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Full disclosure, this is my very first bike and I've been riding it for a little over a month now and have about 700 miles on it (just had the first break-in service done at the dealership).

Really love the bike but I have noticed that when I'm coasting to a stop, no throttle applied and the clutch pulled all the way in, as I start to downshift each gear feels a bit tighter/clunkier/harder to press down on, as if it's fighting back against me. It actually makes me think I'm doing something wrong and possibly screwing up my clutch/transmission.

Example scenario: approaching a stop, slowing down from about 50-40 mph and I begin downshifting. 6th->5th/5th->4th are very smooth and almost feel unnoticeable. 4th->3rd I can feel a little click/"pop" against my foot when I shift. 3rd->2nd, and even more noticeable click and 2nd-1st is really noticeable and as I mentioned before, it feels like I'm really forcing it in. In some instance I've not pushed down hard enough and it pops me back up into Neutral.

My guess here is that I'm downshifting at too high of a speed. In most scenarios I notice that I'm at about 20mph as I go from 3rd all the way to 1st. If I wait until I'm under 15mph, the clicking is less noticeable. However this doesn't make a lot of sense to me as I'm squeezing the clutch in all the way and I'm not applying any gas...so there should be no power to the wheels and at least from my experience driving manual cars, if the clutch is all the way in it should shift smoothly between any gear regardless of your speed.

Am I just wrong in my assumption? Should I be shifting only at lower speeds or is there potentially something mechanical going on here? I did note this to the service guy who told me he didn't observe anything abnormal. He also told me he tuned the clutch lever and throttle "back to spec" so now I have a little more play in the clutch (previously had to be let almost all the way out before I started to roll. Would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks so much in advance.
 

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If I'm understanding correctly it sounds normal. I'm typically downshifting at higher MPH - just under 30 from 3rd to second, and then around 10 - 12 MPH to 1st, but definitely more force and sound as it gets lower in gears. Nothing to worry about.

This bike while noticeable is nothing like others I have owned in the past. Shifting into 1st on a R6 is loud enough for passengers in cars to look around while at a red light!
 

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You are shifting too many times in a row with the clutch in. Think of trying to shift a 10 speed bike from 10th to 1st without pedaling. It’s not exactly like that but it’s the best analogy I got. All you’d have to do is slightly let out the clutch in 4th enough to spin the gears and you should be able to pull it back in and shift down a couple more
 

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WHY are you down shifting into 1st or even 2nd??
I'm not yelling at you but you are causing problems with those behind you.
You have to go a very slow speed to get into 1st which I'm sure those behind you really enjoy.
No need to make those bigger than you angry at you.
ALSO use your brake to alert those behind you that you are slowing down. I don't want to have someone rear end me!

And you do not have to down shift through all gears for the bike to function after a stop.
If I'm going highway speeds I will go into 5th and 4th, but no all the gears.
That is why you have brakes!
 

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Why would you not be shifting into 1st or 2nd as you are coming to a stop? We're not talking about using downshifting to come to screeching halt. I've always used engine braking in every vehicle I've owned to supplement braking. it's good for both engine and brakes. However, it's not good to be coasting with the clutch pulled while you stop from 30mph as that just wears on the brake unnecessarily.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you all so much for the helpful and valuable input here!

You are shifting too many times in a row with the clutch in. Think of trying to shift a 10 speed bike from 10th to 1st without pedaling. It’s not exactly like that but it’s the best analogy I got. All you’d have to do is slightly let out the clutch in 4th enough to spin the gears and you should be able to pull it back in and shift down a couple more
Ok, that actually makes a lot of sense. I'll give this a try.

WHY are you down shifting into 1st or even 2nd??
I'm not yelling at you but you are causing problems with those behind you.
You have to go a very slow speed to get into 1st which I'm sure those behind you really enjoy.
No need to make those bigger than you angry at you.
ALSO use your brake to alert those behind you that you are slowing down. I don't want to have someone rear end me!

And you do not have to down shift through all gears for the bike to function after a stop.
If I'm going highway speeds I will go into 5th and 4th, but no all the gears.
That is why you have brakes!
I'm specifically referring to coming to a stop. I'm never downshifting past 3rd in pretty much any other situation than rolling toward a stop, and I'm definitely applying brakes so people behind me see my brake lights and know I'm slowing down.
 

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You should never ’coast’ on a bike. It is potentially lethal and downright crazy! The gear you should be in is relative to the speed you are going and of course the condition of the road and any hazards. Bikes, more so than cars, are more suited to engine braking for obvious reasons.

As for gear changing, the throttle should only be turned back when changing up a gear. To change down a gear you need to increase the revs to match the gear you are changing down to in order for a smooth transition. If you don’t, there is the possibility of the rear wheel locking up.

