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Hey all, A friend of mine mentioned he thinks I downshift too much. I've driven manual cars most of the time (including my current car). I don't downshift to slow down but I have a habit of downshifting as I approach a stop or slow to yield, or whatever. My friend says he just pulls the clutch in near his stop then downshifts to 1st. I've only had my bike for a couple weeks, and I'm beginning to learn her sounds. My downshifts now are barely noticeable as far as rpm's. What's common?
 

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Hey all, A friend of mine mentioned he thinks I downshift too much. I've driven manual cars most of the time (including my current car). I don't downshift to slow down but I have a habit of downshifting as I approach a stop or slow to yield, or whatever. My friend says he just pulls the clutch in near his stop then downshifts to 1st. I've only had my bike for a couple weeks, and I'm beginning to learn her sounds. My downshifts now are barely noticeable as far as rpm's. What's common?
You're doing the right thing. I downshift both to slow the bike down and keep the rpms up just incase I need throttle up to escape from a situation asap. Your friend is a downed biker with his technique in an emergency situation.
 

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Why don't you downshift to slow down? I too have driven manual cars for years and use the engine / transmission to slow me down always. I've known guys who drive manual cars who only clutch and brake too, but I never saw the logic, other than to note it's easier on the up-shifting for most than the down-shifting in terms of matching rpms correctly, but with practice early on, you quickly do it without even thinking about it. I get long life out of brakes and feel I have substantially better control of any vehicle this way.
 

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I'm sure his thought process is that it is much easier to replace a set of brake pads than replace the clutch. That holds true in a car or truck, but with the wet clutches that are on our bikes, downshifting does little wear to them. I always downshift my bike. I don't do it to slow down, but rather to be in the right gear in case I need to get out of a sticky situation in a hurry.
 

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You will be fine. Some 'round here will try to say engine braking wears out your rear tire. I think that's horse-pucky as long as you are smooth. Choose the right gear for your speed, accelerating or decelerating, and you will be fine.
 

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I'm sure his thought process is that it is much easier to replace a set of brake pads than replace the clutch. That holds true in a car or truck, but with the wet clutches that are on our bikes, downshifting does little wear to them. I always downshift my bike. I don't do it to slow down, but rather to be in the right gear in case I need to get out of a sticky situation in a hurry.
I've down shifted in all my many standard cars, truck and vans for thirty years and have yet to replace a clutch. My 99 RAV 4, for example, has 430 000 kms, so I don't understand the logic: "it is much easier to replace a set of brake pads than replace a clutch." All my vehicles have gone to the bone yard with original clutch intact.
 

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Keep doing what you're doing. Engine braking is crucial for emergency stops. I'd advise your friend to change his technique!

Tires, brakes, clutches; all wear items. All relatively cheap as well, especially compared to a car.
 

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I have driven truck and usually a standard shift car. Have always downshifted to slow down.
On my cars I average 140,000 miles on a set of brakes and have never had to replace a clutch. Just sold my 99 Miata with 177,000 miles with the original clutch and no slippage in the clutch even under hard acceleration.
You don't wear the clutch by downshifting as you let it all the way out and it is fully engaged. same with a bike.
 

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All is diffrent but i down shift every gear toa stop having the motor help me slow down. Then again I hardly ever use the clutch on car truck or bike. In my mind it works for me saves on clutches and brakes. Plus if something ever happens your in a gear. I know people that will slap it in N. Or hit the clutch and coast.
 

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as a professional truck driver and a motorcyclist i can say with out a doubt in my opinion your friend is an accident waiting to happen

1st and fore most you are ten times more likely to lose traction during hard braking then with using the engine to slow your self down properly i say properly because if done incorrectly these numbers do not apply ie if you skip gears during the down shift yes you may lose traction and/or damage the engine and transmission

2ndly intersections are the number one place for accidents being in the wrong gear at the wrong time leaves you unable to take evasive action placing you and anyone near you in greater danger

as any reputable school will tell you always always use the engine as part of your braking technique

as you say you are a beginner rider i highly recommend taking a motorcycle safety course and ignoring your bonehead friend honestly i would not ride around or with someone who practices such dangerous riding has it would put me at greater risk
and in my opinion when it comes to motorcycles and most everything else in life there is no such thing as too safe

on a side note if your down shifting correctly you should be making a good deal of noise which will help alert the cager behind you and beside you of your presence which is always a good thing (downshifting correctly means bringing the rpm up to match each shift down which when done right makes for a nice even downshift)

have fun and keep the rubber down
 

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I have driven truck and usually a standard shift car. Have always downshifted to slow down.
On my cars I average 140,000 miles on a set of brakes and have never had to replace a clutch. Just sold my 99 Miata with 177,000 miles with the original clutch and no slippage in the clutch even under hard acceleration.
You don't wear the clutch by downshifting as you let it all the way out and it is fully engaged. same with a bike.
You also have to figure that not too long ago it was common to only get 50,000 or 60,000 out of a clutch. Now its not uncommon to get 200,000 out of one. I used to drive a 65 mustang with 4 on the floor. I'd get about 30,000 out of a clutch before it was smoked. Of course it was a 65 Mustang and I didn't drive it like grandma did.
 

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At my country the most usual shift is the manual one. Downshift and using the engine to stop is the right way for stopping a vehicle.
In fact downshifting is the best way to get the maximum of an engine. If I go to fast when beggining a turn the safest way to speed down is downshift. If the turn is closest than I expected then again downshift...etc...
In terms of fuel conssumption saves more fuel downshifting. And in terms of security is much more secure downshift and leave the engine geared than press the clutch and brake.

You're doing it right, man.

-- Sent from my Palm Pre3 using Forums
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks guys, I'll keep on the way I'm doing. I never thought about keeping the rpm's up for quick acceleration if needed.. good point. thx
 
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