Honda CBR 500 Riders Forum banner
1 - 20 of 36 Posts

·
Registered
2020 CB500F A
Joined
·
77 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been fiddling around quite a bit with different shift points on my 2020 CB500F (bought new, now has about 11k kms) to try and get buttery upshifts. Earlier last year I had issues with truly horrendous gear crunching that turned out to be a warped clutch, which was replaced. All is still well, and the crunchiness is gone, but now I've been trying to learn the conditions for always getting an almost seemless 1-2 shift. It works sometimes, but other times 2nd goes in with a bit more "click" or thud (thankfully not a crunch like it used to).

I've worked it down to timing of the throttle/clutch/upshift movement where I have to almost exaggerate my movements to get it exactly right with a tiny bit of shift pedal preload. But what I've been experimenting with lately is trying to get all that movement to happen in the right rev range for 2nd. I went on gear commander site and input all the different values required, and the site spat out a rev range for all the gears and the wheel speed in each gear at different rpm intervals.

Here's my question for rev matching (on upshifts):

I know the idea is not to lose so much rpm when trying to shift up (waiting too long before clicking up for example), but am I supposed to be matching the rpm that would be around the same speed I'm shifting at for the upcoming gear?

Here's a sample - I like shifting around 4k rpm, or a little less if bike is still cold, or a little more if bike is all warmed up. So, at 4300rpm, 1st gear wheel speed is at around 27/28kph. The table shows that in second gear, 27kph should be around 2800rpm. Is the objective here to let the rpms drop from 4300 to 2800 just as I click up into 2nd? Thats a 1500rpm drop, and higher if I'm stretching 1st gear a bit more before I shift (6k to 4k if shifting around 40kph).

Have I got the idea right? If so, how accurate do I need to be?

I'm still experimenting (in a parking lot because it's hard to focus this hard on the dash without it being hazardous otherwise)... sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. It's easier in the 2nd to 3rd or higher shifts, but it's still a bit notchy (almost like 2 clicks to get into gear, or a slap sound) if I don't get it right, which is not often.
 

·
Registered
CB500X 2017, V-Strom 650
Joined
·
74 Posts
Personally I would recommend you not to focus on RPMs or speed or anything else. Just let your body to learn how to do it - all this stuff like upshifts, downshifts with throttle blipping must be authomatic. This way you can enjoy the ride. If you are thinking about RPMs you will lost concentration and you lines will be less than ideal, you pays less attention to surrounding traffic, etc.

Muscle memory is your best help here. We can theorise a lot about what happens on upshifts and downshifts, how primary shaft loses or gains rotational speed, how wet clutches drag affects their rotational speed and so on but it's quite useless IMHO. It's just a matter of time - after some weeks, months you will master it. It depends on the roads you ride of course - tight twisties are the best - they allows you to practice with your gearbox. On other side - a lot of highway ride doesn't helps a lot - there is not so much gearbox use there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,252 Posts
I'm about to blow your mind. Have you ever considered just starting out in second gear?

Sent from my SM-G986U using Tapatalk
 
  • Wow
Reactions: SC48

·
Registered
Joined
·
570 Posts
I changed to fully synthetic oil and that improved slickness. But I have zero shifting problems anyway. I think you are looking too deep into it. Gear lever height is important, as is a firm and definite shift. Muscle memory will take over. The 2019 on gearbox is super duper.
 

·
Registered
2020 CB500F A
Joined
·
77 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Personally I would recommend you not to focus on RPMs or speed or anything else. Just let your body to learn how to do it - all this stuff like upshifts, downshifts with throttle blipping must be authomatic. This way you can enjoy the ride. If you are thinking about RPMs you will lost concentration and you lines will be less than ideal, you pays less attention to surrounding traffic, etc.

Muscle memory is your best help here. We can theorise a lot about what happens on upshifts and downshifts, how primary shaft loses or gains rotational speed, how wet clutches drag affects their rotational speed and so on but it's quite useless IMHO. It's just a matter of time - after some weeks, months you will master it. It depends on the roads you ride of course - tight twisties are the best - they allows you to practice with your gearbox. On other side - a lot of highway ride doesn't helps a lot - there is not so much gearbox use there.
Yes, I agree. On the open road, I'm only focused on road hazards and general operation as opposed to nitty gritty details like that.

