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Thread: Long 5th Gear

  1. #31
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Quote Originally Posted by chasmrider View Post
    I have a 1990 R 100 GSPD, 2 years ago, while having the trans rebuilt and adding the circlip, I added the taller 5th gear also. it cost $250 or so, for the new gear. It has been a great addition, I usually cruise at 4,000 to 4,500 rpm, which puts me at 70to 75 mph. I would highly recommend the taller 5th gear on a GS, but that is not the bike the original question was about. on my 78 R 100 S, I can motor down the road at 80 mph no troubles.
    Do you have any idea how many RPM's you're turning at 80mph on the 1978 R100S?

    How about at 65mph or 70mph? What I consider around-town freeway speeds.

  2. #32
    not lost til out of gas chasmrider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    I don't completely trust my tach, that said 80mph is about 5000 rpm
    don't know where I'm going, but I'm making good time. 1978 R 100 S, 1990 R 100 GSPD, 2005 R 1200 GS

  3. #33
    Registered User Rinty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Calgary, Alberta
    IIRC, my R100RS was turning 5,000 at 80, and, I think, 4,500 at 75, with the stock gearing. I thought the gearing was perfect for riding out West. The transmission had been gone through by Dave Anderson of Anderwerks, had the later shift cam, and shifted quite smoothly.

    It was smoothest between 4 and 5 thousand, so that's where I ran it, in the higher gears. I've read that the 800's are smoother.

  4. #34
    Nick Kennedy
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Telluride Colorado
    I understand the OP's original desire to lower his RPM's.
    That said I always thought my 1978 R 80 [ different airhead for sure ] is geared just right for general touring.
    Its very old tech wise these days, Tubes, points, carbs, but I still tour on that thing and I love it!
    The way it handles, starts, sounds, simplicity to work on, appearance etc. I'll never sell that thing!
    With new rear shocks and modern tires it rides pretty good!
    Merry Christmas all you airheads out there
    Ride safe in 2020

  5. #35
    Registered User jad01's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Houston, TX or Portland, OR
    A decade or so back, I swapped the 37/11 final drive for a 34/11 on my R80/7 and it made 70-75mph more comfortable in the sense that the engine wasn't spinning at 4500+RPM. It's such a torquey engine that I don't notice a difference at lower speeds/gears. I had the speedo calibrated to match the change and I'm happy with it.
    Jim (MOA 83200)
    '78 R80/7 (Anastasia) and '84 R100RS (The Millennium Falcon), '86 K75C (Icy Hot)
    '90 and '93 Mazda Miatas (Jelly Bean and Red Hot), '97 Nissan XE PU (Mighty Mouse)
    '96 Giant Upland (big Kendas, baby!)

  6. #36
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Here's a link to the Short 1st gear, and the Long 5th gear here in the USA.


    Here ya go:

    First gear-

    Fifth gear-

    That extra-low first gear sounds good to me for running off-road.

    Last edited by nevadaslim; 12-24-2019 at 08:20 PM.

  7. #37


    That's $500 plus shipping for both cogs from Boxer2Valve, 300 EUR from SMeyer.

    Back out the included 19%VAT in the SMeyer price and you get 252 EUR.

    252 EUR is currently about $280.

    To that, you must add shipping but looks like you can save big time by purchasing from SMeyer.


  8. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    I don't think it is possible to get gear changes that are any clunkier than those of an Airhead. The first time I shifted from 1st to 2nd I stopped and looked back to see what had broken and fallen off the bike.

    My beautiful short-wheelbase red R75/5 4-speed Toaster Tank (now sold) was the roughest-shifting BMW (maybe any motorcycle) I've owned but it didn't matter to me. I had it for several years and grew to like that SLAM BAMM shifting of the Toaster.

    I bought a pristine 5-speed R90/6 at the same time and it shifted much nicer than the 4-speed but it was still a little rough.

    I remember when BMW brought out the new oil-cooled boxers (after they had aborted the phase-out of the boxer motor). I made a test ride on an RT model thinking I might go for one. I was shocked at the transmission. It was very clunky, much more than my very old Shovelhead Harley 4-speed (which I still have) ! I passed on the BMW. Then, when the much-touted 6-cylinder BMW touring bike was introduced, I was shocked at how clunky that transmission was for such a supposedly modern bike.

    The fact of the matter is that BMW's, all the way up to the current models, are not known for slick shifts but they have improved over the years.


  9. #39
    I am seriously considering one of the short low gears.

    I just don't know that a 6 percent change would amount to much advantage. Also, I have questions about the single cog gaining that mechanical advantage by contacting the teeth of the stock mating gear differently. What could be the long term effect of that? Increased gear wear?


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