When to Shift Gears on a Motorcycle at What Rpm?

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If you are a novice or heavy bike rider and wonder when to shift gears on a motorcycle at what RPM or what will happen if you fail to do it, I am here today to talk about this.

Well, it’s not rocket science at all. But to do that you must at least learn the basics. Well, most of the motorcycles that we see on the market are a manual shift.

It means your vehicle mechanics are not automated to change gears without your help and here comes a special lever to help you that called a clutch.

Your bike will always tell you what you should do and when to change gear. What you have to do is just follow the engine sounds and how it responds.

Now, When to Shift Gears on a Motorcycle at What Rpm?

Honestly speaking, there is no mathematical equation for optimum shifting points. Generally, high RPM means your engine is spinning faster, which means it will produce more torque and speed.

Likewise, the torque and speed will be lower at low RPM as the engine spins slower. At high RPM, it is obvious that the engine will consume more fuel. You want to save fuel at the same time as gaining speed.

So, try to shift up to 2000 RPM. You should shift up with the increases in speed. The best time to shift the gear is when the engine produces enough torque during acceleration.

Note that your bike engine will produce different power at different RPMs. And, the optimum RPM level is important to keep your engine protected.

You often need support from a tachometer gadget to display engine Revolution Per Minute (RPM), since it is very much related to the mechanism and techniques for changing gear.

Motorcycle Gears Basics

To ride a motorcycle smoothly, you need to learn the three basic controls, the throttle, the clutch, and the gear selector. These three parts have different functions.

The throttle revs the engine, the clutch executes the transmission engagement and disengagement while the gear selector can select the gear required.

Let’s see how they work together.

When you use your left hand to pull the clutch towards you, it will rev the engine but the bike will not move. Here is an important thing to remember.

You should release the clutch when you’re in gear (but, not in neutral) in order to move your bike forward.

You have a left foot, right? Now, use it to select the right gear at the right time.

The usual gear pattern is as follows.

  • 6th gear (If it is available)
  • 5th gear
  • 4th gear
  • 3rd gear
  • 2nd gear
  • Neutral
  • 1st gear

Techniques for Motorcycle Shifting

I will not make it more difficult. Because it’s not that difficult as it sounds. Here are the steps that you can follow during shifting gears.

Step 1

Pull the clutch towards you to perform the disengagement.

Step 2

Then select the suitable gear using your left foot. Remember, the gear selector is located there?

Step 3

You should twist the throttle slightly with your right hand to rev the engine properly.

Step 4

Now it’s time to release the clutch. This is an important step. Do it slowly (and, never do a quick release).

Step 5

You have to be smart enough at this stage as you want to feather your throttle as you release the clutch. It’ll accelerate your vehicle.

Step 6

You should keep the acceleration to flow smoothly by revving the engine until the next shifting.

This is it. It’s as simple as those steps. However, you need practice and there is no easy way to master it.

By the time you will learn how to control it and develop an instinct that tells you the right time to shift the geat.

How To Shift Gears Smoothly

Let’s assume it. You’re trying your best to drive your bike. You have inserted the key and your bike is ready to move. There will be a time when you will try to upshift the gears.

But the moment you change the gear, say from first to the second, your bike will give you a jerk and you’ll be wondering what is happening.

Well, with little knowledge you are likely to face this kind of situation. So, the importance of learning how to smoothly upshift or downshift your gears requires no simplifications.

Now, let’s briefly discuss some basics about RPM.

There are two kinds of speed that you must always consider. One is your wheel’s speed and another one is the engine’s speed.

You can see your bike’s current RPM on the tachometer screen. The gauge or labeled RPM (Revolutions per minute) will tell you how quickly the crankshaft of the bike spins as speed up or decelerate your vehicle.

In the gauge, there are several numbers. Typically 1 means 1000 revolutions per minute in the tachometer.

If your bike has standard transmissions, RPM will indicate the time you should upshift or downshift the gear.

To protect your engine from unexpected damages you should shift up before your bike hits the redline. Similarly, you should shift down before the RPM gets too low to prevent your bike from bogging.

Final Word

Riding a motorcycle is a fun thing. A motorcycle ride on a nice road can give you immense pleasure. But, you should know when to change the gears of your bike.

Now, learning is important in bike riding. If you can listen and feel your engine’s sound properly, your instinct will let you understand that something is not okay or your engine doesn’t work in the right way.

In short, upshift your gear when your bike is at high speed and downshift at a lower speed.

So, that’s it for today.

I hope this comprehensive guide has helped you find the optimum level of RPM that is right for you so you can adjust the gears smoothly like a pro.