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Problem during downgear

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by Ricksters68, Nov 27, 2006.

  1. Hi All,

    Not sure if this is common or its just me being a newbie. I have a honda VTR250, had it for 6 months now. I ride occassionally. My problem is during downgear I cant seem to find first gear. Im not sure what gear Im on and end up stalling the bike at the lights or have to rev more to get it going (bike running slow offcourse because im in wrong gear). :oops:

    Do you guys shift down gear and use front and rear to slow you bike when approaching red lights? I drive a manual car and always use my clutch to slow down, I tend to do same when riding bike. Is this the right way?

    Now I have this habit to always check im on first gear before the lights turn green. :cry:

    This is my first post. My apology if its long :)
  2. Hi and welcome Ricksters

    Yep, shift down a gear, tap both brakes, and then again and again till stopped.

    Once stopped, and if I haven't noticed the neutral light flicking on when I think I am in first, I will again push down to ensure it can't go any further.

    Next click up to neutral (some will say wait until there is one car parked behind you) and then wait for lights to change and into first and away you go.
  3. Welcome buddy!

    When stopping at lights i down gear then use front brake 70%ish and rear brake 30%ish. When it slows down almost to complete stop i pull the clutch in all the way and start kicking the gears down repeat until it won't go anymore. That's when i know i'm in first.

    Again....So when at a stop, clutch is in to prevent stalling and sometimes i don't know what gear i'm in so i just repeat kicking it down till i know i'm in first.

    Not sure what you mean by using clutch to slow down though.
  4. He's refering to using gears to slow down. You know, how when you shift down a gear your revvs pick up meaning engine turns faster, and without fuel being pumped in kinetic energy is absorbed so you slow down. So shifting down = slowing down. Please tell me you knew that? :p
  5. Oops....thought he said used clutch to slow down not down gearing :)
  6. Maybe he rides a bike or drives a car with no engine braking? Surely you knew it's not a universal quality?
  7. If he's referring to downshifting, it is highly unlikely he will want to go to first gear anyway, apart from CRAWLING traffic.

    If he is referng to stopping and starting at the lights, for example, gearing down is pretty useless and he should just use the right, left, right, left "rule" for coming to a (controlled)stop.
    That is ......set up and squeeze RIGHT front brake .........clutch lever on the LEFT all the way in ........pressure on the rear RIGHT brake pedal.......and kick down through ALL the gears on the LEFT.

    At the lights, it is good practice to be in first gear (and if you are still unsure, let clutch out a bit and see if the bike responds and tap down repeatedly) and ready to move while watching your mirrors for a rear ender.

    After that, if you are going to wait for a while, slip into neutral and relax (all the instructors are now having uncontrolled seizures :LOL: :LOL: :LOL: ) and then it is a simple tap down and away!!!!

    If you do happen to still miss first gear, just rev the sh*t out of it and ride the clutch and awaaaay ya go..........!!!!
  8. Indeed, if you're already using the gears to slow down, or at least preparing to change up once the lights go green, as soon as you stop, kick the bike through to either neutral (my preferred choice) and de-clutch, or first and wait for the lights to change.. As for being in first to avoid rear-enders, if you're the first in the queus and there are cars crossing in front of you, you can't go anywhere, and if you're in between cars you can't go anywhere either, but if it makes the instructors happy....
  9. Hey Ricksters68
    If I read you correctly, I take it your problem is that if you come to a stop with the bike higher in the gears, you start clicking down, and just keep doing it but never find teh botttom or nutral.

    As has been stated in this thread already working your way down through the gears as you slow down is a very usfull habit to get into. if the traffic gets moving again you will be able to take off and... you will not have this unable to find gears issue you have described as often.

    As you will note I say as often, it may still hapen every now and then. So what you do is let your clutch out just to the ballance point (When you feel it just start to pull) then pulll the clutch in and try gearing down again.

