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 All Forums
 Motorcycle Safety
 Roadcraft
 Gearing Down
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Thylanes
Male Junior Member
48 Posts


Lucan, Ontario
Canada

Honda

Goldwing Interstate

Posted - 06/21/2011 :  7:01 AM                       Like
Not sure if this is the right forum, but I couldn't find one more appropriate. Anyway......

Which is better/easier on the bike; gearing down multiple gears (say 5th down to 3rd), or gearing down a single gear at a time? Whichever response you make, please add why you feel this is so.

A couple of notes for clarification; straight road with no traffic in either direction, lots of time to reduce speed/rpm (whichever choice is made), no known problems with clutch or transmission.

scottrnelson
Advanced Member
6887 Posts
[Mentor]


Pleasanton, CA
USA

KTM

990 Adv, XR650L

Posted - 06/21/2011 :  9:06 AM
I'm not completely clear what you're asking, but if it's about shifting, then I have an opinion on that.

Unless I'm going to stop and need to get all the way down to first gear, I let the clutch out for each gear. If you don't do that and go down one too many, you can end up with the rear wheel sliding momentarily when you let out the clutch if you don't let it out slowly enough. When I'm coming to a stop, I'll occasionally just pull the clutch in and keep banging down on the shifter until it won't downshift anymore and usually I'll push it down a couple of extra times for good measure. It doesn't hurt anything to do that.

Occasionally I'll skip a gear when upshifting if I accelerate hard in one gear then want to cruise. You don't have the same issue with being in too high of a gear and letting the clutch out as when you're in too low of a gear.
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Twisted
Junior Member
34 Posts


E, R
United Kingdom

Kawasaki

Posted - 07/12/2011 :  1:18 PM
Which technique will make your clutch and gears last longer?
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scottrnelson
Advanced Member
6887 Posts
[Mentor]


Pleasanton, CA
USA

KTM

990 Adv, XR650L

Posted - 07/12/2011 :  2:54 PM
quote:
Originally posted by Twisted

Which technique will make your clutch and gears last longer?

It's doubtful that you could measure the wear on either from gear changes. It's rare for gears to wear out before something else on the motorcycle does. Clutches are affected much more by starting out from a stop than anything you can do while moving, unless you slip the clutch like motocross racers do to get the engine into a better part of the powerband.
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Young Dai
Male Junior Member
67 Posts


Southend, Essex
United Kingdom

Honda

ST1100a

Posted - 07/12/2011 :  7:26 PM
Funnily enough Roadcraft the book has quite a bit to say on the subject :

Page 74 of Roadcraft states that riders should consider and therefore be able to use both techniques as conditions dictate and details some advantages and disadvantages in using each method.

Block shifting is identified as where you drop 2 or more gears before re-engaging the clutch having matched engine speed to the road speed in the new gear, while sequential gear shifting is decribed as dropping down one gear at a time as road speed alters and engine speed is matched to the optimum power band for that gear and speed)


Block changing requires considerably more skill in judging gear requirements in different conditions, and may if clumsily or incorrectly applied cause the bike to 'jump' if the clutch is re-engaged and the engine speed does not match the road speed, possibly, locking the back wheel or causing other damage to the drive train.

If conditions allow the speed reduction to be considered as a single transitory manoeuvre, where you can control the speed by first closing the throttle,applying the brakes, and then selecting the optimum gear as the new target speed is reached, I would suggest the block shift is the smoothest way of achieving this. For example a single smooth deceleration from 60mph to 5mph, when coming onto a roundabout,"planning to slow, preparing to go".

There is more sympathy in controlling the speed on the brakes and block shifting down in the final few yards. (Subject to other aspects such as the weather, the conditions of the road surface etc.)

Otherwise treat each speed change as manoeuvre in itself, to brake and down shift through each speed / power band, while the bike is decelerating





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Thylanes
Male Junior Member
48 Posts


Lucan, Ontario
Canada

Honda

Goldwing Interstate

Posted - 07/13/2011 :  6:51 AM
I've found that, in general, block shifting seems to work better for me. The Goldwing is pretty forgiving if I don't match the power band just right, although I have experienced the 'lurch' once or twice.

I was more concerned that perhaps I was putting excessive wear on the clutch (wasn't worried so much about the gears, as I know they are more than tough enough to withstand this kind of use.
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