How To Shift Gears On A Motorcycle

Inexperienced riders need to know how to shift gears on a motorcycle. Shifting gears is fun when you know how to do it smoothly and when to do it. Some motorcycles have an upshift light, others have a tachometer that tells you how fast the engine is rotating, and others still only have a speedometer. Knowing when to shift gears on a motorcycle is something you learn from practice.

  1. The clutch is on the left handlebar. Squeeze the lever to engage the clutch. Gears cannot be changed without the clutch being in.
  2. The gear shift is on the left foot. The lever is a ratchet that changes gears one at a time up when lifted up, and one at a time down when pressed down.
  3. Neutral is found by shifting all the way down to first and then half-lifting the gear shift lever. The neutral light should indicate when it's in the correct position.
  4. When releasing the clutch from a dead stop, use caution. Smoothly let the clutch out slowly while also applying throttle with the right hand. Motorcycles are known to drop when they stall at a very low speed, and letting the clutch out too fast or not giving enough gas will result in a stall.
  5. Practice at an empty area. Each motorcycle has a different feel for the mechanical parts and the clutch will start grabbing at a different point on each.

Taking a motorcycle safety foundation class is the best way to learn how to shift gears on a motorcycle, as well as discovering needed safety information.

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