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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I know this is a topic of some disagreement, but I'm a new rider and feeling things out as I go. I've really started to get a good feel of city riding in 3rd and 4th gear at around 30-40 mph. When coming up to a straight 90 degree turn, I've been trying to do most of my deceleration by downshifting to 2nd, tapping the brakes, and rolling through the corner. But coming up on a turn the engine braking in 2nd to significantly bring the speed down can feel a little rough. I know part of this is skill and experience, but my gut tells me I'm maybe putting too much strain on the engine (the popping and sputtering doesn't make me feel better about it). Still, I was taught that this is the best way to learn to corner efficiently. Am I hurting the engine? Should I rely more on pulling the clutch and using the brakes to decelerate?


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Are you giving throttle when you downshift? The downshifts will be rough if you don't, unlike the typical manual-shift automobile.

Also, I find that I need to be in first gear, not second, to go around a tight corner smoothly (as opposed to a gentler curve that can be done in second gear). Otherwise I either hit the corner too fast or the engine is turning too slowly.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I feel like taking the corners in 1st would be really easy because of the pickup, but I'm trying to not bring my speed down TOO much before making the turn. Obviously when I first started riding I was basically coming to a complete stop before making the corner, but that's bad news in NYC traffic. 2nd feels like a good gear to take the turn but engine breaking below 3rd seems to be a real touchy proposition without riding the clutch. Again, probably an experience thing but just curious how other people do it.


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What is the RPM range when you're shifting down into 2nd?
As mentioned, blipping the throttle before letting the clutch out when downshifting helps you match RPMs, making an easier shift, but if you're shifting into 2nd too soon (in other words, still going too fast when you do it), and the Rs are too high, that could be the problem with what you're feeling and hearing.
And remember, brakes are your friend anyway; as I've always said, I'd rather replace brake pads than a clutch! ;)
 

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The modern way of riding and driving seems to be into the corner hard on the brakes then find a gear and accelerate away:mad: The correct way is as you do you just need more time to get used to correct revs and engine speed when you get it right there is great satisfaction in getting into a corner and accelerating out in the right gear;)Once mastered you wont damage the clutch as there will be no slip more damage is done by hairy take off's:eek: Some modern Superbikes have slipper clutches to advoid over reving and rear wheel hopping:eek:O.K. on race bikes as you need the brakes to scrub off speed while banging dow the box (6or more gears):D As sombody said your brakes are your friend:cool:...This is my opinion only and just comment (more than 50 years of riding & racing and still going strong):D
T.U.D.:EnglandFlag
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Read. Learn.

http://www.trackdaymag.com/thementalaspect/283-throttle-blipping-for-downshifts.html


http://www.sportrider.com/ride/rss/146_0402_shift_blip_throttle/

Once you master this easy technique, motorcycling will become even more pleasurable.

Have fun! :)
Thanks for the great links! Definitely going to re-read these a couple times.

It's funny, I was never taught about throttle blipping and after a couple weeks of riding I found myself doing it almost instinctively on all of my shifts. When I noticed it my first thought was that I was doing something wrong - not being smooth with the throttle during the shift, trying to show off with the noise, etc. Then I started reading about blipping and realized I'd stumbled into a pretty great skill to have. Still mastering it, obviously, and blipping for a rapid downshift into 2nd to take a corner seems like something that really takes some practice. When you blip, do you release the clutch with a snap just in time with the blip or do you use the blip to initiate a smooth clutch release? Probably a different procedure on the track, but I'm just talking smooth street riding.


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I personally don't snap the clutch back out after the blip, but I don't allow a long clutch slip either- as you want to minimize clutch wear. For me, the blip is ever so slight- the goal here is to match the rpms for the gear- so when you get this practiced enough- you don't need to slip the clutch as you are already matching the engine speed with the gearbox speed for the gear you just downshifted into. I imagine there are many differing opinions on this one?

So, I'd say for me, rather than a snap, I let the clutch out perhaps slightly slower than a normal upshift if not the same speed.. Ultimately, you'll get the feel for it and it will become smoother.

Things to watch out for if you are a new rider:
- maybe this one is obvious, but just in case: don't downshift if you already have the motor at very high rpms.. Damage can occur if you downshift the motor into or above redline. Downshifting could bring the motor to higher RPM than the revlimiter would otherwise allow.
- careful on downshifting to slow down while you are IN the corner- you want to avoid that- as you should have already slowed down. Especially if you don't quite time it right, a harsh downshift in a corner can break the back wheel traction loose.
- same applies for a harsh downshift in wet weather- can break the back wheel loose.
 

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Following on from the last comments, if you haven't taken the MSF's beginner rider course, I strongly encourage it.

When possible and practical, all your speed scrubbing maneuvers (braking and engine braking) should be done before you enter the turn, the gradually roll on as you proceed thru the turn.

Basic stuff, but good to keep in mind v


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Discussion Starter #10
Following on from the last comments, if you haven't taken the MSF's beginner rider course, I strongly encourage it.

When possible and practical, all your speed scrubbing maneuvers (braking and engine braking) should be done before you enter the turn, the gradually roll on as you proceed thru the turn.

