How To Change Gears On A Motorcycle? [5 Steps to Change Gears]


How To Change Gears On A Motorcycle

Just bought a motorbike but finding it difficult to understand gear shifting and wondering how to change gears on a motorcycle? Well, changing or shifting gear on a motorbike is a little bit tricky to master if you are a beginner. So, how do you learn it then? Here is the kicker for you. 

There are really effective ways to make you understand the purpose of gear shifting and how to do it like a pro. Being a professional motorcycle rider, I can assure you about some really effective ways to change gears on a motorcycle. So, in this article, I’m going to talk about the gear shifting method in 5 easy steps. Stay tuned. 

5 Easy Steps to Change Motorcycle Gear :

Before you learn the methods of gear shifting, let’s talk about the purpose of the motorbike gear system. A gear lever you would likely find under your left foot in a motorbike works as a maximum speed limiter for a particular region of speed. Say the first gear is applicable when you’re at the speed of 10-20 KMPH. The second gear is for above 20 KMPH. Now let’s go back to the main procedure. 

1. Start Bike Engine And Place First Gear on Motorbike : 

In the first step, you’ll start the bike as usual. That means putting the key in the engine keylock. These days most modern bikes have a self-starter and kick starter to start the engine, you can use any of them. Then come to the following steps :

  • Look in the indicator panel and make sure your bike is in neutral mode. You’ll see an ‘N’ mark in the panel if it’s in neutral mode. 
  • Now you’ll have to put your first gear. If you observe the gear level closely, you’ll find out there is an indicator of a 1-6 limit in the bike body. This is your gear pattern.  Now hold your clutch with your left hand and press your gear lever downward. This will enable the very first gear on your motorbike. 
  • Most Bikes have a one-way gear lever, however, if your bike has a two-way gear changer which means you have a heel-to-toe liver additionally, you can use it just as the front gear. 

2. Run the Bike And Head Towards Second Gear: 

After you put your first gear, it’s time to run the bike on the street and reach the maximum limit of gear 1.  You can shift to the next gear by following these steps. 

  • Make sure you are still holding down the clutch after putting in first gear. Now with your right hand, accelerate the bike gently. 
  • Leave your left hand from the clutch slowly, at the same time throttling or accelerating the bike. Now the bike will start running. Keep an eye on the speed indicator. 
  • For most bikes, the limit of first gear is 15-20 KMPH. There is another way that tells you to change the gear mode. When your bike surpasses the maximum speed of particular gear, it will make uneven noises. That’s the time you’ll shift to the next gear. 
  • Remember the gear pattern on the bike body which was indicating the 1 sign at the bottom, and rest numbers above neutral?  Well, now you’ll shift the bike in 2nd gear. Put your left foot down under the lever and push it upward. That means if you uplift it one click up from the bottom, you’ll turn on the second gear. How to do it in running ways? Just hold the clutch, put the gear up, release the clutch and accelerate the bike again. 
  • Bikes have different gear speed limits according to cc. If you have a 150 cc bike, the maximum speed limit of your second gear is nearly 40 KMPH.

3. Shift Limits Upward And Reach Third Gear: 

Once you have turned the second gear on, keep running your bike and reach the maximum speed limit of these gears. When you cross the limit, the engine will become very noisy. Then you do the following steps : 

  • Just like you put your second gear, do the same thing to shift in third gear. Hold the clutch, push the lever up with your toe and you’ll feel the sound of the lever shifting. Release the clutch and keep accelerating the bike.  This is your third gear mode. 
  • Do the same thing when you reach the maximum speed limit of every gear mode. 

4. Down Shift All Gears for Minimum Speed Limit:

You’ve been told how to reach the maximum number of gear limits. Now you’ll have to learn how to do the exact opposite thing, which means lowering the gear limits and reaching the starting point of 1.  Let’s talk about it briefly. 

