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Old 23rd June 2010, 20:18   #1
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Red face Biking lessons please!

This might be a strange request and I guess most of you might even have started laughing after seeing the thread title, but I feel there are things in biking which I really need to learn

I've been riding bikes close to 7 years now, but I still haven't understood gear shifting properly. Till 2 months back, I was riding a CT-100 and know the capacities and limitations of the bike. The gear pattern being shifting only on the front peg for transition higher gears and vice versa know how to easily manage when I really need to go down to the first gear in slow traffic. Come Apache RTR and the 1-down and 4-up pattern, I can easily manage the gears without much issue until I need to move in slow moving traffic.

When do I actually shift down from the 2nd to 1st? The irritating part comes when you shift from the 1st to 2nd, but as soon as you clear a small distance, you have to slow down considerably and move to the 1st. But, doing this makes the bike jerk a bit and trying to maintain in 2nd gear is not good for the gearbox and the bike. This has happened few times even when I was using the CT-100.

Most of you might ask the speed which I'm traveling. The speed sometimes varies between 5km/h - 25km/h. The difference might sound big, but that's how the traffic is in Bangalore!

I'll be able to post more details as and when questions are asked
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Old 23rd June 2010, 21:04   #2
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Rdna, i too ride an RTR in Bangalore and i have not faced this issue you have outlined. Can you shed some light on whether this problem is specific to the RTR only or did you notice it in the CT100 as well.

Below is the pattern in which i change gears:
1st - 5-8kmph
2nd - upto 20kmph
3rd - upto 30 or 35kmph
4th - upto 50kmph
5th - 50kmph and above

The 3rd gear is a pretty potent one for moderate traffic so i maintain third till as low as 25kmph sometimes and then downshift to 2nd.

Not sure if this has helped but need to understand what exactly is the issue you are facing? Also how many kms has your bike run?
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Old 23rd June 2010, 21:14   #3
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Hey abhinav, thanks a lot for the quick reply. I pretty much follow the same shift pattern as you have mentioned. This is not a problem as such in the bike and sometimes used to have trouble shifting in the CT-100 as well.

The reason I made this thread as a bike lesson, is I have to pass through a slum everyday for commute and there are close to 15 speed breakers in a street which has barely enough room for two 2-wheelers to pass properly and to top it, there is this constant left-rights, one after the other. Then, I have to dodge people, dogs and cow along with bad roads :'( So, this constant stop-go has got me really confused as to how to shift gears without straining the gearbox, clutch and the engine.

I've completed around 1100kms on the bike. One more thing which I have observed is, the bike starts to give out a small rumble, more like pinging(?) when I subject it to such constant gear shifts when I start out the bike 'cold'. Generally I give a good 3 minute warm-up before I head out from home, but while returning, it's not possible to warm-up the bike for 3 minutes(Looks kinda stupid just sitting on the bike idling in the parking lot )
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Old 23rd June 2010, 21:24   #4
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Quote:
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The reason I made this thread as a bike lesson, is I have to pass through a slum everyday for commute and there are close to 15 speed breakers in a street which has barely enough room for two 2-wheelers to pass properly and to top it, there is this constant left-rights, one after the other. Then, I have to dodge people, dogs and cow along with bad roads :'( So, this constant stop-go has got me really confused as to how to shift gears without straining the gearbox, clutch and the engine.

(Looks kinda stupid just sitting on the bike idling in the parking lot )
Alright! Its clearer now.

Since the roads are such that you have to do constant gear shifts, you would have to check the optimized speed at which gear change is required. For example, if i have crossed a speed breaker in 2nd and see the next one in the next 10-15 feet, i dont up shift at all. I let the bike roll to the next hump and take that in 2nd as well.. If the speed at the 2nd speed breaker is down to 10kmph or lower then i down shift. I think you are already following this but still thought it better to pen it down.

Also the bike engines are rev happy and can be taken to higher RPM's in lower gears without any damage as compared to car engines. So dont worry about overloading the engine!

And to avoid the stares of passer by in the parking lot, its best to start the bike, then put on your gear like sweat cap, helmet, gloves and then ride away. I follow this and the 30-45 sec warm up helps

Last edited by abhinav.s : 23rd June 2010 at 21:26.
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Old 23rd June 2010, 23:11   #5
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Alright! Its clearer now.

