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Old 09-29-2009, 09:51 PM   #1
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Advice: downshifting before entering turns

Follow up on the thread about clutchless shifting thread: http://www.motohouston.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=112495

Whenever you are coming to a turn that you have to downshift for, what is your process. Meaning, when do you brake, when do you downshift (with or without clutch) and when do you apply gas again?

The main reason for asking is I know you usually don't want to apply throttle and let the clutch out mid-lean because accidentally giving too much can break traction, and that you wanna have the throttle set before entering the turn. It just feels weird to me, I guess because of setting possibly bad habits driving a manual car. But my process has always been to press in clutch, brake and shift to the gear I want, let off brake and enter turn, clutch out and gas on near apex. It seems hard to me to slow down the right speed to be able to clutch out and get throttle set before entering the turn.

So how do you do it?


Oh, and how does it change if you're at track or just on the street?
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Old 09-29-2009, 09:56 PM   #2
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i down shift,apply brakes and trail til apex and then ease on throtle.
lots of variations of this soon to come
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Old 09-29-2009, 10:09 PM   #3
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First off, races are won on the brakes! you should have already downshifted and been trail-brakeing into the turn, by this I mean, down shift before the turn and run the brakes into the turn as far as you can. once you feel that you have safely entered the turn you can start to apply the throttle.

This is a process best learned on the TRACK! Once you begin to learn this process, you will also learn at what point in the turn you can upshift to get the best run out of the corner.

Again. if you want to learn how to safely control your motorcycle at speed, do it in a safe and instructed setting like a track day or riders school, the track is much more forgiving than the streets and with instructors to show you and explain to you the ins and outs, you will be able to learn faster and safer.

Trust me, I thought I was fast until I took my riders school in 96, then I learned what fast was over the next couple of seasons.

Keep it safe brother, go and do some track days!

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Old 09-29-2009, 10:11 PM   #4
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Dang, is it this time of the year again?

Whatever you do, do it smoothly. Be a good passenger on your bike.

Personally, I just downshift and hammer the clutch 'cause I have a slipper clutch. When I don't have a slipper clutch, I will blip and am smooth as I can be with the clutch.

Smooth on the brakes, smooth on the throttle.

Racing is a whole 'nuther thing.
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Old 09-29-2009, 10:11 PM   #5
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I always use the clutch downshifting and rarely use it upshifting
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Old 09-29-2009, 10:17 PM   #6
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down shift before turn, brake brake brake, slowly release brake, release brake, release brake, throttle throttle THROTTLE!
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Old 09-29-2009, 10:32 PM   #7
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I plan to hit the track next season hopefully, and don't plan on getting too aggressive on the streets, just want to make sure that I'm developing good habits before I get to the track and have to "relearn". I'm talking about something even as simple as exiting the freeway and making a u-turn. Not trying to be the fastest right now, just develop proper form now, so it's easier to learn fast later when the time is right.

Tom - when do you let the clutch back out after downshifting? Before the turn? Starting your lean? Apex? That's the part that's getting me the most, is when to let clutch back out, because I thought it wasn't necessarily a good idea to let clutch out in the apex of a turn.
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Old 09-29-2009, 10:38 PM   #8
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isnt the point that you dont want to be using the clutch during the turn, hence the downshift before the turn? then its just a matter of keeping the throttle steady until you exit?
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Old 09-29-2009, 10:39 PM   #9
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You want to have your shifting completely finished before you turn the bike into the curve. Clutch... everything, all finished.

My sequence started as... off throttle, downshift...downshift...etc, brake, off the brake, turn into the curve, and then begin picking up the throttle.

As I got faster the sequence became... off throttle, brake and downshift simultaneously, continue braking as I turn into the curve, and then begin picking up the throttle.

-Curt
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Old 09-29-2009, 10:48 PM   #10
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Like they said many variations but from whatt i read on your skill level let the clutch out when you are done downshifting before the apex or leaning, you don't want to turn with a bike with free traction (clutch pulled in).

For street i will say

when aproacing the turn
Squeezzzzz the brakes (don't let go)
Pull clutch
Downshift
Let go the clutch(easy), if you are not going hot an heavy you don't have to blip the throttle while braking but is a good thig to practice in a safe zone not during traffic
are you in the turn yet, let go the breakes, easyyyyyyy
turn
apply throtle when you see where you are going

Track, is a different story, doble apex turns more storys, want to pass on the brakes, way more, u get spooked on turn 1 on TWS (Texas World Speedway), don't use the front brake, just the rear and when you get close to the fence that is the way out there, just drop the bike lol



Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeedCheeser View Post
I plan to hit the track next season hopefully, and don't plan on getting too aggressive on the streets, just want to make sure that I'm developing good habits before I get to the track and have to "relearn". I'm talking about something even as simple as exiting the freeway and making a u-turn. Not trying to be the fastest right now, just develop proper form now, so it's easier to learn fast later when the time is right.

