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Hey everyone,

I bought my first bike a few months ago (1,500 miles so far!), it is an '07 Ninja 650 with ~6,000 miles on it.

I took the MSF course to learn the basics of shifting, cornering, etc. When I bought my bike I was babying it while I was still learning: Upshifting at 4,500rpm, and downshifting around 2,000rpm or so. I have solved all the new-rider-issues of upshifting (clutch and throttle control to be smooth, etc...).

However, today I was in 4th gear at about 4,500rpm and shifted down to third in need of a quicker acceleration...I pulled in the clutch and shifted down into third...there was a clunk sound and I could ever-so-slightly feel the bike respond to my downshift, and this was BEFORE I let out the clutch. Same thing happens when I shift down into 2nd or 1st when at 2,500+rpm. It seems the lower the rpms, the clunk/feel is less or absent all together. Do any of you get this? If I wait and shift at the 2,000rpm mark, I don't get this Clunk and feel. And I can downshift from 6th to 5th, 5th to 4th at the higher rpms and not have this problem. Is it normal to have this when downshifting into lower gears at a slightly higher RPM?

Thanks in advance!
 

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Sounds like you are down shifting too late in the rev range. The 650 generally likes to be between 3-5k rpms, any lower and they are sluggish and might make some noises in protest as you are lugging the engine along. Also the 650 gearbox is more like a Kawasaki tractor gearbox. It will not be as smooth and precise as supersport/superbike. Just the nature of this particular bike. On a side note, have you checked your clutch free play at the clutch lever? Too much free-play and the clutch won't fully disengage and could make some noises as you shift.
 

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I get the same thing when I don't press the gear pedal all the way for the gear in my 2008 650. It seems to happen more often in third or fourth for me. The first time I did it, I thought I broke the transmission. Mine made a horrible BANG, then almost didn't get into gear, almost grinded, for about 1/2 second then it was in. Now I press the pedal firmly every time.
As another poster said before, check your clutch adjustment though.
 
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