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A little more information is necessary before anyone can give you any meaningful advice.....

What kind of bike?

What kind of riding are you doing?

What are you having trouble with? Are your shifts not smooth? Are you ending up frequently in the wrong gear? Are you missing shifts?

Have you taken any MSF courses?

There is a lot more to shifting than meets the eye. There are times that shifting can be dangerous. (such as when you are leaned over in a corner) When and how to shift may not be something that can be adequately explained in a forum, but if you can be a little more specific, I'm sure you can get some degree of help.
 

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You know after reading this I think I can use some work on mine as well.

I am a new rider (only been riding for about 7 months). I'm also new to driving a manual, so it took me a while to get the hang of shifting.

However I have realized I have the tendency to shift a lot on turns. Mind you I am not pulling any knee dragging turns, but I do catch myself up shifting a lot. Specially if I make a turn from a stop, I tend to shift up mid turn.

Once I was making a left turn, and I did a toe dragger... it was different. :eek:

I don't ride hard, and I drive a '01 YZF600r, I also try and make big curves at around 6000rpms.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have taken the MSF cours.

I have a 2001 Katana 600

Most of my riding is done on the street of Philadelphia. Stop and go stuff.

I think i shift 2 early. I'm in like 5th doing 40. From the way you guys talk on the board, It sounds like yous are in 1st or 2nd at this speed. I hear other bikes screaming by and you can't even hear me. I guess I'm acared to wind it up, don't want to trash my bike after only 400 miles.

When I down shift coming to a stop, I sometimes get stuck in between 2nd & N
 

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Try to be in the right gear when you enter the corner. The whole idea is to keep the suspension loaded about equally front to rear, to maximize the available traction on both tires. When you roll off the throttle and pull in the clutch to shift, you end up shifting weight to the front tire and unloading the rear tire some. This can upset your traction. What you should be doing is a smooth, slow roll-on after the turn in. When you are leaned over, you are on the smaller diameter of the outside edge of the tires, which effectively changes your gearing and causes the bike to s down some. This isn't indicated by the speedometer, but it happens. When you slow down, you shift weight to the front, thus the slow roll on to keep a steady speed through the turn, thus keeping the supension loading constant and balanced and not upsetting the traction. Then, you simply continue the roll on as you straighten the bike up at the exit of corner. It is better to be a little slower going into the corner, choose the gear you need before you turn in and be smooth rolling on through the corner. Always look through the corner, also. Look where you want to go. You will go where you are looking whether you want to or not, so it might as well be where you want to go.
 

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OK Bronko...that's a little better info :)

You are short-shifting. That really ain't good. For one thing, you aren't on the power band at all, so if you needed to scoot out of someone's way real quick, you'd lose a little time downshifting, or waiting until the bike got on the power under load. You need to keep the revs up a little more on that bike. Not real high, mind you, but try using the next lower gear for the same speed. Also, you need to get the revs up some while you are breaking the bike in, or the rings won't seat properly. The engine parts need to go through cycles of building up heat (loading) and cooling down (unloading).

Get out of the city traffic for a little bit and find some empty backroads where you can play with it. That bike has a lot of room in the RPM range to use. You will find after a while where the bike is most comfortable, but you have to get out there and explore it.

As far as missing the downshift to first, that's a common problem with new riders, especially if you wait until you are stopped to shift down to first. Try downshifting from 2nd to 1st while you are still moving, just before you stop. Also, don't put the bike in neutral while you are waiting at stop signs, or red lights until at least one car has come to a stop behind you. And always watch your rear until then. If you are in neutral with the clutch out and you see that the car coming up behind you isn't going to stop, you could be in trouble. If you are in gear with the clutch in, you can scoot out of the way.
 

