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How to Shift Your K11
by Dana Priesing

1. Preload the shift lever with your left foot. The amount of pressure involved is very slight: greater than mere desire, less than a push or pull. Just preload it enough that the muscles of your foot and ankle tense, and any slack in the shift linkage (think of the shift linkage as the bike's muscle, or an extension of your's) is gently removed, and the shift drum and forks, if they were released from the clutch-driveline pressure, would rotate and slide in the intended direction.

2. Pull the clutch lever in, but *just enough* so that the clutch-driveline pressure is reduced enough to that the drum and forks are released to rotate and slide. You don't need to pull the level all the way in to do this. 1/4 to 1/3 of the way will do it. (Stop thinking of the lever as an on-off, two-position switch. Think of it as a means of altering a how much pressure two rotating surfaces are exerting on one another. It's a pressure gradient dude! The further you pull in the clutch, the lower the pressure. Okay?) If you're having trouble executing this, try using just two fingers, or one finger, to pull the lever. That'll slow you down some.

3. Snick. The clutch-driveline pressure falls below some significant point, and suddenly the shift drum rotates and the forks slide the gears, instantly, noiselessly, before the flywheel even has much chance to slow down. You'll feel this, and you'll smile and say "yeah" to yourself.

4. At the moment you feel it, and without relaxing your foot, release the clutch lever.

5. Simultaneously, adjust your throttle to keep that flywheel spinning at as close to the same rpm as it was before. Some transitions, e.g. 1st to 2nd, or 3rd to 2nd, may require a little more throttle than others.

Practice this technique and your shifting will become smooth, quiet, you'll never miss a gear again. You'll smile when rookies talk about clunky-shifting K-bikes, because you know the secret.


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