How To Shift Down On A Motorcycle? [A Beginner’s Guide]


How To Shift Down On A Motorcycle

Everyone loves to ride motorcycles. But if you don’t know the controlling system, it may cause severe damage to you as well as your bike. For this reason, you need to know how to shift down on a motorcycle safely so that you can maintain the vehicle when you are riding it.

You must know the parts of your bike to control it properly. If you want to shift down on it, you have to release the throttle of the handle and pull the clutch at the same time. You must follow proper guidelines to do this so that you don’t face any unwanted accidents. 

I am experienced in riding motorcycles. In this article, I will show you the process of shifting down your bike’s gear when you need to. If you are a beginner at riding roadsters, this article will answer all your questions. 

7 Steps You Must Follow To Shift Down On A Motorcycle: Effective Ways

Shifting down on your motorcycle is one of the most important lessons you must learn before you start riding the vehicle on the roads. You need to follow an effective method to execute this skill. Here I will portray the system so that you can do it very easily. So follow the below methods step by step and practice regularly:

Step-1: Get Yourself Prepared

The first and foremost thing about changing the gear of your motorbike downwards is that you have to set your mind. You need to be prepared to do this. First of all, look at the mirror of your bike and make sure that there is no vehicle right behind you. You cannot do this if someone is just behind your bike.

Shifting below on your motorcycle will reduce the pace immediately. If you change the gear of your roadster to a lower degree and there is another vehicle behind you running at full speed, you may have a collision with the vehicle. So, first of all, you have to make sure that you are in a suitable place.

Step-2: Release The Throttle

The method to shift down on your motorcycle starts from this step. You must have a running bike. First of all, you need to release the throttle on the right-sided handle of your roadster. You should be very careful while doing this. Decide it in your mind first, and be confident.

You can use the middle and ring finger or the middle finger alone to loosen the throttle or the gorge of your bike, whatever you may call it. Again, I must tell you that if you release it at one, it will force you to stop the vehicle immediately. This will cause a serious accident.

Step-3: Keep The Brakes Down

When you release the throttle with the fingers of your right hand, you also have to pull off the brakes simultaneously. Keeping the brakes below will make your running vehicle slow and let you change the gear easily. As a result, you will feel comfortable while shifting down on your motorbike. 

Before you keep the brakes below, you must know where the brakes are placed on the frame of your roadster. Sometimes, you may find them on the lower part of the frame, but most of the time, they are placed near the handlebars to reach them easily.

Step-4: Pull The Clutch

You need to pull the clutch placed on the left-side handlebar of your roadster. When you are releasing the throttle with the fingers of your right hand, you must pull off the clutch with the fingers of your left hand at the same time. That means you have to do three things simultaneously with your bike.

Most of the time, the clutch is situated on the left handlebar of your motorcycle. I prefer using the index finger and the middle finger of the wrist of your left hand to pull off the clutch. Using the index finger will give you the extra advantage of controlling the bike with your other fingers.

Step-5: Shift In A Lower Gear

The most crucial step of shifting down on your bike is changing the gear in a lower stage from the upper one. You have to use your right foot to do the job most of the time. Just flick the device up and place it below with the toe. This particular portion is also the main switch of turning the accelerator down.

Usually, the manufacturers place the gear-changing device on the lower part of the frame of your motorcycle. That means you have to use your right foot very carefully to control this mechanism. If you do not transfer the gear to a lower degree, you will never be able to shift below on your vehicle.

Step-6: Loosen The Clutch

When you have transferred the accelerating gear of your running motorcycle to a lower degree, you have done the basic parts of shifting down on it. At this step, you need to loosen the clutch. In the meantime, you had to pull down the device and grab it tightly to the handlebar.

You need to remember here that you must release the clutch slowly. Carefully open the index finger or the middle finger or both of them and release the clutch. But always put those fingers described above on the clutch when riding your roadster.

Step-7: Apply A Newer Throttle

After releasing your bike’s clutch, you need to apply a newer throttle to your vehicle. So, grab the gorge with all the fingers of your right hand and then turn it over again. Don’t rush in this process also. Try to keep the throttle on very carefully and slowly. And never apply a higher degree of throttle to your running vehicle if you are a beginner.

