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Understanding the need for "pre-loading" the shifter


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Hello Gents,

I've had my V11 for about 6 months now (04' Coppa with around 8k miles if the re-built speedo is accurate). Love it but have only ridden limited miles b/c we hit the winter season.  All fluids changed minus the fork oil. Runs strong. Shifts marginally and requires the "pre-load" technique during spirited riding.  A forum member had suggested this technique after I wrote about my first riding impressions and getting stuck between gears in what I assume is considered a "false neutral." If I don't intentionally pre-load the toe shifter before clicking into gear, the bike will sometimes get stuck in between gears and not want to shift until I slow down and then up/down shift very deliberately.  

My questions for the sages are: 1.) Should I pursue some sort of repair?  or.. 2.) Is this normal and just ride it?  I have a 16' Griso that shifts perfectly so I'm probably trying to compare apples to oranges. As always, thanks for the input and advice. 

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1 hour ago, daviscr5 said:

Hello Gents,

I've had my V11 for about 6 months now (04' Coppa with around 8k miles if the re-built speedo is accurate). Love it but have only ridden limited miles b/c we hit the winter season.  All fluids changed minus the fork oil. Runs strong. Shifts marginally and requires the "pre-load" technique during spirited riding.  A forum member had suggested this technique after I wrote about my first riding impressions and getting stuck between gears in what I assume is considered a "false neutral." If I don't intentionally pre-load the toe shifter before clicking into gear, the bike will sometimes get stuck in between gears and not want to shift until I slow down and then up/down shift very deliberately.  

My questions for the sages are: 1.) Should I pursue some sort of repair?  or.. 2.) Is this normal and just ride it?  I have a 16' Griso that shifts perfectly so I'm probably trying to compare apples to oranges. As always, thanks for the input and advice. 

Yes, pursue repairs. It should shift smoothly. Several points need attention, most of which is addressed in

 

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Certainly worth inspecting, adjusting, and perhaps tightening the external shift mechanism. Make sure the two "arms" are parallel with one another. Sometimes the pivot bolt benefits from a shim to reduce slop. Even after performing (most) of Lucky Phil's excellent Shift Improvement, I still preload the lever and take up the clutch play to get best shifts.

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Shifting can be reluctant at times.  Typically 4th-5th shifts are crunchy on my bike.  The key is to make the shift more deliberate and not as quickly.  

I have had a couple of rides where it would miss about every other shift and grind.  About the time I called the shop, it shifted fine.  I suppose sometimes those dogs and gears just hit the wrong combination then it just grinds and misses?  Anyway, 4th-5th is pretty common, just be a little slower and more deliberate.  If you're used to a modern unit transmission shifting like a Japanese bike, Guzzis aren't quite in that category.  

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Thank you all for the information. I believe my V11 can shift better than it currently does without the need for a careful toe preload. More to follow! 

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Sure it can. You *do* need to tune up the pre selector, though. I'm out of Lucky Phil Shifter Extenders, though.. so you are SOL there. :huh2:

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On 3/3/2021 at 4:11 AM, daviscr5 said:

Thank you all for the information. I believe my V11 can shift better than it currently does without the need for a careful toe preload. More to follow! 

There's nothing "careful" about it, it's just a technique. Same as the starting process for a Guzzi or Ducati big twin, if you know the process it works well, if you dont it works less well.

Ciao    

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2 hours ago, Lucky Phil said:

There's nothing "careful" about it, it's just a technique. Same as the starting process for a Guzzi or Ducati big twin, if you know the process it works well, if you dont it works less well.

Ciao    

I've long used the preload technique (to good effect), but after performing (most) of Lucky Phil's V11 Shift Improvement, I became much more deliberate. It surprises me how much preload pressure can be applied before the clutch gets "blipped" for a crisp shift. I realized that I was mostly doing this on the upshifts, but found the downshifts benefit as well.

It also occurred to me that it is rather counterintuitive to the typical "Clutch-> Shift -> Declutch."  It is more like "(pre)Shift->Clutch/declutch" . . .

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Just now, docc said:

I've long used the preload technique (to good effect), but after performing (most) of Lucky Phil's V11 Shift Improvement, I became much more deliberate. It surprises me how much preload pressure can be applied before the clutch gets "blipped" for a crisp shift. I realized that I was mostly doing this on the upshifts, but found the downshifts benefit as well.

It also occurred to me that it is rather counterintuitive to the typical "Clutch-> Shift -> Declutch."  It is more like "(pre)Shift->Clutch/declutch" . . .

Yes works both ways. I do it this way because that's how I've always done it on the race track, before quick shifters were around. Load the lever on the upshift then flick the throttle and leave the clutch for a "race shift". It wasn't for the lap time but so my left wrist survived. Downshifts of course need the clutch but loading the lever that way on the Guzzi makes for a better shift. As an aside Troy Bayliss never even used the clutch on downshifts when he race his 996/998/999 Corse factory bikes in WSB until Tardozzi pulled him up about it cause it was costing the factory too much in transmissions. used to destroy the shifter forks. 

Ciao 

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The V11 6speeder has come in for some criticism over these many years: the early gearbox recalls (that took three or four years to issue), the subsequent pawl spring failures, upper mount case cracks on the ShortFrames, aluminum flywheel failures on the single plate clutch models (not gearbox, I know, but contributes to the stigma).

I have done the clutch-less shifting (and I know others that are quite good at it), but I *feel* better about using the clutch to take up the strain of gear changes instead of parts inside the gearbox, itself.

Admittedly, I've applied the shifter preload/clutch take-up method to rowing the 'box on my ///M roadster and it transformed the smoothness and precision of the gear changes. Being in gear, and accelerating, is always better than jerking the gear change, being between gears, or missing gears.

Or using up the gearbox in the name of fast/hard shifting . . . :o

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