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Old 10-16-2012, 01:07 AM   #1
Joined: Dec 2009
Location: Bucharest, Romania
Oddometer: 6
R1200GS downshift problem... solved!

The first thing I did after I realized I've got a problem downshifting gears was of course to search the forums up and down... After the problem was identified and solved, as I didn't find anything similar reported so far, I thought it might be useful to share the experience and what it turned out to be.

This could only happen on the post-2010 (DOHC) models, as it relates to the exhaust valve found on these motorcycles. Mine is an Adventure, but I guess it's the same on the regular GS.

The problem: Quite suddenly (during 2 or 3 days), I noticed some difficulty when I tried to down-shift more than one gear at a time. For example, I'm riding in the 3rd gear, stop the bike at a stop light or somth, and need to get into 1st gear; or braking in the 5th and need to go straight do 3rd on 2nd, without releasing the clutch between changes. The first day this occurred, it was just one or two times, but in the next 2 days this happened almost all the time. The feeling was that the shift pedal didn't came back-up after the first press on the pedal, and when I was trying to press it the second time, it was "blocked". I noticed if I reved the engine (4-6000 rpm) with the clutch pressed, usually I could change the gear after that.

Of course, I started thinking about changing the oil, about what would servicing the gearbox or clutch would mean (!)... Long story short, a friend of mine looked closely on the shift linkage and realized that the selector rod was getting stuck in the plastic unit placed near it (the servomotor for the exhaust valve). The reason for this happening was the "ball-mount" on the shift lever, wich started to unscrew itself and moved the selector rod to the left, making it rub on the plastic case of the servomotor and causing the pedal not to come back after the first change. After I fixed that, everything was ok. (Note: when taking of the selector rod of the ball mount part, you must take off a metal clip first).
Oh, and I guess revving the engine when this problem occurred caused vibrations in the bike and plastic case, therefore releasing the shift linkage and allowing me to shift again.

Some picts:

You can see here the friction mark on the selector rod...

... and hear, somewhere in front of my thumb.

(the unscrewed ball mount)

And this how it looked like; it seems quite obvious, but when you ride it's a different story:

This happened at about 23.000 km and I don't feel like I abused the shifter to much... so I can't explain why this happened. Anyway, if you experience something similar, check this one out first.

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Old 10-16-2012, 05:15 AM   #2
"Cool" Aid!
JimVonBaden's Avatar
Joined: Feb 2005
Location: Alexandria, VA
Oddometer: 47,871
Maybe the factory forgot to loctite or torque the stud.

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Old 10-17-2012, 03:01 AM   #3
Joined: Dec 2009
Location: Bucharest, Romania
Oddometer: 6
There was no sign of locktite on the screw, that's for sure. Maybe one of those "it happens" thing...
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Old 10-17-2012, 05:06 AM   #4
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Edge of the light
Oddometer: 816
Great thread! Thanks for the report and the pics.
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Old 10-17-2012, 06:15 PM   #5
Ayrshire Bull
why the hell not?
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Joined: Nov 2002
Location: The Left Coast, B.C., CA-NA-DA
Oddometer: 1,861
thanks for posting linx glad to see you got all sorted out.
"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see." - HDT
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Old 02-23-2014, 02:41 PM   #6
Joined: Sep 2012
Oddometer: 1
Hey Linx, Just wanted to let you know that your note on how to fix the downshifting problem on the r1200gs was very useful , Same exact thing happened to my bike with 19,000 kilometers.
randyh is offline   Reply With Quote


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