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I'm also curious what RPM you guys normally shift at if your not trying for a new land spead record? I have found myself shifting around 6000, but cruising 50 to 60 in 5th or 6th, thats kind of a high gear to be in huh? This is on a F4i with 300 miles on it. I havent taken it above 8000 yet, thought I had to be "nice" for a while. Do I?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
up to now (400 miles), I was shifting to second right after I started moving. Then shiftin up each gear at about 3000 rpm.
This left me in 6th gear doing around 50 mph.
 
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Bronko2000 said:
up to now (400 miles), I was shifting to second right after I started moving. Then shiftin up each gear at about 3000 rpm.
This left me in 6th gear doing around 50 mph.
Referencing your comment about not wanting to "trash" your bike, and further to what GaBandit has said, your current riding style could do just as much to "trash" it as wringing it's neck from the get-go. Lugging the engine, as you do when shifting to second so soon, or riding at 50 mph in 6th gear, especially if you don't downshift to accelerate from there, is bad on the engine. If you don't get the rings to seat properly, you could have an oil-burner on your hands.

IMO, you have taken it too easy on the break-in thus far, and need to start getting it into the higher rev ranges. Like someone else said, heat cycles are important for proper break-in, emphasis on a complete cool-down between cycles. Also important is varying the RPM while breaking an engine in. For the next hundred miles or so, bring it up to the 5-7k RPM range. Don't be afraid if you can't reach top gear at that range given the speed limit of the road you are on (cruising at 85 mph, I'm usually in just fourth gear on my inline four). After that, go out and make a few runs on a good, straight, back road, bringing it up close to redline through the first few gears. Come back in, let it cool down *completely* then go out and do it again. Of course, all the safety precautions apply. If you don't feel comfortable at close to redline it in third gear, do it up through second gear, then cruise for a while in a higher gear in the 5-7k range. Stop, turn around, and do it again. After doing these cycles a couple times, you should be well set up for many fun miles to come.

Hope that helps.
 

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I'm shifting at around 4-5k rpms for normal driving around town. But it depends on your engine really.

As far as ragging something out, I think that has more to do with driving something like its not meant to be driven. Engines are made to run high rpm's so I wouldn't considering winding an engine up to be ragging it out.
 

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My Up Shift Points vary, but it's usually above 7,000 or 8,000. But I always downshift right around 6,000 to 6,500. Makes the Pipe sound louder. :D that's also when that popping sounds starts, esp when slowing down without using the brake.

Thank to everyones advice on here, I finally learned how to bleep the engine on downshifting and I do it all the time in the Corners and when slowing down. It really helps with controlling the bike.
 

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another thing

also, I shift way late (not too late though) around traffic for 2 reasons:

1) Shifting late = high revs = noise = awareness

2) High revs means that a throttle chop could be enough to slow me down even before I get to the brakes. Chop in low revs and you've got no "engine braking"

2.5) high revs = closer to powerband aka: ready to rock!
 

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On the VFR400 I could almost ride around town quite happily in 1st. That is sitting about half way up the dial! :) (You'll hit the redline @ about 110kph in 1st). So on the VFR I'd ride around town in 2nd or 3rd.
On the CBR6 I generally sit her in 3rd or 4th around town. In 4th 60kph comes up @ about 3800rpm. Wouldn't want to ride her around at any less than that.

Also from my experience with Katanas (yeah I don't like 'em!), they're not the happiest of machines at high rpms - they don't feel like engine is exactly comfy. The CBR will quite happily live at 10-12k rpm which is where it is pretty much constantly when you're on the track.
 

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A quick thought about riding in an urban setting - I always keep it in a lower gear than normal, to keep the revs up. I'm making plenty of noise so those cages that don't initially see me ('cause they're talking on the phone while screaming at the kids while putting in a CD and drinking coffee) will at least hear me. Just a defensive strategy to consider.
 

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I keep my bike really high in the RPMs to when I'm riding around town, but my Pipe is so loud, sometimes it gets annoying. I haven't had anyone pull over on me yet, but I've had people pull out in front of me. I think they just can't judge my speed very well. So I show them they're number one and rev my engine a lot :D
 
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