Jump to content
Keith Code

Brake/down

Recommended Posts

Brake/Down

Changing Gears Like a Pro

 

Barriers Open Doors

 

To make real improvement there must first exist a real barrier to overcome or a real result to achieve. These are always based on the rider's own desires: to go faster; be more in control; have fewer panic situations; put it all together into a smooth flow or simply remove doubts and questions they have relating to those goals: when do the tires slide, how hard can I brake, how far can I lean the bike and so on.

 

When you look at it you'll see that there is very little difference, if any, between a riding barrier and a riding goal; they both have the same stumbling blocks. They both have an end result to achieve. They both have some fear or uncertainty or distraction attached to them. There is always a barrier.

 

The Braking & Downshifting Barrier

 

An example of a common barrier would be the complications that arise from the hurried and slightly frantic control operations that stem from not learning to smoothly and simultaneously brake and downshift for traffic lights, obstructions and, of course, corners.

 

Doesn't sound like a life or death threatening situation but when inspected closely you see what impact it really has on a rider's attention and how they are spending it.

 

Check it out, if the rider can't do braking and downshifting, simultaneously and smoothly, they are forced into one or more of the following attention draining scenarios:

 

1. Slowly letting out the clutch to make the downshift smoothly. This requires attention to be spent and is the most common way uneducated riders handle it.

 

2. Having to change gears once the bike is stopped. When the bike is stopped even the best transmissions can be sticky. Gears change more easily and more positively when the bike is moving. It causes less wear on the gearbox to change the gears while you are moving.

 

3. Having to change the gears after the braking is completed for a turn. That means doing it in the curve. This is distracting and can upset the bike, to say nothing of the rider.

 

4. Alternately going from the brake to the gas to match revs for the downshifts. This has the bike pogoing at the front. It does not get the bike slowed down quickly in an efficient manner. This is very busy riding.

 

5. Downshift before braking. This is fine for very relaxed riding situations at slow speeds but is hazardous to the engine if the rider is in "spirited cornering" mode as it provides the opportunity to over-rev the motor and bypass the rev limiter that protects it. Could be very expensive. In an emergency situation you don't have time to do this because you should be on the brakes right away. Not only that but some emergencies require you to brake and then get on the gas right away for accelerating hard to avoid things like cars running a light on you. In this case the rider would not have the time to get it done.

 

6. Forget it entirely and just go through the corner. This forces downshift(s) to be done at the corner's exit thus losing the drive out and complicating the whole thing by having to make a gear change when they should be rolling on the throttle. This is distracting and not smooth at all.

 

Coordination And Concentration

 

It is true that if a rider was uncoordinated and attempts simultaneous braking and downshifting it could be dangerous. For example having the front brake on along with the power can make your front wheel lock up.

 

On our panic-stop training bike I have seen it many times: the rider aggressively squeezes the brake and unconsciously rolls the throttle on at the same time. It's spooky to watch. So yes, practice and coordination are necessary, you will have to practice.

 

More importantly, you have to make a decision. Are the 6 potential distractions above likely to get you into trouble? They do break the rider's concentration even if only slightly. In other words: if you aren't a super hero at multitasking each of the 6 is a negative in comparison with braking and downshifting simultaneously.

 

In Control = In Communication

 

Continuous perception of your speed is how you control it. Accurate turn entry speed is critical to good, confident cornering. If you are worried about your speed, you are distracted by it.

 

Finding the right turn entry speed (for you) is far easier when the braking and downshifting are happening in one continuous flow of change. When compared to one that is chopped up, incomplete or creates anxiety like having to shift in the turn, it's obvious which scenario is better. Your Sense of Speed is a precious resource and is far more accurate when monitored as a steady stream with your awareness.

 

Maintaining a continuous state of awareness of what the bike itself is doing is another of the true benefits of this technique. You always know where the engine speed is in relation to the road speed and that improves your feel for the bike.

 

Your communication with the machine improves; no false signals or guess work; no waiting to know how the bike will respond in any of the above scenarios. You ability to maintain communication with the bike is important input.

