Saturday, July 5, 2008

Shifting gears

For quality shifting make sure the engine has enough oil (remember engine oil is also the transmission oil) and the clutch is properly adjusted (I like about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch of free play at the outer end of the clutch handle).

Most of shifting problems occur when downshifting. When up-shifting we use the transmission as it was designed. Pull clutch, shift gear, release clutch . Our hand is off the clutch and our foot releases contact with the shifter and the gears mesh.

When down-shifting we get lazy and pull the clutch and try to downshift several gears and sometimes the transmission just doesn't feel right and even tries to hang in gear.

When down-shifting, pull clutch, "burp" the throttle quickly to raise the rpm's as you down-shift one gear, make sure your foot is then not holding any pressure on the shifter after the shift and release the clutch just enough to feel the motor pull against the transmission. Then repeat as you down-shift another gear.

If you have to stop and need to shift down several gears while standing still just release the clutch enough to mesh the gears but not stall the engine.

The tolerances are very tight on these little bikes and the slightest pressure can keep parts from preforming as they should.


DaveM said...

When I had a back box on my bikes I added an extra rear light/ brake light. I found this a useful safety extra.

DaveM said...

Thought you might be interested in this article after your replies about cycling in the US. Cheers.

Going green on two wheels
After lagging behind Europe for years, the United States is finally starting to catch up when it comes to making life better for cyclists. In a country that's increasingly troubled by traffic, obesity and climate change, that's great news. Two cities in particular have been leading the way. Portland, Oregon has seen a 400% increase in bike traffic in the last 20 years. And since 2000, the city has installed more than 200 additional miles of bike lanes, bringing the total number close to 300. Not coincidentally, an estimated 16% of Portlanders currently use two wheels to get to work.