Who downshifts into first, when, and why? (F700)

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by mosey.levy, Sep 22, 2014.

  1. mosey.levy

    mosey.levy Long timer

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    do you ever down shift in to first?
    if so, under what scenarios ?

    I've driven stick all my life, and was taught to never down shift in to 1st which made sense.

    I've had my F700 for about 4 months now, and i really didn't like the way it felt when i was slowing down, and at the bottom of second, off the throttle while going through a 90 degree turn at a streetlight, then back on the throttle felt really sputtery..

    so as of the past week I've been playing around with downshifting in to 1st, even rev matching, to around 3-4k rpm to take the turn, and i actually really like it. it felt great, i had much more control in the turn and the bike seems to like it.

    am i crazy? is this bad? do you do it too?
    #1
  2. midlifecrisis388

    midlifecrisis388 Adventurer

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    I do as well, esp in stop and go highway traffic. Going too slow in 2nd feels like it will stall out. I will also do it at lights if I know I will be coming to a complete stop.
    #2
  3. Defconfunk

    Defconfunk I need to get out more

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    I've got the F650GS Twin, and yes, I drop it down to first once I reach a jogging pace. The bike is geared tall, first is useable as an actual gear, not just something you use to get started moving. While driving through the madness of a small town fleamarket (where all of main street turns into a flea market), puttering in first was perfect and second had me slipping the clutch too much for my comfort.
    #3
  4. gjm6syn6

    gjm6syn6 Underground

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    My understanding was that this only applied to cars, some of the earlier synchromesh transmissions didn't have a synchronizer on 1st gear. Motorcycles use an unsynchronized transmission, but because of the low inertia, forcing the gears doesn't cause any harm.
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  5. Kickstand Down

    Kickstand Down Been here awhile

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    I've never heard "don't downshift into first" cars or bikes. I have heard "never force a downshift" which is reasonable. The BMW 798 (on the F800 at least) sits at like 3800 rmp at 20 mph in first..... AKA stop and go traffinc would be pretty annoying in second gear.

    Just feel the bike out. It's pretty easy to get a sense of when the engine raised an eyebrow at your downshift. Generally speaking, if I'm not about to get moving, I shift between first and second <>20 mph.
    #5
  6. mosey.levy

    mosey.levy Long timer

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    Thanks guys.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
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  7. FredRydr

    FredRydr Danger: Keep Back 300 Ft.

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    Not so long ago, auto manufacturers didn't bother with the expense of providing synchronizers for first gear. That may be why the OP's teacher didn't downshift, and passed it on as gospel.

    Fred
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  8. GREWUPIN_D11

    GREWUPIN_D11 GREWUPIN_D11

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    Having learned to drive in '60s era US cars with 'three on the tree' style manual transmissions, I can attest to the lack of synchronization on the 2-1 downshift. However, due to the hilly terrain where I grew up, that 2-1 downshift was necessary lots of times. Hence 'doubleclutching'. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_clutch_(technique)

    The vast majority of all motorcycle transmissions, including those on the F800 variants, are 'constant mesh' units. This is a very different arrangement than those antique automobile transmissions requiring the double clutch technique for 2-1 downshifts. There are no synchronizing mechanisms in a constant mesh transmission. And there is no need to avoid downshifting to 1st.
    #8