Downshifting Question - Honda Motorcycles - FireBlades.org
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post #1 of 32 Old 01-27-2008, 12:43 PM Thread Starter
 
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Downshifting Question

Is downshifting harmful to a motorcycle or is it ok as long as the rpms become low enough?
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post #2 of 32 Old 01-27-2008, 1:06 PM
 
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Re: Downshifting Question

You have to downshift, otherwise you'd be riding around in 6th gear all the time.

Do you mean downshifting to get more engine braking? As long as you match your revs on the downshift then you won't cause any problems. You should just always match your RPM's to the situation. In hard braking situations there isn't any point to downshifting because you won't have any weight on the back tire anyway and downshifting before you get slowed is just more likely to lock the rear tire. In a pure panic stop, brakes only. About the only time that I downshift to control is speed is in traffic on the freeway. Say I'm cruising along in 6th and traffic starts to slow then I will downshift to 4th or 5th. More so that I am ready to accellerate with traffic again if it speeds up than for the sake of braking. However, if you do downshift just for the sake of slowing down you want to at least tap your brake lever to warn traffic behind you. To many people on MC's just use engine braking to slow and it is hard to judge that if you are in a car behind them. Generally I always use my brakes to slow down and then downshift as needed to make sure I'm in the right gear for the speed I'm going.

Obviously you also don't want to be at 15K RPM's and then downshift because you will just send your RPM's through the redline.
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post #3 of 32 Old 01-27-2008, 5:07 PM
 
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Re: Downshifting Question

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Originally Posted by slickwill View Post
Obviously you also don't want to be at 15K RPM's and then downshift because you will just send your RPM's through the redline....
... and probably lose control of the tail.

Wouldnt a slipper clutch banish this problem? I must have heard or rear somewhere that no matter what rev you are doing, what speed, you can drop say into 1st and it will NOT lock up/throw you off/go to the red line or anything like that?

"Second is the first of the losers..."
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post #4 of 32 Old 01-27-2008, 6:48 PM
 
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Re: Downshifting Question

Just blip the throttle to match the revs when downshifting. Good technique to master.

Yeah, a slipper should help, but if you're really hamfisted, you can still lock the rear wheel.
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post #5 of 32 Old 01-27-2008, 8:56 PM
 
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Re: Downshifting Question

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Originally Posted by 08cbr600rr View Post
Is downshifting harmful to a motorcycle or is it ok as long as the rpms become low enough?
Do it all the time, as others have said, match the revs the best you can and go with it. I downshift on the track and do not get the revs right all the time. Little sliding, no big deal.

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Originally Posted by HondaGalToo View Post

Yeah, a slipper should help, but if you're really hamfisted, you can still lock the rear wheel.
Not really, On Kawboy's bike (04' ZX 10) you could drop it into 1st from the end of the straight and let go of the clutch, no slippage.

It's amazing how stupid some people can be.
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post #6 of 32 Old 01-27-2008, 9:04 PM
 
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Re: Downshifting Question

brakes are for slowing down. Clutch is for transmitting engine turning force to the rear wheels via the drive train etc. Just use the parts for what they were designed, that usually works the best. This of course does not always apply to certain parts of women.
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post #7 of 32 Old 01-27-2008, 10:14 PM
 
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Re: Downshifting Question

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Originally Posted by Doomwitha929 View Post
brakes are for slowing down. Clutch is for transmitting engine turning force to the rear wheels via the drive train etc. Just use the parts for what they were designed, that usually works the best. This of course does not always apply to certain parts of women.
Not exactly true:
The engine can be used as a braking devise
The brakes can help you steer

It's amazing how stupid some people can be.
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post #8 of 32 Old 01-29-2008, 1:34 AM
 
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Re: Downshifting Question

Downshifting is great, I think that Slickwill has the most relevant advice here. I probably tend to use it too frequently, personally. Slipper clutches come in many forms and work to varying degrees, no need to argue about it, ladies and gentlemen. Just like some LSD diffs (department of redundancy department) in cars use clutch plates and shims to control the amount of power transfer to the wheels, slipper clutches can be setup for different uses. Now about the women's parts...please be more specific, send pictures or video if at all possible
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post #9 of 32 Old 01-29-2008, 9:22 PM
 
