changing down without the clutch


I’m fairly new and still on my CBT.

I recently by mistake dropped the gear down without pressing the clutch and notices that it only happens when the bike reaches a certain rev… (Different gears) I heard about blipping the throttle is this the same as dropping the gears? Does it also damage the bike?


Hi AT - welcome to LB :slight_smile:

Changing gear without the clutch lever is a more advanced technique to assist in changing gear quickly. Changing up the gearbox is the easier of the two and is done by easing off the throttle slightly as you click up the gear. and then putting the throttle back on to pick the revs up in the new gear. Recommended in 2nd gear upwards only, particularly if you go on to ride a twin, or bike with a lot of engine braking.

Changing gear downwards requires a lot more skill because of the engine braking element. By engine braking, I mean the effect of slowing the bike down quickly using no brakes - just the engine of the bike e.g. by changing down gear early, or at higher revs than the bike seems comfortable with, so that the bike naturally slows (your engine is working at a higher rate than the gear you are in requires). With changing down without using the clutch lever, you need to gauge it so that the change happens when the engine gives the least amount of resistance (without causing the bike to stall). This is a lot easier to demonstrate than explain. Recommend you only try changing by going up the gearbox to start. I always use the clutch coming down, mostly because I ride a twin or single a lot of the time (a lot of engine braking as I said above).

Blipping the throttle normally means a quick flick of the throttle whilst holding the clutch in. It’s often used to increase revs prior to pulling a wheelie, or prior to changing gear to assist the engine in changing gear (normally on inline fours but some people use it on two-strokes also).

None of the above damages the bike if done correctly. If done incorrectly, you will put your engine (and potentially chain) under a lot of strain. Depending on your machine and setup, this could cause a lot more wear than normal and causes tight spots in the chain. In addition, if you change down gear and get it wrong you may be looking at a locked rear wheel (particularly unhelpful in the wet).

Hope this helps