Shifting speeds ??? - Suzuki Volusia Forums : Intruder Volusia and Boulevard Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-19-2011, 10:39 AM Thread Starter
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Shifting speeds ???

I'm in the process of purchasing a new (to me) 2006 C50. I've only owned one other bike which was a 1985 Honda Nighthawk 650.

I've downloaded a lot of info including an actual owners manual for the C50 in PDF format. I've purchased a Clymers repair manual for the Boulevard as well. My question probably seems extremely stupid to many here, but I'll shoot it out there anyway.

I guess I've been somewhat spoiled because despite the age of my starter bike, it had a tachometer and a gear position indicator. So, I always knew which gear I was in and I could always tell. Granted, when I started riding I really needed to know also. Over the two years since I took the MC course and started riding the NH I've gotten more and more used to the way it feels and probably don't "need" the tach or the gear position indicator as much.

Now I'm graduating to a cruiser and a bike I really want and did my homework on. I just want to know how you shift and how you know where you''re at. I mean, even with the NH sometimes (rarely, but it happens) I'd skip a gear. This can be especially dangerous on the downshift if the bike suddenly slows down quicker than expected.

The owners manual I downloaded shows a version of the speedometer housing that actually has a gear indicator built in, but the Clymers manual mentions nothing about this. When I called the guy whom I'm in the process of purchasing the bike from, he also confirmed that there is, indeed, no other indicator on the speedometer.

I also see what the manual suggests for shift speeds (which, frankly, seemed a bit odd to me) but I'd love to hear it from real world experience.

I'm sure it's just something I'll need to learn, but I will need to ride this bike home over 200 miles from South Eastern PA back up to North Western NJ when the weather gets a tad warmer.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-19-2011, 02:15 PM
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Hi and welcome.

I think most folks just learn the C50's shift points by sound and feel. After you've ridden it for awhile you'll find your own sound and feel. You can of course purchase an after market Tach if you think you need that and there are some after market gear indicators as well but I really doubt you'll need them after a few hours on the bike. I just sometimes forget what gear I'm in when I stop in traffic or just not paying attention to my shifting so I've gotten in the habit of tapping my toe to see if I'm all the way down.


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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-19-2011, 02:41 PM
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Like Daycruiser said. It's mostly just feel and awareness of the ride. Like a good woman You'll know where you are and when to shift. Good luck and welcome to the cruizer club.

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-19-2011, 03:07 PM
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I would agree with the post answers so far as feel and awareness of the road conditions. I would put it this way as well... First gear is like a granny gear. Slow speeds for take-off only. It will rap out on rpm's pretty quickly. I find myself getting to second as fast as I can, so then I can determine what my next move will be knowing that I have a gear that will expand! Then its onto 5th in a relative short period where I will be most of the time at 40mph and above.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-19-2011, 03:16 PM
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Yeah, first gear feels like it does in an 18-wheeler. Really low and short. You find that the bike wants you to shift into second right in the middle of a left-hand turn, which is kind of a drag.

Now that I think of it, I guess all of the gears feel a little short to me. But anyway, the bike will definitely let you know when it's time to shift; just spend a few miles on it.


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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-19-2011, 08:31 PM
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your 2006 doesn't have a gear indicator as well as a reserve tank lever ( an low fuel idiot light instead)

Like the others said the bike will tell you when it needs to shift from sound and vibration and you hafta be firm in telling it to shift w/ your foot.
1st is definitely short.

I have added a tach and a DJ drive.
I shift between 3-5K rpms. The drive extends the gears so 1st lasts till 35 mph.

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