Clutchless shifting (is that even what it's called...)

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Clutchless shifting (is that even what it's called...)

Post by theyank on Tue Jun 26, 2018 1:21 pm

After all these years of pain in my wrist when riding, I've not yet been instructed on the virtues of clutch-less shifting. I've been trying it out the last couple of days and it... is... AWESOME. Saves me hand a ton of shifting when it comes to taking off, especially since the MT03 goes from 1st to 5th gear by the time you hit 30 mph.

Anyone practice this on the regular? Up and down the gears? Tips, tricks, things to be wary of? Bike doesn't jolt or jump when I do it (up or down) so it seems to be ok with it. Dangerous territory here, but anyone have any experiences with this?
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Re: Clutchless shifting (is that even what it's called...)

Post by voodoo on Tue Jun 26, 2018 4:55 pm

Yep. Don't shift at low revs.
And you might wanna buy a quickshifter, makes things easier and the gearbox less prone to fail.


Last edited by voodoo on Tue Jun 26, 2018 9:10 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Clutchless shifting (is that even what it's called...)

Post by june_whitfield on Tue Jun 26, 2018 5:14 pm

in theory, shifting with no clutch will cause the gears inside the gearbox to wear out faster


in practice, by the time said gears wear out your bike is likely to have died the DEATH OF A THOUSAND FAILS already

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Re: Clutchless shifting (is that even what it's called...)

Post by _Mouse_ on Tue Jun 26, 2018 9:26 pm

Not convinced about the gears wearing out but if you crunch the dogs often enough you'll chip the edges off them and it won't be able to stay in gear any more. If you learn to match the revs and the gear change you'll hardly notice the difference between doing it with or without the clutch.

I used to do it most on the old 1200 bandit in the higher gears simply because it worked so well on that bike.

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Re: Clutchless shifting (is that even what it's called...)

Post by esox on Tue Jun 26, 2018 10:03 pm

I once had a clutch cable break and had to clutchless shift for 30 miles `till i got home - it was an exercise in timing red lights and roundabout traffic perfectly to avoid coming to a halt. Pulling away on a motorbicycle without a clutch pedalling frantically forwards before hoofing it into first is not a cool look.
I even managed to find neutral and come to a dignified rolling stop outside my house as if nothing was amiss. It was just a shame i caught my boot lace on the pedal and toppled over into the next door neighbours privet hedge and ruined his efforts at a topiary duck-billed platypus that he had been cultivating for the previous eight years. Neighbourly relations have remained frosty ever since. Burning those fence panels in the garden when they had their washing on the line the day we moved in didn`t help, either.

Shifting up is easy and i do it on occasion nowadays even with a fully functioning clutch cable (for example whilst operating a camera, flipping the bird to small children in the back of an estate car or consuming a jam sandwich). Downshifts are more difficult to do smoothly and i found i had to shift down when the engine speed was almost or just above idle for best results, the downshift was then almost imperseptable imperceptonsibily you could hardly notice it.
A co-operative gearbox (= Honda) is a must, although they don`t seem to rate them that highly;

https://www.cmsnl.com/honda-gl500-silverwing-1981-b-usa_model1072/partslist/F++20.html#.WzKr_YpG3IU

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Re: Clutchless shifting (is that even what it's called...)

Post by _Mouse_ on Tue Jun 26, 2018 11:01 pm

I prefer the start it in 1st whilst puddleducking like a madman when the clutch cable goes. Easier on the first ball crushing gear change after that.

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Re: Clutchless shifting (is that even what it's called...)

Post by virusjohn on Wed Jun 27, 2018 1:35 am

I clutchless shift for every shift apart from into neutral or when im coming to a stop, i thought everyone did?

Up is easy just preload the lever and in it goes when you shut the throttle, downshifting will require you to learn what level of throttle blip to be smooth

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Re: Clutchless shifting (is that even what it's called...)

Post by Big Chris on Wed Jun 27, 2018 10:45 am

You could just buy a bike with a semi automatoic gearbox which is made for the task. Aprilia makes one, there was a version of the 750/4 which had it too.

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Re: Clutchless shifting (is that even what it's called...)

Post by voodoo on Wed Jun 27, 2018 11:11 am

Honda DCT is excellent!
Available on VFR1200, GL1800, Africa Twin and the NC-series.
NC750 might well be my next bike....

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Re: Clutchless shifting (is that even what it's called...)

Post by _Mouse_ on Wed Jun 27, 2018 12:07 pm

You need a servo clutch.

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Re: Clutchless shifting (is that even what it's called...)

Post by theyank on Wed Jun 27, 2018 12:24 pm

virusjohn wrote:I clutchless shift for every shift apart from into neutral or when im coming to a stop, i thought everyone did?

