How do you downshift smoothly on a motorcycle?
Somewhat new rider here... When coming to a stop Is there a smoother way to downshift besides engine braking ? I hate the jerking of engine braking and i know that if i hate it on my 300 then I’ll hate it when i upgrade to a 600 next month. And my current bike has abs. Also when you come off the freeway ramp and there’s a turn how do you go about that ? Do you straighten the bike out then apply brakes or can you brake just a bit when leaning into the turn ? Just tryna soak up all the knowledge I can on my beginner friendly bike before I jump on the 600 :)
- River EuphratesLv 74 weeks agoBest Answer
I always downshift first, then apply the brakes (front then back). If it's jerking then you are downshifting too early. Let the RPM's drop a little more, then drop a gear and let the clutch out.
- Alfred WLv 62 weeks ago
I downshift to first gear or leave it there on a slope, before starting the engine. Then not in neutral until oil heats up a little. Changing oil makes shifting easier. Many bikes have neutral finders and often those make shifting round 1 N 2 more difficult. It could be it seems to be stuck when not to first at slow speed. Usually you do not benefit from engine braking on a motorbike so don't. The slower you go the better you downshift. There has got to be some action in the master and slave cylinder so besides having clear fluid you want no air or moisture in the hydraulic system. Then you test the free play at the lever both where bike goes into action and where the refs go up when riding. Almost to a stop it is normal that one must release the lever a little to be able to downshift further.
When the bike is new or had been sitting for a while it happens a lot that there is much more compression resulting in a nervous ride and revelations drop immediately. There you could "clutch" the shifting by a short throttle in between and downshifting right where the revelations drop.
Read the manual to the point where it says how fast neutral should be. Know this: any slower and you have engine brake with throttle closed. Any higher and bike does not seem to want to stop so eager. Both are unbearable but not to many others.For the rest, you can apply rear brake in a corner safer then front brake but no worries when the rubber compound is not old and there is no dust or roads are wet. Markings for production month are on the tires. Check tires with your hand for height differences, caused by low tire pressure. Then: in all situations you ride only so fast that you can oversee the road and its traffic and come to a halt safely. In steep bends there could be anything on the road so braking, out of all places, should not be a problem here. Wet brakes can be unpredictable. I know from being 60 years now that drum brakes do brake the first time after cleaning the bike with water but not the second time...Makes you certainly wonder where it is slippery, down where you live. It is not only after the first rain but also at the end of a slope. A trick is to pay attention to where gas stations are. Now you are way ahead on all the others.What you should do is practice every corner and change in direction at any speed or you go straight out with an unknown to you motorcycle. Have suitable clothes and gear like back protector, full face helmet, sunglasses etc. I dump everything in a sack that is locked on at the motorcycle when parking. Consider second hand for that reason and have your name on it. No problem as of yet but they tried to take the saddle??? Just guessing leads me to thinking people can buy their own stuff back these days with anonymity of the Internet but fact is that some parts are too expensive to by new from the shop so every-one would buy from a thief. Be smarter, like most riders really, and carve name and address in those parts when you come to places that others do not see like with the wheel out on the fender and the battery when removed. What also works is UV pen because police can find evidence of theft with these blacklights. You may warn for parts that are marked subtle in a small notice. Like how you warn for an alarm, make your telephone number public and ask not to sit on the bike is a small line of text and extremely helpful in many situations, when starting with it right away. You will be surprised how many people want to damage the motorcycle or even sabotage it. Bar owners will be happy when someone asks those questions, go ahead. Rule of thumb is to never even allow friends to sit on it. Don't overtake other vehicles and I consider cars going left and in waiting also to be overtaken. Do not overtake cars on the right. Don't go past cars in waiting when the first can suddenly turn. When you must overtake a slow vehicle, then think of more vehicles following and speeds going way up over the limit. It is better then not to be greedy.Make eye contact! It helps in knowing how things are and is appreciated by others.Apart from that you ride slow and try to stare at people, a rider must stay in both the mirrors. When not a car or van will certainly stop somewhere and reverse in to you. Same with cars slowing considerably. Longen the distance even the more because they enter a driveway somewhere. For this reason you keep an eye on blinkers when you are at normal distance because cagers are late using those and have better brakes at speed.The rules I give is anticipate and facilitate. As easy as that. With anticipation you know your type of road and situation. Facilitating makes one aware of what others would want and provides an overall better ride.The biggest danger for you is dropping the bike. When coming off the sidewalk or from a driveway, make sure you can always touch the ground.Ride to destinations you have clear in mind on your new bike. The formula to success.When not looking at situations you may want to look at the shadows in front of parked vehicles. Impending danger like animals or children reveals itself there.As I think of it: 2:| it is easy to be thrown off a motorcycle. Not only when standing up and the tank slapping or having passenger and slower steering. It is common to end up on your back at the end of the saddle or transforming into a ball when the front brake is applied violently. I warned people many times their bikes are uncontrollable rockets when they have to jump over something, by embracing the handlebar in a renewed grip, throttle is applied when the front goes down and possibly even further into the front suspension. This happens a lot but as with all things speed is the complicating factor.
- 3 weeks ago
If you don't know, then you shouldn't be riding one. Also you would have learnt that in the course.
- Tim DLv 74 weeks ago
If there is "jerking" while engine braking then you are not doing it right.
Yes you can brake while leaning, but if you get it wrong then you will find the consequences are severe.
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- Cap'n. AmericaLv 44 weeks ago
On a Harley, you Can't..
- ExoplanetLv 74 weeks ago
Jerky engine braking only occurs at very slow speeds. Pull in your clutch sooner, downshift into neutral and brake to a gentle stop. Problem solved.
- DimoLv 54 weeks ago
If you can not handle a 300, getting a 600 is a very stupid idea.
You want to learn how to ride smoothly before upgrading.
When downshifting, you give it a little gas while shifting.
ABS is for people that don't know how brake without sliding. By having ABS you never will learn.
All of the rules about straightening before braking, not braking in a curve, etc.-- is all for *racing*.
On the streets, if you cannot accelerate/brake/shift/switch lanes etc. you *will* crash.
On the streets, you never push to the limits.
- RonLv 74 weeks ago
You can't learn how to ride by reading up on it. And please, get some life insurance. You're going to kill yourself