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General clutch/shifting question


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I have some easy questions that ive always wondered about but could never really get a sure answer. When going down a hill or something, is it bad for the bike to hold in the clutch to let the bike drift down the hill? also is it bad to shift down multiple gears at once on one clutch pull if i use the brakes to slow down first?

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By free wheeling you loose the engine braking effect. I love engine braking as it helps keep the bikes speed under control without the need to keep dabbing the rear brake as much. Clearly I can be accomplished (2 strokes don't have much engine braking and work superbly) it just requires a bit more technique, however why not use the motor to best advantage.

Changing down 2 gears at a time with the clutch depressed is fine as long as the revs are appropriate. I often find myself doing this when sudden change in conditions necessitate such action (not just relying on brakes).

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I have some easy questions that ive always wondered about but could never really get a sure answer. When going down a hill or something, is it bad for the bike to hold in the clutch to let the bike drift down the hill? also is it bad to shift down multiple gears at once on one clutch pull if i use the brakes to slow down first?

1st question: No, unless you are getting it high in the revs and slipping the clutch for some reason, but you should just leave the clutch out and rely more on engine braking.

2nd question: no it is not bad if your rpm's have dropped (you couldn't be in 5th or 6th gear topped out doing 70+ and start down shifting, your bike would blow or seize). Again I would use engine breaking to my advantage, you don't even need to pull in the clutch to down shift!

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Pull in the clutch when taking off and up shifting.

You don't need to pull in the clutch while you are down shifting.

why? No need at all to use a clutch while upshifting. Finger on the clutch perhaps to give some slip if the revs drop, other than that no need at all. Ever wonder where the term "speed-shifting" comes from?? You can use a clutch on upshifts if you like, but it is a waste of effort and if you stay in the gas will be HARDER on clutches as the plates try to mesh together from high rpm.. SO.. if your going to do a slight roll off to shift anyway, just grab a gear and be done with it.

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Go look at the 10 absolute practice tips to live by Gary Semics

https://thumpertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=581888 and if you scroll down to rule #4 and walla. I know you can up shift without a clutch, ­čśĆ it isn't good tho...

You are not understanding what he is telling you in #4.. as to why you "can't/shouldn't" upshift without the clutch. As Gary indicates, the gears have torque applied while on the gas, it will be VERY difficult to go up a gear while on the gas.. that is why you slightly roll OFF the gas to upshift without the clutch. "blipping" the gas all in one motion while pulling up a gear SEAMLESSLY gets you to the next higher gear without disengaging the clutch.

(in my humble opinion, but someone that has raced/ridden dirt bikes most of my 42 years) Gary is giving that bit of advice to inexperienced riders that don't know how to let off the gas to unweight the trans to allow the upshift.

Attened a race, talk with any rider that looks like he/she gets around well. They will get a nervous tic if you tell them you always use the clutch while upshifting.. If your just pleasure riding and i would tell you to always use the clutch. It may be the safer thing to do, however experienced riders will do no harm at all to a trans upshifting without a clutch.

If it will help, in roadracing (street motorcycles) you never ..ever.. use the clutch to upshift. We have a device called a quick shifter that is plugged into the power commander that kills the ignition for a few milliseconds (i like mine set between 55 and 60 milliseconds, less at high speed tracks like Daytona Speedway). This unweights the trans. In 7 years i have never had a trans related failure (knock on wood). Interestingly enough, with street bike/road racing, you need to use the clutch to downshift. HOWEVER.. some WorldSupersport bikes have experimented with great success with clutchless downshifting software/electronics that work in conjunction with slipper clutches that are standard on roadrace machines today..however these electronics packages and the team that has to support it is cost prohibitive to all but world class level teams.

Edited by MELK-MAN
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