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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys,

I bought a used 2014 F6B last summer (Canadian model with ABS), it had about 67,000 kms on it, which is right around 41,000 miles for our friends in the USA.

From what I've seen in my research it looks like I payed the going rate for similar bikes so I did okay on that front. Awesome bike all around! And my wife LOVES it.

We recently ordered a pile of goodies for it, in fact I just received the first package yesterday, four Pathfinder LED headlight bulbs and a small LED bulb for the licence plate, and the ever so cool Pathfinder Fog/cowl lights, man that it going to be so cool! I also have a heated Corbin Dual Touring saddle on order and a Madstad windshield to top it all off. I have invested pretty heavily in this bike so I'm in it for the long haul, it will most likely be my last bike as I'm turning 59 in a few months.

I got to ride this bike for probably three months last year before I had to put into winter storage so I'm not as experienced in how to best ride a Gold Wing, my previous bike was a Vulcan 1600 Classic and I had grown to be quite comfortable with how best to shift etc...

I noticed last year that once in awhile my F6B would jump out of gear and I even experienced some weirdness when downshifting into third or second when coming off of the highway, sorry but I can't recall exactly what the weirdness was but maybe like some vibration or roughness. Maybe I downshifted too soon or didn't shift hard enough and that buggered it up, I wish I could say but it was kind of unsettling.

I'm the third owner of this bike, the other two guys were experienced riders and my age or older so I doubt that they grinded the gears a whole lot which is a good thing. I was very close to choosing a BMW when I was out shopping but went with a Gold Wing because they sounded like the most solid choice as far as reliability went but lately I've seen a couple of videos where somebody suspected that their F6B had big problems with the transmission and they got rid of the bike, I'll admit that that spooked me a little, plus I read some posts online where guys had problems with the transmission in their Gold Wing too, call me naive but this came as a bit of a surprise too. I know that it's just a bike and any bike can have a problem....even a Gold Wing. LOL But I suppose that it's pretty rare to have a transmission problem on these bikes? Probably mostly due to sloppy/lazy shifting, too light with the foot pressure?

Of course it's hard to know the scale of such problems, I'm just hoping that I don't end up with this sort of thing. Sorry to sound like chicken little but I'm just looking for feedback, any kind of feedback, like did your bike behave this way once in a while and it's fine now because you've gotten better at shifting it?

I got into the habit on my Vulcan 1600 that I would preload the shift pedal, just a bit of weight on the pedal from my foot before pulling in the clutch, then it would slide right into gear, shifted perfectly! I had read about that technique numerous times on various V-Twin forums, mostly Harley forums, and it seemed to work well with my Vulcan. But lately somebody told me that that technique would not be recommended on a Gold Wing, maybe that's what I was doing when my F6B shifted weird.....hmmmmm.

I just hope that I didn't cause some damage but I would imagine that that is a long shot.

Honda is a top brand with the best of engineering, these bikes look and feel like frickin' tanks! Super reliable, etc...That's why I chose a Gold Wing. Man, I love this bike!

Sorry for the long post but would appreciate your opinions and suggestions!
 

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I don't really want to be the one to bring this to you, but here goes. Do keep preloading your shifts. Keep a very close track of how you shift and if you still have problems with it dropping out of gear when you know that you've made good solid shifts, then you have a very difficult decision to make. I hope you never have it drop a gear again. If it turns out that it still does have issues, the repair runs to the thousands of you have to hire it done. The costs are mostly labor, so if you or a good friend have experience turning wrenches it can really reduce the cost. This is not for the inexperienced though. The motor will have to be pulled and the case split just to access the transmission. Some special tools are needed but not too many. There are people here that can and do help. This is the best place I've ever seen for that kind of thing. However, as I said, ride it and make sure of your shifts and maybe she will never drop out of gear again.

