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Discussion Starter #1
Nice Tranny.... NOT
I've found that if I "short shift" I can relieve most of the unnerving TWHACK that comes along as standard equipment. Good work BMW. Thanks. If I shift short, at low road speed, things are much better. Oh yeah, don't forget to preload... 1st to second at prox 10-15mph, 2nd to 3rd @15-20. I'd rather focus my attention on watching traffic, road conditions, cell phone fanatics, and such. Dissapointing.

ESA, my .02.
Comfort = Normal
Normal = sorta harsh
Sport = never will use it
Echos of this months MC Consumer News' review of ESA on the GS
For me, the setting are all one level too firm.
My RT (NON ESA), rides more comfortably with the standard rear shock damping set just below mid range.

However, with my Aeroflow in place (nice work Paige, thanks), ESA set to Comfort, and at speeds above 65 mph it all begins to make sense. To quote another magazine review I've read, "welcome to the first class cabin"

Thing is, in Ohio, maximum legal speed is 65 mph.

Then there's the slipping squeely clutch.

Nice tranny. Not..
errrrr
Needed to vent. Flame on

DMilan
 

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Sorry you are not totally thrilled with your new and expensive bike. I'm not sure what you mean by "short shift". On my 07 KS, if I only pull back the clutch lever about 1/2 inch, the bike shifts very good - not great like a Duc, but still very good.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
allikanbe1 said:
Sorry you are not totally thrilled with your new and expensive bike. I'm not sure what you mean by "short shift". On my 07 KS, if I only pull back the clutch lever about 1/2 inch, the bike shifts very good - not great like a Duc, but still very good.
Yeah, not totally thrilled.

Anyway.. by short shift, I meant to imply, to shift up at very low road speed. Shifting as if it's an economy run. Going to the next gear a soon as possible, without lugging the engine. I have found that the 1-2 and 2-3 shift are usually accomplised without the unnerving THWACK. So far, this works best for me. It should not have to be this demanding.

I have tried many of the other methods mentioned on this and other forums.

As you suggest, the clutch engagement is very close to the end of lever travel. A fact mentioned by at least a few of the magazine reviews of the new version GT. That technique, at least with me at the controls, just doesn't get it done.

Thanks
dmilan
 

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I'll bite.

Here's an idea:

Sell the piece of shit and go on a never-ending crusade looking for perfection :)



Does that kind of think get you kicked off?
 

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If this bike was perfect for everyone it would be a very funny looking machine.

You are right, the gearbox clunk is way too harsh and shouldnt need special riding skills but it does. One tip i found extremely helpfull was to make sure that youre shift lever was adjusted to create the minimum gap possible required between your boot and underlever so that preloading is achieved with minimal effort.
You dont need to short shift and in fact ive found the opposite. If you let it wind out gently into 3-4000 rev range, slight preload and semi clutch it becomes one of the smoothest changes around.
This bike is a sport tourer leaning towards sport, your RT isnt/wasnt. The steering on this bike is a Fu#%ing masterpiece that is enhanced by the suspension. Its willingness to turn in is arguably second to none in the market today and if you get fully loaded and 2 up and attempt a highway speed sweeper you will notice if in "comfort" mode that it hesitates to turn for a second while the suspension finds itself and then you get your line. This is telling you that another notch softer and it would be unpleasant to dangerous.
This bike isnt for everyone and I am certainly critical of its well documented reliability failings but every time I get a chance to get this bike into some open country it exilerates me.
To use a local saying"this bike would put a horn on a jellyfish".
Give it some time, enjoy the ride and if at the end of the day you dont like it try something else. Thats the fun of the journey.
 

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Dadicool59. . . .You're awsome :clap:
I'm just a little uncomfortable with a horn on a jellyfish :yeow:
 

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Sport, touring, sport-touring. It's still a BMW, not a Cadillac. It's a driving machine (ultimate driving machine isn't it?) so while the suspension may feel too soft, it's a BMW, it's what they do. They engineered a machine, not an armchair.

