riding advice needed

whilst stopping at lights,junctions or traffic,is it better for the engine to go down through the gears or pull the clutch in and go streight down to 1st gear as you stop? my last bike i just pulled the clutch in and went strieght down to 1st…but now ive been gradually workin down trough the gears as i slow down.

just thought id ask as i dont want to un-nessesarilly add extra wear n tear to my gearbox…as you can imadgine thats the last thing i want lol

shift a gear at a time otherwise u could damage the 1st 2nd gear cogs and if ur on a powerful bike the back end will just start slidin if u throw it in 1st

through gears …

little test

try going from top whack to stop by dropping to 1st

or going through the gears

which is more stable

cheers fellers…good so i now know that what i am doing now is good…i just need to learn how to start shifting down gears and slowing down later than i am now,so i dont approach junctions and lights too slow lol.

blip the throttle as you go down. prob not needed on a 125 but its good to become second nature.

If I’m slowing down knowing I will have to stop I brake gradually, as it’s coming to a stop, clutch in and down through the gears (into 1st or neutral depending on how long I will be stopping for). Going down through the gears when you are still can make it tricky to get into 1st or neutral.
If I’m just slowing (not stopping) I will drop a gear at a time, blipping the throttle to match the engine speed to the gear.

on my 125 i found that if you didn’t blip and match on the downshift it was horribly clonky… then when i moved up to a bigger bike you could still manage a smooth downshift without blipping

btw i do mean by go through gears that you release the clutch between each change and allow the engine to brake or possibly a block change ( drop two gears instead of one ( eg 5th to 3rd ) but this does increase the risk of rear wheel locking if revs are too low …

if you plan ahead enough you can in effect arrive at the white line ready to go without even stopping instead of having to brake just by using gears .

was always told prepare to stop… ready to go … so in effect be in a position where you can stop safely but if required be in a position where you can still be in effect ready to move … ( no need to drop two gears to accelerate )

I use a lot of engine braking on my 1250 Bandit but to do it to this extent you need to know your bike otherwise you will end up sliding the back wheel, which is not a laughing matter, especially when it’s wet, and I cheat by usually carrying a pillion which adds much more grip and stability to the back wheel. I usually go straight from 6th to 4th or 3rd then 1st. In fact in London I only ever use three gears - 1st, 3rd/4th (or somewhere in the middle!) and top.On Bikesafe the Police advised me to never to go beyond 2nd or 3rd in town and I did that for a few weeks but couldn’t bear to hear the engine revving so much (and it burnt a lot more fuel), so I slipped back into using top gear, and skipping around the gearbox as described above using double- or triple-shifts.

thanks for the advice lads…i know now what to do now and getting out there on 2 wheels is the only thing that will make me improve my riding.:smiley:

maybe see you all soon on various ride-outs :cool:

I’d maybe avoid the above advice about riding around London in top gear on a Bandit 1250 though…

In town I tend to use 4th, MAYBE 5ths late at night when the roads are empty.

And yeah, I shift two gears at a time all the time, mostly going down: 6 => 4 and 4 => 2. Obviously I blip the throttle when I do this and don’t let the clutch/rear tyre do the work :w00t:

When planning to use engine braking, first select the lower gear while blipping the throttle and be fully clutched out. THEN close the throttle and let the engine brake. Easier on your clutch that way.

When approaching traffic lights I often go 4 => 2 as I sneak through the gap, if the light turns green I am ready to just tear away, other wise go all the way to 1st about during the length of the last car.

i tend to drop each gear at a time gradually easing out clutch in and out a little bit between shifts while blipping the thottle (makes life easier for your gearbox) shifting straight from 4th to 1st at like 30 - 40 mph your looking to get spat off, unless you have a slipper clutch of course:D

Horses for courses this one. If I’m slowing down under my own will from speed I will brake more and double shift down in one clutch. If I’m not going so fast, I’ll use the gears and engine to slow down more gradually. I think its a very useful skill to know how to work the gears. Stopping first then trying to get down to first gear is 'orrible! My bike dont like it much.


Some great advice here… Should serve me well for my test :smiley: Thanks folks.