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Going to 1st gear when I stop

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Kawasakiboy, Jan 30, 2016.

  1. out riding today and I've noticed this on a couple of occasions. When I come to a stop I normally put my bike into 1st and then away I go again..easy!
    I think on some occasions my bike is starting in 2nd though... Even though I'm sure I've put it in 1st.
    It feels as though I have to rev it so much more to get it going sometimes but then on others it's a breeze.
    I must look so cool revving my engine while wearing a hi vis lol
    Has this happened to anyone?and is there a fix? Cheers :)

  2. I generally go down through the gears while still rolling to the stop, and have a glance as I click into first. Your neutral light should wink as you shift into first, confirming you are all the way down through the gears.

    If you hold onto the gear that you are in until you are stopped, then click down through them while stopped, occasionally due to the alignment of the cogs, you will hit a gear that it won't actually engage and you can be in second. It's much easier to select gears when they are in motion.
    • Agree Agree x 4
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  3. If you're not sure if its in first, you can always try changing while stopped (neutral light on if you go up, or flashes then goes off if you go down), but its far easier to click down as you're decelerating.

    Like jstavajstava said, if it doesn't engage, either roll the bike slightly while you do it, or slip the clutch a MINUTE amount (just enough to spin the cog, but without moving the bike. As a learner, don't attempt this on the road till you've tried it in your driveway a few times. Think of the 'friction point' drill in pre-learners, just enough to change the engine note).
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. The HARTS instructor suggested getting in the habit of tapping the shift lever multiple time as you roll to a stop to ensure first is engaged.

    In fact he also taught the multiple taps during emergency braking yo enable a rapid escape if threatened with a tail ender
    • Agree Agree x 3
  5. #5 kneedragon, Jan 30, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2016
    Yes, change down as you roll to a stop, gear by gear. IF (things happen) you are not sure you're in first, let the clutch out slightly, enough to get slight forward drive, then pull it in again, and repeat. If you were in 2nd (or top) it will now change down. If you are in first, the lever will not move. This way you know when it's time to go, that you did have it in the right gear. I think I touched on this in one of my gearbox vids ...

    Right - relevant part is in the first minute, and then again near the end.
  6. If I'm being lazy yes. But, if I slip the clutch just right I can take off in 3rd quite comfortably....the bonus of having a 'big bike'.

    Basically the fix is practice, practice and more practice. As others have said you should be changing down as you slow down, matching the gear to the road and engine speed. This will do 3 things. Firstly it'll provide some engine breaking (assuming you let the clutch out between changes and aren't just banging it down all the gears at once). Secondly it'll help to make sure you are in the right gear should you need to accelerate quickly, and lastly it'll help make sure you are in 1st when you stop. But even so it's worth double checking while your stopped at the lights.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. This is what I do. Multiple presses while rolling up to the stop. It hasn't happened yet, but I don't wish to filter to the front only to have it rev in neutral, embarrassing - haha!
  8. Maybe the other problem might be the way the select lever is operated. You need to take all the pressure off before re-applying for the next downchange. So for example, a firm down-change into second, then foot off the lever before pre-loading/shifting into first. Putting downward pressure on the shift lever twice without the release between will not result in two downshifts, the lever needs to be "re-set" between actions.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. QRide Instructor(s) said to get into the habit of tapping down a few times whenever coming to or preparing for a stop at low speeds, and to do the same when emergency braking. ^ Actually lifting your foot off the lever will make sure each tap is doing its job. I can't say I have this down pat, but it's something to practice. I CAN make mine take off in second but It's not big enough to make that maneuver (manoover? maneuvoure? man hoovah? whatouver) comfortable.
  10. #10 kneedragon, Feb 25, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2016
    whoops, I already did that... Repetition is boring...
  11. There are few basic operational errors more annoying than rolling in somewhere, maybe a fuel stop, distracted by looking at whatever and coming to a stop with no idea of what gear you are in and not being able to change into another, or find neutral.

    Whatever you do, don't stomp on the shift lever to force it. You may end up bending a shift fork (never force a shift) $$$ to fix and you may not be able to ride away at all. If you really have to, after trying to rock it into the next gear, turn the motor off. Some motorbike clutches have a bit of drag. This will eliminate this and a rock forward or backward with the engine off will surely get you into neutral or first. - This is not a good look in traffic at the lights.

    Changing down progressively while still rolling to a stop or a much slower speed, should be a carefully cultivated habit, that ultimately, you just do without thinking.
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  12. This is something I asked my partner because there are so many operational tasks involved in using the bike that I have to do very consciously and when I watch him ride it seems like all of those little processes come automatically. His brain tells his body to change gears and it changes gears. I think "change gears" and I have to intentionally go through all the steps, albeit faster than I used to but it's still something I have to put effort into to do correctly.
    I can't wait for the stage when those things come without thinking and I can focus not just on operating the bike but other aspects of riding.
    • Like Like x 2
  13. Ride often, so much so that riding is a routine part of your life and think about the processes every time so that you do it exactly right and eventually you will discover that you just do it.

    If you think about every time it so all that practice is perfect, you will make it perfect and will find you no longer think about it. Works every time. So much so that you will find you will have to think about it to do it any other way. Some common variations will then become automatic - eg. At give way signs with good visibility, you might find yourself counting down one less cog to end up in second with first or neutral as the options as you approach. And so on.

    Counting down is not a sign of idiocy or senility - its a good practice, and shows that you can count. The art was lost when bikes had 5 gears only for so long.
    • Agree Agree x 1