 

Naming It

 

Simultaneous braking and downshifting. I'd like to shorten it to something like brake-down. Car guys call it heel and toe, which is a nice, short and simple way of saying they are simultaneously using the brake pedal with their toe and revving the motor with their heel. In some cars you just put the ball of your foot between the brake and gas pedals and rock your foot side to side to do it, it depends on the pedal arrangement. On a bike, provided the brake lever is comfortably adjusted to fit your hand, they are always in the same position for our maneuver.

 

Alright, for now it is brake-down. It would be interesting to have a non rider hear about you executing a "breakdown" coming into a curve; sounds pretty dangerous. How about fist and fingers or palm and fingers or B&Ding?

 

Whatever we call it, it works to simplify corner entries and puts the rider in command of and in communication with his machine to the highest possible degree.

 

The Sequence

 

1. Gas goes off.

2. Brake goes on.

3. Bike slows some.

4. Clutch comes in.

Maintain brake lever pressure.

5. Blip the gas rapidly on and off. (Usually no more than a quarter turn).

Maintain brake lever pressure.

6. During the blip make the gear change positively and quickly.

Maintain brake lever pressure.

7. Clutch comes out.

Maintain brake lever pressure until desired turn entry speed is achieved.

8. Release brake smoothly.

 

Bear this in mind: the quicker you do steps #1 through #7 the better.

 

Brake Lever Control

 

Expert use of the brake during this entire cycle means that you can maintain, increase or decrease the pressure as desired, without abruptly stabbing or releasing the brake lever.

 

Number of Fingers

 

Some riders let their finger(s) slide over the brake lever as they blip the gas. Others grab the brake lever with the tips of their finger(s) and still get a continuous lever pressure without the bike pogoing up and down.

 

Whichever way you do it is fine. How many fingers you use for the brake is up to you: one, two, three or four, this is your choice although I recommend you try just two fingers, your index and middle ones.

 

What's Important?

 

Braking is important, it is life and death on the street and vital on the track. Changing gears is not. You can still make it through the corner or get the bike stopped without ever touching the gears. But, riders do have the six above scenarios to contend with if they can't do the fist/finger, down-brake, palm/finger, B&Ding technique.

 

Learning How

 

The fact that riders have a problem doing this technique led me to a solution. I've built a bike that trains it. We call it the Control Trainer. It takes you through the technique, step by step.

 

The trainer's computer program talks you through the whole sequence and it points out your problems and how to correct them. The computer is hooked up on a static ZX9, you can't ride it but you do get the coordination/muscle memory necessary to do it for real.

 

Each of the controls is monitored for: correct sequence; correct timing of the clutch and gear changes; correctly sized throttle blips and consistent brake pressure, throughout the whole process.

 

With or without my Control Trainer, anyone can learn to do it. Start now.

 

- Keith Code

 

Upcoming articles: clutch-less up shifting and clutch-less downshifting.

 

 

ⓒ2004, Keith Code, all rights reserved.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

G'day Keith,

 

When I first learned this technique, it was in slavish imitation of what I saw my road racing friends doing. They entered the corners smoothly decelerating but with a pleasant blip-blip-blip down through the gears. I thought "that sounds nice, I'll try to do it." But it wasn't until I started road racing that I realised I had picked up a valuable technique. Like many things good racers do, it's done for a reason! It lets you get your downshifting done in a controlled manner before the real action starts: tackling the upcoming corner.

 

On the technique itself, one thing I noticed was that on my race bike (Aprilia RS250) it was easier to compress the process down - nail the brakes and go 'bang bang bang' through the gears with quick throttle blips and little flicks of the clutch. On a 4-stroke (the ZX-6R that I ride on the street) I find myself locking the rear wheel with engine braking if I don't stretch the process out a bit.

 

For learning this procedure, I started by rolling off the throttle and letting the engine braking slow the bike down. I then applied a small amount of pressure on the gear lever, and simultaneously blipped the throttle and the clutch. I'd work my way down the gears like this approaching intersections and the like. Once this process was smooth, I started working on doing the same thing but applying some front brake as well. As my co-ordination improved, I applied more brake each time. The culmination of all this was to apply maximum front brake during the whole process while simultaneously making the process smooth.

