Opinions on that Airhead higher 5th gear?

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by elmontanero, Aug 7, 2010.

  1. elmontanero

    elmontanero Practicing...

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,032
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    I should have done the Swing arm direction, but went with the engine forward instead. (no 27mm socket) It's out and on the garage floor, headed to the shop tomorrow. :clap I'm awaiting the results of the parts need... If Fifth is trashed I'll definitely go with a higher replacement.

    I'd have to say that I'm unusually frugal, and 200 bucks was a bit of a shock:eek1 . It's true that I sourced it for price as soon as I heard, not much to be saved.

    Anton has a good price and I'm in awe of his willingness to share his knowledge as well as the vibe you get in posts listed above. I'd order from him just to throw some business his way. If you're going to spend money, why not spend it with people you respect.:D
    #21
  2. AntonLargiader

    AntonLargiader Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2003
    Oddometer:
    4,736
    Location:
    Charlottesville, VA
    Per your PM - the '81 probably doesn't have the shift kit. My notes say it happened in mid-1981, applying to most of the '82 models. Might depend when in '81 your tranny was built. Easy enough to tell; when the shifter mechanism comes out just compare it to the pics on this page.

    It should have the non-X 5th gear, as the X gears started halfway through the '82 model year. Of course it could be possible you have a later tranny in the bike, so look for the X on all of the helicals before you act. I don't think there's any real reason to presume your existing 5th gear is bad, unless you ran for a while with water in the oil or with a totally trashed bearing somewhere; your decision on the tall 5th will probably come down to whether or not you want it.

    I'm glad you found a local shop that is competent with these. Seems pretty rare these days. Dealership? That'd be even rarer.
    #22
  3. elmontanero

    elmontanero Practicing...

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,032
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    If the box doesn't have the shift kit should one be swapped in for long term?

    I was referenced to the shop by a long time rider/racer of Airheads I met on a lark a couple years ago. Forgot the name and then had someone here mention it. I'm hoping for the best, I've got two bikes and they're both broken right now.

    Sad when your running vehicle is a 60's MG and you'd really like to have it sold . Had to make a gasket the other day for it to get me down the road. Thank goodness I had an old school teacher teach us to make them rather than blindly heading down to the parts store. (and some gaskets aren't even available for the darn thing anymore)
    #23
  4. Boxer Metal

    Boxer Metal Mad Scientist

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2003
    Oddometer:
    3,609
    Location:
    Chico, California
    If you have the box apart defiantly update the shift mech and swap out the nylon rollers for the ones in the K75 and K100 transmissions.
    #24
  5. LasseNC

    LasseNC XSessive!

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,093
    Location:
    Denmark, Danimarka, Danmark, Dänemark
    Would an R60/6 benefit from a taller fifth? I have a later "ribbed" gearbox I am told. Will I have enough torque with the taller fifth to do safe overtakes etc.?
    #25
  6. AntonLargiader

    AntonLargiader Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2003
    Oddometer:
    4,736
    Location:
    Charlottesville, VA
    I would - I tend to upgrade things to the latest spec just because - but it's your money. The parts are cheaper than they were a year or two ago. The shift kit mostly eliminates false neutrals and gives you a lesser likelihood of being stuck in gear if the pawl spring breaks, but it definitely doesn't eliminate that possibility. If you decide to get it, let me know.

    You can use fifth on that bike?!?! :lol3
    #26
  7. LasseNC

    LasseNC XSessive!

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,093
    Location:
    Denmark, Danimarka, Danmark, Dänemark
    With the later 5 speed transmission thats fitted I don't see why not? I get four clicks when I shift atleast :)
    #27
  8. AntonLargiader

    AntonLargiader Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2003
    Oddometer:
    4,736
    Location:
    Charlottesville, VA
    It was a power jab...

    With the lower final drive gearing on the R60, if you feel you want a bit more top end you might consider finding a taller final drive. That way you keep the relatively nice gear spacing that the transmission has (I actually like the short gap between 4th and 5th because it makes passing easier). Plus it's easier to undo if you decide the motor can't pull a taller 5th. Plus the aftermarket tall 5th isn't compatible with the early transmissions and there's a good chance your bike would be one of them.

