Shifting controversy - Page 2 - KawiForums - Kawasaki Motorcycle Forums
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-10-2012, 01:42 PM Thread Starter
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Ya that seems to be the most common answer. No one really seems to swear to one method only.


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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-10-2012, 11:31 PM
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You do not "need" the clutch to shift. Motorcycle transmissions for the most part are "dog boxes" not like a synchromesh transmission in your car. Although you can shift synchromesh clutch less also, we wont get into that. Your motorcycle transmission (very simply put) has a peg on the side of the gear that engages with a hole on the gear next to it. When any 2 gears are locked together it produces a different ratio to your rear tire. When you shift from one gear to the next, you pull the peg from the hole in one gear and engage the pegs on the other side of the gear with the hole on the gear of the opposite side. You really need to google how it works but here is my point: To disengage the dog (peg) from the dog hole, you simply reduce torque on the gear (let off on the throttle). When you use the clutch, that's all you are doing, reducing (or eliminating) torque.

When people say you must or should use the clutch, simply do not know how it works period. If you do not believe me you really need to do the research for your self and find out.

That being said, you can cause damage by doing it wrong. If you try to shift while torque is being applied thought the trans, it will round off the dogs (pegs) and this is damage. If the dogs or holes get damaged they have trouble holding on to eachother. If they do not have good hard edges to lock onto eachother, they will separate when torque is applied (will spit into neutral).

Like I said this is all very simplified but hopefully this makes you want to find out how it actualy works. Also on a side note, 95% of the time I up shift my dirt bikes with out the clutch. Been ridding dirt for 20 years with exactly 0 transmission related failures. I do not down shift clutchless. Not because it can't be done, but because it would require more effort to do that way, than just pulling in the clutch. See when you decel, the torque runs from your back tire up through your tranny and into your engine (opposite of acceleration). So if you are under engine breaking, to reduce torque throught the tranny, you would need to blip the throttle, and at the instant make the shift. Who wants to get back on the throttle while trying to slow down? It unsettles the bike. Pulling in the clutch and rev matching while you brake stedily, is for me a much better way of getting set up for the next corner/obstacle.

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Last edited by williams805; 03-10-2012 at 11:37 PM.
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-10-2012, 11:40 PM
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I ALWAYS clutch (even on my dirtbikes) I havent even had my streetbike for a week so im new too, but I dont think it could hurt to clutch before every shift weather its up or down.... then again im new so dont take my advice.


Also, question i dont think is worthy for a new thread.. but, when i shift my bike 1/2 between any gear it goes into neutral is this normal? ( the light only comes on when i 1/2 from first.)
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-11-2012, 12:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jspicer View Post
I ALWAYS clutch (even on my dirtbikes) I havent even had my streetbike for a week so im new too, but I dont think it could hurt to clutch before every shift weather its up or down.... then again im new so dont take my advice.


Also, question i dont think is worthy for a new thread.. but, when i shift my bike 1/2 between any gear it goes into neutral is this normal? ( the light only comes on when i 1/2 from first.)
To clear up my last statement, if you want to clutch... By all means do it. You're not doing it wrong or anything. I'm just answering the question. It is not nessasary. It's in the design of the transmission. If you feel more confident, do what you do. It doesn't matter to me how anyone else rides. I just cannot stand when people that obviously do not know what they are talking about spread false info about "you have to use the clutch or you'll damage it" or "you should use it". Both are not true. You "should" do what is comfortable knowing how it actualy works rather that what someone thinks is the truth.

If you are finding neutral in between gears, you got problems. You are either not properly shifting, or your transmission has been damaged. You need to make firm, positive shifts or you will cause damage. The execption is in between 1st and 2nd. That's where neural lives and the light will illuminate for an instant as you pass it by on the 1-2 shift.

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Last edited by williams805; 03-11-2012 at 12:27 AM.
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-11-2012, 12:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by williams805 View Post
To clear up my last statement, if you want to clutch... By all means do it. You're not doing it wrong or anything. I'm just answering the question. It is not nessasary. It's in the design of the transmission. If you feel more confident, do what you do. It doesn't matter to me how anyone else rides. I just cannot stand when people that obviously do not know what they are talking about spread false info about "you have to use the clutch or you'll damage it" or "you should use it". Both are not true. You "should" do what is comfortable knowing how it actualy works rather that what someone thinks is the truth.

If you are finding neutral in between gears, you got problems. You are either not properly shifting, or your transmission has been damaged. You need to make firm, positive shifts or you will cause damage. The execption is in between 1st and 2nd. That's where neural lives and the light will illuminate for an instant as you pass it by on the 1-2 shift.


It happend to me twice, both times i didnt shift properly (was still getting used to the bike) it was shifting from 2nd to 3rd. the nutral light wasnt on but it was clearly in neutral...
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post #16 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-11-2012, 12:37 AM
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If your having trouble, there are aftermarket shift stars that will help make positive shifts easier. You probably just need a little more seat time on the bike to get used to it.

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post #17 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-11-2012, 12:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by williams805 View Post
If your having trouble, there are aftermarket shift stars that will help make positive shifts easier. You probably just need a little more seat time on the bike to get used to it.

alright thanks man I appreciate the advice!
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post #18 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-27-2012, 03:40 PM
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I learned using the clutch and then after gaining experience I tried without it. I prefer the clutch, but thats me. Each rider has his/her own style that they will develop. Take your time and learn to ride and you will decide for yourself if it works for you.
Be safe!
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post #19 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-27-2012, 05:24 PM
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Fwiw, GP shift makes clutchless shifting much easier, smoother, and more efficient. I won't own a bike unless I can reverse the shift pattern.

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post #20 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-27-2012, 05:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prs View Post
This has been discussed many times here and it always seems to get the same results as you've already encountered. My opinion is if done properly, there is no harm. That said I only do it occasionally. I've never tried downshifting without the clutch but people do that as well.
this is key. and the biggest problem people have. you have to KNOW what you're doing, or you WILL damage the transmission.
which is why lot of people say "you have to use the clutch"
because if you're asking.....you dont know how to shift without it, so YOU should use it to save parts...

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