Clutchless upshifting all gears - Bad?

I’ve finally got the knack of upshifting without using the clutch on my R1.

Thing is, I can do it smoothly with every gear ratio and never have to use the clutch (even from 1st to 2nd)…I can even do it on the downshift after a blip of the throttle…No jerkiness, just smooth gear transitions…wooo

I’ve heard clutchless downshifts can damage the gearbox though so I don’t normally do it.

So do I ever have to use the clutch lever again when upshifting?


Going up through the gears without using the clutch is fine - hardly ever use the clutch when I’m racing my hornet and all still seems OK in the gearbox department. 1st to 2nd can be iffy so I usually dip the clutch a bit to make sure I get 2nd away from the lights and not miss a gear, loosing a few places.

But this is racing, do you really want to clutchless gearchange all the time on the road - the occasional quick set of changes wont do any harm when you are in a hurry.

But I’ve heard that clutchless down changes are very bad (except on a 'crosser) so I never do them. Well when I say never, apart from those times I’ve exited a corner in the wrong gear, stamped on the lever and felt sorry for the gearbox for the next few minutes .

I’ve always wondered why people want to clutchless shift on the road anyway?

I think once you’ve learnt it (not you in particular, general you), its cool because its one less control you have to worry about and when accelerating hard you just upshift through the box which feels natural.

Clutchless downshifting is probably not a good thing like said…Although, when I’ve done it on my bikes, it doesn’t feel like the gearbox is being stressed. Its smooth as long as you don’t bang down gears too quickly, but thats the case whether you use the clutch or not.

Can anyone confirm if clutchless downshifts actually do damage to the gearbox and accelerate engine wear, even if done smoothly?

jonesy the clutch on your blade doesn’t work properly at the best of times so prob not a fair judge

clutchless shifts do no damage to the gear box in either direction. when you roll off the throttle from accelerating, the load on the clutch plates is reduced at that moment and the clutch doesn’t actually do anything to assist the shift. just click the gear up and back on the throttle. if anything you save a bit of wear on the clutch.

on twins/harsh gear boxes its hard to do it smoothly (engine braking/rough gear engagement) tho so a bit of clutch slip to let the next gear back in helps

cluthless shifts up are natural in terms of the roll off, click, roll on. worst that tends to happen is you get a bit of a jolt from not getting it quite right

downshifts are a big problem for hard decel as blipping is very difficult, and the consequences of getting it wrong are massive. potentially you either dont match engine speed and lock the rear (and you’ve then got to reach for the clutch and let it back in etc), or you come back on to the throttle to do the above but with a downshift and you get the timing wrong, and accelerate in a hard breaking situ. BAD BAD BAD.

its maybe worth knowing how to do it in case you have a prob with your clutch (say your cable snaps on track and you want to ride back to the pitlane) but otherwise best to forget about it


I’m gonna find something useful to mount to my clutch lever seeing as its gonna be mostly redundant now.

“its maybe worth knowing how to do it in case you have a prob with your clutch (say your cable snaps on track and you want to ride back to the pitlane) but otherwise best to forget about it”

Yes, when despatching, I overtested the limits of my gt550’s lean angle at Marble Arch …tarmac inspection…snapped the clutch lever and had to ride all the way back to Twickenham with no clutch, I only slightly jumped one red light and the gearbox was still talking to me the next day

nothing wrong with the clutch on the blade now its had the superceeded part, besides did you forget that i had 2 ZX6’s before that?

still dont understand why people want to clutchless up shift on the road…?

Although using the clutch fast enough, clutchless smoothes out the ride (I find anyway) and I do it naturally.

Having a twin as JB says, the engine braking makes it hard to smoothe out, so I can only tend to not use the clutch from 3 up. However, if am pushing on, anything from 2 up is smooth.

something a bit more technical on this…