'02 K12RS shifting problems - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 13th, 2007, 11:30 pm Thread Starter
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'02 K12RS shifting problems

I've started having problems getting my bike out of second gear. When I start off, it shifts cleanly up into second. As I pick up speed, I pull the clutch in and kick up and the shifter goes up without any resistance and the bike stays in second. I try double clutching, going back to first, then up into second, back to first and up to second. It varies when I do this if it will kick into third on the first or second retry or not at all. When it is shifting normally I can feel a firm stop at the top of the shifter before I pull the clutch and it will shift into third gear just fine, other times the top of the shifter move up as though its in flase neutral and this is when it wont shift when the clutch is pulled in. Similar problems happen going from third to fourth.

It feels like the shift selector may not be getting lined up correctly or fully engaging when I go from first to second. I'm at a loss for where to start. Has anyone else heard of shifting issues like this?

the bike has just under 20K miles on it, last service done at 12K last December. Maybe I'm overdue for an 18K service?


Marty S.
2010 Ducati Multistrada 1200s
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 14th, 2007, 4:24 am
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It may well be something else, but by the time your bike was built the spindown time of the gears had been reduced to .5 secs (from~1sec) by the manufacturer trying to cure the idle chatter by adding 'O' rings. When the gearbox oil is thick and sticky this can mean that the gears just get bloody akward to select.
If you can select all the gears manuallywith the bike on the stand (engine running) and not using the clutch (and I mean using your hand on th egear lever) with no missed gears, then this would indicate to me that an oil change is past due.
I also (not recommended) put fully synthetic 70/90 oil in plus 5% 'Greased lightning' which together have given me a fairly smooth gearchange.

You're not wearing new boots by any chance? Because of the ridiculous geometry of the K12 gearchange , Boots that are too rigid can't get the same angle on the lever and just exacerbate any existing stickiness.

Of course I reserve the right to be completely wrong ...lol..

Last edited by McQuaterX; Aug 14th, 2007 at 4:44 am.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 14th, 2007, 10:16 am Thread Starter
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actually, I do have new boots. I changed the oil recently using BWM full synthetic, and the oil level is still good. Probably about 1500 miles ago. These are good tips, I'll try the gear changing on the center stand thing later today.

One more thing. this isn't my everyday bike, so it can sit for days or weeks at a time before I take it out for either a commute to work or a day ride. Will that cause gunk to build up in the crankcase? Seems odd but I thought I'd ask. I know people store their bikes for months at a time which is why it didn't really seem like an issue, but I thought I'd mention it anyway in the interest of full disclosure.

Marty S.
2010 Ducati Multistrada 1200s

Last edited by martys; Aug 14th, 2007 at 11:27 am.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 14th, 2007, 1:15 pm
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Sitting around won't cause any build up of sludge.

Back to the boots.... I bought my K1200RS in November one year, and took it out a couple of times ... hadn't been on a bike in years so didn't wan't to start using it in the Scottish winter. Test runs were fine but gear change a little stiff compared to my last bike (Honda).
Took it out for a third and supposedly longer run... well I'd got new leathers and boots, so why not.... 1st 2nd 1st 2nd and NO 3rd (or 4th etc)
Tried it on centre stand .. worked fine
Tried it on th e road
parked it up for the winter after a couple of more attempts..

Come early Spring I had finally twigged that on the first two runs I had ordinary shoes on.. took the bike out again with shoes on , gears were fine (well, notchy, but all there).

Discovered that the pegs and levers were in the lower position and the gear lever had a 1.5" lower extension which meant the angle, with boots that prevented ankle pivot, was such that lifting the lever didn't pivot.

The gear lever geometry is the worst bit of engineering on an otherwise excellent bike.
Removing the extension, changing the oil and putting in greased lightning means my gearchange is acceptable with boots on and excellent with shoes or ankle boots (or racing boots).
The gear box should be run in by about 25-30,000 miles and after that there should be very little to accumulate and contaminate the oil compared to running in. Should be a magnetic collector on the drain, but as long as the oil is clean and changed regularly you should have no problems with laying up the bike for months at a time..
Similarly the engine oil will be fine if it is clean and changed regularly, and after maybe 20,000 miles or so I would recommend fully synthetic oil. Bear in mind that because the gearbox is separate from the engine, and the clutch is dry, you should be OK with synthetic oil graded for cars rather than the horrendously expensive bike grade oil (In My Opinion...and thats what I use..).
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 14th, 2007, 4:43 pm
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Originally Posted by martys
actually, I do have new boots.
Ding...ding...ding. While not 100% sure this is the issue, try slipping your boot away from the shifter, then back, between the 2nd and 3rd gear shift. What you're describing is the shift lever doesn't get to "home" before you try to get to 3rd. Or, overbend your ankle downward for the same effect.
Could be mechanical, but more often than not, the reported stories have been mostly "new boots"... :wtf

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 15th, 2007, 12:52 am Thread Starter
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A for effort on the boots, but it still happens when I shift by hand on the center stand. It's still happening but not as frequently, maybe more daily riding will loosen up whatever seems to not be fully engaging. A gunky spring on the gear selector maybe? No idea. Maybe a teaspoon of marvel mystery oil in the crank will help? Kind of a milk of magnesia for the oil

I'm leaving town tomorrow for a week (flying - not riding), when I get back I'm going to bring it to the dealer and ask the service guy to take a look or take it for a ride. If I can make it happen on the center stand it should be pretty easy to demonstrate it's not just me.

Marty S.
2010 Ducati Multistrada 1200s
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 15th, 2007, 2:23 am
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My bike had just been dealer serviced when I bought it (in fact full service history), but the gearbox oil was disgusting.
When I contacted my local dealer (a different one), they said they run their gearboxes on engine oil if they have a problem like mine.
I compromised and used fully synthetic 10/40 as 'flushing' oil, ran the bike for 30 gentle miles and then put in the 70/90

Good luck, hope t's nothing expensive...
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 15th, 2007, 11:52 am
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My 2002 KRS does the same thing every now and then. It does it with BMW gear oil or Mobil1 Synthetic. It does it with old and new boots. A sunny day or cloudy day. It just plain does it. :wtf I can't reproduce it at will, but I can say this. It mostly does it under hard accelleration. Like when I'm on a short highway entrance ramp and have to get to speed or get run over. What I do when this happens is simply let off the throttle enough to un-load the transmission, let the nose of the bike dive a bit, that seems to free it up every time. It's a pain in the butt for sure because you never know when it will happen and then you have to shift up very fast, immediately after un-loading the trans.

Jim S.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 22nd, 2007, 11:34 am
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Shifting problems

I've experienced the described problem on any number of K1200RS/GTs. The problem is the linkage inside the gearbox. It doesn't matter what you use for oil or how your boots are built. I've attempted to improve this on a couple of bikes with limited success; the best results come from upshifting into second very positively. Occaisionally a bit of debris will get between the sliding pieces of the linkage and really cause trouble, but this will usually work itself out.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 22nd, 2007, 5:46 pm
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Shifting Problems: Are You Preloading The Shifter

before each gear change? You know putting mild pressure on the shift peg BEFORE you move from any gear to any other....while upshifting.
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