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shifting linkage adjustment


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I had a few incidents of my '98 RT with 21K slipping out of 2nd into neutral in the last couple months. This is usually while city driving- under light load and I posted a question for any ideas on this a couple of weeks ago. One of you suggested I check my shifting linkage. I failed to include in my post that sometimes it is hesitant to go into first and I when i had the tupperware off last month, I took off the l/h side footplate that hides the shifter. I moved and pulled around on the linkage and it was tight, just a little play. I took off 2 clips on this short turnbuckle without touching anything else and lubed the balls with white lithium grease and then ran a little around the inside of the female sockets. I then reassembled that short little turnbuckle with the female sockets and popped it onto the two ball studs and reinserted the clips in the proper positon. The footplate has sort of an oval opening where a bolt passes through. It looks like it can sit up towards the top or the bottom. Mine is on the bottom and torqued to 18nm according to pg.5.1 in haynes manual under gearchange lever pivot bolt.

1)The manual really doesn't give any info on any sort of shifter adjustment. if the turnbuckle is not too short or too long it should click onto the ball studs with minimal force and then you put your clips in (after you greased linkage). Is there any sort of other adjustment?


2)Like I said, problem is 2nd gear slipping into neutral occassionally and ocassionally is balky wanting to go into first. That bolt that goes through the footplate hole that is oval/oblong. Can I set this to the higher positon in the footplate?

Any advice would be appreciated. I'm freaking out now thinking the BMW tranny is going south. My trusty old sporty is also developing a lurch in first- guess what, the tranny! I just found some older posts and should say my shifter never seems to hit the top or the bottom of the shifter footplate. I will be taking off tupperware and looking at it and will await any additional advice. Thanks

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You can certainly check this yourself. You do have to kneel down their and get up close and personal with the linkage. A good flashlight will help.


Start on the center stand and in neutral, engine off. Have an assistant turn the rear wheel for you to keep things stirring in the gear box and, while shining the light into the slot, look for bottoming in either direction while moving the shifter. A small inspection mirror might be helpful as well. Be vigoruos with your movement as your foot has lots more leverage than your hand. If you detect bottoming, you can adjust the linkage longer or shorter to move the shifter pedal up or down as needed.


I would say that most of the time, the balk going into first is just the dogs lining up wrong on the shafts and the pop out of second is the more potential problem. Things that can cause this, aside from a lazy shifter foot, are a bent or badly worn shifter fork or very worn dogs on the second gear. Either would require that you remove and dismantle the transmission for repair.

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Ed: I will try that little trick and see what happens. If there is no interference with the footplate, I am hoping it is just poor shifting technique on my part.

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I had friend turn rear wheel while i had bike up on center stand. Tried different gears with clutch in, (especially upshifting from 1st to 2nd). I was hoping to see the shifter hitting the top of the footplate in 2nd as I thought that might explain the slipping out of 2nd. But, I had a good 1/4" or more up top & on bottom of footplate. Took off footplate and dissassembled linkage. Went down to shop and got 2 new felt washers that push over the balls on the linkage. What a pain. The felt washers have like a 1/16" of a hole in the center of them and they expect you to slip them over a 1/4" ball. Lubed up balls with white lithium grease. Put linkage back on- BMW mechanic told me I did not have to change the 2 wire clips that hold on the turnbuckle shifting linkage (bought 1 for emergency kit for bike). Put everything else back together and buttoned it up. Seemed to shift a little easier with the lube job. Rode for an hour. When pulling onto my dead end road at end of ride- was going slow in first, brought up rpm's somewhat (maybe not enough) and shifted into 2nd- after a few seconds at relatively low load, speed, etc. it popped out of 2nd gear. I will be going for longer ride soon and tried to concentrate more on deliberate shifting technique including riding it a bit more aggressively. Darn thing gives me any more trouble, than it's Japanese time- no more german, american, or italian.

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I had same problem with mine, I used some copper hi temp spray on balls at regular intervals. Also found another problem in same area is that pivot bolt comes loose slightly and this was causing shift problems for me used stud lock on bolt and everything is fine since

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