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Gear Shifting

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by bike_noob, Mar 9, 2010.

  1. Im having a lot of trouble determining when / how to shift gear while riding around.

    Ill give you what i am currently doing now and see what im doign wrong:

    - Ok at lights etc, i leave it in first gear and hold the clutch in
    - when im about to go ill rev up the throttle and slowly release the clutch until im moving
    -ok now im moving, ill feel the bike start to rev really loudly, so ill back off the throttle completly whilst bringing the clutch and shift into second
    - then ill back off the revs again bring in the clutch and go into third etc.

    so i always back off the throttle and slowly bring in the clutch should i be doing it the other way around, or should i be keeping the revs up ?

    So what am i doign wrong? It feels really jerky and the bike kind of lags until i rev the throttle heaps and bring it back to being smooth again.

    When im down shifting from fifth, i will just hold the clutch in and keep down shifiting until i reach 1. And a lot of the tiem i end up in neutral in the middle of the road doing this, and also the bike and bike tyre feels really jerky when i do this.
  2. If you're questioning your shifting on a GS500F I'd like to suggest you put a lot of time to getting those shifts smooth before stepping up to an R1.

    As for shifting I find that adding a gentle amount of throttle at the same time as you gradually let the clutch lever out allows the plates to gently mesh together without snatch, jerk or sudden elevation of the front wheel. I'm sure there will be someone with a better grasp of the right terms will add their experience but the best way is to practice, practice and practice some more.

    Just make sure you shelve the R1 idea until you have gotten it right, please.
  3. can't quite get my head around your post.
    think you need to find a local mentor.
    would'nt be wise to advise on-line ...


    i think you are pulling the clutch in slowly?

    just pull it straight in bang!...you can release it slowly to to help smooth out accelleration.

    bound to be a member local to you willing to hang out and give you some pointers.
  4. Fast in, slow out for the old clutcheroo,

    Try keeping your revs up a bit, if you find yourself in neutral from multiple downshifts you can either downshift one or two gears at a time with some smooth clutch action or release the clutch slightly when you're about to click into first to semi engage it so the plates re-release properly.

    To be honest and frank, you're probably baby shifting, gear shifting motion should be positive and deliberate, always preload your gear lever before changing gear to avoid false neutrals.
  5. +1 to this also,

    If there is no throttle then your bike will jerk about upon gear change, you need a slight bit of throttle while changing up for smoothness.
  6. Oh I real noob question…
    Not a I’m so hot I’m not really a noob, noob questions

    By the sounds of it, you are getting it right for your launch.
    Everything else needs some attention.
    First rule to remember is let the clutch out in between every gear change. (Unless you are stopped)
    If you start flicking down multiple gears and then let the clutch out you could lock up your back wheel and then unless you really know your $hit you are in for a world of hurt.

    When you are shifting you don’t want to dump the throttle completely.
    Start dropping the throttle back less and less until the transition from one gear to an other is smooth.
    When you get smooth enough it will feel like you don’t even need the clutch (There is a little secret to learn here but let us leave that for later)

    Post up looking for a mentor.
    There is a lot to be learnt from the people around here.
  7. ok now im moving, ill feel the bike start to rev really loudly

    let's get this out of the way

    forget the noise, what REVS is the engine doing when you hear it rev really loudly?

    I'm making an assumption here that you also drive a car??? Your bike will rev to nearly twice the revs your car will do, it's designed to do that (unless you own a serious performance car, and then I'm still partly right.) My bike is a 600, and its red-line is 13,000 revs. Changing gear at 8,000 - 10,000 revs sounds really loud too, but that's what it's meant to do. You need to re-align your paradigms, methinks......

    (hope that helps, a bit)
  8. Also you shouldn't be shifting straight from 5th or 6th to neutral. This is bad bad bad. You should be downshifting whilst aproaching lights, stop sign or whatever. You always need to have the bike in a gear ready to take off again.
    Just a rough eg. Traveling at 80 and see lights change to red 300 meters up. Blip and down change, blip and down change as many gears as required, while slowing smoothly. Then if the light turns green you are in a better position to simply twist your wrist and go. You do not want to come to a near or complete stop and still be in 5th gear. BIG no no.
  9. Lots of good advice here from people - keep practising and one day you wont even need the clutch - to change up at least :)

    Just happened for me one sunny day the bike god was smiling and said hey -- here you go nice fellow , now you can now shift up and down without the clutch
  10. For my own curiosity, the note of the engine going quite high as the clutch is in is an expected outcome then? I was always wondering if the heavy sounding rev during shifting was poor shifting or not.
  11. Possibly. Hornet's question still stands though. What Revs are indicated on the tacho, it is still possible that you are slipping the clutch excessively, this is to be avoided as it will reduce your clutch life.
  12. Yeh i realise that now, the R1 is a long long time away.

