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Hi,

 

I am about to teach my son how to ride, his goal is to start racing ( 250 lights), he is start a bit late in life he is 16yrs old which is my falt but I hope it will not hold him back to much.

 

 

My question is should I set the bike up with reversed patten GP style or leave it std (1down rest up)

 

 

Rick

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Hi,

 

I am about to teach my son how to ride, his goal is to start racing ( 250 lights), he is start a bit late in life he is 16yrs old which is my falt but I hope it will not hold him back to much.

 

 

My question is should I set the bike up with reversed patten GP style or leave it std (1down rest up)

 

 

Rick

 

16---for sure not too late (Scott Russell started when he was 22 I think).

 

Anyway, on the shifting, just about everyone that we have gotten to do it (and some were new coaches that were basically forced to do it), has liked it after a day or even less. Some have picked it up right away. You might want to give him some practice on it though. I switched my street bike that way and then it was pretty easy at the track. Now I wouldn't want to ride street pattern unless I had to.

 

Let us know how it goes with your son.

 

C

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Agreed. I think Cobie may be refering to me when it came to the GP shifting. Once I spent time using it I loved it. My street bikes are standard shift (unable to swith them) and my track bikes are GP shift. GP is the way to go, but he should eventually learn both when the time is right. Just my two cents.

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Agreed. I think Cobie may be refering to me when it came to the GP shifting. Once I spent time using it I loved it. My street bikes are standard shift (unable to swith them) and my track bikes are GP shift. GP is the way to go, but he should eventually learn both when the time is right. Just my two cents.

 

JR isn't the only one that had to switch, there have been others, and I've just been a bit of a tyrant, and unsympathetic. In the end, pretty sure all have preferred it anyway. I have tried it on a few students recently, suggested that they try it, and the few that were willing had very little difficulty adapting.

 

CF

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Agreed. I think Cobie may be refering to me when it came to the GP shifting. Once I spent time using it I loved it. My street bikes are standard shift (unable to swith them) and my track bikes are GP shift. GP is the way to go, but he should eventually learn both when the time is right. Just my two cents.

 

JR isn't the only one that had to switch, there have been others, and I've just been a bit of a tyrant, and unsympathetic. In the end, pretty sure all have preferred it anyway. I have tried it on a few students recently, suggested that they try it, and the few that were willing had very little difficulty adapting.

 

CF

 

Cobie, what are the advantages of the GP shift pattern?

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That was to be next question, but Rick448 got in first

 

A few advantages:

 

1. When hung off on the right, it is easier to make an upshift by simply pushing down--one doesn't have to get their foot under it. For me, this was significant, I have short legs, and it was hard to get my foot under it.

2. When in a left hand turn, if you are still leaned over a bit and wanting to get an upshift, you don't have to dig your foot under the lever.

3. Downshififting is a little easier and very positive as you have the heel on top of the footpeg, it's easy to get a positive downshift done (ever see guys lifting their legs up and stomping on the gear shift lever?).

 

Most like it when they try it and get used to, but for sure there have been top riders that haven't done it--I think Mladin would be the current one that still rides street pattern.

 

C

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That was to be next question, but Rick448 got in first

 

A few advantages:

 

1. When hung off on the right, it is easier to make an upshift by simply pushing down--one doesn't have to get their foot under it. For me, this was significant, I have short legs, and it was hard to get my foot under it.

2. When in a left hand turn, if you are still leaned over a bit and wanting to get an upshift, you don't have to dig your foot under the lever.

3. Downshififting is a little easier and very positive as you have the heel on top of the footpeg, it's easy to get a positive downshift done (ever see guys lifting their legs up and stomping on the gear shift lever?).

 

Most like it when they try it and get used to, but for sure there have been top riders that haven't done it--I think Mladin would be the current one that still rides street pattern.

 

C

 

Thaks Cobie, I guess that makes sense, though so far I can't say I have had a problem with the street pattern. I'd like to try the GP one though, maybe I'll get a chance sometime.

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The primary advantage of a "GP" shift pattern is easier/faster upshifts which equal faster overall acceleration leading to a faster lap. Hence, why it is used for racing ... as a tool to go faster. In a nutshell, it is easier and faster to push down on the shift lever than to get your foot under it and pull up.

 

A secondary advantage is not needing to lift the bike to make room to get your foot under the shifter on the rare occasions that one needs to upshift while leaned all the way over on the left side. Shifting at max lean and racing speeds can be a risky proposition as traction will be limited in that situation and even the smoothest shift will create a suspension imbalance due to a moment of on and off the gas. (What is the first rule of throttle control?) Most racers will short shift prior to a long corner rather than attempt to upshift mid-turn. Some exceptions are VERY long sweepers that simply cannot be handled any other way. Shifting mid-corner is a tool of last resort in a rare circumstance.

