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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, I have an 01 Spirit 750 (pretty sure still original sprockets) and am brand new to riding. Took MSF course and all that and just recently begain hitting the highways and such. I've noticed while riding when I shift from 4th-5th gear I don't feel the engine shift and/or notice any sound difference between these gears. At first I was afraid my 5th gear was gone (dont even know if thats possible) but then wondered if maybe its just a newb thing, or maybe its just how a 750 is.

This is the only bike ive ever ridden, besides the MSF bikes, that we never went above 22 mph. When riding at 55-60 I dont feel like the bike is being pushed too hard or anything and when I down shift it does go through all 5 gears, but I'm just curious if others have thought the same thing between 4th and 5th gear.

:oops: One last newb question. When approaching a stop sign while traveling at highway speeds. Whats the best way to down shift and come to a stop? I have been slowing down and then pulling the clutch in and keeping it in while I gradually shift down through the gears until I come to a complete stop. Once I squeeze the clutch in, I dont let it out until I'm taking off from the stop. Is this a good way to do it? And is that okay for the bike? Thanks guys and gals!
 

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You should notice a slight change in feel and sound from fourth to fifth gear, I also found that fifth gear should have been a bit different as, it feels like it's running a tiny bit too high when doing 60mph. Changing the rear sprocket to a small tooth will help this feeling though.

As for your second question: Are you just holding the clutch in the whole time while kicking down each gear as well as applying the brakes or, are you actually downshifting through each gear to reduce your speed while periodically applying the brakes? I found the best way to reduce speed while doing 50+ is to go down through each gear at about the same speeds you'd normally shift up when accelerating.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Goat, I have been keeping the clutch in the entire time. But if shifting through the gears and letting the clutch out (engine braking) is better on the bike then i will start doing that.

Also, about the 5th gear, I read in the manual that I should be shifting into 5th at 31 mph. Seems kinda early and thats what ive been doing, so maybe im shifting too early into 5th and thats why im not feeling the engine shift.
 

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You should feel a difference , even if slight, from 4th to 5th gear. Are you positive your bike has a 5th gear, some don't and I don't know which ones don't?
For downshifting, go somewhere safe, and practice. You should be letting the clutch out each time you down shift, and let the engine do a little braking for you. As you learn, try to hold the throttle in about the same position as when you were accelerating, that will make the engine match the proper rpm for the lower gear. After letting out the clutch, let off the throttle, let the engine slow you down a bit, then go down another gear.
It won't take long and you will get the hang of it.
I usually come almost to stop in 2nd gear, clutch it, and just shift into first as I am stopping (don't down shift to first and more engine braking). On my bike, 1st gear is very low, I only use it for starting from a dead stop.
One exception, in an emergency stop, just brake hard with both front and rear brake, downshift all the way with clutch in all the way to low gear. You are trying to stop fast, and have it in 1st gear just in case you need to get out of the way of anyone behind you that may not be stopping.
Practice. Practice until you are comfortable.
Dan
 

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WCork, in reference to coming to a stop from highway speeds, the way you're doing it is just fine (it's the way I do it too normally). But you should also be familiar with what gear you should be in at what speed, in case you can start going again (like slowing to a stop light that just turned green, and you are still going 15mph, 25mph, or 35mph). You certainly don't want to be in second gear at 35mph when you start to take off again.

And yes, going into 5th at 31mph does seem pretty early, it would seem to me that the engine would be lugging at that speed in that gear. You may shift later if you want, and it won't damage anything as long as you're not redlining the bike all the time.
 

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I do both. Some bikes (my VLX) wanted to cycle thru the gears when downshifting and wouldn't 'leap frog' regularly. The ACE lets me go straight down to first from any gear.

QUICK: I lean toward going straight thru in a rapid stop to reduce scrubbing the clutch and a bunch of needless activity (brakes areWAY easier to replace than a clutch!)

SLOW: For a gradual stop, I downshift when it hits idle rpm in the higher gear (making an effort to not make the motor radically speed up), here again, to reduce clutch wear.

NO CLUTCH: One good tool in your toolbox is not clutching at all. You may need to do this on a road trip if your clutch is acting up. You'll find that when there is a match between rpm and speed causing the engine to be in a no-load condition, shifting can be accomplished by foot lever only. Some riders (not me) have developed this to a high art and don't clutch at all except at a full stop.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks a lot for the responses. I'm gonna go for another ride tomorrow and see how the 4th-5th gear feels when I wait until about 45mph to shift. Hopefully thats the ticket im looking for.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Went for a ride today and it felt a lot better. I didnt shift into 4th gear until about 30 mph and shifted into 5th between 40-45 mph and liked the feel much more. Dont understand why the manual would say to shift into 5th at 31 mph but glad I found what feels good.

As for the engine braking I practiced that too and it went pretty well. Bogged the engine a few times but will continue to practice. Thanks the help everyone.
 

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i think its a newb thing----when i first got my 03 750 i felt like it wasnt going into 5th either--the more you ride the more you will feel it, it is very a slight chunk, almost a click. These are high rpm engines and when you first ride it feels like you are going to blow it up by reving too high--i dont shift into 5th until 55 or 60 most times.

When coming to a stop i cycle down---squeeze clutch, shift down a gear, release clucth---let the engine break for a minute then repeat------all while evenly braking on front and back--i personally think that this saves your brakes a lot of wear and is worth the supposed wear on the clutch, if you are clutching correctly then it will last a very long time, mine has 8 years and 30,000 miles on it and no clutch problems yet--i think ive changed front brake pads one time when i got a shop to do the tires but i cant remember.
 

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i think its a newb thing----when i first got my 03 750 i felt like it wasnt going into 5th either--the more you ride the more you will feel it, it is very a slight chunk, almost a click. These are high rpm engines and when you first ride it feels like you are going to blow it up by reving too high--i dont shift into 5th until 55 or 60 most times.

When coming to a stop i cycle down---squeeze clutch, shift down a gear, release clucth---let the engine break for a minute then repeat------all while evenly braking on front and back--i personally think that this saves your brakes a lot of wear and is worth the supposed wear on the clutch, if you are clutching correctly then it will last a very long time, mine has 8 years and 30,000 miles on it and no clutch problems yet--i think ive changed front brake pads one time when i got a shop to do the tires but i cant remember.
+1. It is a good idea to downshift and release the clutch through each gear. just as Dunesgirl says, if your doing 35 mph and your ready to go, its much easier to be in the proper gear through downshifting rather than upshifting and hoping your in the right gear. Plus, downshifting forces you to look way ahead and predict traffic patterns. Good driving habits.
 

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I agree with Dan that down-shifting through each gear while letting the clutch out to utilize engine compression braking is the way to go. Not only does it save wear and tear on your brakes, but it helps you maintain better control of the bike. Riding in neutral is not safe. Also esj001 wisely pointed out that if you wear out your clutch because you are compression braking you are doing something wrong.
 
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