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Thread: Critique my Riding style please

  1. #1
    Registered User DRRAOULDUKE's Avatar
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    Critique my Riding style please

    I use my 1999 R1100 GS to commute to my summer gig which is about 15 miles each way on two way roads that gets a lot of Police attention. The speed limits vary from 35 in some spots to 40 and 45. A very short portion is 55 mph. I have 15 traffic lights along my route. I tend to never shift above fourth gear preferring to keep my rpms around 3,000 - 3,200 hoping this is making my battery happing. It also eliminates multiple downshifts as I approach must red lights in second gear hoping to time them.

    Thoughts, ideas, criticisms........?
    Dr. Raoul Duke
    1999 R1100GSA
    1974 R90/6 with Ural Sidecar

    "The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side."

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    Registered User lkraus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DRRAOULDUKE View Post
    I use my 1999 R1100 GS to commute to my summer gig which is about 15 miles each way on two way roads that gets a lot of Police attention. The speed limits vary from 35 in some spots to 40 and 45. A very short portion is 55 mph. I have 15 traffic lights along my route. I tend to never shift above fourth gear preferring to keep my rpms around 3,000 - 3,200 hoping this is making my battery happing. It also eliminates multiple downshifts as I approach must red lights in second gear hoping to time them.

    Thoughts, ideas, criticisms........?
    Sounds like my old commute to work, except I also had a mile or so at 25 mph. That rpm range worked best, faster was unnecessary, lower was on the verge of lugging the engine and made my R1200RT gas mileage drop from 49 to about 42 mpg.

    I eventually made the only improvement possible, I eliminated the commute by retiring.
    Larry
    2006 R1200RT

  3. #3
    I keep the rpm's to 3-3200 when shifting and leave it in a gear that keeps those rpm's constant until I'm in 5th or 6th riding up onto the highway at then at highway speeds.

    2nd and 3rd shifts many times at 2500rpm if I'm not buzzing around and just leisurely riding around town.
    The lion does not even bother to turn his head when he hears the small dog barking.

    https://www.youtube.com/user/azqkr

  4. #4
    Registered User Rinty's Avatar
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    Critique my Riding style please

    Quote Originally Posted by DRRAOULDUKE View Post
    ...Thoughts, ideas, criticisms........?
    You're a brave man.

    But in my opinion, the technique you describe is fine.
    Last edited by Rinty; 09-13-2018 at 10:29 PM.
    Rinty

    "When you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there."

  5. #5
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DRRAOULDUKE View Post
    I use my 1999 R1100 GS to commute to my summer gig which is about 15 miles each way on two way roads that gets a lot of Police attention. The speed limits vary from 35 in some spots to 40 and 45. A very short portion is 55 mph. I have 15 traffic lights along my route. I tend to never shift above fourth gear preferring to keep my rpms around 3,000 - 3,200 hoping this is making my battery happing. It also eliminates multiple downshifts as I approach must red lights in second gear hoping to time them.

    Thoughts, ideas, criticisms........?


    A few thoughts.


    With the route you describe having speed limits that vascilate between only 35 and 55 mph, continue to pay close attention to where the higher speeds are legal (speed changes only take effect as the sign is reached - not when it's simply visible to you from afar).


    Trying to "time them" as far as traffic signals turning from red to green to avoid any semblance of stopping? - not such a good practice. 'Jack rabbit' take-offs from a green light sends too many motorcyclists to the ER or morgue each year from idiots who are running the red light from either your right or left. Slowing to a stop (in first or second) and hesitating a moment to make sure the intersection is clear is much safer.


    Lastly, we run into your concern for battery charging all the time here at the track with our MSF classes. All day long at too low of RPM's does nothing to charge up batteries on the Yamaha fleet. Consider your ride home several times a week to include a longer, higher speed route. Enjoy the variety, change of scenery and charge up the battery in the process.

    Happy (and safe) commuting.
    Kevin Greenwald - MSF Lead RiderCoach # 121656 (BRC,SBRC,IS,IME,SMARTrainer)
    Nationally Certified Law Enforcement Motor Officer (Ret.) / IBA Member #34281
    Motorcycle/High Performance/Teen/Winter/ATV Driving Instructor - ROAD AMERICA Track

  6. #6
    I spend most of my time between 3-4K on my commute. I do accelerate in 1st and 2nd whenever possible to 5-7K with more throttle to blow it out a bit (what I tell myself anyway).

    I have a number of stop lights at the end of my morning commute and I do not time them but I do 32mph in a 25 zone and then filter to the front for lights. Just before I get the green I move into the crosswalk and angle to the left in front of that vehicle to be able to clearly see that no red light runners are coming and to take any thoughts of a race out of both lead vehicles. Then I jump off the front pretty sprightly on the green and get to cruising speed with 5-6 car lengths behind me. Usually the lead vehicles just go back to blocking everyone behind them and forget about me.
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  7. #7
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    I'm a bit surprised that nobody has offered: isn't it better to keep the engine more into the actual powerband, about 4000 RPM? You can accelerate more easily and decelerate more easily, both desirable characteristics when dealing with city traffic.

    If "multiple downshifts" seem to be a challenge, perhaps it's time for a spline lube or a transmission input shaft. Many of the earlier 1100s had trans issues (especially 2nd/3rd), but they allegedly got that sorted out by the later '97 bikes.

