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Discussion Starter #1
I've put about 600 miles on my 2010 Z1000 now and absolutely love the bike - this engine is just sublime! I mean damn, what a bike! I love how it looks too, like a fat, compact, futuristic hovercraft or something from the front angles..

I'm having trouble upshifting the bike in a seamless manner though and I'm curious if others have this issue..

I had the same issue with my buddies FZR 1000..

Basically, I pull the clutch in (just enough to disengage the gear, which is maybe 1/6th of the total available travel), upshift, then let the clutch out in a controlled manner as I give it some throttle to blend the new gear in.. I'm used to shifting fast per my 650r so this all happens very quickly..

Rarely do I get it "just right" where the gear engages at the exact same moment as the gas hits the engine - usually the new gear engages a split second before the throttle gets through, or sometimes the throttle gets through before the new gear engages (resulting in the engine revving up for s split second like it would in neutral)..

Is this just how these 1000cc inline-4 bikes are? I'm not jerking the bike anything dramatic at all, it's just a subtle thing, but I want to get them more smoothly..

On my twin engined 650r I can blend the new gear with the throttle easily and perfectly every time while upshifting - it's like there's a much greater window to work with or something.. On the Z1000 there's very little room for error in terms of hitting the seamless shift..

Any suggestions here?

I'm thinking I need to be much more gentle with the throttle re-application and start the throttle first, then let the clutch out - on the 650r this basic technique makes for super smooth shifts..
 

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Hi Lumberjack, it sounds to me like you're bike has bigger issues than your riding style. your Z1000 should be easier and smoother on all gear changes than your 650r.

My old 06 Z750 was nice to change gears all the time like the same way you mention your 650r was, but my z1000 is even better! Doesn't matter whether i'm going flat out, or just cruising, to changes smooth as. Especially up changing, it doesn't matter how much clutch you use, as long as you back the throttle off as you change it should be fine.

It sounds like you've tried changing your technique a few times with no fix, this makes me think it may be the bike/gearbox isn't right. i'd be taking it to a dealer and explain the issues you're having. Let them test ride it and see what they come up with.
 

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Lumberjack try blipping (on/off to raise rpms) the throttle a bit when you have the clutch engaged. Raising the rpms a bit should help mesh the gears a bit when you disengage the clutch.
 

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I noticed the same thing with my 03 z but it is mainly a problem when cold and when trying to shift for slow cruising (below 3500rpm). I am new to this type of bike but the shift seems much smoother if i just wind it out a bit for upshifts and the downshifts just need a little throttle.
 

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You're coming from a twin to an I4... just keep riding and stop thinking too much about it and it will come.
 

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Lumberjack try blipping (on/off to raise rpms) the throttle a bit when you have the clutch engaged. Raising the rpms a bit should help mesh the gears a bit when you disengage the clutch.
don't do this for up shifting. this a technique for down shifting to avoid rear wheel hopping by matching engine speed to the next lower gear. you must slow the engine rpm down to match for the higher gear while shifting up, not raise the rpm. jmpk, I seriously hope you simply misunderstood the issue.

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I would suspect you are just not used to the clutch take up of the new bike yet. when a motorcycle clutch is new the take up can be quite high in the lever arch. add to that it has a new gear box and all the other newness factors and you just aren't in sync with your new machine yet. it's also possible you're cable is adjusted too tight.

worry about advanced throttle blipping techniques when you have mastered basic operation. blipping the throttle and other advanced riding techniques will make more sense once the basics become second nature.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Right on, I think the newness has a big part of it...

Is the clutch cable something I can adjust myself (I know basically nothing about motorcycle repair/maintenance)? I'm having the 600 mile service done on Monday and maybe I should ask them to look into that also?

As far as "blipping", yea I don't do that while upshifting, but we all know that the throttle has to join the upshift at some point or the engine braking will occur as soon as the clutch lets out.. So there's no "blipping, but of course there is a "getting back on the gas"..

So, I either give it throttle too soon (and the engine revs), or I give it throttle too late (and the engine brakes for a split second before the throttle gets there).. There is just a tiny little spot in there where I can get it just right it seems..

This bike certainly requires much more finesse on the throttle in general, which I enjoy, but when it comes to upshifting it is challenging..
 

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my clutch + box got much better after a few miles were on it
used to get a little clutch drag prior to the 600 mile service

but all was good once i got 800+ mile on the bike
 

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Right on, I think the newness has a big part of it...

Is the clutch cable something I can adjust myself (I know basically nothing about motorcycle repair/maintenance)? I'm having the 600 mile service done on Monday and maybe I should ask them to look into that also?

As far as "blipping", yea I don't do that while upshifting, but we all know that the throttle has to join the upshift at some point or the engine braking will occur as soon as the clutch lets out.. So there's no "blipping, but of course there is a "getting back on the gas"..

So, I either give it throttle too soon (and the engine revs), or I give it throttle too late (and the engine brakes for a split second before the throttle gets there).. There is just a tiny little spot in there where I can get it just right it seems..

