Gear shifting on the f800gs with MX boots

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by Corona, Aug 24, 2010.

  1. Corona

    Corona Dreaming of Dreaming

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    So last week I thought I would cut my off road teeth on some byways in the UK on my f800gs. All was going well until I came across some muddy ruts and my OEM road tyres gave up and the bike took a tumble.

    All good as I had crash bars until the bike pinned me to the floor nearly snapping my ankle. Now not so good as I was in the middle of a forest, in the dark on my own. Anyway I managed to wriggle free narrowly avoiding a broken ankle but from this experience I decided to buy some proper MX boots instead of my road boots.

    I now have a pair of Alpinestar Tech 7 boots which feel suitably tough enough to protect my ankle but I now find it super hard to change gear as my ankle doesn't move. Is there a nack to this, do I need a longer gear lever, is the gs suitable? Any advice appreciated.
    #1
  2. dendrophobe

    dendrophobe Motorbike Junky

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    I wouldn't say that you necessarily "need" one, but an adjustable gear lever would probably help you to shift. I've had a similar issue with my Sidi Crossfires. I didn't go with an adjustable-length lever, but I did remove mine and angle it up a bit to help with shifting.

    Ultimately, it's whatever you're comfortable with, and you can use safely. Touratech and Wunderlich both make adjustable levers that will probably make it easier for you; the good thing is they're relatively cheap.
    #2
  3. gregneedham

    gregneedham I seem to fall often

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    Adjust your gear lever all the way up. That might help a bit. Give yourself some time on the bike riding with the boots, you will get the hang of it.

    The first time I hopped on my bike with my Alpinestar Tech 8s, I almost dumped the bike 10 feet in front of my house. I couldn't shift to save my life.

    Now it's second nature and wouldn't go back. Like everything else, it just takes some time.
    #3
  4. TastyPants

    TastyPants Harasshole

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    I had to adjust my stock gear lever up with my new boots. No problem since and its cheap to do!
    #4
  5. Corona

    Corona Dreaming of Dreaming

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    Thanks for the info guys. Should my boots be slightly big or should they be a tight fit? I am normally a UK 9 and I ended up buying a US10 boot.
    #5
  6. ecce

    ecce Been here awhile

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    In normal shoes I use 42, sometimes 41 or 43. I bought 44 for the MX boots.

    I have EUR 44 and my brother EUR 42 on our MX boots (sidi crossfire). We can barely tell any difference in overall size on the outside but we sure notice a difference on the inside. The main difference you can tell on the outside is that the larger boot looks wider.

    Buy larger than you think you need. Your feet will grow temporarily under exercise and from the heat. And you will be able to use thicker or double socks. I.e. a thin liner and a thicker ontop of that. Preferably made out of wool or similar. Smell less and wont get as cold when getting wet from the inside or outside.

    With regards to the original question. Gear shifting will usually only be easy in one direction, down or up, but not both (I prefer down). If you venture offroad a lot - position the lever so that it is easy when standing up. When you sit down you can fiddle around a bit without creating a major problem.

    You may also need lower footpegs to work well with the rear brake when standing.

    A MX boot like the sidi crossfire allows for more movement of the foot, to a certain level, than many of the competitors.
    #6
  7. Smoke 'Em

    Smoke 'Em Adventurer

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    Just practice up a bit! I can shift fine in stock configuration with my size 47 crossfires.
    #7
  8. TowPro

    TowPro Lets ride

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    see if you can move the shifter up 1 notch on the splines. At least this will allow you to get your boot under the shifter.

