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Proper Shifting Technique?

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Alright so first time rider here. Just got the FZ 07 about a week ago and although very new to street bikes I am not oblivious to how a clutch works. Question is, how in the heck can you get a silky smooth shift out of this bike? I have a manual car and it's very easy to get a smooth shift but with this bike it seems to be more difficult. Example when shifting up a gear it almost seems like it engine brakes pretty strong and jolts a bit. Same thing with down shifting but I can let the clutch out slower to make it smooth although that still seems incorrect to me. I want to shift fast but smooth. How does someone accomplish this?
 

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ryan4130
Rev matching. You need to match the revs of the engine with the rev you will have with your current speed and gear
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tanner68
If you are letting the clutch out slow, you are doing it wrong. I only do that when I have to step down several gears, and only for the last one, like getting off the freeway.
 
I'd like to hear from experienced riders and racers too. I have worked at slick downshifting for a long time, and mine are good. A throttle blip and a little clutch, and my downshifts are great. I use two fingers, and use my other two fingers as clutch pull limiters. That has helped a lot, as my clutch pulls were too long before using four fingers.
 
But I have realized my upshifts are not super slick all the time. Maybe I shouldn't worry about it. But I have been wondering if they could be more seamless.
 
What about full power upshifts? I have experimented with just blipping the throttle and not using the clutch. It seems to work fine and not abuse anything, but only in a full power setting.
 
(I don't think I am thread-jacking hear. Just expanding on the OP's inquiry.)
 
Anyone else find they are good at downshifts, but the upshifts are still a touch rough and jerky?
 
 
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mjh937
I find that the less I think about it the smoother my shifting. You do not have to pull the clutch in very far at all. In the up shifts I find the faster I do it the better. In the down shifts rev matching is the key. I am getting better at that with practice.

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nlsquare
I've been riding since May... and for the past 2 weeks, my upshift have been very smooth, rarely will you hear any pop from the shifting. The way I managed to get it smoother from my usual "clunk" is pre-engage the shifter. As you slowly rev up, apply up pressure on the shifter until you feel it pressing back on your feet, then in one smooth motion clutch in+throttle off+click up then don't jerk the throttle back but smoothly apply the throttle back to the original point. I barely hear a sound when i upshift now... practice and more practice
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hobbs
I would say just give it time.
 
Ride around in the rain, that will force you to learn how to make the bike be smooth.

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RobMoore
Here is my trick; I don't grab the clutch with my whole hand. I use my first two fingers and pull the clutch back until it hits my other two fingers. This yields much smoother shifts instead of trying to time the throttle with the release of the clutch from a full pull. I also use this technique when stopped at a light. Coming from a ZX6r with shorty levers, the clutch travel is too long for me. I end up over revving trying to start from a stop and not going anywhere if I pull the clutch all the way in.
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username
Thanks for the responses. I was wondering if the clutch had to be fully pulled back when shifting and was going to ask that question next but seems like you guys already covered that. Definitely learned a few things I'm going to try on the next ride today. I feel like having shorty levers would be such an asset though. Anyone recommend some cost affective levers that they have used in the past?

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squidsquiddly
Biggest tip I can give is be as fast as possible with flicking the throttle off then back on. I always have very smooth shifts when my flick of the wrist is quick. And barely pull the clutch in when you're shifting. It doesn't need much
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Beemer
Simply put, just give it some gas before you let the clutch out and when down shifting, blip the throttle a little before you release the clutch. Takes a little practice to get it perfect but anything is better than engine braking when shifting. 
 
