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6 Speed Fever

Discussion in 'Motorcycle Tech Talk' started by Blue Canoe, Dec 4, 2005.

  1. Blue Canoe

    Blue Canoe New Member

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    I ride a 1992 Electraglide Classic with a stock EVO. It has 70,000 miles on everything and has been well maintained. It's time to have the base gaskets done and I have planned a complete top overhaul while the cylingers are off.

    Does anyone have thoughts on a reasonable conversion from a 5 speed to a 6 speed configuration? Boy, that was a change in speed unexpedily, huh?

    I realize that this probably does not make sense because the stock 5 speed, I am told, will probably run 150,000 miles.......it probably will because it does not show any metal on the magnetic oil plug and the oil is always clean at the 5,000 mile oil changes. I just don't like the ole transmission because it whines in 4th gear..............been doing it for 40,000 miles, and it generally sounds like a coffee grinder most of the time. Several mechanics have ridden the bike and they tell me the transmission sounds normal.

    So, for all that, I would convert ot 6 apeed if I could dot it in a (relatively) cost effective manor.

    Any suggestions?

    Blue Canoe
  2. Sleepy

    Sleepy Well-Known Member

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    me? I'd keep the 5 speed and put the money elsewhere. fourth gear is noisier than any other on any Harley I've owned. I don't know the gear ratios of the aftermarket six speeds and the final drive. If it was a small bike like a Dyna or a Softail...maybe..especially if you're out ripping around. On a touring rig..mmm I wouldn't want top gear to be any taller than stock. I think the sweet spot on an Evo is about 3200 RPM and with the stock gearing that should put you at about 70 miles per hour the motor will pull from 2500 OK around 60? [ I'm used to metric so my conversion factor may be off a little ;) ] but not as well so if you go with an overdrive 6 speed with a stock motor you'll be hating life at 60..trust me. I'm sure there are lots of configurations out there just be careful of how it's geared..not much help I know but I felt it best to bring up a concern of mine.
  3. Killer-B

    Killer-B New Member

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    Yup, I’m with Sleepy on this, save your money for something more mechanically productive. The two or three people that I Know with six speeds have a decent motor and have the first five gears lower for acceleration with the sixth gear as the ‘normal-ratio’ final drive. I think the six-speed thing is a little over rated anyway, what I mean by that is, how fast do you plan on running, and/or how low do you want your RPM’s while cruising? Lugging a Harley motor, or any motor, is a bad thing to do.
    Just my opinion.
    Good luck in what ever you decide to do.
  4. DaveFxst

    DaveFxst New Member

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    Six speed overkill

    I gotta echo Sleepy and Killer B. Here in Pennsylvania you would have to look hard and long for a decent stretch of road to make that sixth speed pay off. Ever since last year when the state raised the turnpike tolls by 40%, the truckers are using every inch of available macadem to avoid the cost. Can't blame them. They gotta eat. But it does take a toll on the secondary roads. Maybe if you live in Nebraska or the Dakotas where there is a lot of long, open road it would make sense. By the way, I see Harley just recalled over 13,000 Dynas with the new six speed tranny - some kind of gear problem.
  5. CD

    CD Guest

    I like them for two reasons.

    1, like Killer-B says, if you have a seriously modified motor and want to play, then lowering the first 5 and having about a stock sixth is cool.
    2, Out here in the wild west we go anywhere from 80 to 90 mph cruise on the freeways quite a lot and a sixth gear is nice to drop RPM. If you have the torque to pull it.
    3, The only real reason I have a six speed in project FXR is that it was a freebie.