Don‘t coast into or round a corner/bend - ever!

Good riders can almost bring a bike to a stop without hardly touching the brake - maybe just a little dab to bring it to a final halt.

If you have the 2020ABS bike gear changing is a piece of cake because of the slipper clutch.

Find a waste piece of land to practice your gear changing. There are so many things to do on a bike while riding. Get the basics perfected which will enable you to be alert for hazards instead of being preoccupied with the basics.

Next time you get on your bike look at the palm of your hand. That is the size of the tyre surface that separates you from the road!

Good luck and nice to read you are enjoying your bike.

😸
 

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The one thing that I would say is that when you're slowing down for a light or whatever, you need to be in the gear that matches your speed. Don't shift down to first and still be traveling at 40mph. Downshift almost like you upshift. Example - first to second @25mph, second to third @35mph, third to fourth @45mph, fourth to fifth @55mph and fifth to sixth @65mph. On the flip side sixth to fifth @<60mph, fifth to fourth @<50mph, fourth to third @<40mph, third to second @<30mph and second to first @<20mph. Those aren't exact numbers but fairly close. EDIT - that's on the 500 not the 300.
 
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Resident expert @Sooty at it again! I'll coast it into the red lights all day long when riding city streets and have never felt my life was in peril! While rolling to the stop (< 10 mph)..with clutch lever pulled in (disengaged) tap down into first to be sure you are ready to take off. This bike is so low geared, especially on the lower end, if you do feel you need to shift it to a stop: 3rd to 2nd under 20 mph and 2nd to 1st under 10 mph and it will feel better
 

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I didnt say pull clutch and coast.
As you slow from sixty you can down shift a few gears, OR
close the throttle, let the engine slow you and pull brake and clutch at the stop point, just as you would in your car. (!)
NO WHERE is it written you need to down shift.

If you call that coasting when the clutch is pulled with the brake, well we have different definitions of coasting.
Ask a few people and just like oil you get responses that say It's not "good for the engine" to engine brake all the time.
 

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I didnt say pull clutch and coast.
As you slow from sixty you can down shift a few gears, OR
close the throttle, let the engine slow you and pull brake and clutch at the stop point, just as you would in your car. (!)
NO WHERE is it written you need to down shift.

If you call that coasting when the clutch is pulled with the brake, well we have different definitions of coasting.
Ask a few people and just like oil you get responses that say It's not "good for the engine" to engine brake all the time.
That's dangerous though...at least tap the brake a few times to warn others you're slowing down. You're a much smaller object on the road and drivers may not necessarily judge you're slowing down accurately.

Also, its going to be harder and clunkier to cycle all the way down at a stop, or when you're close to a stop. The cycle example provided earlier is accurate. Most of the time if I make a mistake (not often) and have to stop in a rush without enough time to cycle down the gears all the way, I end up having a hard time getting into the right gear to get going again, or hard time finding neutral.
 

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I already mentioned the part about hitting the brake to warn the ones behind you in a earlier post!
 

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If you call that coasting when the clutch is pulled with the brake, well we have different definitions of coasting.

Ask a few people and just like oil you get responses that say It's not "good for the engine" to engine brake all the time.
That's pretty much the definition of coasting. I use the clutch to change gears and afterwards it's released. I was taught the same with cars a long time ago, but I do realize there are many people that do not do things the same. Everyone is entitled to do things their own way.

I'm too lazy to do it, but I'd be interested to see the results of a poll on engine braking. As far as I can remember I don't recall ever hearing any negative effects engine braking, but again I'm certainly not the expert on engine design and only have what I've heard over the years.
 

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I usually shift down into each gear if it’s just a change in speed limit, but say I am taking a 90 degree turn off of a 55mph 2 way with cars behind me or something similar. I’ll pull the clutch in, apply the brake and shift from 6th to 3rd and when I’m close to 30 i’ll slowly let out the clutch to engine brake to around 20ish BEFORE I enter the corner so I can throttle through it. The engine and the brakes never seem like they are struggling. I’d honestly rather use the pads harder than the engine if downshifting would send it into really high rpms though. Pads are super easy to replace, especially on a motorcycle. Just my personal preference. Also this is on a non-assist/slipper, non-abs 300.
 

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@TheJables I'm a new rider and have been basically wondering the same thing. In fact, I've asked in a couple of different places if you're supposed to engine brake all the time while slowing and have received both "no! it'll ruin your transmission/clutch/engine" to "absolutely! not doing so is dangerous/stupid!" As @jdock mentioned, the answer seems to about as combative as the discussion on which oil is best.

