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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So this is my first bike (2008 SV650S), and I do notice when I downshift, I can feel the rear end squirrel a bit on me, is that normal for a higher low end torque bike like this? If so, is there something I can do to counter it? I don't want to accidentally downshift and it be on some water/slick surface and it actually slides out from under me!
 

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I shall try this, thanks...so I am not the only one that noticed this?

I am of course giving it zero throttle on the down shift.
A sloppy downshift (without either rev matching or feathering the clutch) will cause what you're experiencing. Since this is your first bike, do you have experience with manual transmission cars? Same idea / procedure applies here.
 

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Bikes with less engine braking with heavier flywheels such as Harleys or BMWs, Guzzis and of course 2 strokes don't suffer as much rear wheel sensitivity to downshifting. It's a matter of proper riding technique to match engine revs with the speed of the rear wheel while downshifting for any bike. You can accomplish this by blipping the throttle or by allowing the speed to drop or by releasing the clutch lever out slower. It's more of an issue in the lower gears than in the upper ones. In a perfect downshift you should not feel the suspension moving and just hear the engine change pitch. You may have noticed while trolling in 5th or 4th in traffic that you can drop down a gear without reducing or changing the position of the throttle and have a perfect rev/speed match. It just takes some practice to rev match or feel with the clutch lever to achieve a smooth transition betweent the gears. The same goes for accelerating. You should be able to apply throttle and change gears without jerking the suspension. Keeping the chassis attitude balanced provides for max grip and a controlled ride.
 

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Bikes with less engine braking with heavier flywheels such as Harleys or BMWs, Guzzis and of course 2 strokes don't suffer as much rear wheel sensitivity to downshifting. It's a matter of proper riding technique to match engine revs with the speed of the rear wheel while downshifting for any bike. You can accomplish this by blipping the throttle or by allowing the speed to drop or by releasing the clutch lever out slower. It's more of an issue in the lower gears than in the upper ones. In a perfect downshift you should not feel the suspension moving and just hear the engine change pitch. You may have noticed while trolling in 5th or 4th in traffic that you can drop down a gear without reducing or changing the position of the throttle and have a perfect rev/speed match. It just takes some practice to rev match or feel with the clutch lever to achieve a smooth transition betweent the gears. The same goes for accelerating. You should be able to apply throttle and change gears without jerking the suspension. Keeping the chassis attitude balanced provides for max grip and a controlled ride.

+1 This says it all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
A sloppy downshift (without either rev matching or feathering the clutch) will cause what you're experiencing. Since this is your first bike, do you have experience with manual transmission cars? Same idea / procedure applies here.
yes, I have a 2008 bmw 135i with a 6 speed manual, i've had manuals since I could drive, so the concept is familiar, but very different with this much torque to one wheel.

I'll try blipping the throttle in an empty parking lot, to see if I can match a little more on the shift.
 

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yes, I have a 2008 bmw 135i with a 6 speed manual, i've had manuals since I could drive, so the concept is familiar, but very different with this much torque to one wheel.

I'll try blipping the throttle in an empty parking lot, to see if I can match a little more on the shift.
Cars will also "lock up" the rear tires on a downshift if done sloppily. You basically end up with the engine trying to slow the tire. If you're going fast enough and the engine slow enough, the tire will slide, causing the sensation you describe. Locking up the rear tire with the brakes does the same thing.

Slow down your clutch release if you don't want to start blipping the throttle, or goose the throttle to get the engine speed in line with what it'll be turning at road speed when you let out the clutch. It takes some getting used to, but once you get the feel for it it comes naturally.

Now if I can figure out the equivalent of heel-toe down-shifting on a bike, I'd be set. I can never get the throttle blip done right while on the front brake without jerking the bike around. Probably practice. Lots of practice.
 

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Two fingers on the brake lever and the other two blipping the throttle at the same time. It does take some practice to blip without increasing pressure on the brake lever.
That's what I've been trying to do on-and-off, I need to be a little more diligent about it to get it right :)
 
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