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Discussion Starter #1
Hello. I am new to the motorcycle community and am loving it so far. But I am a little concerned about motor lugging. I was wondering what you guys consider lugging on the motor? How can you tell when your lugging? Also, what engine speed do you normally "cruise" at, and what engine speed do you shift at (on just a normal day, not any "spirited riding")? And one last thing, is it normal to have a pretty audible shift? Not grinding or anything severe, but just a loud "clunk" when you shift? Doesn't always happen, but sometimes.

Thank you!
 

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ive personally never heard of the term "lugging" in the motorcycle world or auto world. Are you referring to the engine bogging?
 

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Rdr792, its definitely a learning experience the first time you get on a bike compared to a manual x-mission car. Sport bikes are meant to be revved, aka the power band is much higher than in cars. From my experience the 650R's power band is between about 4.5K and 9K, so if you want to roll on the throttle to pass or something you probably don't want to be any lower than ~4.5K.

I've found that the 650R lugs at 3K and lower when you roll on the throttle. You'll know you're lugging if the engine note not is not nearly as smooth...you'll hear a "chuck chuck chuck" kind of sound as opposed to a nice steady purr. It's not great on the engine but its not gonna destroy it, it just means the engine is working harder than it should have to. However, for highway cruising 3K is perfectly fine if you're not rolling on the throttle hard. If you're in traffic its good to ride a couple of gears lower to leave yourself some room to quickly get out of sticky situations (maybe around 4-5K).

As for noisy shifting, I havn't met a single bike that doesn't "clunk" into first gear from neutral or 2nd. However, if its clunking loudly when you're upshifting, that might be something to look into (as long as you're not dropping the clutch). The 650R has a wet clutch so you can afford to give it more gas than a car when shifting without burning your clutch out, and it should sound pretty smooth.

Thats my 0.02, anybody correct me if you've found otherwise. Enjoy the bike, it'll definitely make you a better driver as well. B-)
 

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we've been using the word "Lugging" for decades... if not centuries!

Could you be trying to follow the low rpms in the factory break-in method?
 

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lugging

ive personally never heard of the term "lugging" in the motorcycle world or auto world. Are you referring to the engine bogging?
It is reference to when the engine RPM is too low, the gear selection is too high, and when throttle is applied there is no significant RPM increase. The engine will sound loud, almost knocking, and is rough.

If the same thing occurred while in the correct gear range, due to a fault in engine performance it would be labeled as chugging.

What would you refer to it as in your neck of the woods?
 

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Hello. I am new to the motorcycle community and am loving it so far. But I am a little concerned about motor lugging. I was wondering what you guys consider lugging on the motor? How can you tell when your lugging? Also, what engine speed do you normally "cruise" at, and what engine speed do you shift at (on just a normal day, not any "spirited riding")? And one last thing, is it normal to have a pretty audible shift? Not grinding or anything severe, but just a loud "clunk" when you shift? Doesn't always happen, but sometimes.

Thank you!
The "clunk" from neutral to 1st gear can be tamed somewhat if you allow the engine to warm up for 2-3 minutes and walk the bike maybe 2-3 feet before riding. Instead of the normal loud "clunk", I get a much lower sounding "clunk". I also find that upshifting is much smoother if I am shifting around 4.5k - 5k RPM at each gear. Some riders ride at 1-2 gears lower in city streets but I always ride in 6th for fuel efficiency. I will downshift to lower gears when approaching intersection though in case I need the powerband to avoid something.
 

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I shift above 4K... and dont go to 6th gear uness I am out on a stretch of road, just cruising, at 60mph or above. I run 4-5K at all speeds typically.
 

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IMO, lugging happens and can be heard when nailing the throttle at too low rpms. I've noticed that at lower speeds and gears there isn't much lugging after 4k. However, at higher speeds and gears (mainly 5th and 6th) lugging can occur as high as 6k.
 

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So long as you shift above 3k+ in lower gears, you shouldn't feel anything. When you start doing 1-2k shift's/ cruise you'll definitely feel it and hear it.

The clunking is normal but when upshifting the noise should be minimal to none. Only times when I heard a noise upshifting is when I grinded the gear by accident.

When street riding I never found myself past 3rd or 4th gear. Only times I could break 4th is if I have a long stretch of road with no one in my way i.e highway.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well thank you to everyone for the replies. I actually became concerned after taking the MSP course, and the instructor was saying how horrible engine lugging is for the motor, and how it destroys motors, so I became a little paranoid. I do usually shift around 4-5k, so after reading everyone's replies that seems like its fine. I did try to follow factory break in rules as best as possible though, since I didn't really know any better and figured that was the best way since they designed the bike. But after reading your replies again, I don't think I would have ever lugged on it too much during the break in, as it would probably seem obvious and I would have corrected myself when I was.
 

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Personally, I think your overthinking something that well...just isnt that big of a deal.
Its quite simple, if the bike is bucking and surging to the point where your brain says "something isnt right here" then its time to switch down a gear (or two, or three). Ill often cruise around at 3K for a smoother ride. I dont have to ride through town with the engine revved to 7000 rpm.

Shifting is also very subjective. There are some who absolutley insist on shifting at 9000rpm everywhere they go. In reality, anywhere between 4000-10000rpm's are fine. I like a smooth shift so Ill move up at 5-6000.

Kawasaki's are notorious for having a "clunky" shifting transmission.

Break in? Youll find different camps on the subject. I did the procedure on my first bike. The 650 received a baptism by fire and at nearly 20,000 runs like a champ. Nobody has come forth and offered definitive proof supporting either practice and is generally considered as a CYA measure put in place by Kawasaki lawyers concerning riders on a new motorcycle.

Other than that, just relax. Your overanalyzing everything to the point that your worrying about every little thing. Keep it up and the joys of riding will vanish. Just go ride the thing. More motorcycles get wadded up from driver error crashes than those who end up with engine/transmission damage because someone didnt shift at precicley X rpm. Your going to need to truly abuse the thing and unless your a total Gomer, youll know long before it reaches that point.
 
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