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Discussion Starter #1
It doesn't always want to downshift, it seems if I'm in too high a gear and the revs are too low as I'm slowing down to a stop, It refuses to downshift. No engagement attempt, just step on the clutch lever and it travels through with little to no tension. After stopping, I'll have to rev the engine a little to get it to downshift. This has proven problematic in DC area traffic.

?
 

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This is normal. Rather than rev the engine, I just feather the clutch back and forth to get my downshifts at idle.

Better yet, downshift at 2500-3000 or above when slowing down.
 

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Learn to match the revs on downshifts and it will be much easier on you. A little blip of the throttle just as you down shift works great (when you get it right). It takes practice to become proficient at this though.

The reason you can't downshift is that you have too much force on the shift forks when you are letting the revs drop that low and its still sitting in the previous gear. A quick throttle blip relieves the tension on that gear and easily allows the shift forks to slide into the next gear.
 

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Be in neutral or first by the time you stop. Transmissions don't react well to shifting through gears while the output shaft isn't turning.
 

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Aren't you supposed to downshift all the way to 1st?

Be in neutral or first by the time you stop. Transmissions don't react well to shifting through gears while the output shaft isn't turning.
My riding instructor was very clear about *always* needing to downshift all the way into first gear for a stop. Not like a car, which doesn't necessarily react well to that... Also note that if you are stopping in 3rd or 4th, it means you are in the wrong gear at the slowing speed in case evasive action is needed. Just my 2 cents, no criticism or value judgment.
 

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My riding instructor was very clear about *always* needing to downshift all the way into first gear for a stop. Not like a car, which doesn't necessarily react well to that... Also note that if you are stopping in 3rd or 4th, it means you are in the wrong gear at the slowing speed in case evasive action is needed. Just my 2 cents, no criticism or value judgment.
Your instructor is probably right but alot of us like to pop it up into neutral just before coming to a stop.

...and yes, you're right about stopping in 3rd or 4th, but sometimes you get caught by a light while cruising at 45 mph in 6th gear and might not be able to make it to 1st while braking hard to a stop. You'll see.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the replies! I figured it was operator error but I wanted to be sure!
 

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Might be a loose cable.

Please check the adjustment of the clutch cable. Over time the cable seems to stretch a bit, so the plates do not separate as much as they did. If the lever has too much play before it takes up the slack, adjustment will help.

The book covers it well; there is a place to adjust at the top and at the bottom.

Good luck!
 

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Just sayin'

Your instructor is probably right but alot of us like to pop it up into neutral just before coming to a stop.

...and yes, you're right about stopping in 3rd or 4th, but sometimes you get caught by a light while cruising at 45 mph in 6th gear and might not be able to make it to 1st while braking hard to a stop. You'll see.
Of course... just sayin', that's all...
 

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Transmissions with sequentially operated constant mesh gears, which include just about all motorcycles, act that way. Keep the gear appropriate to the speed whenever possible. In case of an emergency stop where all attention is paid to stopping ASAP and downshifting was not accomplished, just apply light downward pressure to the shift lever and ease the clutch lever out slightly until the gear changes and pull the clutch lever back in. That will get the next lower gear. Release the foot lever to let it center and repeat as necessary to get first or neutral.
 
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