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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all--

So I'm brand new at riding, period. I've been having a tough time with my downshifting and was wondering what tips you guys have about downshifting that might make it go smoother. I'm rolling off and clutching before I downshift and then rolling back on before I release the clutch but it's still damn jerky. Any tips?
 

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try letting the clutch out slower and matching the rev's before completely releasing the clutch, work into it slowly. Sounds like your doing it correctly just need to do it slower....more throttle when letting the clutch out might help.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You need to give her more throttle or as we call it "blip" the gas and simultaneous release the clutch. A quick snap of the throttle (to 5K rpm or so) is all you need to match gears. Sport Rider has a how-to article that illustrates all the steps needed to master down shifting and braking.
 

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What is bad about downshifting more than one gear at a time?

About 20% of the time when I come up on a stoplight I end up shifting from 3rd into neutral or into 1st all in one clutching. Is that bad?
 

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As long as there isn't a great speed differential, I don't believe there is any problem.

By great speed differential I mean:

You are going 50mph and anticipate having to stop... you squeeze the clutch and bang down into 1st and coast to a stop with the clutch disengaged (lever squeezed in).

Motorcycle transmissions are constant mesh and all the gears are turning all the time. The selected gear just happens to be the one that is (oversimplified) the one that is directly connecting the engine output shaft to the rear wheel.

For sportriding, good form is always being in the right gear for any giving situation. Try to minimize coasting with the clutch in.
 

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Aguacate said:
What is bad about downshifting more than one gear at a time?

About 20% of the time when I come up on a stoplight I end up shifting from 3rd into neutral or into 1st all in one clutching. Is that bad?
I dont think its such a good idea to multiple shift down gears on a single clutch if it can be avoided. Progressive engine braking gives more control and sounds so good with all the blipping.

It also avoids the chance that you will miss the gear you want or find neutral unexpectedly ( and just glide on into something solid)
 

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A quick blip of the throttle that brings the rpm HIGHER than where it will be when you release the clutch will make it smoother when timed right. That way the transmission brings the revs down a touch when clutch is released (no throttle applied) is immediate and smooth... and then the revs get lower with engine braking.

The transmission bringing the rpm up if you have not blipped high enough is what causes it to be jerky.

Over time you will blip just the right amount to have the revs match evenly. But I think for new riders, the common mistake is to not blip high enough.

I hope that made sense.

It's actually more difficult to be smooth when just downshifting but not slowing down at the same time (say when you have gradually slowed with traffic and get to a speed where you want a lower gear). Then I don't blip but clutch in and raise rpm steadily to match new rpm.

For totally new rider I think coasting to a stop with clutch in is better option than trying to match revs on each downshift but missing something like a turning car or oil on the road. Over time you'll get the downshifting and everyone will hear your Duc on overrun as you run down through the gears for that stoplight.

Alternatively, but not recommended until you can do it right without... get a slipper clutch.

Chris
 
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