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Sticky? Smooth gear changes

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by ngalbrai, Oct 20, 2011.

  1. #1 ngalbrai, Oct 20, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2015
    Apologies if this has been done to death but I couldn't see it after a quick scan of the sticky threads here so maybe with some correcting/refinement one worth putting up.

    Realised that my up-shift gear changes were clunky as hell. Quick youtube to see how to do it properly:


    Combination of a simultaneously co-ordinated pre-load, getting the tiny flick of the throttle wrist right (as opposed to my overcooked, sloppy dropping of revs too much) and also not fully pulling on the clutch (high bite point on CB400) and my changes have improved out of sight.

    Once you have programmed yourself with these the other hard thing is to stop thinking about it!

    After over 15 years of driving I still do the odd shocking gear change so the odd clunk is to be expected I guess - but found this clip invaluable and thought I would share.

    Perhaps a following sticky on the art of smooth downshifting and also blip down shifting (is that the right term) have tried that but to be honest attempts so far have been pretty shocking!

    While I am at it, big thanks to you lot for the other stickies - have printed the cornering ones and am working to put it all into practice!
  2. great. while my gear changing is functional, it is not yet pleasant 100% of the time so this is helpful. blipping is also something i need to work on!

    thanks for this.
  3. agreed, i have been a little slow on my gear changes mainly on the throttle.
    my blipping has been bad lately, timing all off, need more revs, own it !
    so after watchin a few more vids on youtube today seemed to be a lot smoother with my blips on way to work. just wish i had a nice after market exhaust then it would sound ever meaner.
  4. only recently did i start playing with different ways to change gears and soon realised my normal way was way to clunky.

    i remember being told to lay off throttle and pull in clutch, change gear and let clutch straight out. well it 'works' but not elegant.

    at least with the cb400 only pulling clutch in a bit seems to work a whole lot smoother.

    would be keen to hear from more experienced riders. i suspect this topic appears all the time, but there seems to be a big disconnect between what i was taught at L's and what should really happen.
  5. Clutch? I don't need no stinking clutch.

    • Like Like x 4
  6. Without a throttle blip to match the revs on down changing, you will never be any good at it, and a danger to yourself. Master it.
  7. why is it dangerous? i thought a smooth release of the clutch helped to sync everything?

    (not disagreeing with you by asking this - i am a noob and just seeking information!)
  8. Slipper clutch maybe??
  9. It's very important to match the engine revs with the speed that the rear wheel requires for a smooth transition.
    It must also be quickly and efficiently so that control of the bike, is maximised.

    If you learn the correct method now, you will have the process under full control when you need it the most, and at critical times.
    Even though at the moment it may seem unnecessary to you, it must be perfected for your future riding. If you ignore the skill requirement, sliding down the road on your face will be the reminder of why you should have.

    You may eventually own a sportsbike with a slipper clutch, which effectively does it for you...BUT...it's far better to have a skill and not have to use it, than to NOT have the skill, and it may be quite some time before you have a bike with a slipper clutch. In the meantime, master the down changing process (which includes the blip).

    It was a fair question. Hope this answer makes sense for you.
  10. i fell asleep during that video
  11. I blip the throttle cause chicks dig it .....:)
  12. i just do it because i like to make the big VRRROOOoooom when i enter a pod of muggles
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Motorcycle engines are light and their internals can change speed faster than most people want to change gears. Slow changes doesnt automatically equal smooth changes.
  14. I concentrated on this today and it's so much smoother. Thanks
  15. Made sense, thank you!

    I made a few attempts on the weekend. I think I did okay! And I recognise that sound the blip-down change makes from other bikes on the road. I will keep trying.

    I do sort of wish there was a more detailed guide to the whole process than what I've seen on a few of my searches - "you'll know when to rev it and how much to rev it by". May be true but I have no scientific/factual knowledge to back up my assumptions. At the moment I pretty much rev it by about 1k pre-shift, which I *think* is about the difference during a gear change - I downchange at 2k and it flicks back up to 3k.
  16. I learnt to throttle blip on downchanges by using the rear brake only at the start to get the hang of the timing. I then progressed to the front to master the smooth blip-change whilst on the brakes (without pulling the brakes on suddenly).
    Hope that makes sense.
  17. I find it tricky to co-ordinate blipping & braking, sometimes i blip on the way down & have to quickly pull the brakes on the slow down harder, should I be using rear brake when this occurs??

    Note its not an issue if down changing to go up a steep hill or getting ready for a corner, just, mainly occurs if I am in traffic..
  18. I suck at this also - whether riding or driving I've always been taught to release the throttle before/whilst engaging the clutch and so to then blip actually makes the whole process slower and not always the most natural.

    I've actually gotten into the (perhaps bad) habit of braking to a point where the engine is at a speed better suited to lower gear so then the down change is smooth.
  19. that is what i do too.
  20. I dunno, it seemed to come pretty naturally to me. I was doing it within 2 months of starting riding.I hated clunking it down a gear and blipping made the changes sooo much smoother. i can do it pretty well at full noise now, braking hard into corners. Thats where it really comes into its own as you can brakes hard and keep the bike settled.
    Theres a good little section on ít on the 'twist of the wrist' dvd.