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post #1 of 25 Old Apr 30th, 2007, 9:45 am Thread Starter
 
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Clutchless upshifting

Does anyone make a practice of clutchless upshifting? I have read in magazine articles, and in Keith Code's "Twist of the Wrist", that clutchless upshifting:
(1) allows for faster, more consistent shifts without having to balance throttle and clutch release
(2) does not hurt the transmission if done correctly

On Saturday I did this myself for the first time and practiced it throughout my ride. I do not have the "art" down but, when I found the right combination of upward pressure on the shifter with the correct mix of off-throttle -> on throttle the shift was quick, smooth and precise and caused grins to break out on my face.

Anyone have any knowledge or experience that they would share on this? I am most concerned about damage caused by the "trial and error method" of finding the correct mix on my 12RT.

Thanks,
Gus
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post #2 of 25 Old Apr 30th, 2007, 9:54 am
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On my 12GS I can do the clutchless shift but I've found that pulling in the lever just tiny bit (1/4 inch maybe) makes for a VERY quick shift...

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post #3 of 25 Old Apr 30th, 2007, 9:54 am
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The non-synchronized transmissions typically used in motorcycles and other racing vehicles, are very receptive to this type of shifting.

I don't normally ride the LT this way, but on the few occcasions when riding very hard from corner to corner it's no clutch time.

The really only key is to keep the rpm's up. On the LT I'm typically somewhere near redline.

Also, use the clutch for downshifts. It can be nudged down, but isn't really a good practice except in the case of losing a clutch during a competition event.

HTH

John

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post #4 of 25 Old Apr 30th, 2007, 10:21 am Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tedhudson
On my 12GS I can do the clutchless shift but I've found that pulling in the lever just tiny bit (1/4 inch maybe) makes for a VERY quick shift...

With or without the "off throttle-on throttle" maneuver?
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post #5 of 25 Old Apr 30th, 2007, 10:26 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nodakgus
With or without the "off throttle-on throttle" maneuver?
Yes, you don't have to roll off the throttle much at all...

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post #6 of 25 Old Apr 30th, 2007, 11:28 am
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The quick wrist is just to take the pressure off the trans. Hard acceleration put torque on gears one way hard deceration puts torque on the trans the other way what your trying to do is to take the load off at the shift point. To practice just ride around and twist the throttle open and let the motor wind out slowing until it stops pulling then put pressure on the shifter you will feel it start to move the back off on the throttle just slightly then shift as soon as you shift roll the throttle back on smoothly, you can do this up shifting and down shifting just take practice and this type of practice will help your timming and make you smooth.

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post #7 of 25 Old Apr 30th, 2007, 12:20 pm
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I have a 2001 LT with 24000 miles and use this method for shifting on a pretty frequent basis. I have found that clutchless upshifting around the 3000 RPM range works well for me.
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post #8 of 25 Old Apr 30th, 2007, 12:39 pm
 
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I never use the clutch upshifting, whether riding hard or easy, it does not have to be redlined. Once you get into the habit it is very smoth, much smother than using the clutch.
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post #9 of 25 Old Apr 30th, 2007, 7:55 pm
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This is so far off my radar. It's hard to imagine that this is possible, let alone not a transmission killer. Why is that you can do this on a m/c but not in a manual transmission car?

John, next time we ride together you gotta show me this!

Howard Schisler
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post #10 of 25 Old Apr 30th, 2007, 9:01 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hschisler
This is so far off my radar. It's hard to imagine that this is possible, let alone not a transmission killer. Why is that you can do this on a m/c but not in a manual transmission car?

John, next time we ride together you gotta show me this!
Well, you can in a synchro mesh car transmission, but depending on the vehicle the shift lever really has to be eased into a gear to avoid shearing the tips off the synchro rings.

Many standard 4 wheel vehicles are synchronized to ensure a positive, smooth gear selection without clunkiness by those not so aware of the engine speed and clutch handling. To save weight and complexity, more aggressive trannies stick with just dogs and cogs to engage each gear.

A standard gear has dogs and cogs that can be about 1/4" wide, and very durable. A synchro tranny will have the dogs and cogs but will add synchro rings that look like shark teeth in between each gear. Envisioning that arrangement you can see how sharp pointed teeth can be more easily damaged.

Howard, for your first try, choose to go clutchless between 2nd and 3rd. I would accelerate quickly to about 4000 then just lift the gear lever and ever so slightly, but quickly, back off the throttle and back on. Click, your in 3rd and accelerating hard.

Why you ask? To me the real benefit of clutchless shifting, is quickness. Don't really need to be quick around town so I don't. Also, if not perfect, which to me is harder at real low rpm's, the bike will lurch about. Others may feel not using the clutch saves slave cylinders, throwout bearings, clutch plates, etc. Probably to a point, but I wouldn't know.

I wouldn't worry about it too much.

See ya.

John

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post #11 of 25 Old Apr 30th, 2007, 9:29 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hschisler
This is so far off my radar. It's hard to imagine that this is possible, let alone not a transmission killer. Why is that you can do this on a m/c but not in a manual transmission car?

