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Discussion Starter #1
I'd like some opinions on engine braking. Does extensive engine braking to slow down shorten the life span of a bike?

When I can, I downshift and let off the clutch...downshift let off the clutch....usually through every gear. Some of the guys I've ridden with with go from 6 down to 1, while braking, then let off the clutch.

Good? Bad?
 

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I'd say it won't hurt the bike if done right, but I can't say that for sure. But, from your description it sounds like you aren't doing it the best possible way. When downshifting and using engine braking, it shouldn't be a step by step process (downshift, let out clutch, downshift again, etc), it should be one smooth process.

It may make more sense if I describe my process. When it feels about right to be dropping a gear, I blip the throttle slip the clutch and shift all at once, the bike does not shudder and the clutch doesn't drag. If you are not blipping the throttle, basically when you pull in the clutch to shift down, the engine drops its momentum, and when you let out the clutch to slow down, its going to wear your clutch faster cause the engine speed does not match actual speed. Make sense? Maybe?
 

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So what your trying to say is that improper engine breaking results in your engine breaking? So proper engine breaking done correctly is a good thing but engine breaking done incorrectly is bad. ;D Nope nothin' good about a broken engine!
 

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You might want to consider how much safer it is to downshift and always be in the right gear to get moving if you ever had to in an emergency situation.
 

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imdbui said:
what exactly is blippin the throttle?
Giving it a quick, short twist. Reason for doing that is to match the rpm to the lower gear. For example, 6th gear going 60mph spins at 5000rpm (approx), 5th gear will spin at 5500rpm (approx). When at 60mph, and you want to slow down or even just shift to 5th gear, blipping the throttle at the same time as slipping the clutch will brings the rpm up a lil bit, closer to 5500, so when the clutch is released there is very little resistance since it will be spinning about the same speed as your actual speed.
 

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don't worry about engine brakin reuding your engie life, don't worry about slipping the clutch, wet clutches are designed to be slipped.

I don't think anyone engine brakes more than I or slips the clutch more than I, I got 118,000 miles on my SV now, my original clutch lasted 102,000 miles before I replaced the fibre plates & springs as preventative maintenance. I've done stupid things like dump the clutch in 1st gear & 65-70mph, I've ridden off road on single track trails 40-50 miles at a time, standing on pegs, slipping clutch in 1st & 2nd gear

change your oil and maintain the bike per owners manual, no more, no less is all that is necessary
 

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Discussion Starter #8
For the most part...my braking is a smooth process when I'm down shifting, and I am applying my brakes at the same time. But I always engage the next lower gear first before I downshift to the next one. For some reason its just more fun for me. Where as some guys will just slip the clutch at higher speeds....use their brakes....downshift all the way to first (click click click click click)...then when they're about 10-15mph they engage fist gear.....slip the clutch again...rolling and applying front and rear brakes to a complete stop. I hope this makes sense.

So its a smooth process....I'm just trying to baby this thing while its still in the break in period. Tryig to keep my RPMs @ or below 5k. Off topic....my bike gets really hot when I riding in stop and go to and from work....and sometimes I just wonder if all of this crap is screwing up my bike.
 

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I think the only possible problem with engine breaking would be a condition that caused the engine to operate at higher RPM then is specified in the owners manual.
I have seen speculation that it caused some failure in race bikes but it is only speculation and lets face it race bikes have engine failure sooner or later.
I have a friend with 42000 miles on an 03 SV and he runs his much harder than I do, uses his engine to break all the time.

Regards 8)
 

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Just chill and don't worry about it so much... you bought a Jap bike... it takes a lot to kill these things.

Do what you like and find to fit you better. As you ride more and more, you will find it changes.

As for riding in traffic... Yeah higher temps are normal...
 

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i engine brake whenever possible....it saves the brakes :)
and i always usually sounds cool! when i engine brake i do it one gear at a time
 

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Discussion Starter #13
spuds said:
i engine brake whenever possible....it saves the brakes :)
and i always usually sounds cool! when i engine brake i do it one gear at a time
Glad I'm not alone on this. :)
 

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spuds said:
always usually sounds cool!
Oh yeah it does.. at trackdays, banging down 2 or 3 gears from 100mph while blipping.. I sometimes almost crash(j/k) because of the pleasurable sensation it creates in my pants (me: ignore the orgasm, make the turn!!)

That 90° v-twin just sounds so sexy. :-*


Engine braking is good. Oh so good.
 

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I compression brake every where I can. Always have and always will.:)
 

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engine braking won't reduce engine life. i engine brake all the time-- 2 gears at a time. i highly doubt my engine is more worn because of it.
 

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On street:
I engine brake all the time. When slowing down, I go down one gear at a time to make sure I am at the right gear should I need to get out of the way quickly....and like others, I simply love the sound :D

On track:
I still go down one gear at the time, to make sure I don't hit false neutral skipping thru many gears or end up in a wrong gear, but I do very little engine braking - it costs time.
 

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Aside from the possible clutch wear, from what I understand it should be good for your pistons and rings. When the intake valve opens to draw in fuel and air, and the throttle is closed, the vacuum created tries to suck anything in from anywhere, including oil from around the piston. Then on the power stroke since the gasses arent under such high pressure that oil dosent get blow away so much. At least that is what I understand from brake in procedures for several engines I have dealt with.
 

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misko said:
On track:
I still go down one gear at the time, to make sure I don't hit false neutral skipping thru many gears or end up in a wrong gear, but I do very little engine braking - it costs time.
Do you turn the idle up on the track to reduce engine braking? I tried it progressively up to 2500 rpm idle speed at my last track day and it helped my smoothness, though I still had to remember not to grab more front brake to compensate. I'll definately do it next trackday too. ;D
 
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