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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have seen this term in print... "Preload the shifter" ... quite a bit and figured one or more of you guys would know what that means. Needless to say, it is used in a performance oriented context having to do with smooth/quick up-shifts, and down-shifts.

I may be already doing this and don't even know it! Thanks in advance for any help on this!
 

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My understanding (and practice) is that this is a technique used to facilitate clutchless upshifts. The idea is that you just lift up a bit on the shifter (thus "preload") in preparation for an upshift.

When it comes time to shift, just unload the engine momentarily by reducing the throttle just a bit while simultaneously nudging the lever up into the next gear. Then get right back on the throttle. This all happens in a tenth of a second, but it's not really hard, and when you get it just right, the transmission has felt virtually no shock and the shift is seamless. It's supposed to be better, in terms of wear and tear, than shifting w/ the clutch.
I like to practice at various speeds and throttle openings, and I find that if I overthink it, I botch it...like so many things on a bike!
 

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Great way to bend shift forks IMHO. While you are putting pressure on the lever it is loading the linkage that turns the shift drum that is now trying to move the fork and make a gear change, but the gear won't change because of the load against the dogs on the gears. When the throttle chops, the load disappears and the fork moves the gear. Now if everyone thinks they can put the right amount of load against the shifter that won't hurt the shift forks, but enough that will make a change, then I have a nice bridge for sale.
 

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it also sounds uber-cool.

i've played around with varying rpms for clutchless up-shifting and force on the lever. i can say at least the 749 seems to have a sweet spot over about 8500 rpms, and i have to be pretty hard on the throttle.
 

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Geez. Some people...
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In 20+ years of clutchless upshifting on the track, I've never once bent a shift fork, or damaged a transmission in any way.

It's FINE.

(And it saves clutches, too...)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the replies... you guys are great, and this is an EXCELLENT board!! Okay,

The guy I usually ride with... ( Ducati 916, lots of mods! )... uses exactly the technique you speak of. I did ask him HOW/WHY he shifts a lot without the clutch... I remember him telling me it was a technique he picked up from his brother in law who races bikes out in CA. Anyway,

I actually have tried it before... ( didn't know THIS is what it was! )... with no problems, noises, damage, etc. I do recall seeing that it does save the clutch as well, which I thought was a bit odd at the time, but now I understand. Thanks!
 

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Wait just a damn minute. Everyone seems to be talking about two entirely different things here. I too do clutchless shifts, with no damage, but I DON'T do them with a load against the shifter prior to closing the throttle. The split second the load goes off of the transmission is when I lift the shift lever and it always goes right in very smoothly. The original question was whether or not you PRELOAD the shifter, NOT do any of you perform clutchless shifts.
 

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Geez. Some people...
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Okay, then. Let me add that when I do my clutchless upshifts, I DO preload the shift lever. As someone stated above, it doesn't take much pressure at all. Just enough to take up any slop. It certainly doesn't mean you're putting such a load on it that you'll bend a shift fork...
 

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998 Phil, no doubt you do clutchless upshifts without having to think about it, just like the rest of us. But I am willing to bet that if you pay special attention next time you are riding, you will discover that you actually DO put upward pressure on the shifter just before you chop the throttle. It might be very briefly, and you may not be aware of it, but in reality that is how almost everyone does it, whether they know it or not. The shift would be awfully slow and clunky otherwise.
 

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IAMYellowDuck said:
998 Phil, no doubt you do clutchless upshifts without having to think about it, just like the rest of us. But I am willing to bet that if you pay special attention next time you are riding, you will discover that you actually DO put upward pressure on the shifter just before you chop the throttle. It might be very briefly, and you may not be aware of it, but in reality that is how almost everyone does it, whether they know it or not. The shift would be awfully slow and clunky otherwise.
My boot is always touching the shifter, I don't have it inches away and then take a swing at it. Rossi I'm not, but after thirty-one years of riding, I am fairly aware of what I'm doing. I know the difference between no slack touching and preloading. The operate word is LOAD.
 
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