Benefits to downshifting one gear at a time?

Forums ChampU ChampU General Discussion Benefits to downshifting one gear at a time?

  • This topic has 4 replies, 5 voices, and was last updated 4 days ago by William Mahaffy.
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  • #525194

    If I understand correctly, for a street rider, downshifting helps to:
    slow down
    keeps you in proper gear to alter speed if indicated.
    And you should pull clutch, shift, release clutch for each gear you downshift.

    Is there a mechanical/engine reason? I see most riders on street, release throttle, pull clutch, down shift multiple gears then either come to stop in 1st gear or release clutch and start accelerating again.
    So is there a mechanical reason that downshifting thru multiple gears is bad?

    Thank you in advance.

    John Menton

    This article suggests it has more to be with safety/efficiency.


    Alex Hatfield

    The guys are all traveling back from a school (and MotoGP!), but I’ll get you a solid answer hopefully tomorrow!

    Nick Ienatsch

    Hi SJ…Have you ever come to a stop in fourth, fifth or sixth gear? Remember how your transmission didn’t want to easily shift down through the gears to first or neutral? (If not, try it.) A sequential transmission likes to be “reloaded” in each gear, so in the case of coming to a stop in a taller gear, just release the clutch to the friction point, then pull it back in for a buttery-smooth shift…because you loaded the current gear.

    Same deal while rolling. Snapping off single downshifts allows each gear dog to get loaded. Also, we’ve heard of riders losing track of how many times they moved the shifter when doing multiple downshifts with one clutch pull.

    It’s not a huge deal, but again we look to what the best do. Roadracing champions downshift once per clutch pull and as we must realize: If there was a better way to do things (consistently faster), they would do it. Hope that helps, NI

    William Mahaffy

    Here is what I find myself doing on the street, primarily in traffic approaching an intersection/stop:

    As I am concentrating (and telling myself out-loud to keep EyesUp) while looking well in advance for the stale green light, the head-down-texting soccer mom in a mini-van or the two-story diesel-spewing pickup with blackout-tinted windows, I will downshift to 5th and still maintain or slightly decrease speed. I then LIGHTLY tap the rear brake several times just enough to flash my brake light but not really decelerate much more than rolling off throttle. My bike has a lot of engine-braking that I wish was less aggressive but at this point I add in smooth front brake pressure with the weight now shifted forward.
    I then find myself tapping down 2 gears to third and hardly needing a throttle blip to engage.

    As I approach the stop target-point, I do another double down to 1st and do a rear check to see if the texting-Toyota is going to ass-end me and quick-scan for my escape routes, always staying in 1st with clutch close to the friction zone.

    I tried going down through each gear for the stop but have seemed to revert back to this process quite frequently.
    Downshifting during a ride is always one-at-a-time since I am still learning what the best gear/rpm choice is for corner exit.
    Can’t WAIT for ChampStreet to help me get better at this!!

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