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level41

Minimum rpm for cruising in 6th?

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level41
What's the minimum RPM you feel comfortable cruising the bike in, in 6th (that's higher than idle, and still gives you some acceleration).?
 
I know below a certain RPM, most smaller bikes can be lugged. Even my VT750 didn't like below 2k RPM.
Just like to know what this bike can take, and where it has problems with...

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norcal616
I believe your question is gonna be a personal preference...Nobody rides the same way...

2015 fz-07- Hordpower Edition...2015 fj-09- 120whp- Graves Exhaust w/Woolich Race Kit- tuned by 2WDW
 

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level41
I guess I can specify better,
If I were to accelerate to a certain speed, shift into 6th gear, and just keep cruising; and occasionally want to surpass a car, in a similar mild manner that you would pass vehicles in a car (not pedal to the metal, but gentle)...
 
I read some reporter being quite happy cruising at 2k RPM, due to the massive low Rev torque this bike has.

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gregjet
As norcal said. Very definitely personal preference.
If you like to just open the throttle and rocket past things you need to be higher in the rev band. If you don't even have to think about changing gear ( people like me that have spend way too many years riding and racing small capacity bikes), then a low rpm cruise with the motor just bit about labour is fine.
To some extent the lower the rpm the lower the fuel consumption ( not really that simple but it'll do) and on a bike with this tiny tank that could be a consideration.

Go forth and modify my son...go forth and modify...

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redharris
It sorta depends on your Mood at the time. When I'm riding on a Busy freeway and there are numerous vehicles in close proximity, I tend to ride highly alert and be slightly paranoid. I keep the revs around 5-6 K rpm in either 5th or 6th gear (depending on freeway speeds at the time). At 5-6 Krpm, in 5th gear @ 65mph,,,,,throttle response is instantaneous and you can Rocket yourself out of an uncomfortable situation very quickly as the revs reach for 7 and 8 K rpm.
6th gear is not quite so instantaneous. It takes a second or two for the power to come on under those circumstances in 6th gear. If you are cruising at 80 mph in 6th gear at around 6K rpm, all you gotta do is twist the throttle and you'll see 90 and above real quick.
 
Now, if you are on a nice lonely highway, just tooling along and enjoying the scenery, with no worries, and you want the bike to be very mild mannered,,,,,you can easily cruise along at only 3000 rpm in 6th gear......You just cannot expect instant acceleration in 6th gear under those circumstances.
 
Just Depends on your Mood,,,,,and your surroundings.....
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kakusaizou
I've noticed the rpms stay the same on 5th and 6th gear at 40mph. I only cruise on 6th above this rpm, which I forget.

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norcal616
I save 6th gear for highway only... 4-5th gear from 40-60 mph...3-4th for in town cruise from 25-45mph... 2nd gear take offs... Rarely use 1st gear...

2015 fz-07- Hordpower Edition...2015 fj-09- 120whp- Graves Exhaust w/Woolich Race Kit- tuned by 2WDW
 

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Beemer
In my neighborhood where traffic is very low I 'feel' I can cruise safely at 35 mph in top gear. It can cruise lower than that but if you're in traffic you might want to consider you may not have time to downshift three or four gears fast enough to get into 'the gear' that will get you out of a danger zone fast enough. In traffic I keep the rpm's up so I can sh*t & git in a blink and it happens more often than most cager's would think.

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motocr
I shift into 6th around 60 mph allowing the bike to stay in eco mode. Still has plenty of passing power hell it'll go from 65 to 90 in 6th faster than you can lane check.

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recurveshooter
Hippiebikerchick once said she never hits 6th until she's doing above 60. She's right. 6th is an overdrive. Cruising at 35 in 6th means you're lugging your engine.... the FZ may have enough torque to pull that off, but it's not a good thing in the long run.
 
And you should notice a difference in rpm between 5th and 6th. I got out of the hospital last week after 8 days and am still on my back but if I remember correctly, 5th gear is about 12 mph per 1000 rpm. That's why if you rev it to redline in 5th (10,000 rpm) it will do 120mph. Sixth gear yields fewer mph per rpm.... and while I haven't tried yet, I'm pretty sure an FZ will hit a higher top speed in 5th than in 6th.
 
recurveshooter

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level41
In my neighborhood where traffic is very low I 'feel' I can cruise safely at 35 mph in top gear. It can cruise lower than that but if you're in traffic you might want to consider you may not have time to downshift three or four gears fast enough to get into 'the gear' that will get you out of a danger zone fast enough. In traffic I keep the rpm's up so I can sh*t & git in a blink and it happens more often than most cager's would think.
You'd be riding at about 2366 RPM at that speed. Interesting!
One of my bikes (not FZ), a 2013 model, has a 2500RPM minimum; the other is a 2004 version, 3000RPM. Both are 360 deg ptwins. 
My VT750 had a 2k RPM minimum. Under that it started hiccuping horribly; above that, it had heaps of torque.