 

A lot of riders may think this stresses the engine, and indeed you can sometimes shoot the revs up a little higher than you like. The answer is to not underestimate how strong the engine and gearbox are in a modern motorcycle. As long as you are smooth, you won't damage your machine.

 

A final point: until this process is entirely automatic (in TOTW speak, takes up as few attention dollars as possible) it will take a lot of attention. I didn't try to apply it on the race track it until I could do it automatically while my attention was elsewhere (such as on the rider inside of me trying to out-brake me into the turn).

 

Just a few observations of my own, hope this is helpful!

 

Best regards,

 

Luke (www.hagus.net)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Keith,

 

From a racer's perspective only...

 

This topic lends me to the question on the use/validity/necessity of a slipper clutch.

 

On corners where I have to go through 2+ downshifts, I feel that I'm losing time because it takes me too long to get through the downshifts. Perhaps it's that I'm not braking aggressively enough to get through multiple downshifts quicker without rear-end chatter, but that's what I'm experiencing and want to resolve.

 

In these such corners, I end up with the feeling that if I were to push my brake marker further into the corner, I could not get through the 2-3 (or sometimes 4) downshifts quick enough to have the bike settled by the time I execute the turn.

 

A slipper clutch would provide me the ability to bang down 2,3 or 4 gears in a single manuever, which in my logical thinking would save me some time (hey, we're seeking tenths & hundredths of a second here).

 

Any thoughts or comments?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, I'm somewhat of a new rider but am picking it up quickly, downshifting smoothly is my current biggest block to my going fast and smooth. In a car I am very adept at "heel-toe" shifting and figured the answer on a bike must be something similar as this article has taught me, however there is one detail I am unclear about. When in a car for example while heel-toe braking I will shift from 4th to 2nd in one movement and match the rev's as I let the clutch out in 2nd gear and this works extremely well for me and is very smooth. I have heard mention in this conversation that on a bike it may be advantageous to let the clutch out in between each gear to avoid rear skid or over-rev (both of which I have experienced attempting a "finger-palm" shift shifting 2 or 3 gears with only one clutch pull). Letting the clutch out in between each gear seems like a safe solution, but it does seem like it may take a little extra valuable time during racing. I would like to hear anybody's input/experiences on the pros and cons of these 2 methods, and any tips for pulling off either more smoothly/quickly. Thanks -David

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Slipper clutch or not (my previous post was pre-slipper clutch, and this response is after installing it), you still need to go 1 at a time. More than one is a wheel slide, cut and dry. And that will cost you far more time than you'll ever make up by dropping 2+ at once.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the feedback, though I don't think I'll be satisfied until I prove it to myself on my bike one way or the other. Next time I go for a ride I'm going to play with this a lot, really giving it some extra gas while I let out the clutch to see if I can avoid a skid with 2+ shifts together. I just find it hard to belive that it wouldn't work on a bike when it works so well in my car!? I'll let you know how it goes...though you probably already know heh!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, well I just went for a ride down to the hardware store and back and I practiced the multiple down shifts, after a couple over revs and a few lurches when I let the clutch out I did nail it once cleanly and man was it smooth!(coming up to a stop I was in 4th and then dropped it down into 2nd while braking and rolled on a little thottls while letting out the clutch)...it's just tricky to get the engine revs matched to the gear, it will requite a lot more practice until i can to it without thinking too much, but it does work the same as in a car. I must mention though that my bike is an NSR250 which probably has a slightly more close ratio gearbox than most production 4-strokes, but the difference isn't THAT big. I'm still open to comments/arguments/suggestions!

thanks -David

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A good way to practice this that I used when learning it in a car that I also found works well on the bike is to pick one constant speed like 30-40mph then try shifting between 2 gears while holding the same speed, do this until you can do it smoothly and then try the same thing but shifting 2 gears at once *click click* you'll have to give it a little extra gas on the downshift to match the revs and this can actually be slightly dangerous until you get it right so do it with no traffic, once you can do this just do it while braking and you've got it! I must say though as an afterthought that the 2 gears at once thing is probably for the more daring riders as I belive it is a very useful tool when done right, but if you mess it up it could cause your rear end to slide out in a corner! The one gear at a time brake-down/finger-palm shift is safe though and I think it is a must for every rider!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is my take on this.