Basic stuff, but good to keep in mind v


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Yeah I took the BRC. They covered cornering very well, but really only spend one or two drills ever addressing engine braking. It almost seemed like an afterthought but then they kind of assumed everyone was just doing it on every cornering maneuver from that point on. I definitely figured out really quick not to be decelerating or god forbid braking in the middle of the turn. Almost got thrown my first weekend on the street taking a simple curve a hair to fast, panicked and tapped the front brake, bike went bolt upright and almost tossed me. Since then I'm fine with doing all of my scrubbing on the straight away, but am just trying to incorporate engine breaking a bit more to just be a little smoother in city traffic.

I do have another question about blipping on the downshift. It sounds like when done correctly, the blip helps match RPM's and therefore eases the stress on the engine, but it also seems like it would cause a pretty sudden deceleration. I'd think that would be a problem because A) it would be jerky and uncomfortable and B) you'd be slowing down very suddenly without the benefit of any brake lights so some tailgater might plow right into you. Am I not thinking of the whole procedure the right way?
 

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Eric... don't think of it has a blip then snapping off the throttle. That would be the equivalent of jamming on the brakes via the engine.

Think of it as this:
pull in clutch lever
roll on throttle a tiny bit
gently release clutch lever
gently roll off or simply maintain throttle, then roll off slightly before turn

Of course, you may be applying some brakes during the above to cut your speed into a turn.

I know I'm massively over simplifying it, but I think you should get the point of it.

Anyone else can break it down better than I can, go for it. I need another cup of coffee!
 

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Blip

What Birch said...

You don't want to let the engine go to idle, you want to keep the rpm's up and control the deceleration with throttle and brakes. You have a good point about your brake lights, if you slow quickly you need to let others know who are behind you so a little braking while using engine braking is a good thing.

It takes time to get comfortable using engine braking but throttle control is the key.
 

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Oh yeah.. forgot.

If you're worried about brake lights, just rest your foot on the rear brake, enough to engage the lights and control your throttle of the deceleration. If need be, modulate your brakes.
 

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Coming to a corner I tend to bring the revs up but maintain speed by dropping a gear and giving more gas, then let off the gas to slow a bit if I need to. Along with a bit of rear brake if I need to. On the straights I'm usually in a higher gear/lower rpm that doesn't allow as much speed control with the throttle as when I bring the revs up. I don't bring the revs up so high that I can't accelerate away, just enough to keep it in the sweet spot.

Not sure if that's the approved way or not, I'll read those links as well. Still lot's to learn ...


I engine brake way too much for stop signs/lights though. Enough to momentarily lock my rear wheel sometimes. It's a bad habit from driving stick-shift cars that I'm still working to control.


Oh yeah.. forgot.

If you're worried about brake lights, just rest your foot on the rear brake, enough to engage the lights and control your throttle of the deceleration. If need be, modulate your brakes.
I do the same thing. I've found if I just lightly tug at the front brake lever the brake light will come one without the brakes moving at all. I use that all the time to warn bikers behind me of dangers or that I'm slowing if I'm not actually using the brake.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Eric... don't think of it has a blip then snapping off the throttle. That would be the equivalent of jamming on the brakes via the engine.

Think of it as this:
pull in clutch lever
roll on throttle a tiny bit
gently release clutch lever
gently roll off or simply maintain throttle, then roll off slightly before turn

Of course, you may be applying some brakes during the above to cut your speed into a turn.

I know I'm massively over simplifying it, but I think you should get the point of it.

Anyone else can break it down better than I can, go for it. I need another cup of coffee!
Yeah this is exactly how I do it, so I guess it's just a matter of practice to get the whole procedure down smoothly. Glad to hear I'm not doing anything radically wrong. Again, the whole engine blipping thing kind of came to me instinctively and I was never sure I was doing it quite right. Sounds like I'm on the right track. Guess I'll just have to go out and ride a ton to get it down...damn... :D
 

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Following on from the last comments, if you haven't taken the MSF's beginner rider course, I strongly encourage it.

When possible and practical, all your speed scrubbing maneuvers (braking and engine braking) should be done before you enter the turn, the gradually roll on as you proceed thru the turn.

Basic stuff, but good to keep in mind v


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+1 good post.

Plasma.
 

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You don't want to let the engine go to idle, you want to keep the rpm's up and control the deceleration with throttle and brakes.
Perhaps I misunderstand, but this is not correct. The idea is to, indeed, close the the throttle and disengage the clutch, downshift and blip the throttle, release clutch.

A proper downshift should be as smooth as butter, a quick, fluid motion with no lurching or locking of the rear wheel. The whole thing can be confusing and very clumsy at first, but once the timing and technique is mastered, it can be so satisfying when done correctly.

Blipping is not strictly for the race track, or even for spirited riding. It can be used in everyday riding. I blip on every downshift, every ride, the only exception being a panic stop.
 

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The trick is matching engine revs to clutch revs when downshifting.
Practice practice practice, this means you are always in the right gear to accelerate away.
In 34 years of riding never burnt out a clutch and one of my bikes has 130K miles on it most of them mine.

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If anybody could do it perfectly straight away, there would be no satisfaction in mastering the skill of riding a motorcycle.:)

I would NOT recommend taking 90 degree corners in 1st gear on a Bonne. Get used to doing it in 2nd gear, all braking inputs finished before turning in, applying just a titch of "maintenance throttle" through the turn to keep both wheels planted, and smoothly rolling on as you stand the bike up and exit.

Above all else, seek first to be smooth, and everything else will fall into place with practice.
 
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