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Half clutch relevation

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by jimmyv, Jan 17, 2009.

  1. Maybe this is bleedingly obvious to some but I realised today I do not need to pull the clutch in all the way for gear changes.

    Purely by accident today I only only gave the clutch the tiniest pull and the gear changed with the smallest of fuss. Only using a dab of clutch has improved my smoothness by alot.

    I have come along way today...

    Hopefully other fully clutching riders can try this
  2. I find clutchless (no clutch at all) shifting quicker easier and smoother from 3 to 4 on, I use a little (like you) for 2 to 3,
  3. I am sincerely glad that you're finding your way about your bike with more confidence and that you feel your gear changing is smoother / better.

    But the point at which the clutch engages when you squeeze the lever is unique to every bike and the adjustment of the clutch cable.

    I know several people that "deliberately" have the clutch "friction point" at only a centimetre or so off the handlebar / grip - because that's just their preference - and thus they fully engage the clutch lever when changing gears.

    I don't know that is actually any easier or better (or if it is of any harm to the gearbox / bike)... most likely it is borne from laziness, but I tend to change gears without the clutch at all.

    So for all, but taking off from stationary, my gear changes are clutchless.

  4. i think that people who adjust the clutch so that you only have to 'pull it in' about a centimeter before in engages, do so because it creates faster shifting of gears (clutch shifting that is) as you are not 'wasting time' pulling the clutch all the way in. sounds silly. but in racing and the like, milliseconds matter.

    i could be wrong though...........
  5. You'll find much smoother upshifts using quick, minimal clutch, esp in the higher revs. However, I have found it also means being more direct using your gears.. I've found myself in the same gear or finding false neutral at times :roll:
  6. I can see the merits in the faster shift for sure. Because I have been trying to shift fast by pulling the clutch in and out with a large hand motion (all the way on to all the way off) which has resulted in a considerable jerky action. By only pulling clutch in slightly I guess the drivetrain doesnt loose power for so long and gives a smoother action.

    I guess its the habits of driving a manual car and slowly realizing that the concept is the same but with a different technique
  7. Power-shifting set up on MotoGP bikes allow no use of the clutch at all on up-shifts ( & down).
    (I think it cuts the engine for that millisecond the gearbox needs to expereince the engine load removed to allow the next gear to be selected, a guess??)

    Although modern motorcycle engine & gearboxes can quite happily allow clutchless gear shifting as long as there is no load on the drivetrain (which is what the clutch does: removes the 'link' from the engine to the gearbox to allow the change). You can do this by throttle off/coast & go for a gearchange.

    The clutch is a great tool to meter out the power in tricky going, like crawling through traffic or riding mub or deep sand.
  8. I've found that sometimes the gear wont engage until the clutch is on the way out when im shifting very quickly with less than full clutch movement. As a result i am now in the habit of exerting pressure on the gear lever (both up and down shifts) until the clutch lever is fully released. I have never had a missed gear (to date) when shifting like this (maybe im not trying hard enough, or as fast as you guys?).

    I think the term for this is positive shifting?
  9. Timing is the most important thing if you're using the clutch and otherwise IMHO.

    Cutting the revs then snapping back just as you shift up in the higher rev ranges works very well and most of the time don't even feel the bike kicking up the gears. That's the smoothest ánd quickest way i've found to shift up but if you're newer to riding and have more difficulty timing things, the clutch can be helpful and on the smaller capacity machines, dragging the clutch out through the shift isn't very likely to pop the front up.... :?

    All from personal experience here and based on what i've read so take my words with a grain of salt.

    Bottom line....

    Use the clutch low to mid range and when you're giving it a bit, try clutchless shifting. and remember to give it a solid kick through the gears so you don't end up with a false neutral or the nasty grinding when it doesn't go through the gears right.

    On that note though, you can bugger up your bike with or without the clutch with bad shifting habits so why not just learn how to shift both ways?

    All IMHO of course! :LOL:
  10. The smoothest changes tend to be when you pull the clutch in to just beyond the friction point.
    So, with just a finger tug, rather than a whole handful you can snick it through very nicely, as you have descovered.
    The only time I shift wothout the clutch, is either just to maintain my own training, or because I don't have time to.
    Having your clutch engage close to the bars is a bit of a waste of time, and you run the risk of allowing your clutch to drag as it wears, without realizing it. (bad)

    Adjust your clutch to suit your hand, and then just use your fingers to jab the clutch lever in a little as you snick it through, is round-about where most riders ride. :)

  11. Not wanting this to sound like another clutchless shift thread. I tried shifting without clutch without much luck...

    Reading this though maybe I am not pulling the gear peg harder enough and I am attempting it at a very moderate pace. So I will try with more pace :)

    Hehe its almost taken 6 months but I am really starting to enjoy this motorcycle thing. Oh and to think I nearly gave up on it only a couple months in. :p
  12. i've also found on the same bike, that pulling the clutch in about 1/4 of the way rather than the full grab allows smoother and quicker transition between gears
  13. Only if you're keen on it, take Raven's advice over mine, he's a much more experienced rider, I do use the clutch for most of my riding, it's just on my spirited rides i go without.

    Make sure to back off the throttle as you kick then snap it back onto fairly high revs otherwise it doesn't go quite as smooth.

    and do give it a solid knock up, the grinding gears is a truly sickening sound :LOL:

    Btw to anyone that actually knows their shit, set me right if i'm doing something wrong or saying something wrong, I don't want to be giving bad info.

