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First ride. Gears, High RPM.. and stalling on HILLS!

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by agelow, Mar 26, 2011.

  1. Hi guys,

    After a few weeks, finally got to ride the bike (suzuki across).

    Had a pretty nice ride, few issues still with STOP and GO from Gear 1.
    Also still not used to knowing which gear to use at which speeds.

    Sometimes I hang on 1 for too long, then I go to 2 to move up. When i get to 2,3, I tend to forget where I am.

    In terms of increasing gear.. sometimes I change and the RPM revs right up to 10 and my bike screams. Whats happening? Am I putting too much throttle just as increase gear?

    Also I had a pretty scary moment. Stalling on a steep hill. I tried to start it up again, but I had to hold the brake or I would roll back.. but then I couldnt move forward so I kept stalling. I had to reverse the bike and go back down the hill.

    Lastly, when slowing down and I am at gear 3.. what is the exact procedure?? At the moment I do this.. as I slow down, I tap to gear 2.. then gap to gear 1 while holding the clutch. Is this correct?

    Thanks for your help.. when I get better I hope to visit the Newbie Training on Saturdays. Too scared to ride down there right now!

  2. Ah, some common issues for noobs, I remember so well, not that long ago. I'll let the more experienced people here give specific advice. Suffice to say, you need to work on your STOP before you have too much GO. :D:
  3. Hello Adrian,
    1. If you've just bought the bike, and not sure when was the last oil change done, first start-off with changing oil and filter. This will help with smooth shifting, and trust me on this.
    2. As a general rule you can up shift gears on a 250cc machine around 5000~7000 rpm approximately. So, at this stage, you actually don't need to remember which gear, if tacho is closing 7000rpm then shift up, below 5000rpm shift down.
    3. Your slowing down procedure is correct, and make sure you shift down to 1 while it's still rolling, before coming to a complete stop, otherwise it can be stuck in 2nd or 3rd gear and difficult to do hill start on some machines.
    4. If all this fails, then the bike should be checked by a mechanically minded, experienced rider or a bike mechanic, they may be able to tell you within a few minutes' test on the bike, or you need riding help.
    5. Is the RPM going up to 10K, after you 'up shift' and release the clutch? may be just may be, idling is too high, or you need to retune your carbs or you have some issues with your transmission.
    Hope this helps
  4. Sounds like you might be pulling the throttle too hard while holding the clutch lever in and probably just need more practice balancing your throttle and clutch. If you apply throttle with the clutch lever pulled fully in the engine will rev without any resistance and thus easily rev high.

    Are you using the back brake to hold your position when stopped on a hill? That way you can still use your throttle to take off as per usual - just ease off the back brake as you engage the clutch. Of course, to change gears you'll need to hold the front brake and use your right leg to support the bike.
    Or maybe you found that you couldn't get your bike to go down to first while stationary?
  5. watch some on board videos on youtube, there are loads of them many with instructions on how to gear etc. There were a couple of really good ones by some guy, explaining what he was doing when and why, can't remember but you should be able to find them. Thats how I learnt.
  6. Almost all you have asked or put out is a feel thing. it's different for every bike and every situation.
    Gear changing. Does you bike make its power high in the rpm range? Or pull from low. Are you going up a hill or down ??
    Going up a hill it might not pay to change up on a small 250. Holding the revs constant to be in the nice little torque pocket and not brake the speed limit might end up easier.
    Going down a hill you can easily short shift. (change up early)
    You want to change to the next gear high enough in the rev range to make it fall back into the torque range in the next gear. So it keeps pulling.
    To early and you will only have to change back down again. Too late and you just look like a dick and will attract unwanted attention.
    Gearing is there to help the motor. To keep it reving along nice and happy. If it's bogged down and lashing then it's not happy. If it's screaming its titts off...not happy.
    Everything on a bike should be a nice light fluid movement. Nothing should be sudden or harsh. They don't like that and will eventually buck you off.

    Hill starts. Rear brake my son. You use it exactly as you would the handbrake in a car. You don't need to use the front brake to hold you on a hill. And if its a steep hill the front can become quite useless anyway. At a stop sign or light, you should have stopped. Just grabbed first as you come to a halt and not before. Pretty much as your left foot goes down to hold you up. And the right foot should be on your brake pedal. Making that brake light glow and holding the bike steady.
  7. Mordeth13 has a number of great "starting to ride" videos, well worth watching.

    I remember struggling with exactly the same issues as you. The only answer is practice, so if there's a school near you ride to their car park, which should be empty on a Sunday.

    This was the routine I followed when learning hill starts as a learner:

    1. Always be in first gear when you come to a stop. My learner bike was very difficult to change into first if the bike was stopped, I had to roll it forwards a bit as I was changing into first which was painful up hill.

