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Changing Gears

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  • Changing Gears

    A few days ago, we had some discussion and exchange on another thread about changing gears with / without clutch and how to avoid a sudden jerk on sport bikes such as the R1, FZ6, others.
    Several people wrote about ways in which one can upshift through the gears and downshift, including slipping the clutch or other techniques.

    I have since then been experimenting off and on with changing gears without use of the clutch on my FZ6. Prior to this, I was using another technique that I wrote about (not very well obviously ). Am not sure I am doing things in the most optimum way and am sure there are various aspects to this that I don't understand yet.

    I would like to start this thread to have a more detailed discussion on the techniques of shifting gears smoothly, specifically on bikes of 600cc or above. The discussions should also address the merits / demerits of each technique, including the impact of the technique on the bike, engine, wear & tear of parts, etc.

  • #2
    Topic Approved.
    :)

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Aryan View Post
      Topic Approved.
      If clutch lessshifting should be used,company's would themselves remove the clucth..
      Rest i wouldnot say anything...
      " Nothing Z Forever,Except D Change "

      Spiti ||Binsar || Lansdowne

      Click Here to Subscribe to the xBhp Delhi SMS Channel
      Click here to See my Photography Work

      sigpic

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      • #4
        Clutchless gear shifts are obiously going to have great wear and tear on the gearbox, but then that is most certainly the way to go through the gears while you are on track on on those really fast Sunday morning rides. You really do not want to lose any traction when you upshift a fully mashed third or fourth gear.
        Anything else, just use the clutch and preserve your gearbox.

        manson.
        CBR 954 RR
        Yoshimura TRS - Ohlins - Power Commander - EBC - Stomp Grip - Sportech - Shock Racing - Harris - Motografix

        Comment


        • #5
          Isn't clutchless shifting restricted to Upshifting..?
          Downshifting without engaging the clutch will lock the rear wheel if im not mistaken. Infact, shifting down to second gear from 40k's on my Unicorn makes for a lurid rear wheel lock and an accompanying embarassed grin.
          Im sure such an experiment on a FZ6/R1 will lead to much more than a sheepish grin

          Heck.. Why on earth were slipper clutches necessitated then..!!
          Last edited by MavericK46; 12-09-2008, 09:28 PM.
          I'm normally not a praying man, but if you're up there, please save me Superman.

          -Homer J Simpson

          sigpic

          Comment


          • #6
            The query here deals not just with whether to shift clutchless or not - its about gear shifting in general. And gear-shifting begins not from the foot but from the body position and posture astride a bike. Good clean and smooth gear-shifts are the essence of good riding skills and are a great example of hand-foot-eye co-ordination.

            #1 Posture: Sit on the bike with your knees gripping the tank, not hard so as to be fatiguing, but firm. The point is to load up the torso and abdominal muscles for most of the work, keeping the arms and legs unloaded - both to avoid fatigue and to allow for sensitive control inputs. (While sitting on a chair, try lifting any one leg and feel the torso/abdomen tighten in response. Thats what I mean). So, if you sit right and balanced, your control inputs can be finely controlled.

            #2 Throttle control: The finer is your sense of controlling the RPM's through the throttle, the smoother can be your gear-shifts. Practice by holding throttle in say 2nd gear at 2000 rpm, gently increase to 2500 rpm and hold, without overshooting the 2.5k target. Learn to hold constant throttle on rough roads.

            #3 Inner Tachometer: This is about developing an innate RPM sense. The seat-of-the-pants, ears and eyes are the primary senses that let the rider accurately access the RPM's even without a tacho. And a developed RPM sense comes to forte esp during downshifts. Train yourself by guessing the RPMs and then confirming with a glance at the tacho.

            #4: Upshifts: Make them quickly. The less time you give the engine rpm's to drop below what should be for the next gear, the lesser are the chances of a jerky shift. Keeping two fingers on the clutch lever helps (provided the lever is adjusted properly). Just pull in the clutch enough to disengage the drive while you reduce throttle, upshift quickly and firmly, and let out the clutch as you get on the throttle. Smooth upshifts, especially at mid-rpm's, are usually the easiest to master. Poke the engine into the powerband and smoothness again becomes a tough co-ordination exercise.