 

Changing more than one gear at a time is fine on the street but not for track or other spirited riding. The thing about one dowhshift at a time is simple--you know what gear you are in. If you miss a shift while trying to go down more than one it completley blows the corner because you have to think it through on which way to go, up or down to get it back together. In a car you know where the stick is, that is quite different from a bike.

 

Keith

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

this is my take on two or more gears being shifted...... ( and ive only been racing for 8 months and am 17 years old, but this is my thought). the reasons for downshifting include helping you slow down, and being in the right gear to exit the corner. and i downshift only one gear at a time, and i do that because i see it as getting the maximum engine brake out of every gear. if you skip a gear you skipped an oportunity to stop faster. If you skipped a gear that means there was a period of time where the gear that was skipped could have been used. yes it might be complicated to downshift 4 times in the same corner, but in my eyes if you did make all those downshifts (now this is assuming your to the point where you dont really think about downshifting you just do it) you maximized all/more of your brakeing potential. idk i guess i just see it as if you skip a gear you skip and oportunity to stop faster. because theoretically if your comfident enough to bang through all those gears (meanign not letting the thinking part slow you down) and could do it perfectly. hitting all the gears would slow you down quicker and safer. now all this is just my thoughts, but as i said im only 17 and only have 8 months of experience so i could be wrong. but i understand and practice finger-palm shifting so im gonna through my 2 cents in hahah.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hiya!

 

"The thing about one dowhshift at a time is simple--you know what gear you are in."

 

 

You mean I'm not the only person who has temporarily misplaced the gear I thought I was in? That's a comfort. (We won't say 'lost'--how can anyone be lost if they can find the same gas station 3 times within an hour? And how could one lose anything in something as small as a gearbox anyway? It's not like we could leave the lid open and have 3rd just wander off somewhere. They're all still in there, aren't they?)

 

The parallel and contrast with the pattern stick shift is enticing. The up/down box requires that we rely on memory (though mostly tactile, I suppose) while the pattern box gives us a 'you are here' pin on a nifty map. However, I suspect that (like the temporarily misplaced traveler) the moment we resort to that map, we are admitting we have erred. We have interrupted the smooth flow of change with a hesitation which in turn requires an adjustment necessitating an estimation which introduces a chance of further error and so on. So, while the cager has a map, it's only useful after the critical moment has passed, having reached for 3rd and come up with a handful of air because the stick was actually in 4th. Or was it 5th? Hmmm. Maybe I am the only one who has done that.

 

Should you decide to have a class in unintentionally misplacing gears, I believe I am well qualified to serve as an instructor. I'm a dedicated member of the Eternal Quest for 7th and can shift aimlessly on a whim.

 

Thanks for the books. They're my #1 gift for my two-wheeled friends. Thanks for this site. Just found it and already learned some more. --Hal

 

 

the journey is all

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A couple thoughts re: "getting the maximum engine brake out of every gear..."

 

1. Brake pads are way cheaper than engine parts/rebuilds.

 

2. It's sorta meaningless when I have the rear wheel in the air. Moderate braking/deceleration shifts most of the weight to the front wheel. Heavy braking can move all the weight to the front wheel. In either case, max engine braking will cause the rear wheel to skid.

 

3. Even under less than max brake conditions, I prefer to keep the bike in the highest gear possible leaving the suspension as free as possible to do its job: absorbing bumps and keeping the tires in contact with the pavement. Using the engine as a brake will bind up the rear shock.

 

4. Even in a non-racing street situation, such as a slippery intersection, you still maintain far more control by modulating the rear brake rather than trying to modulate the clutch to control engine breaking...I mean braking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest ex-racer

Wow... what a thread. Glad to have run on this site and thread.

