how to downshift on a hill - Kawasaki Ninja 300 Forum
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default how to downshift on a hill

I'm new to shifting and am trying to get comfortable shift DOWN hills. I'm trying to get in the proper gear to coast down the hill at the proper speed without any or very little throttle. I then shift down as I get near the stop (city driving) and using the engine to slow the bike along with apply the brakes.

Any other advice? I live in SF...the land of hills.
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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What speeds are you traveling at?
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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about 30-40mph
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Old 10-08-2012, 11:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I am in 6th gear at that speed going down hill.. and engine brake to slow down..
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Old 10-08-2012, 11:51 PM   #5 (permalink)
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For a hill in town, 6th gear won't give you engine braking. With that slipper clutch, you should be able to drop down a couple of gears at a time. Say you approach the hill in 5th going 35 mph. Just as you start down the hill drop down to 3rd..you know you can push your foot down once for 4th, lift the foot, then immediately depress it again putting the bike into 3rd, then let off the clutch. That should give you a engine braking. You will need to use your brakes too as the revs start to climb, then downshift to 2nd when going about 20 mph and just before you stop, downshift to 1st, if say there is a stop sign at the bottom of the hill. On a steep hill, you will use BOTH engine breaking and regular braking though. The engine will only slow you down a little. As the bike revs start climbing to say 5000 rpms, it's time to use both brakes to get the revs down to say 4000, then downshift one more gear. With time, you can do this very quickly and know by the sound when to downshift and apply brakes. Your regular brakes alone will stop you provided you don't get going too fast down the hill. I wouldn't be afraid to take the steepest hill in SF. Going up the hill and needing to stop on the hill is much trickier. Basically, you would take the hill in 1st to make sure you have enough power to get up the hill (downshifting on a hill takes practice) and try like **** not to stop until you were on more level ground. I have had lots of experience stopping on hills, so I would be OK, but it takes lots of practice. A shorter person can easily drop the bike doing this because it's like 2 more inches to the ground when stopping on a hill going up. Then of course, you need to really apply both brakes along with the clutch and rest on your left foot. When it's time to go, give it lots of throttle as you let let off the brakes and feather the clutch so you neither roll back very much (or you will fall) or give it so much gas you either lose control or do a burnout. It can be dangerous. SF is going to be a challenge. Sure you don't want a scooter? LOL
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:56 AM   #6 (permalink)
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dkw12002, I have some steep hills around my area which I practice one. It's funny how I understand going up a hill from a dead stop that going down a hill. I miss the convenience of my scooter, but the ninja is more fun
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Old 10-10-2012, 03:17 PM   #7 (permalink)
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great advice in here.
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