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Discussion Starter #1
Somebody help me! Just bought a brand new 05 Ninja 500R. Being my first street bike, I'm having trouble getting 100% smooth upshifts and downshifts. Although I'm not grinding gears or missing them, I'm wondering if damage is being done by not shifting it 100% smoothly. The bike is jerking when the shifts aren't perfect and I'm sure its b/c of my poor throttle control. I can get some smooth upshifts and downshifts but not all the time. Anyone have a Ninja 500R who experienced the same thing (shifting troubles) their first few rides?

I'm so afraid I'm hurting the tranny by not shifting it 100% smoothly. Is that true??? I don't want to ruin a brand new bike....

BTW - I'm in the break-in period so I can't go over 4k rpm.

-- Chris
 

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If you aren't grinding them don't worry.....practice, practice, and practice some more. A bit more throttle on the up shift. You'll get it.

Don't be too afraid of the rev limit for break in....doesn't hurt if you go over it for short periods. Don't lug it and try to vary your rpm's/speeds.

Have fun. :D
 

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You’re not going to hurt it. You will find that it shifts harder because it is new. As you get more miles on it, it will start to smooth out as things mesh together. Just practice, it will get easier.


Oh yea, you practice by riding more. Most fun practicing you will ever have in you life!
 

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You are going to have to endure the hard shifts, roll off all the way, and pull that clutch all the way in, you're going to find it's a little easier but not much...and you may have troubles with neutral.

My advice: take an entire day of riding around town varying rpm's going as fast as you can without breaking the rpm limits and once you're around 600 get your services done and you'll find it's a little easier to shift.

Then...continue with your town cruising/back road driving until you're out of the break in period and you'll find the shifts are smooth as butter.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks!

Thanks for your advice guys. Last night I was practicing for about 2-3 hours and I noticed that if I roll off and on the throttle a little slower and ease the clutch out a little slower, but do this entire motion a bit faster, the bike shifts like a friggen charm and takes off like a rocket! Funny, I seem to do better on the bike when I don't think too much into it.... ;)

As far as damaging the clutch, tranny, gears....sounds like it's pretty hard to do that unless you really hammer on it bad, eh?!?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Neutral

Tonight I did much better, I find the bike shifts better when I hop on the gas a little more and shift faster, lol. I've got a new issue....

When at the light tonight, I shifted down through the gears to 1st gear and then back up to neutral. Then I went to put it in first, but didn't hear the click as usual. Then I let the clutch out slowly and it clicked into 1st gear. Is that normal for the tranny to not find 1st when the bike is stopped? Seemed like it happened twice to me tonight at stop lights. Anything broken in the tranny? The bike goes through the gears fine when moving...
 

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That's perfectly normal. You are supposed to downshift while you are still moving. It's a safety issue, not a wear-and-tear issue. But if you are stopped, and you can't get it to shift down, just let out the clutch to spin the gears. Then put the clutch back in, and shift down. I've had it happen bunches of times. It's no biggie.
Curt
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Shifting

Thanks Curt! Good to know my noob butt hasn't damaged the tranny on that brand new 500R. I love that bike when I shift it right! :)
 

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Yep, you're fine. I forgot to mention that sometimes I'm parked and the engine isn't running and I can't get it to shift down. If that happens, turn the rear wheel (or push the bike if the rear wheel is down). That will turn the gears in the transmission, which is where the problem is.

It is my understanding that cars have used syncromesh gearing for decades, but bikes don't use it (someone correct me if I'm wrong here). So if the gears happen to be lined up perfectly (tooth to tooth instead of the usual tooth to gap), the gears won't mesh. But if you spin the gears, they'll be fine. If it happens in a car, you put a little pressure on the shifter, then let out the clutch slowly until it snaps into gear.
Curt
 

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Discussion Starter #10
is it normal to have trouble shifting perfectly during your first week of learning to ride a streetbike? ive been rough on the clutch the first week i guess and im scared i could've damaged the tranny by not shifting 100% perfectly. Maybe I'm just paranoid b/c the bike runs and shifts fine... ;)
 

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nah, when you get good enough you can shift without the clutch and without having a noticeable difference though I really wouldn't suggest it until you get much much more experience, and inlines are less forgiving than V-Twins so don't go trying anything too soon.
 
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