    Until the boots break in, try shifting by lifting your whole foot instead of bending your ankle. Walking in the boots helps break them in but it sucks trying to walk in MX boots.
    #8
  9. Harry Swan

    Harry Swan One more time

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    The f8gs's gear shift lever is about 20 mm shorter than an 1150gs and really a pain for someone wearing size 47 mx type boots. My resolve was an adjustable gear shift lever from either Wunderlich or Touratech and pivot pegz. Life is good again....
    #9
  10. LukasM

    LukasM Long timer

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    The best solution would be a properly adjusted gear lever, a good boot with a hinge like the Sidi Crossfire and maybe a set of Pivot Pegz.
    #10
  11. puckinet

    puckinet Safety third

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    Adjust the lever up one or two teeth but the boot should fit snug around your foot, it will break in. Alpinestar makes a great boot. If you look at the front of the boot you will see that it has a ruff area on the toe and the side. I mostly use the upper side of the boot to shift by just rolling the boot. I do the same on my dirt bike so I don't get caught with my foot stuck under the shifter.
    #11
  12. Ducksbane

    Ducksbane Quaaack!!!

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    I have a set of Fastaway pegs in the low position ... It now seems about right. I always thought the pegs on the 800 were too high and forward for me.

    Don't forget to remove the rubber footpeg inserts for off road at least, this will lower your foot on the peg a fair way, at zero cost.
    #12
  13. GrizGirl

    GrizGirl Long timer

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    Did you take the rubber boot off the pegs? I did that with a combination of adjusting the lever up a notch and all was fine. As the boots break in you will get a little more movement out of them as well.
    #13
  14. mapuda

    mapuda Crash Tested

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    Along with proper adjustment of the shift lever, I put PivotPegz on my F800GS and am amazed how well I can shift with boots on.

    The pivoting action lets you easily get your toe under the shifter sitting or standing.
    #14
  15. Corona

    Corona Dreaming of Dreaming

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    Aha, how stupid I hadn't thought of that yet. I will go try it now.
    #15
  16. ecce

    ecce Been here awhile

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    :freaky
    #16
  17. toro618

    toro618 Long timer

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    Wearing brand new (not broken in) Sidi Adventures and with the stock lever (without moving it up a notch or two), I had some trouble during 1-2 shifts mainly because I could not settle my foot on the peg properly and in time for the shift into 2nd. I kept finding neutral instead. The rest of the gears, however, were fine. I rode like that for 6 hours. It got easier, but still was not happy with the position.

    Today I mounted on the adjustable Wunderlich lever http://www.wunderlichamerica.com/motorcycle/F800GS/8500166.html and extended the lever about 1/2" longer that stock and that seems to be much easier with the same size 42 boot. I only tried it with the bike on the center stand, but this lever seems to be the solution. The roller tip makes it even easier to get the toe box under it and shift up. I kept the hieght below the foot peg level to avoid inadvertent downshifts while standing.

    I will test ride it tomorrow and report back with a better review.
    #17
  18. toro618

    toro618 Long timer

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    Update on the above.

    Went out to try the Wunderlich gear lever and Whoa...what a major positive difference over the stock lever. The unit is much thicker than the stock so raising it up to the foot peg level will rub the engine cover. But at the same height level as stock and the lever extended out a bit, getting the toe box of my Sidi Adventure size 42 boot under to shift is effortless.

    I painted the lever black, but the blue locktight around the small allen screws ate some of the paint away.

    I would definately recommend this piece to anyone not happy with the stock one. The stock unit can always be used as a backup on trips.
    #18
  19. sarkmych

    sarkmych Adventurer

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    Very first thing I noticed was the issue of wearing my Tech 8's with the stock rubber footpegs and the shifter not meshing well. I simply rotated the shifter up a couple notches which worked just fine. Then after I intalled the pivotpegz, I had to rotate the shifter back down a notch. I am looking at buying new DP boots though as the MX boots are a bit stiff and don't walk around very comfortably.
    #19
  20. Bartron

    Bartron 'Tenacious B' the Bike Punisher

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    MX boots and stock shifter. Most of the time now I don't bother using the clutch for shifting from 2nd gear up. Just a blip of the throttle and some light pressure under the shifter. Not as precise and a bit easier with bigger boots. Neither here nor there but I thought I'd throw it into the 'shifting' discussion.
    #20