Biggest problem I have when shifting (still new, only 600 miles on my '08) is matching revs. If I wind up 1st or 2nd I almost always throw myself over the handle bars because I had the revs way too low - let the clutch out and there I goooooooo.

Still learning, love the bike, gotta master the MYRP and I'll be all set.
 

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A slight fan of the clutch does it. No short shifting here. Sometimes I use the rev limiter to let me know it's time to pop another gear.

Rock and roll will never die, get some in your helmet.

I rode Harley for 28 years and will never go back. I can't understand the folks coming off of Harley complaining about thunking gear boxes.
 

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Wow, it's amazing how two people can ride the same bike and have polar opposite views.
Hey Potato, PoTAtoe...

The transmission on my 08 GT is precise and smooth. Having ridden Japanese, & American bikes, I'm new to the BMW and comparatively speaking, the 1200 GT's tranny is a work of art.

If your disappointed with the transmission on the GT, be very careful on what else you choose to drive...it can get a lot worse.

Be Safe
Peas Out.
 

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I agree with Boat-dude and have only owned hondas in the past they fill like a minibike compared to my 08 GT 1700miles on it purrs like a mountain lion.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Dadicool59 said:
If this bike was perfect for everyone it would be a very funny looking machine.

You are right, the gearbox clunk is way too harsh and shouldnt need special riding skills but it does. One tip i found extremely helpfull was to make sure that youre shift lever was adjusted to create the minimum gap possible required between your boot and underlever so that preloading is achieved with minimal effort.
You dont need to short shift and in fact ive found the opposite. If you let it wind out gently into 3-4000 rev range, slight preload and semi clutch it becomes one of the smoothest changes around.
This bike is a sport tourer leaning towards sport, your RT isnt/wasnt. The steering on this bike is a Fu#%ing masterpiece that is enhanced by the suspension. Its willingness to turn in is arguably second to none in the market today and if you get fully loaded and 2 up and attempt a highway speed sweeper you will notice if in "comfort" mode that it hesitates to turn for a second while the suspension finds itself and then you get your line. This is telling you that another notch softer and it would be unpleasant to dangerous.
This bike isnt for everyone and I am certainly critical of its well documented reliability failings but every time I get a chance to get this bike into some open country it exilerates me.
To use a local saying"this bike would put a horn on a jellfish".
Give it some time, enjoy the ride and if at the end of the day you dont like it try something else. Thats the fun of the journey.

Thanks for the thoughtfull response.

In regard to setting the minimum gap twixt the toe and shifter, been there, done that.
Twice actually. I guess I could reduce it even further. Started to question if I was doing the right thing by twirling the shift rod so far from the factory setting.

I can sometimes get a THWACK-free shift up around 4,000 rpm, but not consistently enough, even with preloading.
I'll adjust the shifter even further and give it another try. Chances are I'll stick with the short shift method which seems to work best for me. On the bright side, by short shifting I'll get the best fuel mileage possible.

I appreciate the responsive steering and cornering ability of the machine. Didn't mean to imply otherwise. Many of the road surfaces here in Northeast Ohio USA have many ummm, imperfections. Here's where the firm suspension shows up as harshness in everyday operation. As far as the handling of the machine with 2 up, loaded with gear, your explanation was enlightening.
However for one up commuting, and even for one-up road trips, given this type road condition, I'd prefer a click softer comfort suspension.

I intend to give it some time. If it doesn't work out, I'll will sell it and try something else. From the looks of the various classifieds, I'll have company. Bought this one used with a couple hundred miles on it, at a very good price, so my $ hit shouldn't be too bad.
Who knows, maybe I'll settle in fine with it.

DMilan
 

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I hope it works out for you, shame about the roads around your town, Maybe a GS next time.

I dont want to sound like the oracle cause Im still coming to terms with my GT too but a critical component of getting the preloaded gear change right is to only "semi" clutch.

