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  #1  
Old 04-26-2011, 02:06 PM
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RPM's when shifting

As a new owner of a K1200GT, I'm still getting used to the ride and all the HP's and torque that come with this sweet piece of engineering. A quick question for the more experienced riders of this bike - what is your typical RPM range for shifting up through the gears? I am assuming a "normal" rate of acceleration from a standing stop and up through 70MPH or 75MPH.

The reason I'm asking is that I commented to the mechanic at the dealership on the fact that I felt a "rumble" or different vibration in the shaft drive between 3,500 and 4,000 RPM while accelerating, or while engine braking, and he suggested that I was lugging the engine a bit and suggested not changing gears under 6,000 or 7,000 RPM while under normal acceleration. I tried that on the way home and, for roads with 35MPH or 40MPH speed limits, I found that I would not everg get out of 2nd gear following his suggestion. On the freeway I can run it up to 60MPH and only be at 5,000 RPM in 3rd gear. The engine is certainly smoot at that RPM, and probably not working too hard, but that's a higher RPM than I was used to running. Is that the best all-round way to run this motor? Conversely, is it hard on the shaft drive or transmission or will it "lug" down the engine to purr along at 3,500RPM?

BTW, on my in-line 4 cylinder 750cc Kawi, I was normally shifting at 4,000 RPM unless I was really accelerating hard.

I would be interested to hear what others have to say.
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  #2  
Old 04-26-2011, 06:40 PM
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Re: RPM's when shifting

I've never had a certain RPM range that I shifted at on any of my bikes, but rather did so by feel and the conditions. In heavy traffic I find myself in lower gears in order to accelerate more quickly if I need to. On my brick engine GT I am commonly shifting up through the gears around 4k or higher if I'm trying to get going more quickly. I'm rarely ever riding along with the RPM's in the 6-7k range as the tech suggested to you. Only get to those ranges when I'm in the spirited riding mode. Your motor will certainly handle it, but gas mileage will suck. Just do what feels right to you and allows the bike to respond the way you want when riding.
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  #3  
Old 04-26-2011, 06:59 PM
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Re: RPM's when shifting

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidk63
I've never had a certain RPM range that I shifted at on any of my bikes, but rather did so by feel and the conditions. In heavy traffic I find myself in lower gears in order to accelerate more quickly if I need to. On my brick engine GT I am commonly shifting up through the gears around 4k or higher if I'm trying to get going more quickly. I'm rarely ever riding along with the RPM's in the 6-7k range as the tech suggested to you. Only get to those ranges when I'm in the spirited riding mode. Your motor will certainly handle it, but gas mileage will suck. Just do what feels right to you and allows the bike to respond the way you want when riding.


Right on!
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  #4  
Old 04-26-2011, 07:14 PM
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Re: RPM's when shifting

Thanks, David. On my previous bike I've always shifted as you've described it - by feel and conditions, not necessarily at a set range, and typically around 4k. The mechanic had implied that at lower RPM's the final drive on the BMW was getting inordinately stressed and that the motor was engineered to run, and run better, at high RPM's. His general statement was "stress the engine that was meant to take it, and not the shaft drive". Not having owned a shaft-drive MC before I wasn't sure what I was feeling (a bit rougher feel at 3.5K while engine braking) was normal.
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Old 04-26-2011, 07:42 PM
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Re: RPM's when shifting

Something tells me the shaft will be getting more stress when shifting at a higher RPM, not less. I usually shift at 4-5K rpm, unless I am following the advice of the dealer who said to wind it up to red line at least once a week to "clear it out". When doing this I am usually breaking every speeding law in the country before getting out of 2nd gear. Bottom line: use your best judgement and "go with the flow".**************MdMn**
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Old 04-27-2011, 12:32 AM
XMagnaRider XMagnaRider is offline
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Re: RPM's when shifting

