To me the higher rpm’s are better in terms of control. Like if you need to pick up the speed, or reduce the speed without shifting. It can save you valuable time when you need to do it quickly, and the bike is more controllable.
However if you’re just leisurely cruising, you can shift earlier at about 5k. You’ll save on gas too. I remember when I went trough the break-in period, I had to upshift at 4k (and ride too), and so it was possible to ride over 200 miles on full tank. It never happens now.
And it’s not the way you should do it constantly. I’d say between 6k to 8k are the optimal revs to shift unless you wanna to take off good.
if i'm riding casually: normally shift all gears around 5-7k
if i'm riding agressively: normally shift our of 1st around 10k, 2nd and 3rd around 12k, 4th and 5th i'm not really sure, never really looked because of how fast i am going (don't really feel it's wise to take my eyes of the road to look at the tach when i'm doing 120+). honestly, i do most of my aggressive riding in the twisties so i don't get out of 3rd that much because i really like to keep the RPM's high, (around 10k), because i ride with a few gix 1000's and a 954RR and need to keep up.
i never run to red line because i never really feel any extra power after 12k (98's redline @ 14k)
I commute everyday and ride the canyons on the week end. When commuting I usually shift at around 6-9000 and get 50-52 mpg. while riding on the weekends in the hills usually more like 10-12000 and my mpg drops to aroung 35-38.
A forum community dedicated to all Kawasaki motorcycles including the ZX-6R, KLR 650, Ninja 250, Ninja 250R, and Vulcan. Come join the discussion about performance, modifications, troubleshooting, maintenance, and more!