2008 Kawasaki ZZR600 as beginner cycle?
May 15, 2009 at 2:10 pm #18561bigguybbrParticipant
Shifting gears is where the fun for me comes in. I like changing gears to match what i’m trying to do. It helps me feel more conected with the machine so it’s the experience of working it rather than just sitting on it.
There is also that challenge aspect of it. How can I negotiate this stretch of road? Can I take it faster? What can I do to shift smoother, better, faster etc… Now that the muscle memory has kicked in so I think less about the mechanical aspect of it, I can think about when and how while i’m enjoying the twisties, or forget I’m doing it at all when commuting to work.May 15, 2009 at 3:43 pm #18565
The owners manual warns against downshifting at too high an rpm (5000 rpms+) to get extra acceleration, which can lock up the rear wheel. I’m nervous about trying it. Logically you’d think upshifting would give you a boost.May 15, 2009 at 3:48 pm #18566megaspazParticipant
This thread’s full of baffle…
The things you’re reading in the owner’s manual seems to be taken out of context. Going into 6th gear for 35mph? um wat???
Yes you can get rear chatter from downshifting, but only if you don’t match the engine speed with wheel speed. 2 ways to do it safely without getting that chatter. 1. blip the throttle 2. let the clutch out slooooowww.
And what do you mean by logically you’d think upshifting would give you a boost?
baffling…May 15, 2009 at 7:14 pm #18578
I’ve probably taken the owner’s manual a little too literally without the benefit of experience. Generally, if you want to go faster, in addition to giving more throttle, you upshift, to more closely match engine speed with actual speed, I believe. What do you mean by “blip the throttle”? Give it a little goose while slowly letting the clutch out?May 15, 2009 at 7:27 pm #18580
ride more. This is a little like explaining sex to a virgin when there’s a perfectly good mattress handy.
Go out on the streets and ride this weekend. Find some open country roads where you’ve got a little room to play without interfering with traffic. Don’t look at your tach or your speedometer to determine shifting, just shift based on the sound and feel of the machine. You’re on a sport bike, so when you’re in the right gear range you should feel like you have massive amounts of power with lots more room to go. If you don’t, shift up or down as necessary.May 15, 2009 at 9:44 pm #18582EliasParticipant
Your manual is pointing out, that if you downshift at too high an RPM, that RPM will increase after you come out of the shift. So if you are at 5000, and you downshift, you’ll be coming out of the shift at around 8,500. And that’s just fine if your redline is at 14,500. However, I think your over-cautious manual is trying to point out that if you downshift at, let’s say 10,000…that sucker is going to jump to near redline, and it’s going to be a bitch and you might lose it.
When you downshift, you are going to a lower gear. Lower gears accelerate much faster than higher gears (depending on where you are in the RPM range). So if you are cruising along and require instant acceleration, you will downshift, throttle up, and then shift back up after you are at the speed desired. That is what they mean by downshifting to speed up. Slow accelerations are still possible by throttling in the gear you are already in…but why wait?!
Let off the throttle for the split second when you switch gears, don’t gas it. Letting the clutch out slowly will be your biggest ally in learning how to shift. Learning where the gears start to catch is something even experienced riders have to do when they get on a bike they’ve never been on before. Once you get the concept down, you’ll get much more efficient at it. PLP is key here. Dealing with everything that comes with driving on the street ON TOP OF learning how to shift is going to be too much for you to focus on.May 16, 2009 at 12:56 pm #18601
Thanks for the advice Elias. I’ll give it a try! And I’ll stay well below redline!May 16, 2009 at 6:09 pm #18606SantaCruzRiderParticipant
Sounds like you’re sorting it all out — great to hear.
The manual is right that revving higher will reduce mileage. But my approach has always been to accelerate briskly, and use a big chunk of the rev range (maybe 4-9k) before each shift. Then when I reach the speed I’ll be at for a while, I find a gear that puts the revs around 4k. On my bike, that’s a sweet spot for the best mileage, but still being in the power band for decent acceleration.
You’re bike revs a bit higher, so these numbers aren’t absolute — but the general idea is the same.
Good luck.May 17, 2009 at 2:50 am #18613
Would the dyno charts be helpful? Anyone know where to get them?May 17, 2009 at 3:19 pm #18618MunchParticipant
Dyno charts? For what? Riding the bike …learning to control it will do you more gains then trying to decipher a Dyno chart.
The only reason I would seeing for a dyno chart is A) your a “gearhead” that gets his willies off of modifications towards speed and power, you want to get into a pissing contest with your friends about who’s ride can do what.
Which both A & B can be easily argued by what experience is on the bike.
However some higher end bike shops will have some, I know most HD shops around here do.May 17, 2009 at 5:33 pm #18622roborabbitParticipant
Dyno charts won’t be useful mostly because they don’t translate into real world riding well. They leave out factors such as wind resistance, road condition(wet/dry/loose), and etc. Which will affect your riding alot more than knowing exactly at which point its best to shift, in releation to engine speed / tire speed, to the nearest .0001. Plus it will cost money. Why spend several hundred dollars for something that you will have to learn on the road anyway? 30 min. of PLP is worth a hundred dyno results. Dyno results / tests = Theoretical Knowledge, Riding your bike for a few hours = Practical Knowledge. Practical knowledge is always worth more than theoretical.
Plus, riding your bike around is alot more fun than sitting in a waiting room while a bunch of techs do who knows what to your bike.May 18, 2009 at 12:58 pm #18641
Did you get some practice in this weekend, and how did it go?May 18, 2009 at 4:38 pm #18651
My bike’s in the shop. On my way to work on Friday – and I really enjoyed only having to shift into 3rd gear to go 50 mph – the motorcycle started pouring out blue smoke, so I knew I was burning oil. Actually there was a pretty bad oil leak from some spot in the engine (I’m not sure where), and there was a cloud of blue smoke around me when I stopped at a traffic light. So I made the decision to take it to the dealership rather than go into work. At least two guys said that I was lucky to have made it there. There was oil all over the back tire. I now know the dealership has a free pick up service for inoperable motorcycles, which I’ll take advantage of next time. Fortunately, the bike is still under warranty so it should be covered, but I missed a weekend of riding (although it was either wet or windy all weekend). BTW, the guy who donated it to the charity auction I bought it from paid $10,000 in June 2008, and I paid $3,000 for it. That’s why I’m bound and determined to learn how to ride it! I think the hardest thing to adjust to – other than shifting – is the speed. And the buffeting from the wind is unnerving too. That’s why I avoid windy days.May 18, 2009 at 8:00 pm #18663
That’s real bummer news. There are probably several things that could cause that behavior, and some of them might be cheap to fix. Hope you get it back without having to take out a loan.May 20, 2009 at 2:56 am #18728
There was too much oil, and it overflowed. It wasn’t a problem when I was doing lots of shifting and keeping the rpms low. But once I started my new, high rpm regimen, the oil overflowed. Now I know that it has to stay between the two marks. Live and learn. It’ll cost me some money and some riding time, but no harm, no foul!
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