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Rocky Mountain VRodr
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524 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

The Good Book says Thou should upshift at 15, 25, 35, and 45mph.
It adds Thou shall downshift at 40, 30,20, and 10mph.

Ok, disbeliever that I am, what speeds do YOU shift at? As I learn
to ride this motorcycle, I don't want to get stuck in the pitfalls of
HD gospel. These speeds just seem kinda low...

Thanks,

KARAF
 

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Well, if it aint at about 9,000rpm i dont usually upshift, and i dont downshift till about the same thing.

of course, my bike isnt gonna last that long either

BART!
 

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Add about 10 mph to each up and down shift... that's about how I ride. Of course I'm in Dallas so there's not much chance to really get after it...
 

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SNAFU
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13,094 Posts
Forget the MPH :bs: and use the tach and your ears/butt. There's nothing you're going to do to hurt this motor in the meat of the rpm range.

The only rules to live by are:

- Don't lug the motor on the low end
-Don't bounce it off the rev limiter (too often ;))
 

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Rocky Mountain VRodr
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524 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
mjw930 said:
Forget the MPH :bs: and use the tach and your ears/butt.
Ya. I just got back from a ride and that's exactly what I did. Actually, instinct kicks in (from driving my old '69 bug).

Thanks everyone,

KARAF
 

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Premium Member
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I find myself skipping a couple of gears all the time. 1st, 2nd, 5th. Of course I was goung 70 in 2nd.
 

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Shift by Feel and Sound, you just know when it's right after awhile. The book is a good starting point but thats it.
 

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Tired of the crap
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As others have said, its probably best to choose your gears based on road conditions and feel, rather than relying on set speeds to upshift/downshift.

I find that V-Rod performs best when revved a little higher. For instance, I rarely, if ever, use fifth gear unless I'm on a freeway or wide-open flat stage where speeds exceed 55-60 mph. I also find that, in built up areas, its not a bad idea to stay a gear lower than normal, to act as a brake on my speed getting too high, and attracting unwanted police attention.

When downshifting it is a very good idea to get into the habit of "blipping" the throttle as you downshift. This matches engine speed with wheel speed, and prevents "chirping" the tires on clutch release. This is especially important when shifting into first. The V-Rod has a very high compression engine, it its not hard to lockup the rear wheel if you downshift at too high a speed. For that reason alone I would be very wary indeed of skipping gears as you downshift.
 

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Rocky Mountain VRodr
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524 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
vroddrew said:
When downshifting it is a very good idea to get into the habit of "blipping" the throttle as you downshift. This matches engine speed with wheel speed, and prevents "chirping" the tires on clutch release. This is especially important when shifting into first. The V-Rod has a very high compression engine, it its not hard to lockup the rear wheel if you downshift at too high a speed. For that reason alone I would be very wary indeed of skipping gears as you downshift.
I saw the thread on 'blipping' in another section of the site. I'm going to try it tomorrow. I always downshift as I slow down, unless I have to make an emergency stop and focus all of my attention on staying upright.

Thanks,

KARAF
 

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Good advice from all. I also do it stricly by feel. Depends mostly on how your driving at the time (taking it easy or being a bit more aggressive) Unless you constantly ride hard I doubt you'll damage a thing. The again I've seen squad cars that run 24 hours a day and get the living $sit beat out of them, still most last well over 100k. On another note, seems that the squads that wer never broke in correctly lasted just as long and seems to run faster than the ones that got taken care of properly when new.
 

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Fireman/investigator
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Yeah, can you imagine giving someone a new emergency vehicle and telling them "now dont rev it too high, or go too fast, or put stress on the engine for the first 1000 miles" "sorry your house burned down sir, but we had to baby our new rig there"
I wonder if the breakin is just to make sure that any potential problems happen farther down the road, when you are more likely to have expired the warranty. I know, there are tons of studies showing the benifits of proper break in, but how does that explain all the engines out there that werent, and are doing fine?
:eek:fftopic:

Ok, I started off shifting my bike like a regular Harley, probably because of the habits I developed during the break-in, but I do find that keeping the rpms at least around 4k makes her run smoother, and the mileage seems better. You will get the hang of it... it is much more like a sport bike engine than a regular HD (dont kill me for that)
Greg
 

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Sound, Road, THE mood IM in at the time...I lasted 325 miles on the break in, then couldnt stand it any longer. Have been know to ride at 70+ in 4th for many hwy miles,just forgot to up shift. Havin to much fun i guess! :jeannie: and thats with V-MOD pipes. drk- pipes on the way. :thumb:
 

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durata membro
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I shift according to the condition.I'm a pretty aggressive rider and probably shift at 4500 most of the time.I don't powershift just regular shifts.The trans was the only area that I noticed that broke-in.I now at a little over 7000 miles don't have the neutral condition between the 1-2 and the 4-5 shifts.I never go to first unless stopped even when coasting with the clutch dissengaged.Remember first and fifth are straight cut gears.I have read that we should never lug the bike.You should never lug any gearbox but this seems to be stressed on the Rod.Maybe it causes to much longitudinal pressure for premature wear.I have'nt been able to get a straight answer on the trans yet.Maybe it's the clutch.




Elrod on the V-Rod
 

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IMHO, & as in several previous responses here, I determine when to shift up or down by watching the tachometer & by sound & feel. Then I modify that by the current riding situation (agressive, moderate, two up, etc., etc.). One thing for sure, the motor can take the revs & needs to be run that way, not lugged down. I stalled several times in slow turns when first getting used to the V-rod (I was used to my previous big twin with higher torque). Now I much prefer to keep the revs up to avoid unsafe stalling in slow turns, also being careful with the throttle to avoid breaking the rear wheel loose.
 

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When I first got the bike, I found myself lugging it a lot. Habits from owning manual trucks. But now I try to keep it running above 3K while rolling, and shift by sound / feel. Sometimes I still hunt for a 6th gear, especially if I'm doing 80 on the freeway.
 

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Rocky Mountain VRodr
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
OK - So now define "lugging"!

ElrodontheV-Rod said:
I never go to first unless stopped even when coasting with the clutch dissengaged.Remember first and fifth are straight cut gears.I have read that we should never lug the bike.You should never lug any gearbox but this seems to be stressed on the Rod.
Wow, never use 1st gear, that's strong stuff. I try to downshift to the best gear for the speed I'm going, keeping my rpm's up. I would think that leaving it in 2nd as low speeds would be the definition of lugging!

So, how do you define lugging? Is there an RPM threshold on the low side we need to stay above, or is it simply the bike starting to shudder? Either way, it seems that using 1st gear at low speeds help keep me from lugging when going through a slow zone.

Thanks everyone for the great inputs on this discussion. As a new rider, I'm really benefitting. (I've started the 'blipping' on downshift, and when I do it properly it's great! It seems to work best between 5th->4th and 4th->3rd.)

KARAF
 

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Tired of the crap
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KARAF said:
So, how do you define lugging?
"Lugging" can occur at almost any engine speed. For instance, if you were riding two up, on a slight uphill grade, at 75 mph in fifth (@ ~4700 rpm) and you decided you wanted to accelerate quickly to 85, you would be guilty of "lugging" if you just simply twisted the throttle. In this case it would be better to drop a gear (or two!) in order to make the acceleration.

I guess there are different definitions, but I would say that any time you are in an inappropriately high gear for the situation, you are guilty of lugging.
 
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