Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

Tips for changing gear

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Lans, Sep 18, 2012.

  1. Hi all
    I'm a newbie rider and wondered if anyone can suggest any good videos or tutorials on gear changing? (Particularly changing down)
    At the QRide course the instructor said not to look at the tachometer and just rely on how it sounds and feels. I'm trying to do that but I guess because I don't have a lot of experience its hard to know if I'm doing it right.
    Also, because I'm on a brand new bike, am I right in thinking that the revs are different because the bike isn't worn in yet?
    Thanks in advance!
    Lans :)

  2. I have a brand new bike too (150km old now). The owner's manual says to not go over half throttle for first 800km, then not over 3/4 throttle for the next 800km.

    Your manual might say something similar. And it might say to not go over XXXX RPM. I don't have a tacho on my bike, so there would be no sense saying what RPM to keep it under for me.

    Good luck.
  3. I think the best way to practice gear changes is by changing gear whilst maintaining a constant speed. I.e. at 60kmph, change from 2nd - 3rd - 4th - 3rd - 2nd etc.
    It will nail in the concept of rev matching.
    When changing up (2nd to 3rd or 3rd to 4th) you use less throttle to maintain the same speed.
    When changing down (4th to 3rd or 3rd to 2nd) it's the opposite. Increase throttle to maintain same speed.

    Once you can smoothly cycle through gears whilst maintaining speed you're shifting like a pro. If your rev matching is good enough you can then move onto clutch-less shifting :)

    that is all.
  4. So what is it that you are struggling with exactly?

    The "how" or the "when"?

    I'm a relative newbie also, been riding only 3 months, so this stuff is still fresh in my mind and also I know where you are coming from.
  5. When downshifting in constant speed:
    Keep the throttle stable.
    Pull the clutch
    Let the engine rev up a bit
    Push the gear lever down.
    Release clutch.

    After a while you will know how much you need to let the engine rev up to do a smooth downshift.
  6. In most circumstances you can go a bit further than keeping the throttle stable when you're downshifting, a quick 'blip' does wonders to smooth the change. I'm currently working on my 'blipping while front braking' technique, I can manage it smoothly about 50% of tries...

    Are you experiencd at driving a manual car? If so, use your clutch control technique from that- quick down, smooth out. Same as the throttle, release as quick as you possibly can and re-apply smoothly during a change.

  7. May I suggest you do a search on previous threads.
    All the information you require is well explained in many of them. Plus you may find additional info that helps you.
  8. [MENTION=37494]RuKu[/MENTION] - Haha.. I'm about the same 105km! I saw that in the manual too and double checked with the dealers. Thanks!!

    [MENTION=30054]gsxrjames[/MENTION] - Thanks! That makes sense. I think its just practise like you said.

    [MENTION=37658]Samboss260[/MENTION] - It's not that I'm struggling. It just doesn't feel natural I guess. I don't really remember there being much of a focus on it at the course.

    [MENTION=37161]Tobbera[/MENTION] - Thanks! Just going to keep practising!

    [MENTION=37854]johnmoz[/MENTION] - I actually only have my auto licence! haha. So gears are all new anyways! Thanks for the advice. Going to keep at it till it feels right.
  9. The shifting while at a constant speed is a good tip.

    I've just got my L's and was doing this yesterday. I drive a manual car and always have, so the entire concept to me is easy and i've found in the past getting used to how anything witha motor feels at various revs is one of the best ways to really understand it. After only a few minutes i could feel when the bike should be shifted down a gear - It may take you longer though if you don't have manual experience.

    Upshifting i'm finding harder though, as the bikes rev out so much more than a car but with time it'll be something everyone gets used to and will apply to basically any bike they rided imo
  10. Agreed, the course doesn't really have time to teach you these tips. I found it was more of "here you go this is how you ride a bike". The finer points, which make you smooth and efficient aren't covered.

    I found that I just rode around the suburbs for a while, trying to get smoother and to become consistent. Plus I taught myself "blipping of the throttle" on downshifts which make downshifting smoother and easier.

    All I can say is practice practice practice !!
  11. Hey lans.. check out these (I think he's the same [MENTION=32906]kneedragon[/MENTION] on here?)

    (y) x 100
    • Like Like x 3
  12. OK so your currently doing it but it doesn't 'feel natural'. It takes time and practice - don't overthink it, eventually it'll feel natural and you'll wonder what the hell you were worried about. :)
  13. Ignore what they told you at Qride and go and look at [MENTION=32906]kneedragon[/MENTION]'s tips on how to actually use a motorcycle gearbox the way it was designed and not like a car gearbox.

    Your life will be significantly improved, i cant remember where he posted the videos but they are on youtube if you search kneedragon i think.

    EDIT: derp posted above!
  14. Great minds think alike matie(so they say anyway :p)
  15. [MENTION=38486]SydMadAss125[/MENTION] Thank you!!!!

    And thanks everyone for the tips and messages!! Really appreciate it.
  16. And seeing as Brisbane doesn't have the Saturday Morning Practice sessions like Sydney and Melbourne, if you want to go for a ride with other newbies, yell out as there are a few of us up here.
  17. If thats you in ur DP..your hot... :p
    • Like Like x 1
  18. Thread killer :rofl:
  19. Or Lady Killer ;)
  20. why dont you Brissy guys start a coffee meet? In fact, why not ask for some experienced people from briz vegas lo-cal to come along and share the knowledge etc?
    I am certain that it will be beneficial all round, for those that love to listen and learne from the 'established' to the knowledged ones passing it down, put up a thread and get the ball rolling, we have learner rides in sunny melb and sydney why not start the trend in cloudy brizzy? yeah ok takin the piss a little but you get what I mean. Then one day, we can have a national Netrider ride and meet at a small town that can be renamed netrider for a weekend lol unless someone's got a few acres / hectares for alot of tents/swags etc