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· Bald headed dork
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4,113 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,

Just wanted to get some opinions on this. When you're at a stop light/sign/etc. do you put your bike in N and then wait for the light to change or do you leave it in first the whole time? Some folks think it's better to put the bike in N at stop lights so the clutch plates are less likely to wear grooves in the basket. Others think that the most wear you can put on a tranny is to put it in 1st from N since it clunks into gear. If you look at some clutch baskets you can see small wear marks where the plates have been hitting it. I saw this in an old issue of sport Rider once and wanted to get some opinions.

Please forgive the weak mechanical explanations of what happens when you leave it in N as opposed to 1st. Thanks to all who have some responses.

Scott
 

· Baby Blue
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197 Posts
If its a long light I will put it in N. I like to keep the bike in gear until there is a car behind me(in case the jackass in the car doesnt see me until the last minute and I can pull forward quickly.) When I shift from N to 1st, I walk with it a little so the bike is rolling a little when I shift. This seems to be less stressful on the gearbox(much easier to do on a downslope).

As far as wear on the plates, I really couldnt tell you that. But I really havent heard of a lot of people lossing 1st gear. Mostly 2nd and 3rd.

Hope this helps. My 2 cents.
 

· G Addict
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2,849 Posts
Get it into neutral just before you come to a stop. That way youre not rowing your gear shifter, and putting undue load on your shift forks. If its hard to find neutral on your bike when stopped, lightly blip the throttle,and slightly bump the clutch lever while shifting to neutral. If you cant find neutral while the bike is off, rock it back and forth while trying to get neutral. As far as the asshole behind you that wants to blast you into the intersection, hopefully you keep your mirrors to keep him in sight. Youre better off having at least two cars behind you before relaxing. If youre worried about being in neutral and not being able to take off, check out how fast you can grab a gear and take off. If youre a little new to this, leave it in gear so you have one less thing to worry about and not stall it. Older bikes used to sieze their clutch release bearing if you held in the lever too long. The new bikes are much better, but I feel it still puts undue loads on this bearing. The indents on the clutch basket are put there from banging gears, dropping the clutch, and making unsynchronized shifts while going through the gearbox. Believe it or not when youre hauling ass you can upshift without the clutch, if your timing is right, making it much smoother. (Yes im in neutral at stoplights, depending on the expected duration of the stop.) If we are dragging light to light, you know the liver stays in.
 

· Tap dat...
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14,400 Posts
I tend to agree with the staying in 1st until there's at least one car behind you. Who gives a damn if you have to replace a shifter...replacing your head would be much harder if some jackass behind you isn't paying attention.
Also, I just finished a rider safety course that indicated you should always stay in gear at a stop just in case. To each their own I guess but it makes better sense for safety sake to stay in gear for a bit at least.:thumbup
 

· Señor Citizen
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20,295 Posts
never put it in N cuz you can't "get outa dodge' if the guy in the car behind you has an attack of "S.M.I.D.S.Y"

That'd be

Sorry
Mate
I
Didn't
See
Ya
 

· The Blue One's are FASTER!!!!
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2,467 Posts
I always stay in first gear to aviod an accident. About 1-1/2 months ago it still did not work at a light because some young kid in a Mustang rear-ended me lightly, just did not have the reaction time you think you would have. He changed lanes and did not see me. All I heard was tire screeching and it was all over, no time to react. I am fine, luckly the exhaust was missed because his passenger side front just missed it. His hood was wedged under my undertail, lower bumper on my tire. The bike stayed upright by itself. So all that was damaged was 2 scratches "small" and put a small crease in my rear fender. The average person can't tell anything is wrong. He was sighted for a ticket and I got an insurance claim for $500, more $ for new parts I wan't. I hope this is the only brush with an accident I have. So keep it in first gear and hope for more time, because the car came from sideways and just did not see it.


Ride safe and be aware of your surroundings!!:iamwithst
 

· Tap dat...
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14,400 Posts
Ouch. Glad to hear you came out alright.

That's why I check those mirrors all the time...especially at a stop. Only if my wrists are tired to I even consider putting it in N and it's only for a second. Sure that crash can happen in a second but...it's better to keep your hands relaxed for the rest of the ride methinks.
 

· Speed, it's all relative...
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120 Posts
A neat tip I'm sure I got from this forum.

If in "N"eutral, hold in the clutch, gently rev it 200-300 revs above idle and snick it into gear once it comes back to idle - should be smooth as.

Why it works I don't know - just does, someone more technical got a spin on this ?

Richard
 

· 190 rear section heaven !
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1,999 Posts
OK guys as for the safety issue about whether or not to stay in gear is up to you to decide but if you want to know how to change into first without the CLUNK then read on:

When waiting at the lights in Neutral hold the clutch in for about five to seven seconds and stick it in gear, it will go in as smooth as silk with no jerk or clunk on the bike or the box.........

