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Thread: I bought a quickshifter...

  1. #1
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    I bought a quickshifter...

    ...and I'm not sure how to use it

    I get this question a lot. So it seems a good idea to lay out the basics here. Just the basics. I'll keep it relevant, because there are WAY too many power transmission types to discuss.

    The modern motorcycle transmission is designed to not use a clutch between forward gears.

    Originally designed by Keppel LeTourneau Inc. March, 1947. The constant mesh transmission was originally meant for heavy equipment. The whole point of it's design was to afford the ability to not disengage power while shifting and lose traction. The "hydraulic clutches" talked about in the patent are only for shifting of the gears, not for disengaging power through the transmission.

    https://patents.google.com/patent/US2553376A/en

    Using that same patent, motorcyclists get the benefit of fast clutchless power-applied shifting. The misconception that the clutch needs to be dis-engaged between up shifts is a hold-over from peoples experience with a manual transmission (patented 1894!) that would be commonly found in a car or truck. They are NOT the same.

    While you CAN also shift any "manual transmission" without the clutch, you cannot have power flow through it at the instant of gear change because the gears are not in mesh for that instant, unlike the constant mesh trans in your motorcycle, that are in uh... constant mesh.

    A manual transmission equipped with "synchro-mesh" (Patented 1919 by Earl Avery Thompson) is still a normal manual transmission with the addition of cones to accelerate or decelerate the mating gears and tooth guides for smoother shifts, but because it is a manual transmission design, it is still incapable of having power flow through it while shifting gears.

    This is a 5 speed thats very similar to a Buell trans and the VAST majority of motorcycles use the same style of constant mesh transmission.
    Thomas Schwenke did this sweet animation. At 3:00 for the ADD among us:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2CybLSrN5Q

    Even though you can shift your motorcycle transmission without the clutch, it's not 'wrong' to do so. With the clutch engaged your engine is directly coupled to the rear wheel. *"Cush drive" and clutch basket springs are a cushion, not a slipping or disconnection point. So a big, instant, ratio change between the crankshaft RPM and rear wheel RPM with no slip between the two, can be a jerky affair.

    Allowing that '*solid' connection between the engine and rear wheel slip by using the clutch will provide smoother, non-jerky shifts, less effort, and less noise at almost any RPM/Speed point.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    Any questions? Alright then, you, way in the back with the bunny ears....

    "So since I CAN shift my motorcycle without the clutch, why the heck did I buy this magic quickshifter thing?"

    Because having a quickshifter is a happy medium between the ability of your motorcycle transmission to clutchless upshift, and the comfort, reliability, and decreased wear of reducing the engines power through the transmission between shifts. Like a clutch does.

    "So how does a quickshifter act like a clutch if I'm not using the clutch anymore?"

    The quickshifter 'acts like a clutch' by providing the same smoother, quieter, less damaging upshifts. It does NOT provide those benefits by disconnecting the power-transmission from the engine to the rear wheel (clutch), it does those same things by slowing down the engine slightly between shifts.

    "How does it..."

    Ya, I'm getting to that. A quickshifter has several parts. I has to have a sensor. It needs to know when you want to shift, right? The sensor can really be just about anything that knows when you want to shift. Most commonly when push on the foot lever that controls the shift drum and forks in the transmission *or more complicated a push button combined with an actuator to move that lever/drum/forks directly. You can probably even use mind control soon (on a BMW of course).

    Here are some samples of quickshifter sensors installed:
    This is simply a switch that senses pulling force to make an electrical connection on probably the sickest XB12-STT I've ever seen Dynojet #4-113 (careful! They have a carb kit with the same exact part number)
    9302AEC2-42D1-48FE-A206-B8C195BD6DE0.jpg
    This is a push (compression sensing) sensor on a really bad ASS EBR 1190, Dynojet #4-104. It's also a linear sensor, so it will slide without binding the lever.
    DCF08A1E-ECA7-4987-B4A3-44AF61EC5E95.jpg
    And an example of a factory installed pull sensor on a MV Agusta Brutalé 800 ABS EAS (Electronic Assissed Shifting). Who is this guy? Some rich, good looking, rockstar, scientist?!
    5617D155-45A8-4632-B018-74CA6A92BA4A.jpg

    No matter the type. Any quick shift system needs a sensor.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    That simple sensor tells the engine to reduce power through an interface.

