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Changing Gears mid-corner?

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Lobsta, Aug 31, 2008.

  1. This isnt another of those completely nooby questions. I have been reading TOTWII recently and a question popped into my head which I'm not sure of the answer to.

    OK... here goes

    Say you are mid-corner and your revs are too high; approaching or hitting redline.

    (firstly, yes, you should have selected the appropriate gear for the corner, but lets assume that maybe you didnt know the corner, and it is longer than you expected, and following Rule #1 from TOTW you rolled on the throttle throughout the corner, and a combination of the long corner and the jump of revs that occurs when cornering due to a smaller footprint leads to your revs getting high.)

    Do you change up mid corner? Obviously by closing the throttle for the split second to change gears you are violating Rule 1, but does use of the clutch change this rule, or can you change gears without closing the throttle? Or is it better to sit there with your engine pinging off the top end of the revs? I cant see that this would be so... Is this a situation where you just have to sacrifice speed for the sake of your drivetrain, or are mid-corner gear changes do-able without screwing up your line by standing you up a fraction as you change?

    Not something that I really want to try by trial and error, especially if the error could potentiall involve a soccer-mum-driven 4WD immitation (coz a Porche "4WD" is not what I would refer to as a real 4WD).

    People's thoughts?

    P.S. TOTWII is a VERY VERY VERY good read for me as a newbie. It adresses stuff in a very easy to understand fashion, and has pretty pictures...
  2. depends on how hard you are riding.
    its not best practice to change gears mid-corner, because of course during the change, the suspension will undergo changes which will affect your line, or ability to hold it. but if you ride with plenty of limit left in both your skill and the critical limits of the bike, you'll almost always have a happy ending.

    so, it's not the best idea, and yes, you should have selected a more appropriate gear for the corner, but shit happens.
  3. Personally I'd change up. If it's first to second then I'd be rather gentle and smooth on the clutch. Any other change should be fine unless you're getting close to the limit.
  4. There's nothing in TOWT2 that says you can't hold a constant velocity in a corner. It just says that the most stable config is if you're gently accelerating.

    If your speed is low and your engine is screaming, I don't think an up change is going to cause a baby seal to be clubbed or you to eat bitumen. Just write the corner off as a learning experience. Roll the throttle back to a constant velocity setting and change gear as smooth as you can. The bike will unsettle for a bit, but it most likely will brush it off.

    +1 that it's better to choose the right gear upfront. :)
  5. I'm with _joel_
    On the road you should be only riding at 70-80% and shouldn't get in that situation.
    If it does happen it might be better to wear the mistake and back off than stuff up completely trying to recover. Then again if a corner is opening up you might get the bike upright enough to change without much risk.
  6. You should not be entering a corner you don't know at high revs unless you are on it, that being said I would not advocate an up-shift as you should be aware fairly early on that you will run out of revs so just roll on a bit slower. You need to learn the basics going slow then they will be second nature when you step it up a bit. You won't spontaneously crash if you up-shift smoothly at low speed but if you are near your limits it could be very dangerous. Having the right instinctive reactions is what will save your arse when you make a mistake and we all make them.
  7. If I find myself in too low a gear mid corner i generally hold a constant until after the apex then a quick change up and throttle out. In saying that though I have been trying to ensure that I enter corners in the correct gear to start with, it certainly feels better and more comfortable.
  8. Just change gear.

    If you're a klutz with shifts I would avoid doing it in the wet, but that's all.