Richard
 

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Honda redesigned some of the internals of the GW transmission for the '14 model year.
You should be having no issues with your F6B unless it has been abused, or you have big feet and wear big work type boots.
I know a guy in FL who went through 3 transmissions on his '13 F6B, all because he drove it like a sport bike.
He loved speed shifting.
I have driven a '14 and it was snick-snick smooth compared to my '13.
That being said, technique and footwear are critical to clean shifting.
I have a size 13 foot, and early on I knew footwear was critical.
You must lift the shift lever straight up at 90 degrees when upshifting.
If your boot is too high (thick), pressure will not be applied to the shifter straight up at 90 degrees, but on an angle.
I have found the best boot maker for me is Alpinestars.
Work boot type footwear is a no-no if you have big, wide feet.
This angular loading of the shift lever will result in imperfect and/or missed shifts.
I have found that upshifting at 2.8k - 3k rpm will result in a nice clean shift.
I find preloading of the shift lever is unnecessary.
Also, you don't need a full pull on the clutch lever while shifting.
Pulling half to 2/3 of the travel of the clutch lever allows for a cleaner shift, which will be smoother than using a full pull.
Rolling off the throttle rather than fully closing the throttle during shifting will also make for a smoother and cleaner shift.
Above all, NEVER speed shift. (wide open throttle and no clutch), but by the sounds of your riding style, that is a non-issue.

I would somewhat disagree with your comment about Honda's engineering being the best.
Their transmission design for the 01 to 13 model years attests to my statement.
There are other examples of Honda Goldwing engineering being directed more by the bean counters than the engineers. (cracked frame recalls, brake recalls, radiator redesign, alternator drive gear redesign, etc).

Sure, compared to some manufacturers, their bikes seem bulletproof.
But they are not.
Read the owner's manual regarding scheduled maintenance, do your recommended maintenance as scheduled, ride the bike as it was designed to be ridden, and you'll be good to go.
I believe your bike will respond appropriately, and your likely issue is shifting style, not mechanical failure, if the bike was not abused by previous owners.
 

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I owned a 2013 F6B for 5 years and traded up to a 2018 DCT in August of 2018. So it's been a couple of years since riding the F6B.

I seem to recall some discussion on one of the F6B sites about the F6B dropping out of gear. I think it was dropping out of second into neutral while up-shifting? I recall this happening to me a few times early on.

In my case I came from Harley Davidson to the F6B. On Harley's I was used to simply flicking (or tapping the shift lever lightly) up & down through the gears so as not to strip the splines between the shifter arm and transmission shifter shaft. It was not uncommon for these splines to strip for those with a heavy foot.

As I recall, the cure to prevent the F6B from dropping out of gear was technique. First: shifter height must be adjusted so you can get your toe fully under the shifter. Second: when shifting be a bit firm and press the shifter straight Up and straight Down.

After adjusting my shifting technique, I don't recall having any further issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
OK guys, first of all thanks for your replies.

I sure hope that my transmission isn't going to be a problem, I'm just not in a position financially right now to go and spend a pile of money on such a pricey repair. If it comes to that I'm toast quite frankly, I will just have to park the bike. In a perfect world I would perhaps trade it in for another F6B with really low miles and maybe a couple years newer just to help quell my fears about this but that ain't gonna happen.

I really thought that these things were bulletproof, guess I really didn't do my homework this time around.

I will have to try your suggestions. BTW, I only wore riding boots, nothing big and clunky, so footwear wasn't an issue.

So, I will preload the shifter a little, not cut off the throttle completely when pulling in the clutch, try to do so smoothly. And I will make sure to put enough foot pressure when shifting up and down the gears for a positive shift and I will be mindful of the way I upshift, making sure to do so straight up at 90 degrees and keep the RPMs at around 2.8-3K.

I sure hope this will work. I've yet to take the bike out of winter storage and I'm a bit apprehensive about how I will fair with this shifting issue.
 

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Humbucker - I also went from a V-twin cruiser to a (2013) F6B. First, I believe the updated transmission went into the 2015+ models, could be wrong. Second, "ghost shifting" is a trait of the 2013 (and 14?) F6Bs. Mine would do this a dozen time per year, almost always after a shift into 5th, where it would suddenly drop back to 4th. Once or twice, it ended up in between 4th and 5th, which was unsettling because the motor would rev unexpectedly. If you go to hondaf6b.com, you will find a lot of information about this phenomenon.