    Which reminds me, I have to get some recent images up. She is about ready for paint.
  6. maxpower_hd

    maxpower_hd Active Member

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    I only know one guy with the six speed in a custom bike he built. His comment was that the six speed tranny just means more shifting.
  7. voodoo1

    voodoo1 New Member

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    bakers

    got a buddy with a juiced up 98 custom sporty and a baker 6 speed (big dollars!!!!) heard no complaints from him though. He has gone through everything on that bike himself in his shop but wants the 6th gear to help out on the highway top speeds. This and I quote will help him "Keep the motor humming like a june bug". I rode it once before with the 5 speed only one of two HDs I've been on that the front wheel lifts off the ground shifting through the first few gears and I swear I've seen it once lift up going into third on the highway....while riding beside him.This thing has some homemade goodies in it though.
  8. Blue Canoe

    Blue Canoe New Member

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    Thanks, sincerely, for your help and thoughts!

    To Sleepy, Killer-B, DaveFXST, CD, Maxpower hd, and voodoo1:

    I really appreciate you sharing your thoughts and experience with 6 Speed transmissions in Harleys. Your thoughts about 6 speeds has apealed to my practical/penny-pinching side and has cooled me to the point that I put my bike in for a top overhaul and nothing else = no 6 speed.

    After all, I have enjoyed 70,000 miles with 5 gears, I do not like shifting any more than necessary and without more torque, it probably would be beneficial only on level roads anyway. Additionally, 50% of my miles are spent enjoying the Smokey Mountains of N. Georgia and North Carolina anyway.

    Thanks, again, fellows. Hopefully, I can return the favor some day.

    Blue Canoe
  9. Midleway

    Midleway New Member

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    Dear All,

    I am french and I live in France. Sorry for my spelling.

    I ride long distances with my 1996 super glide 1340 Evo. I made some changes on the engine: EV27, S&S super E carb, S&S free flow exhausts. It has 29000 miles. I ride at 75 mph, which is about 3100 rpm. I would like to ride faster, 85 mph.
    If I keep the stock tranny, the rpm will be 3600. I would like to have a lower rpm at that speed. The stock front pulley is 32 and the rear pulley is 70.
    What would you suggest me to do? Should I go for a 33 front pulley or should I think of buying a DD6 from Baker?

    Thank you for your advices.

    By the way, I've never been to America, but I love America.

    Attached Files:

  10. badinfluence63

    badinfluence63 Well-Known Member

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    Bonjour monsieur. Je mapel jean. bien vin nu. Excuse my poor french,lol.

    Awesome looking bike. I would go with the baker tranny because even though you change front and rear pulley to gain one advatage you lose another. Factory settings balances the best combination in my opinion. Others will disagree. I changed my sprockets on a '63 pan and while i gained lower rpms for long distance speeds, going up hills were boggy. I regretted the change. Of course it was a stock motor too, not a beadt like yours.

    You should come to America. If you ever do holler. I live 60 miles from Laconia.
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2019
  11. Midleway

    Midleway New Member

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    Bonjour Jean. I am Joseph. Nice to read your advices. Thank you.
    I will go with the baker tranny.
    When I come to America, I will let you know.
    All the best on the road in your beautiful and great country.
  12. hotroadking

    hotroadking Super Moderator Staff Member

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    The gear swap will give you better RPM but the better
    swap is to put in a new Baker 6 speed gear set. Just make
    sure you get the gear ratio you want to achieve your objective.

    https://bakerdrivetrain.com/
  13. Red Rider

    Red Rider Well-Known Member

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    Baker is the way to go, no doubt, if you have the $$$ to spare. Just remember that with your engine you'll have to pay more attention to the uphills in sixth gear, unless your final gear ratio is the same as your current 5th (not likely, you'd have to order it that way). You could trash the engine petty quick lugging it when going on uphill grades. Don't be shy about downshifting and you'll be happy. I have the 6-speed in my 114 M8 Heritage, and it makes for easy high speed (80-90 mph) cruising, with great MPG - over 42. It is sweet!
  14. Midleway

    Midleway New Member

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  15. Midleway

    Midleway New Member

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    Thank you for your advice. My final gear ration won't be the same as my current 5th. You are right, I must make sure I won't trash the engine. You have a big engine with torque and horsepower.

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