            #5: Down-shifts: Now this is what separates the men from the boys. Blipping the throttle as you downshift is not difficult to acquire as a skill. The difficult part is getting the timing right and most riders give up when frustrated at this end. In simple terms, blipping is a short sharp twist of the throttle during the tiny interval between pulling in the clutch and shifting the gear. The purpose is to get the engine in the proper RPM's for the lower gear. The downshift will be smooth if the engine RPM is almost what it should be when the lower gear is selected at that given road speed. Complex when written and read but supremely doable by any practiced rider. The best is when the blip is co-ordinated with braking for the upcoming turn. Needs practice with two fingers on the front brake lever and the remaining two with the thumb wrapped around the throttle. Brake with two fingers while blipping the throttle as you de-clutch and downshift. Saves a LOT of drive-train wear (includes the gearbox, clutch, drivechain/shaft, sprockets), makes for a smooth ride for the pillion and sounds real cool. A real necessity on high power bikes, even with slipper clutches.

            These points are imperative for sports bikes though it is best even for those riding our desi bikes to practice and inculcate such good riding habits. You never know when you get the chance to upgrade. And smooth shifting will anyway help preserve your steed, whether it makes 10 bhp or 200.

            Ride long and safe...

            Old Fox

            PS: L.P.- Even if clutchless shifts were totally harmless for the engine, companies would still need to put in a clutch. Reason: how do you plan to make a standing start?? Push with your feet to get the bike moving....slam the gearbox into 1st and rooollll on that throttle aye!! Try this 'pick-up' at the Mayur Vihar signal at 9:30 AM any working day

            @Mav46:Isn't clutchless shifting restricted to Upshifting..?
            Downshifting without engaging the clutch will lock the rear wheel if im not mistaken. Infact, shifting down to second gear from 40k's on my Unicorn makes for a lurid rear while lock and an accompanying embarassed grin.
            Im sure such an experiment on a FZ6/R1 will lead to much more than a sheepish grin

            Heck.. Why on earth were slipper clutches necessitated then..!!
            Clutchless shifts can be both up and down, though the latter are usually for dirt. Better way is to take a sledge-hammer to the engine when furious though

            Yes, a down-shift induced wheel lock-up in a turn even at around 4k rpm's would lead to a LOT more than a sheepish grin on either of the 2 bikes you've mentioned.

            Slipper clutches are the off-spring of the brutal competitive world of track racing. The engine and clutch and drive-train longevity is NOT a primary target. And smooth, soft down-shifts waste time. You can imagine what it means in a world where 1/10th of a second is at times a life-time.
            The slipper has its uses for us mortals though...esp in panic stops. Just slam through the gearbox - without clutch even - while you brake hard. The slipper will sort of control or avoid engine braking induced rear lock-up.
            Last edited by Old Fox; 12-09-2008, 08:11 PM.
            I don't let my motorcycles interfere with my motorcycling...

            Join xBhp On

            Comment


            • #7
              woah,,,,tonnes of gyan dude
              No Drugs, No Alcohol, No Gamble,

              JUST BIKES
              the only addiction i need

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Old Fox View Post
                PS: L.P.- Even if clutchless shifts were totally harmless for the engine, companies would still need to put in a clutch. Reason: how do you plan to make a standing start?? Push with your feet to get the bike moving....slam the gearbox into 1st and rooollll on that throttle aye!! Try this 'pick-up' at the Mayur Vihar signal at 9:30 AM any working day
                People would be shouting at me and honking on my head,and also the poorones will be throwing stones... ..

                i tried it once when given a RX to ride that was modified for a dirt race,done it then..
                " Nothing Z Forever,Except D Change "

                Spiti ||Binsar || Lansdowne

                Click Here to Subscribe to the xBhp Delhi SMS Channel
                Click here to See my Photography Work

                sigpic

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have been trying cls on my daily commute...I think im doin it properly on my p180classic..and surprisingly my gearbox is smoother now.

                  its actually enjoyable once you can master it
                  No Drugs, No Alcohol, No Gamble,

                  JUST BIKES
                  the only addiction i need

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Old Fox View Post
                    The query here deals not just with whether to shift clutchless or not - its about gear shifting in general. And gear-shifting begins not from the foot but from the body position and posture astride a bike. Good clean and smooth gear-shifts are the essence of good riding skills and are a great example of hand-foot-eye co-ordination.

