If you are a serious rider putting a lot of hours on your bike and see tons of highway miles then you know how important it is to have a smooth and well running motorcycle. You always hear about motor hop-ups with pipes, air cleaners, headwork, and so on, but what about hopping up the transmission? In this case we needed to do just that.
Uncle Vic's '02 Road King needed a transmission makeover. A few months ago we installed a 106ci motor hop-up kit from S&S Cycle, and we were very happy with the turnout. The bike runs very well with loads of power, the only thing is, now in Fifth gear and at top-end speeds it feels like the pistons are going to fly out the top of the cylinders. We needed to bring the rpm down without losing speed. Enter the Baker Direct Drive six-speed (DD6) transmission. The DD6 features First, Second, and Third gear straight cut to prevent lateral tension in those high torque, short-used gear ranges, and Fourth, Fifth and Sixth gear are helical cut for a smooth and quiet ride in the cruising gears. With the DD6 we should get a 15 percent reduction in rpm gaining a much smoother ride.
Also a 28-tooth compensating sprocket is included to dampen vibration in the primary so the bike can go the long haul for years to come. With the overdrive obtained through the primary this will also reduce strain on the starter by 14 percent (due to the bigger sprocket) and low rpm in the primary reduces noise in the trans case.
We stopped by Horn Cycle Works in Pomona, California, to get the DD6 installed as we snapped some photos. Shop tech Nolan placed the '02 Road King on the lift and started draining the fluids and removing all the big parts that would be in the way like the exhaust system, running boards and the primary.
1. Here is the DD6 kit, the assembled gearset on Baker's bearing door, the shift drum with redundant Neutral pillow blocks, shifter pawl, main bearing and snap ring, shift forks and rod, 28 tooth compensating sprocket, Neutral switch, chain tensioner pad, new primary chain, race, main seal, and speedo recalibration tool. Retails for $2,596.95. Also seen here is a speedo recalibration tool that is sold separately for $135.
2. Nolan removed the outer primary then the clutch set and hub along with the chain, the adjuster and front compensating sprocket. Then he removed the starter and unbolted the inner primary.
3. Then the transmission pulley and locking plate were removed followed by the primary race (arrow) and the old seal.
4. On the other side of the transmission, the end cover and top lid were removed. Then Nolan unbolted and removed the shift drum along with the shift forks
5. At that point Nolan removed the stock shift pawl and gearset.