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Changing gears mid-corner?

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Peaches, Apr 15, 2008.

  1. Hello all,

    Newbie question, but is it ok to change gears while you're leaned into a corner? E.g. you're in first gear, bike is revving its heart out, and you have this incessant itch to change gears while bike is still in a lean?

    I was told not to change gears in a corner, as pulling in the clutch will disengage the engine and might throw you off...


  2. You can, but not unless you're confident that you can always be smooth.. And don't do it if you have any decent lean.

    Given your problems with the clutch, I'd advise you concentrate on having your gear selected before a corner/turn and not shift in corners until you're alot more confident.
  3. It's okay to do it - the bike won't catch fire or explode or anything - but you need to be very careful about doing it.

    If you're close to the limit of grip, the shock through the drivetrain might be all it takes to make the rear end lose traction.

    The sudden difference between wide-open throttle and no throttle at all may also do weird things to the bike's cornering attitude, but I'm not well-versed in bike dynamics to say what happens in that case.

    It would be much safer to gently roll the throttle back so that you're no longer accelerating, perform the shift, then resume acceleration.

    So, again... you can do it, but you need to be very careful about what situation you're in at the time, and be very gentle when you do do it.
  4. :shock:

    Oooooooooooooook. Thanks babes. I think I'll be sticking with 1st and 2nd gears for now...

  5. Peaches, if you're revving out in first in a corner, next time try going through at lower revs in 2nd.

    The "rule" about not changing gears mid corner is about NOT unsettling the bike mid corner. Also more about changing down than changing up... changing down introduces a bigger disturbing force than changing up.

    Spots is right, but I doubt you'll be anywhere near the limit of traction.

    Good cornering includes selecting the right gear for a corner - it's a skill that will come along in time :)
  6. Heya,

    The problem usually occurs when I've slowed down to stop say at a set of traffic lights, and Peaches is in 1st, and the light goes green. :? I then take off, but she tends to scream quite a bit and goes quite slowly - I've got to fight the urge to pull in the clutch and click a gear up! Otherwise I'm usually in 2nd gear coming into a corner, I just trail the rear break a bit if I need to slow down - hope that's right, because so far it's working for me!

    But now I know the hazards of changing gears mid-corner :shock: :shock: :shock: First gear will do just fine, thanks! No more complaints! :p
  7. Hi Peaches;

    At those low speeds, negotiating traffic lights, it's probably okay to shift gears while turning so long as you're gentle. I still prefer not to.

    If I'm turning at a set of traffic lights, I'll either ride through in 1st as you do and wait until I've straightened up enough to upshift, or (preferably): 1st gear to get the bike rolling forward at walking pace or so, an early shift into 2nd gear, then turn.
  8. What Spots said :)
  9. sorry that doesn't read correctly to me....so are you using trail braking to slow before the turn or in the turn? If before forgot the rear, use the front, setup then tip in.

    The other thing that i can't get my head around is why you holding first for so long? Is it a long turn? Can't you do it before you start your tip in?

    Sorry just trying to get picture in my head of whats happening here :?
  10. Sorry yes, I meant trail braking before going INTO a turn. I try not to use the front breaks unless I absolutely have to when nearing a turn because it makes me want to lurch forward :? But ok, I'll make sure to use more of the front and ease it gently....

    Sometimes it can be a long turn. Maybe I'm just imagining it, or maybe because I'm still so new to riding. :roll: I'm used to clicking up gears on straight fairly quickly, that I want to do it for turns as well... Guess I'm just not used to having her stay in first gear revving highly as I go into a corner … if that makes sense?
  11. Firstly Peaches, as stewy said you shouldn't be relying on your rear brake to slow you down before a turn. It is much more effective and safer to use the front. The feeling you have of lurching forward will soon dissappear as you learn to brake progressive and become more accustom to the way your bike responds. With your braking you should first be applying the front and then add a little rear to help settle the bike if you feel the need. Trailing the rear brake is a technique that is used mid corner to help keep your line.

    As for changing gear mid corner I do it often. In the context you are saying, taking off from lights I will change up into second whilst tipped over. Make sure that your clutch/throttle action is smooth and you should have no problems. If you were at full lean, pushing the boundaries of your tyres grip and redlining then it would be a different story and a no no unless you were Casey Stoner, but then I think he would wait for the bike to be upright as well.
    The only time I refrain from changing gears mid corner after taking off is in wet conditions as I don't want to do anything to upset the bike and therefore me. :(

    Change gears and use the front brake. Eventually you'll be so good at it you'll be giving advice to others. :wink:

    Good luck
  12. Peaches you really need to start using the front brake more. All your stopping power comes from the front. You are not going to stop very well with just using the rear, more likely to lock it up and highside you.
  13. Sounds to me like your riding style is calling for a bigger engined bike!! :demon:

    Is Peaches really revving hard or do you just think she is? What rpm do you get to?

