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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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