    2. Foot brake. When stopped, left foot is down on the ground, left hand holding the clutch in (coz you're in first), right foot is on the foot brake hard. Right hand is on the throttle, NOT on the brake. You shouldn't be able to get the bike to roll at all, the rear brake should be holding it.

    3. Revs. Rev the bike to a nice healthy number, say around 6,000RPM. Hold it there, learn what it sounds like.

    4. Ease out the clutch to the friction point - you will know you get there when the revs start to drop and the bike starts to pull. It shouldn't go anywhere coz you're still holding the brake, but you should feel and hear it try to turn the back wheel.

    5. Release the foot brake and slowly ease the clutch out the rest of the way.

    I went to my local school car park - which was flat - and practiced that for a few hours. It's ok to due it with exaggerated slowness at first - maybe count to 3 between each step. If you practice that enough on the flat that you can feel confident with it, that makes it so much easier doing it on a hill when you need to.

    Good luck :) And if you live near one of the netrider learner sessions, try to get along, they're well worth it.
  8. Put your name down in the mentoring thread and get some one on one tuition

    I just can't believe that this fantastic resources isn't used more.
  9. You guys must be joking, theres no point shifting below 10k on the across.

    6k is where you rev it while warming up, but I wouldnt keep that engine below 8k.

    To get it going up hills you need to slip the clutch around 4k at least.

    When I had an across I had to get up a steep driveway each morning.
  10. Thats the sound of an engine with far more bark than bite. The sound is extremely mid-range frequency heavy and harsh on the ears. I hope youre wearing earplugs all the time on this machine.
  11. Grey is right, here is a quick link for you to look around.
  12. Hi guys

    Thanks for the incredibly helpful responses.

    I have been practicing very slowly hill starts and beginning to use my back brake more.

    Few questions.

    1) At the lights, when you hold ur back brake down and you are in 1st.. do you have the clutch already at the bite point and just release back brake at green light?

    Or do you hold clutch in fully and only go to bite point when its green light?

    2) Sometimes when I shift from 1 to 2, it goes to neutral and the bike revs. Is this called false neutral?? If so, i usually go back to 1. Why does this happen? Not enough revs?
  13. I do the second.

    Depends on the bike I believe but when it's happened to me it's been that I haven't put enough umph behind shifting the pedal up form first to second. I'd encourage you do go up into second rather than back down into first... don't take that as gospel until some other riders confirm it, but I believe that is safer than dropping back into first (especially if you were revving the nuts off it before you went for second).

    Good stuff with the practicing - keep at it and keep enjoying :)
  14. Oh wow. I haven't been in Noob section..

    Have your eyes up on the road not on the controls or panels... simplest advice is go into second NOT back to first. Usually what seems to happen is nerves about bunny hopping or stalling. Gearbox is designed to have a good cracking shift into gear. Gently doesn't work well. Definitive action is best.

    Good luck
  15. 2) for me

    No, this is not likely a false neutral.
    As you know neutral is somewhere between 1 & 2 and
    more likely, you are shifting up half way which puts you into neutral.
    Instead,fully shifting up into 2, meaning lift up the gear shifter with your foot as far as it will go up.
    If it's still not working, check when was the engine oil and filter changed last, if it's unknown or very old oil(dark), change oil, cause bike transmission runs in engine oil(unlike cars) and old engine oil is often known to give shifting problems, or a bike mechanic will be able to help check the problem.

    Hope this helps.
  16. Try putting upward pressure on the gear lever before you pull the clutch - you should find it clicks into second a little more "firmly" that way.
  17. Thanks for comments guys.

    1) I will try that instaed of waiting at bite

    2) Yeah i reckon im not kicking it up hard enough. wimpy shifting.

    I just went for a 30 minute ride around the block. Still got issues of stalling heaps. Quite frustrating.

    Also tried doing very tight U-Turns and slow riding skills. Man this is scary!! but yeh managed to get it a bit.

    Also.. when i shift down.. do I need to pull in clutch? or just kick down?
  18. Clutch when shifting up and down :)
  19. Do not hold your clutch at the friction point at the lights. Although this is what you do on a hill start.

    You do not have to kick the crap out of the gear lever just use firm pressure. Instead of kicking into gear and then releasing the clutch, keep the pressure on the gear lever with your foot while you are still releasing. that way if you have only gone up to neutral instead of second it will go further into second.

    Do not worry too much about stalling. You are getting the feel for your bike and it will all come good with practice. Meanwhile try just a tad more throttle and a little less fast letting the clutch out.
  20. Though there is the risk of running the battery down with too much stalling.......