As for going from a V-twin to an F6, that is relevant because every V-twin I have ridden shifts differently than a standard bike, sport bike, and the GW series is based on standard-bike platform. V-twins "clunk" into gear whereas the GW will "click" into gear. I think the design of the V-twin transmissions, with their bulkier gears, tend to make shifting less precise, but present with more reassurance that they have made it into the next gear as a result. Part of their charm, I guess.

It took me awhile to adjust my shifting habits on the F6 - I would say at least a year's worth of riding. This is why I am thinking you have more of a shift technique issue than a transmission issue, particularly considering the kms that are on it (one would think it would have pooped the bed by now, if it was defective).

Coming off a V-twin for years, I had developed the habit of lazy short shifting. The thing with the F6 is that is has so much power, that you feel like you can short shift it as well. You can, but it does not like it. I learned to throttle it up to at least 2200 rpm in each gear before even thinking about a shift - 2500+ is even better. My current 16 Wing, with the updated tranny, is the same way. It seems to respond better to holding till at least 2200-2500 rpm, where shifts become much more crisp and clean. My re-learning involved holding each gear a tad longer, even if I am coming off the throttle a little in the process. It also seems to like more aggressive throttle inputs (nothing extreme, just roll into a bit more than what you are currently doing). It kind of feels like putting your automatic transmission car/truck into "Sport Mode" or Tow/Haul and it holds each gear a little longer than what feels natural. When you do shift, shift firmly. As others have said, make sure you are wearing a boot or shoe that has a hard piece on top aligned with the shift lever. Shifting a GW with sneakers does not work well, in my experience.

One more thing - my transmission got better over time - I am guessing it is me that changed rather than the transmission. Also - using synthetic oil seemed to work a lot better than conventional oil.

I think with a little time and a little patience, you will be fine.
 

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On my '05, the only shift that sometimes feels clunky is 1-2. I have developed the habit of short-shifting the 1-2 gear change, especially when the engine is cold. There is so much torque that you do not need to rev in first. I also developed the habit of preloading the shifter and that helps, especially at the 1-2 shift. The other gear changes are never a problem on my bike. If I'm not in a hurry I shift at around 2500 rpms. If I'm in a bit of a hurry, more like 4,000 rpm.
 

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First, I believe the updated transmission went into the 2015+ models, could be wrong. Second, "ghost shifting" is a trait of the 2013 (and 14?) F6Bs.
The updated trans started with all 2014's.
I would disagree about ghost shifting being a trait.
Mine has never ghost shifted, and 2 guys I know with '13's have never had ghost shifting.

And not to stir the oil pot, but I have found that different types of oil (synthetic vs non synthetic) make a big difference in 1-2 shift smoothness.
 

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I know that it's just a bike and any bike can have a problem....even a Gold Wing. LOL But I suppose that it's pretty rare to have a transmission problem on these bikes?
Nope ... your issue is not rare at all. Sell it before it becomes reproducible. It sounds like the last 2 owners did just that. The used 5th gen market is flooded with transmission issues. Buying a used one is risky unless it has at least 1 year of Honda warranty left.

For more info got to www.JustWings.com > ghost shifting
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Oh boys..............:(

And I was just about ready to say that what I've read here so far was starting to make me feel more optimistic.

In any case, I'm not in a position to trade the bike in for another GW/F6B and my wife wouldn't want to even hear that we're getting rid of it now that some of my expensive add-ons are starting to arrive this week.

Right now I can't see doing anything more than being mindful with my shifting technique and keeping a keen eye on if any of the shifts screw up and pay attention to how frequent it happens if I'm at all lucky.

Fingers crossed! But thanks for your input.
 

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Go ride! Get to learn the bike and what it likes. Doctors see a lot of sick people but not all people are sick. The overwhelming majority of GW and F6B owners have a long trouble free relationship with their motorcycle. I know a Honda tech with 25 years experience and you don't want to hear his opinion about ghost shifting. A clue is that he considers it a verb and not a noun.

If the problem is there it will resurface and you can deal with it then. For now it's just a bogey man stealing the pleasure out of a new-to-you motorcycle.
 

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Oh boys..............:(

And I was just about ready to say that what I've read here so far was starting to make me feel more optimistic.

