February 11, 2010 at 10:58 pm #3702Gary856Participant
I just started playing with clutchless upshift. It felt pretty weird since I’m deeply ingrained with the clutch-shift method. So far it seems to me in the lower gears (1st -2nd and 2rd-3rd)) clutchless upshifts tend to be abrupt, while higher gear upshifts can be very smooth. I wonder why this seemingly basic shifting technique isn’t more widely taught and known.February 12, 2010 at 1:55 pm #24526eternal05Participant
A clutchless shift is faster, and potentially smoother, than a clutched shift, but that’s only if you do it right. It might be important if you’re trying to shave off some lost time on your local track’s main straight.
I think you could argue that it’s easier to bungle a clutchless shift than it is a clutched shift, and that the consequences are potentially greater. It’s also the subject of a lot of controversy, regardless of what that SR article said. I know a fair number of racers who don’t shift clutchless. The rest have quickshift kits.
Personally, I actually don’t shift clutchless at the track. It’s not because I think using the clutch is better or faster; I just don’t like not using it. Since I’m not trying to shave 0.05 seconds off my lap time, I could care less. What I do, however, is exactly as fast as a clutchless shift, and is exactly the same in every way except that, as I click up, I slip the clutch for just a second. I don’t pull it in all the way. I just use two fingers to pull the clutch into the beginning of the friction zone, just enough to ease up tension on the transmission enough to shift. This way I don’t have to get off the gas quite as much. The reason I can claim its “just as fast” is that the important delay in shifting is the gap between being on power and off. When I shift, the limiting factor for speed is my ability to quickly get on and off the throttle, not my clutch fingers. Whatever. I’m not claiming my way is better.February 12, 2010 at 8:05 pm #24531Gary856Participant
I’m a fairly new street rider, as I suspect most people visiting this site are. I’m not interested in shaving off a fraction of a second like track riders do. While reference to track/race techniques is often useful, my posts are generally focused on how to apply the techniques for street riding.
I did a quick web search on clutchless shifting, read many dozens of posts on this, and now understand it better. The reason that 1-2 shift tends to be abrupt is because of the huge gear ratio jump from 1-2. For this reason, even for people who regularly do clutchless upshifts, many still use the clutch for 1-2 shifts. As you get into the higher gears, the gear ratio different between gears becomes smaller and smaller, and that allows clutless upshifts to be very smooth. To me, 2-3 clutchless shifts are still kind of abrupt, but from 3-4 and above, it’s so smooth, it feels like throwing a light switch with a weak spring. All it takes is a light nudge of the shifter to “roll” into a higher gear. Also, while the technique is the same, the feel on different bikes is different, as expected.
To me, playing with clutchless shifting has nothing to do with necessity. Also, it’s not hard, just different. It’s just fun to learn a new technique, doing something I didn’t know was possible before. There are people who do clutchless upshift AND downshift. There are people who do this (or don’t) on the streets, on the tracks, in the dirt, etc. Well, do a web search and educate yourself if you’re interested to know more.
WARNING (especially to new riders): Don’t try this in traffic at first. I was playing with the 1-2 clutchless upshift on an on ramp, and got into neutral by accidnt (didn’t apply enough upward pressure on the shifter). Not good with cars accelerating up to speed behind me…
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.