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StevenAthas

Blip, Downshift With Brake Applied

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Hey everyone,

 

I have as of recent been a frequent visitor of the site and I'm really enjoying all the things that I'm learning. Had a question about technique on how to execute the blip, downshift with the front brake engaged. At slower entry points I use much of my engine braking, so rev matching works just fine but at higher speeds I'd like to avoid doing this because "engines are expensive and brake pads are cheap".

 

My issue is that when blipping the throttle, I'm putting pressure on my brake lever which is causing the bike to pogo. I've tried practicing this but I feel like I either make the bike pogo, or wind up not applying enough brake.

 

Anyone have any suggestions on technique?

 

I use two fingers to brake, index and middle.

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I'd love to know how to practice this too. Fortunately, I have a slipper clutch so I can cheat. But I downshift sometimes when I'm off the gas and brake (again, cheating!) and would love to do this right. But I feel like I can't practice this on the street because frankly, I'm never going fast enough for it to work well (i.e. I don't need to brake that hard).

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I'd love to know how to practice this too. Fortunately, I have a slipper clutch so I can cheat. But I downshift sometimes when I'm off the gas and brake (again, cheating!) and would love to do this right. But I feel like I can't practice this on the street because frankly, I'm never going fast enough for it to work well (i.e. I don't need to brake that hard).

 

Agreed. In street riding I normally just rev match and use the engine braking. I just bought a twin after riding inlines for many years and I'm really enjoying the way the bike feels as it decelerates from the engine braking. You can really feel the bike setting into the turn nicely. I just notice that after a long straight, I get really flustered and semi paniced as I'm coming into the turn because I feel like I'm either coming in too hot or on the other side of the spectrum, I feel like I'm going too slow from over braking and I don't really get the drive out of the corner that I would If my revs were higher.

 

Btw, how do you like the slipper clutch? I was thinking of investing in one but I've never ridden a bike that had one installed so I don't even know what to expect from it. Do they wear down fast (high maintenence)???

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It's pretty easy.

 

Use two fingers to brake. Place your two fingers in the slightly curved area of the brake lever. Squeeze the lever and brake and hold constant pressure. While blipping allow your whole hand to move and allow the fingers to "slip" in the curved area on the lever. You are holding the throttle with only your two outer fingers so your entire hand pivots on that axis.

 

Here's a photo of the curved area on a brake lever. :)

 

harrisbrake.jpg

 

A good way to practice is to separate braking and shifting into two separate events. Practice braking with two fingers to get used to the sensation. Then practice rev matched downshifts separately. When you master both on their own combining them together is much simpler.

 

I'm actually having issues with this on my new BMW. The factory levers were not shaped well so I moved to the HP levers. They also have some shape issues. Do any of the coaches have any advice on how to do this on levers without the smooth "slip area"?

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Sliding the fingers across the lever is the most common way. If you can't get it with your due diligence of practice, then perhaps your grip is to tight on the bars to start with. Also, you don't have to be going fast to practice this technique. It's grip and timing specific, not relative to speed. The real challenge is to blip to 1st on a vtwin. :P

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It's pretty easy.

 

Use two fingers to brake. Place your two fingers in the slightly curved area of the brake lever. Squeeze the lever and brake and hold constant pressure. While blipping allow your whole hand to move and allow the fingers to "slip" in the curved area on the lever. You are holding the throttle with only your two outer fingers so your entire hand pivots on that axis.

 

Here's a photo of the curved area on a brake lever. :)

 

harrisbrake.jpg

 

A good way to practice is to separate braking and shifting into two separate events. Practice braking with two fingers to get used to the sensation. Then practice rev matched downshifts separately. When you master both on their own combining them together is much simpler.

 

I'm actually having issues with this on my new BMW. The factory levers were not shaped well so I moved to the HP levers. They also have some shape issues. Do any of the coaches have any advice on how to do this on levers without the smooth "slip area"?

 

Hey rchase,

 

I greatly appreciate your input. I'm pretty consistent and good at the blip rev match (as far as the timing is concerned). The bike never pogos from it and I don't let the clutch off too slow (If I use the clutch at all) and when braking I always use two fingers. I do have stock levers and I may benefit from getting some shortys. I actually really like the design of the levers you posted a picture of.

 

It's the sliding of the fingers that I have a problem with. As I'm blipping the throttle, I wind up pulling on the brake more which causes the bike pogo a bit. Just doesn't feel very smooth.

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It's pretty easy.

