Use clutch when shifting?

11 replies to this topic
  • steve_97060

Posted September 17, 2006 - 12:02 AM


After a small break of 20 years I have got back into riding with an 06 YZ 450f . I was primarily a 125 rider and during my last year of racing I raced the 125 (CR125) and open (YZ490) expert classes. When I rode those bikes I never used the clutch for shifting much except for maybe some downshifts/braking. My question is, how necessary is it to use the clutch for shifting on this bike, old habits and riding styles are hard to break, I still have the habit of doing the most of my shifting without the clutch. Is this going to cause me problems or are these transmissions capable of shifting without the clutch also?

thanks for any input...

  • BergArabia

Posted September 17, 2006 - 02:56 AM


You have more experience riding than I do Steve and I guess the proof is in th pudding.
I do use my clutch, though I will admit not all the time but I try to.
I think it just makes sense that shifting without the clutch will put some strain on the gears..

  • Goosedog

Posted September 17, 2006 - 05:21 AM


I don't and I've heard evidence that it does no harm. I just chop the throttle as I shift up and never touch the clutch. I do use it when I'm down shifting more than one gear at a time however .

  • jamiehughes

Posted September 17, 2006 - 05:29 AM


i only use my clutch for starting and in the don't need to pull it in to shift.

  • flintlock28

Posted September 17, 2006 - 06:28 AM


If I remember correctly, MX riding instructor Gary Semics teaches to use the clutch when upshifting, but not to use it when downshifting. I believe the reason to use the clutch when upshifting is that you are applying power versus chopping the throttle when downshifting.

  • Fastest1

Posted September 17, 2006 - 11:51 AM


Actually you can shift either way without it quite easily. It does help to blip or relieve the load during the shift itself. No harm is done as long as you are not forcing it into or out of gear, it should feel like a smooth action up or down.

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  • yamahacrazy_310

Posted September 17, 2006 - 12:14 PM


I only use it when I shift down.

  • steve_97060

Posted September 17, 2006 - 06:30 PM


Thanks for the input from all who replied...As mentioned by others, I just chop the throttle when I shift up or down... Being out of the loop for 20 years and new to a 4 stroke, I was just concerned that I might have been causing problems...

  • YZ426F Rider

Posted September 17, 2006 - 08:23 PM


Very, very rarely do I use the clutch to shift.

  • IndyYZ85

Posted September 17, 2006 - 08:41 PM


It shouldn't need to be clutched at all when shifting. A constant mesh should only engage a gear if the speed of the input shaft and the speed of the gear you are trying to engage are matched, if not it should grind quite a bit.

This should apply for upshifting or down shifting..

I've driven tractor trailers for 15 years, and never clutch except to stop and start.. or if I am in heavy traffic and moving slow with a heavy load. Easier on my spine that way!! I've never had a problem with a transmission.

  • grayracer513

Posted September 18, 2006 - 08:14 AM


It shouldn't need to be clutched at all when shifting. A constant mesh should only engage a gear if the speed of the input shaft and the speed of the gear you are trying to engage are matched, if not it should grind quite a bit.

The attributes you are talking about are those of a synchromesh transmission, not a constant mesh. Both types are constant mesh, but motorcycle transmissions are typically not equipped with synchronizers, simply because their small size makes it unnecessary, in most cases. Making the shift is what matches the speed, and there's nothing particularly graceful about the process.

Some specialized drag racing car transmissions ares are built similar to motorcycle gearboxes (with a technical twist that we won't get into), so that they can be shifted without the clutch. It wouldn't be something you'd want on the street; the noise and shift shock are considerable, to say the least.

Nevertheless, shifting without the clutch by blipping the throttle to relieve the drive load is reasonably harmless. Doing so under a load is not advisable, and will lead to both gears (the one being shifted from, and the one being shifted to) wearing the locking lugs, and eventually failing to hold in gear.

  • mobius

Posted September 18, 2006 - 05:14 PM


I have been riding and racing for 27 years. I never use the clutch to shift up or down and I have never had tranny problems of any kind. I always use a high grade oil and I change it often.

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