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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys. I just got my Ninja 300 today and I'm a new rider. I want to understand this positive neutral finder mechanism.

So.... I get that it prevents me from shifting into second from a standstill. But what I'm having issues with is knowing whether I'm in 1st or not when I come to a standstill. I need to shift down gears on this bike, right? Excuse me if that's a silly question but as a complete newbie I don't know all the features of modern bikes. I generally know what gear I'm in and shift down to 1st correctly, but at times I'm not entirely sure.

So I was also wondering, is it possible that i might only shift down to second and therefore have problems taking off? What happens if I stop in second, does the bike correct itself? Sorry if these questions have been answered. I did have a bit of a look for answers but couldn't find what I needed. Thanks.
 

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No worries - "the only dumb question is the one you DON'T ask"

As for the neutral finder, it is essentially a stop so that at a standstill, you can only get into 1st and Neutral and can't shift past Neutral into second. on older bikes like my 1970 Honda CB350, you can shift into any gear at a stop, and had to "feel" for the half-shift "click" to get it into neutral. The neutral finder on the ninja eliminates having to play with the shifter to find that neutral, half-click.

Part of the reason motorcycle transmissions are set up with the 1-N-2-3-4-5-(6) gear pattern is so that you can click the shifter down until it won't go any more, and you KNOW your in 1st gear. It helps with knowing what gear you are in and also for not getting accidentally stuck in the wrong gear or neutral at a light when you have to pull a "get-out-of-dodge" move do to some inattentive cager.

Regarding starting in second accidentally: you shouldn't have any trouble. I can start in second with a 15T front sprocket (+1 from stock) and I weigh in at around 220lbs. It just takes a little more clutch slippage than if you were in first, but nothing that will damage the bike at all.
 
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Chris1108 i strongly urge you to find a motorcycle teaching centre/school near by & enrol in a beginners course ASAP

theres also some handy tips with PDF files / videos in my signature below
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Cool. Thanks for all the answers, that clears it all up for me. Thanks Cruizin' for the resources. I have had a number of lessons and am confident on the road but will probably do some advanced riding/safety training soon to ensure I'm skilled and ready for most situations.
 

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U have had lessons, yet don't know how to shift or how a manual transmission works. I'm not trying to be mean, but with the questions you asked. You shouldn't be on the road. I hope I just misunderstood you.


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Assuming you did well in your course, take what you learned and practice it in an empty parking lot. Keep shifting through the gears and practicing stops and starts until you are comfortable.
 

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Chris1108 i strongly urge you to find a motorcycle teaching centre/school near by & enrol in a beginners course ASAP
Slightly off topic, but do countries like Canada and US not require you to pass a motorbike test?

In the UK we have to pass a test before we can get a licence, just like you would with a car.
 

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Slightly off topic, but do countries like Canada and US not require you to pass a motorbike test?

In the UK we have to pass a test before we can get a licence, just like you would with a car.
You have to pass a written exam and driving exam before getting a license, whether it be at the DMV or at the MSF. You can get a white slip (learners permit) by completing the written part only (at least in Illinois)..

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
U have had lessons, yet don't know how to shift or how a manual transmission works. I'm not trying to be mean, but with the questions you asked. You shouldn't be on the road. I hope I just misunderstood you.


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Thanks for your reply. I understand completely how a manual transmission works though, I just wanted to ask all the questions I could about the PNF so that I wasn't missing anything. It's just not something that I had heard of before so was confused and making sure I got it right. I can understand how it might have seemed alarming to ask those questions. I passed my test first time so you know, I can clearly shift gears or I wouldn't have made it past the first corner. :)
 

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Cruizin', your Tips for New Riders page is great! Thanks again mate.

no problem at all, glad you found it useful, as i said in the thread, if what i wrote helps to save one life, then its a good thing:D
 

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The Ninja 300 display lights for Neutral and the turn signal display lights are so dim, that they are hard to see. I don't have this problem with any of my other bikes.