 

Use two fingers to brake. Place your two fingers in the slightly curved area of the brake lever. Squeeze the lever and brake and hold constant pressure. While blipping allow your whole hand to move and allow the fingers to "slip" in the curved area on the lever. You are holding the throttle with only your two outer fingers so your entire hand pivots on that axis.

 

Here's a photo of the curved area on a brake lever. :)

 

harrisbrake.jpg

 

A good way to practice is to separate braking and shifting into two separate events. Practice braking with two fingers to get used to the sensation. Then practice rev matched downshifts separately. When you master both on their own combining them together is much simpler.

 

I'm actually having issues with this on my new BMW. The factory levers were not shaped well so I moved to the HP levers. They also have some shape issues. Do any of the coaches have any advice on how to do this on levers without the smooth "slip area"?

 

Hey rchase,

 

I greatly appreciate your input. I'm pretty consistent and good at the blip rev match (as far as the timing is concerned). The bike never pogos from it and I don't let the clutch off too slow (If I use the clutch at all) and when braking I always use two fingers. I do have stock levers and I may benefit from getting some shortys. I actually really like the design of the levers you posted a picture of.

 

It's the sliding of the fingers that I have a problem with. As I'm blipping the throttle, I wind up pulling on the brake more which causes the bike pogo a bit. Just doesn't feel very smooth.

 

 

The trick is to turn that rearward motion going into the brake lever into an upward motion moving your finger across the lever. Practice makes perfect.

 

Just a disclaimer. This is a method I figured out on my own and might not be "the best way". Obviously it does not work with all lever shapes.

 

This is a video of Joe Roberts at Laguna. He's using his two middle fingers and that's a technique I'm going to work on in the future for my BMW levers.

 

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Sliding the fingers across the lever is the most common way. If you can't get it with your due diligence of practice, then perhaps your grip is to tight on the bars to start with. Also, you don't have to be going fast to practice this technique. It's grip and timing specific, not relative to speed. The real challenge is to blip to 1st on a vtwin. :P

 

Hey csmith,

 

That could very well be the issue (me being too tight on the bars). I have tried to loosen my grip on the clipons while doing this but I feel that I either don't match the revs right or I don't brake hard enough. It feels like I'm trying to blip with the palm of my hand and I just dont have a great "feel" for the throttle.

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Would it be any easier for you if you adjusted your brake lever to be closer?

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Steve,

Slow down and learn your bike. Thinking too much, too many things at one time etc...

Your charging again :)

Find a nice straight or empty parking lot to practice those downshifts, then you do not have to think (worry) about the upcoming turn. Try your shifts in the 4-6K range and wait until csmith post up a vid of how to properly blip a vtwin into 1st gear before you try it :)

 

btw: Relax!

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Would it be any easier for you if you adjusted your brake lever to be closer?

 

Hey Lyle,

 

I don't think so necessarily, because the tension on the brake would be the same. It's not a matter of distance of the lever so much as it is movement of the blip causing my fingers to either grip the brakes harder or release too much.

 

Steve,

Slow down and learn your bike. Thinking too much, too many things at one time etc...

Your charging again :)

Find a nice straight or empty parking lot to practice those downshifts, then you do not have to think (worry) about the upcoming turn. Try your shifts in the 4-6K range and wait until csmith post up a vid of how to properly blip a vtwin into 1st gear before you try it :)

 

btw: Relax!

 

:) You are a wise man..

 

lol Yeah, I'll hold off on bliping into first gear

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Steve,

Slow down and learn your bike. Thinking too much, too many things at one time etc...

Your charging again :)

Find a nice straight or empty parking lot to practice those downshifts, then you do not have to think (worry) about the upcoming turn. Try your shifts in the 4-6K range and wait until csmith post up a vid of how to properly blip a vtwin into 1st gear before you try it :)

 

btw: Relax!

 

Actually. This is good advice. I have to be honest and mention I have given up temporarily on rev match downshifting while on the brakes to free my attention on other elements of my riding at the moment. It's one "extra" thing to think about and it's not quite as important as other elements such as body position and making it through the corner. I still do rev match out of habit. I might even stop doing that temporarily to free even more attention. :)

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You can certainly practice this on a parked bike in the pit - practice blipping and sliding your fingers on the lever without varying the pressure on the lever.

 

One of the other coaches (I think it was Lyle, actually) had a good way to explain this - with your hand on the grip and your fingers putting pressure on the brake, imagine you are holding a cylinder in your hand, and rotate your hand around that imaginary cylinder, allowing your fingers to slide over the lever.

 

Another option is to think of pushing your thumb forward to blip the throttle instead of your palm. This doesnt work for me personally (small hands) but it does for some.