    I only know a little about the gear boxes on these besties, but from what I gather is that the gears end up lined up in such a way that you cant push them into place. Letting the clutch out a littel moves them so that they will be able to fall into place again.
  10. I mostly use engine braking to slow down but lightly engage the rear brake to get the red light going.
    If there is traffic in front of me then I keep it slow until they have stopped, then filter through. I never use neutral at intersections though.
  11. Ha! Rickster68, you should try it on a Ducati. It's an Art Form! :shock:

    Seriously, Falcon-Lord has it right. If you are pressing the gear shift down, but it isn't changing gears, just keep your front brake on and let the clutch out until it starts to pull. The gear box should click down a gear.

    I usually change down while still moving, but if I have had to do a quick stop, and I'm still in say 3rd, I often need to use the above procedure for each downshift. The Ducati gearbox doesn't like changing when the bike is stationary.
  12. Ricksters68, not sure if we've helped you yet. I read your post from the point that once you've stopped you don't always know which gear you'r e in, so have issue when you take off. This happens to me at least once a day, not stall but the stop and not be sure if you're clicked all the way to first. If i know i'm not in first i let the clutch out a little to let me down shift and tap thru till hit first. You should know you've hit first by doing the clutch release and down tap and feeling the pull. Another way is to lift the shift once you're stationary and see if neutral light comes on. If i am just unsure if i went all the way down i'll eitnher do the neutral thing or just release the clutch with the brake on and feel the pull, you learn to feel the difference between 1st and 2nd ( at least you seem to). Hope this helps.

  13. Rickster, I know your exact problem because it happened to me a few times in the last week and a bit (I've had my bike for 2.5 weeks). The damn thing sometimes just does not want to find first. Sometimes second is as far as it wants to go if you pull up at the lights in 4th or 5th then pull the clutch in when I come close to a stop. If I gradually downshif to at least third then I've never had the problem. I've definitely never had it when gradually downshifting and pulling up in second.

    Here are two solutions for you:

    1. This is what my Honda dealer told me. When you pull up and it won't go down past second, let the clutch out a little until the gears engage then you can pull in the clutch and select first or neutral. I've been told the issue is that the gears haven't quite engaged properly (two teeth touching and not meshed) but are at the point of doing so so end up locking and that its no big issue.

    2. I started doing this. I downshift normally/gradually as I'm coming in to a stop. Pull up in second and it will select first or neutral. Rolling in in 4th or 5th then kicking it down to 1st when you're stopped hasn't worked every time (but does nearly every time).
  14. If I'd read everyone's responses first, I wouldn't have posted :oops: . Falcon-Lord summed it up nicely.
  15. I had the same problem on the cb250 I did my licence on. after grumping at them about the piece of s$#t they expected me to do the test on I was told pretty much what Falcon-Lord said: they don't like to go down more than one gear at a time and to let the clutch out if it gets stuck in neutral.
  16. Thanks to ALL

    Hi Guys,

    Thanks for the feedback, it was very helpful. Now Im enjoying the ride much more confident.

    Great Feed Back Yo All!!!

    Rickster :grin:
  17. a rotary? scary stuff *shudder*
  18. Nothing wrong with that. It's a good habit to get into. :)

    I also never sit in neutral at lights. Always first. Ready for the light to turn green.

    As for changing down gears...engine braking etc...it's always helpful to get someone to show you. I was confused about the whole 'throttle blipping' whilst changing down gears ( I just couldn't get my head around it)...until I jumped on the back of Raven's (netrider 'mentor') bike for a lesson. See the post in New riders/riding tips...It's a sticky - called Mentors or something similar. Perhaps send him a pm asking for some guidance...or perhaps just put a call out to netriders in general. I'm sure you'll get someone put their hand up to help. :)

    Good luck with it all and all the best

  19. Thanks to ALL

    Hi Rosie,

    Thanks for the reference.


  20. Hello all, I have a VTR250 too, a 2003 model. What I notice is that clicking down through the gears, first gear feels different - i.e. I know from the feel of the click that I've hit first. Do you guys who own the VTR250 get the same feeling ?

    Having said that, I too have taken off in 2nd gear as well.