                    #1 Posture: Sit on the bike with your knees gripping the tank, not hard so as to be fatiguing, but firm. The point is to load up the torso and abdominal muscles for most of the work, keeping the arms and legs unloaded - both to avoid fatigue and to allow for sensitive control inputs. (While sitting on a chair, try lifting any one leg and feel the torso/abdomen tighten in response. Thats what I mean). So, if you sit right and balanced, your control inputs can be finely controlled.

                    #2 Throttle control: The finer is your sense of controlling the RPM's through the throttle, the smoother can be your gear-shifts. Practice by holding throttle in say 2nd gear at 2000 rpm, gently increase to 2500 rpm and hold, without overshooting the 2.5k target. Learn to hold constant throttle on rough roads.

                    #3 Inner Tachometer: This is about developing an innate RPM sense. The seat-of-the-pants, ears and eyes are the primary senses that let the rider accurately access the RPM's even without a tacho. And a developed RPM sense comes to forte esp during downshifts. Train yourself by guessing the RPMs and then confirming with a glance at the tacho.

                    #4: Upshifts: Make them quickly. The less time you give the engine rpm's to drop below what should be for the next gear, the lesser are the chances of a jerky shift. Keeping two fingers on the clutch lever helps (provided the lever is adjusted properly). Just pull in the clutch enough to disengage the drive while you reduce throttle, upshift quickly and firmly, and let out the clutch as you get on the throttle. Smooth upshifts, especially at mid-rpm's, are usually the easiest to master. Poke the engine into the powerband and smoothness again becomes a tough co-ordination exercise.

                    #5: Down-shifts: Now this is what separates the men from the boys. Blipping the throttle as you downshift is not difficult to acquire as a skill. The difficult part is getting the timing right and most riders give up when frustrated at this end. In simple terms, blipping is a short sharp twist of the throttle during the tiny interval between pulling in the clutch and shifting the gear. The purpose is to get the engine in the proper RPM's for the lower gear. The downshift will be smooth if the engine RPM is almost what it should be when the lower gear is selected at that given road speed. Complex when written and read but supremely doable by any practiced rider. The best is when the blip is co-ordinated with braking for the upcoming turn. Needs practice with two fingers on the front brake lever and the remaining two with the thumb wrapped around the throttle. Brake with two fingers while blipping the throttle as you de-clutch and downshift. Saves a LOT of drive-train wear (includes the gearbox, clutch, drivechain/shaft, sprockets), makes for a smooth ride for the pillion and sounds real cool. A real necessity on high power bikes, even with slipper clutches.

                    These points are imperative for sports bikes though it is best even for those riding our desi bikes to practice and inculcate such good riding habits. You never know when you get the chance to upgrade. And smooth shifting will anyway help preserve your steed, whether it makes 10 bhp or 200.

                    Ride long and safe...

                    Old Fox

                    PS: L.P.- Even if clutchless shifts were totally harmless for the engine, companies would still need to put in a clutch. Reason: how do you plan to make a standing start?? Push with your feet to get the bike moving....slam the gearbox into 1st and rooollll on that throttle aye!! Try this 'pick-up' at the Mayur Vihar signal at 9:30 AM any working day

                    Clutchless shifts can be both up and down, though the latter are usually for dirt. Better way is to take a sledge-hammer to the engine when furious though

                    Yes, a down-shift induced wheel lock-up in a turn even at around 4k rpm's would lead to a LOT more than a sheepish grin on either of the 2 bikes you've mentioned.

                    Slipper clutches are the off-spring of the brutal competitive world of track racing. The engine and clutch and drive-train longevity is NOT a primary target. And smooth, soft down-shifts waste time. You can imagine what it means in a world where 1/10th of a second is at times a life-time.
                    The slipper has its uses for us mortals though...esp in panic stops. Just slam through the gearbox - without clutch even - while you brake hard. The slipper will sort of control or avoid engine braking induced rear lock-up.
                    Every single reply of your's leaves me awestruck OF sir
                    Can't wait to see you in Bangalore astride the Banshee..

                    P.S : I hope you remember the 'cuppa coffee for the One' deal
                    I'm normally not a praying man, but if you're up there, please save me Superman.

