Published on Aug 3, 2014
This video demonstrates how to clutchless upshift on a motorcycle. If you have any questions on this technique, ask questions below. And please share with all your friends.
Clutchless shifting allows for much smoother bike control at the track and also helps you accelerate faster. See our full article at http://therideadvice.com/clutchless-u... To perform a clutchless upshift, follow these steps:
1. Put upwards pressure on the gear selector with your foot.
2. Blip the throttle. You don’t need to completely roll off the throttle, but enough to see the engine rotation speed dip for a fraction of a second and then roll back on the throttle.
3. If done correctly, your upwards pressure on the gear lever will engage the next gear.
4. Take pressure off the gear lever until ready to upshift again.
You’ll find that after not too long you’ll have mastered this technique.
Firstly, it’s faster than using the clutch lever. Not engaging the clutch lever (which unloads the drive train for as long as you want) means you can upshift faster. More importantly, you’ll lose less engine speed as well. Depending on the gearbox and rider ability, a clutchless upshift may reduce engine speed by around 500rpm, whereas conventionally shifting with the clutch lever may reduce engine speed by 1000rpm. While not a massive difference, over the course of a race, the fractions of a second saved will accumulate.
Another benefit at the track is that not pulling in the clutch lever is just one less thing you need to worry about when riding at your limit. If you’re hanging off the bike on a right hand turn, its much easier to just blip the throttle and upshift, instead of having your left hand in the correct position to engage the clutch, especially when you want to minimize input into the bars. Not engaging the clutch for upshifts just means you have one less piece of motorcycle control that you need to worry about.
Can this be used on the street?
Sure, but obviously the need (and advantages gained from it) are much less than at the track. It is however (in my opinion) far more satisfying to snap the throttle on and off and shift gears rapidly without the clutch. Another advantage for everyday use is that should your clutch lever brake for whatever reason (perhaps from a crash), you’ll be able to get home without it as you can use the same method for downshifting (more on that below).
A couple of other tips when clutchless shifting:
- On some bikes, it’s best not to clutchless shift from 1st to 2nd gear as it sometimes isn’t possible to do this smoothly. This will unsettle the bike, make you uncomfortable and can potentially damage the gearbox.
- You’ll find shifting without the clutch must smoother (and easier) if you do it when engine speed (revs) are rising fast, not when you’re at a constant speed.
- Clutchless downshifts aren’t recommended, as they are much harder to get right and the consequences for not doing it properly are worse. Not only is it easier to damage the gearbox, you potentially can overload the rear wheel, causing it to spin and lose traction.
Clutchless shifting is a fun skill to learn and will greatly assist you on the track.