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2004 Ballabio false neutrals


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I've found that tightening the various nuts and bolts in the shift linkage helped. There is a 6mm hex nut connecting the shift arm that seems to have enormous effect on shifting when too loose or tight. It is very finicky. What I did is bring a 6mm hex key on a ride with me to get it just right. I tried to attach an image of it but apparently the file size is too large and this site wouldn't let me.

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10 minutes ago, KenBlake said:

It's a 04' Ballabio. Thanks!

I probably missed that you showed that clearly in your topic title . . . :blush:

While I look for the bench set-up on the eccentric(s), note @Lucky Phil' statement in his excellent "Shift Improvement" tutorial (link 6 posts back):

"Don't ever be tempted to adjust the large eccentric on the shifter cover with it fitted to the bike. It is a very sensitive adjustment that controls shifter travel and over travel and needs to be on the bench to set up correctly. It wont solve your shifting woes alone so leave it alone when on the bike."

That shifter pivot bolt is lock nutted an the inboard side of the subframe. Did you attend to and adjust the rest of the external shift mechanism?

 

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The bench set-up on the later style eccentric (as on your 2004 Ballabio) is captioned in the "V11 Shift Improvement" thread between images #5 and #6 in the first post:

"Note the different covers, the later type on the left with the shift selector arm return limit adjustable eccentric and the older type on the right with the fixed roll pin. Set up the eccentric with about 0.030" clearance to the shift arm at its closest point in the travel. This later unit also has the extra banana shaped support plate. Guzzi sell a mod kit for the earlier bikes."

 

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On 5/31/2022 at 2:26 PM, KenBlake said:

Hey everyone,

I've read that it's common with the V11 transmission to mis-shift. It's been really taking away from the enjoyment of riding and it seems to be a mechanical problem that should be fixed. My question is what would that entail? Which parts would need replacing and it is their a guide for doing so? I have the workshop manual. 

 

Thanks!

The transmission is not likely the culprit. The weak points for "mis-shifts" are as stated, poorly adjusted linkage, and the rider. Once the linkage is sorted one needs to "get to know" the needs of the shift process, ie: proper shift timing, rpm's and positive toe pressures. The V11 likes to be revved and will shift better at higher rpm.

Adding a Lucky Phil/Chuck modified shift linkage arm will make it shift even better.

... and a Ballabio is just a trim package with the same drive train as the others.

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5 hours ago, footgoose said:

The transmission is not likely the culprit. The weak points for "mis-shifts" are as stated, poorly adjusted linkage, and the rider. Once the linkage is sorted one needs to "get to know" the needs of the shift process, ie: proper shift timing, rpm's and positive toe pressures. The V11 likes to be revved and will shift better at higher rpm.

Adding a Lucky Phil/Chuck modified shift linkage arm will make it shift even better.

... and a Ballabio is just a trim package with the same drive train as the others.

A critical part to using the V11 gearbox is to pre load the lever before pulling the clutch on the up AND down shifts. Seems like common sense, right, but the amount of riders I see on the road riding around using the "pull the clutch and stomp on the lever" method is amazing. Of course the Japanese have designed gearboxes for these type of riders for decades. The Italians not so much.

Phil

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3 hours ago, Lucky Phil said:

A critical part to using the V11 gearbox is to pre load the lever before pulling the clutch on the up AND down shifts. Seems like common sense, right, but the amount of riders I see on the road riding around using the "pull the clutch and stomp on the lever" method is amazing. Of course the Japanese have designed gearboxes for these type of riders for decades. The Italians not so much.

Phil

And that, I do, now you mention it. Unintentionally I suppose as it's second nature. Riding for so long, like driving, so much becomes a natural activity.

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4 hours ago, Lucky Phil said:

A critical part to using the V11 gearbox is to pre load the lever before pulling the clutch on the up AND down shifts. Seems like common sense, right, but the amount of riders I see on the road riding around using the "pull the clutch and stomp on the lever" method is amazing. Of course the Japanese have designed gearboxes for these type of riders for decades. The Italians not so much.

Phil

This is profound advice.

Preloading the shift lever (THEN pulling the clutch lever) for both up AND DOWN shifts is requisite for getting to know how our V11 6speeder will love us back.

Everything else I ride and drive, the drill is >clutch<, then shift.  This accepted, perhaps intuitive, sequence is NOT V11 compatible!

Otherwise, you might take your gearbox to bits looking for a problem that is not there . . . .

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Have not tried the shift extender yet, but that is coming soon. The fact is that lever travel is a large part of missed shifts, up or down. While I have not measured the actual travel of the lever tip, my foot tells me that it is greater than the on the Japanese machines I have owned to date. Demographics is another aspect of the phenomenon: We are no longer kids. By itself, aging naturally reduces both flexibility and muscle strength. That lost flexibility and strength - even in virtually unnoticeable amounts - can translate to missed shifts.

I take note of this particularly as I am combating post-transplant "graft-versus-host-disease" which manifests it self differently in different patients. One aspect of the disease is a thickening of the fascia which lies beneath the skin. Another is scleroderma (scarring/thickening of the skin) which together can greatly reduce range of motion and add to the effort required in normal functioning.

