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Discussion Starter #1
Can someone please tell me the ideal speeds (and RPMs) for changing gears?? Sometimes I think I should be in third still when I'm in fourth. Also, approximately how fast should I be going before I put my Ninja 500 into 5th gear? Is it better to go by RPMs, speed, or just the sound of the engine?

Thanks.
 

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AZ's Official Mechanic
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being i have ridden so long its a combination of speed and sound of motor. dont have to look at the speedo for shifting.
dont worry about what speed you shift at or what RPM, just shift so that you dont LUG the motor. as for what speed to shift to 5th, thats all gonna depend on the situation. if your going up hill and the bike is slowing down then you need to shift DOWN, on flat shift so that the bike isnt lugging/slowing down. just takes practice and time.
good luck
 

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Depends on the situation, but I usually shift at about 3500-4500-rpm when riding around casually. For the 500, I wouldn't let the revs fall below 2500, and if you're accelerating quickly, maybe keep it above 3500. As Qken pointed out, lugging the motor is not a nice thing to do to your engine.
As rpm goes up, the oil pump naturally pumps faster. This is ideal because you ordinarily need more oil at higher engine loads. The only way you can throw a monkeywrench into the works is by being at a low-rpm and suddenly twisting the throttle really hard: a high-load / lower oil-pressure condition. Bad for crank bearings.
Don't be bashful about letting her rev. I used to think that my Superhawk would have a longer life because it made high torque at lower rpm and if each piston stroke automatically equals wear, then my Honda V-twin should last almost forever.
Well guess what happened?:
http://www.chrisandlisachan.com/superhawk.htm

The 500 was designed to rev, so let her. As long as you aren't stuck in traffic with a temp-gauge reaching red, it will actually be good for it.
Good luck.
-CCinC
P.S. If your owners manual says anything about this, DON'T BELIEVE IT! My Superhawk's manual was talking nonsense like I should be in 6th gear at 35-mph--must have been written to appease the EPA or something, because that bike would be at about 3200rpm at 65mph, so 35mph equals about 1723-rpm--"ca-clunka-ca-klunka-ca-klunka."
 
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