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level41
Hippiebikerchick once said she never hits 6th until she's doing above 60. She's right. 6th is an overdrive. Cruising at 35 in 6th means you're lugging your engine.... the FZ may have enough torque to pull that off, but it's not a good thing in the long run. 
And you should notice a difference in rpm between 5th and 6th. I got out of the hospital last week after 8 days and am still on my back but if I remember correctly, 5th gear is about 12 mph per 1000 rpm. That's why if you rev it to redline in 5th (10,000 rpm) it will do 120mph. Sixth gear yields fewer mph per rpm.... and while I haven't tried yet, I'm pretty sure an FZ will hit a higher top speed in 5th than in 6th.
 
recurveshooter

Who says you're lugging the engine there? Do you have any valid sources to back that up?
 
Especially since the engine has offset cylinders.
If you would open the throttle at those rpms I can understand it to be damaging to the engine,
but to ride constantly at those speeds, with little acceleration shouldn't lug it.
 
I read a lot on lugging, and a lot of people are quick to throw the term.
It may be true for older engines, but the newer engines, especially those with heaps of low end torque, are hard to almost impossible to lug, unless you mean to lug it.

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hobbs
For me 6th gear is 60 plus mph. At around 55 I'll drop, especially if traffic is surging and waning instead of maintaining the proper speed.
 
Below 50 mph for me in 6th gear and the bike starts chuggin, time to drop gears or speed up.

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Beemer
For the record, I know lugging and it's not saying ka-chunk, ka-chunk at a steady 35 in 6th. Any time any bike of mine has ever lugged, usually in the mud riding off road or climbing a steep, dirt hill, I've down shifted and got the rpm's up. The times I did ride at 35 in 6th it was for a short distance, about a half mile to see what kind of gas mileage I was getting and bikie said 94 mpg, not that I believe it.
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recurveshooter
@level41 - Using the Gearing Commander chart (a neat tool!) 35 mph in 6th is about 2500 rpm. If you open the throttle as you would normally (let's say to pass or change lanes) the bike will NOT pull away smoothly and cleanly. It's not because of poor fueling, it's because you're in too high a gear. Classic definition of lugging.
 
You mention the ability of today's engines to be driven that way without harm, and that may be so, BUT, they can also be driven at rpm's that would have meant instant death years ago and will do it for 10's of thousands of miles. I had an early 1200cc Honda Civic years ago. It was a four speed and between the limited gearing options and small engine I always wondered how long that thing would last. Well, at 175,000 miles a friend had an accident with it, otherwise I'm sure it would still be revving it's little heart out. Within reason, today's engines are very happy with revs, as long as it's not overdone. ie: 55mph in second gear (8200rpm) for extended periods of time.
 
All of that being said - when I ride the canyons around here I leave it in 3rd.... which is good for 25mph to 80mph without lugging or over revving! - recurveshooter

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gregjet
" Using the Gearing Commander chart (a neat tool!) 35 mph in 6th is about 2500 rpm. If you open the throttle as you would normally (let's say to pass or change lanes) the bike will NOT pull away smoothly and cleanly"
 
Changing down gears works I have found. It's not a Harley. You don't have to ride it around in one gear.
My girlfriend has a KTM 690 Duke. THAT HAS to be in a low gear to ride around town. It chugs and won't acc. at 35mph (60kph) in anything above 3rd gear. I just went out and tried it on the MT. It will accellerate cleanly from that speed in 6th ( not the desirable scalded cat acc. but it accs. cleanly). 5th better. 4 well. 3 back in scalded cat country. There is no need to ride constantly like you are on a race track . The road is NOT a race track. That is one thing that racing taught me. Having said that, I totally agree that the higher density the traffic the lower the gear ( sensibly. revving the guts out of it like a CBR250 RR will get you nowhere). In the extremely rare situation where I am riding in solid traffic ( smallish town) I ride in 3rd or 4th. Otherwise 6th with no chunky issues at all. No it won't wear any faster either way and the fuel useage is LOAD dependant, not rev dependant. It's your bike If you want to cruise in 3rd gear at 60kph , go for it. I listen to the motor . If it sounds happy , I am happy.
 Note: that is with a reflash. It wouldn't cruise nor acc cleanly in 6th a 60kph before the reflash. Even 5th was iffy.
 