Up is easy just preload the lever and in it goes when you shut the throttle, downshifting will require you to learn what level of throttle blip to be smooth

^Exactly this. This is exactly what i have NOT been doing until now, meaning that every shift I've been holding the clutch in, putting straight in my stick-thin and piss weak wrists. Without having to use that hand to pull in the clutch, it's leaving me with a LOT less pain.

The bike seems really happy doing exactly what you described below. It pops in when its ready with no jerking. Downshifting is lower in the revs but unless I need engine braking, theres no reason for it not to be.

Although... I'm a little bit scared that it sounds like I'm actually voluntarily adopting the "Virus John Model of Biking." Nothing good can come of that, surely.
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Re: Clutchless shifting (is that even what it's called...)

Post by theyank on Wed Jun 27, 2018 12:25 pm

_Mouse_ wrote:You need a servo clutch.

Ah yes, the mysterious servo clutch. Legend has it that this was created in 2016 and then never seen again, lost somewhere in mighty Mouse Towers, referred to only as "my precious" by it's keeper.
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Re: Clutchless shifting (is that even what it's called...)

Post by Big Chris on Wed Jun 27, 2018 2:15 pm

Why not just a hydraulic clutch?

Or you get a teflon lined cluctch cable (which you can make, buy the parts from Venhill.co.uk I have made several of them as I have raised the bars on loads of bikes, the cable action is baby's buttock smooth

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Re: Clutchless shifting (is that even what it's called...)

Post by Monglord on Wed Jun 27, 2018 2:35 pm

Welcome home- buy a car, they have a foot operated clutch.
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Or convert to foot clutch a la hipster chopper riders?
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Re: Clutchless shifting (is that even what it's called...)

Post by voodoo on Wed Jun 27, 2018 5:00 pm

Monglord wrote:
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Or convert to foot clutch a la hipster chopper riders?

That is called a suicide clutch......
I wonder why. ;-)

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Re: Clutchless shifting (is that even what it's called...)

Post by june_whitfield on Wed Jun 27, 2018 6:18 pm

a pedant remarks:

it's only a suicide clutch when the pedal returns by itself, like it does on a car

a standard motorcycle foot clutch does not return by itself, thus preventing suicidal tendencies

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Re: Clutchless shifting (is that even what it's called...)

Post by spotarama on Wed Jun 27, 2018 10:39 pm

honda also made a 400/4 in full auto but good luck finding either that or the 750 version at a reasonable cost , the restorer/originality/collector nerds have either got em all or want stupid money for them unless they're shagged in which case they're still expensive but impossible to get parts for
vespa also made an early auto which you still had to pull the clutch in, put into gear and then it went through its 4 gears in a sort of fully automatic clunky sort of way and of course there are about 20 million full auto scooters out there but there are certain lines that should never be crossed

there was also a harley product available years ago which was a set of gears inside the clutch lever housing which halved the amount of effort required for limp wristed hog riders to operate their devices , there appear to be some solutions here, though i couldn't see the geared type

https://www.google.com.au/search?q=harley+clutch+lever+reducer&oq=harley+clutch+lever+reducer&aqs=chrome..69i57.24160j0j8&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

i'm sure mouse could knock you something up out of some gears from a clock or some roadside diesel driven scrap or something

there is also these things which are off a pit bike but depending on how your clutch cable attaches may be do-able
https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Motorcycle-Dirt-Pit-Bike-Foot-Rear-Hydraulic-Clutch-Master-Cylinder-Rod-Brake/292122497685?epid=2110143960&hash=item4403db9295:g:2~IAAOSwX61ZHqSP

https://www.ebay.com.au/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_nkw=hydraulic+pit+bike+clutch&_sacat=0&_sop=2

i'm going to put one on my 750/4 and providing i can work out the space constraints it should be a goer

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Re: Clutchless shifting (is that even what it's called...)

Post by spotarama on Wed Jun 27, 2018 10:42 pm

or alternately have you researched putting softer clutch springs in that will reduce the effort needed to pull the clutch in but will still allow it to operate correctly ( i.e. not slip )
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Re: Clutchless shifting (is that even what it's called...)

Post by der_nanno on Sun Jul 01, 2018 9:19 am

Talking of bikes with semi-auto clutches: Austrian Army KTM GL250, oh and they even come with skis.

That being said, if you blip the throttle shortly, when shifting down, you should be alright. The formula Renaul race cars I work on, also have been converted to shift without clutch, which actually resulted in a lot less gearbox woes... but then again, shift times have been reduced by 70 to 80 percent. (Even with blipping the throttle we're below two tenths of a second for a gearshift.)

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