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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey svriders,

I've been trying to learn how to blip properly but am having difficulties. Whenever I blip, I feel like I have either let the RPMs sink low enough that my blip is redundant or I blip, release the clutch, and jerk forward. Can anybody tell me exactly how to accomplish a proper blip? A step by step would be most helpful as I think most of my problem lies with timing the motions.

Looking forward to doing this correctly.

Thanks!
 

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Ideally you want to have a smooth and quick downshift.

It goes like this:
1. Pull in clutch
2. Shift + blip simultaneously
3. Release clutch

RPMs decrease very rapidly on the SV so you have to be quick about letting the clutch out after your blip, or you lose any smoothness you would have gained with the blip!

Good luck!
 

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You only want to blip when you're downshifting, not when upshifting. The idea when shifting is to match the engine speed with the intended gear and the wheel speed.

Shifting up is generally easy because your engine speed needs to decrease for a given wheel speed. You just close the throttle, let the engine speed fall, select the next gear, and release the clutch. If you wait too long, the engine speed falls too far and then when you let the clutch out the rear wheel tries to spin the engine faster. Then the bike will feel like it bogged. It's nearly impossible to be too fast unless you keep the engine speed up by not closing the throttle. Then, the bike will lurch forward as the faster spinning engine tries to spin up the rear wheel.

The idea for downshifting is basically the opposite. You still want to match the engine speed and the intended gear and wheel speed, but when you shift down, the engine speed must increase for a given wheel speed. For this, you must counter the falling engine speed by giving a short, quick twist of the throttle (about 1/16th of a turn) just as the clutch disconnects the engine and transmission and you select the next gear down.

Ideally, whether you're shifting up or down, you want the engine speed to match the wheel speed via the inteded gear as closely as possible for the least wear on your clutch and for the smoothest shifting.

Once you understand what you're trying to achieve, it just takes practice.
 

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Here's a video I made while I was trying to capture the exhaust popping sounds with my GoPro. There's three blipped downshifts (the second one I over-revved and you can see the bike lurch) and three up-shifts.

 

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recently discussed: http://www.svrider.com/forum/showthread.php?t=163387&highlight=



video demo http://player.vimeo.com/video/28492071?title=0&byline=0&portrait=0&autoplay=1

keith code's Twist of the Wrist 2 glosses over it in a minute or so



article, etc.
http://www.trackdaymag.com/thementalaspect/283-throttle-blipping-for-downshifts.html
Can you multitask?

The corner is coming up fast. You’re doing 150 mph and need to brake down to 60 or so before turning in. Your bike is in fifth gear but needs to be in second very soon. Are you a good throttle blipper?

Two fingers on the brake leave your other two fingers and the thumb for throttle blipping.

A Lost Art

If there’s anything that can breed confusion and fear in a Novice classroom, it’s the subject of throttle blipping. Beginners aren’t the only ones with blip-phobia. It seems that approximately half the riders at any given trackday do not possess this vitally important skill. In a world where stick shift automobiles are increasingly rare, the ability to rev-match downshifts is becoming a lost art among drivers. Thankfully, sportbikes still come with manual transmissions! This presents a problem, however. Motorcycle riders need to be able to rev-match their downshifts but most have never done so previously in a car, which gives them no frame of reference to apply to a bike.

Getting it wrong

Let’s say you’re cruising down the straight at casual 100mph in fourth gear. Ahead is a 50 mph corner that you’ll need to take in second. You pull in the clutch, stomp down two gears and let go of the lever. What happens next? AAAAAAAHHHH!!! The revs go to the moon, the back tire locks up and you likely get tossed from the saddle. While it would be the least of your worries at this point, you’ve probably over-revved the motor as well, causing expensive damage.

Slow down first

The first rule of downshifting is that you must never select a gear with a redline speed which is slower than you are currently travelling. Doing so will allow the rear tire to turn your engine faster than it can safely go. Many riders think that since their machine has a rev limiter, it cannot be over-spun; however this is not true. The rev limiter controls engine speed by placing an rpm ceiling on ignition events. If the rear tire is travelling 80 mph when you select a gear that redlines at 60 mph and let out the clutch, the wheel speed will spin the motor far past its danger zone even as the rev limiter shuts down the spark plugs in a vain attempt to stop the destruction.