This is definitely not something they covered in my MSF class. I drove a stick shift vehicle for more than 2 decades and it was entirely common to shift into neutral and coast to a stop and use the brakes, especially with in town driving. I only ever used engine braking in a vehicle in snow/ice or when going downhill in mountainous terrain. Right or wrong, for me, that experience is bleeding into my motorcycle driving.

So do motorcycle drivers never give their throttle arm a break? At least with the clutch, once it is in gear, your left hand can have a break. If you're never supposed to coast, how does right your arm/hand ever get to relax? And if you're down shifting to match speed while the clutch is in so you can coast, how is that 1. dangerous, or 2. hard on the engine/transmission? I'm not disagreeing with what anyone has said, but genuinely confused.
 

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All good questions. Here's my two cents with a giant preface that I'm in no way presenting myself as an expert or trying to discount anyone's opinion.

In the car scenario I think it's perfectly normal to coast from 2nd or 3rd gear to stop when driving around city or suburbs. I don't make it a practice, but have done it occasionally. However, I would be terrified if I was riding with someone on the highway that upon getting off drops from 6th to neutral and coasts to a stop. That a great way to scorch the brakes.

On a motorcycle I guess I've never really thought about it, but my right arm does not get a break unless I'm stopped. In that situation it's resting while the left covers the clutch while I'm in 1st gear ready to get the hell out of there if need be! That's practice should be well documented in all MSF classes. When slowing there is always a degree of coasting as you are downshifting and rev matching, but it's only momentarily. Real coasting would be the same as the situation above with a car. You shouldn't be riding a motorcycle at any speed with it in neutral or with the clutch pulled coasting for an extended period of time. Its dangerous because you need to be able to react to unforeseen events quickly and whether that requires throttle or brake will depend on the situation, but regardless you need to be able to react as close to instantaneous as possible. Coasting is hard on the transmission because proper lubrication requires the gears to be engaged and turning. This is outlined in nearly all (all that I have seen) motorcycle owners manuals.

In regard to engine braking there is often the misconception that it's hard on the engine because it feels hard on the body when doing it, but you have to remember that even though the force feels tremendous it is less than the force of forward acceleration that any of these modern bikes are capable of producing. Unless of course you're really trying to break things and dropping multiple gears without any slowing; i.e. 4th to 1st or something really stupid. However, in all likelihood even in a severe event outside of full blown stupidity just mentioned it's going to break the rear tire loose way before its actually capable of over-revving the engine and damaging it. Another thing that seems counter intuitive is that it's not torque that's hard on the engine. Horsepower / revs are what is hard. Diesels are a perfect example. They make crap loads of torque with very basic designs and run forever. Making high horsepower is hard and takes a lot of planning/precision to do it reliably
 

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@TheJables I'm a new rider and have been basically wondering the same thing. In fact, I've asked in a couple of different places if you're supposed to engine brake all the time while slowing and have received both "no! it'll ruin your transmission/clutch/engine" to "absolutely! not doing so is dangerous/stupid!" As @jdock mentioned, the answer seems to about as combative as the discussion on which oil is best.

This is definitely not something they covered in my MSF class. I drove a stick shift vehicle for more than 2 decades and it was entirely common to shift into neutral and coast to a stop and use the brakes, especially with in town driving. I only ever used engine braking in a vehicle in snow/ice or when going downhill in mountainous terrain. Right or wrong, for me, that experience is bleeding into my motorcycle driving.

So do motorcycle drivers never give their throttle arm a break? At least with the clutch, once it is in gear, your left hand can have a break. If you're never supposed to coast, how does right your arm/hand ever get to relax? And if you're down shifting to match speed while the clutch is in so you can coast, how is that 1. dangerous, or 2. hard on the engine/transmission? I'm not disagreeing with what anyone has said, but genuinely confused.
There's engine "breaking" where you're either jumping from 6 to 3 and just letting it scream down, and there's engine "braking" gently (and naturally) in each gear all the way down matching the speed to gear toward middle to lower rpm range for that gear. The former will likely wear down parts very quickly; the latter...well, all factors aside and equal, is completely normal. Chopping the throttle is not good, but you'd be surprised how quick you slow down by just doing that...will be jerky though!

Dab on the brake...slow down a bit...clutch in, gear down, let go gently, slow down some more, little more brake pressure, clutch in, gear down, let go...etc. Braking should be a planned maneuver, not an afterthought...
 

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dab on the brake...slow down a bit...clutch in, gear down, let go gently, slow down some more, little more brake pressure, clutch in, gear down, let go...etc.
That's how i do it now but consider it engine braking since I'm using the engine to "brake" my speed, same as doing it in a vehicle when on snow/ice. But at least I know now i'm doing it "right".
 
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