What gear should I be in? n00b rider question.

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What gear should I be in? n00b rider question.

Postby Stereordinary » 01 Sep 2020, 19:25

Just like the thread title states, I am extremely green to riding, and find gear shifting to be a bit confusing right now. I have the owner’s manual, but frankly can’t make sense of the table. Am I really supposed to be in sixth by the time I hit 35mph? That’s seems like a lot of shifting! I know there’s a general “listen to your engine” rule, and each bike might be a little different. But does anybody have a basic guideline to go by? Go easy on me please, I’m trying to learn this the right way.
Stereordinary
 
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Re: What gear should I be in? n00b rider question.

Postby Freddy » 02 Sep 2020, 02:09

Stereordinary wrote:Just like the thread title states, I am extremely green to riding, and find gear shifting to be a bit confusing right now. I have the owner’s manual, but frankly can’t make sense of the table. Am I really supposed to be in sixth by the time I hit 35mph? That’s seems like a lot of shifting! I know there’s a general “listen to your engine” rule, and each bike might be a little different. But does anybody have a basic guideline to go by? Go easy on me please, I’m trying to learn this the right way.


You'll never find the answer your looking for in a book. At the same speed, are you going up hill, along the flat, downhill? Are you sitting behind a car wanting to overtake at the first opportunity? In each of those situation the 'correct' gear to be in may be different.

The "listen to the engine" is the only correct answer. Well its more "feel" the engine. The bike will tell you when its sluggish and struggling, especially when you open the throttle.

You don't say what model bike your have, but as you're new to riding I'll guess its one of the smaller capacity models (upon second reading you mention 6th gear so that rules out a 750). As a general rule, these smaller capacity older design in-line 4 cylinder motors only run sweetly when the revs are up a bit. So as a guideline, when in doubt, change down and keep the revs up. Inline 4's are designed and meant to rev, you won't hurt anything keeping the revs up in the middle rev range or even higher. You'll be doing the engine a favor. If you wanted a low revving motorcycle you should have bought a Harley.
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Re: What gear should I be in? n00b rider question.

Postby Freddy » 02 Sep 2020, 05:25

Rather than just a theoretical answer, try the following to figure it out for yourself.

Find some quite safe stretch of road. Change into say 3 or 4th gear and then ride experimenting using the throttle accelerating up and down in that one gear using the near full rev range. Accelerate hard sometimes from low revs, accelerate relatively slowly at other times.

While doing this take note of how the bike responds and at what rev range it is at. Obviously don't get too fixated on looking at the tachometer.

You should be able to observe a rev range when the bike 'wants to go'. It's happy and says to you 'lets do this bud', not 'do I really have too'. That's the rev range you want to ride around most of the time. Change gears to stay in that rev range (other than say just lazily floating along in traffic). On my 750 that will be around the 4000 rpm mark.

P.S. And learn to to rev match and downshift if not already. You want to try and be in the correct gear before that corner, not changing down as you want to accelerate out.
Freddy
 
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Location: Sydney Australia

Re: What gear should I be in? n00b rider question.

Postby Freddy » 02 Sep 2020, 08:16

Just returned from a ride, thinking if around the 4000 rpm rev range was right. Yep, 90% of the time I was between 3000 and 5000 rpm.

Won't tell you the other 10% of the time (and it was more than 10% spent on the free local public race track known locally as the Nasho). Just on dark its very quite and the 'track officials' have long since packed up and gone home.

https://eatsleepride.com/c/28818/nasho_sydneys_best_motorcycle_road_-_royal_national_park_australia
Freddy
 
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