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  1. #1
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    Default MPH and RPMs for shifting into gears

    I am new to the the semi-auto shifting on the RTS SE5. They say to shift to 2nd at 22 to 28 mph. What are the MPH to shift into 3rd and the mph range I can be in, in 3rd gear.. Then what mph can I shift into 4th gear and the mph I can stay into 4th before shifting to 5th. I am not good at RPMs.. guess I will have to learn.

    Shifting from:
    1st to 2nd gear - 22 to 28 mph
    2nd to 3rd -
    3rd to 4th -
    into 5th - 65 mph and over

    Are there specific mph's that I need to know or that would help me on down shifting, too?

    I rode a Harley Heritage and I just knew when to shift manually - not sure about the semi-automatic shifting. I don't want to screw up the bike by doing it too early.
    Thanks you..

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by swuziq View Post
    I am new to the the semi-auto shifting on the RTS SE5. They say to shift to 2nd at 22 to 28 mph. What are the MPH to shift into 3rd and the mph range I can be in, in 3rd gear.. Then what mph can I shift into 3rd gear and the mph I can stay into 4th before shifting to 5th. I am not good at RPMs.. guess I will have to learn.

    Shifting from:
    1st to 2nd gear - 22 to 28 mph
    2nd to 3rd -
    3rd to 4th -
    into 5th - 65 mph and over

    Are there specific mph's that I need to know or that would help me on down shifting, too?

    I rode a Harley Heritage and I just knew when to shift manually - not sure about the semi-automatic shifting. I don't want to screw up the bike by doing it too early.
    Thanks you..
    I'll try to help, but won't be exact since I watch the RPM's.

    Shifting from:
    1st to 2nd gear - 22 to 28 mph

    2nd to 3rd - 28 to 39 range (although when accelerating to get onto an interstate or a long stretch for speed, I'll shift into 3rd at a much higher speed -- somewhere in the mid 40's)

    3rd to 4th - 47 to 49 range (the Spyder SE5 can run in 4th comfortably from 47 up to 65 MPH. You can cruise all-day in 4th gear if that is your cruising-speed-range)

    Into 5th - 65 mph and over (On level terrain. If you are on hilly terrain you'll be constantly shifting between 4th and 5th gear; which is okay and expected of you to do. Do NOT however make your Spyder lug its way up a hill in 5th gear... downshift to give it more torque.)

    Again... if you are accelerating fast to get up to speed in a hurry, you'll run the speed a lot higher than what I mentioned. The engine can handle the RPM's into the 6,000's when needed without a problem. Typical riding will not require to get that high in speed; however be sure to force yourself to wait to shift until the Spyder is at least in these ranges.

    Also... remember... just because you have 5-gears does NOT mean you have to use all five every time you are on the Spyder. Some days I never up to 65 MPH, so I never use 5th gear... and that is just fine and the way it should be.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by Illinois Boy; 07-14-2012 at 03:18 PM.


    2011 Viper-Red Spyder RT SE5 & Trailer
    2014 Harley Davidson Ultra Limited
    Former Rides: '04 Kawa Nomad; '09 HD Ultra-Classic; and many Hondas through the years.
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    Default Thanks MPH and RPMs

    That helps me out a lot! I appreciate it. I haven't bought one yet but looking at the blue RTS SE5. The biggest problem is reaching the handlebars comfortably. I am female with shorter arms and legs. No risers for the RTs I hear so I thought maybe a custom seat would work to put me up closer to the handlebars. I am waiting to hear back from several companies to see what they think. KonTour Day Long and Corbin - Ultimate just said they could make a pillow. Doubt that is the answer.. but we will see..
    I am in Illinois, too. Rockford area.
    I just don't want to buy if I can't be comfortable. Too much strain on my neck, shoulders, back and arms.. especially if yu go a distance. I will take it out on a 3rd test drive hopefully this coming week. They said I can take it for a couple hours so I can ride regular back roads, etc and see how it feels. Thank you for your help!

  4. #4
    PostZilla member Bob Denman's Avatar
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    I use a 4000 rpm shift speed. That drops the bike back to about 3500 rpm in the next gear. You want to keep things spinning at least that quickly so that the clutch is fully locked-up.