I'm using a big open empty parking lot to practice and build that muscle memory so that it becomes second nature out on the road eventually by sound, feel, etc.

I changed to fully synthetic oil and that improved slickness. But I have zero shifting problems anyway. I think you are looking too deep into it. Gear lever height is important, as is a firm and definite shift. Muscle memory will take over. The 2019 on gearbox is super duper.
I'm also running full synthetic. I've played around with shift height A LOT and I agree with you about firm and confident shift. Pedal height doesn't seem to have an effect on what I'm trying to hone in on. I don't think there's a shifting problem; I did have an actual problem before due to a worn part, but that is very different from what I'm trying to learn here. I'm simply trying to go from a slap to a quiet slotting in where you wouldn't even know you engaged the next gear.

I know it's possible because I've been able to do it (inadvertently) many times...just don't know how to keep on replicating it exactly every time. I nit pick a lot 🤓
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
199 Posts
Your muscle memory will come from riding and riding.
I guess my question is why is 1st to 2nd so important to you?
And you are thinking about these numbers way to much- just ride it.
The process will happen without you thinking about it!
 

·
Registered
2020 CB500F A
Joined
·
77 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Your muscle memory will come from riding and riding.
I guess my question is why is 1st to 2nd so important to you?
And you are thinking about these numbers way to much- just ride it.
The process will happen without you thinking about it!
That's what I'm trying to do...I guess I'm a bit frustrated with the time it's taking of trial and error chasing that perfectly smooth upshift that I know I am capable of (sometimes lol). Also, I like to be consistent, and in the long run, smoother shifts = longevity.

It's more pronounced in the 1-2, that's all. It could be in any upshift, that's not relevant. For me, I'm trying to understand the concept itself of how to match the revs so I can focus my practice sessions, and not have to worry about it elsewhere.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
570 Posts
First to get you rolling then into 2nd then after that try doing your gear changes in at least the 5-6,000 rev range, they always shift better and smoother up the rev range. Maybe your getting too much information. But at least you can try a few things to see what suits you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,252 Posts
Sometimes when I want a bit of fun, I choose one of my favorite Twisties and ride it in 3rd 4th and,5th keeping the revs in the 6.500-8,000 range, mind the speed limits though.
Now we're talking! Listen to our friend ADIOS600! Our motor was made to live in this range when riding for sporting good fun!

Sent from my SM-G986U using Tapatalk
 
  • Like
Reactions: ADIOS600 and SC48

·
Registered
2020 CB500F A
Joined
·
77 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Now we're talking! Listen to our friend ADIOS600! Our motor was made to live in this range when riding for sporting good fun!

Sent from my SM-G986U using Tapatalk
I just want to clarify...I don't have an issue with what rev range to stay in or shift at etc. The bike and I are happiest staying between 4500-5500 just fine. If riding sportier, I push it harder that's all fine.

Similar to blipping/rev matching on downshifting to increase the rpm to match the next gear down (I've perfected that), my inquiry has more to do with what is the equivalent to that on the way up is all...

I'll keep experimenting :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,252 Posts
This guy is a good instructor. Might be helpful.

Sent from my SM-G986U using Tapatalk
 
  • Like
Reactions: ADIOS600 and SC48

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
AFAIK clicking into gear is normal. There is an audible and tactile click every time you shift up or down on every bike I've ever ridden. Kind of like typing on a keyboard, there's mechanical feedback of the key as well as a tactile clicking and clacking of the switch when the key is depressed. There might be an aftermarket shifter that removes that, but I am not aware of it's existence. As long as you aren't crunching or grinding metal on metal, it should be fine.

