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Discussion Starter #1
This question has several facets and I am sorry. I just need some advice.


When I pull the clutch in and shift up with my foot sometimes the bike doesnt shift. I am not sure If I am not letting the shifter reset, does this even matter? Or maybe I am not shifting high enough with the shifter? Or maybe I am not shifting hard enough? Or maybe the clutch is bad and 'sticks'?

I know it cannot be diagnosed over the web so to speak but could you awesome people tell me a typical procedure for shifting from a stop go situation all the way to say 3rd gear? Do you let off the clutch fully and then engage it fully and shift up and then disengage fully and then re-engage and shift again?

Im wondering if it could be because I am just not shifting up completely with the shifter because when I 'shift up' and let out the clutch and its at the same RPMS if not higher and I realize its because it didnt actually shift, I just pull the clutch back in and consciously shift up high, and all the way to teh top and it shifts up fine no problem. So why might it not shift the first time?

Its quite possibly its a bad habit I have that is preventing the smooth shift. Like, I never fully disengage the clutch but leave it in the friction zone when i take off so shifting cant happen?

So sorry for the wall of text and the bad wording. I am not so good at these things.


Thank you for your patience and kindness,

Vixxen
 

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You should be able to fully release the clutch lever between shifts. It is correct to use the friction zone for a smooth start, but if you are going for second gear before you even get the clutch released, you are likely shifting too soon.

Sometimes it takes a firm lift of the foot to shift gears. You should be able to feel the click. The shift lever does have to return to the central position before shifting again.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Sometimes it takes a firm lift of the foot to shift gears. You should be able to feel the click. The shift lever does have to return to the central position before shifting again.
See this. I sometimes wonder if I am too tense(i am often tense in general) for some reason and not conscientiously letting the shift lever down far enough to begin another shift.

And thanks a ton for the insight about the friction zone. I think you are right and I kinda knew better.

Do you shift up from 1st almost immediately when you begin going from a stop light that turns green? I have seen a few other bikers do this and I do not, but maybe I should? I have seen other bikers shift up from first as soon as they get going on a green turn signal.
 

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I don't shift into second until about 30 miles an hour. That will vary greatly depending on the motorcycle.

You can wind the engine out a bit before having to shift.
 

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Generally speaking you want to run each gear up through the rpm range a bit before you shift, so you pick up at least some momentum with each gear. (The actual shifting point varies on different bikes.)

So if you start in first gear, ease out the clutch, start to roll, add some throttle and continue to let the clutch out all the way. Keep accelerating some until the engine starts to sound like it's almost revving too much, then clutch in, (roll off the throttle at the same time,) shift up firmly, and let out the throttle as you accelerate.

It's easier to show you then to write and describe it. Lol.

It is possible, however, that you do need some sort of adjustment to your shift linkage, or you have some other transmission issue going on. There could be a physical problem that's causing a difficulty in getting it into gear.
 

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I always let go of the clutch and then reengage it before shifting to the next gear up. I do believe most bikes will only let you shift up one click, but downshifting you can go down more than one. Although I don't suggest it with a bike, if your rpms are high enough, you can shift without the clutch. So if it is still not letting you shift, even after proper release and reapply of clutch, you could have something mechanical going on other than the clutch.
 

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On all bikes I've ever ridden each click up is a higher gear and each click down is a lower gear. You have to move the shifter up or down 1 click to change gears. You can't just hold it down and expect it to go to 1st or up and expect it to go to 5th...or whatever your highest gear is.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
On all bikes I've ever ridden each click up is a higher gear and each click down is a lower gear. You have to move the shifter up or down 1 click to change gears. You can't just hold it down and expect it to go to 1st or up and expect it to go to 5th...or whatever your highest gear is.
This is most definitely not the issue else I could not have been riding this long at all...

I am thinking the issue is that with this bikes tight squeeze for my boot(between peg and shifter), and me being a tense person by nature, I am barely keeping the shifter from dropping all the way back down. To prevent this I am now consciously dipping my foot forward to ensure I fully dump the shifter.
 

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I have a friend that had to buy a different style boot so she could feel that the shifter had clicked. She started out with combat style lace up boots and ended up getting some harness boots. You might have nailed the cause. I'd say try a different boot/shoe for a short ride just to find out. If that doesn't help, I'd be checking my shifter to make sure it was tight and my clutch cable for starters. I hope it is a simple thing, good luck to you!
 

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Some shifters are on a spline and some work with linkage, without knowing what you have, it's easy to figure it out.
 

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You might want to have someone else ride your bike & make sure there isn't a problem with your shifter, and that your clutch is adjusted properly.

