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Y4C4

Downshifting

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Hi

I want to learn to downshift properly , i saw twist 2 DVD and i know that u have to clutch in , open and close the throttle , clutch out but i got one question , when exactly during that procces should you downshift? My guess is that you need to do it simultaneously with opening the throttle but i would like to be sure about that before trying it out:)

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Down shift slightly after you pulled the clutch in. Than blip the throttle (the correct amount!) and let the clutch out.

 

After the clutch comes in, you can shift. Or if not using the clutch, it will be right after you begin the blip, and the transmission is unweighted for a moment.

 

CF

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Down shift slightly after you pulled the clutch in. Than blip the throttle (the correct amount!) and let the clutch out.

 

After the clutch comes in, you can shift. Or if not using the clutch, it will be right after you begin the blip, and the transmission is unweighted for a moment.

 

CF

 

 

I did say after you pull the clutch in. I guess the word "slightly" doesn't need to be there.

 

 

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The process should go as follows:

1. Clutch in.

2. Shift.

3. Blip.

4. Clutch out.

 

Here's the explanation. The timing of the shift is insignificant. You have to do it (and you only have to remember to do it between steps 1 and 4 above), but it doesn't matter when, so why not get it out of the way. It's less to focus on as you're blipping and releasing. You can (you wouldn't WANT TO, but you can) hold the clutch in all day. The important thing is that you blip and release the clutch in a well timed manner. That's a lot to do while shifting also, so why not just get it out of the way ASAP? You want to release the clutch when your at peak RPM's during the blip. That's what's important.

 

What you're trying to accomplish by blipping is to stop the bike from dictating your speed after you downshift and releasing the clutch (or engine brake). When you engine brake (the inevitable consequence of not blipping) you allow the engine to place the bike at the speed it wants to be in when you go to a particular gear and release the clutch. This takes away your power to not only control the entry speed yourself, but also will affect your exit speed, as you'll be out of your bikes optimal functioning range when you finish your turn. When you blip the throttle and release the clutch, what happens is that the engine will end up matching the speed of whatever RPM's you're at when you release the clutch.

 

I read time and again that you need to give the throttle a "small" blip, but that's vague, and I'd argue wrong. When you give it a "small" blip, say to 5,000 RPM's, when you release the clutch, that's what your engine is going to end up at. That's not much on a sportbike where most 4 cylinder bikes function at 9,000 RPM's, and that's why I don't like the "small" blip statement.

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Take this on a gradient, small steps.

 

How about just learn to do the shifting, then add the brakes?

 

One thing to remember, always slow the bike down first, whether using the brakes or not, then one doesn't have to blip as high.

 

CF

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How would you do that, Cobie? At least on the track I don't see learning the braking and downshifting one at a time.

 

Y4C4, the best way to do it, and hopefully this is what Cobie was talking about, is to practice it and get it right before you even get on the track.

 

Practice, practice, practice. That's how you learn. It's ultimately a simultaneously process. Figure out the steps in a way you can begin applying them and keep working on it. I learned in riding down the streets and in parking lots. I still blip, whether it's just slowing down, or pulling up to a corner. And you can STILL see my bike jerking when I'm not doing it right and letting off the brakes while I'm blipping. Getting smooth with braking and blipping is sort of tricky. I learned them at the same time so I couldn't tell you what kind of drills you could do.

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It does take practice but it does make things smoother so it is worth getting right. To practise one at a time, you really need to practise the downshifitng on the road when you've got more time and you're slowing down less urgently. Then you can do it without the brakes, or let off the brakes to shift then get back on, if you need to. If you're slowing down gently then you might not even be using full engine braking but you need to get the next gear down, so blip/downshift. Stops pilions biting the back of your head and punching you in the kidneys as well.

 

For me I set the throttle cable slack just so, as I find I blip by more or less the same amount (of twist) so when the throttle gets a bit slack, I end up with lumpy downshifts. That mainly applies to the track when it's all done a lot quicker. Where the engine revs ends up exactly before letting out the clutch isn't a science - as Jason says, it needs to be spinning somewhere close to where it will be once you let the clutch out, but really you're just firing it up there, because if you don't it'll drop instead , which is the wrong way.