 

I read the books (TOTW) and bought the videos way back, I think 1988. I was young and wanted to go racing with my RZ350... by the time I got to the track I had an FZR 400, and been riding since (racing got really expensive and addictive, yet here I am checking out tis website) Anyway, looking forward to my new R6 as I have just placed my deposit, can't wait for the slipper clutch, which brings me back to the thread.

 

Downshifting - I agree with racer in his many points and I think even Keith will agree, there are 1000 reasons to downshift, and as such there are different techniques to apply according to the situation.

 

While street riding I don't think I have to do multiple downshifts, unless I need to slow down really (really) quick, and know that I have to accelerate really quick, like a traffic accident that is about to happen or something like that, even while riding on Ortega it's one at a time, sometimes on a hard stop I'll downshift, but kep the clutch in, knowing that I want to do a complete 100% stop.

 

On the track, you should know what gear you are on, and you should know how many gears to downshift... I mean if you have a 2nd gear turn, you don't downshift one at a time if you can brake hard, scrubb some speed and let the clutch out smoothly without engine brake... yeah it takes practice, but that's where you would do it, on the track. Anyway, have fun riding, be safe and keep learning.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Guest

Hey guys,

 

Once a rider gets to the point where they can brake at 90% or better using the engine as what you would thnk of as a brake is useless. On a 600 with an average rider there is less than 60 lbs on the rear wheel. Above 95%, really hard braking, you have to realize there is less than 30 lbs on the rear wheel.

 

The engine cannot slow any more of the bike than it has weight on the rear wheel.

 

Badsically, you are fooking yourself if you think that you are doing more because those are the numbers.

 

When brakes are being used well, the only reason for downshifting is to have the engine at the RPM you want for the drive off the turn. Yes, street riding is lazy and you can do all kinds of things that make sense with downshifting, it makes no difference in the end what you do at street speeds.

 

In most corners, except for very fast ones, the bike doesn't care much whether it is in 5th or 3rd or 2nd, whatever is right for the turn. As long as you aren't in too low a gear the bike will track just fine.

 

Problem is we get used to listening for the big revs and it gives riders a sense of security but it is false security when it come to track riding and in the end it is a bad habit.

 

If you are going slow enough you could shift down as many gears as you wish with no problems but it is usually better to do it in sequence for the reasons already stated, you know what gear you are in.

 

Keith

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ugh like brakes are like ugh .......important right? Sorry couldn't help myself. Couldn't help anyone for that matter but, I love this site!! And I love you too Keith.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Guest_Jim_*

All this discussion on engine-braking and hand breaking simultaneously is great, but to everyone who debates the merits of 2+ downshifting over Keiths approach, just remember, when you really need it, you won't be able to execute it if you practice different methods. If single gear downshifting works on the track and you use it on the track, use it on the street as well. Mixing techniques could lead to confusion when the time comes and you really need that skill. Be consistent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Tom Monroe

Sorry if I missed it in another post, and this might be a really stupid question, but both steps 6 (during the blip change gear) & 7 (clutch comes out) happen during 5 (gas blips on then off), is that correct?

 

If this is the case, then you will get some engine braking - unless you're downshifting to a gear that's still too high, right?

 

I'm thinking the blip during 5 is maybe not rolling all the way off, right? More like from some predeterimined point up, then quickly roll back to that point (or maybe a little higher).

 

Or am I just not understanding?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Tom Monroe

Sorry if I missed it in another post, and this might be a really stupid question, but both steps 6 (during the blip change gear) & 7 (clutch comes out) happen during 5 (gas blips on then off), is that correct?

 

If this is the case, then you will get some engine braking - unless you're downshifting to a gear that's still too high, right?

 

I'm thinking the blip during 5 is maybe not rolling all the way off, right? More like from some predeterimined point up, then quickly roll back to that point (or maybe a little higher).

 

Or am I just not understanding?

 

Nevermind - I got it. Sure makes it less busy going into corners.

 

Don't know if it will help anybody else, but I start practicing this on the street. I started with just the throttle, then gradually added in the front brake. Took me about a week on the street to get comfy with it. On my last track day, started doing it right away, and it made a huge difference.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The purpose of the "blip" is to raise engine rpm slightly to ease the shock of clutch engagement during downshifting. No ju-ju here. You're downshifting in the first place because you're decelerating for some reason. Downshifting can't do it all, it must be in concert with the braking. Either one can be overdone.

