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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    S.W. Pennsylvania
    Posts
    2,250

    Default 6 speed tranny's for Harley's

    I'm putting new gears in my 4 speed ( 1984 Soft tail ) and a lot of people ask why I don't spend a little more and get a 6 speed tranny. I don't get this 6 speed stuff, I don't use the 4 gears I have most of the time. This whole idea of adding more gears to a bigger inch motor just seems backwards to me. More gears is usually to help an under powered engine. Having 100 plus inches and adding 2 more gears seems like a lot of extra weight and shifting with no real gain. What I'm doing is putting a lower first ( 2.60 in place of a 2.44 ) and upping my high end with a larger transmission sprocket and a smaller wheel sprocket. ( 24 and 49 tooth) This puts 1st very close to stock and a 4th cruising speed calculated at about 74 mph at 3100 rpm. Thats about 300 rpm less than stock.
    I just have an 80 inch engine and I think this gearing will serve me well on the street but I think if I were to drag race a 100 inch or bigger I would be tempted to go with a 3 speed. Any way, I was just wondering if any one here is racing the big inchers and what they are using transmission wise ? Also any comments from any one using a 6 speed ?

    If any one is interested, here are my new ratio's.
    primary - 1.54 / 1
    1st - 2.60 / 1
    2nd - 1.82 / 1
    3rd - 1.23 / 1
    4th - 1 / 1
    final - 24 - 49 front & rear tooth count


    Here are my old ratio's.
    primary - 1.54 / 1
    1st - 2.44 / 1
    2nd - 1.65 / 1
    3rd - 1.23 / 1
    4th - 1 / 1
    final - 23 - 48 front & rear tooth count ( stock had a 51 tooth rear )

    With my health the way it is, I was considering trying to find a tranny with a reverse in it. Then decided, naa. I want to keep first slowed down for when I get out in the National forests and such.
    To all who contribute to this board.
    My sincere thanks , Pete.

    Pureox OA
    Westinghouse 300 amp AC stick
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    Hexacon 250 watt solder iron

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    near rochester NY
    Posts
    9,881

    Default

    if you are not planing on racing it there realy dosent seem any point to the 6 gears. like ya said you have no need to stay in the power band just crose it.
    a reverse might not be too bad an idea, i dont know what they run $$ wise but on a big bike it could come in handy. i know they make them just dont know how much $$ it would be or if its werth the $$ to ya.
    man i gotta get another bike.
    thanks for the help
    ......or..........
    hope i helped

    feel free to shoot me an e-mail direct i have time to chat. james@newyorkmetalart.com
    summer is here, plant a tree. if you don't have space or time to plant one sponsor some one else to plant one for you. a tree is an investment in our planet, help it out.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Posts
    7,465

    Default

    On the lower displacement engines like your puny harley, true there isn't much point getting the 6spd, though on my IronHorse texas chopper running a 124 CI with alotta extra torque and zoom power it's nice to have the extra gears.....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Sarnia,Ontario,Canada
    Posts
    28

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cruizer View Post
    On the lower displacement engines like your puny harley, true there isn't much point getting the 6spd, though on my IronHorse texas chopper running a 124 CI with alotta extra torque and zoom power it's nice to have the extra gears.....

    And youll need them to catch the Honda's

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    near rochester NY
    Posts
    9,881

    Default

    And youll need them to catch the Honda's

    ummm.... .......... dont you mean to TRY to catch the honda's.
    thanks for the help
    ......or..........
    hope i helped

    feel free to shoot me an e-mail direct i have time to chat. james@newyorkmetalart.com
    summer is here, plant a tree. if you don't have space or time to plant one sponsor some one else to plant one for you. a tree is an investment in our planet, help it out.
    JAMES

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    S.W. Pennsylvania
    Posts
    2,250

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cruizer View Post
    On the lower displacement engines like your puny harley, true there isn't much point getting the 6spd, though on my IronHorse texas chopper running a 124 CI with alotta extra torque and zoom power it's nice to have the extra gears.....
    I think you missed my point. On my 80 CI, I have enough extra power to spare that if I'm in 1st gear I'll skip second and go directly to 3rd, or if I'm in 2nd, I'll skip 3rd and go directly to 4th.
    On you're 124 CI, are you running all 6 gear's consecutively ? Its hard for me to imagine there being much difference between gears since the first five run up to a direct drive the same as my 4 speed, the only difference is the overdrive, I think its like .86 / 1 ratio. Do you know what the 1st gear ratio is on the 6 speed ?
    To all who contribute to this board.
    My sincere thanks , Pete.

    Pureox OA
    Westinghouse 300 amp AC stick
    Miller Syncrowave 250
    Hexacon 250 watt solder iron

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    South Eastern Manitoba
    Posts
    29

    Thumbs up

    Keep the 4 and the kicker.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    near rochester NY
    Posts
    9,881

    Default

    your just cruzzzing along like it was ment to be ridden, i agree keep the 4.
    thanks for the help
    ......or..........
    hope i helped

    feel free to shoot me an e-mail direct i have time to chat. james@newyorkmetalart.com
    summer is here, plant a tree. if you don't have space or time to plant one sponsor some one else to plant one for you. a tree is an investment in our planet, help it out.
    JAMES

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Langley BC Canada
    Posts
    4,634

    Default my 1.5 cents

    I'm not anything close to an expert about the two wheeled variety, in fact I'll go so far to say that I don't know squat about a bike unless its on dirt, and then I know just enough that is learned as boys on their toys playing in the mud, but IMHO, for most of the riding people will do, the 6 speed is 2 gears cooler than the 4, that's it If you put them side by side and said to me which one, of course I'd take the 6, whether or not the tradeoff would actually be worth it for a 6 clicker, well....... now that's using logic, and sometimes that stuff just don't belong, but at least I'd be able to say it had the 6

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Glen N.Y.
    Posts
    902

    Default

    Hey Pete,
    The need for a six speed comes in when the engine builder builds an engine with a very narrow power band. Some guys like a cam that is quick reving and builds power real fast so you get super quick acceleration but with that you loose power quick as well so time to grab another gear. Now on your mostly stock 80 incher that has a cam that builds nice power over a real wide range, if you were going to go after some ricers you would most definitely need to change the cam and rework the heads, change the rods and get that 6 speed. In 94 I won the Easy Rider horsepower shootout with my 80 incher and Skeeter Todd on the seat from Easy Rider(121hp at the tire). This thing would eat CBR 600s, but was no match for the CBR 800's.
    Good luck,
    Bulldog
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