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My first spirit and have put about 300 miles on it since I got it(26000 on bike).
I am finding that the 5th gear is not much good below 50-55 mph.It does ok on flat ground,but will lug very quickly on an incline.Does really good in 4th below 50-55.
I live in north central North Carolina where the roads are somewhat hilly and curving, and like to cruise the country at under 50 most of the time.The 5th seems like it is mostly an overdrive
I have been on a heritage softail which really pulls down low and also have a 96 magna which pulls very well down low,so the spirit is different-the gearing is much farther apart and likes to wind in each gear.
Comments.
Thanks
Jim
 

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Yes you have described 5th gear perfectly - we have a Vulcan 750 that will pull from 35mph in 5th without complaint. I just save 5th gear for running 65+mph. Like you say running 55mph in hilly terrain is just an exercise in up and down shifting. The spirits really don't mind revving a bit and doesn't seem to change MPG significantly by running in 4th. Some of my best MPG has been running backroads 45-55mph in 4th gear.
 

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Yes you have described 5th gear perfectly. The spirits really don't mind revving a bit and doesn't seem to change MPG significantly by running in 4th. Some of my best MPG has been running backroads 45-55mph in 4th gear.
This be true. I don't use 5th gear until 65 mph + especially two up. It's a waste of time and wear & tear on your drivetrain. Let that beast run! ;) My worst mpg was running 85 mph, 5th gear, two up, and for one hour time wise = 38 mpg.
 

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I live in KS. and a flat lander, I found my 2002 Honda Shadow Spirit to run higher R.P.M's that I liked so I went from a 42tooth sprocket to a 38 tooth sprocket and it dropped the R.P.M. to where I like it ! If I need to get more revs I just drop it down a gear or two, thats just me, Plop!Plop!Plop!
 

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I live in KS. and a flat lander, I found my 2002 Honda Shadow Spirit to run higher R.P.M's that I liked so I went from a 42tooth sprocket to a 38 tooth sprocket and it dropped the R.P.M. to where I like it ! If I need to get more revs I just drop it down a gear or two, thats just me, Plop!Plop!Plop!
Sprocket? !! What are these Sprockets that you speak of - we are talking about shaft drive no chain, almost no maintenance 1100's here, not girly 750's - :-D

I must say - it is nice to have options - even if you have to clean lube and replace final drive assembles every 500 miles. The V-strom is due for some sprocket changes when the chain wear out.
 

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Sprocket? !! What are these Sprockets that you speak of - we are talking about shaft drive no chain, almost no maintenance 1100's here, not girly 750's - :-D

I must say - it is nice to have options - even if you have to clean lube and replace final drive assembles every 500 miles. The V-strom is due for some sprocket changes when the chain wear out.
girly 750 ? ,ok, if you think so, most girls will tell you it's not the cc's of your bike, it's how you ride it!, are you one of these guys that compensate for other short comings by getting a bigger cc bike? I like a chainer bike myself, it's ok if you like getting the shaft! oh yea you got a v-strom, ok, you just like getting the shaft some of the time! (just joking with you, just pulling your chain!)
 

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:mrgreen: I get truly tickled at our cc fights. When I got my first Shadow, the 1100 85 it was truly one of the big guns around. Now my second Shadow the 04 Sabre 1100 is merely an HoHum intermediate simply advanced tractor. It will NOT out perform MOST other bikes on the road, and I have asked HER, yeah I said HER if she cares one whit about it. SHE replies to me, "If YOU are happy with me, then I am pleased to give you the best ride that I am capable of!" This keeps ME very happy. She simply does my style of riding (From hot, to me, in the twisties to just cruising the back roads) I do love my Sabre! I have seen a couple of the 750cc Shadows that were almost as pretty as my Sabre. I am certain that they keep their riders very happy. Chug, chug, gotta love them Shads!:-D
 

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With my stock sprockets I'll run in 5th gear anywhere from 40 and above as long as the engine isn't under a big load. I can pretty much tell if it's happy or not. West Virginia isn't exactly flat and it seems to pull pretty well in 5th.
 

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I have a 4spd VT1100, and it prefers 3rd gear for speeds under 50mph. I can put it into 4th gear at 40-50mph but it bucks a little if I try accelerating after that. After 50mph it pulls great in 4th. I'm trying to get into the habit of leaving it in 3rd while in the city.
 

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Yes, the older 4 speed 1100s are better kept in 3rd gear for city driving. I rarely use 4th gear unless I'm going 60+ mph. The 4th gear is like overdrive. Don't be afraid to wind it up, it can take it. These dual-pin 1100s are not low rpm luggers. They're made to wind out more than the single pin engines. Infact my '96 seems to have a sweet spot running 75-80 mph all day long. I never hit the rev-limiter with my engine yet with 50,000 miles on it.
 
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