changed the oil in both the GB and fd at every engine oil service .
Interesting, What kind of gearbox additive did you use? brand name? I didnt know such a thing existed. I was thinking of using a 75w-140 synthetic in the gearbox and 75W-90 for the FD. Thoughts?
 

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I was wondering that exact thing, change the gearbox oil. I'm going to try that I think
I’ll second Krons’ advice. Mine shifts smoothly ever since I changed the gear oil shortly after I bought my used 2009 GS. I use Liqui Molly 75w90. One bottle is enough to do the gearbox and the final drive.
 

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Interesting, What kind of gearbox additive did you use? brand name? I didnt know such a thing existed. I was thinking of using a 75w-140 synthetic in the gearbox and 75W-90 for the FD. Thoughts?
I use Nulon additives , I'm not sure if they're available where you are , I believe Pentrite also make one . I stick with the oil viscosity specified tho .
 

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You mentioned pre-loading the shifter and that's a fine and well recommended technique as long as you don't hold that pressure for more than a fraction of a second. When you pre-load the shifter you're putting stress on the shift mechanism so you'll want to minimize that amount of time you've put the transmission in that condition.
 
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What rpm are you shifting at? I have found shifting above 4500 rpm quickly tends to be less clunky. With other bikes I can finesse without much effort when shifting, for going from 1-2 or 2-3 even, on the GS, you need to be more authoritative which then reduces the clunkiness.
 

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When I got my '17 GSA, I had trouble shifting it. It was so bad, I thought I must have forgotten how to shift a motorcycle. Then I realized that the previous owner had lowered the foot pegs. Once I removed the lowering kit, all was well. Worth a quick look.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
UPDATE: Last night I changed the gearbox and FD oil. I noticed an immediate improvement, more buttery for sure, (Castrol Syntrax- 75W-90 Limited Slip Gear Oil, GL-5) I also started preloading that shifter before clutching. I'm getting some very nice shifting action now. No issues at all.
 

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You're slowly getting there. Prelod will become your muscle memory and in 2-3 years you will not even know you're doing it.
One more thing. On my 2021 GS downshifting is very smooth but few bikes back (non-BMW) for smooth downshift I had to blip a throttle a bit first and it would be as smooth as a butter. How's yours on downshifting?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
You're slowly getting there. Prelod will become your muscle memory and in 2-3 years you will not even know you're doing it.
One more thing. On my 2021 GS downshifting is very smooth but few bikes back (non-BMW) for smooth downshift I had to blip a throttle a bit first and it would be as smooth as a butter. How's yours on downshifting?
Interesting, very little input change on my end needed for smooth down shifting. I think this due to the bike's personality more than me but going from 2-1, 3-2 is most clunky and it seems to be more related to correct RPM. If I try to down shift a little early, not only is it a bit clunky the RPM races, so that's on me.
 

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If you can go ride a 1970’s era Loop/Tonti Guzzi around for about a week. When you hop back on the Hexhead the gearbox will feel buttery smooth and the clutch pull will feel light alas a feather.
 

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2010 GS- I've been riding this bike for about 3 weeks now. Loving it, but I noticed right away that the shifting of this bike seems clunky, Especially going from 1-2. Going 2-3 isn't so bad, and 3-4 is even better, smoother. One in ever 10 times I seem to be able to smooth out that 1-2 shift. I Youtubed it, found a good video on preloading the shifter slightly before pulling in the clutch. The comments reflected this as great advice. So I'm going to try this. I've also read that shifting faster results in more smoothness. But I suppose that depends if you become more sloppy with the controls when you go faster. I tend to do this, but with practice...

Any of you guys have anything to add? Thanks!!

View attachment 33761
I have a 05 and it is a bit clunky. With enough time you will get used to it. If traffic permits, I will bypass 2nd and go to 3rd gear. Also stay with the BMW recommended gear oil.
Happy Riding
 

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Gotta shift it like you mean it, nothing delicate or light. Be sure to use the full stroke of the shift lever, because there’s a bit of a flat or easing in the middle of the stroke and then more travel. I got poor shifts when I stopped at that middle easy/smooth zone, and things improved once I started driving the shift lever all the way to the end of its travel with gusto.
 

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I have an airhead...81 R100RS. Very clunky box... Acquired Honda Blackbird ...smooth gearbox...everything smooth. Just bought a 2006 R1200GS... and, yes, the clunky 1st to 2nd...followed by smoother up changes. Will also try the preloading... thanks!
 

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from Cape Town,South Africa
Having bought my VERY FIRST 1200GS (2010/46,000km/28,750mls) and after having owned a number of 700/750gs's I can tell you that shifting on ALL OF 'EM have their "challenges" (with all due respect to the brand).
I can offer a few suggestions to aid in smoother shifting:
1: Make sure the bike is warmed up ie. after travelling maybe 5km/3mls.
2: Make sure your shifting is positive and QUICK!!! (DON'T FART ABOUT!).
and finally...
3: It seems to work smoothest in the 3,500rpm area.
Any comments, positive or otherwise, will be most welcome.
RIDE SAFE...ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS WEAR THE CORRECT GEAR (RATHER SWEAT THAN BLEED)...AND REMEMBER "It's not about how fast you can GO...it's about how fast you can STOP!!!
 
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