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Clutchless Downshifting


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I'm doing fine with clutchless up shifting. Not so much from 1st to 2nd, but all the other gears are okay. Now downshifting, not so much. I've had the Gold Wing chirp the rear tire a few times. No slipper cluth on the Couch Rocket.

 

I wonder if I'm putting too much pressure on the gear shift lever during the blip. How can I diagnose what I'm doing wrong and downshift safely? Or should I just skip gears and saves some squeezes that way? Clutch in-shift-shift-clutch out. I don't want to flat spot a tire or break anything while I'm learning.

 

I'm doing clutchless shifting because in some ways I feel it is easier on the tranny (the bike shifts when IT wants, not when I make it), and because my hands don't always work right and can fatigue quickly.

 

PS

A quick shift kit is available for the Wing but costs 2 grand installed. Ouch! All the kit does is cut the spark to unload the transmission and trip a piston to shift the bike. If I want to go that route, couldn't I just get a spark kill switch for $150 and preload the shift lever slightly?

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Quick shift kits are for upshifts - on downshifts you do not want the engine to cut off, you want it to keep the engine in "neutral" = no load in any direction.

 

If your rear tyre chirps, you haven't matched rpm and you are causing harm to your whole drivetrain. If you cannot manage to unload the gearbox by exactly managing the throttle to remove all loads from the 'box and shift at the exact time this takes place - I usually cannot - you are far better off using the clutch. As long as you use the clutch, even though the gears may clunck, the loads are so small that you will never cause any harm to the driveline that it wasn't designed to cope with.

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I'm doing fine with clutchless up shifting. Not so much from 1st to 2nd, but all the other gears are okay. Now downshifting, not so much. I've had the Gold Wing chirp the rear tire a few times. No slipper cluth on the Couch Rocket.

 

I wonder if I'm putting too much pressure on the gear shift lever during the blip. How can I diagnose what I'm doing wrong and downshift safely? Or should I just skip gears and saves some squeezes that way? Clutch in-shift-shift-clutch out. I don't want to flat spot a tire or break anything while I'm learning.

Crash,

 

I've found that in order to do smooth clutchless downshifts, I need to keep the rpm very low - like 3-4.000rpm on my R1 (with a redline around 12K rpm). If the engine spins faster than that, it won't engage as well and make the dreaded metal-against-metal grinding noises. I haven't had the rear tyre locking on me though.

 

Kai

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Couch rocket, now that is a good name!

 

I don't do it below 2nd, not really worth it.

 

Here are a couple of things to try: slow the bike a litlte more, wait a little longer, bring the rpm lower.

 

Next thing is see how much you blip the throttle when you do it. Not enough, could lock up, too much, and the bike could surge a little.

 

See how that works and let us know.

 

CF

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  • 1 month later...

My opinion is just that, only an opinion.

 

Most modern sports have slipper clutches and gives assistance in one direction, aftermarket quick shifters in the other. Yes I know I'm pointing out the obvious. MY POINT is these are assisting tools that basically reduce the need for good technique. Very much like 'traction control', it should ONLY be used as a tool that provides feedback to the rider to improve rider skill and smoothness, IMO. Same with these clutching mechanisms, they should only be used to assist the rider, not the rider depending on them. Nothing replaces good throttle control and blipping is an art that transcends into all applicable machines. Though these mechanisms make transition easier for the rider, they are not necessarily easier on the machine.

 

I'm doing clutchless shifting because in some ways I feel it is easier on the tranny (the bike shifts when IT wants, not when I make it), and because my hands don't always work right and can fatigue quickly.

 

Well unfortunately the result on the gearbox is often the reverse. With the lack of smooth gradient transition from a clutching mechanism, 'dog ears' get rounded off causing eventual gear change failure, gear teeth get abused or even broken off entirely. In a nutshell, clutch plates do their job pretty well, wear pretty well and reasonably easy and affordable to repair/replace. The gearbox assembly though not that difficult to replace the internals, is considerably more expensive and some wear can result in damaging the engine casing which can be fatal.

 

Again, only my 2 pennies.

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