 

On the flip side, there is a trade-off with the "GP" shift pattern in that downshifting is slower and more difficult due to the comparative weakness of the muscles of the shin combined with the limited range of motion of the ankle joint. But no more so than upshifting with the street pattern, hence, that trade-off is acceptable to the vast majority of racers (except Matt Mladin?) as quick/easy upshifts are more critical to the ultimate goal of turning a faster lap than quick/easy downshifts are.

 

(Perhaps Matt's ankle joint was injured and he has even less strength and range of motion than most people... like me? However, I still prefer the GP shift pattern for racing. Even if I do look like Scott Russel getting my leg gangled out to an angle where I can jam those backshifts... lol. In fact, if you watch closely, you might notice a few other racers on TV cocking their leg out to pull backshifts from the hip.)

 

If a rider is already accustomed to using the "street" pattern, the only temporary drawback I see in switching to the "reverse" pattern is the time it takes to get it "hardwired" into the brain for reacting in the heat of the moment to a high intensity racing situation. For instance, at first, during a missed shift or not quite finished downshifting situation due to a rushed turn entry, it is not uncommon to find oneself grabbing a couple of upshifts instead of downshifts mid-corner. Very embarrassing. Especially when the furious arm motions of then grabbing four downshifts on the exit of a turn are so visible while being passed by three other bikes you just spent two laps getting around... on national TV... lol.

 

I would guess that the "street" pattern was chosen as a standard to help keep the ideas of "UP" shifting and "DOWN" shifting correlated with the actual real world directions of "UP" and "DOWN" as neither pattern has any real advantage from an engineering standpoint. It is just as easy to create a linkage for one as the other. That said, frame clearance can sometimes be an issue when converting some street bikes that are not designed to accomodate the "reversed" pattern. I recall some very bent linkages to clear the old FZR frames back in the day.

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Interesting view on doing the downshifts on GP, and the muscles. I have thought it easier since one had the leverage of the peg to flex against...so I'll ask this as a poll question:

 

How many have tried both, and do you find it easier/harder to downshift with GP pattern?

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Interesting view on doing the downshifts on GP, and the muscles. I have thought it easier since one had the leverage of the peg to flex against...so I'll ask this as a poll question:

 

How many have tried both, and do you find it easier/harder to downshift with GP pattern?

Cobie;

 

I switched my track bike to GP and after one track day made the same change to my street bike and have never looked back. The pattern seems more suited to track riding/racing where a rider moves down on the tank and push down on the lever when accelerating; when braking a rider (at least this one) raises up the head/torso for better vision to the corner and correspondingly lifts the lever up to down shift.

 

Kevin

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[How many have tried both, and do you find it easier/harder to downshift with GP pattern?

Cobie;

 

I switched my track bike to GP and after one track day made the same change to my street bike and have never looked back. The pattern seems more suited to track riding/racing where a rider moves down on the tank and push down on the lever when accelerating; when braking a rider (at least this one) raises up the head/torso for better vision to the corner and correspondingly lifts the lever up to down shift.

 

Kevin

 

Kevin, good to know, thanks.

 

C

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Thank you all for the input on this.

 

My son is about to ride his track bike in a few weeks for the first time, as soon as he gets the feel for it, we are going to try both shift pattens.

 

Rick

 

Cool. Let us know what you think. It can take a little bit to get it to be 2nd nature.

 

I'll be interested to hear how it goes with both you and your son.

 

C

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  • 2 weeks later...

OK. I live in Bangkok. In Bangkok my street bike (CBR 150) and my track bike 05 GSXR 1000 had standard shifting. When visiting the islands in the south I ride a moped (125cc.) The mopeds have GP type shifting without a clutch. I bought a track bike in the states (05 GSXR 1000) with GP shifting. I loved it. Changed my track bike in Bangkok to GP shifting as to be consistant. Loved it too. It just seemed to feel more natural.

 

I ride the small street bike everyday. The track we ride here doesn't have a lot of gear changes but I have downshifted by accident and upshifted by accident in what could be considered critical areas of the track. I decided to change back to normal shifting on the track bike because of that issue.

 

I sugest that if your son is riding on the street and he cannot change the street bike to GP shifting, keep with standard shifting. Especially if he doesn't have a lot of experience on a bike. For me it was easy to adjust to GP style, but if I ride another bike with standard on a regular basis, I have difficulty when returning to the track.

 

If not riding on the street I say choose one and stick with it. Otherwise he may have to devote unneccisary attention to shifting while on the track. As Keith says, we have a limited amount of attention to spend....

 

Have fun!

 

JP

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