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Thread: Downshifting early K-bikes

  1. #1
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    Downshifting early K-bikes

    I have read in other forums and blogs that you should not downshift the early K-bikes to take advantage of the great engine braking due to the fact that the drive splines are fragile. Anyone else hear this or subscribe to this notion? I like downshifting!!!

  2. #2
    Registered User WalterK75's Avatar
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    Downshift. Match engine speed to gear selection and go for it.
    Walter

    All government, of course, is against liberty.
    H. L. Mencken

  3. #3
    3 Red Bricks
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsword View Post
    I have read in other forums and blogs that you should not downshift the early K-bikes to take advantage of the great engine braking due to the fact that the drive splines are fragile. Anyone else hear this or subscribe to this notion? I like downshifting!!!
    Where ever you read that, they were WRONG! If the consensus on that forum was that that was true, I'd pick a different forum. I hear the MOA has a pretty good early K-bike forum.

    By the way, I thought you were going to call me and REALLY learn about your bike.



    LONG MAY YOUR BRICK FLY!

    Ride Safe, Ride Far, Ride Often

    Lee Fulton Forum Moderator
    3 Marakesh Red K75Ss
    Mine, Hers, Spare

  4. #4
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    Lee,
    I have been too busy to ride, much less get together talk about how much we like our bikes. I look forward to getting together in what I hope is the not too distant future.

  5. #5
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Until it died in an accident I had an '86 K75 which is pretty close to early. I rode it, upshifting and downshifting using engine braking for 370,000 miles. Other than normal driveshaft spline wear - it went through a couple of driveshafts - I had no issues with splines or U joints. The transmission was never opened up.

    So, whoever thinks that is bad for these bikes seems to have been badly misinformed in my opinion.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://www.bigbend.net/users/glaves

  6. #6
    Pluto
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    Inform this

    If you think about your engine braking needs at the time of application or situation, brake pads are a lot cheaper and easier to replace. Verses unnessasary wear and tear on the drive train. There's some food for thought.

  7. #7
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    more food for thought

    Try riding your brakes all the way down the east side of bear tooth pass!
    Harold In Kansas
    1985 K100RT Bullit
    1985 K100XX/EML Bemel

  8. #8
    Registered User RapidRoadRescue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hhshort View Post
    Try riding your brakes all the way down the east side of bear tooth pass!
    The guy who invented the first wheel was an idiot. Now, the guy who invented the second wheel... he was the genius.
    www.motorcycleworkshop.net
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  9. #9
    Curmudgeon At Large Bobmws's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PLUTOSK75RTA View Post
    If you think about your engine braking needs at the time of application or situation, brake pads are a lot cheaper and easier to replace. Verses unnessasary wear and tear on the drive train. There's some food for thought.
    Hmmmm, thought about that statement.......



    Nope, barely excited a single salivary gland........




    Next course.........


    Interact with your motorcycle, you'll have more fun!
    Replacing brake pads and rotors will run more than proper drive line maintenance.
    Even my Camry 6-speed automatic actively downshifts on deceleration.
    Bob Weis
    '04 K12RS - Hannigan Hack
    www.earplugco.com

  10. #10
    Dum vivimus vivamus ted's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PLUTOSK75RTA View Post
    (snip) brake pads are a lot cheaper.
    Rotors however are another story
    Ted
    "A good stick is a good reason"
    1994 K75RT
    Moto Pages

  11. #11
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    One of the true joys of riding a classic K bike is the flat torque curve. A K75 makes 90% of its peak torque at 2,000 rpm. It is possible and reasonable to ride twisty roads and seldom shift, using the power band from 3,000 to 6,000 rpm simply rolling on and rolling off as needed to ride the road. On a K75 even the Dragon at Deals Gap can be smoothly ridden with only a few shifts by using the broad torque band.

    All those roll-offs would be considered engine braking, but using the engine in this way is far more benign on the clutch, the clutch splines, and the drive shaft than frequent shifting would be.

    This does not rule out the use of light braking approaching corners, of course, and riding aggressively requires some braking in-lieu of downshifting for the smoothest way through the corners.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://www.bigbend.net/users/glaves

  12. #12
    Pluto
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    choosing the right food for thought

    !!!If you think about your engine braking needs at the time of application or situation!!!
    35 mph speed zone and slowing down for the stop sign and banging down the gears to slow down and the unattentive bike muncher behind never sees a brake light, or doing so just to hear the noise in the pipes (like those foolish loud pipes save lives guys).

    "Try riding your brakes all the way down the east side of bear tooth pass!"
    Brakes, don't need no stinking brakes. I live 35 miles from the east side of the Beartooth Pass.

    Go with what Paul said.
    All those roll-offs would be considered engine braking, but using the engine in this way is far more benign on the clutch, the clutch splines, and the drive shaft than frequent shifting would be.

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