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So I'm bombing down the road going about 45-50mph. I notice when I shift in to 5th gear I don't have much get up and go, and 4th feels a lot better, I can rev it up and get up to 60 if I want to in 4th, etc. I think 5th gear on the 650 is more of an overdrive. Is that correct? Certainly when I'm on the highway going 55-60mph 5th gear is the choice. But on country roads I think 5th isn't so great.
 

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I don't use 5th unless I'm going to maintain OVER 50 mph, like closer to 55. To accelerate from that speed I sometimes downshift to 4th but it's not totally necessary, 4th will scoot you up to 65 maybe a little faster. But yes, anytime I'm going to be doing at least 55 or over for a long period, then 5th gear is fine. I feel 45-50 in 5th is too low for that gear. I've had my 650 for almost 5 years now so I'm used to the way it's geared. Although I still think it could use another gear for cruising the highway at 75+. It'll do it but there isn't much left when you get to those speeds.
 

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A lot depends upon the terrain. I found that on the level or downhill the 650 did great in 5th gear at 50 or above. If I was pulling a grade I would stay in 4th below 55. If she's lugging, you need to drop to a lower gear. If she's loafing, go for the higher gear. There's no exacts in motorcycle shifting.

Augie
 

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Yup, stay in 4th till 55 or so. Or like someone said, going downhill you can be in 5th. Its all about hearing/feeling.

Remember these engines can rev pretty dang high, safely, and stay there. If its lugging, shift down, you still have another 10-15mph to go :D
 
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