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wait until csmith post up a vid of how to properly blip a vtwin into 1st gear before you try it :)

 

btw: Relax!

 

Lol, don't hold your breath on the vid, I currently don't own a vtwin.

 

 

+1 on the relax part

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You can certainly practice this on a parked bike in the pit - practice blipping and sliding your fingers on the lever without varying the pressure on the lever.

 

One of the other coaches (I think it was Lyle, actually) had a good way to explain this - with your hand on the grip and your fingers putting pressure on the brake, imagine you are holding a cylinder in your hand, and rotate your hand around that imaginary cylinder, allowing your fingers to slide over the lever.

 

Another option is to think of pushing your thumb forward to blip the throttle instead of your palm. This doesnt work for me personally (small hands) but it does for some.

 

I will defintely be practicing this :) .

 

Thank you as always!

 

 

Steve,

Slow down and learn your bike. Thinking too much, too many things at one time etc...

Your charging again :)

Find a nice straight or empty parking lot to practice those downshifts, then you do not have to think (worry) about the upcoming turn. Try your shifts in the 4-6K range and wait until csmith post up a vid of how to properly blip a vtwin into 1st gear before you try it :)

 

btw: Relax!

 

Actually. This is good advice. I have to be honest and mention I have given up temporarily on rev match downshifting while on the brakes to free my attention on other elements of my riding at the moment. It's one "extra" thing to think about and it's not quite as important as other elements such as body position and making it through the corner. I still do rev match out of habit. I might even stop doing that temporarily to free even more attention. :)

 

 

Not rev matching on a twin feels really weird because of the amount of engine braking. That's why I was thinking about getting a slipper clutch. I think I will always rev match with a blip, but for the times that I may not blip hard enough (like in the case of multiple downshifts) I think a slipper clutch may do wonders. I've just never been on a bike with a slipper before so I have no reference point.

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Not rev matching on a twin feels really weird because of the amount of engine braking. That's why I was thinking about getting a slipper clutch. I think I will always rev match with a blip, but for the times that I may not blip hard enough (like in the case of multiple downshifts) I think a slipper clutch may do wonders. I've just never been on a bike with a slipper before so I have no reference point.

I put a slipper clutch in my (former) track only Ducati and I hit false neutrals many times with multiple downshifts so when I converted my street Ducati this spring I didn't include one. Blipping with a twin is a bit harder but false neutrals can be downright dangerous IMHO but YRMV. Also, I learned that rear wheel-hop is still possible with a slipper.

Rainman

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I can't be bothered to learn how to blip on downshifts because my slipper works perfectly (1000-cc V-twin). No rear wheel hop ever even if I dump the clutch. A bit of rear squirm maybe if I am braking hard but that's it. It's a sweet setup for a spaz like me who has little chance of maintaining constant brake pressure during a throttle blip.

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I can't be bothered to learn how to blip on downshifts because my slipper works perfectly (1000-cc V-twin). No rear wheel hop ever even if I dump the clutch. A bit of rear squirm maybe if I am braking hard but that's it. It's a sweet setup for a spaz like me who has little chance of maintaining constant brake pressure during a throttle blip.

 

How's the engine braking feel after you dump the clutch? With a blip it feels great. Takes all of that jerky feeling away. Does it feel the same or does the slipper clutch just help not lock up the wheel?

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Even though I don't use them I'm glad a couple of my bikes have slipper clutches. They are a GREAT backup in case you make a mistake.

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Mine is a Ducati Performance unit (made by Bucci) and is not adjustable, but it works perfectly. There is practically no engine braking at all until the bike slows down - it slips very freely - then at some bike speed you will see the tach needle rise as the clutch engages again. At that point you can feel the engine baking return but it does it progressively and doesnt upset the bike.

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I've been doing clutch less down shifts blipping but it's harder to do under hardest breaking. I've been wondering if this is the best technique or if I should go back to using the slipper clutch to improve the breaking force I feel comfortable using?

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I used to do 100% clutch less shifting on my street bike (FZ-1) but never really got comfortable with it on my track bike, I found that when I would occasionally miss the blip and not get the downshift I would totally blow the corner, so I went back to dumping the clutch and letting the slipper do its thing, I rather like the rear end wiggle that results from it, AFAIK my slipper is still the stock one that everyone complains about, but it works great for me. At the end of the day it's all about whats most comfortable for you,

 

I remember a quote from my lvl 1 school, that is basically A rider that is comftorable with a imperfect line will be faster than a rider on the perfect line that isnt comftorable with it

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