    In it's simplest form it is an ignition kill. It operates as long as the sensor is giving signal or opening a circuit. OG racers would wire the coils point signal through the switch at the shifter to open that circuit, killing spark.

    Accelerate,
    push up on the lever
    that activates the sensor,
    to kill engine ignition,
    the shifter slides into place,
    release foot pressure,
    and ignition is restored.

    Simple, yes. But far from graceful. All the time during the shift event, and the engine ignition spark is killed it is still spinning, drawing fuel from the carbs into the cylinders, and pumping that unburned fuel into the exhaust pipe. I wonder what happens when you light a bunch of gas and air near a 14.7:1 ratio? Hmm, NO. Don't do that

    Adding a timer to that ignition kill signal greatly increases usability of the system. It doesn't take long, the factory setting is 120mS on a Buell Race Map .xpr file (fun fact: Most eyes blink at a rate of 300mS!)

    Kinematics:
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4043155/

    What that means is even if the sensor stays activated, the engine will only slow down its rate of acceleration slightly, re-gain that speed, and not die completely. It also, thankfully, won't fill the exhaust with enough unburned gas to explode you all Coyote style.

    Today, most bikes are fuel injected so it makes sense that you can either cut fuel to the bike for the same result. You can do both (or either) on your fuel injected Buell.

    If you are lucky enough to be the handsome or beautiful rare owner of a DDFI-3 ('08-up) Buell or any EBR, that interface is built into your ECM already and can be very easily turned on and timed using a program like ECMDroid, ECMSpy, or TunerPro.

    If you don't have it built in to your ECM, a small piggy back timer between the sensor and the ignition spark (or fuel) and the sensor, is all you need.

    Just like anything else the interface can be overcomplicated and instead of using a simple timer you can use a whole new ECM with an algorithm that considers, speed, RPM, rate of speed, rate of RPM, gear selection, and even throttle blip for wireless throttle control to even clutch-less downshift!

    The point of all that would be to have the engine slow down at just the right pace so the mating dogs of your constant mesh transmission are closer to the same speed and can move into place with less of a shock.

    You are doing the same thing when you use your clutch.

    You are dong the same thing without the clutch, but by releasing a little throttle pressure while giving firm, upward pressure on the shift lever.
    Last edited by Cooter; 04-29-2020 at 02:30 AM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    So why not just do that and save the cost of the quickshifter?

    Well, to be honest. You totally can BUT! What a Buell quick shifter does beside the obvious cool-guy points and panty snagging opportunities, is allow you to up-shift... by only using firm upward pressure on the gearshift lever. You aren't kicking it, you aren't gently caressing it. Firm, upward, pressure.

    No need to learn throttle timing, no need to think about it while you're being Mr. racy-pants against Vin in his V-tech 20 speed manual, and a much more consistent, predictable shift.

    Twist the throttle, get to redline, firm upward pressure, release, repeat, watch Vin's oh so sexy eyes disappear behind you.

    So, you got it installed (see link below). How do you use it on a Buell?

    It's all in the timing. On a rudimentary bike with a rudimentary quickshifter (ahem, Buell) there may be some minor concessions.

    Day to day, ride your ride man. Clutch or not won't matter. Go ahead and play with it, you won't hurt anything, but the timing is usually set for more aggressive throttle, close to red-line RPM shifts. Thats why you got it right?

    A Buell transmission doesn't tell the ECM what gear it's in so it can only have the same spark kill timing for every gear, every throttle position, every RPM, and every speed. Since an engine decelerates at a different rate depending on many variables, including, RPM, throttle position, even the tune, it would take a different amount of time to get them dogs to line up for every instance. Add in that the ratios between what gear you're in are different between 1-2, 2-3, 3-4, 4-5 and even more computations are needed for a perfect flawless shift every time.

    Thankfully, there is a lot of 'fudge' room. Remember your transmission was designed to do this. A bit of shock load is expected and as long as the dogs aren't skipping between shifts and feeling like gears grinding, it is good sign the timing is close enough.

    Is it working on my Buell?

    A good test would be to be at a stop, clutch in, idling in 1st. Go into neutral. Did the bike 'cut-out' for a split-second? Thats means it's working. An XB doesn't know what gear it's in so it's thinks you are riding and you want 2nd gear. Remember, that ignition 'cut-out' is supposed to slow the engine down slightly to release pressure on the trans and slip into gear easily.

    Is it working correctly?

