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4th gear, 5th gear

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  #1  
Old 1st April 2019
Encyber Encyber is offline
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Default I can't drive forty-five

I know you know this.

I’m trying to get fully acquainted with my ‘05’ XL1200c after riding a Shadow VT1100 for more than 8 years. We’re getting along nicely, she and I, for the most part anyway, however there is a conflict. My ride to work (30 miles round trip) has a posted speed zone of 45mph most of the way and is staunchly patrolled and radar checked by local PD and sheriff’s deputies alike.

My problem is I don’t know what gear is best for sustained cruising between 45 & 50 mph (especially 50). It seems like 4th gear is too low for sustained 50 mph cruising, yet 5th gear seems a little high, especially with a strong headwind adding load to the windshield. The poor old girl just wants to giddy-up. Faster than 55 mph and I’m okay in 5th, but then I’m fair game for cops waiting on the side of the road with radar.

So my question is this, is 4th gear okay for the majority of the 15 mile trek one way when stuck in that horrid time-to-shift zone? I don’t have a tachometer so I can’t tell you what RPMs I’m spinning. Comments?
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  #2  
Old 1st April 2019
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Default

I have an '06 1200 C and I run mine in 4th at the speeds you're describing. No tach but I've run it up to 70mph in 4th, before shifting to 5th when I'm in a hurry, so 45-50mph should be Ok in 4th, just takes a little getting used to.
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  #3  
Old 1st April 2019
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Default

45 at 4th
50 without wind - at 5th.
Just feel where your bike is smoothest.
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Old 1st April 2019
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Default

I have the same problem, but your gearing is way low..

45 is typically between 2nd and 4rd.. if you're near 5th, you are probably well under what you should be.

These engines are like a buzzsaw. they unlike the big twins dont like to chug along.. they want to spin...

for my 1997 5th gear is typically for over 70
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Default

I love the power band...

Your change in elevation will have something to do with the right choice along with the curvaceous nature of the roadway (and traffic)...

I rarely run 5th gear unless I'm on the highway doing a sustained 60+...

3rd gear sustained 40-45...
4th gear is most used ... 45-60 on my typical country roads...

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Old 1st April 2019
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Default

45mph is definately not a 5th gear speed. Hell, neither is 55mph for that matter. I gotta be doing 60 before I'll hit 5th for any sustained speed.
Now running the gears up to hiway speed it's 65 before I'll hit 5th. Sometimes 70 if the old girl wants the cobwebs cleaned.
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  #7  
Old 1st April 2019
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Default

Keep it in 4th. Maybe a throttle rocker will help too.

Two lane back roads at 55-60mph I often drive a long time before realizing I'm in 4th and drop it into 5th on long straights.

Unless you're doing a lot of corner work, the 1200 just doesn't care much if it's in 4th or 5th under 70mph, In my experience.
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Old 1st April 2019
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Default

Yeah 45 in 4th works for me as well.
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  #9  
Old 2nd April 2019
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Default

running 45 in 4th should be no issue, listen to the engine and drive train. these machines do not like to be run 2k rpm with a load as the drive line will snatch.
i have it worst since i run int'l gearing but i can steady throttle do the 45 (in 5th) but that is it no slowing down nor speeding up without a shift. i am not stock however so that makes some diff.
what one could do is a slight pulley change to get more reduction and rpm so 5th isn't a bear.
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  #10  
Old 2nd April 2019
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Default

Thanks everyone. I'm glad to see across-the-board agreement for the most part. I was finding myself running up to 55 before shifting into 5th and then backing down to 50. Staying in 4th felt better, just wasn't sure prolonged cruising there was what the bike wanted. I failed to mentioned that I have a Screaming Eagle II package installed. Don't know if that matters.
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