    Out with the old; in with the "WOO-HOO "
    2014 RT Limited: #2444: Born on Jan 30th, 2014

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    Quote Originally Posted by swuziq View Post
    That helps me out a lot! I appreciate it. I haven't bought one yet but looking at the blue RTS SE5. The biggest problem is reaching the handlebars comfortably. I am female with shorter arms and legs. No risers for the RTs I hear so I thought maybe a custom seat would work to put me up closer to the handlebars. I am waiting to hear back from several companies to see what they think. KonTour Day Long and Corbin - Ultimate just said they could make a pillow. Doubt that is the answer.. but we will see..
    I am in Illinois, too. Rockford area.
    I just don't want to buy if I can't be comfortable. Too much strain on my neck, shoulders, back and arms.. especially if yu go a distance. I will take it out on a 3rd test drive hopefully this coming week. They said I can take it for a couple hours so I can ride regular back roads, etc and see how it feels. Thank you for your help!
    Well there you go... I am in your neighborhood. Bought mine from Loves Park Motorsports. If you go there... tell Doug hello for me. I had good luck with them, and have not had any problems with their service so far. I can only speak for myself though.

    I would think there are some custom-seats out there that you could get to move you forward. It wouldn't be that hard to do. Maybe someone on here would know.

    Good luck to you... and maybe we'll pass each other's way.


    2011 Viper-Red Spyder RT SE5 & Trailer
    2014 Harley Davidson Ultra Limited
    Former Rides: '04 Kawa Nomad; '09 HD Ultra-Classic; and many Hondas through the years.
    Spyder Newbies Do's & Do Not's: http://www.spyderlovers.com/forums/s...-Spyder-owners

  6. #6
    Consumer Advocate akspyderman's Avatar
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    Most are using rpm's as a shift point rather than specific speed.

    You will find a "sweet spot" where the shift point will be "seemless" (no clunk). For me it seems about 4500 rpm. The will downshift by itself at about 3500 rpm. I usually downshift between 4000 and 4500--(less clunk) and about 3000 for 2nd to 1st.






    Currently Owned: 2011 RT A&C SE5 (magnesium), 2014 RTS-SE6 (yellow)

    Previously Owned: 2008 GS-SM5 (half moon silver), 2009 RS-SE5 (red), 2010 RT-S Premier Editon #474 (black) Pictures of 2008 and 2009 Spyders are in Alaska Albums 2009 and 2010.
    Five Spyders, Seven years, and over 111,000 miles with the brand.


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  8. #7
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    I will tell Doug hello - haven't met him as I have been working with Brandon.. Will go back for 3rd test drive though.
    KonTours said they could do something for a custom seat, but it would be $1,500 for the RTS and no guarantee that it would put me where I need to be. Also said that this model is the hardest to work with. Also said they think the Spyders were made more for larger men. Sure wish they could make one for smaller people or women like the Harley sportster low.. Oh well, I hope I can find something that will work. See you on the forum and hope to see you on the road some day, too!

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by swuziq View Post
    I will tell Doug hello - haven't met him as I have been working with Brandon.. Will go back for 3rd test drive though.
    KonTours said they could do something for a custom seat, but it would be $1,500 for the RTS and no guarantee that it would put me where I need to be. Also said that this model is the hardest to work with. Also said they think the Spyders were made more for larger men. Sure wish they could make one for smaller people or women like the Harley sportster low.. Oh well, I hope I can find something that will work. See you on the forum and hope to see you on the road some day, too!
    That is a ridiculous price for a seat modification. Don't pay that price!

    There is a guy in Beloit that makes the "Grasshopper" backrests for metric cruisers. He is known internationally for his backrests. My point is; backrests are what he makes commercially for metric cruisers; however he has been known to modify all kinds of seats... and I can assure you... you will not be paying that kind of money. I would look him up on the internet and call him to discuss you seat options.

    All anyone has to do is modify the foam in the seat to have the seat's backrest (built into the Spyder seat) moved forward for you. With regard to the covering... anyone that does seats or upholstering can cover the seat's new shape. And it shouldn't cost $1,500!! Geez... I have had entire couches reupholstered and haven't paid that much.