But, pre-loading the shifter makes an immense improvement.

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17 minutes ago, po18guy said:

Have not tried the shift extender yet, but that is coming soon. The fact is that lever travel is a large part of missed shifts, up or down. While I have not measured the actual travel of the lever tip, my foot tells me that it is greater than the on the Japanese machines I have owned to date. Demographics is another aspect of the phenomenon: We are no longer kids. By itself, aging naturally reduces both flexibility and muscle strength. That lost flexibility and strength - even in virtually unnoticeable amounts - can translate to missed shifts.

I take note of this particularly as I am combating post-transplant "graft-versus-host-disease" which manifests it self differently in different patients. One aspect of the disease is a thickening of the fascia which lies beneath the skin. Another is scleroderma (scarring/thickening of the skin) which together can greatly reduce range of motion and add to the effort required in normal functioning.

But, pre-loading the shifter makes an immense improvement.

This is what got me to create the shift lever extender. I measured my GSXR1000K7 and it's travel was 25mm and the V11 was around 35-40 from my dodgy memory. The extender reduces the V11 to around the 25mm mark but just as importantly increases the shift lever effort. Hows that improve the shift action you may ask. Well a higher lever effort via less leverage by the foot means that when the detent mechanism does release there is more pressure/force being applied which translates to a faster action. A week detent spring also leads to poor shift action as well. This is why loading the shifter makes the gearbox shift much better on all bikes but the V11 especially because loading the lever with the clutch engaged increases the load on the lever via the foot which translates to a faster action when the clutch releases the load on the gearbox dogs and allows the foot pressure to overcome the detent spring and detent roller. The effect is the same as increasing the detenting force. The V11 could probably use a slightly stronger detent spring than stock in reality. 

Another interesting affect on shifting action is gearing. My Royal Enfield has a pretty decent shift action but It can still be improved by the exact same way the V11 shift has been by a modified shift lever to reduce the foot leverage. The other thing that improved the shift action esp in the 1st to second shift was upping the overall gearing by adding 1 tooth to the CS sprocket, a 7% taller final ration. This means that you have more road speed for a given gear and motorcycle constant mesh gearboxes always shift better the higher the road speed. So now esp in the 1st to 2nd shift the road speed is significantly higher for the same rpm so the gearbox naturally shifts noticeably nicer 1st to 2nd.  

Phil   

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 6/26/2022 at 12:12 AM, Lucky Phil said:

This is what got me to create the shift lever extender. I measured my GSXR1000K7 and it's travel was 25mm and the V11 was around 35-40 from my dodgy memory. The extender reduces the V11 to around the 25mm mark but just as importantly increases the shift lever effort. Hows that improve the shift action you may ask. Well a higher lever effort via less leverage by the foot means that when the detent mechanism does release there is more pressure/force being applied which translates to a faster action. A week detent spring also leads to poor shift action as well. This is why loading the shifter makes the gearbox shift much better on all bikes but the V11 especially because loading the lever with the clutch engaged increases the load on the lever via the foot which translates to a faster action when the clutch releases the load on the gearbox dogs and allows the foot pressure to overcome the detent spring and detent roller. The effect is the same as increasing the detenting force. The V11 could probably use a slightly stronger detent spring than stock in reality. 

Another interesting affect on shifting action is gearing. My Royal Enfield has a pretty decent shift action but It can still be improved by the exact same way the V11 shift has been by a modified shift lever to reduce the foot leverage. The other thing that improved the shift action esp in the 1st to second shift was upping the overall gearing by adding 1 tooth to the CS sprocket, a 7% taller final ration. This means that you have more road speed for a given gear and motorcycle constant mesh gearboxes always shift better the higher the road speed. So now esp in the 1st to 2nd shift the road speed is significantly higher for the same rpm so the gearbox naturally shifts noticeably nicer 1st to 2nd.  

Phil   

Thank you for this detailed response, Phil. Can I buy one of your extenders? 

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1 hour ago, KenBlake said:

Thank you for this detailed response, Phil. Can I buy one of your extenders? 

You will need to see if Chuck has any from the latest production run. He's the manufacturing expert, I'm just the, Ahem, "creative" :rolleyes:

Phil

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I have been reading this link closely as like KenBlake I have a 2004 Ballabio and the shifting has really detracted from the enjoyment of the bike.  Lots of false neutrals and a lot of effort shifting.  I am new to this bike and only have about a 1000 miles on it.  My hope was to put off pulling it apart till winter.  However, I found this trickle of transmission oil which looked like the area of the lever seal but turned out to be the eccentric just above it.  The nut was loose and trying too tighten it was turning the eccentric which by this time was at anyones guess.  I tried to tighten it figuring I had a maybe 1 in 10 shot at being close.  It wasn't close and now would not go into 3rd.  So I pulled it apart, adjusted it to ~0.032" at it closest point and of course changed the oil.  It all seemed okay otherwise.  I also cleaned and greased the shift mechanism.  I only have about 30 miles on it but it is much, much better.  Time will tell!

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