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When is downshifting appropriate?

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by 5hfifty, Oct 2, 2007.

  1. I am completely new to riding, all I've done so far is Qride on Saturday and some quick rides around the block, and I'm wondering when you should downshift? Everytime you slow down (corners etc) or are there exceptions?

    I see some riders do it, and others just disengage the clutch and click all the way down to first when coming to a stop at the lights. it seems to be rider prefrence, but downshifting in the car all the time, it just seems the better way to ride to me.

    Also when during the downshift should you blip the throttle?? Thanks for any help regarding this!

    - Simon :grin:

  2. There is your answer.

  3. Do what feels natural; the idea is to be in gear for acceleration at your given speed, and/or to engine brake :) Definitely blip the throttle, and let the clutch out smoothly...while you're still getting used to a given bike, stick to one gear down at a time when doing it to increase revs for acceleration, to avoid compression lockup. Don't shift gears while cornering.
  4. What I tend to do when approaching a red light is just shift down one by one and use engine brake. If there's not a lot of traffic I dont even have to touch the front brake. I just hold the back brake and just keep shifting down.

    For corners I would pretty much shift down to the gear that is right for the corner(shift one by one till the right speed). I would generally try and get in to a gear which is in mid-low end of the power band of my bike when entering the corner. This will ensure that I can accelerate fast out of the corner, but this is probably for later when you get more used to the bike...

    Oh and as you said, shift down like a car. I would aim to shift down just before the bottom end of the power band. This will put the rev back in the middle of the power band a gear down(well for my bike anyways).

    Hope I helped abit...
  5. I'd second what everyone else says.

    Specially the bit about NOT shifting thru a corner :)
  6. That rule kind of only applies to where upsetting the momentum of drive to the rear wheel could cause you to have a spill because you're going so fast.

    I change gears in corners regularly because I'm regularly riding well within my limits and the sudden change in power to the rear wheel will affect bugger all.

    If I was going through a corner as hard as I felt I could then I'd probably not be changing gears during it but if we all go through corners as hard as we feel we can on the road we won't be riding long or have licenses to do so legally with.
  7. F

    Just because you can get away with something doesn't make it good riding practice :LOL: If you're at a commuting pace with close enough to zero lean, fine, it's not really a corner.

  8. Exactly, if you aren't pushing it hardly any commuting style corner needs much lean angle, hence I stand by my first statement.


    Some people seem to think what works for them is gospel and others are in the wrong if what they do is different, whether it works for them or not.

    Why is not applying, a basically racing technique, to road riding bad practice I ask you?

    Should we all go through corners on the road as fast as we can? Is that your argument?
  9. Anything that upsets the bike in a corner is bad practice, and while it might not result in loss of traction at a given speed, it's not a good thing to get into the habit of...at least not for newbies (yep, I'm one...so I'm listening :)).

    As for it being racing technique, it's not. You'll see the racers changing up where the corners are too long for one gear. The difference there is that they have reverse shift pattern and can keep their toes over the lever, not under it.

    Yes, relentlessly. Keep hammering away until you're scraping your fairing or engine cover, elbows and finally helmet. Anything less than the tyre's limit is not acceptable on the road :rofl: Seriously, how the fcuk did you draw that conclusion?
  10. So how does changing gears upset the bike? if you're not going too fast?

    You speak for all racers do you? what I said is one racing technique you have dismissed as being impossible. Have you ever even done a track day? Do you know that one of the USA top professional riders can't even do blip downshifts yet he still wins all the time? What works for one might not work for another, but it still WORKS, are you starting to FUKKING understand now?

    When the racers change up during corners you won't see them very often on the egde of their tyre. Or they are doing whats called short shifting. Or It's after the apex or on the exit when they've started getting the bike back upright, If they were at their lateral G force limit then they'd come undone, just like this topic is discussing the dangers of. Which are zip when you aren't really pushing it.

    As for how I drew that conclusion? try rereading your own posts.

    ps. racers have trick shifters that when used slightly cut back the ignition so they can change up gears without backing off the throttle, tHus keeping their bikes a lot more stable during corner shifts and faster overall accelleration. But you already knew that.
  11. :LOL: We were talking about good riding practice for new riders, not top professionals that can't master blipping (that's a new one to me) :p

    Would you not agree, that it's best to do as little as possible to upset the bike while you're learning? Sure, you can change gear, apply either brake, etc during a corner and be fine most of the time...just maybe best not to tell newbies to do it, no?
  12. If I'm stopped at a red light (front of the queue) and have to turn a corner immediately, if I don't shift halfway through the corner I'll be redlining it at 15-20km/h for quite a while (1st on my bike is pretty short). This is horrible on the 125, and i've wondered if I should be thrashing the thing or just change to 2nd.

    I'm not getting a knee down, its just a commute home. I have been shifting to 2nd without a problem but the question still kept coming up in my mind.
  13. I see where you coming from H0nd@, but honestly dude... How can you endorse a practice that you KNOW it's wrong? If you do it all the time at low speed chances are it'll become so natural to you that when you finally decide and push the bike a bit you'll end up changing gears and f*%k it up. It's pretty much like when you're learning to drive and people tell you not to rest your left foot on the clutch. Do it long enough and it becomes a habit and as we all know: "Bad habits die hard!".
    So when a learner comes to you looking for advice, I'd say the right thing to do is to give him the best possible answer and not some B version of "what you can get away with on the road"! The fact that one pro-rider out of a milion can get away with not blipping the throttle is substantial enough for you to recommend it to others? I mean... really??

  14. I'd agree with that. However I still stand by my first post because a critical point you should take notice of is the bit about staying well within your limits on the road.
    A new rider sure doesn't want to be downshifting in corners as this is where you're applying a sudden braking force to your rear wheel which can upset your bike.
    I was moreso heading in the direction of upshifts in corners, which aren't too dangerous at modest speeds.

    Now what do the noobies do when they come around a corner and there is something blocking the road, nowhere to run off and traffic coming the other way?

  15. gawd help me, you netriders can be picky, now I'm recommending don't throttle blip?

    I said it's one way that can work?

    If you have a bike bible then feel free to post the URL so we can all adhere to the laws and be free from sin.

  16. :LOL: :LOL: 707 posts and he's calling ME a netrider?? Get a grip...(try that by not down shifting mid corner! :p )

  17. I've got nothing on Hornet600.
  18. No need for a noob to be blipping anything.

    RPM will determine when its time to change gear & if hes doing it
    when hes supposed to, there will be no need to blip.
  19. He's used to a manual car, and this was an answer about down shifts. Blipping will reduce the chance of compression lockup and make the downshift smoother.
  20. Some advice has been bollocks and some has been usefull insight. Just remember this, Roadspeed and Engine speed mate, try and match them up. The rest, smoothness/style/appropriate timing will come with experience.