The trick to surviving the above scenario is to first slow the bike down enough that its speed falls within the range safely possible for the chosen lower gear, at which point you can then accomplish your downshifts. In other words, slow down before you downshift.
Rev Matching

You’ve slowed from 100 mph down to 60mph. You know from past experience that your bike will safely go sixty in second gear, so you pull in the clutch and click down twice from fourth, then let out the lever. AAAAAAAHHHH!!! While you were slowing down, your engine’s rpm dropped to near idle. When you let out the clutch, the road speed of the rear wheel instantly punched the revs to 10,000, momentarily skidding the rear tire and giving the whole bike a mighty jerk. Hopefully, you didn’t crash as a result. Ten grand was a safe rpm for the lower gear but you should have rev matched!

Rev matching is simply a matter of using the throttle to spin up the motor to an rpm that matches road speed before you let out the clutch after a downshift. If the revs have dropped to 5K under braking and what you need to match the downshift is 10k, you get the extra rpm with a sharp flick of the wrist, which you do just before you let the clutch out. Mind you, this does not mean that you roll on and hold the throttle; instead you snap it open momentarily and snap it closed again just as fast, “goosing” the engine into a quick rpm increase. This action is referred to as “Throttle Blipping.”

It takes practice to become a good throttle blipper; however, it isn’t as difficult as most people think. Every rider alive has revved up the engine by goosing his or her throttle at least a million times already, just because it sounds cool! Believe it or not, applying that blipping action to downshifts is less precise than you might think. Your “goose” can be a bit too soft or too hard, as long as it is timed correctly with the release of the clutch lever. Just be sure that the rpms are on the rise as you let out the clutch and things will usually sort themselves out nicely. If you currently do not rev match at all, literally any attempt you make to do so will be an improvement.

Slipper Clutches

Let’s get one thing straight: A slipper clutch is intended to assist throttle blipping, not replace it. If any attempt at blipping is an improvement on a regular bike, any attempt made aboard a machine equipped with a slipper will yield near-professional results. Without blipping, a slipper clutch is simply a semi-effective rev limiter that somewhat protects the motor at the cost of chassis stability and control; which are both greatly compromised by the resulting rear wheel drag. Those who just bang off downshifts while expecting the slipper clutch to take care of business are wasting time, wearing out parts and giving up a great deal of accuracy at corner entry.

Won’t blipping take away my engine braking?
Yes, that’s the whole point! Your engine is a very expensive and woefully inadequate brake, not to mention that it is slowing down the wrong end of the motorcycle. Your brakes work far better and are pinpoint accurate. The goal of throttle blipping is to have you in the right gear at the right rpm at the right time, perched aboard a composed machine that is ready to negotiate the corner. Without it you arrive at turn in with disturbed suspension and a much better chance of crashing.

The Great Dilemma

You need to brake for that fast-approaching corner but must also downshift, which requires blipping the throttle. The brakes and throttle are on the same handlebar! How do you work both at the same time? AAAAAAAHHHH!!!

The Technique

Modern sportbikes have great brakes. Two fingers are all you’ll need for any level of braking. That leaves your ring and pinkie fingers to combine with the thumb in controlling the throttle. Yes, we’re talking about blipping the throttle while simultaneously squeezing the brakes and if you think that this is a tricky maneuver, you’re absolutely right. The technique is to maintain a squeeze on the brake lever while blipping by allowing your fingers to roll over the lever without releasing it. So how do you learn this skill?

Drilling



Since you’ll be performing several actions at once when downshifting, why not learn them one at a time?

1) Blipping while braking: You can begin learning this technique while sitting still with the engine off. Practice maintaining an even tension on the brake lever while blipping the throttle.

