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These questions might be very noobish questions but its better to start somewhere right..

1.) When do you use the front brakes, when do you use rear brakes, and when do you use both?
2.) If the gears are down for first, and up for the rest of the gears (it may be the other way around), how do you downshift?


Thanks
 

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1. use both. You'll quickly find out that the front does most of your stopping, but you'll also notice that the bike will dive less and stop sooner if you gently drag the rear while using the front brake.

2. Knock the shift lever up with the top of your foot to upshift, knock it down with the ball of your foot to downshift.

3. Take MSF

4. Find a nice open parking lot to practice.
 

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My biggest fear when doing my motorcycle course is the gears.
Does changing the gears work like a manual tranny car?
I read that there is a neutral between 1st and 2nd gear.

How do u change gears?
 

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It seems to be easier for people than driving a manual in a car.

This describes most motorcycles:

You begin in N. The gears on a bike are controlled with the lever next to the left foot peg. The gear pattern looks like this

6
5
4
3
2
N
1

If you push the lever down, it moves down the list, if you lift it up it moves up on the list. The only complication is that to move to N you must shift all the way down to 1 and then gently lift the lever in what amounts to a half step.

So, you begin in N. Clutch in, push down on the lever to 1. You get the bike moving in the same fashion as a car, gas and clutch until you're moving in 1. When it's time to shift to 2, clutch in pull lever up and release (it will skip over N on a full pull of the lever). Clutch out, gas. Clutch in, pull lever up to 3. At this point you decide to stop and place the bike in N. Clutch in, brake to stop. Push down once and release (2), push down a second time and release (1), pull up lightly on the lever while watching N indicator light (N).

Sounds involved, very simple. I've seen many a rider who could learn to shift flawlessly in minutes, yet they had no idea how to drive a manual car.
 

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mikehsu said:
These questions might be very noobish questions but its better to start somewhere right..

1.) When do you use the front brakes, when do you use rear brakes, and when do you use both?
2.) If the gears are down for first, and up for the rest of the gears (it may be the other way around), how do you downshift?


Thanks
These questions are what you should be asking. Right now you know nothing about riding. No one is born knowing anything at all. Don't worry about asking questions.

1) The front brake will supply most of your braking power due to weight transfer while stopping (this is also true of cars, but it's far more noticeable and important to understand while stopping a motorcycle.)

It is a good idea to learn to use both brakes together, just understand that you can never use the rear brake as hard as you can use the front brake. Practising hard stops and emergency braking is vital preparation.

Some instances in which you should use one not the other would be related to road conditions. On a dirt, gravel or sandy road you should stop slowly using only the rear brake. On dry asphalt if you need to stop in a hurry, you should concentrate on using the front brake smoothly but firmly, and probably ignore the rear brake until you have a good amount of practise with it. The harder you use the front brake the less force you can use on the rear before it locks up.

The time to develop the feel, instinct and muscle memory for braking is not when someone pulls out in front of you.

2) You downshift by pushing down on the lever, and upshift by pulling up. Don't let N confuse you. Think of it as sitting above 1st and having to downshit into first, if that helps.
 

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Thanks. However, from my reading. I thought pushing down on the gear lever means going up a gear?
 

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For basic fundamentals of riding, it might be a good idea to buy yourself a 125cc trail bike for cheap. Take it out on some logging roads or in the country and practice shifting, singnaling, honking the horn, dimming the headlight - nothing really tough, just all the basic control things that need to be second nature for you on the street. Fortunately, almost all bikes have the controls set up the same way so it is easy to go up from there.
 

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go to MSF! they give you their bikes for you to learn on! if you have never driven a manual, the only thing you need to remember is to ALWAYS SLOWLY RELEASE THE CLUTCH....you will almost never stall as long as you slowly release the clutch and then gradually give it throttle...
 
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