    The downside is that you may end up with speedometer error, which doesn't happen with the tall 5th.
    #28
  9. elmontanero

    elmontanero Practicing...

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,032
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Rad... (sorry, still in Southern California)... I'll definitely mention it when I go into the shop today that I'm curious to see which one is in there. I'll be in touch on this and update for those considering the same moves. Again thanks Anton... I owe you one.
    #29
  10. elmontanero

    elmontanero Practicing...

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,032
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Just ran the numbers of the parts for the shift kit to get an Idea of the price...:eek1 :eek1
    #30
  11. Solo Lobo

    Solo Lobo airhead or nothing

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    9,669
    Location:
    Shoreline, WA
    hey K,

    You can get the shift kit at a better price from Motobins in the UK..

    http://www.motobins.co.uk/displayfinal.php?q=shift

    part no. 53210 for $234 US plus shipping.

    FYI, when I had my trans done I had the metal K-bike roller installed as well as a new spring and didn't go with the shift kit.
    #31
  12. elmontanero

    elmontanero Practicing...

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,032
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    thanks on that G... Shop called and hopes to have it all back together by middle of next week. He cut me a deal on the shift upgrade, had the parts in stock, and would rather have the cash in his account than on his shelf. :wink:

    Kbike roller?
    #32
  13. Solo Lobo

    Solo Lobo airhead or nothing

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    9,669
    Location:
    Shoreline, WA
    That's the roller for the shift selector that is nylon on the G/S... I think I have that right at least!
    #33
  14. elmontanero

    elmontanero Practicing...

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,032
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Transmission is back in and NOISY.. any expectation of a new transmission being loud right off the bat. no problem in low speeds but then picking up noise and it goes. quieted down a bit but still freaking me out with worry.
    Very frustrated after a whole afternoon of work
    YES... there is gear oil in it. :D
    #34
  15. One Less Harley

    One Less Harley OH.THAT'S GONNA HURT

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,448
    Location:
    Bowling Green, Ky

    What parts were replaced, I'm guessing some gears???? IF gear where did they come from?

    I have some thought but don't want to voice them yet.
    #35
  16. elmontanero

    elmontanero Practicing...

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,032
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    no... no gears. A list of bearings and the "shift kit" went in as well as the offending Pawl spring.

    I put it up on the centerstand, spun the rear wheel with the clutch lever pulled.

    First seems fine and dandy, as do the higher gears, but either 2 or 3 has distinct knocking noises. It was originally stuck in second... not sure if that's related.

    I'm exhausted putting it together today. I need food and then I'll try more but that's all I got today. Got too focused and didn't eat. Spent.

    It was so sweet hearing the engine and putting away in first before the UGHHH realization came along. :eek1
    #36
  17. One Less Harley

    One Less Harley OH.THAT'S GONNA HURT

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,448
    Location:
    Bowling Green, Ky
    No gears that's good. Does the guy who rebuilt have plenty of experience w/ airhead trannies???


    Looks like your going to be getting even quicker with removing the tranny.


    Sucks, BTDT
    #37
  18. Slope'r

    Slope'r Retired

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2005
    Oddometer:
    494
    Location:
    Joseph, Oregon
    :thumb
    I had the higher 5th gear installed last year by Anton. I'm very happy with the results.
    #38
  19. Rob Farmer

    Rob Farmer Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2002
    Oddometer:
    6,733
    Location:
    Loughborough, Leicestershire. England
    Just done a fuel comparrison with a mates bike on a long run. His runs approximatly 500 RPM less than my bike, this was worth around 2 litres of fuel in every 100 miles at 80 - 90 MPH riding. Virtually no difference in fuel consumption at lower steady speeds.
    #39
  20. bpeckm

    bpeckm Grin!

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    7,009
    Location:
    Road Island
    I did that on my 60/6, and am quite happy with it. I noticed it mostly in first gear, which I thought was geared way too low originally..... Though I only ride one-up myself, and I weigh 165 fully geared up.....I fiddled with the speedo needle so that it reads sorta right, but of course the odo is off. Will be going to a computer speedo soon, though. I put an Acewell on another bike, loved it, but now it seems they are nla.....
    #40