  14. You're close enough. Try it off the limiter for awesome fun. It quickly becomes illegal after the first change though, so don't try too many in a row! :grin:

    You would take off in first, and hold the throttle open flat stick, as you approach the redline, you load the shifter up with your foot, and as soon as the rev limiter cuts power, the 2nd gear will slide straight in. If you still have the throttle flat out, you can load the shifter again, and get 3rd the next time you get to the limiter. I find on the vtr, after 3rd, there is too much load on the drivetrain for the rev limiter to cut enough, and you need to start rolling off the throttle. It's the same basic premise as the air shifters used in drag racing, they combine a pneumatic shifter with a throttle cut to change gears.

    Day to day, I use the clutch to take off in first from the lights but that's about it. General upshifts are done by stopping the throttle with the shifter loaded. Pull up against the lever as you prepare to change, when you want the gear, let off the throttle. The new gear pops in no worries. Don't be light, pull up against it nice and firm. As soon as you cut power, it pops in.

    You can do the opposite for downshifts. Off the throttle, coasting in, when the revs are sufficiently low enough to avoid the next gear over-revving, you can click down a gear on the peddle, by giving a very small "blip" of power as you step down on the shifter. The blip helps the engine bring the revs up to match the new gear, so as not to compression lock the rear wheel. A little bit of practice, and it will be smooth as. If you have a bike with a nice note, and certainly the twin carbies on the vtr help, you can get some nice crackle and pop with clutchless downshifts.

    I can however offer no mechanical advice as to the effects of doing these things to your motorcycle. I have 44000k's on my VTR with no ill effects yet, but it doesn't mean they might not be coming.
  15. It does'nt matter what pace you are riding at...take time to master your gear changes, both for your own sense of clarity and perfectionism, and for the sake of mechancial empathy. :)

    If you are having a little trouble with the timing, which as not4resale metioned is very important, then try this instead.

    Snick the gear through (with a positive foot action), just as you shut the throttle off...let the bike coast in that new gear for a second, and then ease the power back on...
    It's a relaxed gearchange that works best in the higher gears but is perfectly ok for the lower gears once you are comfy with it.
    Because it's a slower change...don't do it with cars right up your clacker...practice it when you haqve a bit of space around you and are just wanting to "tootle". :)

  16. That's 'one' method of changing gears, but I defintely would'nt recommend it for ALL the time, or generally riding around...pinging the rev-limiter, and preloading the shift lever over time is going to cause you problems..
    Might work ok now, but try it when your bike has done 40-50K and you might find there is alot more wear, that has been unnecessary.

  17. Did you even read all the post?

    The limiter section, reads, "For some fun, try...."

    The 2nd paragraph says "Day to day, I don't do that, I do this..."

    The 3rd paragraph is "You can downshift too, like this..."

    The last line is "This can be some fun, but try it at your own risk, I offer no mechanical advice, as I have not yet witnessed personal problems to write about..."

    But yeah thanks for clearing up that you expect it will have some mechanical deterioration if you do it ALL the time. I was kinda expecting that. A bit like wheel stands with hard landings, and burnouts etc. It's not necessarily what the thing was designed for, and so excess abuse will probably lead to stuffing shit up.

    I think the jury is mostly still out on clutchless changes being mechanically good/bad right? I mean, you can shift without the clutch smoother than most people can WITH the clutch after a bit of practice. My opinion would be that if its smoother, and easier, it must be less, or at least no more damaging to the gearbox right?

    And yeah, as for revving it out to the limiter, you certainly wouldn't do it every gear change, that's not what it's there for. You would end up wearing out the engine far before its time. But certainly a trip out to the limiter, once or twice, every now and again, isn't gonna be that horrific. I see it a bit like the "glass of red wine a day for your health" kinda thing. Give it a rev every now and again, keep the carbon deposits off the top end of the cylinder walls, etc.

    Any thoughts?
  18. any time you force the drivetrain to speed up or slow down, almost instantly, without a clutch, the peak torque applied to the components from momentum of the drivetrain, engine, and bike iteself, is far greater than if torque is applied gradually through a clutch.

    i dont see how it could possibly be in dispute? high revving, low torque sports bikes would be less of a strain on the gearbox compared to a torquey vtwin, but i still wouldnt do it personally.

    its a tradeoff between component wear and speed. surely most people dont need to shift at racing speeds on any road?
  19. Yeah...I've got a thought or two....you agree with me - that's one of them. :)

    Yes, I read every word of what you wrote...nothing wrong with it, but I just don't see it fitting that well with a post about a guy who is getting the finer points of gear-shifting sorted..

    In any case...changing gears while bouncing it off the rev limiter is great for a good 'ol thrash now and again...and I'm no cream puff when it comes to giving a bike a good thrashing.. :grin: ...but when I do it, I'm also aware that it is not too good for the bike, (even though it won't explode) "overall", and my mechanical empathy kicks in) :)

    Yeah...shits and giggles fun, but I don't agree that it's good for the bike - longer term - as you've pointed out...While it might feel like it is snicking through easily when you load up the lever etc, that does'nt necessarily equate to it being easier on the bike..IMHO...get it wrong and you can bend a selector and ruin a perfectly good bike for no real reason. (btw...I do clutchless shift quite often, but I try to be careful with loading the mechancials up too much...eeek!

    Yeah, I know it has been argued, but that's my belief, rightly or wrongly, and since I'm paying the bills I'd rather err on the side of cuation and not have to worry so much.

  20. :oops: Confused now...

    TBH my clutchless shifts feel fine and i tried what raven said with dragging out the change on my lunch break and it worked a treat.

    Should i be aiming to be doing more clutchless or more with the clutch? I prefer clutchless but i don't want to hurt my bike :(