downshifting to 1st VN500 LTD - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-21-2007, 12:24 PM Thread Starter
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downshifting to 1st VN500 LTD

When slowing down, what is the max speed I should shift into 1st? I have no problem with downshifting while riding in other gears. 1st seems like it's just not a smooth downshift unless I'm stopped or almost stopped-foot must go down. (maybe it's geared too high or low I'm not sure which)

I know it's operator error, thanks anyway, I'll keep at it.

Last edited by flw; 04-23-2007 at 12:00 AM.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-21-2007, 07:16 PM
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I would suggest you take the motorcycle saftey cource. THey work on these skills and probably would help better than trying to learn from a message board.

Shifting is a skill that you learn as you get better at riding and learn your bike. Thats why the Vn 750 is the best all around beginner bike made.

One thing I would suggest is to practice shifting from 2nd to 1st in a empty parking lot try it a diffrent speeds. Rember engine braking is just as important as normal braking.

good luck

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-21-2007, 07:33 PM
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There should be no reason for you to downshift to 1st unless your coming to a stop light or sign. Even then I never downshift to first unless im stopped at a light. As long as your rolling 2nd gear should pull just fine.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-23-2007, 04:08 PM
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Remember too that the 500 likes to rev. The 1st gear on that bike is pretty low, but the bike red lines at like 12k or something right? Even though, first gear is still only for taking off from a dead stop. It's the last thing you do as you stop the bike.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-27-2007, 03:36 PM
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It's hard to say if there's a specific speed for shifting into first. First is generaly a verry 'tall' gear. Being it's just there to get your bike off from a dead stop and get some speed so you can get into second which is usualy only slightly smaller than first.

Big +1 on the parkign lot trials for this. When i first got my 750 and even my 440 i tried going into first while downshifting for stoplights/signs and it felt like the bike was nose diving every time from so much engine brake. Something that helped alot was bliping the gas before you let out the clutch. Sort of goes,
Pull in clutch, depress lever while twisting throttle for just a split second, letting everythign out smoothly. This way it's sort of encouraging the engine to rev upwards rather than being forced to through friction. This will how ever remove some of the engine braking power so you'd need just a smidge more brakes to get yourself totally stoped.

Or do car style and only engine brake down to 2 and once you get low enough that you would shift, just hold in the clutch and wait unti you come to a complete stop to shift down into first. Even at 3-4MPH you can still get moving in 2nd gear should the light quickly change, you'l just need a bit more gas than normal and use your friction zone more sparringly.

hmm that got rambly, hope it holds some sense. =)
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-08-2007, 12:23 AM
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I only downshift to first when I know I'm coming to a complete stop and then only just before I put my foot down. If I have a ways to go, I'll put her in first but hold the clutch in until I take off again. If the light changes to green before I get there, I upshift into 2nd and go from there.

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