Always hold the clutch while braking? - Motorcycle Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-10-2008, 11:03 AM Thread Starter
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Always hold the clutch while braking?

When coming up to a stop sign lets say in third gear, do you hold the clutch in the entire time you are braking and downshifting, or do you release the clutch between downshifts?

Also, if someone could generally outline the times when it is appropriate to be on the clutch, I would appreciate it.

Thanks
Dave
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-10-2008, 11:09 AM
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Well this is taken from my experience driving a manual for the past 10 years. Think of it this way, its always easier to replace the brakes instead of having to replace the tranny or clutch. (when it comes to downshifting)

as far as your question is concerned, lets say you are in 3rd gear and you see a stop sign approaching from a ways off. According to the manual (pa) you should downshift to reduce your speed, so clutch in, brake, shift to 2nd, let clutch out. (you want to be in or around the speed of 2nd otherwise you are going to lurch forward - if you're going to fast) rinse and repeat for 1st, by that time you should be in front of the stop sign.

but don't quote me, like I said this is all from car experience - NOT motorcycle (im going for my permit today)
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-10-2008, 01:57 PM
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In my car I tap the gas/throttle to match revs when down shifting to reduce the strain on the drivetrain. Do you want to do the same on a bike?
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-10-2008, 03:05 PM
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I've been riding maybe 20 years. Here's what I do.

When coming to a stop, I use both brakes as necessary, and I leave the bike in gear until the revs drop quite low, about 2x idle speed, then pull the clutch and hold it in while I shift down to first.

You certainly don't want to let the clutch out after every downshift since it will just wear out the clutch faster, make more work for you, and accomplish no useful purpose.

In general you don't want to disengage the clutch and start downshifting until necessary. There are several reasons for this. One is that you can take faster evasive action if you need to get on the throttle. Another is that it's easier on the gearcase if you click down through the gears at lower road speeds. Another is that your left hand will get tired.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-10-2008, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the tips guys. My bike doesn't have a tach, so I'll have to learn to listen and feel to know when it's time to shift.
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