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Discussion Starter #1
So here's the context -- New 2013 DL650 as of Saturday and it's my first bike.

So here's the question -- The manual suggests shift points but they seem awfully quick/low to me. It says to upshift from 5th to 6th at 31 mph.

All that I've read about the 2012+ models says the 6th gear is a "tall" gear for cruising. Is it just my car transmission bias since I'm new to bikes, or does that seem way too soon to be in 6th gear?

Please educate me here, what am I missing?
 

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Don't take those figures too seriously. Bike engines like to spin a lot more than cars and the absolute LAST thing you want to do to a brand new engine is make it lug while it's breaking in.
There are some good write-ups on breaking in new engines here and elsewhere. Shortest possible version: lugging is bad, over-reving is bad, being too gentle is also bad.

Keep reading, use the search engine and ask questions. :thumbup:
 

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Those shift points in the book are ridiculous. You will be able to feel where the engines "happy zone" is. Just keep it in there.
 

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I believe the manual is suggesting the absolute lowest speed at which you would up shift, and in reality, the manual is suggesting speeds that are too low to prevent lugging. I have found a nice rule of thumb for LOW REV shifting is.

40 mph, shift to 4th
50, shift to 5th
60, shift to 6th

This won't lug the engine and is easy to relate to.
 

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While riding in traffic or the twisties you always want to keep the engine in its power range, so a good rule of thumb on a new engine would be to adopt a 4000 rpm shift point. That keeps you below the recommend 5K limit. As the engine breaks in then you can match your shift point with the way you like to ride.

That way you won't lug it, and the bike will have the get up & go should you need it to move out of trouble.

The shift points in the manual are a guide, and probably biased towards some fuel saving. No matter what never lug the engine.
 

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If you keep the cylinder load low (throttle barely open) and the rpms at least 3k no harm will be done to the motor. I agree the manual is off for normal operation.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks to everyone for your replies -- they are greatly appreciated! :thumbup:

I had read the break-in section of the owner's manual before picking up the bike so I knew to keep the revs under 5,000 on the way home, but the shift points section of the manual took me by surprise.

My shifting pattern (from my vast experience, aka 20 miles) is generally what kingofgix wrote.

Here's to riding enough to get past the break-in period :cheers2:

Thanks again!
 

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Thanks to everyone for your replies -- they are greatly appreciated! :thumbup:

I had read the break-in section of the owner's manual before picking up the bike so I knew to keep the revs under 5,000 on the way home, but the shift points section of the manual took me by surprise.

My shifting pattern (from my vast experience, aka 20 miles) is generally what kingofgix wrote.

Here's to riding enough to get past the break-in period :cheers2:

Thanks again!
Forget "break-in". Just go ride. You can search about break in procedures and will never find a concensus. Your bike was test run at the factory WAY faster than 5000 RPM. Just go ride. You can rev it higher, but dont keep it there for prolonged riding (which you shouldn't do when riding period). Just go ride. The rings need some load put to them so they seat well to the cylinder walls. Just go ride!
 

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Thanks to everyone for your replies -- they are greatly appreciated! :thumbup:

I had read the break-in section of the owner's manual before picking up the bike so I knew to keep the revs under 5,000 on the way home, but the shift points section of the manual took me by surprise.

My shifting pattern (from my vast experience, aka 20 miles) is generally what kingofgix wrote.

Here's to riding enough to get past the break-in period :cheers2:

Thanks again!
Congrats on the bike! Crank the rear preload all the way out (counter-clockwise). With the bike lower you are less likely to drop it while you get used to it. You could also raise the fork tubes 1/2" as well, if you're up to it. Don't ask me how I know this is a good idea! Raise it up if you wish after several thousand miles.
 

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So here's the context -- New 2013 DL650 as of Saturday and it's my first bike.

So here's the question -- The manual suggests shift points but they seem awfully quick/low to me. It says to upshift from 5th to 6th at 31 mph.

All that I've read about the 2012+ models says the 6th gear is a "tall" gear for cruising. Is it just my car transmission bias since I'm new to bikes, or does that seem way too soon to be in 6th gear?

Please educate me here, what am I missing?
I do it all the time when accelerating at a leisurely pace, especially when I'm in a low-speed zone ( 45 mph and below ). In the mtns I favor 5th a lot more.
 

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I have been convinced for the past few years that break in schedules and shift points as written in the manuals are written at least in part with fear of liability in mind.
Think of it for a second. The bike is being sold to an owner who may or may not have ever ridden before. It has new tires which can be slippery, it is likely unfamiliar to the new owner regardless of experience. What company in its right mind would recommend that you ride it at anything approaching a normal way of usage? Mr. new rider takes the bike out and immediately runs it at higher rpms, pitches it into a corner and the new tires slip, fall down and go boom, call lawyer.
When i get a new bike i tend to ride it somewhat gently for a couple of hundred miles, let it rev to the middle of the tach and so on and vary the rpm as much as possible, try not to have to use the brakes really hard but let them get some hot and cold cycles. After that I run it harder, getting near to red line here and there. At 500 miles or so I just change oil and ride it normally, have never had an issue with a bike that could be related to break in.
 

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I dunno - I think the suggested shifting points in the manual come very close to lugging the engine. If you're doing that, the engine is not going to have enough oomph to get you out of harms way in a hurry, if need be. In my book, THAT is dangerous. Far more so than over-revving it a little.

And if you're a noob, you might slow down when cornering, and lugging the engine might make you stall, and then you're toast.

I don't see how the conservative values in the manual benefit anyone.
 

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As a rule I try to keep it around 4500 rpms unless I'm passing and need some giddy-up and go. Then, just like in a car, you downshift for the quicker maneuver and shift up as needed.
 

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Heat cycles is more important, just don't keep it at red line when brand new and go on a few short runs for the 100/200 miles. I've never had an oil burner bought new and I never baby the new bikes. I just don't sit at one constant RPM and droan away till the engine has some miles on it.

I bet the rings are ran in enough at the factory though, very few people even follow good oil change intervals. Heck, most used bikes I look at are low on oil! I just glad the engines can take the abuse so well....
 

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So here's the context -- New 2013 DL650 as of Saturday and it's my first bike.

So here's the question -- The manual suggests shift points but they seem awfully quick/low to me. It says to upshift from 5th to 6th at 31 mph.

All that I've read about the 2012+ models says the 6th gear is a "tall" gear for cruising. Is it just my car transmission bias since I'm new to bikes, or does that seem way too soon to be in 6th gear?

Please educate me here, what am I missing?
It will actually do it, and fuel economy will be near 30km/l - but :), problem is the five down shifts needed to get into neutral at the lights. I'm usually in third or fourth commuting at those speeds.

Pete
 

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I'm coming into 3rd gear at 50-55 indicated when I'm riding "normal".

I even out and put it into fourth at the same speed. I'm only into fifth if the indicated speed is > 45 MPH.v This kind of riding stays at the start of the power band and shifts me around 7.5k

I won't talk about how I rode my bike during the break in period. This is a subject that's up for debate in comparing antiquated engine building methods to the ultra precise measurements of today. Perhaps break-in methods should be analyzed and updated for the modern technology of today.
 

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I believe the manual is suggesting the absolute lowest speed at which you would up shift, and in reality, the manual is suggesting speeds that are too low to prevent lugging. I have found a nice rule of thumb for LOW REV shifting is.

40 mph, shift to 4th
50, shift to 5th
60, shift to 6th

This won't lug the engine and is easy to relate to.
this is pretty much what I do as well :thumbup:
 
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