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobH
Thanks, David. On my previous bike I've always shifted as you've described it - by feel and conditions, not necessarily at a set range, and typically around 4k. The mechanic had implied that at lower RPM's the final drive on the BMW was getting inordinately stressed and that the motor was engineered to run, and run better, at high RPM's. His general statement was "stress the engine that was meant to take it, and not the shaft drive". Not having owned a shaft-drive MC before I wasn't sure what I was feeling (a bit rougher feel at 3.5K while engine braking) was normal.
Bob,

I normally shift between 4k and 5k RPMs. You should not be afraid to push your K1200GT up to redline, the bike is made for that. As the others have commented, I am not afraid to shift at much higher RPMs, especially when I am on the onramp to a 75 mph Interstate after fueling. You must be careful, or you may find yourself going way faster than the speed limit before you realize it.

You may want to look for another mechanic. I do not understand his comment about greater stress at lower RPMs. The only way I can make sense of his comment is if he was talking about sudden engine braking by dumping the clutch while the bike is going really fast and the engine is turning low RPMs, especially if the transmission is in a lower gear. Based on your quote, I doubt that is what he meant. Could you have misunderstood what he said?

If he is talking about stressing the final drive during acceleration, then the highest torque comes when the engine is running at relatively high RPMs. At low RPMs, there isn't as much torque, and thus not as much stress on the final drive.
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Old 04-27-2011, 11:25 AM
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Re: RPM's when shifting

Thanks for the replies. Shifting between 4K and 5K makes sense and feels right on the bike. And, yes, when I need to get on it to merge on to the freeway I dial it up as necessary!

The Kawi, although not a whimpy bike, "only" had 80HP at 6K RPM, so while twisting and holding resulted in very decent acceleration, it doesn't compare to the K-bike. I'll mind my P's and Q's, as they say.

As for the mechanic, yes, I may have mis-understood what he was getting at, or he may not have understood my question. I'm not too worried about it. It's more about getting used to the bike than anything else. And, I want to treat it right and get many, many miles out of it while hopefully not spending too much cash on R&M.
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  #8  
Old 04-27-2011, 11:39 AM
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Re: RPM's when shifting

I find myself upshifting between 4-5K, it just sounds right, but you are correct if you follow the advise you were give you will likely never get out of 3rd or 4th gear.
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  #9  
Old 04-27-2011, 12:28 PM
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Re: RPM's when shifting

Could your mechanic possible be a scrawny, pimple face kid about 17 years old (working after school?) This sounds like some of the stuff my son says about his GSXR600RR! Asked me why they put shoddy tires on his bike, they loose traction when he comes out of a corner at 12,000rpm!
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Old 04-28-2011, 11:28 AM
Erik Erik is offline
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Re: RPM's when shifting

Usually between 4.5-6K I think of 3K as a bottom redline, bike just doesn't like it below 3K
If I'm on the back roads I'll keep the bike between 5-7K and squirt it up to 8-9K for fun.
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Old 08-29-2016, 01:15 AM
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Re: RPM's when shifting

Thanks Erik , sounds reasonable . Just listen in and could use the thoughts .
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  #12  
Old 09-20-2016, 05:29 PM
md4stone md4stone is offline
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Re: RPM's when shifting

Wow this is an old thread.

I keep my K at 4000+ CRUISE speed. It feels like it is being lugged below that, and I get good (43-44) mpg at those rpm's. SHIFT point is 5500-6000. These are "cruising" speeds mind you.

If you are in a sporting mood, let her rip. I think the OP's mechanic was giving good advice. Under 4K is lugging these engines. Sure, they will do it, but why run at low rpm when you have an engine designed for a 10K redline? You aren't hurting anything in the mid-range so don't short shift it. It is however not good to use a lot of throttle at low rpm's, when you want to accelerate. Downshift to get 4000+ and then accelerate. Or if you want to give full throttle 6000+ is more appropriate.

Or not. It's your bike. But if you want a low rpm tractor get a Harley
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Old 09-21-2016, 12:11 AM
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Re: RPM's when shifting

...what he said...x2

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