It reallt soesn't matter what speed you release it. It doesn't even matter if you use it at all IMO. I rarely use the clutch to upshift or downshift and only use it when the bike is being stubborn, when exiting corners and when locking up the wheel. You will not mess anything up as long as the tranny oil is good. After a year of riding like I do then tearing the tranny and clutch apart, there was little wear. None more than normal.
I agree with Aaron. Rather than using the clutch 'quickly' when upshifting, I just back off the throttle a little bit, and only for an instant, instead. Sometimes for fun I'll power shift under heavy throttle but not as a regular practice. I've got my finger on the clutch lever nearly all the time.. but I dont use it to shift :cool:
I always use the clutch for upshifting...that you you don't have to let off the throttle. It's amazing how much difference just letting off the throttle a little to shift makes in a drag race to the turn.
High Lord Gomer Do you full trottle shift using the clutch all the time? I use the clutch, but usually back off the trottle. The only time I don't use the clutch to shift is when I'm in some high speed ruff stuff and I don't want to lose the bars and I'll up-shift with no clutch. How do you shift most of the time?
I very rarely use the clutch to shift. The main thing I use the clutch for is to feather it out of turns and stuff like that. I've heard that this is bad for it, but I still haven't had to change clutch plates yet in about two years (I still check them regularly for wear and it's not bad enough to need replacing yet, but probably will soon). The way I see it, you either can use the clutch, or choose not to. I think it's more of a personal preference thing, because some do and some don't. Also do a search, there have been some good threads on this before.
Hmm, boy I don't know if I buy into the shifting without using the clutch thing. I have heard about guys racing MX not using the clutch but that is racing. The things people do during a race is for one thing, to win, not for the benefit of long term, trouble free operation out of their machine.
I have used the clutch to both up and downshift since 1985 and have never had to replace a clutch or had a tranny go out on me. I don't race dirt bikes but I am just as fast as the people I ride with so it is not worth it to me to not use the clutch.
On a related topic, when I was in college my Automotives instructor had over 100,000 miles on his Ford Ranger and said he never used the clutch except to start off. His reasoning was that each time you engage/disengage the clutch you wear it out just a little bit. Eventully it becomes worn out from normal operation. But if you shift without it, then there is no wear. Of couse you have to be good enough to shift the tranny when engine RPM and transmission RPM is synchronized, then it goes in and out of gear no problem. I believe the older big rig trucks were like this. The problem is finding that sweet spot each and every time to shift when everything is in sync. Way easier said than done.
During one of my summer jobs, my buddy and I infilcting some serious wear on a 5 yr old Ford F-350 transmission by trying to master the art of shifting without the clutch. By the end of the summer the synchros in the transmission were so worn out it would hardly go into 1st gear even with the clutch and grinded going into the rest of the gears while using the clutch. Without the clutch is was a very forced effort to shift the truck.
From my experience, I have found that the clutch is there for a reason so you might as well use it. Another thing to consider is that it is far less expensive to replace a clutch than rebuild a transmission.
Rockrider, after 2.5 years of use, 1 by a national level pro and then 1.5 by me, my bike had no wear in the tranny to denote and ensuing problems. That is shifting without the clutch most of the time. In full throttle situations like starts and going up hills(high loads), my bike will not shift up with out the clutch disengaged a little.
Nope, I still don't buy it. If a person was able to make 99.9% of their shifts perfectly without the clutch then I would agree that it wouldn't hurt the transmission. Unfortunately, a person isn't able to ride around off-road (or at a track) and be able to shift without the clutch and do it every time when engine RPM and transmission RPM are in perfect synchronization. Only when the engine and transmission are synchronized at the same RPM will the shift not wear on anything. If not, then the engagement dogs have to work harder to put the bike in gear and the syncros rapidly become worn out. The clutch allows for all this to happen with no load on the transmission.
Rockrider, how is the concrete evidence I presented not enough? Sure the dogs may wear, but in 2.5 years of use there was no appreceable wear on the dogs or forks. I had them checked twice and measured.
It looks like you are right. I just checked the parts diagrams on buykawasaki.com for my KDX and it does not show any synchros. I didn't know that sickle transmissions were different in design from an automobile. Maybe someone could enlighten me further? Too me, if you don't have synchros then it is even more difficult for one gear to mesh with another, under load, without the clutch.
I have ridden many clapped out old bikes with mistreated transmissions and they were the most miserable shifting piles I had ever been on. How is it possible that by not using the clutch you don't harm anything. It does not seem logical.
