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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, my name is Nick from Brooklyn, NY. Nice forum you guys have here. I've bought a brand spanking new 2012 CBR250r though I am a novice at motorcycling. Took MSF, am licensed and insured.

While I know enough to get on a motorcycle and get going, I'm having trouble understanding some concepts, specifically downshifting. Upshifting is more or less no sweat. If the engine is sounding overworked, shift up. ! But to downshift, I have the problem of the bike lurching or having a sudden drop in speed.

"Blipping" the throttle after a downshift (which seems counterintuitive) seems to have helped me somewhat, or at least in, say, 2/10 instances, where I was getting 0/10 positive results before blipping. But I still don't understand how to match engine speed with the lower gear.

The reading I've found doesn't seem to explain it very well, and some people say listen to your motorcycle, but I'm sorry dude, that isn't helping. I don't know what that means, for upshifting yes, listen to the bike, for downshifting what am I listening for? What is the sequence of steps to ensure your bike transitions into lower gear smoothly?
 

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Try letting the clutch out slower on downshifts, also it's helpful to watch how much the rpm's drop every gear change that will give you an idea on how much "blip" you give the throttle to have a smooth transition. I only blip the throttle if I downshift to accelerate faster. While coming to a stop or trying to slow down but don't really need to use the brakes much I downshift to let the engine' "compression braking" slow me I don't blip at all I just let the clutch out slower.
 

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I've only been riding for a year, but from my experience I've learned that for smooth downshifting you just have to slowly release the clutch and then keep a steady throttle. That way you don't slow down too much or too fast.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
"Slowly release the clutch and then keep a steady throttle". So what is the sequence? Because once the clutch is out, it'll do the jerk or the instant slow down, both of which suck and seem dangerous. Where am I putting in steady throttle? while engaging, or throughout the whole episode?

To the second poster, its the compression braking that I don't think I understand at all. Maybe because I haven't felt it, what is an example of the commands your giving that allow you to compression brake (or what I presume could also be called engine braking)?
 

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just keep in the gear your in as your decelerating..when it starts to sound likes it lugging..shift into a lower gear.....shifting too low while going to fast will lock up your back tire momentarily and cause the bike to dangerously lurch which has the potential to make you lose control
 

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All good advise but i think its really a hands on thing. You will get the feel for it you just need a little more time in the saddle. Congrates on the new bike you made a good choice
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks, it does all sound helpful. And indeed, with more time, every day will get me where I'd like to be.

I like that bit about not downshifting until you hear lurching. I'll try some of these tips tonight, and keep at it.
 

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The "instant slowdown" you feel is compression braking that is the engine itself slowing you down by selecting a lower gear. You need to release the clutch slowly yet fast enough the rpm's don't drop too far that is why I said watch how far they drop on an upshift. To shift down smoothly the Rpm's need to be close. Example: you SHOULDN'T ride at 25mph in 3rd pull in the clutch let the Rpm's drop to idle then downshift to 2nd and let the clutch out, that will cause lurching and rapid slowing of the bike as the engine tries to catch up with the gear you selected.
If you let the Rpms drop more than say 3000 on a single gear downshift you need to blip the throttle.
 

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Welcome aboard matey. Try decellerating and don't change down until your revs clock is reading around 3 - 4k. Let your clutch out quickly. You only really need to blip the throttle changing down from 2nd to 1st on this bike, I find. Practice makes perfect, so keep at it. It's like learning to swim, before you know it, you'll be doing it without thinking about it.
 

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Many years ago with my first bike I took it to a long, wide turnout on a fairly steep hill. Went back and forth over about 40 yards at a time when there was little traffic. After about an hour it was all "muscle memory." Bay Area riders probably know the spot - it was on Kings Mountain road about 2/3 of the way up to 35.
 

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also there is no rev limiter on a downshift so i would take advice of just engine braking down until your in the bottom of your rpm range. That bike can lug at really low in 3rd an 4th gear. Ive even started in 3rd gear before messing around to see if it could do it. its a thumper... great bike to learn on.
I have also not been paying attention and went down two gears and dumped the clutch.. skeeeeeerrrr
 

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If you drive a manual car it is similar in that respect. For many stop signs or red lights, I may just hold the clutch in while coasting to a stop. Just remember to click down to first before green or you will look mighty silly.
 
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