Jump to content
rchase

Attention Saving Electronics

Recommended Posts

A wise man that wrote a number of great books once talked about the $10 of attention that we have. I have no problems rev match downshifting manually even while on the brakes but I find it took a bit of my attention away from where I wanted it. On the corner itself. I rode one of the School's 2015 S1000RR's and played with BMW's new rev match downshift system and it opened up a whole new world for me. Heading into corners that required downshifts the system freed my attention and let me focus on the higher priority task. It was amazing and I started thinking about what color I wanted my 2015 RR.

 

Logic of course came in and I realized I have a significant investment in my 2013 and 2014 model bikes. I stumbled upon a post on one of the BMW forums where someone was selling a rev match downshift module for the RR. I did some more research and found a company in the UK called Pro-shift who makes a lot of different gearshift systems and even equips bikes that run the Isle of Man TT. I wanted to share my experience installing one of these modules. I have ridden with it so far at one track day and it works really well.

 

I ordered my module and got all the forms and paperwork via e-mail. These modules are created besopke for each bike and you have to get voltage readings off of the drive by wire throttle. It took a couple of visits to the mechanic to get this done as I had track time scheduled and they had a bit of difficulties with the very well sealed BMW factory connectors. We got the readings and a few days later this arrived.

 

IMG_1125.JPG

 

Now we are cooking with gas. I brought the module to the mechanic and they began the install process. The install process was pretty involved and it required my RR be pretty well torn down to get the wiring looms in place where they needed to be. This was pretty labor intensive and not cheap. Because of my BMW GP shift system the bracket that came with the kit to mount the sensor did not fit. We fabricated a custom bracket. At the end of the very involved install process the system did not work. My mechanic lacked a dyno so all he could do was make adjustments and then go for a test ride. I'm a very patient customer and said "hey. You installed it but you need a dyno. No worries." A photo of the module installed in the tail of my bike before all the wiring was permanently secured.

 

IMG_1144.JPG

 

The Dyno shop was able to get the module shifting that afternoon and got all the critical timing sorted out and set a default blip time and adjusted the bracket and the shifter so everything worked perfectly. I'm excited and I'm ready for my first test out on the track with the bike.

 

IMG_1155.JPG

 

In the parking lot the bike was honestly a bit unrefined with it's first downshifts and I was pretty concerned about how well that would work out on track. The first session I headed down the straight into Turn 1 at Roebling Road not quite knowing what to expect. Instead of my regular 150mph+ dive bomb into Turn 1 I approached a lot slower in 6th gear instead of 5th gear with a LOT more space in case something did not work the way I expected. Shifted from 6th to 5th. Smooth as silk. Waited a moment and then did a double shift. Quick and flawless. I slowly ramped up the speed and the module performed flawlessly the whole day.

 

If you are considering something like this for your bike I think it's worth the effort. It's not straight forward and super easy but the level of attention that it saves is nothing short of amazing. While it's a bit unrefined at parking lot speeds that's not where the major advantages of a product like this come into play. With a bit more tuning and calibration I'm sure I could get it perfect everywhere. I'll likely never use the system parking lot speeds so I'll probably not even bother unless I have issues in slow corners.

 

The human mind only has a certain amount of attention available. While some might not appreciate the time this saves it really helps me focus my attention on things that I think are more important than shifting. It makes my experience at the track more enjoyable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I looked for a similar product for a while. Now that I developed the muscle memory to blip the clutch I still think it would improve my riding. You can't possibly apply the same confident, strong pressure on the brake lever while blipping the throttle.

 

However, doesn't a slipper clutch allow for rapid down-shifting without rev-matching?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes. I tried the slipper clutch thing. Not only did it sound terrible it still took my attention having to modulate the clutch. While there's not a lot of modulation required you can't just dump it and go. For my purposes the additional clutch wear and the distraction of dealing with the clutch made it a sub optimal solution to reducing my attention heading into corners.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FWIW, I found that I hit false neutrals downshifting with a slipper many times - but never with a conventional clutch. NJMP/Thunderbolt's T1 in particular...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Figured I would share this video. Not my first attempt but before I had really started to trust the downshift module. It works pretty darn well.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks very good, a few questions:

 

- How does it work when quickly downshifting the 4 gears at the very end of the straight under heavy braking, before the corner entry? I know the rev-matching is more important at higher speed, but I'm curious to see both scenarios.

- Which model did you install? There are many advertised on their website.

- What was the shifter and labour cost?

 

Also your cam video looks very fluid, what's your setup?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey. Indeed a few questions. I'll try my best to answer them.