    I have a similar issue around small roundabouts where I had to stop before entering it, I pull away in 1st and have to immediately start turning, my bike does not have to rev hard but I feel that 2nd would give me much smoother control ... to change or not to change, that is the question!!

  14. Hi peaches,

    Have you done any additional rider training courses, just from reading you posts sounds like some additional training might be a good investment, or if there is a mentor up in your area that might be able to run you through some basic training drills.....

    Not trying to pick, just trying to offer some sound advice that will hopefully keep you up right and on the road.

    Remember when using front brakes to "set and then squeeze" and this is all done in one motion.

    The set part is when you go for the front brake, and as you say you feel the bike dip towards the front or dive, this is what you want it to do, from here (before it rebounds back up) you apply the rest of the brakes as required.

    This is a important skill, just try it in a car parking lot, etc.....even just the initial set stage, using only light pressure on the front, and just get the feel for how the front will dive, then progress......if you get the set part done, the rest is just a matter of squeezing the lever as required.

    Hopefully that makes some sense.

    Cheers stewy :)
  15. :eek:

    Your riding style scares me. You are at serious risk of locking up the rear if your using it that much. Using 1st in a corner is probably too snatchy on the throttle for you to be smooth.

    Is someone mentoring you yet?
    There's so many things wrong with the way you are riding at the moment.
    I would echo what the others have said in this thread + 1000.

    Seriously if you want any help/pointers I am happy to help.
    Just send us a PM.

    I always go for midnight rides to clear my head before going to bed and head up towards the city and back again.
  16. :tantrum: Peaches :tantrum:

    Your homework tonight is to search "rear brake" threads in netrider and get the flamin rear brake habit ruled out of your riding tool kit pretty darn fast... at the very least, be aware of the flaws using rear has and while you're at it, search "trail braking" and see what it's intended use is for.

    Man your last post hit my mentor buttons. Who the heck is mentoring you where you are??

    +1 more training.

    Good on you for asking for advice. I think you have an incomplete picture/understanding of what you're trying to achieve.

    Ok, mentor questions to get you thinking about your riding:

    Why are you accelerating so hard from the lights when you have a turn to make? Why don't you just accelerate more gently, that way you wont need to use any brakes at all. :idea:

    What's your reason for trailing brake?

    What are you trying to achieve by trailing brake?

    Why are you slowing down for your tip in?

    What would happen if you paniced and over applied rear brake?

    Are you aware that it's easier to lock the rear than the front?

    Do you have a feel for how far the bike can lean before you get into trouble?

    Why is the forward "surge" from front braking concerning you?

    +1 Sav.
    +1 Stewy.

    Fkn ey +1 Jayp!
  17. If you're just cruising around on grippy bitumen and not riding anywhere near the bikes limit, you can change up gears wherever the hell you want. You can still make a bit of a mess with downshifts mid corner, but once you're smooth, they're no worries either.
  18. I won't point out what other people have said. But as a fellow learner I spend some time each week practising braking. I find a quiet street, wind the bike up and try and pull up as quick as I can, then do it again, then again. Each time I try and pull up quicker by applying more (usually front) brakes.

    I also add in checking the mirrors and moving off quickly so in a real emergency I don't get hit up the behind.

    I know this is how I practice emergency braking but it gives me a good feel of how well I can brake, and how much bite and modulation there is.

    I dunno why but for me applying the rear first seems to upset the bike in the form of a twitchy front end.

    It comes in handy I had to pull up quickly today in the wet so I didn't run a late yellow and I checked so I wouldn't get rear ended.

    Best of luck with it.
  19. robsalvv - she isn't trailing the rear brake in the corner but going into or approaching the corner.

    Peaches the best things I could suggest to you is to invest in a H.A.R.T. (Honda Advanced Rider Training) course. The Handling dynamics course would be a good place for you to start. From there you can go to risk management and advanced cornering and braking (highly reccomended). Asking for answers online is one thing but having a personal instructor to watch, teach and help you put theory into practice in a safe envioronment is another. Here is the site www.hartridertraining.com.au/
  20. Hello there. I haven't ridden the CBR125 but I'm betting the gearing is pretty low. The situation you describe with the traffic lights is an awkward one but really you should be in 2nd for any speed above walking pace as the high revs / engine braking / drivetrain lash equation is a nasty one in bottom gear and difficult to control when cornering. Likewise the biggest step in ratios is the 1-2 change so make it early before you have too many rpm on board. Don't select 1st until just before you stop. It's best to get this sorted now before you move on to a bigger bike with more power and more engine braking.