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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Am I crazy, or does anyone else have anxiety or panic about going from N to 1st when stopped? LOL

Maybe it is just me but I seem to struggle getting the bike into 1st from N when say at a stop light. And then I panic since I am holding people up which makes things even worse. It seems I have to rock the bike a little sometimes.. is this normal? Some trick I am not aware of? When I come to a stop I am already down to 1st well before completely stopping.
 

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Actually I dont even use N most of the times... I just hold the clutch all the time in front of a stop light.

What I don't get is if you refer to taking off​ instead of getting the bike into first gear. Because getting it into first is simple as f***. You just press the lever down. That's it.
If you refer to not stalling the bike my advise is to let the clutch lever slowly go till you feel a vibration. Wait for the other stopping light to get red and start the process. When yours turns green afterwards you just have to accelerate and move the clutch lever a millimeter further than the point where the vibration started.

English is not my native language so I hope you get what I meant.

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I mostly just hold the clutch in as well while stopped these days.. right, you would think tap down and 1st every time no issues.. but not mine. Again, it is like I have to rock the bike a little or try a few times to get it into gear. It is weird but also not consistent. Sometimes in goes right into 1st without issue. My buddy rides a Gixxer 600 and he said he has never had any issues with his. So not sure if it us me, inexperience, the R3 or maybe both :)
 

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Another thing that sometimes happens to my bike is when I am close to stopping and shift down through all the gears it won't enter into the 2nd or 1st. The dash will show nothing. Like literally nothing. I than have to move the bik forward a few cm to enter the last few gears. It wont happen if you shift down with enough speed or at least a few meters to roll.
Also try to properly down shift with your foot. If you only push the letter down, but not let it get into the neutral position before shifting the next gear, it won't downshift.


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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I almost always downshift through the gears to stop then down to 1st before a complete stop. I am never in a higher gear (over 2nd) under 20mph.
 

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Completely normal. Sometimes the gear doesn't engage and that slight roll will engage it. Happens with every bike I've been on. Just make sure you actually engage 1st before the stop. A little engine braking is good for the soul anyhow. Like the others have said, just down shift through the gears as you decelerate and then be in 1st the entire time at the light. When it goes green, slowly release the clutch lever and away you go. Don't be nervous, if the guy behind you has to wait an extra second so be it. They can wait.
 

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Are your clutch cables tight enough? You should have a bit of play room before the clutch engages. Can't think of why else it would be hard to go into first.. Does the bike jerk at all when you click into first?

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It's actually pretty normal, here's the trick though. Go all the way down to 1st, after you have come to a complete stop go to neutral - keep on the brake, if the bike doesn't move, the parts won't rotate and you'll hit 1st every time back from neutral.

Of course only go to N after it's safe to do so :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ok cool.. cable seems fine no jerking or lurching when I click into first.
Nice tip Omega, thanks.. I only care about going into neutral periodically on longer rides to rest my hand so not at every stop.
 

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It's actually pretty normal, here's the trick though. Go all the way down to 1st, after you have come to a complete stop go to neutral - keep on the brake, if the bike doesn't move, the parts won't rotate and you'll hit 1st every time back from neutral.

Of course only go to N after it's safe to do so :)
This is what I do.

I generally don't downshift into 1st until <20km/h though and even then I keep the clutch pulled in once <30km/h unless I know traffic is about to get moving or I know I'll be reaccelerating (for example, a gap in the roundabout)
 

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2 suggestions, one I haven't tried.

1. Slightly let the clutch out and see if you can get it into 1st gear. I don't know, people have mentioned this before, I haven't tried it yet. No clue if that works.

2. Ride off from second gear. Seriously. Give it more gas than usual before engaging clutch.
 

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By the way if you are very sensitive with the clutch i noticed you can even start from 2nd. obviously not with a pull like with the first, but for the lazy - it works :D

And yea, playing slightly with the clutch when you switched from N to 1 but the gear didnt lock, will help. Once it goes in, youll see the "1" in the dash instruments
 

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This comes up so much, they should teach this with the MSF class.
The instructor I had indeed told the class about it (guessing it was her own idea to give this info). But she was freaking hardcore, only 4 people out of 12 passed (she "failed" and walked a girl out after the first freaking exercise). My wife on the other hand got the "pass everyone who is breathing" instructor. Which is good for her I guess because otherwise she would failed. Hard. Over and over.
 

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You need to come to a complete stop in 1st gear before popping the bike in N and then don't roll around too much before getting back into 1st. It's just the nature of any motorcycle transmission.
You should be in 1st every time you come to a stop. They teach this to us in MSF for a reason. Now, in crazy traffic, I admit that my left hand gets tired after a long while. In those instances, I do pop the bike into N while at long stop lights, just to rest my hand. Once I know traffic is about to start moving again, I pull the clutch lever and pop it right into 1st... never an issue.

Never roll to a stop in N (or any other higher gear). If you do find yourself having a problem getting back into 1st, there's a few quick tricks to try.
1) roll the bike forward or backward a bit and the bike should pop into gear.
2) very slightly release the clutch lever while pushing down on the shift lever until it pops into gear
 

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Am I crazy, or does anyone else have anxiety or panic about going from N to 1st when stopped? LOL

Maybe it is just me but I seem to struggle getting the bike into 1st from N when say at a stop light. And then I panic since I am holding people up which makes things even worse. It seems I have to rock the bike a little sometimes.. is this normal? Some trick I am not aware of? When I come to a stop I am already down to 1st well before completely stopping.
It's good to know I'm not the only one lol
I was ok at first, but then I had the same exact moment you had; I held up traffic too because I couldn't engage into 1st from neutral. Thankfully I was riding with someone, and he helped me out asap, only to find out I had to rock the bike in order for it to engage. I asked him and a few others if that really is normal, and they said it honestly isn't uncommon.
Now ever since that happened, I have a sense of panic every time. :|
 

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You should always be in 1st before coming to a stop and once at a stop, you should stay there. If there is ever an "Oh Sh!t" moment and you need to bolt quickly, you need to be in 1st to do it.
If you are in traffic and want to rest your hand, be at a complete stop and in 1st before popping it into N. This way, it's easy to get back into 1st when you're ready to start moving again.

One of the MSF test sections is coming to a quick stop from 2nd and they check to ensure you downshifted back to 1st. There's a very important safety reason for this and if you're not in the practice of stopping this way, you're just plain doing it wrong. Practice and better habits will become second nature.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
These tips have helped me. You guys are the best. Keeping on the brake in 1st right before and the entire time while stopped.. and when I have trouble slightly rolling the bike backwards seems to work every time. If not, F'em they can wait. LOL. :)

The first time I panicked I actually walked the bike to the side of the road with clutch in.. I really messed myself because I think I stopped in 3rd or 4th.. it was my maiden voyage though so I get a pass!

I am curious.. is this a sport bike thing or do the cruisers have the same issues? I see way more cruisers sitting at light in N than I do any other bikes. Maybe just because there are so many more of them.
 

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I am curious.. is this a sport bike thing or do the cruisers have the same issues? I see way more cruisers sitting at light in N than I do any other bikes. Maybe just because there are so many more of them.
It's the same with all motorcycles... it's the nature of the transmission and how the gears sync up. This is why it's taught in MSF courses. It's not specific to one type so teaching the best practice will help all riders regardless of the type of bike they eventually choose to own.
 
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