 

Due to the nature of Roebling Road there's only one opportunity for downshifting and that's at the end of the straight that you see in the video. Virtually all of the corners in the track are 3rd gear and normally I short shift to 4th so there's less drama on the straight where I shift to 5th before running out of track and drop down two gears for Turn 1 while hard on the brakes. I can tell you it's just as smooth in the pit lane dropping down a few gears before stopping. The video of course is a test run rather than a real lap. It took me a while to trust the system. Once I finally did trust the system it was pretty nice all the time even while hard on the brakes. I'll have an opportunity to test the system on a slower speed more shifting intensive track in the next month or so. I'll report back. PM me if I forget. :)

 

I installed the downshift only module. The S1000RR despite some opinions has a great quick shifter from the factory. It works well for me at least. Here's the link. The system has a magic eye that mounts right above the shift rod and when the knuckle passes the eye it triggers. There's a bracket included in the kit for standard shift but a bracket had to be fabricated for my GP shift equipped bike.

 

http://www.proshift.com/proshift_downshift_auto_blipper

 

The Labor costs for install were a substantial part of my specific situation. My install was probably more expensive than most because my normal mechanic is not super familiar with BMW's and had no idea such a device existed. Probably around $1000 in labor for my situation which required a few visits to get the DBW voltages and installation and dyno calibration. Someone familiar with the specific bike and who's installed a similar system could do it cheaper and faster. Here's a guesstimate of installation labor.

 

1. Voltage Readings 1hr - removal of one side panel on the S1000RR to expose the DBW throttle connector and measure voltage on each pin.

 

2. Installation process 4hrs - removal of all bodywork and fuel tank. Installing wiring loom, cutting and soldering factory harness to get the pro-shift harness integrated to the factory wiring, installation of main module, installation of bracket over shift rod, installation and adjustment of magic eye, securing wiring harness, putting the bike back together.

 

3. Dyno Time 2hrs - Adjustment of magic eye, adjustment of blip amount and timing so that the system shifts seamlessly. This may be optional as from what I understood the system should have "just worked" from the factory with a base setup. A dyno is nice to test with though.

 

The shifter itself was around $1200 give or take (exchange rate) plus shipping costs from the UK. Lightning fast delivery times. 3 days from the time I provided my voltage readings I was peering into the box in the photo above. I was quite surprised.

 

The Camera is a Contour +2 mounted to the steering head nut with a RAM mount. PM me and I'll share a couple of other videos filmed with the same setup. I think I shared a photo of it in another thread.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll point out that the Superbike School as a piece of equipment that is designed to help with your manual blipping technique. It looks like one of those kneeling style desk chairs that's been modified with a set of handlebars and a pressure gauge that measures your force on the front brake lever. The idea is to press and hold the brake and then "blip" the throttle and watch to see if your braking pressure changes. I noticed that when I blipped the throttle that my brake pressure would drop slightly from letting my fingers slide on the lever. I worked on it for about 10 minutes between sessions to recalibrate myself to the amount of grip I had to use to hold it at a constant pressure.

 

Of course, on the school's bike's with the auto-blipper it's a non-issue. Back on my '13 S1000RR it's still a work in progress but the CSS device was a help to get me much smoother on holding hard braking while clutchless downshifting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll point out that the Superbike School as a piece of equipment that is designed to help with your manual blipping technique. It looks like one of those kneeling style desk chairs that's been modified with a set of handlebars and a pressure gauge that measures your force on the front brake lever. The idea is to press and hold the brake and then "blip" the throttle and watch to see if your braking pressure changes. I noticed that when I blipped the throttle that my brake pressure would drop slightly from letting my fingers slide on the lever. I worked on it for about 10 minutes between sessions to recalibrate myself to the amount of grip I had to use to hold it at a constant pressure.

 

Of course, on the school's bike's with the auto-blipper it's a non-issue. Back on my '13 S1000RR it's still a work in progress but the CSS device was a help to get me much smoother on holding hard braking while clutchless downshifting.

 

Holy poop, is that was that thing is for?! I always wondered...

 

(apparently this board doesn't like the word c r a p)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I eventually want to get some time with that machine myself. It's always wonderful to improve no matter what the skill set. I own several bikes that don't even have quick shifters. :)

 

I love the rev match downshifter. Unlike others I ride for the sheer pleasure of it. Any device that makes the experience more enjoyable I'm more than willing to take advantage of. My bike with it's electronic assists and carbon wheels would never make it past tech inspection for a race. I'm perfectly ok with that because of my purpose.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My bike with it's electronic assists and carbon wheels would never make it past tech inspection for a race.

 

 

That's not true at all,

 

You wouldn't make it past tech for a Stock class, but you'd have no problem competing in "Open Formula" type classes, or really just any class that allows you to change the wheels from stock.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...