Tom - when do you let the clutch back out after downshifting? Before the turn? Starting your lean? Apex? That's the part that's getting me the most, is when to let clutch back out, because I thought it wasn't necessarily a good idea to let clutch out in the apex of a turn.
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Old 09-29-2009, 10:51 PM   #11
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most people that have replied include 'releasing the clutch' in with the 'downshifting'. As Curt said, do all your shifting before any handlebar input to initiate the turn. That is the smoothest and safest way. you want the motorcycle to be as 'settled' as possible throughout any curve.

Imagine riding in the rain, going through a curve - - Would you rev and let the clutch out to match your bike speed while being leaned over in a wet curve? No. you would want steady throttle (and that doesn't necissarily mean accelerate).
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Old 09-29-2009, 10:59 PM   #12
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So for you, Curt...if you're braking all the way into the turn, then are you just easing clutch out after slowing a bit?


or Squanto/Alrova...same question really. Just easing clutch out during braking, or are you trying to brake fully, realease, then blip throttle and let out clutch?
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Last edited by SpeedCheeser; 09-29-2009 at 11:03 PM.
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Old 09-29-2009, 11:02 PM   #13
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My clutch is out immediately after the downshift. I don't hold the clutch in for any period of time other than to immediately complete the shift.
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Old 09-29-2009, 11:07 PM   #14
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Quote:
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My clutch is out immediately after the downshift. I don't hold the clutch in for any period of time other than to immediately complete the shift.
Is there never a time when you're moving too fast to let clutch out in the gear you need?
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Old 09-29-2009, 11:10 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeedCheeser View Post
Is there never a time when you're moving too fast to let clutch out in the gear you need?
Yes, MSR back straight. going ~130, need to be going ~50 for the turn. I grab brake and clutch at the same time, click down 2 gears, ease out the clutch while still braking, then pretty much initiate the turn as I'm easing off the brakes
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Old 09-29-2009, 11:12 PM   #16
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Is there never a time when you're moving too fast to let clutch out in the gear you need?
If easing off the throttle isn't sufficient to slow you for the first downshift, then brake first. After you've slowed, then downshift. Give yourself time to comfortably brake-downshift-brake or engine brake (off throttle) - down shift - brake before you turn into the corner. Even the really fast guys get the downshifting done early, then they carry the brakes well into the turn.

-Curt
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Old 09-29-2009, 11:13 PM   #17
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Yes, MSR back straight. going ~130, need to be going ~50 for the turn. I grab brake and clutch at the same time, click down 2 gears, ease out the clutch while still braking, then pretty much initiate the turn as I'm easing off the brakes
Squanto, you know that's something I never do. I always downshift one gear at a time and let the clutch back out, albeit very quickly.

-Curt
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Old 09-29-2009, 11:16 PM   #18
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Quote:
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Yes, MSR back straight. going ~130, need to be going ~50 for the turn. I grab brake and clutch at the same time, click down 2 gears, ease out the clutch while still braking, then pretty much initiate the turn as I'm easing off the brakes
Ok, that makes sense. I guess I was afraid to think of easing clutch out during braking thinking it would lurch or nose dive on me. I guess that's just one of those slowly practicing and learning where the right speeds, gears, etc. comes in.

Thanks for the help everyone.
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Old 09-29-2009, 11:18 PM   #19
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I was about to ask you if you double down or not! I dont know what I'd do if I had to catch 3 gears, prolly just triple down.

when at the track, I normally shoot for between 6-8k RPM at the end of the turn. My corner speed dictates which gear I should be in. This is where a gear indicator is nice - say you took the previous turn faster than usual, which made you grab another gear on the straight. doing the normal 2-down would put you in too high of a gear.

I'm looking for a TD video to show..
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Old 09-29-2009, 11:19 PM   #20
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Quote:
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If easing off the throttle isn't sufficient to slow you for the first downshift, then brake first. After you've slowed, then downshift. Give yourself time to comfortably brake-downshift-brake or engine brake (off throttle) - down shift - brake before you turn into the corner. Even the really fast guys get the downshifting done early, then they carry the brakes well into the turn.

-Curt
Interesting, that's another thing I was wondering if that ever happened. So you would rather brake, rev match down one, brake more (repeat as necessary) - is that because a non-slipper or just personal preferences?
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