Down shift thru the gears? - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 41 Old 07-30-2009, 11:39 PM Thread Starter
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Smile Down shift thru the gears?

I was talking to a Harley friend the other day and we started talking about 'stopping'. I told him I generally down shift through all the gears as I'm approaching a stop sign or red light. He said he pulls in the clutch and coasts/brakes to a stop while shifting into first along the way so that when he stops he knows he's in first. This got me thinking. Is there anything wrong with downshifting through the gears, allowing the engine to slow me down? Do more people do this or use the brakes to come to a stop? I'm rather new to motorcycles but I used to always run through the gears on my old Datsun 310 GX, Mazda 808, and Mazda Protege, before I went 'automatic'.
Thanks for the info.
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post #2 of 41 Old 07-31-2009, 12:00 AM
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Brakes are for stopping, and gears are for slowing down.

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post #3 of 41 Old 07-31-2009, 12:06 AM
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well there's your problem...

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post #4 of 41 Old 07-31-2009, 12:44 AM
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I downshift and rev out till 2dn. I don't drop it into 1st (no rev out in first) until I'm about to put my left foot down. I think that the MSF class said that is so that you are sure and ready to be in a gear in case you need to gas it and get out of the way of the person on a cell phone.

Revving it out will also help you to save a little brake pad and keep the rotors a tad bit cooler.

It must be a Harley thing to coast and shift, because I got two Harley guys that I ride with every now and then that do that. I think its because the clutch is stiff that their hands would tire out pulling in and releasing the clutch. I guess in a sense you guesstimate what gear you are in so that you can release the clutch and power out if needed.

Neither way is wrong and its just personal taste..

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post #5 of 41 Old 07-31-2009, 02:12 AM
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I use the brakes for slowing, but I always "follow" the bike speed with the transmission, downshifting as the bike slows, so that I'm in the correct gear if I need to accelerate suddenly. Your Hardley buddy is setting himself up for a wreck. If he's coming down from top gear, and "coasting" in that gear until he comes to a stop, what's he gonna do if he suddenly needs to slam the throttle in second gear to get out of someone's way? He'll likely miss the shift, end up in neutral or the tranny will hang up and he's toast. Just my worthless opinion.

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post #6 of 41 Old 07-31-2009, 02:12 AM
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You doin' right. The idea is that you remain in the appropriate gear to accelerate away if things go wrong.

Brakes are much cheaper than clutches or transmissions, so substituting engine braking for actual brakes doesn't make a lot of sense from that perspective, but it is fun. And being able to downshift smoothly while braking hard is a good skill to practice.

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post #7 of 41 Old 07-31-2009, 02:16 AM
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Never put to much thought into it. I always downshift to slow down. Saves on brakes and allows the bike to be in gear to take off if a cage comes up on me.

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post #8 of 41 Old 07-31-2009, 02:24 AM
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It's probably a good thing he's holding in the clutch while shifting down on his HD. I'd rather not hear his loud pipes revving high every single downshift.

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post #9 of 41 Old 07-31-2009, 02:26 AM
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I have always downshifted to slow down - engine braking is a useful thing, especially on hills. When I got my first automatic car a couple years ago, it took some getting used to. I would never want it on a bike, and if I could get a 6-speed manual tranny on my Monte Carlo SS, I would have it converted in a heartbeat.
And it is a nice added bonus to be in the right gear if you need to take off again. I really can't imagine any other way?!?

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post #10 of 41 Old 07-31-2009, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by LowAndSilent View Post
It's probably a good thing he's holding in the clutch while shifting down on his HD. I'd rather not hear his loud pipes revving high every single downshift.
Some Harley riders claim they need that sound to warn oncoming traffic that they are coming. If that's the case, shouldn't the pipes lead forward?

I downshift to a stop, but after 37 years of riding I can't say I give it much thought one way or the other. For what it's worth, the Wee owners manual says to coast to a stop with the clutch in at speed under 20kmph (Canada).

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