 

Shifting two gears at once and letting the clutch out will certainly overspeed the engine when decelerating heavily and you will likely break traction. Your local parts man will love you for this. :rolleyes:

 

A slipper clutch has its limitations, and double downshifting will find them quickly. Honda has known this since its V65 production in the early '80s. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most riders quickly learn to upshift quickly and smoothly. It is interesting to me that so many riders do not in turn learn to downshift smoothly while braking because, if you can upshift smoothly, you're only 2 baby steps away from downshifting smoothly, and then one more baby step away from braking while downshifting smoothly.

 

To complete a quick and smooth UPSHIFT, a rider does these 3 things at the same moment:

 

1. Clutch lever is pulled in and immediately released

2. Throttle goes from ON to OFF and immediately ON again

3. Shift lever gets PUSHED DOWN and released (on normal street shift setup)

 

To quickly and smoothly DOWNSHIFT, a rider needs to do these 3 things at the same moment:

 

1. Clutch lever is pulled in and immediately released

2. Throttle goes from OFF to ON and immediately OFF again

3. Shift lever gets PULLED UP and released (on normal street shift setup)

 

So if you can already upshift smoothly, you are 2 steps away from downshifting smoothly:

 

1. Reverse what you are doing with the throttle.

2. Reverse what you are doing with the shifter.

 

At first learning how to upshift smoothly felt like rubbing my tummy, patting my head, and shaking my foot at the same time, yeah a little weird. But eventually with practice, the muscle memory is ingrained, and upshifting quickly and smoothly becomes about as difficult as pushing a single button. This learning cycle is repeated for the quick and smooth downshift, but it is not much different. So why do so many riders delay learning this skill?

 

I'll admit it is a bit more difficult with donwshifting because it won't work slowly. It has to be done quickly in order to be smooth. And secondly, there is the added challenge of learning how far to blip the throttle (more for hard downshifting at high rpms, less for easy downshifting at low rpms). But just first practice while sitting still with the bike turned off, then practice while going in a straight line in an empty parking lot and don't worry if it's a little herky jerky the first few (dozen) times ya try it.

 

Here's another 2 step way to get to the same place. If you ride a motorcycle, then you must already know how to downshift with no throttle blip (by easing out the clutch). You are just 2 steps away from making it a smooth quick downshift:

 

1. release the clutch quickly instead of slowly

2. blip the throttle at the same moment you hit the shifter and go in-out with the clutch.

 

I remember learning this throttle blip downshifting method on my own many years ago. The only thing that is really different about it compared to the easing out the clutch method is the throttle blip itself. I had trouble at first and the only thing I knew I need to experiment with was the timing of the blip. I quickly realized just to do the throttle blip at the same moment that I pump the clutch and hit the shifter.

 

Now all that learning can be done without worrying about the brakes simultaneously. Just add those at the end. This will also take some practice to avoid changing brake pressure while blipping the throttle but therei is not much more to it other than practice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Learning to match engine revs before adding the front brake is a good idea, but, the complete skill is operating the front brake lever while you are "blipping" the throttle to match revs for downshifting. The goal being to keep the brake pressure even while "blipping" the throttle.

 

Back in the stone age when I attended Keith's school, he had a bike outfitted with a special pressure gauge to help teach (and test) riders to keep the braking pressure even using just one or two fingers on the brake lever while operating the twist grip for the throttle "blip". It is not that difficult to master if you practice it.

 

The trick is allowing your fingers to slide backward and forward over the brake lever and maintaining even pressure while "blipping" the throttle with your thumb and ring/pinky fingers. You can begin practicing with the motor turned off just to get the feel of it.

 

I began by just using my middle finger on the brake lever allowing my index finger to remain on the throttle. Eventually, I was able to use index and middle fingers on the brake for heavy braking and even use only the index on the brake while "blipping" the throttle. The school probably teaches using two fingers on the brake as standard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Learning to match engine revs before adding the front brake is a good idea, but, the complete skill is operating the front brake lever while you are "blipping" the throttle to match revs for downshifting. The goal being to keep the brake pressure even while "blipping" the throttle."