Go forth and modify my son...go forth and modify...

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level41
The sign of a good rider, is to know his engine, and not depend on the throttle alone.
It's a combination of both, knowing what power you need to do a specific task, and shift gears accordingly.
 
Much like you're riding on a 55mph road, and have to make a right turn right after an exit.
You probably where going in 4th or 5th, perhaps 6th, but it takes knowledge to know you need to be in second gear to accelerate from that sharp corner.
 
From my time of foruming, I have learned there are 2 ways of riding.
The first way, is the way they teach you in school.
It also is the way of the commuter, the city rider, the fuel economy minded rider, the cruiser, and the tourer.
Low rpm, with the "just enough" mentality.
'Just enough' acceleration, just enough rpms, just enough speed.
Just enough suspension, enough to work properly, but not too tight to take away rider comfort.
Leave as much stock, optimized for street comfort, not the tracks
Riders of this calibre understand fuel economy, and engine stresses. They often came from riding a small bike or scooter (50, 75, 90, 100, 125, or 150cc), and have learned many valuable lessons from riding those, which they also take to their new bike, one of them being safety first! It is what ultimately gets them to enjoy their bikes longer than the second group, but never as intense.
 
Then there's the way of the racetrack, the way of the hooligan, the showoff, and the pro.
Does not belong on the roads,
But surely can be fun and spirited.
The way of 'faster'.
Lower gears, higher rpm, higher acceleration, outrun anything or anyone.
Leave problems behind, not in front of you, optimize for top speed.
Usually open exhaust, stiff suspension, all for the thrill.
Many riders of this calibre are young. Many die along the way, or get into life disabling accidents, or give up riding due to one.
Few of them grow beyond the beginner years, or stack up real racetrack qualities and lessons. Over time, though, many of them that survive, had few (or many) crashes, and begin to see the importance of safety. Safety margins (like trailing time, and space), safety gear, etc...
It is what will ultimately make them better riders than the first group, if they survive.
they implement their racetrack lessons on their current rides on the streets.
 
And most of us learn from both classes.
Finding a middle ground for both of these viewpoints in one forum can be hard.
 
 
 
You can put an eco-minded person, or a multi-decade old rider on a 250cc, with a gearbox that will do 60mph at 2500rpm, and he still won't lug it.

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Guest Ralph
Yep I can live with that, I rarely look at the rev counter on this bike
if you are going slow enough to read it easily and safely you don't need
it and if pressing on you don't have the time. just ride by feel.

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Beemer
I tested mine a little last night to see what speed my bike sounded/behaved unhealthy in, in top gear. First of all I found it's a little tricky under 30 mph in top gear to get the bike right on one speed and hold it/cruise at that speed. As best as I could test it, it seemed ok down to around 27 mph and then it started sounding rather sickly is how I can best describe it, (anemic, no energy/power) like it was on the verge of doing something it wasn't meant to do. It was still smooth but the exhaust note sounded a little off, just sounded crappy, IMO and I didn't want to go any slower than that for fear it would start bucking so that's as low as I'll take mine and as someone mentioned, it's easy to just drop down one or two gears to get back up to speed or accelerate decently.
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bmwpowere36m3
I only like 6th for 70+ MPH.... but it works okay starting about 55 MPH if you don't need to accelerate quickly.

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wlaukaitis
I (used) to ride at the highest gear possible but here in NH there a lot of hills so I'm downshifting a lot. I do like 4th for 45ish MPH which is where I do most of my riding (backroads, city etc). I do consider 6th an overdrive as its ratio is less than 1:1
 
Anyway, I am going to start riding to keep myself in the 4k rpm range

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level41
I tested mine a little last night to see what speed my bike sounded/beahved unhealthy in, in top gear. First of all I found it's a little tricky under 30 mph in top gear to get the bike right on one speed and hold it/cruise at that speed. As best as I could test it, it seemed ok down to around 27 mph and then it started sounding rather sickly is how I can best describe it, (anemic, no energy/power) like it was on the verge of doing something it wasn't meant to do. It was still smooth but the exhaust note sounded a little off, just sounded crappy, IMO and I didn't want to go any slower than that for fear it would start bucking so that's as low as I'll take mine and as someone mentioned, it's easy to just drop down one or two gears to get back up to speed or accelerate decently.
I guess calculating this with a safety margin, I'd say it would be safe to keep the bike above 2k RPM (~30MPH) in final gear! 
 
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