The usable clutch travel on most GTs is in the final part of the lever travel. When shifting up just give the lever a "tap", maybe an inch, and you will find it just slides in when the lever is lightly loaded.

Good luck, happy miles
 

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This bike is just meant for the twisties, after getting in the swing of them, you will go to FIRM on the ESA and Klunk or not you will stir the gears for brakeing and proper exit acceleration.

Oh, and put the balls of your feet on the pegs, they will drag otherwise! :teeth
 

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I think you really need to give it time and get used to it. you will find the clunk gets much less with time as you adjust your technique slightly. You don't need to think about it, just ride and you will automatically adjust with time. The worst clunking and mismatching of revs occurs when I start to try to think about everything and the best is when I do it on autopilot.

I always ride with the same boots because even changing boots gets the timing wrong and starts mucking up the shifts. One thing that I think happens is that the revs drop immediately as you throttle back so no matter how quickly you change gears the revs are too low for the next gear in the close ratio gear box. My smoothest shifts are when I let the engine rev a little higher after pulling in the clutch, rather than letting the revs fall immediately. Seems much better to have the revs too high for the next gear rather than too low.

Your comments about the suspension are interesting. In Western Australia we have about the roughest bitumen roads around and the GT is brilliant on them, far better than any other bike I have ridden. I find comfort setting too bouncy, normal perfect and sport too hard in most situations. This means that they have things about right for most situations. On our rough country roads I cruise at about 130kph and the suspension just soaks up the bumps brilliantly, especially the front suspension. I could never call it harsh or hard on normal setting.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
BobD said:
I think you really need to give it time and get used to it. you will find the clunk gets much less with time as you adjust your technique slightly. You don't need to think about it, just ride and you will automatically adjust with time. The worst clunking and mismatching of revs occurs when I start to try to think about everything and the best is when I do it on autopilot.

I always ride with the same boots because even changing boots gets the timing wrong and starts mucking up the shifts. One thing that I think happens is that the revs drop immediately as you throttle back so no matter how quickly you change gears the revs are too low for the next gear in the close ratio gear box. My smoothest shifts are when I let the engine rev a little higher after pulling in the clutch, rather than letting the revs fall immediately. Seems much better to have the revs too high for the next gear rather than too low.

Your comments about the suspension are interesting. In Western Australia we have about the roughest bitumen roads around and the GT is brilliant on them, far better than any other bike I have ridden. I find comfort setting too bouncy, normal perfect and sport too hard in most situations. This means that they have things about right for most situations. On our rough country roads I cruise at about 130kph and the suspension just soaks up the bumps brilliantly, especially the front suspension. I could never call it harsh or hard on normal setting.
Another nice response from overseas... thanks

I think I'm starting to understand...I'm a bit slow on the up take.

Your thoughts regarding the suspension at 130kph = 85ish mph have turned on a light in my head.
Yes this bike comes into it's element at high speed, lets say 75mph and above, maybe WAY above. Also, it's in it's element, as mentioned in a previous post, in the twistees, being ridden aggressively.

I enjoy the twistees and high speed operation as much as the next guy. However, riding @ speeds above 75 mph or frequent aggressive riding just does not reflect my real world riding needs/style.

Transmission shifting issues aside, I bought the wrong bike.

Now I understand the various magazine reviews and comparos. Don't want to take anything at face value, but there seemed to be concensus regarding this machine. I ignored it.

Oh well, I'll still try to adapt.

To put things in perspective, yesterday , my Brother in Law underwent a kidney transplant operation.
This is only metal, plastic and money. And, I purchased this GT used, so if I do sell I'll get most of the $ back.

DMilan
 

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I could be wrong DMilan but following your posts I think ( dangerous for me ) that if you rode the K1200LT like you ride the GT you would have a ball!!!

