Tach/shifting Question

Discussion in 'Softail Models' started by Aerodawg, May 11, 2010.

  1. Aerodawg

    Aerodawg Member

    I have read thru most of the self help tips and looked at the chart posted there for the tach, but still am somewhat confused, I have also been using the search function as well. I just bought my first hd fatboy lo and the manual specification for shifting seem a little low at the higher speeds. I feel as if my engine lugs at the speeds the manual indicates. so here are my 2 questions, What speeds do you shift at? also does anybody know what the lowest/highest speed is for each gear so I dont lug or redline? Thanks in advance for any replies!!
  2. glider

    glider Veteran Member

    This chart will give you an idea of the shifting points.

    RPM's vs Speed 5 6 Speeds - Harley Davidson Community

    Key thing here is not to lug the engine where you can feel the power strokes as each cylinder fires , this would be different in each gear and revving it above 4K really does nothing for you or the engine.
  3. tomp

    tomp Member

    nice chart. i normally short shift around 2500/3000rpm. no stress to engine, and by top gear you are doing 65/70 mph.
  4. cossak

    cossak Member

    I just shift by feel; you know where your power/torque band is most responsive. It all depends on what you are riding.

    I ride a 2007 FB, 103", 205 cam, SE intake and race tuner w/ D&D 2 into 1 exhaust. Torque > 100 lbs in the range 2500 to 3500 RPM, if I am on a flat road I usually shift at 4000, but if I am in a city near cops I shift @ lower RPM to keep pipes quiet.

    So I ride: 1st 0-25/30mph; 2nd 25-45mph; 3rd 45-65/70mph; 4th > 70mph to ??; I don't know what 6th is for, maybe to improve gas milage, LOL. On the FM and county roads where I prefer to ride, I spend most on my time in 3rd & 4th gear; gets about 41-43 miles/gal.
  5. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Expert Member

    Tach, what, oh I know that funny thing with the bouncy needle, nope my Tach is in my head never found much use for them too many other things to keep my eyes on like the road and pretty girls LOl:p

    BUBBIE Well-Known Member

    First Second usually can take care of them selves... bucking in second, go to first and don't put a lot of throttle in any gear while it is in the LOWER numbers listed here. Example if i'm in 4th gear and doing 45, I'll shift down to third and twist open the throttle.... Don't forget to Hold On!!!

    ...............................L/N................ L= lug..... N= normal
    3rd gear never under 30/35
    4th gear never under 40/45
    5th gear never under 55/60
    6th gear never under 60/65

    You will not "Normally" be able to Over-Rev cause of the built-in rev-limiter...
    Use these as guidelines and Listen and Feel will tell you a lot!

    Lugging a harley sounds good until you pay the bill $$$$

    Just my way!
  7. Aerodawg

    Aerodawg Member

    The lugging is what I'm trying to avoid at all cost, for some reason with this bike the engine is so quiet that you cannot tell what its doing too much. That why I was wondering what gear everybody else shifts at. it seem on my bike I have to wait till 40 to shift to 4th and not 35 as the book says or shift to 5th at 50 instead of 45 and sixth going over 60, the reason I ask this, is Im in atlanta with a lot of stop and go traffic and whenever I usually get up to 5th gear at 50 and would immediatly have to downshift back to 4th as traffic on these backroads usually ride at around 45-55 and was wondering if i can keep the bike in 4th for that speed do I dont lug the engine. Thanks for all the replies.

    BUBBIE Well-Known Member

    IMO It is best to keep an engine "Breathing" The graft I put in above post shows the average "N" normal speeds and above them by 15 mph is just fine to cruise..

    Have you thought to put on a set of after-market slip-ons?
    I have V&H slip-ons that I can hear the workings of the bike and are Not real loud but Softly, very mellow..

    Just a thought. The bike sound level Stock makes it hard to hear. Slip-ons are enough so I can tell when the bike Needs a shift to the lower gear/higher gears...

    There are Tachometers for Your bike that can be install also. I usually don't go by the Book on the shifting I follow My suggested values, Much better!

    just some thoughts.


    BOWHIKER Junior Member

    1st gear 25 , 2nd gear 35-40 , 3rd 45-50 , 4th gear 60 after that i'm outta sight
  10. nakkers

    nakkers Active Member


    You can keep it in 4th and avoid the upshift, downshift with no harm the engine at all.