In any case, I'm not in a position to trade the bike in for another GW/F6B and my wife wouldn't want to even hear that we're getting rid of it now that some of my expensive add-ons are starting to arrive this week.

Right now I can't see doing anything more than being mindful with my shifting technique and keeping a keen eye on if any of the shifts screw up and pay attention to how frequent it happens if I'm at all lucky.

Fingers crossed! But thanks for your input.
Keep us posted after you have put some miles on the bike and good luck.
 

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Hard to say for sure but from reading your very first post I really don’t think you have a “ghost shifter “ to me it seems more likely you just need to get more familiar with shifting your new bike.
i have owned 4 different GL1800’s and none of them ever “ghost shifted”.
A dealer did ask me to take a problem Goldwing for a test ride to see what I thought, it seemed fine for the 10 miles but then it happened and scared the crap out of me ! The transmission banged so bad I thought they were going to have to send a tow truck out to haul it back to the shop ! But after stopping I was able to ride it back to the shop just fine, just to be safe I hardly did any shifting on the way back. Officially I’m not sure whatever happened to that bike but I think the owner wound up hauling it to a dealer in Greenbay Wi that is well known for repairing Goldwing transmissions.
 

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My 2006 turned 100,000 miles last summer. I put all of those miles on it.

When the bike was new it ghost shifted on me a couple times. Weird feeling. I attributed it to sloppy shifts. But also I had adjusted the clutch lever so that it was closer to the grip. I made the assumption that part of my problem was that there wasn't enough throw on the clutch lever to fully disengage the clutch and get a proper shift. So I moved the lever further away so I had to pull it farther before shifting. I never (well, rarely) preload.

Call it an uneducated assumption, guess or just plain superstition but it never ghost shifted on me again. Just an idea of something to tray if you have the clutch lever set close to the grip.

Wishing you all the best luck! (y)
 

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Nope ... your issue is not rare at all. Sell it before it becomes reproducible. It sounds like the last 2 owners did just that. The used 5th gen market is flooded with transmission issues. Buying a used one is risky unless it has at least 1 year of Honda warranty left.

For more info got to www.JustWings.com > ghost shifting
I don't doubt that there are Goldwing owners out there that have experienced catastrophic transmission failures. But in my 7 years of Goldwing ownership I've never met one and I've talked to quite a few that had well over 100,000 miles on their bikes.

I can't tell from hundreds of miles away if your bike has an issue (neither can anyone else). As others have indicated, Ride and Enjoy. Nothing you have described here leads me to believe your bike is going to fly apart anytime soon.
 

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I don't doubt that there are Goldwing owners out there that have experienced catastrophic transmission failures. But in my 7 years of Goldwing ownership I've never met one and I've talked to quite a few that had well over 100,000 miles on their bikes.

I can't tell from hundreds of miles away if your bike has an issue (neither can anyone else). As others have indicated, Ride and Enjoy. Nothing you have described here leads me to believe your bike is going to fly apart anytime soon.
If you do talk to one that has transmission problems, how he describes his symptom may be very similar to the OPs. Ones that don't have transmission problems should describe their experiences completely different and probably more similar to yours.

However, to be fair, if you do find one with a transmission problem, be sure to listen/read carefully. Notice that in the OPs case, he says nothing about 5th gear, meaning to that his Wing is probably gonna be a 2014-17. He says it "jumps out of gear," that is called ghost shifting. My bet says his "weirdness when downshifting into third or second ... 'like some vibration or roughness'" is dog collision. He then goes into blaming himself by saying "I downshifted too soon or didn't shift hard enough." To me he is describing 3 classic symptoms of a transmission problem. 1) Jumps out of gear. 2) Weirdness when downshifting like vibration of roughness. 3) Self doubt thinking that it is his fault.

Just out of curiosity, does that sound like your experience ???

Below is what he wrote.

"I noticed last year that once in awhile my F6B would jump out of gear and I even experienced some weirdness when downshifting into third or second when coming off of the highway, sorry but I can't recall exactly what the weirdness was but maybe like some vibration or roughness. Maybe I downshifted too soon or didn't shift hard enough and that buggered it up, I wish I could say but it was kind of unsettling."
 