To me its the most under rated BMW on the market....Comfort that equals or exceeds any touring bike on the market......... Yet it will out perform most sport tourers in the twisties.......

Just a thought, try a BMW LT,, the test rides are free:) .....I'll now go back under my rock.............Pete
 

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Discussion Starter #17
petepeterson said:
I could be wrong DMilan but following your posts I think ( dangerous for me ) that if you rode the K1200LT like you ride the GT you would have a ball!!!

To me its the most under rated BMW on the market....Comfort that equals or exceeds any touring bike on the market......... Yet it will out perform most sport tourers in the twisties.......

Just a thought, try a BMW LT,, the test rides are free:) .....I'll now go back under my rock.............Pete
Thanks for chiming in Pete.
Helpful, constructive ideas are always appreciated.

I did own a 2004 K1200GT. As I'm sure you are aware, it is basically a carved down version of the LT. Matter of fact I put an LT front fender (mudguard part only) on it to keep crud off the front lowers. Same engine, trans., brakes, final drive etc...

I had my GT for over 3 years.. a record for me.

Pruned it to taste. Lets see... I installed an Aeroflow Tall Touring Screen, Sargent seat, Suburban Type 1 Barbacks, BRAKE! led tailight, the LT fender, Piaas with autoswitch etc..
It became a mini-LT.

Having owned both GT versions now, for me, if I had to chose one, I'd probably take old blue back. So your suggestion is valid and supported.

Thing is, I don't want the old GT back either. The '04 was sold in search of a more "city friendly" machine. The '04GT was just too cumbersome around town. Even moving it in the garage was too much like work for someone with a rotator cuff injury.

My favorite BMW that I've owned was my '05 GS1200. So light , well balanced, yet distance capable. Alas, it did not have the wind and weather protection necessary for my delicate self... and no electronic cruise control. For me , a must have.
Additionally, I owned the '04GT and the '05 GS at the same time. How did this happen? I don't have the resources to have $30,000 of motorcycle laying around in my garage. One had to go. Chose the GS.

Anyway.
Thanks for the thought.
 

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DMilan said:
......Thing is, I don't want the old GT back either. The '04 was sold in search of a more "city friendly" machine. The '04GT was just too cumbersome around town. Even moving it in the garage was too much like work for someone with a rotator cuff injury.

My favorite BMW that I've owned was my '05 GS1200. So light , well balanced, yet distance capable. Alas, it did not have the wind and weather protection necessary for my delicate self... and no electronic cruise control. For me , a must have.
Additionally, I owned the '04GT and the '05 GS at the same time. How did this happen? I don't have the resources to have $30,000 of motorcycle laying around in my garage. One had to go. Chose the GS.

Anyway.
Thanks for the thought.
Looks to me like you are wanting something that isn't possible. You want a city friendly machine, but it's got to have weather protection and cruise control? But then when it does it's too cumbersome? Uh....Ok. :confused:

How about one of these:

Light weight, well balanced, distance capable, and with the correct options, plenty O'protection! ;) :D
 

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Discussion Starter #19
No thanks, not a scooter

The Burgmans and the Honda Siver Wing aren't too bad though.

But I appreciate your suggestion.
 

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Give it time

I'd recommend giving yourself a few thousand miles before making any rash decisions. It took me awhile to get used to the tranny after coming off of an HD. I just wasn't used to something that required any skill from the rider. I found myself thrown into the gas tank by missing second gear and making loud awkward shifts at stoplights, etc. Once I got used to it though, it's smooth as glass. A quick fan of the clutch is all it takes to make this bike sing. In hard acceleration, shifting is instant, precise and puts you back on the power almost instantly.

I started off riding the bike with the ESA set to normal all the time and shifted it to comfort on the highway and on bad roads. After 4k miles, I now set it to sport nearly all time and now shift to normal only when the roads are bad. It may be that you're feeling the higher performance heart of the GT after riding the RT. It may not be your cup of tea. Then again, you may come to love it like I did.

T
 
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