  8. #8
    I shift quite a lot really. Its one of the reasons I really like the bike versus say a Honda ST which I felt was a very ho hum riding experience.
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  9. #9
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    I wasn't critiquing how often anybody shifts, but I'd advise against Raoul's and Brownie's keeping their RPM below 3500. These motors don't like to lug; they were designed with a specific powerband.

    Additionally, every oilhead I've ever ridden (and there have been a few) really did shift more easily at higher RPM.

    And around here, as Kevin says, "jack-rabbit" starts WILL get you in trouble - way too many people just have to make it thru that reddish light before you...

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Pauls1150 View Post
    I wasn't critiquing how often anybody shifts, but I'd advise against Raoul's and Brownie's keeping their RPM below 3500. These motors don't like to lug; they were designed with a specific powerband.

    Additionally, every oilhead I've ever ridden (and there have been a few) really did shift more easily at higher RPM.
    The power band is when torque is most prevalent. If I'm just tooling around town in a 45mph zone, do I need to keep the torque in it's optimum power band/zone?

    My 1, to 2, to 3 when shifted at 2-2500 rpm doesn't "'clunk" into the next gear, after 3rd I take it to 3-3500, sometimes 4K to shift into 4,5,6th gear as that clunk isn't there moving up into those gears at the higher rpm's like the first two upshifts exhibit.

    Which is worse for the bike, clunking the tranny into gears repeatedly or running the bike a little lower on rpms when shifting the first two ups on an easy throttle?
    The lion does not even bother to turn his head when he hears the small dog barking.

    https://www.youtube.com/user/azqkr

  11. #11
    I don't know about the OP's bike, but my 2018 R1200RT seems happiest when running above 3,000 RPM. I rarely run under 3,000 RPM and closer to 4,000 RPM most of the time.

  12. #12
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    Raoul is talking about his commute; this includes traffic lights and speed changes.

    What do you do if you suddenly need to get out of somebody's way? It's a lot easier to goose the engine (and not have it ping or knock) when you're already spinning it.
    What if you need to suddenly slow way down or stop? That's also easier to do if the engine is spinning, as the compression braking becomes your friend. You're probably going to chop the throttle as you hit the brakes; which actually happens first?

    I'm certainly not as experienced as somebody like Paul or Voni Glaves or Kevin Greenwald, but I do have easily over 300,000 miles under my butt (got my BMW 200K award in 2003 [which of course does not include the many non-BMWs I've had] and quit counting), and I'm on the San Diego, Santa Monica, Golden State, and Ventura Freeways a LOT, each of which can be anything from a parking lot (with white-liners, me included) to 80+ mph, so yeah, I do a bit of "speed changes" too.

    "Clunk" is often due to not synchronizing the engine speed to the road speed during a shift. "But I have the clutch pulled in! The engine is disengaged!" Well, mostly... The engine and the transmission have their own inertial components, and the actual clutch plate movement is about one millimeter (if the trans input shaft is lubed and doesn't have any debris in that lube), so the disengagement is not quite instantaneous; I'm presuming that nothing in the clutch assembly is bent or oiled. If one has a wet clutch, the drag will be greater, as the rolling force is transmitted through the oil.

    Older BMWs, Harleys, etc. will clunk because their flywheels are excessively heavy, which only makes synchronizing more difficult. "Slow and deliberate" is the way to shift them smoothly; a rider coming from a Japanese bike to a BMW needs to learn "precise and deliberate".

    BMW gearboxes are pretty tough; Gertrag has been doing this for many years and BMW is not their only customer.
    "Typical" gearbox damage is inflicted by the rider, often from incorrect "preloading" ("It helps me shift faster!") as demonstrated by bent shifting forks and damaged dogs. I've seen the occasional chipped teeth on the gears and even dings on the dogs' corners, but this seems relatively rare. Broken gears happen from design changes, as when they're thinned down to make room for more stuff in the box (5-speed plus Kick AND Electric start), or the manufacturing department tries to cut costs (Harley during the AMF years).

    If given a choice between clunking and lugging, my answer is "Neither."

  13. #13
    The lion does not even bother to turn his head when he hears the small dog barking.

    https://www.youtube.com/user/azqkr

  14. #14
    2 to 3 thousand rpm is lugging any BMW ever built. It varies a bit by bike but 3500 and up is where the engine runs the best. A rider's habits come from his or her riding experience. Coming off an Aisian twin or 4 cylinder with a 14K redline provides one habit. Coming off an Airhead another habit. And off an American V twin cruiser another yet. Old habits are hard to break but a whole new world appears when you match the riding to the engine. And I say this riding a couple of K75s, an R1150R, a new G310GS, and a 650 VStrom at the moment. I recommend tailoring the riding RPM to the bike - not expecting the bike to be happy with a person's old habits.
    Last edited by PGlaves; 09-29-2018 at 02:29 PM.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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  15. #15
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Given your mileage and more importantly, where you have survived riding, you have a greater level of experience than I.

    You comments are good advice, as was Paul's response.

    Ride safe and ride smart!
    Kevin Greenwald - MSF Lead RiderCoach # 121656 (BRC,SBRC,IS,IME,SMARTrainer)
    Nationally Certified Law Enforcement Motor Officer (Ret.) / IBA Member #34281
    Motorcycle/High Performance/Teen/Winter/ATV Driving Instructor - ROAD AMERICA Track

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