accidentally skipping a gear in downshift

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by davidb21, Aug 24, 2012.

  1. davidb21

    davidb21 Adventurer

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    hey all I was wondering how bad or damaging it might be to accidentally skip a gear in downshifting.
    I ride a 04 klr250 and earlier this week while riding I for some reason thought I was 1 gear higher than I actually was and ended up downshifting 1 gear to low. I was going about 40-45mph and put it into 4th when it shoulve been in 5th and the rpms shot up to around 7k...I don't plan on doing this again but stuff happens especially when there's cars around and I'm watching what they're doing.

    if it does happen again what parts are likely to be hurt by this?
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  2. Dotbond

    Dotbond Africa, Africa

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    Generally nothing will be hurt. If the revs didn't shoot past the redline and the rear wheel didn't lock up, carry on as you were.
    #2
  3. davidb21

    davidb21 Adventurer

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    well i accidentally did it again...this time i had it in first when i thought i was in second at around 20mph, let the clutch out and got intense engine braking

    is there more chance of damage doing that in the lower gears vs higher gears?
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  4. 8gv

    8gv Long timer

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    Worry less about the potential damage to the bike (minimal) and more about going over the bars or laying it down.

    Unless you drop each gear down one at a time as you decelerate, you'll likely lose track of what gear you're in. In that case, let the clutch out just enough to see what it's doing to your rpms and then shift as needed.

    Dumping the clutch with the tranny two gears too low equals locking the rear wheel and as such, could hurt you.
    #4
  5. davidb21

    davidb21 Adventurer

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    haha good advice, i do seem to care more about damage to the bike over damage to myself which isnt a good mindset.

    i usually do try to decelerate one gear at a time, today was just a weird situation and a brainfart on my end.

    i just barely made it through a left turn at a light(cars were lined up for it, i came in behind and made the turn as it was turning yellow) clutch in kicked down from 6th to first and i guess i just forgot to put it in second before letting the clutch out...luckily i had for some reason waited until after completing the turn and slowing down a bit to let the clutch out or i 100% wouldve been dumped on the ground.
    #5
  6. tommyvdv

    tommyvdv Been here awhile

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    you might want to do all that before you hit the turn, let go of the clutch and take the turn on the throttle.

    you don't want to realize you picked the wrong gear when your in a turn.

    locking up the rear isn't too bad. starting to panic, pulling the clutch and keeping your eyes on the wrong place can be uncomfortable

    oh and..
    totally ignore my advice if I've misjudged your riding skills :) did not mean to sound high and mighty in any way. just trying to help
    #6
  7. davidb21

    davidb21 Adventurer

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    haha its all good i appreciate any advice, i only have 3000 miles on the road, but have a good amount of dirt and trail time

    but i think i just didn't described the event well enough

    i usually get into gear and throttle before and then through turns but i was running late to work, was about to miss a left turn at an intersection so i had to speed up to the light in 6th and then clutch in and brake right before the turn, downshifted during the turn and let the clutch out once the turn was completed and i was going straight but didn't realize i hadn't put it up into 2nd
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  8. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

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    Drop it 2 gears and let the clutch out. You'll be backing it in around that left in no time!

    :lol3


    I wouldn't try that on a heavy streetbike though. Try to do your braking and gear selection BEFORE the turn, then take the turn with the tranny engaged and the gas on at least a little bit.
    #8
  9. JerryH

    JerryH Long timer

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    I saw a brand new dirt bike ridden by a beginner completely explode from doing that a few years ago. I believe it was a Honda XR250. Seems the rider was going pretty fast in top gear, and downshifted it all the way to first gear, and let the clutch out, scattering engine and transmission parts all over the place. The sudden shock cracked the case in several places where the crank and trans shaft bearings were mounted. One of the shafts was sticking way out through a large hole in the case.

    When I first started teaching my kids how to ride MANY years ago, I drilled it into them to never downshift more than once without letting the clutch out. After a few years they learned how much they needed to downshift depending on their speed and the gear they were in. Two kids, they went through 6 dirt bikes, as they got older, still have the last 2, and never damaged a single one, or themselves. Both girls, today they can ride as good as any guy.
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  10. davidb21

    davidb21 Adventurer

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    haha see i didnt do anything that bad, i think the revs were probaly atleast 1k under redline

    i think i am going to start shifting 1 gear at a time from now on like you taught your kids, i have a bad habit of approaching lights and turns hot and downshifting multiple gears while braking
    #10
  11. elsalvadorklr

    elsalvadorklr southern xr rider

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    thaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat is a baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad really bad habit, most commonly used in cars with a manual tranny...go from 5th to 3rd and rev up and play the throttle jejje do that all the time, but on a bike
    noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    always in gear clutch in at any stop or sign of trouble

    good luck:deal
    #11
  12. davidb21

    davidb21 Adventurer

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    well i dont do that, what i meant is i approach a stop or turn very quickly usually in top gear, then clutch in and brake quickly then shift into the needed gear right before the turn, or for a stop just all the way down to 1st.

    still a really bad habit though, i need to get in the habit of fusing a gear at a time and a little engine braking for decels instead of just clutched in braking.
    #12
  13. elsalvadorklr

    elsalvadorklr southern xr rider

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    engine braking:clap
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  14. EmkIoway

    EmkIoway Adventurer

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    I'm preety much a newb so my techniques probly stink, but I usually count my gears as I downshift.:ear
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  15. tommyvdv

    tommyvdv Been here awhile

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    noob or no
    you seem to be open to improving your technique. which is a healthy state of mind. for anyone at any level

    correct me if I'm wrong
    #15
  16. kezzajohnson

    kezzajohnson kezza

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    It's impossible to skip a gear on a motorcycle gearbox. You can only go one gear at a time and the gear lever has to return to its normal position between each gear before you can go to the next. It's not like a car gearbox, hence the name sequential.

    It is possible however to go through more than one gear without letting the clutch out in between but that gear lever still needs to spring back between each gear.

    For normal stopping or slowing, you should clutch out between each gear relative to your speed and use a little throttle blip while the clutch is in, in between gears to smoothen things out by matching the engine revs with the next gear down. Known as engine braking, this will assist your brakes to slow the bike and save your brake materials.

    You should always have your position, speed and gear right before making a turn.

    For quick stops however ( eg emergency or hazard avoidance), forget the clutch out between gears, Just tap down through each gear as you are slowing and leave the clutch in. (concentrate on your braking) Double tap the lever to make sure you have reached first gear (you'll feel resitance in the lever and it won't go through any more gears) by the time you have stopped, in case you need to get out of there again fast...
    #16
  17. ragtoplvr

    ragtoplvr Long timer

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    If you down shift too much for the speed even if you do not let out the clutch you are overspeeding gears in the transmission, and clutch. It is possible to explode a clutch basket in these cases. Make a new habit to let out clutch after every downshift. You are going to end up on the pavement someday if you let this bad habit persist..

    Rod
    #17
  18. elsalvadorklr

    elsalvadorklr southern xr rider

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    I like the blip too...helps:D
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  19. tommyvdv

    tommyvdv Been here awhile

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    blip before downshift?
    I'm still wondering if I'm hurting my bike by doing this
    #19
  20. kezzajohnson

    kezzajohnson kezza

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    Not if you are getting your timing right. How can it hurt your bike ? It is harder on your bikes driveline by not blipping.
    #20