How To Shift a Motorcycle Gears: A Detailed Overview

How To Shift a Motorcycle Gears

The greatest part about getting a new motorcycle is admiring the beauty of the bike. When you get on top of the bike and start maneuvering left and right, it gets even more intense.

The most meaningful part is feeling the leather and experiencing the comfort of the seat. Then, when you turn on the bike to get ready for a pleasant ride, you would realize the most challenging part about it is shifting gears.

A lot of riders often come together as a group to learn various ways to shift the motorcycle. Even those individuals who have been riding for a long time still have this one basic question in their mind, how to shift a motorcycle smoothly?

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Lucky for you, we have all the tips and strategies that can answer this simple and admirable question of how to shift on the motorcycle. You can also read the new post – How to ride a motorcycle.

Know the basics of shift a Motorcycle

Before we get to the deep stuff, let’s start with the basics. There are three basic controls to operate when you start shifting gears. The clutch, gear selector, and throttle are the main thing that you have to focus on.

The purpose of the throttle helps stimulate the engine, while the clutch helps to disengage the transmission, and the gear selector will help you choose the proper gear level.

The first thing to do is to pull the clutch towards your left hand in order to start the engine. Make sure to do this without moving your bike forward. Once the transmission is in gear, release the clutch, so your bike will automatically move forward. Another post to know – How to extent your motorcycle battery life.

Shifting Technique

The first step to shifting your motorcycle is to let go of the clutch with your left hand and pulling it towards you. Then select the proper gear by using the shift lever with your left foot.

After that, start the engine by twisting the throttle. Then, slowly release the clutch, but don’t pop it. It’s best to nudge the throttle while you release it, this will help speed up your bike. Once that is done, you can prepare the engines for acceleration until you would have to shift again.

If you want to learn how to shift a motorcycle smoothly, then it will require a lot of practice. The important thing is to know your controls and adapt to how it feels and work.

You can start by riding in various types of environments like an empty parking lot, terrains, empty roads, and other places so you get to know your bike more. Don’t forget to be safe and always be aware of your surroundings so you can maneuver your bike when something happens.

With plenty of practice, you find that shifting gear is not as difficult as it seems. The entire process will become much easier once you know how to disengage, throttle, and speed up smoothly. Related- How to do Motorcycle Maintenance on your Own.

When to Shift?

There is no set math equation that tells you when to shift the gear. However, avoid starting up to at high gear. The problem with shift too early is that you cannot produce enough power for adequate acceleration.

The best time to shift gears is when the engine wants to be shifted. That is because you will produce enough torque and energy to provide the maximum amount of acceleration.

After all, the engine provides adequate power at various RPM, so that means you will have to use your instinct to decide when it’s time to shift.

Finding Neutral

Finding neutral gear can be a very challenging task for beginners. However, if you love the challenge, then this might be the game for you. It will take some effort and patience with the gearbox, but with a gentle touch, this task can be easily conquered.

The first thing to do is to gently nudge and shift down from the second gear. Pull the clutch all the way in or else it could be tough to get it to the neutral setting. You can check for the flashing green like which is the indicator light.

The most common problem with getting to the neutral gear is overdoing it and going into first gear too rapidly. If you have to, you can use the edge of your boot to prevent you from applying too much pressure. With enough practice and patient, you will get to neutral gear with a couple of maneuvers. You may also like it! Tips For Choosing The Best Motorcycle Lithium Battery.

Shifting Smoothly

The most important part about shifting smoothly is to be aware of your motorcycle’s behavior.

If your bike is jerking and shaking while you are letting go of the clutch, then that means you are too rough with your left hand.

If you are lurching ahead, then you are putting too much pressure on the throttle. If you are not ramping the engine between the gear changes, then your motorcycle will start slowing down.

If you want to do this efficiently, you will have to be a focus on the throttle, clutch, and gear selector in order to orchestrate a perfect shift.

Gradually Stopping

The slowing down process entails you downshift as gradually as possible. The proper way to do this is to downshift as you speed up. You should select a lower gear and let go of the clutch while nudging the throttle.

When you do this, it will allow your engine to brake properly, and it can give you the opportunity to speed up if the light alters color or that the traffic condition has improved. Once you come to a complete stop, you can shift into neutral, hold the brakes, and get into first gear.


With all these tips and information, you will know how to shift a motorcycle. Keep in mind that reading the information is one thing, but going out there to practice is another. It’s going to take a lot of practice and patients, but it will be worth it. In fact, you can impress your significant other by showing them you are a pro rider with your gear-shifting techniques. Get in touch with our other new post – How to wash a motorcycle – 5 simple tips.