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 An interesting effect of a quick-shifter
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Male Junior Member
89 Posts

Ljubljana, Ljubljana



Posted - 05/17/2018 :  3:31 AM                       Like
Recently I got a new motorcycle, a BMW R1200R. It's a wonderful machine with a few nice safety-related features:

- ABS pro, a.k.a. cornering ABS, that uses an IMU to determine the lean angle and adjust braking power appropriately (although I haven't yet tested this feature).

- Dynamic brake light: if you brake hard, the light flashes in order to draw more attention.

- After hard braking the hazard warning lights turn on automatically and remain on until speed rises above some value or they are manually cancelled

The braking system is semi-combined, where the application of the front brake also applies some brake at the rear, stabilising the motorcycle. During very heavy braking during PLP I could not detect the difference between braking with the front brake only and braking with the rear - ABS engaged on both ends in any case. The rear brake, happily, does not engage the front - that would be very annoying and dangerous.

It's marvelously stable in corners and inspires confidence in riding, so that if you come into a sticky situation, you will have more chances of reacting calmly, knowing you are probably deeply inside the motorcycle's limits. Even on bad roads the suspension does not become upset and tracks very well, orders of magnitude better than any bike I've ridden up to now.

A useful feature is also a quick-shifter, both up- and down-shifts can be performed without the use of the clutch, lovely for twisties.

But this feature comes with a catch. On my last two PLPs I noticed that I had stalled the engine because I didn't pull the clutch lever, something that never happened before.

With the quick-shifter on a normal ride you pull away with the clutch and, unless you're in town and shifting up at low revs and throttle, where the automatics do not work well, you tend not to use the clutch hand. And in only a bit over 1500km this got so ingrained that it overrode the years of practice... So more PLP to fix this is in order. And perhaps using the clutch during normal riding.

James R. Davis
Male Administrator
17377 Posts

Houston, TX


GoldWing 1500

Posted - 05/17/2018 :  6:56 AM Follow poster on Twitter  Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
Congratulations on the new bike. It sounds like a perfect fit for you.

Your comments about linked brakes all made sense to me except the one where you hoped that the application of the rear brake did not engage the front brake at all. That, it seems to me, is a pretty subtle concern that escapes me. Would you please explain your reasoning?

If the bike was used offroad, I could understand the concern, but the BMW R1200R seems way too powerful for that kind of usage, but I could be wrong about that, too.
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Male Junior Member
89 Posts

Ljubljana, Ljubljana



Posted - 05/17/2018 :  7:48 AM
Thanks, and yes, I could not be happier. The moment I rode a few km last year on a loaner bike from a dealer I knew this was the bike for me and a perfect replacement for the Honda Hornet 900.

I had a feeling you might ask about the brakes I have two reasons/situations.

Two years ago at a workshop at our centre for safe driving and riding https://www.google.com/maps/@46.242...ata=!3m1!1e3 I was taught an interesting technique for slow riding: instead of using clutch/gas/brakes, you release the clutch, press the rear brake and add gas so that the bike strains against the brake. You can control the speed with the brake and, if you are about to fall, the engine is already "primed" to take you out of trouble, you just release the brake and you're off.

It probably doesn't work well on all bikes - IIRC it was Scott R. Nelson who commented that his bike doesn't like working at low revs. But it works on my partner's F650CS and it works with this bike. You can easily, smoothly and relatively quickly navigate the tight paths, that you can see just to the south of the building, using this technique. I've been using it for slow work ever since learning it at the workshop.

But you need to press the brake relatively hard and I would be very wary of doing so if I knew that the front brake would also engage. I haven't any experience with back-to-front linked brakes, so I don't know how much of a transfer there is, but in any case it goes against all the instincts to have the front brake engaged in tight, low-speed work.

And although I tend to avoid macadam roads, I don't exclusively ride on the tarmac - sometimes the local roads can be of the macadam type. Once when riding "into the unknown" with the Honda the tarmac suddenly turned into relatively good macadam. By looking at the map, it looked as though there would be just a few km before the road joined a major road, so, rather than turning back, I decided to press on.

After a bit the road turned rougher and there was a lot more gravel on it. I remember approaching into a corner with a little too much speed and running into deep gravel. I solved the situation by using the rear brake only. The bike's rear fishtailed a bit, but everything worked out OK. If the brakes had been linked, I am almost certain that the front would have washed out from beneath me.
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