won't shift into 1st gear when cold

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by justacommuternow, Dec 11, 2007.

  1. justacommuternow

    justacommuternow Been here awhile

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    does anyone have an idea what this might be?

    2001 R1150GS, about 67K miles, heavy commuting and lanesplitting in dense traffic in somewhat hilly terrain, ie constant shifting and slipping on the original clutch, original gearbox, both clutch master and slave cylinders are new within the past six months

    when the bike is cold, clutch handle feels normal, but shifting into first feels like nothing is there, bike won't go into first and remains in neutral; I can shift into second, but then can't shift out of second unless I'm stopped

    once bike warms up and gets to operating temperature, shifts into 1st gear fine; schnickt right in every time

    whatever it is, seems to be getting worse over the past month

    any guidance?, any thoughts?

    thanks
    #1
  2. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    What tranny fluid are you using, and how cold is cold?

    Two things come to mind, clutch needs to be bled, and/or possibly clutch splines are dry, though less likely.

    Try this: Hold the shifter down, then slowly let out the clutch until the bike goes into gear, then pull the clutch back in. This should work for all gears.

    Jim :brow
    #2
  3. LowOnFuel

    LowOnFuel In the crapper

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    I have found that when the trans fluid is cold (cold morning starts - the colder it is the more severe the problem) that when shifting into first gear while not moving I have to make the shift "immediately" after I pull in the clutch or it won't shift and if I'm not quick enough then I repeat the process (let the clutch back out and try again). Like you said once the bike is up to temp then the problem goes away.

    Good luck..........
    #3
  4. dustdonkey

    dustdonkey Been here awhile

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    Try adding a SMALL amount of Automatic transmition fluid to the trans. Start with 50ml and work up to 100 ml. Or until the problem is sorted. This wil loosen the cold viscosity of the oil but keep the hot lube it needs. Tranny might sound a bit 'looser' than normal with cluch out in neutral, but it will lube perfectly and change sweetly.
    #4
  5. justacommuternow

    justacommuternow Been here awhile

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    your suggestion works and seems to work consistently. What do you suppose is causing this? Is it a deteriorating condition?

    also, I bled the clutch hydraulics today and it was fine.

    by cold, I mean maybe 40 degrees F.

    also, with regard to ATF, sounds like a good idea, but I'm a little apprehensive about putting anything in the gear box other than what is called for, I'm told those parts are pretty darn expensive

    thx
    #5
  6. configurationspace

    configurationspace delooper

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    Most likely you're just experiencing what everyone notices about BMW trannies -- especially when the tranny fluid is cold, you need to preload the shifter a bit to get into 1st and sometimes 2nd gear.

    But your shifter may simply just need lubing. With the bike off and cold, if you wiggle the shifter with your fingers, does it return to its neutral position quickly, or is there some resitance?
    #6
  7. JR356

    JR356 Long timer

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    Hi,

    Are you using BMW dino or synthetic?
    Try switching to the synthetic,if you don't already use it.

    Number of BMW folk recommend Dowco Gearguard M added at about 5% by volume to the gearbox and FD,if you use conventional oils.
    Helps with shifting in a lot of cases.Worked for me on past oilheads.
    This is only for the 1100-1150 series!!

    JR356
    #7
  8. Peka

    Peka Long timer

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    Maybe this explains why: http://www.largiader.com/tech/oiltrans/interview.html
    #8
  9. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Harsh and colorful

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    Nah, you're fine. I'm not sure what the terminology is, but it has to do woth parts of the tranny being misaligned (shift dogs?). When you hold the shifter down and let out the clutch, the parts align and the bike goes into gear. It's just a cool little motorcycle trick.:clap
    #9
  10. justacommuternow

    justacommuternow Been here awhile

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    I can't remember what I put in last time I changed the gear box oil, although I do remember I couldn't find straight SAE90, so I put in a multiweight of some kind

    reading through the threads here, I see it's almost a religious debate in terms of what oil spec to use

    in the meantime, with the lower temps, I think I'll find some SAE90 this week and replace what's in there

    coming in to work this morning, it was apparent that bleeding the clutch helped too
    #10
  11. LowOnFuel

    LowOnFuel In the crapper

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    #11
  12. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    Just an FYI, 75W90 is a bit thinner in the cold, but protects like straight 90 weight, and is the GL-5 spec from BMW.

    Jim :brow
    #12