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RPMs & gear changes

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by nooneuknow, Apr 12, 2005.

  1. Hi all,
    well we (me and the baby) went out again tonite, and shes jst awesome :)
    shouldve done this sooner!
    but have some Q's - cos im still learning! have been reading the posts - what does 'redline' refer to...?? i know when u drive a manual car, the higher u rev, the more torque you can get from the engine, but i also notice that the RPMs go waaay higher on the bike (ie, in my little suzuki hatchback, i hardly go past 4-4500rpms before changing)
    how high do u usually rev to change gears, and between which gears (eg. 1-2, 2-3, 3-4).
    thanks all! :)

  2. You'll find a comfortable point in each gear range where the bike just seems happy to putter along; but to be more specific... for standard riding (ie. just cruising around) you wouldn't really need to go past 50% of your redline. For getting around 'quickly' you might wanna take it up to 60-70%. If your going hell for leather then 100% all the way.

    To put that into perspective on a ZZR, I'd be taking it to about 7000 for normal riding, 10,000 for brisk, and 15,500 (thats redline on the ZZR/GPX right?) for as quick as your gonna get.

    Be nice to your little 2fiddy, but be sure to give her a good fanging once in a while.
  3. good question, I've been ridding for 4 months now... I change up when I feel the engine's power is flat or I hear that it's reving too hard... Dunno, it's something you develop over time / once you get to know your bike more, you'll have a feel for where the power is in the rev range...

    Having said that, my brother in-law says he'll never buy a car / bike from me, I rev them too hard...

    I'll be interested to learn how others know when to change gears, there's always room to improve my riding.
  4. Thought it might be worth menioning that it really depends on the engine (ie. the bike). For the ZZR/GPX i know they have a nice torquey (ok, well torquey for a 2fiddy :p ) midrange, and theres very little point taking them up into the upper rev range.

    On the other hand, my little 4-pot-screamer fizzer loves it in the lower stratosphere. The power really starts to pull between 12,000-16,000 and then starts to taper off slightly after 17,500. In the streets i keep her between 5000-8500, riding quickly ill keep it between 7000-10,000, and in the hills ill sit it smack bang on 10k; right where the power starts.

    Of course, parrallel twinners & v-twinners will react differently to being wound up.
  5. Your question is a technical one to answer.... Basically however the redline simply refers to the section on your tacho where the revs are in RED. This is the MAXIMUM revs your engine can do without blowing it up or damaging the engine. That is why modern day cars have a rev limiter (the engine management computer cuts the power when you hit the upper section of the redline and you get the effect of 'Bouncing the neddling of the redline' which is when it goes whine whine whine whine whine whine rather then WHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINE. This is a safety feature to try and help protect the engine from noobs who like to torture there engines like this (e.g. whilst doing burnouts in which then tend to hold the power on in one gear).

    On the note of Higher Revs more torque, this is a yes and no. remeber Torque(turning effect i.e. Pulling power) and 'power' (KW) are 2 different things. Torque tends to peak at lower RPM then KW in most engines. The redline is also a good indicator of peak KW aswell. If you look at Dyno charts for most engines you will find it rising exponentially then dropping off again JUST before the redline......

    ok i'm too tired to explain more. To explain this properly and technically will require about 2 pages.....i hope you get the general idea from my little spiel here. Sorry it's not alittle cleare i'm very tired.

    Josh :)
  6. Josh , why dont you type it up and place it in the article section .
  7. 14k, I think. 14-16k is red, from memory. It's been a while since I really looked, it's mostly by feel now. Once you're used to your bike, you'll find you can feel when it's a good time to change for how quickly you're trying to accelerate... and when you're flat out, you'll feel the power dropping off indicating it's time to change.