This bike certainly requires much more finesse on the throttle in general, which I enjoy, but when it comes to upshifting it is challenging..
hi lumberjack, it could be that you are used to the timing of your shifts of of your previous bike. ( the clutch cable adj and/or throttle cable adj are different) it also is a quicker reving motor AND is geared short. try adjusting the angle of your throttle hand at idle ( wrist up or wrist down when holding the trottle - if that makes sense, then take a ride around the block... if your shifting changes ( for better or worse ), try adj the throttle cable ( probably tighter ) mine had too much play and threw off my timing as well. in short, just ride it, you will get used to it
 

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... try adj the throttle cable ( probably tighter ) mine had too much play and threw off my timing as well. in short, just ride it, you will get used to it
Very good advice. Modern FI bikes rev quick as snot and respond fast to throttle changes. Any slack in the cables will make it so even tho you are turning the throttle tube it may not actually be open or is slamming shut then cracking open. This would definitely cause difficulties as throttle control is very important on any modern FI bike, especially during shifts. My ZX-14 had a lot of slack in the cables. Was the first thing I adjusted after the initial 20 mile break-in ride I do to new bikes. Good call kimcheeal.
 

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Strange that somebody has issues with shifting. However, beside getting the throttle cables tight "pre-load" the shifter prior shifting. Not with force just lay your foot slightly on (OK under) it and the next gear will just pop in. On a free road I usually up-shift clutchless from 2nd gear up by pre-loading, release throttle, shift, throttle. I do this since 30 years and no Kawi tranny was ever harmed or had any issues. Perhaps clutchless shifting at moderate throttle opening is the right training to get used to it, the bike should jerk and the tranny mustn't make any noises.
 

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Forget the clutch for upshifting. My clutchless shifts are so smooth passengers can't even tell I shifted, except for 1-2, I usually use the clutch.
 

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Hi Lumberjack,

I got 130 miles on my new zed before the snow came.. and I gotta tell ya.. even with the clutch adjustment not perfect and the throttle cables sorta lose and saggy, floppy chain, I was able to shift pretty smooth and dump on as much or as little throttle as I felt like. I have since dialed it in.. including a chain adjustment last night. Won't get a chance to ride again for a while. I just don't ride in the winter any more.. it's just not enjoyable enough to bother with the risks.

Anyway, I have pondered your post countless times and would like to know if you are still having the same issues? Have you adjusted the throttle cables? Chain slack? clutch cable too tight? tell us where you are on this.


Thanks,
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hey there! I think its getting better - just a matter of timing it looks like..

I notice that if I rev the engine higher the shift happens much smoother - shifting at 6k instead of 4k for instance - those shifts happen real smooth, or anytime I'm really getting on the throttle..

The challenging ones are the low-speed shifts when I'm just accelerating gradually - I can do them perfectly smooth if I upshift then bring the throttle back in real slow and steady - but if I try and upshift quickly (rolling off then immediately back on the throttle) while in the midst of slower acceleration and lower engine speeds the timing is tricky..

Did some clutchless upshifting today past the 1st-2nd shift where I use the clutch and the clutchless method works real well on this bike - on my 650r it didnt but on this bike it does

I had the 600 mile service done and the mechanic adjusted the throttle play (made it less) and the clutch lever as well..
 

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Hey there! I think its getting better - just a matter of timing it looks like..

I notice that if I rev the engine higher the shift happens much smoother - shifting at 6k instead of 4k for instance - those shifts happen real smooth, or anytime I'm really getting on the throttle..

The challenging ones are the low-speed shifts when I'm just accelerating gradually - I can do them perfectly smooth if I upshift then bring the throttle back in real slow and steady - but if I try and upshift quickly (rolling off then immediately back on the throttle) while in the midst of slower acceleration and lower engine speeds the timing is tricky..
Glad things are getting smoother for you.

Something to keep in mind. At low RPM the engine isn't getting as much oil pressure as it would at higher RPM. You can really do some damage to an engine if you load it too much at lower RPM, when there is less oil pressure. Motorcycles like higher revs anyway. Don't be afraid to get the RPMs up there before grabbing the next gear. 4k shifts are fine for just easy cruising on level or down hill.. but If you are trying to gain speed or climb a hill, wind it up more. It will make those shifts smoother like you said and your engine will be getting the oil pressure it loves.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
FWIW, the bike shifts MUCH more smoothly since I brought it to the track - riding the bike really hard like that - aggressive, high rpm upshifts and downshifts - seemed to do something good to it - now the shifts are buttery smooth..
 

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I noticed after changing exhaust to the Brawlers my bike shifts perfectly.
It used to e kind of notchy,i think it was due to high levels of back pressure slowing the engine quickly.
I did notice with stock exhaust riding it harder than i wanted to resulted in smoother gear changes.
I guess some bikes werent made to be babied!
 

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One thing I noticed with my 2nd gen that when I'm loafing around town, I preload the shifter AND use the clutch on my upshifts when I'm cruising around. Really smooth. I noticed a few others have posted to preload the shifter but I thought I would add that extra tidbit.

When I'm out on an open road and ripping it, I just preload, roll out of the throttle then get back in it.
 
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