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Re: Downshifting Question

LOL Sospeloyudo!
Originally Posted by Doomwitha929
brakes are for slowing down. Clutch is for transmitting engine turning force to the rear wheels via the drive train etc. Just use the parts for what they were designed, that usually works the best. This of course does not always apply to certain parts of women.

you will notice I said "usually" and the fact is that is "usually" true
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post #10 of 32 Old 01-30-2008, 2:45 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Downshifting Question

Matching the Revs? Do you mean that I should only down shift when the revs are low enough to? I hear of people downshifting and locking up the back wheel;is this because the revs where high when they decided to downshift? I haven't put but 400 miles yet on my bike and its my first, I appreciate all the advice. I'm learning more and more everyday. I just didn't want to harm my engine by doing it the wrong way. Also, any advice on lowering the seat height? I'm only 5'6" and on my toes. Thanks
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post #11 of 32 Old 01-30-2008, 3:11 PM
 
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Re: Downshifting Question

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Originally Posted by 08cbr600rr View Post
Matching the Revs? Do you mean that I should only down shift when the revs are low enough to? I hear of people downshifting and locking up the back wheel;is this because the revs where high when they decided to downshift? I haven't put but 400 miles yet on my bike and its my first, I appreciate all the advice. I'm learning more and more everyday. I just didn't want to harm my engine by doing it the wrong way. Also, any advice on lowering the seat height? I'm only 5'6" and on my toes. Thanks
By matching revs, I'm talking about "blipping" the throttle right before downshifting. What that does is bring the revs up to what the next gear requires. You could wait and downshift when the revs are low enough, as you stated, because if the revs are still too high for the next lower gear, the rear wheel will lock. You're right about that. Blipping is a good skill to learn. It's a bit hard to explain online, but the idea is, that just prior to downshifting, you pull in the clutch, give the throttle a blip to raise the rpms, downshift, smoothly let out clutch. You do all these things almost simultaneously. When you get it right, you'll hear the rpms go up on your bike, and feel it slow just a bit, but there will be no jerk, no rear wheel lock.

If you just slam it down to the next lower gear without matching revs, it can lock the rear wheel in the worst case scenerio, or at least it'll jerk pretty badly. Just like a car if you dump the clutch too fast. The other way is, as you stated, to roll off the throttle, slowing down and letting the rpms drop, then downshifting. This works, but isn't as efficient. If you ever get into track riding, learning the blip will be a necessity.

Lower your bike? At 5'6"? I'm 5'4" and have never lowered anything. Lowering will decrease your ground clearance and can make the bike handle improperly.

First bike is a brand new 600rr? Whew, you'd have been better off with something older and used! Take it slow!
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post #12 of 32 Old 01-30-2008, 3:19 PM
 
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Re: Downshifting Question

^ I agree. You can flat foot it..... 1 side at a time. You're good to go. As for blipping, it seems like this is your 1st bike and you have very few miles of experience. Don't worry about blipping yet. Concentrate on not crashing.
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post #13 of 32 Old 01-30-2008, 5:29 PM
 
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Re: Downshifting Question

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Originally Posted by Dave213 View Post
^ I agree. You can flat foot it..... 1 side at a time. You're good to go. As for blipping, it seems like this is your 1st bike and you have very few miles of experience. Don't worry about blipping yet. Concentrate on not crashing.
Yeah, I agree. Blipping's good to learn, but I just realized you have very few miles under your belt. I'd not worry about blipping just yet. Slow down before you downshift to let the rpms drop. Get proficient at starting, stopping, steering. Worry about blipping after you've got a good season under your belt. Did you take an MSF class? If not, I highly recommend it.
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post #14 of 32 Old 01-31-2008, 1:25 AM
 
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Re: Downshifting Question

"If only we had slipper clutches in our cbr 600 rrs," he said bitterly...Anyway, yes learn to ride to live before worrying about details. Let it suffice to say that you shouldn't downshift above 7 or 6 grand in a turn...and even then release the clutch as though you were just taking off in first. Let the engine catch up with the gearbox.
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post #15 of 32 Old 02-02-2008, 6:10 PM
 
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Re: Downshifting Question

yeah,
then when you get onto the straight,
drop down a gear (or 2), keep the clutch in,
Then really give it some, then dump the clutch.
Lets see a good wheelie
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