As for the rumor of starting in 2nd being bad for your bike, I think that is pertaining to high-torque starts like launching or "wheelieing". You can damage or wear down clutch components prematurely if you launch the bike with a bunch of torque from a standstill, but if you feather the clutch and engage the gear correctly, the premature wear aspect of starting in 2nd is neglible. I have almost exclusively started out in 2nd gear since I bought the bike new in 2014. I am not a fan of the clunky and boggy first gear, and even after 42k miles of ignoring the first gear, my clutch and transmission are perfectly fine starting in 2nd and shifting throughout.

Like with some of the advice above, I would focus less on matching the rpms and more on training the natural shifting points into your muscle memory. I don't even look at my tach and can seamlessly upshift without the clutch. It's a matter of feeling the vibrations of your engine and knowing when to slip into the next gear, then matching that timing with controls. Coincidentally, it is around the 4400-4800 range for lower gears like you discovered.

I ride my bike in the 4500-5500 range in cities or streets, but it comes alive around 6500-8500 on the highway or mountains. It's easier to practice at lower revs and speeds, so just stick to shifting 1-4 between 4000-5000 if it helps you learn.

What you are focusing on is "matching the rpms to accomplish a seamless shift" but you are forgoing the fact that the "seamless" part of a "seamless shift" includes matching the moment you shift with the exact moment that the tranmission is unloaded. That is the split second when you roll off the throttle, right as the rpm starts to drop. If the rpm drops 1500, you let it drop too much.

Rev matching is more important for downshifting, as it involves engine braking. It isn't as important when upshifting because you can always add more throttle after shifting up blah blah blah there's a lot of technical information on the mechanical/physics side of that so I'll spare you all that and just say to match your revs when downshifting to avoid stress on your engine by forcing it to engine brake.

Again, it's all practice and muscle memory. Drill it into your feet and hands, and don't focus on the tach with your eyes and head. Keep practicing and you'll get what we're all talking about. It's actually a lot less complicated than you're trying to make it.

Good luck and keep practicing!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,252 Posts
AFAIK clicking into gear is normal. There is an audible and tactile click every time you shift up or down on every bike I've ever ridden. Kind of like typing on a keyboard, there's mechanical feedback of the key as well as a tactile clicking and clacking of the switch when the key is depressed. There might be an aftermarket shifter that removes that, but I am not aware of it's existence. As long as you aren't crunching or grinding metal on metal, it should be fine.

As for the rumor of starting in 2nd being bad for your bike, I think that is pertaining to high-torque starts like launching or "wheelieing". You can damage or wear down clutch components prematurely if you launch the bike with a bunch of torque from a standstill, but if you feather the clutch and engage the gear correctly, the premature wear aspect of starting in 2nd is neglible. I have almost exclusively started out in 2nd gear since I bought the bike new in 2014. I am not a fan of the clunky and boggy first gear, and even after 42k miles of ignoring the first gear, my clutch and transmission are perfectly fine starting in 2nd and shifting throughout.

Like with some of the advice above, I would focus less on matching the rpms and more on training the natural shifting points into your muscle memory. I don't even look at my tach and can seamlessly upshift without the clutch. It's a matter of feeling the vibrations of your engine and knowing when to slip into the next gear, then matching that timing with controls. Coincidentally, it is around the 4400-4800 range for lower gears like you discovered.

I ride my bike in the 4500-5500 range in cities or streets, but it comes alive around 6500-8500 on the highway or mountains. It's easier to practice at lower revs and speeds, so just stick to shifting 1-4 between 4000-5000 if it helps you learn.

What you are focusing on is "matching the rpms to accomplish a seamless shift" but you are forgoing the fact that the "seamless" part of a "seamless shift" includes matching the moment you shift with the exact moment that the tranmission is unloaded. That is the split second when you roll off the throttle, right as the rpm starts to drop. If the rpm drops 1500, you let it drop too much.

Rev matching is more important for downshifting, as it involves engine braking. It isn't as important when upshifting because you can always add more throttle after shifting up blah blah blah there's a lot of technical information on the mechanical/physics side of that so I'll spare you all that and just say to match your revs when downshifting to avoid stress on your engine by forcing it to engine brake.

Again, it's all practice and muscle memory. Drill it into your feet and hands, and don't focus on the tach with your eyes and head. Keep practicing and you'll get what we're all talking about. It's actually a lot less complicated than you're trying to make it.

