RiderForums.com - Kawasaki Motorcycle Forum banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Silver Member
Joined
·
207 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've noticed something when downshifting that I need to know if it's normal or if it is something I should have looked at on the bike.

When I am in a high gear (4th or 5th) and am approaching a stop, if I work down through the gears while the bike is moving, each downshift is solid and easy. If, however, I let the bike come to a complete stop in, say, 3rd gear (I know, bad technique, but I'm still learning and it happens), it sometimes takes a couple of tries to get the transmission to go into each lower gear.

Anyone else experience this and/or have ideas about it?

Thanks,
Craig
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
965 Posts
Hello Craig,
It's not a problem. You should downshift before you stop, otherwise you end up trying to get it to first with the bike stopped and it doesn't work smoothly. You might have to move the bike back and forth as well.
An easy way if you re not experienced with bikes is to downshift directly to 1st and then upshift to neutral.
The ZR7 has a positive neutral finder, which means that from 1st you can only upshift to neutral if the bike is not rolling.
I hope this helps.
Aris
 

·
Silver Member
Joined
·
207 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Aris,

Thanks for the feedback. I had noticed that rolling the bike backwards a couple of inches helped it shift.

Now that I know, I will try to make those downshifts earlier.

Craig
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
109 Posts
In those situations I've also found that it helps if you let the clutch out slightly, just to the point where it starts to catch, and then pull it back in.

As a note, I almost always leave it in 1st gear at a stop; you never know when the guy coming up behind won't see you and you have to make a quick 'position adjustment'. I'll put it in neutral if I already have a cage behind me, though. He can be my crumple zone.
 

·
Wheelie for Safety
Joined
·
1,550 Posts
Hi Craig,

When coming to a stop I like to let the engine do some of the braking leaving it in the same gear. At about 10 MPH, I pull in the clutch and shift down through the gears to first while still rolling and not let out the clutch out.

Using this technique I don't put additional stress on the transmission or cluch and its smoother.

Regarding sitting behind cars at a stop, I like to make sure I'm never directly behind the car or in the middle of the lane, because if you do need to get out of the way of a car approaching from behind its easier. Also in the middle of the lane is where the oil is.

Andy 2001 ZR-7S
 

·
Dirty Harry.... Moderator
Joined
·
9,816 Posts
Another excellent point, Andy. This is the "thinking riders" strategy. I've caught myself right smack in the middle of the cage ahead of me and thought why I'm I in this position? Daydreaming on a bike in traffic is not a healthy option. Tom
 

·
The Deer Slayer
Joined
·
7,382 Posts
Hey Craig, I've done this a couple of times. Sometimes you just try different things. If you pull in cluch in 5th, come to full stop, then try to down shift to neutral, sometimes the transmission seems to just dissapear. You need to let out cluch a little, then shift down. Gears get lost in there sometimes, where do they go....? I don't know, they were there a minute ago.
This can happen after a panic stop, when you're just concentrating on the breaks. Believe me, make it second nature to downshift. It helps alot in panic situation, even if it chirps rear wheel. I've come to downshift with cluch held in, ready to break while engaging into lower gear when a quick stop looks as if its about to happen. In other words, preparing to slow down NOW, not LATE.
By the way, you can slow bike from any spead fairly rapidly with gears only, down to practicaly standstill, given enough room. I do it all the time. It's a torquey little engine, you know.
 

·
Dirty Harry.... Moderator
Joined
·
9,816 Posts
Sometimes hearing that rear wheel "chirp" is a good thing, it may not be so good for the bike, but it's a welcome sound for my piece of mind when I find myself stopping very quickly and it lets me know I'm in 1st when I know I need to be. Question: how many of you have stopped your bike on an incline thinking you were in 1st and when the light changes, you suddenly realize you're in 2nd and stall the bike in front of "many cages?" An unnerving feeling at best. Causes a little panic, which is not good. For those of you who are pistol and/or rifle enthusiasts, do you count rounds as you fire? Knowing when to reload is about the same as knowing your'e in the right gear, maybe. What do y'all think? Tom :)
 

·
Silver Member
Joined
·
207 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the tips, guys!

I'm pretty good about working down through the gears on most stops, I've just been caught with my pants down a couple of times:rolleyes: One of the times the gears were stuck, the light turned green and in the couple of seconds extra it took to find first, I got a bit nervous. I'm feeling much better now, though ;)

Yesterday was my first day to commute to work on the bike. I was a little nervous in some of the traffic, but not too bad. Today was much better. Tomorrow will be better still. I'm taking a route that puts me in some moderately traffic, but keeping me off of the freeway. I can spare the few minutes longer the commute takes until I'm much more practiced.

I know I'm a newbie and I'm riding conservatively, but each day, I'm more impressed with the bike. It does the little things that help in traffic like the quick scoot through a car's blind spot or holding its line through curves in the road soooo easily. The bike is very capable without being punitive of small flaws in technique.

Anyhow, thanks again guys.

Craig
 

·
Dirty Harry.... Moderator
Joined
·
9,816 Posts
Newbie, forget about it...

Craig, the term "newbie" will be gone from your mind very quickly with this bike. It is very forgiving of your mistakes and is very adaptable to your riding style, whatever that may be! Trust me on this, Tom (Anybody agree??) :D
 

·
West Coast Moderator
Joined
·
12,996 Posts
I think that's one of the bikes' best kept secrets is it's adaptability and its' willingness to forgive.
 

·
Silver Member
Joined
·
207 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Tom....On the shooting thing

I just shot my first USPSA match this summer, the counting rounds thing has probably been my biggest adjustment from bullseye shooting. I shoot Limited-10 with a Kimber Custom Classic and still run the mag dry all too often.