    So hold off on dealing with whoever you mentioned and call "Grasshopper" in Beloit to see what he thinks.

    Anyway... I hope you get you Spyder and enjoy it. Let me know what you decide to do.

    Later...


    2011 Viper-Red Spyder RT SE5 & Trailer
    2014 Harley Davidson Ultra Limited
    Former Rides: '04 Kawa Nomad; '09 HD Ultra-Classic; and many Hondas through the years.
    Spyder Newbies Do's & Do Not's: http://www.spyderlovers.com/forums/s...-Spyder-owners

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  11. #9
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    Dear no name,

    I just finished making my 2008 GS SE5 Spyder comforatable but I doubt that you will be able to copy me. I installed the 1" OEM raiser that did nothing to aid my confort. I then instalaled the Helibars steering head extention that really helped but not enough. I built floor baords that moved my feet forward about 7" and that helped emmensely. I installed under the side covers 1/8" rubber sheeting glued to the back side of the covers that guides the heat down and out to keep my feet cool. I instalalled a Corbin seat after having my OEM seat repadded and reformed 3 times to be softer and so that I would not slide forward, but with no success. The Corbin seat was not satisfactory so I had it reformed twice with no success. As a last resort I personally rebuilt the OEM seat's base building it up with foam plastic to have the same form as my HD Ultra and that solved my seating problem as well as having a much better seat for my wife behind me. But I still was not comfortable so I made what I call offsets for the handlebar grips. These offsets moved my hand grips back 2" and up 2". They allowed me to postion the grips to where I found them cmfortable. They added 1" to the overall width, length, of the handlebar. That really solved all my sitting position problems. But it didn't come without a lot of problems. Because my hand grips were now so far back the throttle cables were too short so I had to have special longer ones made up. Moving the hand grips back required that the electric hand
    controls' cables to having to be extended 7" longer. I now sit upright and not in a crouched position. My back doesnt hurt. I can ride for hours in complete comfort.

    That's what it took to make my Spyder useful. Without the alterations I have made my Spyder was useless to me as it came from the factory. I have told you what I had to do to be able to make my Spyder usable and comfortable. I didn't tell you how to do it. If you know someone that is really sharp in mechanics and can handle a soldering iron as well as knowing how to braze and has access to a lathe I can send you photos of what I did and also dimensional sketches of some of the parts that have to be machined. The changes I did were successful but also a very big personal undertaking. Arthur Cohen---Mexico City, xe1ll@prodigy.net.mx


    Quote Originally Posted by swuziq View Post
    That helps me out a lot! I appreciate it. I haven't bought one yet but looking at the blue RTS SE5. The biggest problem is reaching the handlebars comfortably. I am female with shorter arms and legs. No risers for the RTs I hear so I thought maybe a custom seat would work to put me up closer to the handlebars. I am waiting to hear back from several companies to see what they think. KonTour Day Long and Corbin - Ultimate just said they could make a pillow. Doubt that is the answer.. but we will see..
    I am in Illinois, too. Rockford area.
    I just don't want to buy if I can't be comfortable. Too much strain on my neck, shoulders, back and arms.. especially if yu go a distance. I will take it out on a 3rd test drive hopefully this coming week. They said I can take it for a couple hours so I can ride regular back roads, etc and see how it feels. Thank you for your help!
    Last edited by Arthur---Mexico; 07-15-2012 at 12:12 AM.

