To pass a vehicle, you have to know how to downshift a motorcycle. Using the right gear on a motorcycle can help in many situations. Downshifting a motorcycle puts the engine in a higher power range and allows the rider to tap into more power to accelerate. Other times a rider needs to downshift are during braking, or coming to a full stop. This action takes some coordination to perform smoothly. Practicing in a vacant parking lot or driving course with no distractions is the best location to learn this technique, or even better is to take a motorcycle safety course.
- Recognize when to downshift. Don't wait until the engine is struggling as you slow down. If you don't have a tachometer listen to the engine sound and you'll soon learn by ear when to downshift and it will happen naturally.
- Squeeze the clutch and let off some on the gas. While you squeeze in the clutch handle ease off of the gas so the engine doesn't rev once the gears are not engaged. Damage to the engine might occur if it is over speed.
- Most motorcycles have a foot gear lever. Press down one time to shift to the next lower gear. Usually your foot can feel if the shift down went well.
- Ease the clutch out and apply some gas. Apply even throttle control to allow for a smooth shift.
Using the right gear for the speed of travel adds safety to the ride. Make all shifts as smoothly as possible. With practice it will become second nature.