    A good, one-click upshift right away and smooth acceleration. Keep in mind the 1-2 shift has the biggest ratio change (change in engine speed vs wheel speed) so it will always jump a bit (remember, no cushion right?), the higher gears should be effortless.

    If you upshift and the rear wheel breaks traction by dragging (locking up for a split-second), then you need to shorten the timing of the engine kill. That could be catastrophic when leaned over and clutchless upshifting.

    If when you upshift, it is still hard to get in gear (or won't go at all), try to release some throttle pressure at the same time. If that improves things, then increase the amount of engine kill time.

    A quickshifter does what any decent rider does. You can up-shift any bike by simply putting up pressure on the shift lever and letting off the throttle a little. Not pulling the clutch lever at all. Try that basic maneuver as practice.

    It's easiest to learn in the higher gears. Accelerate smoothly to 60 normally (not racing) and when it's time for you to choose 5th, just click the lever up with your foot without the clutch.
    Then try that again at a slightly slower speed but on the 3-4 shift. It may be a little harder, so release a slight amount of throttle as you put pressure on the lever.
    Work your way to trying that in lower gears every time you accelerate.

    Hope that helps!

    https://www.buellxb.com/forum/showth...CHEAP-and-EASY
    Last edited by Cooter; 04-29-2020 at 02:21 AM.

  5. #5
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    Now I'm thoroughly confused, you really didn't like my bunny ears ?

    Good job of essplaining !

  6. #6
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    Unknown-1.jpeg



    Thanks NJ

    I never know if my meaning is clear. I have had people jump down my throat before, assuming I meant something I didn't. #keyboardwarriors LOL.

    Let me know, I'm open to clarifying any of it if I need too.
    Last edited by Cooter; 04-29-2020 at 02:41 AM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    OH, hey Bunny ears. You're back.

    "I'm skeered. Someones sister-in-laws friend posted on facebook that they heard that it will kill my transmission!"

    The short answer is NO. No way. I'll stand by that statement, and the 70 year old patent by people much smarter than I am. The only exclusions to that, would be obvious ones.

    If your 50K mile drag-only bike was owned by Angelle Sampey, and it already skips dogs between gears...
    FIX it, before you MODIFY it. And no 300HP of Nawse either, Vin.

    Or if it is installed wrong. Sounds obvious but does it violently smash between gears?, lock up the rear? sound awful? Well, hell. Doesn't that tell you anything? I was asked to remove one, simply because it wasn't working for the last 10K miles (!) and the rider didn't even know it!? Repaired, sent them out and "Oh hey! Thats neat!"

    I don't see any additional wear either. Take the 1-2 shift as the most extreme example:

    It absolutely won't matter to the gears. They are in constant mesh. A Q/S timed correctly the 1-2 shift at WOT redline is the same exact forces on the gears. Clutch, throttle twitch, or engine kill. Maybe argue forces to Nth decimal, but you're engine doesn't make more power with a quickshifter, it just seems like it

    So, the dogs then?
    1-2 has the biggest ratio change AND is the most frequently used. It will 90% of the time be the failure point. I know it's hearsay from me, but it is what R&D motorsports believes, and they've seen a few:
    https://www.yelp.com/biz/r-and-d-motorsports-clearwater

    If the trans is banging into gear really hard on the 1-2 shift at low RPM, remember the quickshifter on a Buell isn't designed for that! Full throttle, near redline, up shifts.

    Get the timing right on the 1-2 shift, and it can be less wear on the dogs than using the clutch. If you use the clutch to disconnect engine power from the rear wheel, the relative speed between the dogs on the inner faces of those gears is higher.

    Meaning they have to crash together at a higher speed differential. That example is only the spinning momentum weight of the gear sets, but it's more that the theoretical zero load you could get with everything spinning at the same exact rate on a clutchless upshift if the engine RPM (shaft 1), matches the wheel speed (shaft 2).

    Thats a hard one for some to swallow. It goes against what they know about manual transmissions. I'll happily discuss it.

    Because Angelle said so

    Unknown-2.jpeg
    Last edited by Cooter; 04-29-2020 at 03:36 AM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member 34nineteen's Avatar
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    I don’t follow you. What does a quick shifter actually do?

    Please provide a detailed answer this time!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    Check out this thread, It might help

    https://www.buellxb.com/forum/showth...a-quickshifter

  10. #10
    Senior Member 34nineteen's Avatar
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    Please read it to me. Can you search out some other articles for me to read?



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