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Downshifting when stopping for lights

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Appoooh, Aug 27, 2015.

  1. Hey all,

    When downshifting in preparation for stopping at the lights I find my bike slows so quickly from engine braking that use of the front brake is almost redundant. Instead of downshifting while braking, am better off slowing using my brakes alone and then tapping down to first once I'm stationary?

    Many thanks,
  2. I'd recommend not stopping for lights. That way you save on clutch wear and brake pad wear. It's a win-win.

    And why is there a new downshifting thread like every week now?
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  3. Either or, depends on preference. I use downshifting for nearly all of my non emergency stopping. Others use brakes. It varies from bike to bike too and low cylinder bikes slow down more rapidly on downshifts.
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  4. Hi. IMO no.

    You should be downshifting so you are always in a gear that lets you take off properly, with sufficient power and smoothness if required. At lights, you may not be caught by surprise by their changing, but in other seituations, being in the right gear can be very importantIt can also be tougher with a a sequential gearbox to downshift when stationary, on some bikes.

    You may be beginning to downshift a bit early, though, dropping into a gear at too high a rev rate (sounds good, like a racer, but not needed normally :D), if you are pulling up too fast. You need to use both brakes and engine and get used to how to do it for given speeds and distances. Under normal circumstances, engine braking is fine. However you should practice braking frequently, in various conditions, until you are pretty confident that you are braking as well and hard as you can and have to in all situations, without dropping the bike.

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  5. Maybe I'm weird and can't remember being taught this, but I use the rear brake lightly with engine braking when approaching lights. Engine slows the bike down quick enough and the rear brake brings on the light and gives me any additional braking I need. I grab a handful of front if needed though.
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  6. Or not going fast enough :wtf:
  7. Because people are being given different and conflicting information when they are learning. I was. Through a mixture of NR advice, reading, watching vids and experimenting through practice, I learned what works best for me and my bike for different situations. And I discarded some of the opinionated "I'm right, noob!" nonsense that was supposed to pass for advice.
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  8. But surely they shouldn't be in charge of a motorcycle until they've mastered the search function.

    I'm in a real mood today, or maybe I'm just getting old.
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  9. Which is why I posted the previous downshifting thread. I must admit that I was too scared to ask the question during early newbie days and learned from other's asking the question, then practicing, getting it either right or wrong and experimenting some more.
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  10. I can't see the point of 'There's already a thread started 6 years ago about this, now go and read it'. If you want to read it and not recognise half the names and users on there, fine.
    I wouldn't call that particularly interactive though or much of an introduction and welcome to a member with 2 posts to their name.

    If you want to start a new thread and people comment, great, that's what it's all about for most newbies on here. Take on board what you want and ignore what you want.

    If you don't want to comment because there's an old thread on the topic - then don't comment. Simples.

    Reminds me, i must start a new thread about ATGATT - been a while ;)
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  11. Apologies, am posting from my mobile and didn't see the very similar post below until it was too late.

    Yeah, Old Nick is onto something. I think I'm subconsciously slowing the bike too early because I'm a bit slow at downshifting and I need time to get them all in before I stop. The second thing is that I still find it hard to downshift smoothly while operating the front brake so I think I was looking for an excuse to stop doing it. :)
  12. brakes are for casuals
  13. I'm with you in general LionzLionz but the last downshifting thread was last active less than a week ago.

    AppooohAppoooh, it's always a good idea to be in the right gear to move off so until you get good at it, maybe try downshifting without letting the clutch out. Once you've got the braking and gear selection down pat, then you can work on perfecting the clutch and throttle part of the downshift.
  14. This is just my way of doing things, but it depends on the lights and what they are going to do next. If it's going to stay red for a bit, I just brake and then downshift at the last minute to stop in 1st gear. Keeping an eye on my mirrors every now and then while waiting.
    If the lights are red, and they have suddenly turned green or are about to turn green, I will brake and go down through each gear as I come up to the car in front of me - timed in a way that by the time the car in front of me starts moving, I am usually in 1st or 2nd gear.
    Or, if the traffic is backed up and the lights are green it is just a normal, complete stop as I mentioned first. Whatever works for the situation really. Engine braking is probably something that would fit into the second scenario above. I mean, as long as you can correctly brake using your brakes or with engine braking then it is up to you to decide which one is best for whatever situation.
  15. Easier way is to not change out of first gear. Then all of this is moot. :)
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  16. Learn to ride on a litrebike #merica

    This downshifting is all nonsense anyway. You can't do excellent stoppies and impress the ladies with downshifting.
  17. I think you need to downshift, as you need to be in the right gear to take off if the lights change. As a mate said to me recently " There's only 3 gears on a bike, 1st gear to take off, top gear on the motorway and the right gear :)
  18. Cant wait to make my first topic starter..
    Get the members that has lost all enthusiasm to help out a Newbie
    instead they comment worthless information.

    Or am I reading this wrong?
    They want to help out, but having a little chuckle at the Newbie expense .but still a brother out there on the road!
    I'm confused!
  19. I prefer sisters on the road
    and anywhere else