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I personally run virutally no play in the cable to keep from having to move the wrist a lot for the blip. The first gradient step is to simply let the bike slow down a bit, and then do the blip, don't even worry about braking. Start with that.

 

CF

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I personally run virutally no play in the cable to keep from having to move the wrist a lot for the blip. The first gradient step is to simply let the bike slow down a bit, and then do the blip, don't even worry about braking. Start with that.

 

CF

 

Agreed with Cobie on the gradient. We worked in this specifically several times last season and decoupling braking with the downshift made it easier to apply. The first two sessions (no brakes) helped to work this in at track pace. Later in the day it became more natural but I must admit I am still going through several gears and blipping on the last shift. This is a goal for next season's schools to improve.

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I personally run virutally no play in the cable to keep from having to move the wrist a lot for the blip. The first gradient step is to simply let the bike slow down a bit, and then do the blip, don't even worry about braking. Start with that.

 

CF

 

I agree with Cobie here.

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Another thought for you guys: I'm pretty obviously a fan of shifting w/out the clutch, but think all should be able to use it, know how to do it correctly.

 

That being said, here is one thing that has happened: I have had a couple of students that simply found clutchless shifting easier to get. For sure, clutchless upshifting is quite easy to do, just roll off for a moment, make the shift!

 

But some (even experienced track riders) have had a hard time working this into their program, and in just a few cases found it easier to learn it w/out the clutch.

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I personally run virutally no play in the cable to keep from having to move the wrist a lot for the blip.

That's what i was trying and failing to say!

 

 

Another thought for you guys: I'm pretty obviously a fan of shifting w/out the clutch, but think all should be able to use it, know how to do it correctly.

 

That being said, here is one thing that has happened: I have had a couple of students that simply found clutchless shifting easier to get. For sure, clutchless upshifting is quite easy to do, just roll off for a moment, make the shift!

 

But some (even experienced track riders) have had a hard time working this into their program, and in just a few cases found it easier to learn it w/out the clutch.

I'd say it's more down to style by this point, you can watch MotoGP bar-cam and a lot of the guys are using the clutch, whatever works best for the individual.

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is it possible to downshift more than one gear with only 1 blip?

or do you need to blip (and clutch) for each gear you downshift?

thanks

Yes, it is possible. Takes a little more practice, than a single shift, though. As an example, you go from 6th to 2nd gear at the end of the 'flight straight' at the Scandinavian Raceway Anderstorp, and going down 2 gears at the time is not unusual there.

 

 

Kai

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is it possible to downshift more than one gear with only 1 blip?

or do you need to blip (and clutch) for each gear you downshift?

thanks

Yes, it is possible. Takes a little more practice, than a single shift, though. As an example, you go from 6th to 2nd gear at the end of the 'flight straight' at the Scandinavian Raceway Anderstorp, and going down 2 gears at the time is not unusual there.

 

 

Kai

 

I've known good riders that have done it on modern bikes, but i've also heard Keith talk about letting the clutch out between each shift. I've personally have had the bike go down 0 gears, and also more than one at a time, so letting the clutch out between each shift would be considered the norm, so you know exactly what you have. Also, have any of you seen the footage in the Twist 2 DVD, I think they recorded Dylan doing it in a few tenths of a second (maybe even more than one gear...). Well, guess I need to pop that DVD in, unless someone else can chime in on that.

 

CF

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is it possible to downshift more than one gear with only 1 blip?

or do you need to blip (and clutch) for each gear you downshift?

thanks

Yes, it is possible. Takes a little more practice, than a single shift, though. As an example, you go from 6th to 2nd gear at the end of the 'flight straight' at the Scandinavian Raceway Anderstorp, and going down 2 gears at the time is not unusual there.

 

 

Kai

 

I've known good riders that have done it on modern bikes, but i've also heard Keith talk about letting the clutch out between each shift. I've personally have had the bike go down 0 gears, and also more than one at a time, so letting the clutch out between each shift would be considered the norm, so you know exactly what you have. Also, have any of you seen the footage in the Twist 2 DVD, I think they recorded Dylan doing it in a few tenths of a second (maybe even more than one gear...). Well, guess I need to pop that DVD in, unless someone else can chime in on that.

