I rode one of the first demo GT's at Daytona and first gear seamed clunky and I noticed the other gears were not as bad or as noticable. Technique was a player as you slowed to a stop and pulled in the clutch clicking down to neutral and wondering when the timing and speed approach to stop was good to click into first and avoid the clunk. I did achieve that touch during my ride but both times I started the bike parked I got the clunk. I don't think its broken it's just the character of the tranny. The other technique is to roll the bike a little and shift in first before starting the bike and leaving it in first when you turn it off.
I've always felt like shifting a BMW was like stirring a box of hammers, but with the new generation of R1200 bikes and completely revamped K bikes, the trannys and the shifting have gotten tremendously better. My '04 K12GT wasn't terrible, but my HP2 is night and day different (better). An R1150RT I rode once felt awful, clunking through all the gears.
I have an 06 K1200GT(From BMW of Daytona) and yes it clunks when I shift no matter how delicate I shift. First, second and third are the worst but fourth fifth and sixth are pretty smooth.....Guess it's just the nature of the beast but you would think for 21K they could have smoothed it out a bit more as well as develop a seat that wasn't a complete ass numbing experience.....But I still love the way this baby performs !!!!
It's a common problem with the shaft drive set-up that BMW delivers. As the bike gains miles (like 5000+) this will smooth. But it will never completely go away. The shifts between 3nd and 6th are probably not as hard, are they? Want smooth buy a FJR. They're buttery compaired to the BMW.
Thanks to all for the responces. I'm going to stop complaining about this issue,but I sure wuold like to hear from anyone who gets enough miles on their bike so that the clunk goes away.You should always have something to look forward to.. snowdg
BMW's have long had a rep as needing 15-20k miles to settle down. And thats 'zactly how my late prod monolever airhead has behaved.
The tranny did smooth out but never got as smooth as my ST11.
While an answer to a question you did not ask - my ST11 is hyper sensitive to shift linkage lubrication and idle speed. When all is right - like buttah. When a bit dry - think callous on left toe. I've only looked at a GT up close a couple of times. The ST11 has a long multi jointed monkey motion shift linkage. If the GT has one or more of them thar ball & socket thingies (heims?, hiems???) , I'd butter it up good.
Another little thing may be worth a glance. I have no idea about K12 idle speed adjustment. I could be alluding to something that is as out of date as dress spats - but IF you can play around with it might be worth a shot. Factory set point is a great starting point. Then IF adjustable, try 100 or so rpm up and down and see if that helps...
My 06 RT clunks a bit going into 1st but the other gears are OK. I say just OK, they are pretty darn smooth for a BMW but no where near my Kawasaki MeanStreak! Switch your tranny to synthetic and that will help a bit, but bottom line is it's never gonna shift like a Japanese bike. Good attitude, don't worry about it and ride the wheels off it.
I live a short distence from our local police department and the motorcops all ride BMWs. You can hear them shifting into first and second above all the other noise from the bike the parking lot, traffic, etc.
And when they pull into their drive you can hear the "clunk" as they downshift into first. It must be normal for those bikes.
I haven't ridden the new GT, but a general technique that often helps is to "preload" the shifter a bit (i.e., put a light pressure on it in the direction of the shift, up or down) before you pull in the clutch.
But remember, it's a BMW axiom: "Loud Shifts Save Lives!"
Clutch splines that fret themselves to death if not lubed annually/frequently (or 20K or so), weak as water alternators, cheapo Wherle diode boards, cheap-o Valeo (French!) starters with GLUED magnets that come unglued and can't be rebuilt, the $2000 O- ring kerfuffle, some sorry assed pfenning pinching accountant axing the 25 pfenning groove and circlip that hold the big tranny mainshaft bearing in place, the move away from taper roller wheel bearings at the transition to the monolever years, about 622 combinations of oil filters (hinged, non hinged, short, long) gaskets, washers, o-rings, etc., Bing CV carbs with short lifespan diaphrams....I could go on for several LONG paragraphs.
Still, when properly maintained not only will a BMW bike last a long, long, long time ( and frequently frustrate you every other step of the way), when they are in their sweet spot - none of it matters.
And lordy do us BMW folks whine. Yes, we do.
I think that there is a long term Euro consipracy here: BMW bikes MUST be designed by Ducati and assembled out in a shed behind the old Guzzi factory. That would explain both the Good - which is very, very, very good and the Bad -which is, well you know...
Oops...the diatribe is re Type 247 Airheads only. If you want an Oilhead or Slushhead list, well I don't have either of those. But their list is just as long...
But they are fairly easy to work on, the aftermarket has answered a lot of what I mentioned and the critical circlip can be retrofitted easily at your mandatory 50-60 tranny rebuild (90-100 if it had the circlip...)
Different bikes and especially different manufacturers have their own distinct shifting feel/sound. I know when I rode a friend's 1100GS I really didn't like the feel of the shifting, and even the Kawi's I've ridden have a ka-chuck in how they shift (not bad, but definitely mechanical). If you don't like that clunky feel/sound look to a Suzuki or Yahama -- both shift like butter IMHO -- (or some others) but more importantly, test ride bikes and put 'em through the paces BEFORE you buy. Get the bike, NOT the brand that feel's right to you.
Oh, and shaft jacking/surging is common on shaft drive bikes so that's something you either accept or get a belt or chain drive moto.