2) Rev Matching: We recommend finding an open area and learning how to rev match. If you have plenty of room, there will be no need for brakes so you can just concentrate on accurately matching engine speed to each lower gear. From 50 mph, downshift one gear at a time from sixth to second. The sequence for each downshift is to pull in the clutch lever, simultaneously click the bike into the next lower gear while giving the throttle a blip, then let out the clutch. Let engine braking slow you a bit after each downshift. Since your bike will likely do 50 mph in second with ease, these will be very small and essentially non-critical blips. Repeat this process until you’re smooth. Next, do the same drill, again starting at 50 mph but in fifth gear instead of sixth. The blips will need to be larger and will become more critical. Having mastered that, try it starting from fourth gear, then third gear. Each time you begin the drill in a lower gear, the amount of blip required will get larger and technique will become more critical. The more precise you become, the better the process will sound and feel. As your skills improve, you might even begin to enjoy this drill!
3) Blipping while braking with no downshifts: Once you have rev matching down, take it out of the equation. From 50 mph, try pulling in the clutch lever and using two fingers to gently brake as you simultaneously blip the throttle. Since the clutch is in and you’re not downshifting, it won’t matter how accurate your blips are. The goal here is to maintain a steady rate of deceleration while managing to simultaneously blip the throttle.

4) Tying it all together: When you’ve achieved the ability to blip while maintaining smooth braking, combine it with the downshifting. Now that you have a finished skill set, learned at low speeds in an open area, you can take it to the track and begin to experiment with it at speed.

Since one good video clip is worth a thousand words, we have provided one, courtesy of GoPro. This bike is travelling approximately 140 mph in fourth gear at the end of the straightaway. The brakes are applied first, to slow the bike enough for safe downshifting. With the brakes still squeezed, two quick downshifts are applied. This is timed so that the throttle can immediately be rolled on after the last downshift to accelerate the bike through the corner.
 

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I disagree with 1) under drilling. With an FI equipped bike, you don't want to touch the throttle with the engine off. You send signals to the ECU when you do that and can confuse the ECU and make starting difficult. With a carbed bike, you can flood the carbs resulting in some nice backfires when you do start the bike. I would simply have the engine idling while practicing using the brake lever and blipping the throttle.
 

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1) under drilling. With an FI equipped bike, you don't want to touch the throttle with the engine off. You send signals to the ECU when you do that and can confuse the ECU and make starting difficult.
if the bike (key) is off, no signals are going anywhere...
 

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I don't clutch, I just give a slight momentary increase in throttle as I give a little pressure on the shifter. It's just like upshifting, except instead of letting off the throttle, you're adding it. :vroom:
 

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if the bike (key) is off, no signals are going anywhere...
I'm going by my experience with my Triumph's FI system, which granted is 14yrs old. Even with the key off, if my throttle is moved several times, the engine will not start, will take many attempts while cranking, and when it finally does catch, will idle poorly until the sytem "reboots" itself. Maybe not all FI systems work in this way, but you are still mechanically moving parts unless you have throttle by wire. No need for a larger discussion, if the 2nd gen SV's FI system doesn't react to throttle movement when off then when finally starts is ok, then fine.
 

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very big dumb
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I'm going by my experience with my Triumph's FI system, which granted is 14yrs old. Even with the key off, if my throttle is moved several times, the engine will not start, will take many attempts while cranking, and when it finally does catch, will idle poorly until the sytem "reboots" itself. Maybe not all FI systems work in this way, but you are still mechanically moving parts unless you have throttle by wire. No need for a larger discussion, if the 2nd gen SV's FI system doesn't react to throttle movement when off then when finally starts is ok, then fine.
just tried it and no it didn't care one bit heh
 

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so nobody is against blipping?

just bringing up NOT doing it to see if any others agree. Because i myself have been a blipper for years. i like the mechanics of it and getting it right just sounds and feels great.

BUT i just did Jason Pridmores STAR school recently (rode for AMA MJordan Suzuki) and he teaches NO blipping regardless of slipper clutch or not. the slipper is your left hand. And i had a hard time believing it after doing it for so many years, but he offers a two up ride for a reason.

being a passenger on his stock 1000, PASSING all the other trackdayers in corners in and outside was just bonkers. i could go on about his braking and NOT leaning.. but its the blip i -tried- to focus on. and he didnt.. smooth as butter.

when i got back on the track, the harder i rode, the more i found myself cheating and reverting to blipping. its gonna take some practice.
 

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Blipping is a great technique to use anytime you are downshifting. One of the things I notice most by riders trying to learn to blip is that they pull in the clutch too far. To get a good feel for how much clutch movement you need, put the bike in second gear with the engine off, then with the clutch out push the bike forward until it stops, then slowly squeeze the clutch to see just how much you need to pull it before it disengages and begins to roll. This is how much lever movement you need, and chances are it is FAR less than you are moving the lever currently.
 