Parts in the box is normally still spining when you come to a standstill, holding the clutch in lets it stop spinning and therefore it drops in without going bang, if you hold it in for too long it won't go in gear so make sure you give it between 5 and 7 seconds......:rock
 

· My R-1 at track.
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45 Posts
Do "N" quite a bit, mostly to sit up straight and get hands off handlebars for a little bit (o.k., honestly to also get a good look at cute chicks in surrounding cars). Have been trying something different lately, which is to shift back into gear and hold on right foot for takeoff, so you don't do the military shuffle (left, right, left). Still feels wierd taking off this way, though.

I saw (mentioned above) to shift into neutral before stop, but I'm a pretty balanced rider, and I still wobble a little when doing this, so I don't do it - think it looks inexperienced when I wobble to a stop.

Hadn't considered the safety issue a lot, but I figure where would I go if someone was going to rear end me? I'm not going into the intersection or pull in front of another car, etc. I think I'd try to bail on foot? If I could think that fast..... definitely I shift to 1st before light goes green though, because impatient cars behind ya damn near jump into you if you don't get away quickly, I think they believe you will instantly be out in front of them because your on a superbike, but in busy intersections I do the gradeschool thing - look both ways first....
 

· I eat my R1
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140 Posts
Have you ever had this problem:

In a high gear, fifth or sixth, going pretty quick. Then getting on the brakes hard, both front and rear. Then find it difficult to get into lower gears, even after coming to a complete stop. I have to rock it back and forth a bit and rev the engine.
 

· My R-1 at track.
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45 Posts
Typical...

Used to do that when doing stoppies from high speed - my '88 FZR1000 and '91 FZR1000 both did that once in a while, but my '01 R1 doesn't do it. I think it's typical of a lot of motorcycle gearboxes, though. Rocking is the only thing that works, but I didn't have to rev the engine - try just rocking a little and let the clutch grab slightly momentarily (then pull back in) while you try to downshift. If it works for you too, then you won't risk an accidental high rev jump start.
 

· Road Rapist
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239 Posts
yeah, they all do that if you have to stop it really quickly. try just popping the lever out a little bit, just before the biting point and the next gear will drop in, enabling you to get to back down to neutral without looking like an arse.

ill give that 5-7 second thing a try but i dont think ill use it too often as how do you know when the lights are going to change, you might as well have just sat there in gear. might be useful when pulling away from a rest stop or something though.

personally i always knock it into neutral before i stop and then keep a check on the mirrors, i do so much riding in traffic that sitting in gear just is not an option, it would be too tiring. having said that most times at lights i have filtered to the front so i feel pretty safe with a couple of those metal cages to protect my back.
 

· Banned
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970 Posts
Rubch

Shit dude something sounds messed up there bro. Have you tried adjusting the foot shifter?:confused: Maybe even the clutch play in the lever. I honestly have never had this problem with my bike and I beat the living piss out of mine. As for taking your bike out of gear????? well for some reason I do it from time to time. But It's more because of my aching wrists.....Later dudes :finger
 

· My R1 makes me smile.
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70 Posts
R1DER said:
....if you want to know how to change into first without the CLUNK then read on:

When waiting at the lights in Neutral hold the clutch in for about five to seven seconds and stick it in gear, it will go in as smooth as silk with no jerk or clunk on the bike or the box.........

Parts in the box is normally still spining when you come to a standstill, holding the clutch in lets it stop spinning and therefore it drops in without going bang, if you hold it in for too long it won't go in gear so make sure you give it between 5 and 7 seconds......:rock
I have a 99 R1 and have always had the clunk from neutral to 1st. I tried holding the clutch in for a 5 count before selecting 1st and it went in gear so smoothly and quietly I could not believe it was in gear! I let the clutch out very slow just in case it was not in gear properly but it was. :yesnod

Question is how do I stop the clunk from 1st to 2nd which now seems worse (although it probably is not)than the clunk I used to get from neutral to 1st?

I have over 23,000 miles of R1 experience and had about 2 false neutrals before recently trying the 5-7 second trick to stop the clunk from neutral to 1st gear. Since then I have had several false neutrals shifting between 1st and 2nd. It is not so bad going up the gears as you just lose drive for a moment, but it gets a bit scary going down the gears when you have to stop for the lights/junctions near corners and all of a sudden the speed picks up without the engine breaking and you have to use the brakes around the corner. Any ideas what the problem is? Will it go away with time if I stop doing the 5-7 second clutch in to stop the clunk from neutral to 1st gear?

I know hard braking and cornering on roads is not a good idea and I rarely do it, but when you hit neutral sometimes you have no choice but to brake. I forgot to say I am in the UK so :machinegu the road planner for not considering bikes properly is not an option.
 
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