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Discussion Starter #1
I did a search on the "clutch clunk" and also a search for a bunch of key words for sitting in neutral at stop lights but most of the info that was useful was from the clutch clunk topics.

Are there pro's and con's to whether or not you sit at a stop light with the clutch engaged waiting in first gear versus sitting in neutral with the clutch out? Does the former cause excessive wear on the clutch?

All the "clunk" posts come back to the same answer that it's a normal sound from the gears aligning a small fraction of a turn, etc., but I hate the way it feels and that almost feels like it would cause more harm than just sitting there with it in gear.

My other thought was that if I'm at an intersection and I instantly pop it into neutral I've lost part of my reaction time to some idiot driver who is pulling up behind and doesn't see me (trust me, I watch this and have the clutch partially let out as the first car behind approaches just in case).

I thought today I'd see if I could try and ease around the clunk by trying to slowly load and ease the gear shift into first and all I felt/heard was the gear teeth hitting so I backed it off quick and then just knocked it in like normal (WON'T try that again!!).

Any opinions are appreciated!
 

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Big Thymer
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Oh man, this should start some interesting debates...

Here's my opinion... all the crotch rockets I've owned and ridden (esp RCs, of late), they all do it to some extent or another. I've noticed sometimes the bike violently jerks when you crack the pedal down and then other times it's butter smooth.
 

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Depends on how long I will be at the light AND if there is a car there to keep me from becoming a hood ornament....
 

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Depends on how long I will be at the light AND if there is a car there to keep me from becoming a hood ornament....
+1

I usually try not to be the last vehicle in a queue for that reason and if I know the light phases will pop into neutral and patiently wait.
Pete
 

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Depends on how long I will be at the light AND if there is a car there to keep me from becoming a hood ornament....
+2.
I would say 75% of the time in am in gear.
 

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Depends on how long I will be at the light AND if there is a car there to keep me from becoming a hood ornament....
+3
99% of the time I'm in gear!
The clunking into first doesn't bother me, as it has done it on all my previous bikes too!
 

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TOP GUN Instructor
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Idle... What's your RPMs set at?

:twocents You might, be able to help this alittle, just by adj. said idle +/- Give it a try, see if this doesn't help you out..?
OH Yeah,.. Try engaging 1st gear Quicker, NOT slower:p


Peace Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter #8
So it sounds like a few of you are in gear with the clutch during stops. So there doesn't appear to be any drawback to that, good.

As for idle RPM's, it's 1200-1300 cold and 1500 hot which seems to be a supported setting by a couple people. I tried setting it lower to idle hot at 1300 but the bike doesn't stay lit cold at 1000 RPM.
 

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If it's a long time sitting I'll put her in N...the CLUNK doesn't bother me. Most of the time I just hold the clutch in.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
So far I haven't hit lights yet in my city that are longer than 60-75 seconds before I can go, so to me that doesn't seem too long. I've hit a few instances of excessive traffic where it just crawls and then I just put it in neutral and waddle the bike along as the traffic moves.

Ironically, the longest stop lights I've been at have never changed to green because no one else was around and my bike doesn't have enough metal/mass to trip the underground sensors. I've been told by a BRC instrustructor that in Wisconsin you can wait something like 40 seconds and if no one's around and your light hasn't changed' you're free to ride through it.
 

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You may have noticed that , while rolling , the clunk can be avoided by gently pushing the shifter into N from 2nd , then (with the clutch still pulled in) engaging 1st . Of course this is useful only when you're turning a slow corner or when you know a light is about to turn green .
 

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I've had a few knowledgeable people tell me that taking a manual car out of gear can prolong clutch life...while I know motorcycle clutches generally have more plates, I always that it was the same.

I will say, that the hydro-clutch on the RC wears your fingers out pretty quick, which is another reason I generally take it out of ear unless I can see the other direction walk sign flashing...
 

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Discussion Starter #13
You may have noticed that , while rolling , the clunk can be avoided by gently pushing the shifter into N from 2nd , then (with the clutch still pulled in) engaging 1st . Of course this is useful only when you're turning a slow corner or when you know a light is about to turn green .
I did not know this, I'll give it a shot next time I ride. I've tried simply pushing the bike forward and going from N to 1st but that still produces the clunk, so that didn't work.

I've had a few knowledgeable people tell me that taking a manual car out of gear can prolong clutch life...while I know motorcycle clutches generally have more plates, I always that it was the same.

I will say, that the hydro-clutch on the RC wears your fingers out pretty quick, which is another reason I generally take it out of ear unless I can see the other direction walk sign flashing...
Part of why I created this post was for that same reason about prolonging clutch life. The mechanical editor in Popular Mechanics responded to a guy with a Ford pickup that had the clutch go out and one of this first questions was whether or not he kept it out of gear at stop lights (would have helped prevent wear). I just wondered if the same issue applied to motorcycles as well, but if in our case it was worthwhile to sit on the clutch versus clunk into 1st.
 

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Hey Corsair,

The way I see it: As Long as the clutch Lever is pulled all the way in, said> Clutch isn't slipping,.. > this = zero Clutch wear.

ON the other hand,.. holding said lever in the whole time,... DOES cause extra Pressure-"LOAD" on the Clutch "Throw out bearings":cool: So... My :twocents is, the more the Clutch lever is pulled in> = More wear to the clutch> "Throw out bearings"! So,.. You'll still have some extra wear going on... FWIW> This goes on in ALL clutch set-ups, not just MCs.

FWIW., What I do 95+/-%: Coming to a traffic light(When I know I'm going to be stopped), weather I'm 1st inline or 3 or whatever... I'm rolling to the Stop in netrual, and WATCHING My 6!.... ie mirrors.
When I see Anything coming up behind "Me",(Not just a car) I've engaged 1st and ready to take off,.... if need be, after the possible threat has stopped, I'll go back to netrual, still checking my mirrors.
Only when I see it's time to go or (I know a light will change next too) will I engage 1st.;)

I Hope this helps,
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Good info, thanks, Maverick. I've not had the bike back out since I last posted to try the N->2nd->1st trick, but I'll put it all together and see what fits me best for the longer traffic light situations.
 
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