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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just picked up my R3 on Thursday and having a blast. This is my first motorcycle and the only previous bike I rode was a 1969 BSA 441 Victor for a month or so.

My first issue I had was sometimes when shifting from first to second Ill end up in neutral... I am not sure if I am letting go of the clutch too quickly or just not activating the shifter far enough? Any advice?

Second issue has to do with downshifting, when using the engine to slow down and I want to downshift, lets say sub 4k RPM, sometimes I will hear a squeal, not sure if its the tire or clutch or what??? I am guessing I am letting the clutch out too fast? I don't know if I should be letting the clutch out slower and letting it slip a little first or if I should try to rev match the RPM, but I find this more difficult due to normally using the front brake during this time.

I have yet to try any downshifting at higher RPM's until I can figure out what I am doing wrong.
 

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For your first issue, I had that happen today, simply not moving the shifter far enough.

For your second issue, its just the tires trying to match your engine speed. A combination of rev matching AND slipping the clutch a little will help. Definitely slip the clutch when engine breaking to help the engine and tires match their respective speeds.
 

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Little trick I found out, if you are engine braking. Apply a slight amount of throttle and hold while you down shift quickly and it is smooth as butter. As for neutral, press and hold the shifter while you slip the clutch.
 

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Motorcycles have extreme engine braking power. You need to learn to blip the throttle before engaging the gear on downshift.
 

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You'll learn how to shift 1 to 2 and not hit neutral, but it happens from time to time on just about any bike.


The 'squeal' is your tire as mentioned - 'blip', or provide momentary throttle just before downshift, let out clutch lever slowly (don't dump the clutch) - this will help with smoother downshifts. What you are trying to do is match engine speed between higher gear (lower revs) and lower gear (higher revs) - again, you'll learn with some experience and a little experimentation until it becomes second nature.
 

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Lot of good info on here for you already.... Another thing to think about is when you are slowing down whether with engine braking and or with front brakes applied, the bike will lean forward. This results in the rear tire being light on the asphalt, which also means any resistance from rear brakes or downshifting and letting the clutch out can result in locking up the rear tire whether a short one or longer one.


Rev-matching, blipping throttle...... takes a little practice but definitely rewarding whether you ride in the street or on the track. It's also very noticeable to a passenger who has ridden with people that don't do this.... vs someone that does this on a regular basis.


As far as shifting into neutral instead of 2nd at times.... most likely just more seat time to avoid it almost altogether, but you may want to post up the shift knuckle assembly, if it's off slightly, could definitely make it more interesting trying to get solid shifts all the time.


Last piece... if you do rev-match, there is no need to slip the clutch.
 

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All good info for ya. One more thing to consider: your foot shift lever height is adjustable. Your foot may be at an uncomfortable angle. Being fairly new to riding, you may not recognize the awkward position of your foot yet. Perhaps raising (or maybe even lowering) the shift lever will help you to feel more comfortable and be able to fully engage each gear...
 

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Maybe the link being adjusted down further may help if it always happens.
 

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Yeah, what he said. That's what I meant. I keep forgetting my shift pattern is opposite from the majority of riders. My bad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for all the reply. I also was not aware that the shifter was adjustable. Ill be adjusting that and the rear preload asap.
 

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Tip: on your shift linkage rod, the jam nuts on each end are threaded oppositely, so they will both turn the same direction as each other. To be clear, when you put your wrench on it, you will turn up to loosen or tighten both ends and turn down to do the opposite (loosen or tighten) on both ends. Sorry, off the top of my head I can't remember which direction loosens and which direction tightens.
 
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