to gear or not to gear - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
Riding Proficiency Tips and suggestions for improving the rider's safety skills and riding techniques

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post #1 of 15 Old 07-20-2014, 09:24 AM Thread Starter
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to gear or not to gear

I was watching a video on YT from one of the Strommers. He shows riding around his town and everytime he stops at a traffic light he put the bike in 1st and waits with clutch pulled in for the light to change. I also read the comments people put on the video and I came across one that said not to do it as it wears springs in the clutch. Now, I always keep the bike in gear at traffic lights for safety reasons. Does this really have ill effects on the clutch?

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post #2 of 15 Old 07-20-2014, 10:22 AM
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I don't worry about that.

I will do the same if there are less than 4 vehicles behind me. The clutch springs on my 2006 are original (actually all of the clutch is original.)

..Tom

2006 DL650: 202,000 km 125,500 miles, Sold
2012 DL650 139,500+ km, 86,700+ miles. Sold
2015 DL1000 New July 2015 193,000+ km, 120,000 miles.

This can help preventing from cars pulling out in front of you (SMIDSY)
SMIDSY detailed report.


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post #3 of 15 Old 07-20-2014, 10:23 AM
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I doubt it has any ill effects on the clutch. But even if it did, I would rather be able to get moving quickly if need be. If I know its going to be a long light I might put it in nuetral after a few cars get stopped behind me.
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post #4 of 15 Old 07-20-2014, 05:54 PM
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Yes it wears on the clutch, but it is what the bike and clutch is designed to do.

It gives you a tool to be able to get out of the way if you need to.
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post #5 of 15 Old 07-20-2014, 06:32 PM
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If you ever hear squealing tires behind you at a traffic light, you will wish you were in gear. Been there, done that, had to quickly move to the left when a Harley locked up the rear at a red light, I guess he was day dreaming and not paying attention. I got out of the way by sliding up beside a car, he ended up squeezing to the right and missed the car's side by inches as he went off pavement making a hard and wild right turn into a parking lot.

Always watch your mirrors when stopped, especially if there is nothing behind you. I rather not become another dead motorcyclist because I was in neutral and someone fails to stop making me a hood ornament. Always leave yourself some space, a way out if possible. I've seen a commercial truck push cars through an intersection, so I will sometimes put my bike back in gear if a truck etc is coming up to fast even with multiple cars behind. The only time I go to neutral is in stopped construction zones, once the cars pile up way back I'll stop the engine too and stand next to the bike. I hate sitting on a hot bike in stopped traffic when you know its going to be a long wait.
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post #6 of 15 Old 07-21-2014, 11:39 PM
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No matter what the topic, I hope you're aware that Youtube comments are a pretty piss-poor source for information, advice, or affirmation of any kind...

In this case, the commenters are dead wrong as usual. Holding the clutch in doesn't place any extra wear on anything and won't make your clutch springs wear out early.

And as noted, there's a significant chance that developing the habit of keeping the bike in gear could literally save your life.

Once, while stopped in heavy traffic on the interstate thanks to a wreck up ahead, I felt the beginnings of a strong shove from the rear. I instantly dropped the clutch and skedaddled around the truck in front of me. Turns out the guy in the truck behind me dropped his phone and took his foot off the brake while reaching for it. The guy was mortified -- he was also a rider and thought he'd never be one of "those blind cagers"...

Upon further inspection, my Vee was entirely unscathed -- I happened to have the Givi bags on that day, and we're pretty sure they took the brunt of the shove, and my reactions kept it from being much worse.

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post #7 of 15 Old 07-22-2014, 06:50 AM
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I never use the brakes because that wears out the pads.

My estate will enjoy them upon my premature demise.

105K miles on my clutch.

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post #8 of 15 Old 07-22-2014, 08:21 AM
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Any MSF class will teach you to remain in gear at a stop light.

Boycott SV Racing
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post #9 of 15 Old 07-22-2014, 01:03 PM
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Give the following driver something to notice--in case they're looking. Extra bright stop lights are good, as are the bright ones that blink before they go steady. Stop to whichever side of the car ahead offers the best escape route. don't stop directly in the center behind a car. There might be an oily spot, but also, the following driver's brain will better notice something to the side than something centered.

In 1st gear,
headed toward an escape route,
on the brakes to keep the brake lights on,
watch the mirrors,
ready for a quick getaway.

So what if the clutch parts wear. Those cost less than having a colorectal surgeon remove a minivan from your....

"Older people who are reasonable, good-tempered, and gracious will bear aging well. Those who are mean-spirited and irritable will be unhappy at every period of their lives.

"Let each of use properly whatever strengths he has and strive to use them well. If he does this, he will never find himself lacking."

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post #10 of 15 Old 07-23-2014, 03:10 AM
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I was taught the same -first thing you do when you come to a stop in traffic is plot your escape plan. In gear, one eye on the best rearward facing mirror, the other on the traffic. Be ready to go at all times.


Though one or two time I have wished for a rearward facing FFAR.

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