Its a lot of fun shooting practical but it has also been a real eye opener on just how fast and accurately some of those boys shoot. About half of our shooters at the matches are LEOs and, based on what I've seen, my best advice is to surrender peacefully ;)

Craig
 

·
MotoMacGyver
Joined
·
2,546 Posts
The reason you can't shift into any gear (or keep up or down shifting) while sitting still is because motorcycle gearboxes are sequential, just like gearboxes on some race cars I've worked on. As the name implies, you must go through each hear. There is no "neutral" between all the gears (well, there IS, but that's beyond what I'll explain here). Basically, the shift levers inside move what are called dog rings (they have "teeth" or "dogs" on their flat sides that match the dogs on the gears. In any case, the input shaft (always spinning) must transfer power to the output in order to keep shifting.

This is because in order for the dogs to match, they have to move ever so slightly one way in oder to mesh. Each two gears share a dog. So, the ZR-7 has 3 dogs (Rev-1st, 2nd-3rd, 4th-5th). The chances of all those dogs lining up on each gear and dog ring are next to astronomical. The only reason you can sometimes (keep at it) and make it go in is the natural vibrations of the engine (and spinning input shaft and oil) will move all those pieces slightly. The rest, you can jiggle in sometimes.

In either case, just keep downshifting before coming to a full stop. Trying to shift at a stand still is not good for the tranny. You're only forcing shift forks and gears and rings together when a slight slip of the clutch (sending power from the input shaft (and gears) to the output shaft (and gears), thereby moving those gears a little to make them mesh with their dogs.

Simple, right?

Actually, never rebuilt a motorcycle gearbox, but I have done more than my share of them on race cars, and they pretty much work exactly the same.

Good luck riding your new bike by the way. And yes, the commute will get easier and not so nerve-wracking. It takes a while to get used to being exposed with the sights, feel and sounds of all that's around you.

Emrah
 

·
MotoMacGyver
Joined
·
2,546 Posts
REVERSE??? What Was I Thinking?

Oops! Sorry guys. Before you think I'm completely full of ****, I just realized I said there were 3 dogs, and one of them was for the Reverse-1st shift. OBVIOUSLY there is no reverse (be cool if there was though). In my mind, as I was writing, I had the image of the last gearbox I worked on (a car) and it did have reverse:)

Emrah
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
965 Posts
REVERSE!

Nice one Emrah, reverse on the ZR7!
BTW, did you ever own a Honda? I don't know what is so special about their gearboxes but they shift from 1 to 5 and back at standstill, even if the engine is not running.
Well the ZR7 box is OK, but mine makes a strange noise when the bike is leaned to the right and its in neutral. It'll have to be fixed under warranty, it seems it's a free gear that is moving around a bit more than it should, touching somewhere...
The bike went in to the official service today, we'll see what comes out.
Aris
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
965 Posts
I'd like a ZRX1200R!!

Hey Scamp,

I hope it comes out as ZRX1200R (with the small screen) and in black :)
No seriously, I'm worried because the gearbox has to be opened for this...The mechanic is really good and also a friend, so my bike is in good hands.
Last month a ZX12 was in his shop with broken conrods! The guy got a brand new bike (2001 model also!).

Aris
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
good thread

Glad I found this site...I knew there had to be something out there. Since it's my first post I'll give a little info on myself. I'm 17 and have been working on cars since I was about 13. Just finished restoring a 1962 MGA Mk II 1600 and also piddle on a 1981 Lancia Beta Coupe when it needs it. I guess you could say I'm mechanically inclined. I wanted to get something else to piddle on so Dad and I looked around and saw a brand new 2000 ZR-7 at the local dealer with a price tag of $4799. After thinking and buying the bike we got it here Oct. 30. The dealer was selling under cost because the bike was the last of the ones they had and they wanted to get rid of it. Neither Dad or I have ridden a motorcycle before so we are learning on it. The bike's tranny and clutch covers already have paint taken off from dropping the bike in the gravel here at the house (grrr....!) with some swirls on the muffler and a mysterious scratch that looks like a stone chip on a car on the back tail section of the bike. Needless to say we are learning, but sometimes learning expenses can still give us anal retentive people more anxiety than we need. Who knows how long it will take me to get over it...probably not until it is fixed...

Anyway, I'm glad this message about gear shifting has come up. Even though all our cars are standard shift, riding a bike is like learning all over again...hehe. I have been glad my face was shielded from traffic after I have stalled the bike out at a light. I'm glad I read the message about downshifting needing to be a necessity. In cars it is not, however I have learned the hard way that with the bike you have to. I noticed the same thing that someone said about letting the clutch out just a little bit to engage the gears and then get into 1st.

I'm glad to know that there are others out there riding their ZR-7 to their daily destinations for the first time as I did yesterday. It's great fun and I'm amazed at the looks I get while riding.

I look forward to gaining lots more info from you guys and I'll do my best to let you guys in on anything I can. -Jamie
 

·
Wheelie for Safety
Joined
·
1,550 Posts
Welcome Jamie,

Sounds like you have a cool dad. You should keep him. You know there is a cute saying that goes something like this.

"When I was fourteen years old I couldn't believe how little my dad knew, but by the time I turned twentyone I couldn't believe how much he learned".

Anyway, don't worry most us have dropped our first bike.

Regarding getting it into first when stopped, I use Craig's method, I roll it back a couple of inches.

There is a good web site you should look at for tips etc..

http://www.msgroup.org/TIPS.ASP

Have fun, be careful.

Andy
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top