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Discussion Starter #1
Ok so I know the difference between pre loading a clutch and clutchless shifting but my question is what is the best way to avoid damage to the clutch? I generally still shift after pulling in the clutch but this can cause ware on the plates so is clutchless shifting any better and on the Vic's is there an ideal RPM to do this at?
 

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Generally speaking, I shift at about 3,300 or so for regular commute riding. Much higher RPM if I'm really diggin' in.

I pull the clutch lever and the shifter at exactly the same time. I've found that my bike shifts much smoother this way, rather than pulling the clutch all the way before shifting. It just slips right into gear with much less clunky clunk and clackity clack.

This bike is 118k on the same clutch. (85k or so on Rotella...just so we can get THAT started in the same thread.)
 

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For a start very little wear happens to your clutch on shifts.
Its slipping it that causes wear, like easing it off the lights, low speed maneuvering,hill starts etc.
Clutch is comparatively easy and cheap to replace compared with gear damage.
Ive been experimenting on the dragstrip, trying to get the quickest, cleanest shifts possible in an attempt to get to the finish as quickly and cleanly as possible.
Theres a few different schools of thought , depending who you talk to.
One is to pre-load the shifter and snap the throttle off/on quickly which brings the bike up to the next gear instantly, and smoothly. ..Leaving the clutch lever completely alone except to get off the line.
Now I'm talking drag racing here but principles are the same.
The other is to hold the throttle wide open with shifter pre-loaded and fan or tap the clutch lever and shift.
This method gets a fast smooth up-shift as well.
On the track though I'm having trouble being consistent in that occasionally I'll miss a shift and hit the rev-limiter (6300rpm on mine).
I'm changing at max power which is 5900rpm so there's no room for error, tap the clutch in a bit too far on the last method and I'm bouncing off the limiter.
It's something I need a lot more practice at to be consistent, that's why, well part of the reason why I didn't race at the All Bike Drags last Sunday.
The other reason lack of money, and also the niggling thought at the back of my mind that I'm flogging the crap out of a bike that's gotta last me!

Ive adapted some of the last method to my street riding, not holding it wide open obviously,
Preloading slightly and just lightly fanning or tapping the clutch lever as I upshift, with a slight reduction in revs at the same time gives me nice smooth shifts.
I also have an ulterior motive in that my clutch has the Barnett spring and cover plate that is a heavier pull than normal so just fanning the clutch on upshifts saves wear and tear on my left hand.

Experiment with what works best for you and the bike.
A good quality semi-synthetic oil seems to work best too.
Fresher the oil the better the shifts.
Full Syn didnt work for me on the strip as I had lots of missed shifts though I was trying to shift conventionally at 5500-5900rpm and messing it up.
So semi-syn, preload and lightly fan the clutch is my recipe.
Let us know how you go hey
 

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My method of preference is to preload, using minimal throttle movement, for a number of reasons; smoother shifts, quieter shifts and easier on the clutch and tranny. I shift at over 3K to 4500 rpms. I have added an EZ-Pull and Barnett cable for a much lighter pull at the lever. My XR is over 7-1/2 years old, purchased new, has 38K miles and ridden hard at times, especially when in the mountain twisties. I have known riders who do clutchless shifting to have broken their trannys, so I'm not willing to join that group.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys, This is all experimental for me so I would rather not mess up something.

can downshifting be done safely as well without pulling in the clutch? What RPMs is ideal?
 

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Not really unless your names Valentino Rossi.
It can be done if your clutch cable breaks but not advisable.
Why all this worry about using up the clutch?
As long as the freeplay is correct and you use the right oil a clutch will last a 100k plus.
 

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can downshifting be done safely as well without pulling in the clutch? What RPMs is ideal?
Why would you want to risk your gear box? Are you really that expert or that lazy?
 

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Could be a candidate for a Spyder too @RICZ
 
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Tony is one really conflicted rider. We keep telling him what the dire consequences are and he keeps asking. Makes me wonder why he wants to avoid using the clutch. It boggles the mind.
 

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You don't pre-load the clutch, OK? You pre-load the shifter... well, maybe YOU do, but I don't.
Pull in the clutch and shift it.

Scared to wear the clutch? Really? My clutch is the one that came in it from the factory. That was over 110K miles ago. All it has is a 'gold' spring in it from Rivera Primo. Still holds all 130+ HP and 140+ft-lbs and will still do 2nd gear wheelies, so why are you scared?

We were all sitting around a table and people with talking about their special clutches and fancy custom built HD conversions. I said what I said above and someone said, "That has to be getting tired". I laughed... I did a couple of sweet wheelies just a few minutes ago... believe me, if the clutch was slipping it wouldn't carry the front wheel in the air.

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