  12. #10
    Senior Member Grandpa Spyder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Denman View Post
    I use a 4000 rpm shift speed. That drops the bike back to about 3500 rpm in the next gear. You want to keep things spinning at least that quickly so that the clutch is fully locked-up.
    As far as shift points I am with Bob on this and that is just the minimum.
    Grandpa Spyder 2012 Quantum Blue RTS SE5
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  13. #11
    Senior Member rcantrell52's Avatar
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    Default Shifting At Which RPMs

    I agree with the others in using RPMs vs MPH. I shift in the 4500 - 5500 RPM range. I try not to let my RPMs get below 3800.
    2010 RS-S SE5 Pearl White
    2010 RT-S SE5 Orbital Blue

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  15. #12
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    Thanks everyone! This helps me a lot for suer.. I will check out Grasshopper in Beloit, too about the seat. And Arther.. glad you got all of your modifications done and you are finally comfortable. Problem with the Spyder I want, they don't have risers for the RT models, only RS... but there will be something that will work. I hope!!! Sure wish Can-Am would put something out there to help us short people to be able to get closer to the handlebars and be able to sit up comfortably. A Spyder for smaller people would be the cat's meow.. but there isn't one out there now and I want one now..
    I will definitely learn to go by the RPMs.. Sounds like the answer there..
    Thanks again everyone.

  16. #13
    Senior Member flybuddy's Avatar
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    Is the gearing ratios different on a manual? Those seem high to me, 4th gear seems to be winding up in the low 40s.
    2012 Spyder RT

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    PostZilla member Bob Denman's Avatar
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    They're the same...
    Shifting from 3rd to 4th sat about 38 to 40 mph.
    Shifting into 5th at about 48 mph...

    Out with the old; in with the "WOO-HOO "
    2014 RT Limited: #2444: Born on Jan 30th, 2014

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    Quote Originally Posted by flybuddy View Post
    Is the gearing ratios different on a manual? Those seem high to me, 4th gear seems to be winding up in the low 40s.
    Not sure if there is a difference... but if so, I would assume it is not that far-off.

    Also not sure what you mean by your statement of 4th gear winding-up in the 40's... but all my references are regarding an RTS-SE5 only. I cannot verify for any other model.

    Clutch slippage occurs at RPM's of less than about 3500 RPM's. Anything less than that then your clutch is not seating itself all the way and is causing some slippage. Any slippage causes wear.

    It should be a rare occurrence that you ever run your Spyder at anything below 4,000; and preferably anything above 4,300 RPM's. If you are, then downshift until the RPM's get back above 4,300. Most times for me... it is always running between 4900 to 5500 RPM's and runs like a top.

    Give it a shot if you are not...


    2011 Viper-Red Spyder RT SE5 & Trailer
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    Former Rides: '04 Kawa Nomad; '09 HD Ultra-Classic; and many Hondas through the years.
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    I'm very new to the RTS-SE5, but have observed a couple of things about the spyder engine. The 998cc engine makes 100 HP @ 7,500 RPM & Maximum Torque of 80 FT. LBS. @ 5000 RPM. I believe these numbers are net readings measured at the crank.
    It is my opinion that the optimum shift point should be at Max. engine torque of 5,000 rpm. Which will keep the engine in the maximum power band while shifting up through the gears. I would not criuse in 5th gear below 4,500 rpm. I always downshift to 4th gear going up hill if the RPMS start dropping below 4,500 RPM. I believe at lower speeds in town using the lower gears 2nd & 3rd cruising at 3,000 to 3,500 RPM works fine.
    All information is my opinion, rider only and with empty luggage.

  20. #17
    PostZilla member Bob Denman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by A1A View Post
    The 998cc engine makes 100 HP @ 7,500 RPM & Maximum Torque of 80 FT. LBS. @ 5000 RPM. I believe these numbers are net readings measured at the crank.
    It is my opinion that the optimum shift point should be at Max. engine torque of 5,000 rpm. Which will keep the engine in the maximum power band while shifting up through the gears.
    No doubt; shifting where that Twin is making it's bones is the key to best performance...
    But are looking for maximum acceleration at all times and from every stop?
    Scotty posted that the clutch is locking up fully at 3200 rpm, so max life for that pricey jewel can only happen if you don't let it slip too much. (and heat up!)
    Shifting at 4000 rpm brings you out the other side at about 3500 rpm... good enough for this slowpoke!

    Out with the old; in with the "WOO-HOO "
    2014 RT Limited: #2444: Born on Jan 30th, 2014

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Denman View Post
    But are looking for maximum acceleration at all times and from every stop?

    Bob, you have asked this a couple times on threads. You might be assuming I pull-out from every stop going like a bat out of... well... you know.

