why 5th gear?

Discussion in 'Transmission' started by arkie, Jul 15, 2008.

  1. arkie

    arkie Member

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    I have an '08 FLSTC just rolled over 1200 miles. The 1K maintenance was done by the dealer with SYN3 in all 3 holes. That's just FYI if anybody wants to know...

    My comment is this-- For the first 3-400 miles the drive components were kinda clunky and I was getting used to riding a different bike and with no tach and trying to follow the recommended break-in. By 500 miles the entire thing smoothed out and now is even better. I think the 1K fluid changes even improved it. So, I know that things change as the bike is broken in and will probably continue to change.

    One thing that hasn't changed so far is 5th gear. It seems useless. In 5th the engine either sounds as if I'm going too slow or too fast. I would prefer to just skip 5th and go from 4th to 6th. Sixth gear is really smooth and quiet!

    I watch the speedo but in reality change gears more on feel and sound and I always feel like 5th doesn't 'feel' or sound right. Either 4th or 6th is usually more appropriate.

    Am I imagining this or has anyone else experienced it?

    thanks,
    jeff
     
  2. bikermoses

    bikermoses Banned

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    with no tach try it about 50 55 mph thats almost 3000rpm on my ride 6th gear on my bike lugs around 2500 at 70 but really 6th gear likes 80
     
  3. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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    The new cruise drive transmissions are geared poorly IMO and if you are shifting by feel and sound and not lugging the engine, you are doing good. The 96 doesn't like to be lugged and the gearing was a poor decision for most. I'll take the gearing in the 5 speeds any day over the 6 speed.
     
  4. Dr. Dolittle

    Dr. Dolittle Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

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    I have no problems with the six speed gearing but then I'm pretty new to the whole Harley thing. Not trying to be mean but did you even take this bike out for a test ride or rent one for a day? This is not a characteristic which just appeared overnight.
     
  5. Bud White

    Bud White Well-Known Member Retired Moderators

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    I dont have a problem with the gearing either .. course this is my first harley i dont hit 5th till at least 50 and round town use on the high way about 70 is where i grab 6th ... it seems that the gearing is for cruising an fuel mileage only ..
     
  6. Bud White

    Bud White Well-Known Member Retired Moderators

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    you cheat smitty ya got a tach.. at 70 on the highway i cant even hear mine run
     
  7. Crazyfrog

    Crazyfrog Active Member

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    I just did 700 miles this weekend, alot of it was highway. 75 mph on flat road was good in 6th gear, 80 mph it really felt smooth. Anything less than 75 or 2500 rpm seemed to loose power or lug. 2600 rpm or higher would just keep on pulling even on a hill. I'm finding that I don't hit 5th til about 55 mph.
    Keep in mind I have a fairing though, just a bit more wind resistance, but should be the same as Smitty's.
     
  8. arkie

    arkie Member

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    No and No. And it wouldn't have mattered for me. This bike is unlike anything I've ridden in the past and I'm still getting used to a bunch of stuff. It has taken me 3 or 4 weeks and 1200 miles just to arrive at my observation and post my question, so a few hours test riding wouldn't have revealed a specific such as I mention about 5th gear. Two hours in I was still trying not to honk the horn every time I wanted to make a left turn!

    Not to mention the changing patterns of heat generation, various sounds, and torque characteristics. At first I was adapting myself to the bike--now I'm beginning to notice some of the subtle traits of the bike itself. The more I settle into this bike and the more it settles into being ridden, I may discover even more things I don't understand (not to be mean or anything :s ). As I stated before, this bike was a different animal almost every day for the first few hundred miles.
    -----------------------

    Thanks for all the replies. I've got about a 1000 mile ride planned over the next few days so perhaps I'll be better acquainted with the gearing after that!

    thanks,
    jeff
     
  9. R. Lewis

    R. Lewis Senior Member Retired Moderators

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    I'm glad I am not the only one that does that and I have had my scoot for a year now!!!! :newsmile017: IMO ---- 6th gear is the useless one unless your doing "90 to nothin'" out on the interstate !!
     
  10. Dr. Dolittle

    Dr. Dolittle Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

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    I guess it just goes to show everyone rides differently. I use all my gears, in all situations, adapting to hills, wind, cruise on/off, etc. I don't look to stay in a certain RPM range or only use each gear at a certain speed.

    Works for me so far :D