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You can read and read and hear ideas of how to do it all day long, but all it takes is practice. Go out, ride, practice your blips, and you'll get it. You just need to find the sweet spot for your bike, and once you get it, you'll have it.

Get off the forum and go ride. You'll figure it out.
 

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haha i remember when i had my bike for second week. my sv is my first bike :)

cruising down on 60 kph, coming up to traffic light 2am going back home afte agonizing engineering assignment,

and blip (oh yeah~ i love that sound), lets downshift like a pro! blip.....




damn i forgot to clutch in... the shear torque of v-twin nearly threw me off the bike lol
 

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I think everyone can agree that there are three different basic methods to facilitating and smoothing out a downshift:

1 - minimal clutch and rev-matching (blip method)
2 - very slow clutch and long time in the friction zone ("slipper" clutch method)
and probably the least common approach,
3 - no clutch and throttle to smooth out the shift ("clutchless" method)

Each method has its own pros and cons, some more than others.



I've experimented with downshifting pretty extensively, for almost 10 years now both on the street and on the track in a racing environment. I've used all three techniques separately and became fairly proficient with all three. What I've found works best for ME is a healthy blend of all three, which means

1 - MINIMAL blip (no more than necessary)
2 - fair amount of time spent in the friction zone (especially if I'm getting my downshift while leaned over)
3 - minimium amount of clutch pull. Only pull it in as far as you need to... about 1/2 way into the friction zone.

The minimal blip means that my braking performance is minimally affected (it's tough to blip while maintaining constant, maximum pressure on the brake lever).
A fair amount of time in the friction zone means the change in RPM will be smooth and the bike won't lurch forward if I use too much throttle or drag the rear if I use too little.
Minimum amount of clutch pull means that the RPM's won't drop too far down before they start coming up because I don't even pull it in past the friction zone. I only pull it in about half way so that once the transmission clicks down into the next gear I'm already in the friction zone.

This nets me the highest level of smoothness and consistency that I'm looking for when I'm riding on the track. This translates over to the street as well, though the consequences for a botched downshift aren't nearly as severe so there's a lot more wiggle room when it comes to which technique you choose to put to use.

In the end, the "right" technique is the one that works best for you and your riding style. Whatever approach gets YOU the best combination of smoothness and consistency is the one that you should use.
 

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Blipping is a great technique to use anytime you are downshifting. One of the things I notice most by riders trying to learn to blip is that they pull in the clutch too far. To get a good feel for how much clutch movement you need, put the bike in second gear with the engine off, then with the clutch out push the bike forward until it stops, then slowly squeeze the clutch to see just how much you need to pull it before it disengages and begins to roll. This is how much lever movement you need, and chances are it is FAR less than you are moving the lever currently.
I do this from time to time but with the engine on. When Im board at a traffic light, sometimes I just let the clutch out to the point of near stalling and bring it back in just enough to get into the zone. Continuing faster and faster until its time to move.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I've been practising this since I've started the thread and I think I'm getting the hang of it. I have one question however, regarding the clutch pull. Isn't not pulling the clutch in all the way kind of like not stepping on the clutch pedal in a car all the way and then switching gears? I was always taught to press the clutch pedal all the way down before shifting when I was learning how to drive.

Can somebody tell me why we don't need to pull the clutch lever all the way in before shifting gears? My downshifts and blips are pertty smooth, and they shouldn't be if I'm not doing what you guys, who have much more experience than me with blipping, are doing, right?
 

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A car transmission is very different from a bike transmission.
With cars, the gears move in relation to one another so there's a lot more is moving around and potential griding.
With bikes, the gears are always engaged so there's less movement and it's genearlly a lot simpler.

I'm sure someone could explain the differences a lot better, but the details aren't really all that important... What IS important is what it means for us as operators.

It means that technically the clutch isn't even needed to change gears. All you really need to do to change gears is manipulate the throttle in a way that relieves the tension within the transmission so that the shift dogs can move. The only reason why the clutch is used is to smooth out the gear change so there's no sudden jerk.

CAN you pull the clutch all the way in on your gear changes? Sure. But it's not necessary. I pull it back probably to about the first third of the friction zone. My throttle blip relieves the tension (and brings up the RPM's a little bit), the clutch smooths it out. Not pulling the lever all the way to the bar just makes the whole process a little quicker.
 
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