    For starting out, you'll find it easier to shift gears smoothly at lower RPM (well it's more forgiving). But as with everything, practice makes perfect on that one too - it's just a matter of getting to know your girl. Ride her a lot, and you'll know her to treat her right! :p :LOL:
  8. When I had my ZZR I had the same problem, I had no clue what rpm to change gears at so would be gearing up at 7 000 or so and for the ZZR I found it was jut too low! Would take ages to wind back up to a usable power range. For rides around town that's not a huge problem....but I would usually sit it round 8-10 000 cos the power kicked in round the 8000 mark on mine. On fanging rides I would gear change anywhere btn 10 000 and 13 000. Took me a while and a pair of earplugs to ignore the whining noise from the bike..always felt like I was flogging the little beast! :roll: :D
  9. I dont think my zx2r had a redline gauge, the tacho goes 1-20k. am i to assume the redline starts 16-17k?
  10. I have found that the red line usually starts 2K below the top reading of the tacho. So on your zzr red line would be 18K the same as my old cbr250. Just take it up there in first off the line you will hear it start to ping off the rev limiter and check the actual value. Btw this will not hurt the bike as they are designed to rev higher than the actual red line.
  11. Man, talk about high revving...:LOL:...The ol' CB250 redlines at 9,500...:shock:...Look at the manual, it might give you an indication. The CB250 indicates a speed rather than a rev range, 20kmph - 2nd, 30kmph - 3rd, 40kmph - 4th, 50kmph - 5th. Coming back down 5th-4th - 35kmph, 4th-3rd - 25kmph. I normally use about 5kmph higher on up and down, engine not revving hard at all and can get better acceleration and use the engine for a little braking.
  12. I've ridden my partner Julie's ZZR a few times, they're redlined at 14,000. They do potter around happily changing up at 4,000ish, but at about 6-7,000 it'll really start moving. Julie regularly changes up at 10-12,000 but she's more of a hoon than me!!
  13. Just to add fat to the fire:

    Some bikes don't even have a red-line, they just cut out a certain RPM. Also most Jap 4's have 'optimistic' red-lines (by about 500 rpm).
  14. AFAIK the ZX2R's have approximately the same redline as most 4 pot screamers... being somewhere between 18,500-20,500. You'll feel the power start to back off at some point in the upper stratosphere... and then you'll know thats about where your redline is.
  15. redline is when u have your ear plugs are in and you cant hear the engine and u wonder why u cant overtake that car in front of you. and why they are looking at you funny. hmmmf change gear. whiplash. :p
  16. 5th gear when doing 50km/h, really?
  17. I did this just for fun. if you guys want to play around with your revs Vs gearchange Vs torque Vs weight.........then you can have a play with this site:


    This is a acceleration simulator for drag racing.....it gives you a pretty good idea of what your bike "might" do.

    I plugged in all the gear data/weight/torque/gear changes/gear ratios/max rpm/wheel base etc etc (obviously leaving stuff I don't know out like frontal area,wind drag, tyre grip etc etc) for a gpx250 and it came up with a 13.11 1/4 mile @ 93.96 mph (this is with a 9000 rpm launch 15000 rpm redline (read gearchange). Which is only theoretical but its reasonably close. (this guy reckon this is what his did see... http://www.deeknow.com/notes/motorbike/specs_gpx250.html )

    Mind you I had to guesstimate the torque curve a bit but it does have the "actual" torque 18ft/lb at 11000 rpm. If anyone has a dyno sheet for a 250 let me know so I can get it a bit closer.

    If you were to leave everything the same (i.e. torque, gearing weight etc etc) and just changed gearchange points and launch rpm then:

    Launching at at 3000 rpm and changing gears at 6000 rpm your 1/4 mile time would be 21.66 secs and top speed of 62 mph.
    Launching at at 3000 rpm and changing gears at 9000 rpm your 1/4 mile time would be 17.26secs and top speed of 75 mph.
    Launching at at 3000 rpm and changing gears at 10000 rpm your 1/4 mile time would be 16.23secs and top speed of 80 mph.

    maybe we can challenge each other to deck top dyno runs with our bike specs... :p :p :p :p :p :p
  18. What Nodz said then I just go with what Bond tells me! See I listen to my other half! froflmao!
  19. i've barely got my engine past 10,000 rpm with a 15,500 rpm redline... i'm sure it's fun though.

    When commuting I rarely go past 6000rpm, which is when i do 110 on the freeway.

    I can do 160 at 10,000 rpm, haven't seen the need to go quicker than that so far. :?
  20. Not even worth thinking about below 8000rpm on the R1.....but above 10,000 - hang on.....

    Have my shift light turning on at 12,000 from memory.....

    When commuting I'll keep it in 4th unless the traffic really opens up in the 100 zones...