 

CF

 

 

Just started trying clutchless down shifts and they seem pretty easy to do on the road must try on track now

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Hello! Sorry to resurrect an old thread but I didn't want to start another on the same topic. I still consider myself a beginner rider and my first "sport" bike was a Kawasaki Ninja 250 which I had to sell because I moved. I recently purchased a 2007 Yamaha r6s which I ride everyday as my only form of transport and have been trying to practice downshifting while blipping the throttle. I am pretty sure I am doing something wrong so if anyone can help me find my problem it would be greatly appreciated. The method I use is the same as outlined by Jasonzilla above, however I feel that my downshifts are not really smooth; my bike actually feels like it jerks and considerably slows down due to engine breaking when I downshift. Could this be because I am not releasing the clutch at peak rpms after the blip? My blips are about 1/4 of a throttle turn if that helps.

 

Pommerac

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.........I feel that my downshifts are not really smooth; my bike actually feels like it jerks and considerably slows down due to engine breaking when I downshift. Could this be because I am not releasing the clutch at peak rpms after the blip? My blips are about 1/4 of a throttle turn if that helps.

Pommerac,

 

The trick is coordinating rpms' of the engine and rpms' of the rear tire at the very moment of engagement of those two sections of the transmission system.

 

Just blipping the throttle not always achieves that coordination: you need to give some gas, or the engine will rapidly slowdown all the way to idle rpms' (faster than the engine of your 250 did).

 

If the engine is at idle and the rear tire is rotating relatively too fast to match that, your "bike actually feels like it jerks and considerably slows down due to engine breaking" when you downshift.

 

In that case, the inertia of the bike forces the engine to suddenly speed up up to the rpm's that correspond with the rotational speed of the rear tire; thing that you should have done via throttle (crack opened) during the downshift.

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If I understand correctly are you suggesting that after blipping to not release the throttle or reducing the time elapased between closing the throttle and re-opening it after the blip? Also what do you consider idle rpms? I would say my bike idles at 500 rpms with the clutch disengaged. I have tried to downshift near the 7k range and more recently near the 4k range to see if I would have more success at lower rpms but not since my last post.

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Pommerac, 2 things to think about;

 

No matter how you downshift, if you downshift to early (ie. to much road/rear rotaion speed for the gear one just shifted to) what happens?

Once you got the "when" part down, how far and how fast to blip the throttle is in question. If you have a stock R6 like mine, it takes a fast blip of about 1/3 throttle. Maybe more depending on how much throttle slack you have.

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Also... how long are you holding in the clutch? If you do a quick blip but a slooow clutch release the RPMs can fall too far before the rear wheel re-engages.

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If I understand correctly are you suggesting that after blipping to not release the throttle or reducing the time elapased between closing the throttle and re-opening it after the blip? Also what do you consider idle rpms? I would say my bike idles at 500 rpms with the clutch disengaged. I have tried to downshift near the 7k range and more recently near the 4k range to see if I would have more success at lower rpms but not since my last post.

 

Yes, I am advising the first.

Can you explain why do you blip?

 

Idle rpms' are whatever rpms' the engine falls down to naturally once it is disconnected from the rear wheel.

It seems that it is around 500 in your case (a little too low in my opinion).

How many in neutral?

 

The rpms' at which you downshift are not important.

What bike do you ride?

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@csmith12: I have a very small amount of throttle slack if any at all; a very slight turn of the throttle produces an immediate increase in rpms. I don't think I ever blip as much as 1/3 so I will try a larger blip. Do you have the newer model r6? My r6s is basically the

 

@Hotfoot: I don't just drop the cltuch, but I wouldn't say I do it too slow either.

 

@ Lnewqban: I ride a 2007 Yamaha r6s. It is all stock as far as I know. I thought it idled at 500 rpms its actually 10-1100rpms in neutral I just didn't pay enough attention to the tach it seems. I tried downshifting at different rpms to experiement. I figured I may have had an easier time practicing at lower rpms than higher rpms. The reason I blip is to match the higher rpms of the lower gear I am downshifting into. I'm not sure if that's the answer you are looking for though. If i do hold the throttle open after blipping won't I run the risk of wheelieing the bike if I let the clutch out too fast?

 

Thanks for all the replies btw! Hoping I can get this technique down eventually.

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