  • Assume that you are in the maximum gear level 6. Now you’ll have to slow down the bike. So you are going to apply the same method of clutch and accelerator. The difference you’ll notice this time is pushing the gear lever downward. 
  • Hold your clutch, push the lever down 1 step, and you’ll be in 5th gear, leave the clutch and accelerate the bike. Keep doing these things till you reach the lower limit of gear which is 1.

5. Place Gear Lever in Neutral Position to Stop The Bike: 

This is the final step when you put your gear in neutral to stop the bike from running without holding the brake. Let’s go back to the gear chart again and see it. 1 in the bottom, N in the middle, and the rest of the numbers are up. Here is the trick you need to follow : 

  • The click distance between every gear limit is the same sequentially. This means the distance of 1 and 2 is the same as the distance of 2 and 3. 
  • The trick is the position of the N or neutral button which stands between the number 1 and 2. That means when you need to make the bike neutral from gear limit 2, you’ll have to apply half pressure compared to the pressure you give to reach particular gear limits. Simply push down half pressure to reach a neutral position from 2.  And half pressure again to reach the bottom and start the bike from gear 1 limit. 

That’s it. You’ve successfully learned how to shift gears up and down and the speed limits to change gear positions if you have reached this phrase. Next time when you hit the streets take the help of the guide if you feel confused in any part of gear shifting. 

What Are The Maximum Speed Limits for Every Gear Mode?  

The speed limit of every gear mode differs according to bike cc limit and models. Here is a chart for you to get an idea about gear limits for different bikes :

100 CCGear 1: 10 K.MGear 2: 11-20 K.MGear 3: 30-40 K.M Gear 4: 40 -50 K.M
125 CCGear 1: 10-15 KMGear 2: 20-30 K.MGear 3: 30-40 K.M Gear 4: 40 -60 K.M
150 CCGear 1: 15-20 K.MGear 2: 21-30 K.MGear 3: 40-50 K.M Gear 4: 50 -60 K.MGear 5: 60- Above 

Do I Have to Release Clutch Slowly While Changing Gears on Motorcycles?

The work that the clutch does is disbanding the connection of tires and engine. If you just learned how to ride a bike, it will be good for you to leave the clutch slowly. Leaving the clutch suddenly may move the bike at a speed above your expectation and you may fall from the bike

Can I Shift Gears on a Motorcycle Without the Clutch?

Technically you can do it but it is not recommended for beginners. Also, the method does not work with every bike and in certain situations such as downshifting gears. 

How Much RPM Should You Use to Change Gears On A Motorcycle?

Changing the RPM limit to shift gears depends on the situation and the bike riding style. For instance, if you have low fuel left in your bike a lower RPM is good, on the other hand, a performance ride demands a high RPM which can be up to 5000 RPM or above. 

Should I Leave Motorcycles In Gear When Parked?

When you park your motorcycle at smooth ground levels, it will be ok if you keep it in neutral mode. However, if it is parked in a hilly or slippery area you can stop the bike leaving it in first gear. This will somewhat prevent the bike from moving backward. 

How Do I Know When to Change Gears on A Motorcycle?

Gears have their maximum speed limits. If you cross the maximum speed limit of gear, the bike will start making unusually loud noises. That is the hint for you to shift gears. Also, you can see the speed indicator to understand whether you need to shift gears upwards or downwards. 

Final Words : 

Changing or shifting gears on a motorcycle is easy and also an important step to learn while you are riding a bike. Gear shifting helps you adjust your bike speed according to the situation and keeps your bike running at a smoother rate. Keep practicing and master gear shifting while running the bike in different terrains and situations. 

You may also want to read:

Here Are The Cons Of Engine Braking On A Motorcycle

Are Motorcycles Easier To Maintain Than Cars?

Can You Use Fog Lights As DRL

Ahsan Ullah

Hi guys, This is Ahsan Ullah. I have been riding motorcycle for more than 15 years. In this long period, I have experienced a lot of things about bike riding. Now I am trying to share my experience with you on this website.

Recent Posts