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What's everyone's philosophy on how to shift

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My dad always told me to use the clutch every shift because for the reason that the clutch disengages the motor and let's the gear set into place in the next gear. He always says if you don't then you are chipping away a little bit of the gear teeth by not using the clutch because the gears jam and force themselves into place.

So I want to know what everyone else thinks about how to shift. And what it does to the transmission and gears shifting both ways.

I've always used the clutch until some of my friends said it doesn't matter either way is the same. So the last couple times I've gone riding I haven't used the clutch. I back off the throttle almost all the way or most of the way before I shift without the clutch

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My dad always told me to use the clutch every shift because for the reason that the clutch disengages the motor and let's the gear set into place in the next gear. He always says if you don't then you are chipping away a little bit of the gear teeth by not using the clutch because the gears jam and force themselves into place.

So I want to know what everyone else thinks about how to shift. And what it does to the transmission and gears shifting both ways.

I've always used the clutch until some of my friends said it doesn't matter either way is the same. So the last couple times I've gone riding I haven't used the clutch. I back off the throttle almost all the way or most of the way before I shift without the clutch

I think it's better to use the clutch, when you can, for the reason your dad stated. However, for various reasons when you need a gear NOW!, clutchless shifts are necessary. I think it's not a big deal, maintenance and repair is a part of riding, and I don't hear of a whole lot of transmission problems.

Mike

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My dad always told me to use the clutch every shift because for the reason that the clutch disengages the motor and let's the gear set into place in the next gear. He always says if you don't then you are chipping away a little bit of the gear teeth by not using the clutch because the gears jam and force themselves into place.

So I want to know what everyone else thinks about how to shift. And what it does to the transmission and gears shifting both ways.

I've always used the clutch until some of my friends said it doesn't matter either way is the same. So the last couple times I've gone riding I haven't used the clutch. I back off the throttle almost all the way or most of the way before I shift without the clutch

No need to throttle down keep it at steady speed. Constant mesh transmission , ever hear a late model bike grind gears ? 

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No need to throttle down keep it at steady speed. Constant mesh transmission , ever hear a late model bike grind gears ?

I have a 2006 honda cr125. I don't know if that makes a difference or not. And I'm getting a new Honda 250f soon. I don't know what year yet, anywhere from 2012 to 2015. I don't know if the newer bikes make a difference of the transmission, if it's heavier duty and is supposed to shift like that or not?

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In reality Dad is correct, in the scheme of things really a moot point, don't think I ever won /lost a race using either technique, never lost a tans, for that specific reason.

do I use the clutch. about 98 % of the time, do you need to grab a gear occasionally with out, yes.

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I use the clutch because I was taught to . It's a major habit. Back when I was riding sport quads and was blasting around on ltz400 (I forget what the letters are exactly) I use to use the clutch all the time because I had more control and I could still get thru the gears quicker then my brother when he didn't use the clutch. It was smoother too. There was a few times i hit the shifter before the clutch because i was shifting to fast but alway hated it.

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I usually use clutchless upshifts if I'm getting a move on, doesn't damage the gears in any way at all

Constant mesh gearboxes mean that all the gears are turning, which one is driving the output shaft depends on what gear is selected

You can get wear to the dogs on the gears with bad gear changes, but that will happen whether you use the clutch or not

Changing down without the clutch can be more of an issue - you can end up locking the back wheel and potentially breaking the chain

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I do it however i feel at that point. It doesn't make a Damn difference, and treating apart my engine and replacing gears is a weekend job for me. I don't worry about it

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I use the clutch on the big bike, but the old cr125 feels almost smoother without.

Does anyone have input on coasting on big bore thumpers? Is a little engine breaking ok or should i always clutch then brake? Sorry if this shouldnt go here but its kind of relevant.

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I use the clutch on the big bike, but the old cr125 feels almost smoother without.

Does anyone have input on coasting on big bore thumpers? Is a little engine breaking ok or should i always clutch then brake? Sorry if this shouldnt go here but its kind of relevant.

 

I don't think it hurts anything. I use it on long steep down hills to avoid locking the wheels with the brakes.

