Shifting in Traffic - Page 3 - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #21 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-17-2012, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by smedlin View Post
I thought that title said "Shiting in traffic".

Thru me for a loop for a second or two.
Mustang probably has an attachment for that...
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post #22 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-17-2012, 10:13 AM Thread Starter
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Okay, so... is it Okay or even good to stay in second at around 35-40 mph for a few blocks or miles or should I go on up to third at stay around 35-40 if its going to be quite a ways?

Third gear 45-55 and Fourth gear for highway speeds up to... 65-70 and go 5th on the interstate at 70-80? Sixth gear for higher speeds?

Or should I cruise the interstate in sixth from 60-75mph?

... I think a tach would be good to have... lol!

The low-speed riding is tough to get the 'perfect' gearing for. I'm sure I'll eventually be able to feel the gears out.

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post #23 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-17-2012, 06:26 PM
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Hi Graywalker
The ops and maintenance manual that came with the bike has a chart that has gear vrs speed that I think is pretty good if you don't have the feel and ear for the rpm yet. I am not at home so I don't have the booklet handy. Maybe someone will pass the info along.
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post #24 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-18-2012, 09:39 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WEG View Post
Hi Graywalker
The ops and maintenance manual that came with the bike has a chart that has gear vrs speed that I think is pretty good if you don't have the feel and ear for the rpm yet. I am not at home so I don't have the booklet handy. Maybe someone will pass the info along.
WEG
I've read it, I think. At least the chart for during the break-in period. Even posted some of it up a few on this thread.

Also found it online : Vulcan 1700 Classic Owner's Manual

Here are what is in the manual's charts :

Shifting up
1st -> 2nd = 12 mph
2nd -> 3rd = 19 mph
3rd -> 4th = 25 mph
4th -> 5th = 31 mph
5th -> 6th = 38 mph

Gear should not go over (after first 500 miles to after first 1000)
1st not over 25 mph
2nd not over 40 mph
3rd not over 55 mph
4th not over 70 mph
5th not over 80 mph
6th not over 95 mph

Shifting down
6th -> 5th = 28 mph
5th -> 4th = 25 mph
4th -> 3rd = 19 mph
3rd -> 2nd = 12 mph
2nd -> 1st = 9 mph

My question is, practically, should I be traveling down the road at 30 mph in 4th gear, as the 'shift up' suggests or should I be in 2nd gear - or 3rd - for traveling a distance at 30mph?

If I shift from 6th to 5th at 28 mph and release the clutch, won't I kill the bike or at least be causing some serious engine lug? Right now, I am shifting from 6th to 5th around 54 mph because that is where the engine starts to sound like its complaining.

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Last edited by Graywalker; 12-18-2012 at 10:04 AM.
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post #25 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-18-2012, 10:53 PM
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I can't believe the manual suggests those shift points. 6th gear at 38 MPH? That's crazy. Somebody must have screwed something up when translating from Japanese to English. You shouldn't even be thinking about 6th gear until 80 MPH.
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post #26 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-22-2012, 07:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graywalker View Post
I've read it, I think. At least the chart for during the break-in period. Even posted some of it up a few on this thread.

Also found it online : Vulcan 1700 Classic Owner's Manual

Here are what is in the manual's charts :

Shifting up
1st -> 2nd = 12 mph
2nd -> 3rd = 19 mph
3rd -> 4th = 25 mph
4th -> 5th = 31 mph
5th -> 6th = 38 mph

Gear should not go over (after first 500 miles to after first 1000)
1st not over 25 mph
2nd not over 40 mph
3rd not over 55 mph
4th not over 70 mph
5th not over 80 mph
6th not over 95 mph

Shifting down
6th -> 5th = 28 mph
5th -> 4th = 25 mph
4th -> 3rd = 19 mph
3rd -> 2nd = 12 mph
2nd -> 1st = 9 mph

My question is, practically, should I be traveling down the road at 30 mph in 4th gear, as the 'shift up' suggests or should I be in 2nd gear - or 3rd - for traveling a distance at 30mph?

If I shift from 6th to 5th at 28 mph and release the clutch, won't I kill the bike or at least be causing some serious engine lug? Right now, I am shifting from 6th to 5th around 54 mph because that is where the engine starts to sound like its complaining.
I'll give you some suggestions. These are the absolute lowest I shift at. These are used for real lazy cruising. No traffic, not in a hurry. Using almost no throttle. I very, very rarely shift this low.
1 to 2 = 20 mph
2 to 3 = 30 mph
3 to 4 = 45 mph
4 to 5 = 55 mph
5 to 6 = 65 mph

In traffic. But not in a hurry. Just normal every day riding.
1 to 2 = 25 mph
2 to 3 = 35 mph
3 to 4 = 45 mph
4 to 5 = 60 mph
5 to 6 = 70 mph

In a big hurry.
I'm not gonna say! Cuz now we are talking hold on to your hat time!

Your gear changing depends on your possible need to accelerate hard. Obviously in heavier traffic you can only accelerate until you run into the car in front of you. By the way, don't do that!

I will tell you that you need to do some roll on testing. Do this on an empty road. Put your bike in say second gear at 20 mph. Now crank on your throttle. Hard. Your bike will accelerate but at a certain point it will feel like it's accelerating much harder. Watch your speedometer. This is the point when you have gotten into the power band. Note the speed at which it happens.

Your motor is happiest in the power band! You have instant throttle response.

All of this stuff is based on your experience. The longer you ride, the more comfortable you will feel on your motorcycle.

I feel I must add a word of caution here. As an inexperienced rider, you've got more power here than you could possibly need. This can get you in a lot of trouble really quickly. Handling and braking skills need to be practiced. And I mean serious practice. Panic / emergency braking skills are of paramount importance. You don't want to slide to a stop while laying it down. Also low speed handling. Like parking lot speeds, this will keep you from dropping your bike in slow traffic. I'm not implying you aren't a good careful rider by any means. But I remember my early days. There were a few scary times. And those were 35 years ago. Good luck learning your bike and it's limitations! And your own limitations as well!

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post #27 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-25-2012, 01:17 PM
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Instinct seems to be to slow down when surprised by a potentially dangerous situation. But often speeding up is the more effective maneuver. Hence, I tend to choose to stay in the lower gear when traffic is a little more hairy. I can react with speed or braking as needed.
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