upshifting with out clutch?

15 replies to this topic
  • wr400rider

Posted April 16, 2006 - 07:15 AM


when i was taught to ride I was taught to always use the clutch when up and downshift and I still do that to this day but Ive had a few people tell me you dont need to use the clutch to upshift? but to downshift you do?

  • dl19

Posted April 16, 2006 - 10:38 AM


I would suggest using the clutch. The racing schools I have attended and witnessed always said to use your clutch just keep it pinned and "speed shift" going up, and shift down after braking and not to use the engine braking. 99% of Semi-Truck drivers only use their clutch to get started, and then shift up and down with no clutch. The key is they only shift at after finding the exactly right RPM, so the gears mesh perfectly without rubbing edges. I doubt on a dirt bike that is possible to perfectly mesh while changing gears and maintain a pace. Yes we can shift with out the clutch, but even though it shifts up an down you would be seriously working all parts of your transmission way too hard. I would bet your transmission life would be greatly shortened without a clutch.

  • firestarter

Posted April 16, 2006 - 04:20 PM


i had never used the clutch for downshifting or upshifting,,, and never had any problems

  • pkcof

Posted April 16, 2006 - 04:22 PM


clutch ? - that's the thing you use taking off from a standing start or navigating tight single track. If you have any 'connection' between yourself and your bike (engine RPM/load/speed ect..) then IMHO clutching isn't that necessary - but you need to have a feel for what you are doing (i'm sure there will be many schools of thought regarding this thread)
my 2c ...

  • matt113

Posted April 16, 2006 - 04:25 PM


i use the clutch when i can but it doesnt hurt not to

  • odonnks

Posted April 16, 2006 - 05:06 PM


I use the clutch but ride with lots who dont. None of them have had problems yet.

On the engine braking. I know most pros use slipper cluches to get away from the engine braking. In race conditions, what are the cons of engine braking?


  • markvfr

Posted April 16, 2006 - 08:05 PM


I don't use the clutch when I'm standing on the pegs and upshifting. I do use the clutch to downshift though. On my streetbike I use the clutch most of the time but when on a track day, I usually don't when upshifting. Just preload the shifter and drop the RPM just a tad, and the gear will pop in by itself and very smoothly. Just need some practice. :thumbsup: Never had any gearbox problems in eight years.



Posted April 17, 2006 - 08:58 PM


Clutch is for starting, stopping and stumpjumping :thumbsup: no harm speed shifting as long as your movin'

Compression braking :thumbsup: all I can!

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  • Numskull

Posted April 17, 2006 - 09:11 PM


These Yamahas have a nice tranny :thumbsup:
You can shift them with out damage as long as theres not a load on it and your jumping up and down on the shifter.:confused:

when up shifting it just slides into gear with out the clutch. when down shifting, the motor and your back brake our usally trying to stop the beast, so there is load on the tranny. In those circumstances you need to clutch, or give the throttle a quick turn to unload the tranny, and give her a soft push down.

As long as your easy on the shift fork, you dont need the clutch, you will feel it in your foot. :thumbsup:

  • pops 56

Posted April 18, 2006 - 12:32 AM


QUOTE(These Yamaha's have a nice tranny
You can shift them with out damage as long as theres not a load on it and your jumping up and down on the shifter.) Don't know about that ? Just did a 3 hour enduro 1 wr450f. 04 5th gear blown (mine :thumbsup: ) 1 yzf 450. 04 5th gear blown. 1 yzf 250 gearbox seized. Three gearboxes in one race all yamaha.Hmmm.

  • OringGroove

Posted April 18, 2006 - 05:17 AM


Use the clutch! Yamaha do not have the goods on gearboxes!
Probably the most unreliable box out there at the moment! Truth be known!
A slipper clutch is a good way to go! :thumbsup:
Those who don't use it are running on borrowed time! particularly with the Yamaha boxes! Speaking from experience! These boxes are basically crash boxes the dog gears slam in together. If they are under load it puts a lot of stress on a rather small area. The result is chipping the dogs away! weakest one first! The problem is the boxes haven't changed much but they are expected to do greater work! Look at the power output of the motors today! Still the box has parts in it that'll fit into early model 250 2strokes
Really' you want your bike to last the trail and not just win the drag race and blow up!
Believe me it is much more enjoyable to ride the bike and use the clutch then to sit there looking at the internals of your gearbox wondering where it all went wrong!

  • GCannon

Posted April 18, 2006 - 08:23 AM


Tranny is most expensive repair so do it a favor when possible no problem not using the clutch while shifting up or down. It may be a good idea to use the clutch when upshifting or down shifting during heavy load ( hard acceleration, deceleration) definitely optional but remember nothing is for free.

  • TallBoysWRF

Posted April 18, 2006 - 10:42 AM


With all my bikes I've had I just let off the gas when shifting. In the dirt your tire will be able to spin/slip a little if needed to match the motor/drive speed. On the pavement I will use my clutch more just because the rear tire doesn't have that "give" to it with out tearing up the tire and probably more. Even then I don't usually worry about it when accelerating, but when down shifting on assphalt I use the clutch because the WR has so much engine breaking that the tire will skid slightly when I shift. The thing to remember when you are accelerating is that you have to let off the gas when you go to shift. This lets the motor and tranny easily adjust to the new speed/gear ratio. If you keep it pinned the gears will still be under load when they try to mesh and that's when you will tear stuff up. :thumbsup:

  • ncampion

Posted April 18, 2006 - 12:21 PM


Keep in mind that everyone with a Rekluse clutch always shift without the clutch! As long as you let off the gas and get the trans in a "neutral load" situation, neither under power or declaration, the dogs will engage without problems. It probably does cause a little accelerated wear on the dogs, but you will probably wear out other parts first. High RPM downshifts are the hardest, so if you avoid that, should be fine.

  • Frostbite

Posted April 18, 2006 - 12:56 PM


I roadraced for 9 years, never upshifted with the clutch (always at redline), and never had a problem. I've had my 99 WR 400 since new, put thousands and thousands of hard miles on it, never upshift with the clutch and use it for downshifting maybe half the time, depends on conditions. It's much harder to get a smooth downshift.
The less you use the clutch the less heat it generates and the less wear you get on the plates. Of course if you ride around stomping on the gearshift you'll eventually break something, but it doesn't take long to get smooth upshifting without the clutch.
For the record I did break the outer clutch basket on my WR, but I think they're a bit weak and do notch easily, so it may not have been related to clutch-less shifting.
Shifting in the air during a wheelie is best without the clutch.
Someone asked why engine braking is bad racing. I'd say it's due to rear wheel hop and it's easier to stall the engine since you lose rear brake feel.

  • BeachBoy

Posted April 18, 2006 - 01:19 PM


on my street sportbike I rarely use clutch to upshift, and usually use it to downshift along with a blip to rev match so the rear wheel doesn't get upset. On my 2 stroke banshee same thing but I sometimes don't use clutch to downshift, rarely to upshift


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