Good luck and keep practicing!
Well said on all points @AVN

Sent from my SM-G986U using Tapatalk
 
  • Like
Reactions: AVN and SC48

·
Registered
2020 CB500F A
Joined
·
77 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
AFAIK clicking into gear is normal. There is an audible and tactile click every time you shift up or down on every bike I've ever ridden. Kind of like typing on a keyboard, there's mechanical feedback of the key as well as a tactile clicking and clacking of the switch when the key is depressed. There might be an aftermarket shifter that removes that, but I am not aware of it's existence. As long as you aren't crunching or grinding metal on metal, it should be fine.

As for the rumor of starting in 2nd being bad for your bike, I think that is pertaining to high-torque starts like launching or "wheelieing". You can damage or wear down clutch components prematurely if you launch the bike with a bunch of torque from a standstill, but if you feather the clutch and engage the gear correctly, the premature wear aspect of starting in 2nd is neglible. I have almost exclusively started out in 2nd gear since I bought the bike new in 2014. I am not a fan of the clunky and boggy first gear, and even after 42k miles of ignoring the first gear, my clutch and transmission are perfectly fine starting in 2nd and shifting throughout.

Like with some of the advice above, I would focus less on matching the rpms and more on training the natural shifting points into your muscle memory. I don't even look at my tach and can seamlessly upshift without the clutch. It's a matter of feeling the vibrations of your engine and knowing when to slip into the next gear, then matching that timing with controls. Coincidentally, it is around the 4400-4800 range for lower gears like you discovered.

I ride my bike in the 4500-5500 range in cities or streets, but it comes alive around 6500-8500 on the highway or mountains. It's easier to practice at lower revs and speeds, so just stick to shifting 1-4 between 4000-5000 if it helps you learn.

What you are focusing on is "matching the rpms to accomplish a seamless shift" but you are forgoing the fact that the "seamless" part of a "seamless shift" includes matching the moment you shift with the exact moment that the tranmission is unloaded. That is the split second when you roll off the throttle, right as the rpm starts to drop. If the rpm drops 1500, you let it drop too much.

Rev matching is more important for downshifting, as it involves engine braking. It isn't as important when upshifting because you can always add more throttle after shifting up blah blah blah there's a lot of technical information on the mechanical/physics side of that so I'll spare you all that and just say to match your revs when downshifting to avoid stress on your engine by forcing it to engine brake.

Again, it's all practice and muscle memory. Drill it into your feet and hands, and don't focus on the tach with your eyes and head. Keep practicing and you'll get what we're all talking about. It's actually a lot less complicated than you're trying to make it.

Good luck and keep practicing!
Fantastic and detailed response - very informative, thank you!

What you're saying about the exact moment to shift is actually making a lot of sense based on what I'm experiencing in my trial and error. I need to practice that chop and flick a whole lot more. Good to know about starting in 2nd gear too...maybe I'll try that for a bit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
570 Posts
Didn't want to start a new thread so I am adding it to this one. I hade a new top ball joint and lever on the transmission under warranty because of free play. Now the lower one has gone. So I removed the old joint, drilled the lever out to 8mm, fitted a sleeve, and bolted on a 6mm rose joint. Boy oh boy what a difference, it's now better than perfect. I will replace the top one as soon as it gets any Play in it whatsoever.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
199 Posts
As mentioned above very well - and this in your posts tells us a bunch -
"I'm still experimenting (in a parking lot because it's hard to focus this hard on the dash without it being hazardous otherwise)... sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. It's easier in the 2nd to 3rd or higher shifts, but it's still a bit notchy "

Your eyes do not belong on the dash no matter if you've only been riding 2 weeks or 20 years, and even if your "practicing".

You need to shift out of 1st early and at a lower rpm then most gears. IF you must start out in 2nd. You wont hurt anything.
You have to enjoy riding more and stop nitpicking on this thing.
If mine jerks a bit when I get on it from 1st to 2nd I DONT CARE.
 
1 - 20 of 36 Posts
Top