5 Effective Tips You Can Follow To Shift Down On A Motorcycle Safely

If you are a beginner at riding bikes and want to learn how to shift down on a motorcycle, you must practice a lot. The following tips will help you to practice more efficiently and make the learning process more comfortable for you. So let’s have a glance at them:

Tip-1: Wear Protective Gears

Remember to put on your safety gear whenever you are riding your motorcycle. Whenever you may ride it, never forget to wear a helmet. Try to put on a pair of hand gloves, specially made for riding roadsters. It will be better to manage a pair of kneepads and put them on your knees. Try to wear a set of transparent goggles on your eyes.

Tip-2: Hold The Clutch

You must hold the clutch always while driving the motorbike. It is not like when you need to pull the clutch, and you will only hold them for the time being. Rather, you will have to keep the index finger and the middle finger of your left hand on the clutch. This habit will allow you to change the gear at a lower degree immediately when you need to do that.

Tip-3: Use Your Fingers

In the beginning, you should always grab the throttle, the gorge, and the clutch of your motorbike with your thumb. But if you practice using your fingers to grab them, it will help you position the fingers quickly while accurately transferring below the acceleration. You will need the index and middle finger to do this. 

Tip-4: Keep It Slow

Always try to keep everything slow but steady. Try to change the stages slowly but maintain a rhythm in the process. You are going to use both your hands and legs to control the vehicle. So, if you do not keep it slow, you will lose your monitoring power over the vehicle. If you lose power, it will result in an accident and injure yourself.

Tip-5: Read The RPM

Try to keep an on the tachometer placed on the center part of the handlebar of your roadster. The tachometer will help you to read the RPM of the engine. You must shift down on the vehicle only when the RPM is low. So, turn off the speed of your running vehicle and keep the RPM low, then change the gear.

5 Common Mistakes Can Happen While Shifting Down On A Motorcycle

Shifting down on a motorbike is an easy task that everyone can do perfectly. But you must avoid some common mistakes to enjoy a hassle-free and smooth driving experience with your bike. The following discussion will tell you what you should avoid while shifting below on a motorcycle. 

1. Try Not To Rush:

You should never rush to change the stages of your running bike. This might create a disturbing situation in the default function of the vehicle. Drive the bike slowly when you need to turn over an angle on the road. This will decrease the movement of the shafts in the engine and help you shift down on your motorbike.  

2. Do Not Get Nervous:

You must remember that you have to conduct your different body parts simultaneously to change the stages of your motorbike when you are driving it. So, if you get nervous and panicked, your limbs will not respond accordingly. As a result, you might lose control of your bike and fall. So, try to be relaxed and calm because you are only driving a motorcycle, not an airplane. 

3. Never Miss The Gears:

You should keep your attention on the gears of the roadster. Calculate the number of changes in the acceleration and count the gear. Always remember to keep your bike’s gear lower when you want to change the direction of the vehicle and transfer the acceleration. Try to match the engine’s revs by reading the tachometer of your roadster.

4. Avoid Sliding Anything:

Avoid sliding any part or portion of the motorbike from the grip of your hand. Sometimes, due to your unconsciousness, you may loosen the grip of your fingers, and the clutch or the throttle will not be properly managed. If something like this happens, you will fail to shift below the bike, and it won’t work accurately. 

5. Do Not Lose Control:

Losing control over the bike may result in a severe accident. You may injure yourself horribly and damage the motorcycle. So, when you concentrate on transferring the acceleration, you need to focus on your balance. Otherwise, your lower changed bike can fall easily on yourself. So don’t slip the grab and never loosen the throttle unintentionally.

Related Questions:

When Should You Shift Down On A Motorcycle?

If you want to drive your motorbike frequently, you must know when and why you should shift down on your vehicle. Firstly, when you want to stop running, bike slowly. Sometimes, a hard brake can cause damage to your roadster and in this case, before stopping it, you have to change the acceleration. 

Secondly, when you are turning in the direction of your running roadster, you need to transfer the acceleration to a lower degree. It helps you to turn immediately in a smoother way. Again, if you want a slower riding experience, you may need to keep your roadster downshifted.

