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Preparing For Track - Reverse Gearing


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I started riding in December. Now 7 months and 13,000 miles later I am still working up to the track and working a lot on braking and shifting (emergency stops from 40, 80, .. and well beyond when on country roads. In preparation for track I have been especially working on clutchless shifts (up and down) and I still have a few embarrassing misses but overall (beyond 1st gear) I have a very smooth up and down shift motion (and a nice little blip that I love to hear frankly).

 

On track bikes I understand the gearing is reversed e.g. 1st all the way up and upper gears down. Should I consider changing my street bike to reverse gears to get comfortable with reverse gearing and further my shift work?

 

FYI although there are plenty of track days and training here I am working up toward one of your classes (3 day). Plenty of questions but I will limit this thread to the subject. Sorry if this is already covered.

 

Thx

Mark

Fairing Lurker

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What you are referring to is reverse shift of GP shift. A lot of riders run GP shift, and a lot run standard shift. I know for a fact that Kevin Schwantz and Matt Mladin both run standard shift. I personally like GP shift, and I have ran GP shift on the street and track. Just experiment with it and see if you like it.

 

Shane

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If you use the search feature at the top of the page, you will find tons of information that has been written about this subject here.

 

The bottom line is that, on track, the reverse shift pattern allows for more positive, faster up-shifts with less movement, effort or distraction, hence, a faster, more efficient lap. It also allows upshifting in certain situations and at various lean angles that would be more difficult if you had to get your foot under the shifter and pull up.

 

PS - Matt Mladin is the only pro-racer I know of currently using the "street" shift pattern.

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I love the reverse shift pattern, if someone could tell me why the "street" shift pattern is the way it is that would be good.

 

Why don't all bike come straight from the shop with a reverse shift pattern?

 

Maybe because it is easier to think of down as down and up as up.

 

I switched to GP shift when I installed a quick shifter on my bike. It just seemed like less work and effort to push down on the lever to shift up quickly coming out of a corner rather than place my foot under the shifter and pulling up. I will not go back to standard shift. Also I only had one or two moments where I shifted up a gear instead of down a gear on the first day I ran GP shift. It is very easy to change over mentally when at the track, because you always know when you are going to shift, so you just prepare yourself to shift the other direction before you hit your shift point. And honestly the down shifts are where you might get rushed and mess up.

 

Shane

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I love the reverse shift pattern, if someone could tell me why the "street" shift pattern is the way it is that would be good.

 

Why don't all bike come straight from the shop with a reverse shift pattern?

 

There used to be all different kinds of shift patterns--some on the right foot, some for the left hand (off the bars), and it was what got standardized. I for sure like it too, and turned my street bike that way. Sometimes I mess up when riding my dirt bike, but not often. :)

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I love the reverse shift pattern, if someone could tell me why the "street" shift pattern is the way it is that would be good.

 

Why don't all bike come straight from the shop with a reverse shift pattern?

 

Maybe because it is easier to think of down as down and up as up.

 

Shane

 

That's my theory. It keeps it simple for novice riders of the "general public".

 

The only time I ever had an issue with the GP shift pattern was during my first race weekend using it. It was a particularly intense 125 GP; and, dicing back and forth with a group of other riders, I overcooked a corner entry on the brakes. After I gathered it up mid-corner, I tried to grab a couple of quick downshifts in the heat of the moment and accidentally upshifted instead. So, no mechanical harm done, but, I lost all my drive coming onto the front straight and the video looked pretty funny with my wrist flailing on the throttle while grabbing about five downshifts exiting the corner. Luckily, I was leading the group when it happened and even though I lost several places, I finished my downshifts as the last rider came past and I was able to catch the draft and re-pass everyone on the brakes again going into turn one... lol. It was the first race weekend with the new shift pattern and it never happened again.

 

For the record, I greatly prefer the GP shift pattern over the street pattern for track riding.

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There used to be all different kinds of shift patterns--some on the right foot...

 

Did you read about the Carberry Enfield downunder in the current issue of motorcyclist magazine?

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  • 3 weeks later...

For the Keith Code course at Willow Springs what do they use on those zx6r's for shift pattern? I want to have shifting down so I am not fumbling around with changing from street pattern to race pattern.. is it GP Shift? I'm basically putting in effort to prepare for that as my first on track experience. In the mean time I plan on working some corners at local tracks in Texas so I am more comfortable in a track environment.

thx

Mark

fairing_lurker

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For the Keith Code course at Willow Springs what do they use on those zx6r's for shift pattern? I want to have shifting down so I am not fumbling around with changing from street pattern to race pattern.. is it GP Shift? I'm basically putting in effort to prepare for that as my first on track experience. In the mean time I plan on working some corners at local tracks in Texas so I am more comfortable in a track environment.

thx

Mark

fairing_lurker

Mark;

Standard street pattern: 1 down and 5 up.

Kevin

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In the mean time I plan on working some corners at local tracks in Texas so I am more comfortable in a track environment.

 

That is an excellent idea.

 

You might consider spending some time around some of the experts in the pits. As a corner worker, chances are you will be a welcome guest/addition to any gathering. In addition to picking some brains, you will be in a unique position to observe on track details up close and personal. There is no better seat in the house from which to learn.

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