Common practice to downshift while in the air?

Two of the jumps around my backyard track are right before a turn.

I am now taking those in 3rd gear.  Not WOT 3rd, but 3rd none the less.  If I'm in 2nd gear, the thing is screaming, so third it is.


Problem is:  If I squeeze with my legs (as I am supossed to do) and land, there is not a lot of time left to step it down to second and brake enough for the turn.  I have just started clicking it down to second while in the air.  Seems to work pretty good.  It's a 250 2s so not much engine breaking.  Doesnt seem to drop the nose as much as a brake tap would.  Doesn't seem to wig the bike out when it lands with wheel going slower than bike.  Gives me time to concentrate on braking.


Is that standard practice?


I guess the question is worthy going the other way too.  There is a 2nd gear jump right after a turn.  Is it common practice to click it into 3rd while in the air so when I land I can get right on the gas with out having to change gears?


Only issue so far is 1)I'm not squeezing with my legs as the left one is up tapping the shifter. 2)I don't always get the balls of the foot back on the peg in proper placement before I land.  Guess that will come the more I do it. 


They are not huge jumps, just little 20footers or so.




Yes, downshifting in the air is normal. When you get more comfortable in the air, you won't need to squeeze as much.

It just takes time to get the coordination.

Good luck! :)

Im weird i do a lot of shifting i will shift up and down but tapping the rear brake in air is weird lol

I shift in the air all the time, whether its down or up depends on the upcoming section.

Better to shift in the air while you wont lose any momentum.

yes, shifting in the air is standard practice. It's good to be in the right gear upon landing. What it sounds like you need to work on is being able to apply the brakes as your landing. As your wheels are contacting dirt your brakes should be being applied. 



it takes a long time to be comfortable in the air. It's the little things, being able to take your foot off and find the pegs again, moving around on the bike, making the bike move around underneath you that just take time and practice. 20 feet is long enough.

Edited by Die_trying

landing off a jump with brakes applied is not a good idea. I think you meant after to reach the ground start to apply your brakes.

I have a rider that was hesitant to shift in the air over a big set of doubles and long landing. I had sat him down and told him that the bike had already reached its rpm limit on the jump / so if he was in the same gear on the landing the bike speed would stall. so after some pushing he started shifting up and landing with gas on became much faster thru the section.

As you get more comfortable jumping you will find that you focus less on the jump and more towards preparing to brake for the turn. Shifting in the air and landing with your foot already on the brake is very common, especially on tight/sx tracks. When upshifting in the air be sure to get your rpms up in the air so the bike is in the power when you land. Also, don't forget about your front brake. It should be your main stopping power in most cases. 

Edited by honda53

Yea yea.


Had a five hour training session with four other "vets" today ($125).

Teacher really worked us on the proper way to do everything.

Amazing he can see all the toes pointing out and not squeezing with the boots and and not leaning forward enough and arched back instead of hips extended and legs not straigh enough and throttle not twisted smooth enough....ect.


Learned a lot today.


cant wait to apply this stuff to a couple laps around my track.

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