                    -Homer J Simpson

                    sigpic

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Harmeet View Post
                      woah,,,,tonnes of gyan dude
                      Thanks Harmeet.
                      Originally posted by Harmeet View Post
                      I have been trying cls on my daily commute...I think im doin it properly on my p180classic..and surprisingly my gearbox is smoother now.

                      its actually enjoyable once you can master it
                      If 'cls' means clutchless here...I still insist...clutchless shifts are not good for the bike. Gear shifts are about a change in internal configuration of the engine-gearbox combo. And such changes are best done in the unloaded condition. This applies to any machine....not just a bike. Synchromesh gearboxes are actually a step towards this. Gradual loading...

                      Originally posted by L.P. View Post
                      People would be shouting at me and honking on my head,and also the poorones will be throwing stones... ..

                      i tried it once when given a RX to ride that was modified for a dirt race,done it then..
                      They probably shout and honk anyway...the only new addition could be stones!! Just kiddin..

                      Originally posted by MavericK46 View Post
                      Every single reply of your's leaves me awestruck OF sir
                      Can't wait to see you in Bangalore astride the Banshee..

                      P.S : I hope you remember the 'cuppa coffee for the One' deal
                      Thanks Mav. Yes, I do remember 'the One for coffee at CCD deal' very vividly. Looking forward to seeing you in Bamgalore.
                      I don't let my motorcycles interfere with my motorcycling...

                      Join xBhp On

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        OF sir.
                        All our Indian 'bikes' use constant mesh i.e synchromesh transmissions right ?
                        Is there an alternative gearbox system that was replaced by the synchromesh system ?
                        I'm normally not a praying man, but if you're up there, please save me Superman.

                        -Homer J Simpson

                        sigpic

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Plz koi downshift with that blipping throttle explain karo more easily

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by MavericK46 View Post
                            OF sir.
                            All our Indian 'bikes' use constant mesh i.e synchromesh transmissions right ?
                            Is there an alternative gearbox system that was replaced by the synchromesh system ?
                            My reference to synchromesh was in relation to 'clutchless shifts' as an example of the need to unload the gears before changing them, though I should have specifically mentioned that bikes do NOT have synchro boxes. Bikes use constant-mesh gearboxes. And constant-mesh are not the same as synchro boxes.

                            Originally posted by Puneet1 View Post
                            Plz koi downshift with that blipping throttle explain karo more easily
                            Bada mushkil hai bhai! To express in words whats accomplished in about a second or so. OK, will give it a try again.

                            First, the need to 'blip' again: Say you're riding in 4th gear at 60 kph. The corresponding rpm is about 5000. Downshift to 3rd at that speed and the rpm's jump to 6000. This sudden jump is felt as a jerk, the tyre locks up momentarily (less so in bikes equipped with slipper clutches but none of our desi bikes' power outputs justify a slipper clutch) and the whole driveline experiences a harsh jerk. So far so good I hope.

                            Blipping is momentarily increasing the rpm's so that when the rider releases the clutch after shifting to 3rd (in the example above), the engine is already spinning at around 6000 rpm and so there is no sudden jump in the rpm's.

                            How it is done: In usual downshifting, the rider closes the throttle, pulls in the clutch lever, downshifts, releases the clutch while simultaneously increasing throttle.

                            With the 'blip': Close throttle, de-clutch, blip throttle (a momentary and snappy rotation of the throttle), simultaneously downshift, release clutch and increase throttle. As I said earlier, doing each discrete action is not the issue, any rider can do it. Doing the whole thing as a co-ordinated exercise takes practice, practice and practice.

                            Hope this helps...
                            I don't let my motorcycles interfere with my motorcycling...

                            Join xBhp On

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              To all the clutchless shifters out there.. here's something that'll make life easier (at least for upshifts), but as much damaging

                              Power Commander Quick Shifter

                              I personally believe that clutchless shifting is not useful considering 1) Hardly anyone races (where actually clutchless shifts count), and even then it is not used regularly. Killer or poncho should be able to throw more light on this. 2) Downside is much more greater than the benefit. Consider it a very expensive proposition in the long run.
                              "Tough times never last, but tough people do." - Robert Schuller
                              ---
                              R.I.P Kriss; 15.06.1981 - 11.10.2009 -- You will not be forgotten.

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