If you were to have a MX tranny in your hand to figure out how it worked, you would agree with me. The gear teeth don't slide past one another in most gear shifts in a bike tranny, the dogs engage a certain gear to the drive or driven shafts. If you ever have a chance to see a tranny up close, take a good look. The old bikes shift badly because they are old, probably have old tranny oil in them and the trannies are porbably worn out from years of use. The only thing I have seen damaged from hard shifting is a shift fork and the shift mechanism. All where on a blaster, an old design. I have never seen the insides of a car tranny but I bet the gears slide past one another and mesh to one another making the need for syncros. In a bike tranny, if the gears moved apart and together and you "bashed" them togehter, the teeth would most likely break. The dogs are much bigger and stronger and can take a beating.
Well after some research I was able to determine the difference between automobile and motorcycle trannys. The bike trannys do not use synchronizers like the automobile transmissions. Instead they use "dogs" which have peg shaped "teeth" on their side that lock into holes machined into the transmission gears. Shift forks move the dogs around which are in turn moved by a shift drum that is actuated by the shift lever. Areas of wear in the transmission are the shift forks, dogs and shift drum.
The motorcycle transmission is far more forgiving than an automobiles to abuse. this is becasue of the design, and especally lighter loads and less power. But, if a person insists on shifting without the clutch you WILL wear your transmission out faster than a person who uses the clutch.
There are techniques people use to minimize the wear on their transmission when performing clutchless shifts. The first is to roll off the throttle when upshifting, the other is to slightly blip the throttle when downshifting.
Basically I don't think there is a right or wrong answer to what a guy should use for technique. If you practice enough at clutchless shifts you will become in tune with when to shift the bike minimizing the damage it can cause. If you are racing, then rebuilding your transmission prematurly may be worth it to you for the ease of shifting without the clutch. However, if you plan on keeping your bike for a long period of time, or want to minimize the chances of breaking it, than it would be wise to use the clutch.
Wide open (yes even first gear!), and then feather the clutch through out the gears. I call it power shifting.This works really well when hill climbing, or when you only got a limited amount of run way to clear a jump:p
Just one guy's opinion, but I think the only "correct" answer to this question is, - It Depends.
We have already established that the modern MC tranny shifts fine without the use of the clutch and, short of abuse, will withstand upshifts and downshifts while delivering a long service life.
Personally, I use the clutch alot cornering offroad and often downshifts are timed with corner entry and upshifts after an exit. Therefore many shifts are done while disengaging the clutch.
I find I shift clutchless mostly when coasting. Say I am accelerating and hit some terrain that requires steady throttle for a moment. This is an easy time to make an upshift with just a little backing off of the gas. clutchless downshifts come often when I find myself in too tall of a gear and am bogging the motor a bit. Again a quick release of the throttle, a toe down, and away I go.
To Gomer's point, when drag racing I hold it pinned and upshift with the clutch. This does not happen much when I ride though.
Seeing that you ride a KDX I doubt you do much MX track riding. For the woods, all I can offer is try to find something that lets you be as smooth as possible and limits wheelspin.
DogBox - thats the "kind" of gear we are running in our bikes. Alot of race cars run a fulldog or half dog tranny and use clutchless shifting. Watch WRC (World Rally Championship), most of the EVO's, WRX's are running a fulldog, with little or no clutch use :)
I use the clutch for upshifting only. I do not use it to save the trans but to better control the power to the rear wheel. When going straight with good traction this is not very important. A track I ride at has a long, fast sweeping turn that requires I shift midturn and without using the clutch the rear tire would break traction badly.
this is all new to me, my entire riding career i have been taught to use the clutch when taking off, shifting up and shifting down....so thats the way i do it....and yet some people here are saying that they only engage the cluth to shift up and never engage it to shift down, even some are saying they only use it when taking off....i have never heard of this, i always thought it was bad to do it. with the bike i have now it used to have problems getting in gear and occasionally popped out...so then i was given the idea of using bel ray gear saver, i switched and it helped alot. but still with the gear saver my bike occasionally misses a gear or pops out....so with this oil would it make a difference if i occasionally didnt use the cluth????
DONT LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE WHO ARE TELLING YOU THAT........SHIFTING DOWN WITHOUT THE CLUTCH WILL RIP THE TRANSMISSION......U DONT HAVE TO USE THE CLUTCH TO SHIFT UP AND ITS BETTER NOT TO BUT ALWAYS USE IT SHIFTING DOWN UNLESS YOUR IN A HIGH GEAR WITH NO SPEED