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VulcaN's Avatar
Originally Posted by bthorton
this may have been asked already, so my apologies if it has.

is shifting gears on a motorcycle just like shifting gears on a car? i dont know how to do either (ive only driven automatics)... but ive been considering learning how to ride a motorcycle over the summer. if i take motorcycle safety program class or whatever- the one that teaches beginners to ride, will they teach you to shift if you have no prior experience?

or should i get one of my friends to take me out in their manual cars and learn to drive manual, and then take the class? any help is appreciated

In short, no shifting a bike is not like shifting in a car. If you have ever looked at a manual car's shifter you will see that its probably set up in the standard H pattern, it looks kind of like this:

You shift by moving that lever into the notches that have the gear numbers on them depending what gear you want to go into.

But on a motorcycle, it uses whats called a sequential gearbox which is completly diffrent. You use a lever located at your foot to shift gears, and all you have to do is press up to shift up a gear and press down on it to shift down a gear, much easier and faster than in a car.

Here is a picture of the lever (black coating on the left is where you press, rough metal peg on the right is where you stand) you move using your foot:

Assuming your bike has six gears, Its set up like this

So if you were in neutral you would click down once to go into first, and then click up to climb the gears as you increase your speed, and visa versa.

Taking the Motorcycle Saftey Foundation's course is a must, you just cant go wrong with it. They will teach you EVERYTHING essential to riding a motorcycle with absoloutly no prior experience on your part other than the fact that you can ride a bicycle without falling over.

Sure have your friend take you out in his manual car, it cant hurt, you can learn how a clutch works and if he lets you drive you can get a feel for how you have to ease out the clutch and give it some gas to keep it from stalling, but most importantly take the MSF course. and good luck

Last edited by VulcaN; 05-02-2005 at 01:55 AM..
Old 05-02-2005, 01:45 AM VulcaN is offline  
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