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new rider, need a few issues cleared up

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by kaveman, Feb 18, 2009.

  1. Ok so i just got my first bike (07 GPX250) 2 days ago and ive been taking it for a ride around quiet streets and this empty netball court area near my place. this is pretty much the first time ive ever ridden a motorcycle (since the prelearner course) so ive got a couple of probably stupid questions regarding gear shifts, which i just need to get sorted out:

    1. My main problems are with smooth downshifting. What is the best way for me to downshift? Is it better to engage the cluth, push down, then blip the throttle a bit and disengage quickly? Or is it better to just engage the cluth, push down, then slowly disengage? Coz at the moment ive been trying the latter and I found that the rear wheel locks up a bit..

    2. Also, with downshifting, is it ok to downshift from say 4th to 2nd? So like if i'm cruising at 60km/h in 4th, and suddenly realise i need to make a turn up ahead, is it ok to engage the cluth, push down twice, then disengage? And if so, will shifting down 2 gears make the rear wheel lock up more than if i just downshift from 4th to 3rd?

    3. One more thing with downshifts: say i'm cruising at 60km/h in 4th gear, and i need to slow down momentarily to 20km/h up ahead, but then i'll be able to accelerate back up to 60 km/h. Is it ok to stay in 4th gear the whole time (while decelerating to 20 and then accelerating back up to 60)? Or would it be better to downshift to 2nd or 3rd while decelerating, then upshift back up to 4th when accelerating?

    4. Lastly, with upshifts, at what revs is it good to upshift? Coz i've taken my bike up to 6000 revs before i upshift...is taking it that high likely to damage the engine?

    Thanks for your help!!
  2. There are no rules written in stone. Practice is what you need. Blipping the throttle, i.e. matching the revs puts less wear on the clutch plates than dragging the clutch. Shifting down multiple gears is OK again match the revs so you don't get rear wheel lockup when you disengage the clutch.

    Pick the appropriate gear for the conditions, if you are coasting down and then will need to accelerate again ahead a lower gear will give you more control and better torque to accelerate again.

    6000 is nowhere near the redline so you have lots of headroom to play in yet. Sustained running at or above redline on your tacho will cause damage.

    Good luck :)
  3. For the record I have the same bike and it's the bike I learnt to ride on.

    1. With your downshifting slow down more before you change down gears and you're less likely to lock up your rear wheel. Firstly just practice letting the clutch out slowly and if you like give it a tiny bit of throttle as you do this. I blip on all my downshifts on my bike and in a car, but you have to learn to walk before you can run. Get the hang of smooth downshifts without blipping, then learn to give it a quick bit of revs before dropping the clutch.

    2. I think it's a bad idea to skip gears on a bike. What happens if you go from 4th to 2nd and you're going too fast when you let the clutch out... you're going to lock up the rear wheel. With a bit of practice you'll be surprised at how fast you can downshift through all the gears without skipping any. If you know you're going to stop and you're stopping fast, then fair enough if you go all the way down into first without letting the clutch lever out. I rarely skip gears, I reckon it'll get you into trouble if conditions change and you need to accelerate quickly.

    3. If you do this you're going to have very very little acceleration on a GPX250. Your call but, I'd be going down into third. It's not going to kill you is it?

    4. I usually upshift anywhere between 5k and 7k on my bike, and that's where I try and keep the revs generally. If I'm trying to save petrol then between 4k & 5k. You're going to cause more engine wear the higher you rev it, but it's not "highly likely to damage the engine". The bike doesn't really have any power till about 7k so that's about the minimum I keep it on when I'm out riding for fun. It's not going to blow up don't worry.

    5. Questions 1-4 you will easily work out the answer yourself if you just get out there and practice. Try and go for a ride everyday and you'll pick everything up really quick. Go GPX!
  4. engage clutch and release throttle at the same time (you'll get the hang of it) change gear and the release clutch slowly. also you dont need to pull the clutch in all the way, just till you feel it disengage the rear wheel, i find this makes gear changes alot quicker and smoother.

    I do this sometimes usually when coming to a stop at lights (3rd right down to 1st) but I try not to, i have no idea if it will cause damage. and no it wont make your wheel lock up (as long as the bike has slowed down enough for that gear)

    you can stay in 4th if you want but i would go down to 3rd, so that when you want to get going again you have a bit more power.

    you can take it to redline before you shift if you want, i normally shift at about 8-9k rpm and ride at constant speed at about 6-7.5k rpm. if you want to go quick change gear when it gets to about 12k rpm thats the top end of the power band i find.

    im still new to riding myself but we have pretty similar bikes im on a zzr250 - happy riding.