Stop-n-Go traffic advice?
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  1. #1
    Member decade03's Avatar
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    I know this is a stupid question but I don't have much experience on motorcycle riding, and since this forum is TW200 specific, this is the best place to ask. Does anyone have good advice for stop-n-go traffic?



    I mean shit, the TW200 doesn't change gears THAT fast for when coming to a halt and then suddenly having to go again. I know that when coming to a halt, you have to slow down and then put your bike into first gear so when it's time to go again, you can go off smoothly.



    But I always get stuck into the situations where I begin to brake, i'm lowering the gear and then BAM its time to go again, and there I am with my hand on the clutch on 3rd gear. My bike is gonna stall if I just go! I end up holding traffic a little by changing it all the way down to 1ST again, then going, then stopping again, same process.



    I know i'm missing a few techniques and tricks to this for a faster smoother ride, anyone care to share? Anything specific would be amazing. This is really the only thing holding me back to becoming confident to even get my permit.
    2009 TW200, first time rider!

  2. #2
    Member fbnt@gci.net's Avatar
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    A reasonable question, of the three motor bikes I own, the TW is the most difficult to shift. For me, I think it is easiest to shift and get to the gear you want while the bike is moving slowly, don't wait until you come to a stop. Here in anchorage, light cycles tend towards being long, with a defined left turn arrow kicking off first so I generally go to neutral, then kick it down into 1st on the left turn light. Neutral is not always easy to find and sometimes takes multiple passes through the area to select. Obviously, you do not want to down shift into lower gears @ high speed. rw

  3. #3
    Senior Member trailboss's Avatar
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    I agree about the hard shifting and finding neutral, but I just put a BBR shifter for a TTR125 on it and it shifts SMOOTH and finding neutral is EASY even when stopped. It really shifts like its a different bike now I have ridden it everyday for the last week waiting for the shifting to go back to normal

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  5. #4
    Senior Member dganey's Avatar
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    don't worry to much about holidng up traffic. Focus on your shifting. It happens to all of us. try to start downshifting while your are still moving/slowing before stopping and try to finish as you stop. My TW downshifts better/easier while rolling with the clutch in. If you are in the wrong gear, down shift. The TW is capable of 2nd gear starts. Go someplace with no traffic and practice. It may be the pressure of the traffic that is getting to you.

  6. #5
    Senior Member flingwing1969's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dustyg View Post
    don't worry to much about holidng up traffic. Focus on your shifting. It happens to all of us. try to start downshifting while your are still moving/slowing before stopping and try to finish as you stop. My TW downshifts better/easier while rolling with the clutch in. If you are in the wrong gear, down shift. The TW is capable of 2nd gear starts. Go someplace with no traffic and practice. It may be the pressure of the traffic that is getting to you.


    You also have to be aware that downshifting too early may require that you remain on the clutch and upshift quickly if traffic begins to move more quickly than you expected. For example, I can see that the light ahead is red in a 45 mph zone so - well before the anticipated stop - I come off the throttle, begin to lightly brake, check my mirrors, clutch and downshift to first as I'm still around 25 to 30 - ready to go from the anticipated stop - no need to downshift through the gears for this well planned event. Then the light turns green and traffic begins to go while I'm still in first at 15 - I have to upshift to second or third so as to make a smooth transition from stopping to going. If you just release the clutch lever without first upshifing, you'll get a real surprise!

  7. #6
    Member decade03's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flingwing View Post
    You also have to be aware that downshifting too early may require that you remain on the clutch and upshift quickly if traffic begins to move more quickly than you expected. For example, I can see that the light ahead is red in a 45 mph zone so - well before the anticipated stop - I come off the throttle, begin to lightly brake, check my mirrors, clutch and downshift to first as I'm still around 25 to 30 - ready to go from the anticipated stop - no need to downshift through the gears for this well planned event. Then the light turns green and traffic begins to go while I'm still in first at 15 - I have to upshift to second or third so as to make a smooth transition from stopping to going. If you just release the clutch lever without first upshifing, you'll get a real surprise!




    That is probably my greatest fear in traffic situations. That's exactly what I'm concerned about in stop and go situations--holding in the clutch and having the wrong speed/or gear to even go on the current setting. I'll take that advice and shift up to 2nd in the case that i've gone down to first already but the light goes green and i'm still going over 12mph.



    The TW really is a difficult one to shift. I understand completely when some of you say it's hard to find neutral.



    Trailboss, what exactly is a "BBR shifter" for a TTR125, and how does it work?
    2009 TW200, first time rider!

  8. #7
    Senior Member B-dub's Avatar
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    I don't do a lot of stop and go traffic, but I have a couple of suggestions. First, I often downshift and compression brake as I approach a light. That way I'm in the correct gear for the speed I'm going and if the light changes all I have to do is twist the throttle and go. Second, don't worry about downshifting to first if you're still rolling at all. Just drop to 2nd gear (or other appropriate gear) and go. With stock gearing some people start in 2nd gear from a dead stop because they hate the short first gear. It takes a little technique, but with a little practice can be done without slipping the clutch too much. Third, a change to synthetic oil really improves shifting. So, if the engine is broken in I would recommend a change to synthetic. The extra cost is worth it to me for the improved shifting, not to mention the other benefits.
    My handle is B-dub, I ride a T-dub, and drive a V-dub.

  9. #8
    Senior Member retmotor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B-dub View Post
    ... I often downshift and compression brake as I approach a light. That way I'm in the correct gear for the speed I'm going and if the light changes all I have to do is twist the throttle and go. Second, don't worry about downshifting to first if you're still rolling at all. Just drop to 2nd gear (or other appropriate gear) and go...
    This.



    Book recommendation: Proficient Motorcycling by David Hough. Link to Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/Proficient-Mot...20motorcycling



    You can probably find it at your local library. I highly recommend it.
    The value of the internet is that when you're wrong someone will immediately correct you, and when you're right, someone will immediately correct you". Lizrdbrth

  10. #9
    Senior Member retmotor's Avatar
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    Oh, the BBR is a shift lever. Another Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/BBR-Folding-Sh...+lever+klx+110

    (Don't buy that one though - I don't think it will fit.)



    I've never tried a different lever. I cannot wrap my mind around how it would improve shifting, although I can imagine it could improve the feel. As stated, synthetic oil will improve your clutch action which will improve shifting.
    The value of the internet is that when you're wrong someone will immediately correct you, and when you're right, someone will immediately correct you". Lizrdbrth

  11. #10
    Senior Member B-dub's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by retmotor View Post
    This.



    Book recommendation: Proficient Motorcycling by David Hough. Link to Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/Proficient-Mot...20motorcycling



    You can probably find it at your local library. I highly recommend it.


    Thanks for the recommendation. decade03 please disregard my riding advice, but I stick with my suggestion of synthetic to improve shifting.
    My handle is B-dub, I ride a T-dub, and drive a V-dub.

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