 

Mike

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Use it when you can. And when you dont, avoid shifting under load. accel or decel. You can tell the transmissions apart from the guys that dont use their clutch. Namely because theyre in the shop and the clutch users are out riding.

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Here's my story.  As a kid we rode quads on dunes in Oregon.  My father told me that the clutch is largely unnecessary, so as a kid, I never used it.  The tranny started shifting sooo roughly, and on a dune climb I was worried about finding a false neutral between 2nd and 3rd gear.  AGAIN.  So I used the clutch, and it shifted so smoothly I was amazed.

 

After that I always use the clutch, up and downshifting.  Of course I won't use it if I'm in a tight spot, but overall I use the clutch every shift. 

 

That's one benefit of the juice clutch on the KTM, it's butter smooth and never fades.  I abuse it all day, feathering the clutch with two fingers like an auto transmission and it stays perfect.

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My dad always told me to use the clutch every shift because for the reason that the clutch disengages the motor and let's the gear set into place in the next gear. He always says if you don't then you are chipping away a little bit of the gear teeth by not using the clutch because the gears jam and force themselves into place.

So I want to know what everyone else thinks about how to shift. And what it does to the transmission and gears shifting both ways.

I've always used the clutch until some of my friends said it doesn't matter either way is the same. So the last couple times I've gone riding I haven't used the clutch. I back off the throttle almost all the way or most of the way before I shift without the clutch

 

 

Your dad is wrong, no offense.

 

Our transmissions are of a type called "constant mesh". What this means is, the input/output gear sets are always engaged to each other. The only thing you are doing when you shift is engaging/disengaging the dog rings and gear dogs to lock the output gear for the selected ratio to the output shaft.

 

I shift clutchless under most conditions. You aren't going to hurt anything. Will it increase the rate of wear? Yes. Will it break anything? Nope.

 

The trannies in our engines will generally outlast the bike, even in the hands of riders like me.

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I used to race shifter karts and for the most part all of the engines were Honda cr125 dirtbike engines. The gears boxes were all bone stock and the only time you use the clutch is for starting and stopping. On up shifts you lift off the throttle and grab the next gear and down shifts are all off throttle of couse. I have never seen one gearbox failure ever. Today I ride a 2002 CR125, and I would say most of the time I do use the clutch but there are certain situation where I do not. If you breathe the throttle on up shifts I cannot imagine you would ever hurt the transmission.

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I think it was written right in the Performance Handbook portion of the owner's manual for the crf250x that stated that clutch use for shifting was not necessary.  I don't have the bike/manual anymore so I can't confirm but I definitely read it in one of the OEM created materials.

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These are racing machines, tthe rannies are actually DESIGNED for full-throttle clutchless upshifts. Now that doesn't mean that all bikes will actually do that, due to production variances a lot of bikes are reluctant to clutchless-shift under power. My KX250 absolutely refused to shift under power without the clutch when it was new. But I disassembled the engine and polished everything involved in shifting in the tranny, and now it shifts buttery smooth even under full throttle.

 

Now on the absolute traction of pavement, no way would I clutchless shift under power. But on dirt it isn't going to hurt anything.

 

If you let off the throttle for every upshift, no way will you ever harm anything by shifting clutchless.

 

Downshiting without the clutch won't harm a thing as long as you don't jam it down a gear when you are still moving to fast for that gear, that will over-rev the engine and potentially damage it, especially a four-stroke, you could float a valve.

Edited by Chokey
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In the simplest terms, you basically have to match the engine RPM with the speed of the gearbox.  To do this proficiently, you need to put in a lot of practice.  You'll know you've mastered it on your particular bike once you no longer hear gear grinding, or over the top revs.  And I say "your particular bike" because every bike is different.  For example, my YZ360 practically changes gears by itself by just touching the lever, while my YZ490, you have to make an effort.  But this is by no way encouraging you to go out and rashly start changing gears at will.  You have to take it easy and learn your gearbox's characteristics before you start grinding gears.

 

I've been doing it for years and never had a problem riding without a clutch.  I guess the reason behind it for me was because using a clutch on a YZ490 was really difficult and took a lot of strength to engage.  :devil:

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