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Discussion Starter #1
I've been riding my 2007 VStar 650 for a few hundred miles now, just rode 91 miles yesterday. Seems like I rarely ever have a need for 5th gear unless I am on a completely flat road going over 60mph. Anything under 60 and it's too low a gear - has no power to accelerate. I find that between 40-60 that 4th gear is the best gear to use, and above 60 I shift down in to 5th gear as at 65 4th gear gets a little too buzzy. But once I dip below 60 I shift back down to 4th as there doesn't seem to be much get up and go in 5th to accelerate, especially if there is a shallow hill.

Anyone else have this experience? I'm fine using 4th and I think it's better to have more RPMs anyway while on the road to have more options to accelerate quickly.
 

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I run my 1300 the same way. When I bought the 1300 I looked in the book for shifting ideas and it does not work to shift the book way. I soon learned that 5th gear was for riding on the interstate. Going through curves I have dropped to 45 and slowly got back to 60 in 4th gear, but growing up with a snappier engine I like the snappier lower gear.
 

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Are there no freeways where you live? I ride my bike in 5th gear primarily unless I am on aback road of some sort. I just did a 1500 miles trip in 3 days, much of it was at highway speeds (75-85), at least 1/3 of the trip was spent in 5th gear.
 

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Are there no freeways where you live? I ride my bike in 5th gear primarily unless I am on aback road of some sort. I just did a 1500 miles trip in 3 days, much of it was at highway speeds (75-85), at least 1/3 of the trip was spent in 5th gear.
rolling hills,2 lane blacktop.i can get on the freeway and go 70 75 but I like enjoying the farmlands I don't have a windshield alas
 

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I live in a hilly curvy area of NC. I even get to 5th on our "back roads" between hills and curves. Anything over 50 mph more or less gets me to 5th gear without lugging. Yes there is a lot of shifting between 3, 4 and 5 but I see it as a necessary evil.........but maybe I ride faster I don't know.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
On my 650, I shift up to 5th gear around 50mph; the engine feels a little too busy with a lot of vibe in 4th at that speed.
Interesting. Mine smooths out over 50 in to a kind of content rumble up to 60. Above 60, at 65 in 4th, it is buzzy for sure, and 5th is a good idea. But then I find that I don't pay attention to my speedometer at that speed and invariably end up slowing down too much and losing power so I just shift back down to 4th. So my solution is pretty much to stay in 4th unless I am on an absolutely flat road with no need to accelerate, which is (so far at a little less than 500 miles ridden) so far quite a rare thing for me.
 

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I'm with slayer and Klurejr, if I'm close to 50 or over its in 5th gear and stays there. Back roads, freeway it doesn't matter. Never felt the need to down shift unless slowed by traffic, needing to make a quick pass, or something of the like. But I ride in what I consider a relaxed non-aggressive style. I know the engine is designed to turn the high RPM's but I couldn't imagine running 60 in 4th gear for any length of time. To me that would just be annoying from the vibration and noise.
 

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Actually I wish my 1100 had a 6th !! Lol !

LOL I usually reach for 6th about 55-60 depending on how fast I'm accelerating. I probably do it about 80 - 90% of the time. :mad: I'm always thinking to myself, "am I still in 4th?"

Nick if you haven't tried it yet, grab a pair of cheap foam ear plugs. I wear them all the time. Not because my pipes are loud but because it cuts down the wind noise. For me the best way to describe it is riding in your car with the windows down and then rolling them up. I can still hear what's around me fine I just don't have that constant pounding in my ears. I rode about a month w/o them when I first started riding. Then a buddy handed me a pair one day. Honestly I would ride w/o a helmet before I would ride w/o my ear plugs.
Well not really but you catch my drift! :cool:
 

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right now i'm using cotton but it may not have any sound absorbtion. I keep meaning to get the foam plugs but keep forgetting. I usually keep it in forth so i'm not downshifting going up a hill then upshifting going down,besides when your at the point of shifting your in much more control with throttle response.trucks nowadays replaced the bench seat with a lounge chair wtf
 

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A box of Harbor Freight ear plugs is pretty cheap and using them helps in several ways, not only preserving hearing but also reducing fatigue.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I'm with slayer and Klurejr, if I'm close to 50 or over its in 5th gear and stays there. Back roads, freeway it doesn't matter. Never felt the need to down shift unless slowed by traffic, needing to make a quick pass, or something of the like. But I ride in what I consider a relaxed non-aggressive style. I know the engine is designed to turn the high RPM's but I couldn't imagine running 60 in 4th gear for any length of time. To me that would just be annoying from the vibration and noise.
I dunno for me at 50, 5th gear has no power and I feel like I am lugging the engine. I like to be able to accelerate and I feel like if I'm going 50 in 5th and try to accelerate it's not being kind to the engine. I stay in 4th until at least 55 and then only shift to 5th if I know I don't want to go faster.
 

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I dunno for me at 50, 5th gear has no power and I feel like I am lugging the engine. I like to be able to accelerate and I feel like if I'm going 50 in 5th and try to accelerate it's not being kind to the engine. I stay in 4th until at least 55 and then only shift to 5th if I know I don't want to go faster.
After rereading this thread I'm thinking you've pointed out a difference of the 650 compared to the 1100 and 1300. You are very likely spot on based on the 650 whereas 5th at 50 mph works for the 1100 and 1300.
 
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