Why Is It Hard To Downshift A Motorcycle?

Downshifting a motorcycle is a complicated process because you need to use both your hands and your legs to do this. You have to exercise by pulling up the clutch, releasing the throttle, and changing the gear of the running vehicle at the same time. You must know your bike very well before doing these.

Additionally, you have to be confident enough to complete this task. You need to practice a lot to be a skilled operator in this sector. Therefore, if you are a beginner and you have not practiced enough, it will be a hard nut to crack for you to downshift your roadster.

Why Is 1st Gear Down On A Motorcycle?

The first gear of your roadster is always down because it ensures your ultimate safety while driving it. Look, it is quite natural for anyone to make any mistake when they are in the driving seat of the bike. So if you unintentionally press the acceleration to a higher degree, you can lose your control.

For this reason, the first gear is always in a lower motion so that even if you press the gear, it won’t change to the second accelerator. It almost works like a neutral option for your vehicle. This function helps you to stop and stand your running vehicle very smoothly.

Do You Have To Use The Clutch To Downshift On A Bike? 

You have to use the clutch of your roadster to downshift it. To be honest, you must need the help of the clutch situated on the left handlebar of your roadster. You need to always keep your index finger and middle finger of your left hand on the clutch. When you want to change the stage, you have to pull them. 

First of all, release the throttle, keep your vehicle’s brakes straight, and then you have to pull the clutch. So using the clutch is one of the basic parts of changing the acceleration of your roadster to a lower degree. But if you want to transfer the stage to a higher degree you don’t need the help of the clutch.

Do You Have To Blip The Throttle When Downshifting A Motorcycle?

If you are a beginner at riding two-wheeler vehicles, you don’t have to blip the throttle when you are downshifting it. But when you become habituated with this function, you can blip the gorge of your roadster and downshift it. Blipping an active engine needs more practice.

Riders on the street always blip when they change the acceleration system of their bike while driving it because it makes the downshifting process much more manageable. You need to maintain great timing to attain this blipping skill. Once you can do this blipping perfectly, you will love to do this more and more.

What Happens If You Downshift A Bike Without Clutch?

If you downshift a motorbike without using the clutch, it will eventually reduce the ability of the gear of the vehicle. Using the clutch while downshifting the roadster may also result in damaging the engine’s piston. It may also reduce the capability of the rear wheel of your roadster.

Upshifting the motorbike does not require you to pull the clutch. But you must use them to change the stage to a lower degree. Otherwise, day by day, the accelerator will face erosion, and the engine’s piston won’t work properly. Therefore, if you are a beginner, you should use the clutch.

What Rpm Should You Downshift A Motorcycle?

You should downshift a motorbike only when the RPM is around 1200 to 2000. But this may vary from bike to bike. It depends on the size and shape of the roadster and also on the functionality of the engine. The tachometer on the center part of the handlebar will show you this reading.

Always keep an eye on the tachometer of your vehicle before downshifting it. You must have the ability to time the tune and the blipping amount. Then you can increase the revs and downshift your bike when it is in a perfect situation. Downshifting without suitable RPM can damage the engine and reduce its lifespan.

Should You Rev Match When Downshifting A Motorcycle?

It is better to rev-match when you want to change the stage of your active motorcycle and shift down on it. Downshifting the roadster without a rev match can harm the vehicle’s engine. It creates unwanted stains in the engine when the shafts bounce up and down. 

Moreover, if you downshift the bike frequently without matching the revs, the shafts inside the engine may lurch to run and bog down in a place. Eventually, these mismatching revs may damage the entire engine and make it unable to provide your motorcycle with enough energy and power.

Final Thoughts:

You must accurately follow the guidelines mentioned above to shift down on a motorcycle in a perfect way. If you want to drive the roadster on a highway, you will face a lot of uncertain situations where you have to operate the downshifting function. Apply the described method step by step, and you will be habituated soon. 

However, I have shared my experience related to the shifting down process of any motorbike. If you have any questions and confusion regarding this issue, hopefully, this article makes everything clear for you. Take care of your bike. Happy riding!

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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.

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