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Changing down while braking

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by 99CIBBER, Aug 5, 2010.

  1. G'day guys, Was wondering if y'all could help me with a technique which I'm having trouble mastering. Changing down the gears smoothly whilst braking continuously. What i'm doing is braking with my index and middle fingers and giving the throttle a blip with my thumb and ring and pinky fingers, I'm struggling to keep the braking smooth as when I give the throttle a rev i'm kinda putting more pressure on the brake lever. I'm using my winter gloves at the moment so the feel is a bit soft. Am I doing something wrong or am i just a bit unco?? :) Or maybe my small hands just aren't up to the task..

  2. I'm interested in this too. I tend to pull a little extra on the brake lever at each blip.

    I read somewhere (can't find it now) - that the blip should be done with the palm of the hand.

    I'm continuing to practice and I think I'm getting better. It's easier with my cruiser than it is with my Ninja. I must check out the lever positions to see if I can work out why.
  3. Sounds like you're doing basically the right thing. It's just a case of practice, practice, practice.

    Couple of things can have a bearing on how easy it is to get right. Make sure there isn't too much slop in the throttle cable. Adjust as per manual. And is your brake lever at the correct angle for you, or does it need adjusting up or down? If it's adjustable for reach as well, have a think about that too.

    However, even with every point perfect, being human you'll still muff it occasionally. Generally when you have an audience or a pillion you're trying to impress :oops:.
  4. Thanks PatB, I'll check my throttle and lever tonight.. I might do some stationary practices as well (gloves off) to see exactlt what my fingers and palm are doing.
  5. You aren't unco, it just takes some time to get it right. In my limited experience you get pretty good, if you practice.
  6. It's harder to do when braking progressively and smoothly. It's easier to do when hard braking where the brake lever can act as a pivot point for the palm/thumb movement.
  7. When you posted this yesterday, for the life of me I couldn't say how I actually do it. Having always owned twins and/or larger capacity bikes, it's something I've just always done.

    What I discovered was; I don't leave any fingers on the throttle. I just flick my wrist.

    I don't know whether it contributes, but I don't really use my forefinger for braking. It kind of just sits on the brake lever adjuster. My braking is done by my middle and ring fingers. I'm not sure why I do that. Maybe an old climbing habit.

    I also discovered I do clutch-less down changes a lot more than I realised.
  8. I do the same as ibast. flick wrist with a thumb in a position that it grips on the throttle
  9. yeah - all fingers on the lever - the palm does the work
  10. I do it with 2 finger braking but the throttling comes from the palm.
    Practise at slow speed until you can throttle without affecting your brake.
    this technique is more for scrubbing off speed rather than braking to a stop.

    I used to practise whenever I have to stop at the lights. I will progressively squeeze on the brake and blip.
  11. i use the palm, pointy finger and thumb. Other three control the lever. just sort of adjust fingers, as you roll the throttle. It's a fair bit of an unconscious act though now, unless I'm under a bridge or in a tunnel..... :evil:
  12. Update, I tried a few different variations r.e. my grip and I feel most comfortable with my original 2 finger braking. I think to get the best result for me is to try and just use the palm of my hand to work the throttle blip, the other 2 fingers seem to be inadvertantly apply more braking. It definately is easier to do at harder braking, thanks for all the tips and personal observations guys! much appreciated. Practice is the key! :)
  13. Pat beat me to it. He's exactly right. Your technique is correct, but it really is hard one to master, since you are trying to co-ordinate ALOT of stuff at the same time. Just keep practicing but expect to never get it right all the time. Not many general riders can. :)
  14. I don't mean to highjack the thread, but I was really kind of wondering about this on my ride home, and not sure if I'm doing the right thing either.

    I go: clutch in, downshift, blip throttle, release clutch, rinse repeat till I stop. I don't think I ever really get it right either, so I was wondering if there was some basic procedure or reason for doing it that's gone over my head?
  15. As a red blooded hetero male, I try to as often as I can... :grin:
  16. The blip should happen simultaneously with the downshift. The idea is that it unloads the gearbox so that you can shift, matches the speeds of the various internals so you don't get a crunch and matches the engine speed in the new gear to the road speed so you don't get a lurch. So, as you can see, it's a busy little blip.

    Blipping after you shift is too late.
  17. Yes it's one synchronized action, not series of actions. Assuming throttle is off, you clutch in, blip, asyou downchange and clutch out. One smooth action.
  18. I wouldn't bother with the clutch part either, except for maybe 2 to 1 change. You need to give a slightly bigger blip though, I find.
  19. Ah, that makes sense. I've been going about this all wrong.

    Cheers guys,
  20. I practiced this a lot today - I'm getting better. Heaps of improvement.