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Old 10-15-2007, 11:30 PM   #1
logan5
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The finer points of downshifting ...

Okay, you downshift for one of two reasons ... to slow down, or the speed up.

I totally get the whole speed up thing, but downshifting to slow down is still a fairly open mystery to me.

I've been trying to practice this, but am still having a lot of trouble. As I approach a turn, or coming to a stop. At first I just tried to down shift and release the clutch, but usually end up in locking up the rear wheel and scaring me. So I've experimented with trying to blip the throttle (like I would when i up shift), but more often than not, I end up speeding up.

Any suggestions?

Thanks
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Old 10-15-2007, 11:35 PM   #2
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release the clutch slowly or a higher gear
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Old 10-15-2007, 11:36 PM   #3
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I know on the sv i just keep the throttle cracked open a little and release the clutch smoothly(don't just let it go)
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Old 10-15-2007, 11:36 PM   #4
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Pay attention when you upshift to the RPM drop between gears.

When you down shift, try to raise the RPM up to match the difference in gears; not a blip, a smooth, slight raise.

So if the tach drops 500 rpm at each upshift, raise the RPM 500 for each down shift, then let off the gas as soon as the clutch is out to slow down.

You only "blip" when you are aggressively trying to slow the bike, like hard on the brakes from 120 down to 50 for a corner and you want to match the gear and rpm for the drive out....
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Old 10-15-2007, 11:40 PM   #5
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Okay I am practicing this to so correct me any one if I am wrong. When you down shift hold the throttle where you had it before you down shift an progressively close it to slow down. The faster you want to slow down the faster you close it from the position you had it before down shifting.
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Old 10-15-2007, 11:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HOUSTONDUC View Post
Okay I am practicing this to so correct me any one if I am wrong. When you down shift hold the throttle where you had it before you down shift an progressively close it to slow down. The faster you want to slow down the faster you close it from the position you had it before down shifting.
You want to raise it slightly in RPM for a smooth downshift, match the RPM to the gear, then close the throttle.. if you hold it open when the clutch goes in, it will tend to shoot up on it's own.

When you get that down, you can practice the clutchless upshifts.....
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Old 10-15-2007, 11:50 PM   #7
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^I used to down shift in cars all the time I am just scared to eat it on my bike but, I am slowly working it in. I might of done that in cars unknowingly the whole 500rpm thing.
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Old 10-15-2007, 11:54 PM   #8
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texLurch Thanx for the tips. I'll definitely try them
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Old 10-15-2007, 11:54 PM   #9
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Most of the new SS bikes have slipper clutches to keep the rear wheel from locking up so it isn't that bad...
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Old 10-16-2007, 12:12 AM   #10
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very insightful information.
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Old 10-16-2007, 12:46 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texlurch View Post
Most of the new SS bikes have slipper clutches to keep the rear wheel from locking up so it isn't that bad...
I have plenty of experience in locking up the rear

Maybe its just me but I like the way it fells when I down shift fast blipping the throttle making the rear chip while slowing, however its probably not good for the bike..
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Old 10-16-2007, 07:15 AM   #12
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Lightbulb

TotW says the engine is not a brake, if you need to slow down, pull the clutch and use the actual brakes, then match the rpm to the gear and mph
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Old 10-16-2007, 07:17 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texlurch View Post
Pay attention when you upshift to the RPM drop between gears.

When you down shift, try to raise the RPM up to match the difference in gears; not a blip, a smooth, slight raise.

So if the tach drops 500 rpm at each upshift, raise the RPM 500 for each down shift, then let off the gas as soon as the clutch is out to slow down.

You only "blip" when you are aggressively trying to slow the bike, like hard on the brakes from 120 down to 50 for a corner and you want to match the gear and rpm for the drive out....
Tex is right and this is good advise. You need to keep practicing until you can downshift twice without upsetting the bike. This is very important to learn. It is all in your left hand and you control that.
Once you can, the blip comes easy when you are trying to drop a lot of speed to enter a corner.

Good luck with it.
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Old 10-16-2007, 08:02 AM   #14
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Thanks for all of the advice. My first trackday a couple months ago really pointed out that I'm not downshifting properly to set up the correct gear entering a turn and so I've been trying to master this skill in my everyday riding.

I really want to understand this technique before my next trackday so I can be better at it. The whole braking AND downshifting at the same time is like learning how to ride again.
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Old 10-16-2007, 08:09 AM   #15
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yeah, takes a while to get used to
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Old 10-16-2007, 12:43 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rob78 View Post
I have plenty of experience in locking up the rear

Maybe its just me but I like the way it fells when I down shift fast blipping the throttle making the rear chip while slowing, however its probably not good for the bike..

yeah.. I vaguely remember a blue streak sliding by with the rear locked up...


Don't think that had anything to do with downshifting tho....
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