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disengaged. This prevents the transfer
of engine power to the drive wheel. You
change gears or come to a stop while the
connection is not engaged.

Just before stopping you will also need
to squeeze the clutch lever to prevent the
motorcycle from stalling.

To start moving again, gradually release
the clutch lever and apply a little throttle,
the connection will begin to engage
again. This can be felt before the clutch
lever is fully released. The point where
this connection first occurs while you are
releasing the clutch lever is called the
friction zone.

It is at the friction point that you must
coordinate continuing to slowly release the
clutch lever while gently using the throttle
to achieve a smooth start and prevent the
engine from stalling.

Selecting and
changing gears

Smooth and timely gear shifting takes
practice but, once learned, will help you
maintain control of your motorcycle. A
smooth shift to the next gear is the result
of coordinating the clutch lever release
with a small amount of throttle. Start in
first gear and gradually shift up to higher
gears as your speed increases.

Always be in the correct gear for
the speed you are travelling. This will
allow you the most effective use of your
throttle. It is important that the proper
gear is selected so the engine does
not lug (move the motorcycle in rough,
bumpy fashion) or race (rev the engine
but not move the motorcycle effectively).
The owner’s manual will explain the

proper use and the best speed range of
each gear.

Be sure the motorcycle is travelling at
the appropriate speed for the gear you are
shifting into. Check your owner’s manual for
instructions about this. When downshifting,
if the motorcycle is going too fast for the
selected gear, the rear wheel may skid.

Changing to a higher
gear (upshifting)

• Place your foot under the gear selector
   lever to prepare for the shift up.
• Roll the throttle back to the off position
   while squeezing the clutch lever all the
   way in with your fingers.
• Move the lever upwards to select the
   next gear and then release. You must
   shift up one gear at a time.
• Carefully release the clutch lever and
   apply a little throttle.
• When you have completed shifting to
   the selected gear, remove your fingers
   from the clutch lever and return them to
   the hand grip.

Changing to a lower
gear (downshifting one
or more gears)

 • Place your foot on top of the gear selector
   lever to prepare for the downshift.
• Roll the throttle back to the off position
   while squeezing the clutch lever all the
   way in with your fingers.
• Firmly push the lever down as far as it
   will go and then release.
• You can shift down several gears at a
   time by squeezing the clutch lever all
   the way in, then firmly pushing down 

 

26  A Rider's Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing

 

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