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Close Ratio Box Dramas

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Howdy all

Thought I'd pop in and say hi from Australia and ask for some advice


I ride a Honda VFR400 which has a close ration gear box, so for most of the gears there's only 500rpm difference between each gear.

Anyway, this I have found to be a little awkward.

Mostly with downshifting while braking for a corner, I'm feeling a little lost. :blink:

On other bikes I blip the throttle as I go through the box, engaging each gear, but with this bike, if I brake hard enough, I find it really difficult to keep up with the gear changes - resulting in poor braking, poor gear changing and a screwed up entry. :angry:


I've tried going down 2 gears at a time but that tends to have me concentrating on judging when to blip the throttle and again, taking away from my focus on braking.


Do you have any tips on this subject?

Or should I not blip the throttle, or just bang through the box and blip and release the clutch once?


Thanks for your time :)

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I find that when I miss downshifts, I have too much attention on whether or not I'm actually going to make the turn. That is, I'm doing a speed that I think is too fast for the corner and am too busy trying to work out how to survive to put attention on something as mundane as downshifting. So, what I do is I do the No Brakes drill for that corner and develop my sense of speed for it.

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I hear what your saying

But that's not really the problem because I know I can make the corner and have already made the decision as to what speed and revs to use for my entry.

It's just under hard braking I find it really difficult to keep up with the gear changes.

Mostly going from top speed down to first gear corners.

Like Phillip Island where I'm going from a top speed (around 210 - 220kph) left hand sweeper, down to a 1st gear 70kph right hand hair pin.

So I'm going from 6th to 1st.


Who has a close ratio gearbox?

What's your technique?

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I am having the EXACT smae problem you are on a different bike, I have asked several pro riders your question all with different responses. This may not appy to you if you are at max braking the entire time but if not......Try braking a little harder in the initail braking action and then brake less before you start your shifting pattern, that way less you are less hurried in shifiting and braking. If you are like me you will say attention is not the problem, but time has a way of compressing/ decompressing time so less attention on late braking might mean you can shift faster than you realize because you have more "time" to focus on the shifting that you thought you had, making quickier shifts possible in the same amount of time.

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  • 3 weeks later...



You shouldn't be having this problem. No matter how close the box is if you can make quick downchanges this shouldn't be a problem. If you are good at it, you can make 5 downchanges in less than 2 seconds and every one of them silky smooth.


If you are waiting too late to make your changes that can crowd you on the turn entry. Waiting until the braking is at least half way done is good because the blips don't have to be that big to match the revs. Waiting too late is the major problem. Doing it too early only wastes the motor and can bend valves.


If your downshifting isn't perfect then you might be stressingout on the pogo effect that many riders get while they are blipping the gas, i.e., they pull the lever in and out with the blip and that alters the pressure so the front end is pogoing up and down. That is distracting.


This is the reason that I built the Contro Trainer: http://www.superbikeschool.com/us/machiner...l_trainer.shtml


Maybe 50cc GP bikes were before your time but you should know that they had between 10 and 15 gears! Don't complain about going down 5...



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