 
[video src=https://youtu.be/8DZnZRRHCNc]
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phyciocc
This brings back memories...
I am Italian, and Italians of a certain age learned how to drive on Fiat 500's ( two door tiny car with a 500cc twin cylinder engine). Beside ruefully considering the fact that the Fz07 has a bigger engine, the Fiat 500 had no synchros, therefore if one had any hopes of downshifting successfully the double clutch pump and rev matching technique had to be learned...
At the center to smooth shifting is rev matching and timing. In up-shifting I roll down the throttle, quick pull of the clutch (agree with a previous poster. A short pull is better) and of the gear lever. Downshifting the same, but with a blip up of the throttle instead.
Sometimes, just for the fun if it, I downshift sequentially from 6th to first while braking both wheels...not if the roads are wet!
:)
Marco
Physics Prof. Be aware :o:)

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aeisan
Many good tips precede my post, so I won't go into all of them too much.
 
For upshifting, remember the sequence is roll off the throttle, disengage the clutch, shift, reengage the clutch, roll back on the throttle. Don't just let go of the clutch, but don't let it out too slowly either. Nice, fast and smooth. The faster you can do this, the better your shifting will be. Too fast and you'll feel it jerk. It was mentioned above, but the best tip here is to basically prime the shifter by lightly pushing up on the lever with your toe to take any "slack" out of the rod. Also play around with and learn your friction zone. Learn just how far the lever needs to be pulled in to 100% disengage. Pulling it in any more than that is useless. Not pulling the clutch lever in too far will also help speed up and smooth out your upshifts.
 
For downshifting, rev matching as was discussed above is best, but if you are a very new rider, you may want to start with a simpler technique which is basically what I described above for upshifting, but kinda backwards. Pull the clutch in, downshift, then let the clutch back out as you roll back on the throttle. For downshifting, you will probably want to let the clutch out more slowly to let it start to engage and let the engine get up to speed with the rear wheel. Too fast and you run the risk of locking the back wheel up which is bad bad bad. Letting it out more slowly is safer. It's not ideal and not as "smooth" but it's where you should start out until you are ready for rev matching. That's why I don't recommend new riders try rev matching right away. One missed shift could lock the rear up and send you out of control, which nobody hear wants to have happen.
 
Above all these tips, the other thing to know is that all of these actions require muscle memory. The only way to get that is to get out there and do these motions over and over again until they become second nature - and they WILL become second nature eventually. You will get faster and smoother and eventually your hands and feet will adapt this muscle memory and basically be in sync with each other without you having to give it much conscious thought.
 
Good luck and safe riding!

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tmlicking
I still feel sloppy downshifting. I found this video to be helpful

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tmlicking
I still feel sloppy downshifting. I found this video to be helpful

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No Hater
Im no expert on street bikes as this one is my first. I don't think folks can argue much that this bike doesn't shift smoothly unless you are in touch with shifting/clutch control and throttle. The engine breaking and torque likely doesnt help the new rider situation either (at least in the short run). That being said, I think the style of this transmission and engine have caused me to be more in touch with the routine shifting techniques that I really didn't rely on as much with other bikes (offroad). On dirtbikes/quads/three wheelers, I think I had always been a bit sloppy in that I would just drop the clutch many times because I was just ripping around, whereas this bike really makes you learn to be smooth otherwise you feel every bit.
 
I found that when I put the aftermarket levers on and was able to adjust the clutch to where I wanted, it really made it easier. Not sure about you but, the friction zone from the clutch lever was pretty far out (and I don't have small hands). I find the key on this bike is as others have state above.....rev matching is key.
 
 

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username
I actually just bought some shorty levers with the adjusters on them. So I'll chuck em on when I'm back home. This may be a dumb question but what exactly do the adjusters do? Do they move the levers out more or something to that effect? I've seen a couple where you can flip them up and down but the ones purchased just have the run of the mill 6 point adjustment settings. I've been really improving on shifting after using these effective techniques that are posted here. So thank you very much FZ 07 Forum squad!

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bmwpowere36m3
Yes, it adjusts the distance of the lever from the grip.

