How Do You Change Gears on a Motorcycle?


Quick Answer

Changing a gear on a motorcycle involves squeezing the clutch lever with the hand, and operating the gear lever with the right foot. To up the gears, the rider needs to kick up, and to go down the gears, the rider needs to kick down.

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Full Answer

Taking off on a motorcycle is normally done in first gear. The gears need changed up as the rider increases speed, and they need changed down as the rider decreases speed. Note that because of the coordination required by using two hands and one foot in order to change a gears, gears should be changed before a rider gets to a corner rather than while driving around it.

  1. Throttle off and clutch in
  2. To change up to the next gear, roll off the throttle and pull in the clutch lever at the same time.
  3. Operate the shift lever
  4. Move the toes of the right foot under the shift lever. Once the clutch is fully in, kick up with the toe as far as it will go. The rider will be able to hear and feel the gear engage.
  5. Clutch out and throttle on
  6. Now simultaneously let out the clutch and roll on the throttle. Repeat this process to continue moving up through the gears.
  7. Downshifting
  8. The hands go through the same process when downshifting. The foot, however, moves to the top of the shift lever and kicks down instead of up.
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