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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 05:05 PM Thread Starter
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New Rider.. Need advice!!

Hello all, new to riding and new to this website.
I need advice on when to shift to 2nd, 3rd, and ultimately 4th gear.
My bike is a 1996 Honda Shadow VLX 600 deluxe. Its a 4speed. No tachometer. About what speed is safe to hop in 2nd gear, and then 3rd and finally 4th?

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 07:22 PM
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Welcome. Even to answer your simple question there are lots of variables. Most likely 15-20 mph into into 2nd, about 30-40 into 3rd and into 4th over 40-50. The variables include how fast you're taking off and how much throttle you're giving it. Just putt around and when you hear the engine winding up but not screaming shift to the next gear. The engine will wind up about the same amount for each gear shift. Practice where it is safe and you'll get the hang of it quickly. You can also just shift it into one gear after an upshift and slow down then slowly speed up to see what speed the sweet spot is for each gear. Bogging down, down shift, revving to much, upshift. Practice and get familiar with your bike.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 09:33 PM
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Yes saddle time will get you familiar with the sound and feel. If you take off fairly hard and get up to a power band where it really pulls strong, that is the horsepower peak. But you don't need to always be in there- just use that for info when you need to get moving faster. Use that knowledge to judge where you want to shift. But for better mileage shift up sooner to keep the RPM lower.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 05:51 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for that solid advice guys! It's easier to understand when put in to words. While im still new im sticking to parking lots and back streets. It'll be kind of hard getting up in to 3rd and especially 4th gear until im ready to take her on the actual roads, but im sure in due time I won't even have to think before shifting.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 06:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 96Shadowvlxdeluxe View Post
Thanks for that solid advice guys! It's easier to understand when put in to words. While im still new im sticking to parking lots and back streets. It'll be kind of hard getting up in to 3rd and especially 4th gear until im ready to take her on the actual roads, but im sure in due time I won't even have to think before shifting.

When you take her out on the open road, and leave that subdivision, pretend that NO ONE can see you, EVER.


Lots of people will tell you to make eye contact with car drivers before turning, etc. BS, they will appear to be looking straight at you and actually, their eyes will not be picking you up.


If you're going to get hit, it will be in an intersection by some car turning left in front of you. This may sound dumb, but for a while, don't go through intersections alone. Get behind a car and follow them through.


Ride like NO ONE can see you.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 07:00 AM
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As Swifty alluded to in his post, engine noise will be your best shift indicator without a tach, combined with feeling two extremes; 1) engine whining in agony at the top of its power curve, 2) engine bogging while lugging and gasping for RPM. Scenario 1 is definitely overdue for upshifting, 2 is definitely overdue for downshifting. Saddle time in low and second gears will put your ear in tune with the engine's needs.
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation's Basic Rider Course is one of the best investments you will ever make. As an experienced rider I learned one tip that has probably saved my life on at least two occasions. When you stop for a traffic light, offset yourself in the lane so that you are positioned to go around the vehicle in front, with your bike in low gear, clutch in, and eyes constantly checking mirrors for a vehicle coming up from behind. Be ready to GO if you doubt that a vehicle approaching from behind might not stop. Reemphasizing Chuck"s post, a lot of cagers NEVER see you. My recommendation is to wear hi-vis gear or a hi-vis tee shirt over your gear. Even then, the blindness of car drivers will amaze you.

I have a mantra that I recite every time I put my helmet on... "They're all out to kill ya.. whether by accident or on purpose, the result's the same!"

Last edited by ShadowGeezer; 04-24-2019 at 07:01 AM. Reason: punctuation
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 07:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 96Shadowvlxdeluxe View Post
Hello all, new to riding and new to this website.
I need advice on when to shift to 2nd, 3rd, and ultimately 4th gear.
My bike is a 1996 Honda Shadow VLX 600 deluxe. Its a 4speed. No tachometer. About what speed is safe to hop in 2nd gear, and then 3rd and finally 4th?



Always listen to your bike. She will tell you what she needs and when. Shifting too early could eat at your clutch over time.


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78 CB750K -went separate ways
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04 Shadow Aero - passed Down
05 Shadow Aero -went separate ways
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