 

Right. To me there are 2 skills here:

 

1. Blipping the throttle to get quick and smooth downshifts.

2. Using the front brake effectively (even brake pressure) while blipping the throttle.

 

To try to learn both at the same time just seems like a bad idea. There'll be some jerking from getting the blip wrong, plus some more jerking from getting the brake pressure wrong, the rider will not be able to evaluate and adjust with all that nonsense happening simultaneously.

 

There are plenty of opportunities on public roads to downshift while not braking. And while a student (or cornerworker) at superbike school, there are opportunities during a "2 gears no brakes" drill, or really anytime since you can choose to do laps with no brakes whenever you want.

 

I recall learning this skill myself. I remember first learning the timing and severity of the blip. This I figured out quite easily. Next was trying to do it with the brake, which took a lot longer to figure out. I remember a short phase where I would release the brake to do the downshift and then get back on the brake.

 

Learning the blip was more of a conscious, analytical, mathematical process. Doing it with even brake pressure was more of a technique and muscle memory learning process. At this point it's all muscle memory. I just think "downshift" and I'm in the next lower gear like the flip of a switch, brake or no brake, I don' t even think about that.

 

Here's another old forum discussing a similar topic:

http://www.nesba.com/TrackTalk/bb/Forum2/HTML/000476.html

They mention an interview with Jake Zemke, which I also saw, I think it was on Speed Channel with Greg White, where he explains that he doesn't do the throttle blip. He said he just eases out the clutch going into the lower gear. For me I prefer to be able to just get the downshift done quickly, whicih requires the blip.

 

I still haven't figured out the heel-toe thing in my car. That just seems way too hard. :-D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree. It is logical to learn to match revs for downshifting before adding the front brake at the same time.

 

I learned to match revs driving stick shift cars and trucks. So, learning to do it on a motorcycle was a no brainer for me. Adding the front brake was just a matter of practice. I found it challenging at first, but, I was able to work it out with practice.

 

Same as heel/toe in a car. Practice.

 

It's a good feeling when I accomplish something that "just seems way too hard".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some car racers bend the pedals around to make the heel/toe technique a little easier.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To complete a quick and smooth UPSHIFT, a rider does these 3 things at the same moment:

 

1. Clutch lever is pulled in and immediately released

2. Throttle goes from ON to OFF and immediately ON again

3. Shift lever gets PUSHED DOWN and released (on normal street shift setup)

 

To quickly and smoothly DOWNSHIFT, a rider needs to do these 3 things at the same moment:

 

1. Clutch lever is pulled in and immediately released

2. Throttle goes from OFF to ON and immediately OFF again

3. Shift lever gets PULLED UP and released (on normal street shift setup)

 

Eh...? on my street bike I pull the shifter up to go from 1st to second..to 3rd etc. and I click the shifter down to go from 5th to 4th to 3rd and so forth.

 

I was reading in Sport Rider about how race bikes are backwards? That would take some getting used to. esp when you got back on the street!

 

blipping rocks and when you hit it just right it makes for a nice corner. The purpose of down shifting is so you are in the right gear for roll on/exiting the turn. Nothing like a too tall gear when you gas it..and having to downshift mid corner (lame)

I have downshifted where I'm going just the right speed and have just the right revs for the bike to not show a single sign that i down shifted other than a sweet engine note and I have the 'oomph' on the roll on.

of course this is all great for racing when you want to get around that corner as fast as you can.. but in street riding Im super cautious and end up slowing more anyways as there are more than likely other cars or what have you.

 

Now clutchless up shifting... hehe thats awsome.

I really look forward to getting on a track.

 

 

Miguel

 

p.s. for Keith Code... I had to defend TotW in another forum... some dude was telling me I was wrong in my posts about SRs. I couldnt believe it! I posted several props and kudos about you that I could find. Im still looking for the paragraph about the whole adrenaline rush thing and in the reality of being out of control.

thank you for the guidance and inspiration.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...