Do i Clutch when downshift?

I was taught not to clutch when downshifting. Pulling in the clutch and freewheeling into corners is terrible form...

When up shifting its better to slip the clutch to take the load off...

Seems there's a disagreeance in the force. Just be smart about it. If you're going 50mph and cram it down into 1st, you're gonna have bad time. One gear change down without the clutch is very normal. 

Personally I stab the clutch a small amount when upshifting out of habit, but never downshifting.  I ride strictly trails though, not mx

Wow.....I had now idea so many guys skip the clutch when shifting. Lol, I use my clutch for everything....wheelies, stalling, taking off, shifting, looping out

23 minutes ago, CDNSXV said:

A Rekluse only slips the clutch at low rpm.  As long as the motor is spinning, the clutch is fully engaged, just like any other.

That's not entirely true. The rekluse does disengage when you let off the gas. It simply uses centrifical force to cam the plates out same as pulling in the clutch. Yes you need to briefly let off the gas when shifting with or without a rekluse. This releases the torque and creates backlash in the trans allowing for shifting even when RPM'S are still high but rapidly falling off. This timing is easily learned. You will get this down quickly. To your comment, the clutch on a rekluse is completely disengaged during idle. Otherwise it would die when you kick it in gear. As you begin to open the throttle the centrifical force of the clutch spinning will engage the clutch. I have a rekluse and I never use my clutch anymore. I love it! To the originator of this post, use your clutch when up shifting but no need to pull it in completely just feather it. You will soon figure out how much and when to use it. You will be better served learning how to use it in slow difficult areas. Keeping the bike from stalling is key. Slipping the clutch on slippery hills can keep you from breaking traction. 

Good luck


This should help.

I see everyone's point here and I'm glad nobodies lost there minds at one another so thanks to all those who have input there opinion civilly. I'm still going to bear on the side of my common sense and understanding of clutching, which is separating the drive of the engine from now he drive of the transmission. When clutch is disengaged, transmission is able to move freely under no power or drive of the engine, therefore leading me to believe that there is little to no gear resistance upon shifting. I think if you can, you should separate your drive plate from your clutch plate. That's just how I see it.

This topic is pretty controversial and it's really up to the comfort of the rider. Best of luck to those who feel otherwise, just keep on riding!

Been shifting without the clutch for the last 20 years, most of my riding buddies do the same. Once you're moving it makes 0 difference if you use the clutch or not. Non of us has ruined or worn out a transmission before it's time. If you take the time to learn how your tranny works you will know that it makes no difference and has no adverse affects to your bike. And this practice is used in other forms of motorsports as well.

There's a situation and technique for both. Experience will dictate when the time is right to use either.

On 7/8/2017 at 5:33 PM, CDNSXV said:

Roll the throttle off before shifting.  Zero strain on the transmission or driveline.  Its not rocket science.  Roadracers have been doing this for decades and their tires are firmly connected to pavement.  

After 30 years of riding I've never seen a damaged transmission from clutchless shifting.

I missed some very important bike time this year because of my clutch failing and because of it not properly engaging when shifting. Shift fork bent. Gears were grinding. Essentially, because my clutch was failing, it was clutchless shifting that caused this accelerated damage. If you ride the bike hard on the gas during shifts and don't engage the clutch (how much you engage it is your choice), your transmission will fail. If you look into bent shift forks on this website you will find evidence of the same fate I suffered. Any other information you get from this topic should be disregarded because I see a lot of absolute sh!t advice being dished out, here.

I know that it's coming to you with the intention of helping, but they haven't had to deal with the experience of a transmission failure.

A shift fork is $55 (at least), plus over 150 bucks in circlips, gaskets and a LOT of time in engine teardown and reassembly before you can ride again.

I missed some very important bike time this year because of my clutch failing and because of it not properly engaging when shifting. Shift fork bent. Gears were grinding. Essentially, because my clutch was failing, it was clutchless shifting that caused this accelerated damage. If you ride the bike hard on the gas during shifts and don't engage the clutch (how much you engage it is your choice), your transmission will fail. If you look into bent shift forks on this website you will find evidence of the same fate I suffered. Any other information you get from this topic should be disregarded because I see a lot of absolute sh!t advice being dished out, here.
I know that it's coming to you with the intention of helping, but they haven't had to deal with the experience of a transmission failure.
A shift fork is $55 (at least), plus over 150 bucks in circlips, gaskets and a LOT of time in engine teardown and reassembly before you can ride again.

