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When do you guys shift into 5? It's supposed to be an overdrive gear, right? I find that shifting into below 55 mph cause some heavy vibration and engine lugging.
 

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I use it where it feels comfortable and my motor sounds happy.
Coming off a "sport bike" I find that I have to adjust my timing on the shifts and not wind the motor out like I would with my CBR.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm coming from a 900cc vulcan but I know a lot of the bigger displacement engines are designed to run at lower rpms. This bike doesn't seem to be one of them. The optimal shift speeds in the owners manual looked very weird. The downshift for 3rd, 4th, and 5th gear were all 31 mph.
 

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I shift into 5th anywhere from 55-90. It just depends on the demands required at the time.
 

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I shift into 5th anywhere from 55-90. It just depends on the demands required at the time.
Similar. My cutoff between 4th and 5th when cruising is right around 60.

Although when merging on the highway, I won't hit 5th until I reach cruising speed or about 80...whichever comes first. :)
 

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Gear Shifts

My bike seems to prefer to shift to 5th at 50-55 on flats, 60+ on a hill. However each engine, rider, & even altitude can change shifting patterns.
 

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You should only be shifting into 5th at or after 60MPH as indicated on your speedo.

Since your speedo is off 9% or so, even if you shift at 60 in reality you are shifting at a true GPS speed of 55.
 

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5th? I wish I had a 6th!!! My R1 spoils me :D
I kind of do have a 6th now! I swapped out my front belt pulley and put in a Stryker pulley, one extra tooth in the Stryker pulley bring down my RPMs by approx 300 at an indicated 85. It also cuts the speedo error in half. Bike just hums along now at 3500/3600 RPM and a true GPS speed of 75 (or 82 as indicated on a bike with the OEM pulley)
 

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You should only be shifting into 5th at or after 60MPH as indicated on your speedo.

Since your speedo is off 9% or so, even if you shift at 60 in reality you are shifting at a true GPS speed of 55.
I haven't found the speedo to be off on my 05 road star.
 

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I haven't found the speedo to be off on my 05 road star.
The Speedo on my 2001 Roadie is within 2 miles per hour at every speed, as verified by GPS for approximately 700 miles this Friday, July 4th.

I also have been paying special attention every time I see one of those radar trailers with the "Your current speed" displays, because I've seen many claim my speedo should be wrong.

The behavior of the engine will tell you the required gear, far more reliably than any "rule" that claims to be accurate while neglecting to account for elevation, number of passengers, and direction of slope.
 

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I rarely seem to use 5th gear on our mountain roads, I do use it on the more open highways. My new bike seems to like it at around 60 indicated mph. This engine really does seem to like the lower rpm, but then I have just come from a stryker which prefers high rpm and has a more aggressive fuel map.
Basically you just need to learn to listen to your engine, it will tell you when it wants another gear...
 

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ive found most often i click fifth anywhere above 50 but with the hilly roads here in ct i usually just make noise in 4th everywhere
 

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When do you guys shift into 5? It's supposed to be an overdrive gear, right? I find that shifting into below 55 mph cause some heavy vibration and engine lugging.
It has less to do with speed than it does 'feel' and, as you're describing 'feeling' that makes it easy; shift when you feel it needs it, to where you're not feeling heavy vibration and lugging.

It's a good question and tough to describe to people who don't seem to 'feel' what you're talking about so, you're ahead of the game there. It's not MPH. It's not RPM's. It's what the bike needs for what you're asking it to do at the moment be it uphill, downhill, flat, two up, cruising, turn and burn, whatever.
 

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4th is actually an overdrive too if you check the ratios.

Good point. How we name things always fascinates me. "Over drive" implies power and really making something work when it is, as you illustrate, about lightening the work load. I guess 'under drive' just didn't sell well. :D
 

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It has less to do with speed than it does 'feel' and, as you're describing 'feeling' that makes it easy; shift when you feel it needs it, to where you're not feeling heavy vibration and lugging.

It's a good question and tough to describe to people who don't seem to 'feel' what you're talking about so, you're ahead of the game there. It's not MPH. It's not RPM's. It's what the bike needs for what you're asking it to do at the moment be it uphill, downhill, flat, two up, cruising, turn and burn, whatever.
Larry puts it in perspective. Being familiar with your bike and feeling the need for a change. I ride the twistys here in PA and sometimes I shift up a bit early , feel the bike, and then, shift back down. You won't always get it right. Your butt and your ears will tell you.
 
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