While I "grease" every shift in an automobile to where a blindfolded passenger couldn't tell it wasn't an automatic transmission, bikes seem to prefer positive, more forceful shifting.

Completely different transmission designs. I was SURE I was being too "rough" on bikes the first few years I rode... and couldn't figure out why I missed so many shifts, etc.

I still pull the clutch in further and longer than I need to, lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Adjust the shifter position higher to accommodate your boot.. All bikes I have seen are capable of this.
You might want to have someone else ride your bike & make sure there isn't a problem with your shifter, and that your clutch is adjusted properly.

While I "grease" every shift in an automobile to where a blindfolded passenger couldn't tell it wasn't an automatic transmission, bikes seem to prefer positive, more forceful shifting.

Completely different transmission designs. I was SURE I was being too "rough" on bikes the first few years I rode... and couldn't figure out why I missed so many shifts, etc.

I still pull the clutch in further and longer than I need to, lol.

So bikes can handle more aggressive or harder shifting? This is actually something I really want to know as I do shift with limited force as to not hurt the bike. If I was more aggressive and more dramatic with the shifts It could ensure I shift adequately and allow the shifter to fall to reset.

I would let someone else ride my bikes if i had other biker friends. I still am the only one I know who rides and I got into riding on my own. :( Kinda sucks
 

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Practice will help reduce tension. Get some seat time in a non-threatening environment such as an empty parking lot. Practice shifting, turns, braking, quick stops and swerves.

If you are concentrating hard on the motorcycle controls, that means there is less concentration spent on traffic. Regular practice will make operating the controls second nature.
 

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Vixxen said:
So bikes can handle more aggressive or harder shifting? This is actually something I really want to know as I do shift with limited force as to not hurt the bike. If I was more aggressive and more dramatic with the shifts It could ensure I shift adequately and allow the shifter to fall to reset.

I would let someone else ride my bikes if i had other biker friends. I still am the only one I know who rides and I got into riding on my own. :( Kinda sucks
Sure can. Watch someone with a heal/toe shifter. When they shift up it looks very much like they are stomping on the shifter. They aren't but they are making a very positive shift movement. It sounds like you understand now where your problems are. Too close to the shifter(not allowing in to move back far enough) and not making a positive movement either. Now you could still have a mechanical problem but right now it sounds like it might just be "new operator". If those things don't help then get the bike serviced. These things are dangerous enough without mechanical issues.:thumbsup:
 

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So bikes can handle more aggressive or harder shifting?
They sure can. Google "motorcycle transmission" and look at the innards of one. You're not slipping a gear over synchros and attempting to line up its teeth onto another gear, like in an automotive transmission.

You're basically JAMMING raised bumps into holes.

http://w6rec.com/duane/bmw/trans/gear1.jpg

You probably do LESS damage doing it quickly, and forcefully than trying to gracefully "slide" it into the next gear like on an automotive transmission.

Sometimes the bumps/holes WILL line up and it will "SNICK" into gear perfectly, sometimes it won't and it's gonna CRUNCH into gear. No matter.

There are plenty of experienced (and dirt bike) riders who don't always use the clutch to upshift, or don't pull it all the way in; they just let off the throttle enough to remove all torque on the transmission and stomp the shifter. (aka "Speed Shifting." )I'm not one of them, because you're going to MISS sometimes and grind the gears... but with practice and rpm matching you can get away with it a lot of the time...

http://www.motorcycleforum.com/showthread.php?t=90558&highlight=shifting

http://www.motorcycleforum.com/showthread.php?t=128666&highlight=clutch

Since I love my automobiles and want them to last...forever, I shift exceedingly smoothly. I often double clutch. Try and impress not only my passenger but whoever's nearby listening to my double-overhead cam motor motor singing at 6000 rpms... A perfect shift is music to the ears

but motorcycles? Ya gotta show that transmission who the boss is...
 

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agree with the idea that you need to adjust the shifter.
maybe get a different shift lever that fits your body (boot) better.
sounds like you've got a tight squeeze.
that's too much effort ... the whole thing should be more relaxed.

or maybe you're wearing boots with really big reinforced toes.
one way or another, there should be some wiggle room between the top of your boot and that shift lever.

dT
 

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This is most definitely not the issue else I could not have been riding this long at all...

I am thinking the issue is that with this bikes tight squeeze for my boot(between peg and shifter), and me being a tense person by nature, I am barely keeping the shifter from dropping all the way back down. To prevent this I am now consciously dipping my foot forward to ensure I fully dump the shifter.
If you are having a hard time keeping your boot off the shifter, adjust the linkage so the shifter is a bit higher when you are doing nothing. That way you will comfortably be able to get off the shifter. There is a reason the shifter position is adjustable.
 
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