Since the roads are such that you have to do constant gear shifts, you would have to check the optimized speed at which gear change is required. For example, if i have crossed a speed breaker in 2nd and see the next one in the next 10-15 feet, i dont up shift at all. I let the bike roll to the next hump and take that in 2nd as well.. If the speed at the 2nd speed breaker is down to 10kmph or lower then i down shift. I think you are already following this but still thought it better to pen it down.
Now what if the distance is slightly more? Do you still coast to the next hump or do you shift up?
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Old 23rd June 2010, 23:20   #6
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Now what if the distance is slightly more? Do you still coast to the next hump or do you shift up?
There is no need to coast,rev it in the same gear until the limiter cuts in.

if you are riding fast and are in a RTR shift at somewhere around 7-8k(its fun taking it till 12K)
else you may shift around 5K and play with the 'box.
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Old 24th June 2010, 00:25   #7
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Ideally, the rider should always keep the bike in the mid range RPM where the efficiency is max. An old beat up bike may need to be revved much high to get the same power to reach the same kmph. Shift to higher gears when the rpm meter is at the top end of the mid range. If the bike does not have an RPM meter, you will need to feel/gauge the rpm using the vibrations and sound.
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Old 26th June 2010, 18:33   #8
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Well I'm a bit more conscious about my riding style and observed the gear shift. On my CT-100, I used to rely on the half-clutch method for 2nd gear and later in slow moving traffic, whereas on the RTR, I'm not using this method. Rather, I wait till the gear cannot pull in the current gear and then shift to the lower gear.

Half-clutch method is easier and doesn't need the constant shifting of gears. Is this recommended over the periodic gear shifts? I use the half-clutch method only in gears where in there might be a reason to maintain the same gear for slightly more distance. Suggestions please.
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Old 1st July 2010, 17:03   #9
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Half-clutch is definitely not recommended. The RTR should easily do 10kph speeds in 2nd gear. Just let go of the throttle as you approach the hump and accelerate as your rear tyre clears the hump.
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Old 1st July 2010, 19:01   #10
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@gopal-but riding at that speed without managing the clutch will definitely jerk the vehicle a lot or even stall! Humps are fine to do this, but what about bumper-to-bumper traffic?
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Old 1st July 2010, 21:16   #11
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hi rdna:

i don't know i feel you are being too sensitive in this. you can't do away with clutch.

where the distance between the hurdles is small enough just use the same gear (2nd ..?) and pull all the way. the bike can definitely take this in its stride (and this being rtr) when you hit a hump you have got to shift down to first and use clutch too there is no other go.

it is not advisable to ride the clutch as such say in a slow moving traffic for long.

in a lighter vein if your grouse is about frequent gear changes and clutch usage - simple do what i do - do not use bike for commuting. it can be real frustrating and i can not stand the traffic.
happy riding
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Old 1st July 2010, 21:41   #12
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@somspaple-Hahaha..... I bought this bike since I was frustrated with the lack of power of the CT-100. So, there is no way I would be leaving my bike for commuting. Sometimes I do feel that I should be taking the bus, but that's a different thread all together I guess.

Yes, sometimes I feel that even I'm a bit sensitive about these things. It's just that I don't want to screw up the clutch plates and gear shifting in a new RTR is a real PITA!!
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Old 1st July 2010, 22:22   #13
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Yes, sometimes I feel that even I'm a bit sensitive about these things. It's just that I don't want to screw up the clutch plates and gear shifting in a new RTR is a real PITA!!
Don't worry mate you will not screw up the clutch plates just by using it!! Its there to be used at appropriate times.
Its always better to avoid half clutch riding but acceptable at times when situation demands and you have no other go.
Go ahead, work through the gears and enjoy the RTR to the fullest.
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Old 1st July 2010, 22:27   #14
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Originally Posted by abhinav.s View Post
Don't worry mate you will not screw up the clutch plates just by using it!! Its there to be used at appropriate times.
Its always better to avoid half clutch riding but acceptable at times when situation demands and you have no other go.
Go ahead, work through the gears and enjoy the RTR to the fullest.
thanks abhinav Coming for the Sunday ride?
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Old 1st July 2010, 22:45   #15
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This suddenly popped into my head. What are the symptoms of no engine oil in the sump? I mean, if the engine oil is drained during service and the bike is not filled with the oil, what are the symptoms that the engine is running dry? (Yeah, I know weird thing to pop up )
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