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hargis7556's picture
VBMWMO #7556
Joined: 06/07/2009
Posts: 20

Well now that I have my first BMW I have to ask this question. I have a '71 R75/5--do these bikes shift loudly? Into first gear is a loud clunk and into second is a loud clunk. this is both during upshifting and downshifting.

Please give me your honest opinion here. I am used to riding Ducati's and the shifting is definitely louder on the BMW. I just got the bike and want to make sure what to expect before i start spending money to make the clunking stop.


schrader7032's picture
VBMWMO #7032
San Antonio, TX
Joined: 10/27/2006
Posts: 6789
Gear Shifting

They all do that!! I'm not just saying that, but the BMW's gearbox does tend to have some "positive" shifts, especially through 3rd gear. Shifting into 4th (and 5th for the 5-speed box) is usually somewhat easier on the ears. Some of it has to do with getting used to the tranny and doing a better job of matching roading speed to engine RPM.

One thing that you can do to help minimize the clunking is what people call "preloading" the foot shift lever. Maybe a little "post loading" as well. On my /7, I would occasionally find the middle between say 4th and 5th. What I've learned to do is continue to hold up pressure on the shift lever while I'm letting out the clutch hand lever. This has virtually eliminated the between gear neutrals for me, unless I get too cute with shifting. I don't downshift and use engine braking to slow down...I use the brakes for that.

Try experimenting with pressure on the foot lever and see if that helps some.

At some point, you should change oil on the tranny and inspect the magnet on the drain plug. Normally, you'll see small grey fuzz, nothing of substantial size. If, however, you see larger silvery flakes, then you may be having bearing issues and that needs to be fixed.

Also, be sure you're using a good gear oil. Should be an 80w90 GL-5 oil.

Kurt in S.A.


Kurt in S.A.
'78 R100/7 '69 R69S '52 R25/2

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