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Discussion Starter #1
I'm new to riding so forgive me if this question has been beaten to death, but I couldn't find the answers on my own, despite my best efforts.

I bought an '01 sv 650 and I love it. I'm either on it or thinking about being on it. Getting better at riding, but acceleration is rather herky-jerky. Specifically, I'll accelerate in 1st gear to about 6-7K rpms, then I' ease off the throttle and the bike slows pretty dramatically. It evens out once I pull in the clutch lever. I then shift gears and release the clutch lever, whereupon it slows dramatically, once again until I get beack on the throttle, then it sort of jerks forward again. SO the end result of this sequence of events is some really rough shifting between 1st and 2nd, 2nd and 3rd, and 3rd and 4th. Herky-jerky riding. Is this normal when you move through this sequence slowly? Will it improve as I get faster at it?

The only thing I've found that helps is: after changing gears I give it some throttle before I release the clutch lever to engage the engine so that the engine speed matches the road speed. And that can be hard to do because sometimes I overshoot and the bike takes off in the next gear up, and sometimes I undershoot, whichl slows the bike down in the next gear up because I didn't give it enough throttle.

My concern is that it is not good for the bike to engage the clutch (release the clutch lever) while on the throttle. Is this true?

It doesn't seem to be at all like a car, in which you 1.) let off the throttle, 2.) push in the clutch pedal, 3.) shift gears, 4.) release the clutch pedal 5.) then hit the throttle again in the new gear. Because when I do that in my car, I don't get such a jerky ride.

I hope I made sense. and thanks in advance for your replies and help.
 

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just ride more and you will get used to it. about the car thing, I don't know how to proficently drive a manual car ??? yet i ride. 8)
 

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Cyclopath said:
Specifically, I'll accelerate in 1st gear to about 6-7K rpms, then I' ease off the throttle and the bike slows pretty dramatically.  It evens out once I pull in the clutch lever. I then shift gears and release the clutch lever, whereupon it slows dramatically, once again until I get beack on the throttle, then it sort of jerks forward again. SO the end result of this sequence of events is some really rough shifting between 1st and 2nd, 2nd and 3rd, and 3rd and 4th. Herky-jerky riding.  Is this normal when you move through this sequence slowly? Will it improve as I get faster at it?

The only thing I've found that helps is: after changing gears I give it some throttle before I release the clutch lever to engage the engine so that the engine speed matches the road speed. And that can be hard to do because sometimes I overshoot and the bike takes off in the next gear up, and sometimes I undershoot, whichl slows the bike down in the next gear up because I didn't give it enough throttle.

My concern is that it is not good for the bike to engage the clutch (release the clutch lever) while on the throttle. Is this true?
the slowing down feeling is the engine braking of the bike. The SV650 has a very distinctive amount of engine braking which is what you're describing.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
Welcome to the board!

It sounds to me like you just need more practice. The smoothness will come in time, as it did when you learned to drive a stick.

Try shifting sooner (lower RPM) and not closing the throttle completely prior to disengaging the clutch -come off the throttle at the same time you pull the clutch in.

I suggest you spend a few hours practicing in an empty parking lot where there are no distractions (i.e. traffic). You don't want to try to figure this out on the street while trying not to get run down. If you haven't yet taken the MSF course I suggest you do so; it'll help significantly with basic skills and in building your confidence.

Ride safe!

:)
 

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Cyclopath-- Welcome to the SV, SVRider, and the wonderful world of motorcycling.


In regards to your question:

Slip that clutch!! That's what clutches (specifically the wet clutch on the SV) on motorcycles are made for. nc_sv650 said it all: just practice, preferably away from traffic where you can concentrate solely on operating the machine, and the subtle dance between clutch pressure and throttle inputs will become second nature.

Remember: Smmmooooth is your friend, herky-jerky is your dangerous enemy. If it takes a week or two of slipping the piss out of your clutch to find that ideal intersection of clutch pressure, throttle input, and engine rpm, so be it. I would suggest shifting in the 4000-4500 rpm range at first to reduce the excessive engine braking that your lovely motor provides.


HTH
 

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And remember that while you're learning, the whole process of shifting takes longer than it should.
Shifting up a gear on a bike should take well under a second.
Once you're practiced enough, it all starts to blend together smoothly. It's you having to think about the process that makes it all take time.
When it's a habit and happens pretty much automatically it's much faster and smoother
 

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you'll be fine. keep practicing and obviously take the MSF class asap
 

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just like damo said, you just need to get your shifting proccess sped up a lot....its should be a quick snap the clutch in as your upshifting then releasing and rolling back on the throttle..... smoothness comes with practice
 

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J_Shafe said:
just like damo said, you just need to get your shifting proccess sped up a lot....its should be a quick snap the clutch in as your upshifting then releasing and rolling back on the throttle..... smoothness comes with practice
That at +1 on more practice.

Also, how long have you been driving a manual car?

When you listed out your steps on how you drive a manual car, doesn't seam right.
When you shift in a car, your gas is let off just barley before you push in the clutch...they should be so close that its almost like you are moving them at the same time. Same thing with a motorcycle, clutch/gas should trade off when shifting. Should take you less than a second
 
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Discussion Starter #11
I appreciate all of the kind responses. I've been on the bike everyday for the last 2 weeks now and things have smoothed out considerably. Now the only part when I sometimes feel a little herk or jerk is when I am releasing the clutch lever (engaging the clutch) after shifting into a higher gear. I try to roll back a bit on the throttle but sometimes it's not enough and sometimes it's too much, resulting a ride that's not as smooth as I would like. I suppose I just have to get to the point where I can get just enough throttle to to match the engine speed to the road speed, right? :-\

Though I have to say that the advice has been tremendously helpfull. I'm shifting at lower RPMs and that does help a lot.

Thanks again. ;)
 

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Once you get more comfortable on the bike you'll notice that it shifts better when accelerating hard than when riding slow. If there's some place you can run wide open through 4 or 5 gears with no traffic you may have a smooth-shifting breakthrough.
 

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slowing down a lot when letting off the throttle is called engine braking. it happens in manual transmission cars, too, you just may not have noticed it. take your manual transmission car out, and get going on an empty road in first gear, get the engine revved up pretty high, then suddenly let off the gas...you'll feel the car slowing down. that's engine braking.

one tip I learned - I spent a few years driving a manual trans car when I was in high school. my dad drilled into my brain "dont ride the clutch." Well, our bikes have what is called a "wet clutch"...it's designed differently than car clutches, and it's designed to be "slipped" (basically what my dad called "riding the clutch"). What that means is you can let out the clutch VERY SLOWLY while you're learning...you'll be smoother, and you can disregard the voice of your dad in your head telling you not to do it. ;D Eventually, you'll learn to shift as quickly as these "less than a second" guys.

oh, just reread your post, and heres one more thing you should do. make your throttle change at the same time as your clutching. What I mean is this:
Cyclopath said:
I' ease off the throttle and the bike slows pretty dramatically. It evens out once I pull in the clutch lever. I then shift gears and release the clutch lever, whereupon it slows dramatically, once again until I get beack on the throttle, then it sort of jerks forward again.
ease off the throttle at the same time that you are pulling in the clutch lever...then shift...then smoothly get back on the throttle while you are slowly releasing the clutch lever.
 

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Kinda sounds like you are letting the clutch lever out too quickly.
It should be a smooth motion done as you feed in the throttle.
Keep at it, it will come.
 
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