John, next time we ride together you gotta show me this!
Many years ago, I drove a '64 VW bug about 60 miles after the clutch cable snapped in two. When I had to stop, I would cut the motor off and hit the starter in gear to get going again, then shift up and down without the clutch.

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post #12 of 25 Old Apr 30th, 2007, 9:37 pm
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Ive been doing clutchless upshifting as a regular practice for the last 10yrs or so on differing bikes. The only bike that didnt seen to like it very much, so I didnt do it, was my big twin harley. All of the BMW's Ive owned oilhead twins, and k bikes all shifted so well that it has become a regular practice of mine. My mechanic has never mentioned any undue tranny wear, and I never told him I do this, so I dont think it hurts the tranny at all. My main reason for doing this is simple. Once you get used to it your shifts are so seamless and smooth you'll not want to ride any other way.

Never could grasp doing it on the downshift, so I dont

Tom
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post #13 of 25 Old Apr 30th, 2007, 9:47 pm
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I do not think that clutchless shifting is a good idea.

Yes, racers do it because it does speed up the shifting process and microseconds do count for them. Of course, racers do not care about cost or longevity of gearboxes.

Yes, off-roaders do it. I do it: I feel much more comfortable shifting on a dirtbike without clutch, as it minimizes the time I am unstable without propulsion. On the other hand, my dirt bikes accrue low mileage compared to the road machines. Also, inertia of the smaller engine/gearbox, lighter bike and tires that easily slip do not stress the system so much during shift.

But no, I would not do that routinely on my road bike. For occasional playful fun or during emergency, maybe, but not as a matter of routine.

In a clutchless shift, the engine and gears have to change rpms abruptly to match the new gear ratio. Assisting with throttle does not change rpm, but rather increases or decreases torque which "loosens up" the gearbox and allows a shift; however, the change of rpm must take place nevertheless.

Quite stressful on the gears with a 1200cc motor and 800lbs bike in motion. It does not matter how skilled you are: within a - let's say - 1/4-second event, the motor will be forced to slow down by a good part of 1000rpm (since the bike will continue at current speed) - that translates into a significant force on gear teeth and bearings.

The idea of saving clutch is also improper. It is an automotive-style device, easily lasting 100,000 miles and more for most riders. The problems we hear about are due to component failures - which would not be eliminated by fewer actuations. Once you think about it, clutch components were designed to work for a long time; we shoud avail ourselves of that. After all, nobody tries to "save" suspension components by avoiding turns and undulating roads, for example. Of course, a smooth shift does not require full actuation of the clutch. Just a slight depression of the lever will provide sufficient slippage to buffer the stress of a shift.

What I am saying is that certain technques are apropriate for track use - which is what "Twist of the Wrist" is targeting. These techniques are fun and should be known and practiced as they will make a better and more confident rider. However they are not apropriate for continuing application for a touring rider, where component reliability is of high importance.


My 2 cents worth.

Robert in Northern NJ

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post #14 of 25 Old Apr 30th, 2007, 11:48 pm
 
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If it was that stressfull on the gears & motor it wouldn't be so smooth.
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post #15 of 25 Old May 1st, 2007, 6:25 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdwalker
I do not think that clutchless shifting is a good idea.

Yes, racers do it because it does speed up the shifting process and microseconds do count for them. Of course, racers do not care about cost or longevity of gearboxes.

Yes, off-roaders do it. I do it: I feel much more comfortable shifting on a dirtbike without clutch, as it minimizes the time I am unstable without propulsion. On the other hand, my dirt bikes accrue low mileage compared to the road machines. Also, inertia of the smaller engine/gearbox, lighter bike and tires that easily slip do not stress the system so much during shift.

But no, I would not do that routinely on my road bike. For occasional playful fun or during emergency, maybe, but not as a matter of routine.

In a clutchless shift, the engine and gears have to change rpms abruptly to match the new gear ratio. Assisting with throttle does not change rpm, but rather increases or decreases torque which "loosens up" the gearbox and allows a shift; however, the change of rpm must take place nevertheless.

Quite stressful on the gears with a 1200cc motor and 800lbs bike in motion. It does not matter how skilled you are: within a - let's say - 1/4-second event, the motor will be forced to slow down by a good part of 1000rpm (since the bike will continue at current speed) - that translates into a significant force on gear teeth and bearings.

The idea of saving clutch is also improper. It is an automotive-style device, easily lasting 100,000 miles and more for most riders. The problems we hear about are due to component failures - which would not be eliminated by fewer actuations. Once you think about it, clutch components were designed to work for a long time; we shoud avail ourselves of that. After all, nobody tries to "save" suspension components by avoiding turns and undulating roads, for example. Of course, a smooth shift does not require full actuation of the clutch. Just a slight depression of the lever will provide sufficient slippage to buffer the stress of a shift.

What I am saying is that certain technques are apropriate for track use - which is what "Twist of the Wrist" is targeting. These techniques are fun and should be known and practiced as they will make a better and more confident rider. However they are not apropriate for continuing application for a touring rider, where component reliability is of high importance.