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I've got a '14 with 20k mls on it. It was clunky shifting and easy to find a neutral between 4-5th.
I used 10-40 Mobile 1 on the last oil change 2k mls ago.
It shifts much smoother, and I haven't found a false neutral yet.
 

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I have a '13 F6B, and have never had a ghost shift. It is a clunky transmission though. I learned pretty early on to shift like you mean it, preload the shifter, and (for me at least) shift around 3-4k rpm. Footwear also makes a difference. I have run full synthetic oil since it had 3,000 miles. Being mindful of my shifts and practicing what I wrote above has made it much smoother to shift, with little more than a 'snick' from gear to gear now.
 

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Good Morning from Kamloops BC
You say it jumped out of gear. Probably 5th?

I had an '06 Wing that had that problem
Transmission was rebuilt under Warranty, and guess what, it did it again on the way home from the shop.
i took it back to the Honda dealer where it was rebuilt, (I saw it apart),
That was at 158,000kms, (100,000miles.
Because they couldn't reproduce the system, would do nothing,

So,,,,, I rode it for another 100,000 kms.
And guess what I could make it do it every time (almost), after completing a 4th to 5th shift, or not.

Heres how to stop it, maybe.
when you up shift from 4th to 5th, relax the shift lever back to where it rests, then immediately upshift again pulling the gearshift lever up hard till it stops.

Did you notice anything unusual, like perhaps the gearshift moved upward another 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch?
If you did, it will now not jump out of gear.

Goldwings are different animals, at least when it comes to shifting.
The distance the shift lever moves from its neutral position to a completed upshift into any gear is longer then on most other motorcycles, and we, I at least, tended to not actually complete the upshift.

Try it and see.
I rode that 06 Wing another 100,000 kms, and if I used that shift method it never self shifted to jumped out of any gear.

Reason it occurred again, immediately after rebuild, was due to an improper, and incomplete repair, by a less then knowledgeable TECH.
i came to this conclusion after reading diligently almost every post on this forum for the next few years, especially those concerning shifting problems, and when it comes to who to believe on this forum, Greg will not lead you far from the Golden path when it comes to Goldwing Transmissions.
After looking at pictures posted by Greg, and looking at my repair list of parts installed, during repair, it was obvious that not enough parts had been replaced.

Shift firmly and completely and you will probably ride it for many trouble free miles.

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #20
OP here again,

Since I'm in Atlantic Canada, I only get to ride for a bit more than half the year unfortunately, right now my bike is still tucked away in winter storage.

I'm a bit fuzzy now on what exactly happened since it's already been like five or six months ago since it occured. I seem to recall having it get noisy and rough going between 2nd and third, I can't even remember if it was only during upshifts or downshifts......sorry, I know that's no help but that did scare the heck out of me when it did happen and it made me think that the gears might not have meshed properly but that's just a guess. I had only ridden it maybe 2,000 kms (1,243 miles) for the short time that I actually had the chance to ride it so not a lot of experience on how best to ride this thing.

It's a totally different beast than what I was used to of course coming off of a big Japanese V-Twin where you could be super lazy with the shifting and doing so at much lower RPMs. I might have been trying to shift the F6B with too low an RPM when all of this happened and if so that will be something that I'll have to try to train myself on whenever I get her back on the road.

Right now there is no chance of getting another bike, it's this one or nothing, if it turns out to be an expensive problem I will have no choice but to just park it for this year and maybe next year too. I was just laid off on Friday, haven't been unemployed since 1985! But at least my wife is still working and we don't have a lot of debt so we're not too bad off and I doubt that I'll be off work for too long, this Covid-19 hasn't helped matters either. (Hope everybody reading this has their health and are coping ok with their finances.)

I'm not a high mileage rider (wish I was though) so hopefully that will help in extending the life of the bike. If I can get another ten to twelve years out of this bike without running into a catastrophic failure such as a crap transmission I'll be as happy as a clam as this might be my last bike, I'll be 59 this summer and riding a whole lot past 70 might not be in the cards but who knows, if I still have my health I might try to squeeze in another ten years of riding!

Thanks for all of the excellent comments guys! Stay safe and enjoy your riding season.
 
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