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Mechanical question, changing down into first gear.

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by DKEL, Oct 11, 2006.

  1. I think I read recently in a post someone mentioning thats its not wise to change down into first gear while the bike it still moving.

    Can anyone state why this might not be a good thing to do to a bike? Are cars the same?
  2. that was me, and it's definately not good in cars. look you're not gonna blow up a gearbox by doing it at slow speeds, it's just better not to and there is no real need. 1st is designed to move you from a standstill... you've got a zzr aswell.... have you not noticed when you flog the bejesus out of it there is no real point redlining in first coz you don't get any faster in second, it's a real "starter gear" and nothing more on the baby z's
  3. You definatly put quite a bit of load on your drive train by changing into first gear at too high revs.

    Stantionary is not neccessary, but certainly very slow is a good idea.
  4. Thanks flexorcist.
    I have noticed there is not a lot of difference between first and second on my bike. Can even take off in 2nd with care....and a tailwind. Not that i do that regulary.
  5. On a ZZR250 probably not, as it has a low, close ratio gearbox to make up for the lack of power. On a litre bike you can ride around in 1st gear all day if you so chose as it peaks out at about 130kph.
    The main danger is a compression lock up which could cause a less experienced rider to crash.
    Even on my firestorm I won't click into first until I'm about to stop.
  6. This is true on really old cars - where 1st gear wasn't syncromeshed. On a modern car though 1st isn't any different to any other gear so there's no harm in using it. I know with my car 1st gear will take it to 60kph and I quite often have to drop back that far for speedhumps - it struggles a bit in 2nd given that peaks at 100kph.
  7. so what you guys are saying is that the procedure you're taught by the instructors when you get your licence of "start to break, clutch in, change down to 1st & be stopped with the bike in 1st" is wrong?
  8. I was going to say what outbreakM said; changing into first while still on the move at too high a speed can lock up the rear wheel and really unsettle the bike.
    In the twisties if you're in second and a really tight corner comes up you may have a reason, but around town it's really just a 'get you moving from standstill' gear..

    Tash, I can understand why they do that when training new riders, but in the real world away from the demands of testing a rider's total skills, you wouldn't really do it, for all the techncial and safety reasons mentioned above.
  9. Anything under 15kmph I'm in first..lets me pull away easiler when I need to. If you are rolling below 15kmph say.. and you are in 2nd and you need to pull away from gettin rear ended, you may panic and not control the clutch properly and stall. Depends...heaps of scenarios
  10. ok- so what gear am I meant to put it in while rolling towards the lights with my clutch in & breaks on??
    neutral? 2nd?
  11. Yeah, I'd definitely want to be in first by the time I stopped, for the ability to light it up and get out of the way of a rear-ender or any other hazard: staying in second is a recipe for a stall in an emergency. Whether you click it into 1st with the clutch in at the end of slowing down or go to it as part of your engine braking slowdown, right at the end, is probably as much a matter of taste as anything else.
  12. there is no rules, you use which ever gear is most suitable.
  13. Hey, didn't someone say "Engines are ONLY for accelerating and brakes are for braking." Well, on the Ducati I do use engine braking, but I know I shouldn't.

    If I think the lights aren't about to change, I roll up to the line in neutral, using brakes only, unless I have been filtering, then I'm usually feathering the clutch in 1st.

    You 250cc guys have it so easy, tottering around in second gear. :grin: My 1st gear tops out at 80Km/h, and 2nd just over 110Km/h, so 1st is a must in lots of traffic conditions. With the engine at 3000RPM, the comfortable minimum, I'm already doing 28Km/h in 1st.

    But hey, use your head, every bike is different. If you aren't straining the engine, gearbox or chain, and the rear wheel doesn't break away, it must be right. :cool:
  14. Gotta disagree: any idea who it was and when/where?
  15. I believe it is a quote out of Twist of the Wrist Vol II, but it is a second hand quote, and therefore I could be wrong. I read it on a site describing riding and racing technique. Could have been http://www.bikepoint.com.au/portal/...D__5766/BikeTipType__Tech/DesktopDefault.aspx, or http://www.msgroup.org/DISCUSS.asp. I can't be sure now which one it was, but it is a very common discussion point on bike riding sites.

    I'm sure there are others who could better argue the merits of braking techniques, but that particular issue makes sense to me. You can't control the engine braking as well as you can control the brake lever!

    Yep, http://www.bikepoint.com.au/portal/..._118422/BikeTipType__Tech/DesktopDefault.aspx

    Let's look at how to get the correct gear. A good reference on this subject is Chapter 8 of Keith Code's "A Twist of the Wrist."

    We read, "Downshifting is closely associated with braking because the two almost always occur at the same time. From observation, it appears that most riders believe the engine is supposed to help slow or stop the bike. When you hear an engine spinning up toward redline going into a turn, you know the rider is trying to use it as a brake. Does this apply to you?"
  16. If you're going to roll to the line with the clutch IN it doesn't matter what gear you're in because drive is disengaged anyway. I leave the bike in second right up to the last instant, and then either click though to first if I think the light's going to change any time soon, or if it's a stop or give way sign, or neutral if it's looking like being a long wait. (Yeah, I know about leaving it in gear in case someone comes barreling up behind you, but as I've said before, the chance of being able to do anthing useful in that situation is slim anyway)