Stuck in 2nd - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 7 Old 12-30-2008, 11:11 AM Thread Starter
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Question Stuck in 2nd

Greetings…I’ve been reading this forum for several weeks, but this is my first post.

I’m very new to riding…completed a MSF course on Halloween…purchased a 2003 Vee the day after Thanksgiving.

Now I’ve read the warnings that the Vee is too much bike for new riders, but there were two factors that compelled me to make this purchase. One is that I’m 6’6” 220lbs and every other bike that I sat on felt too small. I just couldn’t get past my knees being higher than the gas tank, or the feeling that my head is almost to the front wheel. The Vee just feels great in comparison. The other factor is that I first sat on a new Wee (which is when I knew that I wanted a V Strom), but a new bike for my first was out of the question. However, I was able to find a used Vee in southern Wisconsin that was in my price range, so I bought it.

Anyway, my points are that the size of the V Strom actually makes me feel more comfortable and secure and also that maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about because I really don’t have the experience. Just needed to get that off my chest.

To my questions …

The weather here in Chicagoland has not been cooperative with my new motorcycle purchase. Two days after I brought her home we got snow. And, there has been snow and ice on the roads until this last weekend when the temperature rose and it rained. That cleared the way for a ride yesterday.

Yesterday was only my third ride which consisted of ~2 hours of riding on 30 to 40 mph suburban roads along Chicago’s north shore. I have read that keeping the rpm over 4000 is the natural engine speed, but this requires that I run is 2nd gear much of the time. Is that what I should be doing? I have driven manual transmission cars for 10 years and would never leave them in 2nd gear for extended periods.

The second, and more critical question, is with regard to a problem that I’m having shifting from 2nd to 3rd. This doesn’t happen all of the time, but often enough. I’ll be riding in 2nd in traffic and when I have a chance to accelerate and need to shift up to 3rd the gear won’t shift. The engine will disengage when I pull the clutch, I pull up on the shifter, engage the engine and the rpm go back to where it was. I think that I may be jamming the gears when I shift from 1st to 2nd or something like that, but I’m not sure. If I down shift to 1st and then go back up to 3rd the bike will run in 3rd. The issue seems to happen when riding in 2nd for a while and then shifting up to 3rd. Any advice on how to remedy this problem will be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 7 Old 12-30-2008, 11:26 AM
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Make sure your boot is not pushing the shift lever all the time. I sounds like your toe is pushing up on the lever and not letting it return to catch the next shifting dog.

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post #3 of 7 Old 12-30-2008, 11:32 AM
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Part 2--
I know they say to keep the R'ss up but you really don't need to be over 4000 all the time. I am sure I will catch some over this, but my bike cruises nicely at 3200 and over. Especially if it is an easy cruise and you are not getting on it hard. Over 4000 is great for twisty roads where you want to come out of turns hard. And as a new rider, this should not be you yet!!
Just don't lug the engine, you can tell when it is happy or not. Don't get too caught up in watching the guage, listen and feel the bike. Kind of like a bonding process.

Totaled on June 9 2012 08 Victory Vision Tour Premium.
No longer riding due to injuries on June 9 2012.
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post #4 of 7 Old 12-30-2008, 12:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by handyhiker View Post
Part 2--
I know they say to keep the R'ss up but you really don't need to be over 4000 all the time. I am sure I will catch some over this, but my bike cruises nicely at 3200 and over. Especially if it is an easy cruise and you are not getting on it hard. Over 4000 is great for twisty roads where you want to come out of turns hard. And as a new rider, this should not be you yet!!
Just don't lug the engine, you can tell when it is happy or not. Don't get too caught up in watching the guage, listen and feel the bike. Kind of like a bonding process.
I have to agree with this. Over 4k is great if you're planning on accelerating out of there but if you're just cruising at a constant speed you don't need to be up there.

Again, I agree in saying to be sure that as you cruise you don't have your toe under the shift lever. As big as you are I'm sure you've got some gunboats on you, if the lever doesn't get to go back down after your shift to second then no amount of pressure will get it to shift to third. Normally when I shift I dip my toe down to change the gear then move my foot so it's nowhere near the lever. Actively thinking about this may help until you get some more experience and it becomes natural.

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post #5 of 7 Old 12-30-2008, 07:03 PM Thread Starter
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Handyhiker and Bisbonian

Thanks for your responses.

I’m not having any issues between 3000 and 4000 rpm…thought I was missing something.

As for keeping my toe under the shifter, I will have to look into that next time I ride. Although, that may be a few weeks as the temps are starting to drop below freezing again.
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post #6 of 7 Old 12-31-2008, 01:10 AM
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Our riding season is going back into the cold. However I would check the adjustment of the gearshift lever and make sure it does not have any problems. Seeing as how your a bigger guy, are you wearing huge boots? Other guys on advrider have reported similar problems when shoe size exceeded 13

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post #7 of 7 Old 12-31-2008, 06:00 AM
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If you are keeping pressure on the shifter, remember that it is adjustable. You can adjust the lever up some and give your toe more room.

Totaled on June 9 2012 08 Victory Vision Tour Premium.
No longer riding due to injuries on June 9 2012.
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