Yes, basically keep downshifting until you can't go down any more. Watch for the neutral light then you know 1st gear is next. Plus there is the slight clunking sound when it goes into 1st gear from 2nd, plus if you are downshifting and taking your hand off the clutch between each down shift as I usually do to engine brake, then it becomes pretty clear after a little experience which gear you are in from how much engine braking you get at a given speed. 1st gear is so low on the Ninja 300 that if you downshift into 1st from even 15 mph, the slipper clutch will engage, so that is another clue.
 

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Same deal in California...passed the written test and received a permit to practice during the daytime on local roads without a passenger. I've just been riding around my own neighborhood only so far. Plan to take the MSF Course in the spring to get the full motorcycle endorsement.
 

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Same deal in California...passed the written test and received a permit to practice during the daytime on local roads without a passenger. I've just been riding around my own neighborhood only so far. Plan to take the MSF Course in the spring to get the full motorcycle endorsement.
Welcome, where in California do you reside? I went through the Pasadena MSF course. They were very thorough with everything and really took their time with you. :) It's a nice feeling to get all the paperwork out of the way so you can focus on the riding and flying ;)
 

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I was taught, and never rely on a neutral light to determine if I'm in or out of neutral. I've ridden bikes before where the neural sensor on the cam was off and said I was in neutral or not, or say I wasn't in neutral(or bulb burned out,) when I was in fact in neutral. If you do a full stroke shift and don't screw up your timing with the clutch and throttle, you should do fine and not find yourself in neutral. What gets a lot of people is that going from 2nd to 1st takes a tiny bit longer than other gears and a lot of newer riders will let out the clutch and start throttling a little too soon which will stop the transmission in neutral even if you are kicking down all the way.
 

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I had a Gixxer that on occasion would show the neutral light, but was still in gear. Always a good idea to s-l-o-w-l-y release the clutch...just in case.
 

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Welcome, where in California do you reside? I went through the Pasadena MSF course. They were very thorough with everything and really took their time with you. :) It's a nice feeling to get all the paperwork out of the way so you can focus on the riding and flying ;)
I live in Sacramento's "bedroom community" called Elk Grove. I didn't realize how fitting my neighborhood was for learning how to ride a bike. I discovered a couple of nice parking lots at a nearby elementary school and a good sized parking lot next to the neighborhood park. So, I can ride a circuit then practice my slow speed riding as I arrive at each place. Both places are about five minutes from me too.

So, you can shift from 2nd to neutral then come to a stop at a stop sign or traffic light? I was under the impression you should shift to 1st when you your speed is approximately 10/15 mph. A friend of mine who had an R6 said the same thing to me today about shifting into neutral.

If so then I know what I'll be practicing on Saturday morning.

Yeah, it's a really nice feeling knowing I got the paperwork part done for my endorsement. :biggrin:
 

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I live in Sacramento's "bedroom community" called Elk Grove. I didn't realize how fitting my neighborhood was for learning how to ride a bike. I discovered a couple of nice parking lots at a nearby elementary school and a good sized parking lot next to the neighborhood park. So, I can ride a circuit then practice my slow speed riding as I arrive at each place. Both places are about five minutes from me too.

So, you can shift from 2nd to neutral then come to a stop at a stop sign or traffic light? I was under the impression you should shift to 1st when you your speed is approximately 10/15 mph. A friend of mine who had an R6 said the same thing to me today about shifting into neutral.

If so then I know what I'll be practicing on Saturday morning.

Yeah, it's a really nice feeling knowing I got the paperwork part done for my endorsement. :biggrin:
You're going to want to stop the bike in first in case the guy behind you doesn't seem like stopping, you'll at least have a chance to let the clutch out and gun it out of the way hopefully. This clutch is very light so holding the clutch is pretty easy. The only time I ever put the bike in neutral is to start it back up again. I usually even park it in 1st gear as well to prevent the bike from moving forward or backwards if it were to get pushed or lightly hit. When I shut down, I use the kill switch first, then turn off the ignition.
 
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