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Clutch when downshifting?

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I read today on the MX riding techniques section that using the clutch while downshifting is not necessary due to the lower forces on the gears while not on the gas.

The reason I would like some experienced opinions is this...

My 9 year old son is still mastering clutch usage on his RM85. Starting off and upshifting is going great but he forgets when downshifting. He is coming off of an auto clutch Yamaha so it was never anything he had to do. I cringe and give him down the road when I see him not using the clutch. Dollar signs flash before my eyes.

Am I over reacting? Is it likely that damage could occur?

Any opinions would be appreciated.

Thanks

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No damage will occur because the transmissions in dirt bikes are constant mesh, but I always use the clutch for peace of mind and I'm not racing either.

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Your son won't hurt it.

What a good Dad, too. :) When I was that age my parents forbid anything with an engine; I had to sneak off to ride friends' bikes. I would practice shifting all the time when not riding. Gas/clutch/shifter. If he can get the motions down off the bike he'll be more successful on it.

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I don't think you will damage the bike. actually have perposely down shifted (clutchless) while racing offroad on hard pack offroad off-camber turns. For the sole purpose of usign the engine as a light brake and maintain traction. Similiar to a light 4T engine braking and then hammering out of the corners. Never once did the tranny make an bad sound or have I found bits in the engine oil when changing it. You don't want to stand on the shifter but the tranny will shift with little effort.

Maybe in MX it is more important but I doubt it.

Come to think of it I upshift a lot without the clutch. I use more throttle control to assist in shiftingthan anythng else. I have yet to have tranny problems or clutch problems. :) Been riding for almost 30 years.

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C:\Users\Randy Kimbrough\Pictures\2009 02 15 459.JPGThanks for all the advice guys.

I'll still stress to him the importance of using the clutch because it'll make him a better overall rider and its just the right thing to do. But, I won't stress myself or him anymore when I notice him not using it. Poor little guy tries really hard and I always feel like crap after I scold him about anything motorcycle related. For his age I think hes really good and he loves riding.

Thanks again............

Here is a picture of Dalyn doing what he loves best.

2009 02 15 459.jpg

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Woot!

He'll get the hang of it in time. Practice, practice, practice. The hand/foot coordination is something the two of you could do in the evenings while watching TV.

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