    Ok im going to practice some more, ill try keeping the revs up when I shift up.
    Luckily a mate who has been riding for a while is gonan teach m some stuff over the weekend.

    Until then can anyone link me to some youtube videos, i cant seem to find anyone explaining this stuff in detail.


    I should also mention my first time on a bike was about a month ago when i got my learners, and ive ahd my current bike for about 5 days.
    This is why i suck at all this stuff.
    I always see people on bikes take off so fast from the lights, im the exact opposite most cars seem to beat me.
    Last time i was overtaken by a car of hot young chicks :(
  13. Don't worry about proving your self to other cars just yet, take it easy, be safe, get the hang of it and then worry about that kind of thing...

    I have no idea where you are, but if you don't get what your after from your mate, places like HART offer "informal" days where you can go practice (in a safe environment) and ask the instructor for some advice. Did my probations test there yesterday (third time out there).

    Trust me when I say you can ask the instructors ANYTHING no matter how stupid it may seem and they wont make you feel stupid for a second.

    The other option is the learner days that are run on here. I didn't get the chance to check them out, but given the people on here I reckon it'd be an awesome way to get some very useful advice (and we were all noobies once so don't stress about asking anything).

    My only advice, get someone to show you then practice, practice, practice....
  14. #14 twistngo, Mar 10, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2015
  15. Listen to the Bling…
    He knows of what he speaks.
  16. Instead of winding your bike out to high revs when you are playing around with a lot of torque that you might inadvertently dump into your gearbox, try shifting at lower speeds and lower revs. Try sticking under 7k (assuming your bike revs like mad like mine can).
    It can take time to learn the balance between clutch, throttle and your gear of choice vs speed and the resulting engine revs.
    You will learn the benefit of matching revs to the box when you are downshifting too. Less chance of rear wheel lock, among other benefits. That said, if you are gentle letting the clutch out, the rear wheel lockup isnt such a problem.

    Myself i always back off the throttle while accelerating between changes in exactly the same way you do in a car - its still almost an instant change, but its enough to drop the throttle to where it needs to be to have my gear changes as smooth as i can manage.
    As for "the secret", ive fluked it a few times but havent been game to really push it yet :p i just cant quite find that happy synchro spot without chickening out and clutching in.
  17. Upshift:

    1. While accelerating, hold a reasonable amount of upwards force on the shifter, it won't change while you are accelerating.
    2. When you're ready to shift, At the same time, bang the clutch in nice and fast and roll off a bit of throttle. This will unload the gearbox and the force you had on the shifter will snick it into the next gear.
    3. Keep the force upwards on the shifter, let the clutch out softly while rolling back on the throttle.
    4. Release the pressure on the shifter.
    5. Rinse and repeat.


    1. Roll off the throttle and start to slow.
    2. Put some downwards force on the shifter (less than the upshift as there will be less torque loading it up)
    3. Pull in the clutch nice and firm.
    4. The pre-loaded shifter will snick down a gear.
    5. Maintain pressure on the shifter as you gently release the clutch.

    Remember to release the clutch while slowing through every gear rather than shifting down mutliples at once.
    Once you get used to this you can move onto slightly revving the engine on downshifts to match the speed of the engine with the speed of the drivetrain so you don't get all that jerky business.

    And most importantly, where do you live? If it's anywhere near the west of melb I'm happy to give ya a hand :)
  18. I couldn’t say that is good advice…
    By putting pressure on the gear changer when you are not changing, you are going to be putting ware on the change forks and gears.
    Tap the gear when it is required not hold pressure on it.
  19. I could've written that a bit better. I don't mean to ride constantly with pressure on the lever, but to pre-load it before you pull in the clutch/roll off throttle. In my mind this takes part of the fuss out of the equation. You're no longer co-ordinating your foot as well as both hands, it just does it's thing.

    Makes sense to me.
  20. ok guys i think i got the hang of it. i kind of figured out what ive been doign wrong all this time especially with up shifting.
    I was bringing in and releasing the clutch too slowly from 2,3,4,5 etc.

    Today i bought in the clutch really fast did a nice upward kick on the shifter and a somewhat faster release had good throttle and it felt way more smoother, infact i think i lucked out a few times and managed to get (what felt liek) a flawless gear change.