The most important tip for shifting gears on a motorcycle is to learn how to use the clutch, gear shift and throttle deliberately and smoothly. The clutch is typically the lever found behind the left handlebar of the bike, the gear shift is the bar on the left foot pedal, and the throttle is the right handlebar itself. To shift smoothly, pay attention to the way the clutch, gear shift and throttle interact with each other.
Pulling the clutch lever disengages the clutch, which allows the selection of the appropriate gear with the left foot. With the gear selected, slightly rev the engine by turning the throttle with your right hand and gradually releasing the clutch. This accelerates the bike. If the motorcycle jerks as the clutch is released, this could mean the clutch is being released too abruptly; try doing it more slowly.
Shifting to a higher gear involves bumping the gear shift in increasing numbers. One bump engages second gear, two bumps engages third and so on. Skipping a gear by accident does not necessarily damage the motorcycles gears as long the rev of the throttle is matched to the selected gear.
To downshift to a lower gear, push down on the gear shift one notch at a time. Once the bike comes to complete stop, shift to neutral and hold the brake. Only shift into first gear if you are ready to go.