    I am not doing that. Quite the contrary.

    Just because someone shifts at or near 5100 RPM's doesn't mean they are going real fast to get there. When I drive around town I still don't shift until the RPM's get to that point. Any earlier shifting is too low of RPM's for me and my Spyder. I simply run in each gear considerably further up in MPH and RPM than you do... and again will suggest you try it also. I still think you are lugging your Spyder too much at your shift speeds. Just my opinion.

    Around my town when doing 45 MPH or less I never see 4th gear. 2nd and 3rd gear work perfect in that speed-range. Any higher gear than that lugs the engine far too much for my taste. I can hear it and feel it. I have put my references down in several posts, and stand by them still.

    Just my one and one-half cents...


    2011 Viper-Red Spyder RT SE5 & Trailer
    2014 Harley Davidson Ultra Limited
    Former Rides: '04 Kawa Nomad; '09 HD Ultra-Classic; and many Hondas through the years.
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    Senior Member MangoMike's Avatar
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    Just to add to this, I too only watch my tach, and shift between 4-5 K, generally closer to 4. I find this easy to remember, and easy to watch on the gauges.

    Mike

  23. #20
    Senior Member smoky's Avatar
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    Default Shifting sweet spot

    Quote Originally Posted by swuziq View Post
    I am new to the the semi-auto shifting on the RTS SE5. They say to shift to 2nd at 22 to 28 mph. What are the MPH to shift into 3rd and the mph range I can be in, in 3rd gear.. Then what mph can I shift into 4th gear and the mph I can stay into 4th before shifting to 5th. I am not good at RPMs.. guess I will have to learn.

    Shifting from:
    1st to 2nd gear - 22 to 28 mph
    2nd to 3rd -
    3rd to 4th -
    into 5th - 65 mph and over

    Are there specific mph's that I need to know or that would help me on down shifting, too?

    I rode a Harley Heritage and I just knew when to shift manually - not sure about the semi-automatic shifting. I don't want to screw up the bike by doing it too early.
    Thanks you..
    This is my post on the General Discussion of a few days ago....

    Shifting sweet spot....
    No, it doesn't move around and I think I've found it! Heeding the advice of many on this forum about shifting at higher rpms, I've been experimenting with 4k, 5k, and 6k...even running sometimes into the 7's on my RT-S and believe I've hit the spot that makes the Redman sing, hum and ooohh and ahhhhh and sip gas more prudently.

    Yep, I get the best feel, the smoothest shifts and the most satisfying sounds from that 998 CC beast at 5,000 ripums. Put yourself at a traffic light; it goes green and you go zoom, 5k rpms, 25 mph, first gear..shift! Ah, so smooth and satisfying. Up to 5k and 35 mph, second gear; 5k, third gear, 45 mph. Now, fourth gear and 5k rpms, 55 mph and smoothly into fifth gear at 5k rpms and 65 mph approaching 70...humming merrily along while all those cages and rumbling two wheelers back at the light are barely out of the chocks. Your Spyder loves it and you?....you've found its sweet spot! Works for me!

    With that in mind wonder if BRP will consider on new models marking the rpm guage at the 4,500 to 5,500 mark with subtle "shift" marker. Save them a lot of warranty work on clutches and you and I lots of down time and other general bitchiness. They could simply put an insert in each new owner's manual talking about proper shifting. Let's see if it happens....smoky

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    MOgang Member SpyderLady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcantrell52 View Post
    I agree with the others in using RPMs vs MPH. I shift in the 4500 - 5500 RPM range. I try not to let my RPMs get below 3800.
    Agree. This is what my dealer has indicated. John's bike blew a clutch (yes semiauto) in Durango possibly from not paying attention to above RPM shifting. Spyders like to run at higher rpms than HD. I previously rode HDs and had to get used to the difference.
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    Senior Member paulbrinker's Avatar
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    Default According to Customer Service

    Just got off the phone with Customer Service and ask this very same question. They said the factory recommends shifting the SE5 transmission between 4000 and 5000 RPMs. Plus they said if you do a slower acceleration that your MPGs will increase. I hope that helps.

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