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Shifter Issues!

Jim VonBaden

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Jim VonBaden

My friend was so frustrated with his 2015 R1200GS that he was ready to sell it. He literally was in pain from his bike shifting so poorly and the pain in his toe from shifting that he bought a Wonderlich adjustable shifter. We adjusted it and he was very happy, transformed the bike.


A few months later he swapped out the stock foot pegs with Fastways, then had surgery on his foot. Forward two months and his foot was fine, but he hated shifting again. I suspected the shifter footpeg relationship had changed so I told him to come by and we would work it out.


The key to a properly adjusted shifter is the proper foot position in relation to the shifter peg. Your upper foot should rest lightly against the lower part of the foot peg in first gear in preparation for the 1-2 shift. Too little pressure and you need to move your foot too much, too much pressure and you are preloading the shifter and it will hang. Properly adjusted the 1-2 shift will be the longest shift and the rest will just snick into gear. It will also vastly improve your downshifting, though first will always clunk!


So, the key to getting it right is the sit on the bike, hands on the bars, facing like you are riding and slip your foot (in your riding boots) under the shifter with the shifter in first gear.


For this guy, the footpeg to shifter is shown here:




This adjustment is totally personalized, and will not be the same for everyone. Also note that he has the Wonderlich shifter. He got this in an effort to reduce the foot pain. It did not work of course because the position was not right out of the box. This is a common issue and complaint. No shifter is going to be right out of the box unless you get lucky. In the end the stock shifter very likely would have been fine.


How do you adjust the shifter? I am going to ignore the multiple adjustment of the Wonderlich because most will not need or want to buy it.


Basically you break both lock nuts loose and turn the central shaft. All the while you try over and over until you get just the right preload (light) on the underside of the shifter.




For most people the shaft has enough adjustability to get the right preload. Some may find they run out of shaft, either too short of a shaft, or too long. If it is too long you can shorten the shaft, iff too short you can order a K1200GT shaft and it is 1/2" or so longer. Alternatively, you can get the Wonderlich, or similar, and have much more adjustability for both vertical adjustability and length for you freaky feet sized guys!


Once you think you have it, start the bike and run through the gears just barely releasing the clutch and pulling it back between shifts. If you like the way it feels, lock down the shift rod and go for a ride. You should shift smoother and easier. You may find you over adjusted it with too much preload, in which case you will find yourself accidentally shifting or finding neutral.


By the way, I understand this helps a lot for those having issue with the shift assist!


Anyhow, I hope this helps. It should assist with the RT as well.


Jim :Cool:


PS This works on the Hexhead and Camhead as well!

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