Have you recently purchased a motorcycle and want to know how to shift gears? Maybe this is your first time riding a motorcycle and didn’t realize you would have to deal with gears?
Or are you curious and want to know more? Whatever the reason is that brought you here today, I am here with the answers that you need!
When it comes to motorcycles, figuring out how they work can be challenging. It is so easy to find yourself overwhelmed, lost in a sea of wires, oil, and metal, unsure where to turn or who you can trust.
All you want to know is how to shift gears on a motorcycle, but no one seems to have the answer.
Well, no more! Today, I am here with a detailed guide on how to shift gears on a motorcycle! Keep reading for a step-by-step guide that will have you shifting gears like a pro!
How To Shift Gears On A Motorcycle
Let’s get straight into it! I have created a step-by-step guide below for you to follow and learn how to shift gears on your motorcycle.
Check out the steps below now! We have two different options for you, one for semi-automatic motorcycles and one for manual motorcycles. Find the method that best suits your type of motorcycle below!
Option One – Semi-Automatic Motorcycle
- Familiarize Yourself With The Controls
Before you can master changing gears, you need to know where the controls are! If you have a semi-automatic transmission motorcycle, then you need to know where the gear shifter and the throttle are.
Most motorcycle owners will have a semi-automatic, where the clutch will be tied to the gear shift.
- Turn On The Bike
Once you have found your controls, you will want to straddle your bike and place it in neutral. Once this is done, turn your bike on!
- Put The Bike Into First Gear
It’s time to move into gear! To do this, throttle the engine and press down on the gear shift. To get into the first gear, press down one click on the gear shift. To find the first gear, you will always move the gear shift down a notch.
For higher gears, you move the gear shift upwards.
- Move Into Higher Gears
When the time comes to switch into a higher gear, you will want to use the same process I showed you earlier. Throttle your engine and use your toe to push the gear shift up.
Pushing it one-click shifts you into second gear, another click into third, and so on until you have shifted through all the gears.
- Move Down To Lower Gears
As you slow down and come to a stop, you can move down your gears by pushing down in the gear shift. Do this until you have come to a complete stop before putting your bike in neutral.
Remember, you always want your bike left in neutral!
Option Two – Manual Motorcycle
- Familiarize Yourself With The Controls
For a motorcycle with a manual transmission, you need to become familiar with your controls before you can start shifting gears.
You should know where your gear shifter is, the throttle, and the clutch before you hop on and start riding! Unlike a semi-automatic, your gear shift is not tied to the clutch, so you need to operate them separately.
You can find the clutch in front of your left-hand grip. Your clutch transfers torque from your engine to your transmission. Next, you can find your throttle on the right handgrip.
When you roll on the throttle, it increases the engine’s RPM to stop it from stalling. Finally, you can find your gear shift bar in front of your left foot pedal. Its role is to switch between gears for a smooth drive.
- Start Your Motorcycle
Straddle your motorcycle and check that it is in a neutral position. New bikes will have a feature that allows you to check this with a green N light. You can find this on the meter console. To start your bike, squeeze the clutch and press the starter button.
- Move Into First Gear
Close your throttle and pull your clutch in completely. While doing this, push downwards on your gear shifter to move into first gear.
Slowly apply throttle and gently release the clutch until your motorcycle rolls slowly. Once you are rolling, increase your throttle and completely release your clutch.
Remember, there is no rush here when releasing your clutch, you want to coordinate your throttle and clutch until the motorcycle starts to move. As you increase speed, ease on the clutch, keeping your movements slow and smooth.
- Shift Into Higher Gears
Once you are moving and gaining some speed, you can move into higher gears. To do this, close your throttle and squeeze your clutch. Move your left foot so your toes are under the shift peg. You will want to lift this peg as far as it goes.
Next, bump the gear shift upwards one, this will move you into second. To continue moving gears, bump the gear shift up again. Another bump will shift you into third, another again into fourth, and so on.
For experienced riders, you won’t need to use the clutch to shift up. Instead, they can lift the shifter lightly with their foot and down-blip the throttle to move into a higher gear. It can take a lot of practice to do this, so don’t worry if you aren’t there yet!
- Move Down A Gear
To shift down into lower gears, close your throttle and squeeze in your clutch. Next, push down on your gear peg shift before releasing it. You then need to adjust your clutch and throttle to match your new speed.
When you are coming to a stop, keep the throttle closed and hold the clutch in place. Repeat the process of moving down gears until you are back in first gear.
And there you have it, two methods that allow you to shift gears on a motorcycle. I bet it’s not as hard as you first thought it would be! All it takes is some practice and patience and you are sure to be shifting gears like a pro.