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im having trouble controlling the clutch

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by xryda, Apr 12, 2013.

  1. hi guys ive been having trouble with gear changes. when im down shifting i seem to let the clutch out too quickly, its like the clutch is either on or off with no real friction point. now im pretty sure theres nothing wrong with the clutch as i am able to take off in first without stalling or riding on one wheel. also when im too slow in changing up gears i get too much compression from the motor aswel. when i blip the throttle everything goes reasonably smooth but i dont seem to be able to do this all the time.
    any advice would be appreciated

  2. Make sure your cable and any pivots are clean and properly lubricated. Any sticking points will make the clutch more difficult to operate, as will having too much slack in the cable (or lever if it's a hydraulic clutch).
    Some of it is just learning to let the lever out smoothly and feeling the take up point. You can practice feeling for it at take-off but moving on the road it's a little tricky.
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  3. 1 word.......practice

    ( genuine advice...in no way meant to be condescending )
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  4. Yep it will come naturally. Practice practice practice.

    If you don't understand what's happening**, when you blip the throttle you are trying to match engine speeds with the wheels, as your in a lower gear the engine has to spin faster to match speeds with the wheels.

    What you are experiencing with the clutch on off sensation is because the wheels and the engine are going different speeds. The engine is moving slower so when it grasps on to the wheels it will try to slow them down quickly feeling like someone has just grabbed the back of your bike. Hence you want the engine going the same speed as the wheels.

    It's all about the left and right hand balancing with each other. It's hard to explain but it will come easily and quickly the more you ride.

    **Not making any assumption that you don't understand this but it really helps to think about the mechanics of what is happening.
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  5. I found the smooth spot for changing gears is between 8000-9000RPM on the Across on the upshift...that's where I can clutchless shift without issues.

    Downshifting, you don't have to blip the throttle for a smooth transition. Letting the clutch out slowly will help, however I have found that the Across has a tendency to have sticky clutch cable. So lube all the pivot points and the cable to see if it makes any difference for you.

    Also when shifting, try to put a bit of pressure on the gear lever before you change gears. Say for example, on an upshift, push up on the lever slightly until it stops, then pull clutch in and change gears. The slight gap of nothing between rest and changing gears can cause issues with smooth gear changes.

    See how that goes.
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  6. Good tip here....

    If interested my latest blog post is on clutchless shifting technique - have a read
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  7. The description in your blog is much better than mine!
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  8. The three most useful videos i've watched for riding in regards to shifting. It is all to do with shifting, preloading for shifting, upshifting, clutchless upshifting, and throttle blipping.

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  9. It's a feel thing. And you have to get the feeling. My best advice is nothing is a quick or violent movement on a bike. Everything is about squeeze, push and feel.
    Once you have it, it's a subconscious thing and you get it right 99% of the time.
    Doing it over and over and over. But do it with feel not speed. Speed comes from feel and not the other way around.
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  10. Very zen of you ... and true.
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  11. All of the above. They're all good tips :)

    Also check out some videos on gear changing by RoadcraftNottingham on Youtube. (I'm at work at the moment, so I can't go on Youtube)

    Not sure if this is the case with you too, but I found that I used to subconsciously pop the clutch lever because I rushed it trying not to let the rev drop back down too far. So I repeated the mantra: "slow is smooth, smooth is fast", and problem fixed.
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  12. Also, you can move where the friction point is (a bit) by adjusting the cable tension. You can also rotate the lever around the handle bar. Both of these might help if you have some bio-mechanical issue (friction point corresponding to an awkward position).
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  13. thank you all heaps. there seems to be a lot of good points here. and those videos were gold thankyou. before my next ride ill check the operation of the clutch lever and oil the cable. then practice practice practice till ive got it. im booked in to do the post learners course next month at HART so hopefully i can master this before then so i can get as much out of the course as i can.
    once again i really appreciate everyone's input