That's why you have two dirt bikes. When one is broken you can still ride. I say the same thing about firearms.
I missed some very important bike time this year because of my clutch failing and because of it not properly engaging when shifting. Shift fork bent. Gears were grinding. Essentially, because my clutch was failing, it was clutchless shifting that caused this accelerated damage. If you ride the bike hard on the gas during shifts and don't engage the clutch (how much you engage it is your choice), your transmission will fail. If you look into bent shift forks on this website you will find evidence of the same fate I suffered. Any other information you get from this topic should be disregarded because I see a lot of absolute sh!t advice being dished out, here.
I know that it's coming to you with the intention of helping, but they haven't had to deal with the experience of a transmission failure.
A shift fork is $55 (at least), plus over 150 bucks in circlips, gaskets and a LOT of time in engine teardown and reassembly before you can ride again.

This is what I've been trying to explain over this whole time

That's why you have two dirt bikes. When one is broken you can still ride. I say the same thing about firearms.

What if your someone like me who only has their one CR250? Then what?
Been shifting without the clutch for the last 20 years, most of my riding buddies do the same. Once you're moving it makes 0 difference if you use the clutch or not. Non of us has ruined or worn out a transmission before it's time. If you take the time to learn how your tranny works you will know that it makes no difference and has no adverse affects to your bike. And this practice is used in other forms of motorsports as well.

None of us?! I run a small engines shop on the side of my actual career, do you know how many bikes in particular I've seen with broken circlips, shredded gears, twisted shifter forks, oil changes with chunks of old gears in them, come in? I've seen too many bottom ends rebuilt from the lack of proper clutching.

I'm on jeffery togralskis (correct me if I've mistaken your name) side with this, to OP, clutch WHENEVER you are shifting, a lot of the crap said by these guys is false, believe me.
Wow.....I had now idea so many guys skip the clutch when shifting. Lol, I use my clutch for everything....wheelies, stalling, taking off, shifting, looping out

Good, your bike will thank you for it!
Your transmission is turning weather you have the clutch pulled in or not.
Clutch just cuts torque from the out put shaft. Same as letting off the gas.
 

Did you just try to tell me all torque from the engine, is completely gone if you just roll off the throttle and somehow that disengages your plates?

I like to think of the gearbox and the actual engine as two separate aspects of your engine, and the clutch is what connects them, which it does in theory. If your just "rolling off the gas" there's still motor output going through your clutch, (revs decreasing, idle RPMs etc). If you ask any engine mechanic, I'm sure the popular vote would be clutch in whenever you shift.

Did you just try to tell me all torque from the engine, is completely gone if you just roll off the throttle and somehow that disengages your plates?

I like to think of the gearbox and the actual engine as two separate aspects of your engine, and the clutch is what connects them, which it does in theory. If your just "rolling off the gas" there's still motor output going through your clutch, (revs decreasing, idle RPMs etc). If you ask any engine mechanic, I'm sure the popular vote would be clutch in whenever you shift.

Not torque from the engine but from the rear wheel or the output shaft.
On 7/8/2017 at 1:11 PM, Snaiper1990 said:

Hey guys just got my bike today starting to learn how to ride, got kx250f just wondering do i have to use clutch when downshifting, im just worried about tranny i know you do when you come to tight corner and want to slow down, but in general do i have to thx help is appreciated :)

So now that you read through all the posts and know the in's-n-out's of needing or not needing the clutch to shift...

I would say a beginner (I'm at a stage not much past beginner) should use the clutch on downshift. You'll be decelerating more so, and for a longer period of time, than the "fast guys" (going into corners) so you will have pressure on the gear cogs and if that is so a good nip of the clutch will take the stress off the gears while shifting. I nip the clutch downshifting as at my stage, not doing so doesn't really buy me anything speed wise. Way too much other stuff going on while riding the MX track for me to remember if I'm upshifting or downshifting and when or when not to use the clutch. Much better for me to just always nip the clutch when shifting and worry about other stuff.

Do you want or need to be the "fast guy" and don't mind putting a bit more wear-n-tear on your dirt bike - then learn to not use the clutch when downshifting. 

Edit: Oh, I now see William1 already said this...

Edited by GoneDirtBikeN

Trade your KX in for a KLX110 then you'll never have to worry about using a clutch.


What if your someone like me who only has their one CR250? Then what?

That's why I said you should own two. Dirt bikes are like women they need care and attention all the time. It's definitely not a sport for the lazy. I will take my bikes out for a Saturday of fun but the following week I will do maintenance like air, oil, check all the bolts ( make sure they haven't rattled lose). To own a dirt bike isn't cheap in fact it's a very expensive sport. Pay to play. I own 5 bikes and bought them all broken and neglected. If you drive your car or truck hard with neglect you will have the same results.
I doubt I New rider learning to shift is going to damage the transmission with hard shifting.
His original post was about pulling the clutch with down shifting. Sure you can do that but why. The best thing is to listen to motor while it speaks to you. You definitely don't won't to go from 4th gear to 1st. The same as driving a manual transmission. Just use common sense.

Thank you everyone for help :)

Wow I didn't know there was so much controversy on this! I have always been confused on this, so I just always use the clutch. It's really not that hard so why take the risk. They put a clutch on bikes for a reason; not just for take off.

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