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aeisan
Just like ABS brakes, modern tech has reduced the amount of skill required to ride newer bikes smoothly in some instances. Things like slipper clutches and quick-shifters make shifting a lot easier and smoother, but do not lend themselves to allowing new riders to learn proper techniques. This is one reason I think the FZ-07 is a great beginner's bike - it doesn't have hardly any tech on it I would call "new" other than the dash cluster LCD display and, depending on your definition of new, the ECU. Others that are really long in the tooth, like our friend Marco, might say tech like a syncro is "new" ha! ;)
 
Just some fun facts on levers, for anyone interested and/or didn't know... "On the fly" adjustable levers (like the CRG roll-a-clicks) were originally designed for racing to allow the rider to adjust the lever for brake fade during a race with only one hand. As with most racing tech, it trickles down and finds its way into the consumer market which sometimes even finds other uses for the tech. Other things you'll find on "racing" levers are features like folding levers (so they don't break off as easily in a wreck, they just fold back) and some even have replaceable plastic ends that are essentially just "lever sliders."

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steviede
I rode my buddies R6 a couple weeks ago and I can tell you they shift a lot better than our bikes, I'm sure they use better materials closer tolerances in an R6 than our Budget FZ's. I have down shifting down pat on my bike still working on getting up shifts perfect, I find I am better at higher RPM up shifting than lower.

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aeisan
I rode my buddies R6 a couple weeks ago and I can tell you they shift a lot better than our bikes, I'm sure they use better materials closer tolerances in an R6 than our Budget FZ's. I have down shifting down pat on my bike still working on getting up shifts perfect, I find I am better at higher RPM up shifting than lower.
Most likely because the R6s have slipper clutches, not materials or tolerances.  

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steviede
I rode my buddies R6 a couple weeks ago and I can tell you they shift a lot better than our bikes, I'm sure they use better materials closer tolerances in an R6 than our Budget FZ's. I have down shifting down pat on my bike still working on getting up shifts perfect, I find I am better at higher RPM up shifting than lower.
Most likely because the R6s have slipper clutches, not materials or tolerances.  
I wasn't downshifting hard enough to use the slipper clutch I don't think, but even the up shifts felt super smooth and it was my first time riding the bike.

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yamahappy74
Having owned both an R6 and my current FZ, I can say that the R6 does seem to shift quicker. Having said that, I don't have any issues at all clicking through the gears on this bike, either up or down. The only thing I really don't like about this bike is the engine braking. It's too severe. So much so that it makes me miss my R6.

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shaneallen23
First post! Figured this thread is close enough to what I'm curious about rather than make a new one, so here goes:
 
I'm a fairly new rider but I had dirtbikes and quads growing up, so I've got some background in the shifting game (not to mention I prefer manual cars, but that's a bit different). One of the first things I read about was the clunk when shifting into 1st from a stop. It seems everyone has this by design of the bike, doesn't really bother me anymore.
 
Something I've noticed while riding though, is that about 50% of the time while up-shifting I'll get a similar clunk (it's more the noise than the lurch) during the gear change. The other 50% is buttery smooth and silent, if I didn't know better I'd say the bike has a CVT during these :P
 
I'm decent at timing my clutch/throttle to get smooth shifts, there's always room for improvement, but I don't have a jerky ride. Just curious what others thoughts are to the gear change thing. Is this another case of the bikes design? Or am I getting pristine shifts half the time and just okay ones the other half?

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Guest GringoStarr
Sorry to jump shaneallen's first post (I'm not a mechanical guru).
 
With regard to the strong engine braking, has anyone else found themselves automatically not closing the throttle all the way after the blip on downshifting? I'll come to a complete stop and realize it's idling @1500 rpm because my wrist thinks it's closed. Lol

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shaneallen23
No problem Gringo, I think I figured out my issue anyway. I sped up my whole shifting process and now have a much better "success" rate.
 
Personally I haven't had that issue with the idling, but this is also the first street bike I've ridden regularly (picked up an old Radian last year that never quite ran right for me) so the engine braking on this bike is normal to me. I can only imagine what it'll be like when I hop on a friends triple or something. I'll actually need to use the brakes :P

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