Ask MO Anything: Is Clutchless Shifting Bad For My Transmission? - Yamaha FZ6 Forums - FZ6 Motorcycle Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-03-2017, 05:31 PM Thread Starter
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Ask MO Anything: Is Clutchless Shifting Bad For My Transmission?

Yes, itís all true. Well, it kind of depends on your bike. Some motorcycles with great big flywheels and big gears, like many Harleys and some BMW Boxers, need the clutch Ė or at least a little clutch Ė for nearly every shift. Most sportbikes only need you to use the clutch to pull away from stops and for the shift from first to second gear.

At slow, around-town speeds, we mostly use at least a little clutch to shift anyway; you donít need to pull the lever all the way in every time you use it. But if youíre steadily accelerating, and especially at WOT (wide open throttle), youíll find that after second gear, if you roll the throttle closed just enough to unload the driveline, for just a split second, with your toe pressing on the lever, then third gear will slip right in without using the clutch at all. Fourth, 5th and 6th will slip in even easier since the gaps between them are increasingly smaller. Done smoothly, itís no harder on your gearbox than using the clutch.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 04-07-2021, 08:00 AM
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I have been using my bike without a clutch AT ALL for more than a year (installed autoclutch for first gear, but all the other gears i use clutchless technique) without any issue.

In fact, if the technique of not using clutch, would be bad... the QuickShifter wouldn't be a business.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 04-07-2021, 01:31 PM
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Clutchless shifting on a bike w/o an autoclutch or other factory speed shifting system requires some mechanical empathy and is a learned skill. Understanding how much to unload the transmission before shifting w/o forcing things and causing extra wear can be a trial and error process for a newer rider and done wrong can end up with damage that is expensive to fix.

Since using the clutch lever takes so little effort and time, most riders are best suited to actually using the clutch. You're not on the race track, no one cares how fast you change gears. Save some potential wear and tear on the transmission and use the clutch. It's expensive to repair.

The OP is correct that
Done smoothly, itís no harder on your gearbox than using the clutch.
Failing to mention that if it's done poorly, you can end up splitting the cases to replace damaged gear dogs or shifter forks.

Yes, I can shift smoothly w/o the clutch. No, I don't shift w/o using the clutch. Why? Because there is no reason not to use the clutch. Especially on a 100+ Hp motorcycle. It's a good skill to have in case you suffer a clutch problem on the road, but just a gimmick the rest of the time. Or laziness. After 500,000 miles of riding motorcycles, I still use the clutch every time. And I've never, ever, had to repair a transmission, even on bikes I've put well over 100,000 miles on.

Choose wisely.
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