My 2 cents worth.
Well placed thoughts. Thanks

John

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post #16 of 25 Old May 1st, 2007, 7:22 am
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I missing the point here. Faster shifts without the clutch, running at redline, etc. On an 800# touring bike? I don't get it. Maybe on a sport bike running track days....
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post #17 of 25 Old May 1st, 2007, 7:23 am
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdwalker
I do not think that clutchless shifting is a good idea.

[snip]

What I am saying is that certain technques are apropriate for track use - which is what "Twist of the Wrist" is targeting.
A VERY good post...great job Robert! (And this is coming from a guy that rides like Joe Rocket most of the time. ) I can shift without the clutch, but rarely do I feel the need to do it.

And here's another thing to consider. There have been several reports of the LT finding false neutrals (i.e. stuck between 4th & 5th gear, and 3rd & 4th ). If not done properly, you might be asking for the same kind of trouble.

In short, I say use the clutch.
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post #18 of 25 Old May 1st, 2007, 7:25 am
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce_N
I missing the point here. Faster shifts without the clutch, running at redline, etc. On an 800# touring bike? I don't get it. Maybe on a sport bike running track days....
I agree with the no clutch part...but not running the LT up to redline now and again is practically a sin. That motor simply sings above 6K. And at 7500, it's a symphony.

Now...as for my GT, the fun is just beginning at 7500.
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post #19 of 25 Old May 1st, 2007, 7:29 am
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Joe- I will admit, my LT does see the upper end of the RPM range now and then. But, running my Triumph Sprint to redline is a whole different rush!
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post #20 of 25 Old May 1st, 2007, 7:29 am
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Never tried it.. I doubt I will. I have better things to do then repair my transmission.

But, if you guys want to, i'll be happy to read about your experiences.
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post #21 of 25 Old May 1st, 2007, 8:01 am
 
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Here in the UK clutchless gear changing is quite common, mainly amongst the sports bike riders. I clutchless change up on my Honda Blackbird with no adverse effects, but I don't bother on the LT as it is a slug compared to the Bird.
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post #22 of 25 Old May 1st, 2007, 8:19 am
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If some kind soul would be willing to donate a lighter, sportier ride to my stable to compliment my wife's LT, I too would not need to ride this touring machine in a sporting manner on occasion.

As it is, she's all we have, (the LT) and she gets rung out now and again.


John

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post #23 of 25 Old May 1st, 2007, 9:59 am Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hschisler
This is so far off my radar. It's hard to imagine that this is possible, let alone not a transmission killer. Why is that you can do this on a m/c but not in a manual transmission car?

John, next time we ride together you gotta show me this!
I have a couple of sportbike riding manuals - one from Keith Code, "Twist of the Wrist", and this technique is taught and promoted at the track schools and racers are experts with it. I have read enough in manuals and mag articles on this and nowhere have I read anything that states - implicitly or explicity, that clutchless upshifting will damage transmissions (assuming it is performed correctly).

The first time I tried it on my 12RT I was amazed at how simple this was and how quick and smooth the shift is. Much more smoothly then the traditional clutch-pull method.

I posted this question because I wanted to acquire even more opinions as to the wisdom of using clutchless upshifting. Thus far, if the posts made above are representative, there is no reason to shy away from the technique.

I did learn that the RPMs need to be high. Otherwise it will not click into the next gear. I realized this when I was having trouble from 3->4. I was not getting the RPMs up high enough in 3.

The sportbike manual states to initiate the clutchless shift when the maximum pulling power has been reached for the RPM level for the particular gear a rider is in. In other words, the sportbike crowd are performing this shift at very high RPMs.

Coming from a Harley Road King, even with 2,000 miles on my RT (since January), I still am in the habit of upshifting like I did on the high torque Harley - too soon.

This has been a very interesting find for me .
Gus
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post #24 of 25 Old May 1st, 2007, 12:53 pm
 
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High RPM's are not needed. I can go all the way to 5th & never past 2000 RPM if I wanted to, much smother than using the clutch. The key is not to jam it, slight pressure & it will shift when the RPM's are right. You can jam it at any RPM, that's how you brake stuff. I guess I was brought up thinking the clutch is only to get started on any vehicle. I never use it on any manual shift vehicle & never broke a tranny in 40 years of driving.
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post #25 of 25 Old May 3rd, 2007, 12:53 pm Thread Starter
 
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To: Past and present sport bike riders

I am interested to read opinions from forum members who have had significant sport bike riding experience - either in the past and for those continuing sport bike riding today.

What is your understanding and experience with respect to clutchless upshifting?

Generally, for all forum members, a lot of opinions have been expressed thus far on clutchless upshifts. Can anyone cite any reputable sources who have hard data on whether or not clutchless upshifting hurts the tranny?

To those who have spent a lot of time riding at the track or in a racing environment: Surely there must have been discussions (with racers and sport bike mechanics) about the affect of clutchless shifting on the bike's hard parts?

Thanks,
Gus
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