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learning to shift?

Last post 06-11-2008 05:43 PM by motorrad. 7 replies.
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  • 06-07-2008 08:26 AM

    • bemocked
    • Top 200 Contributor
    • Joined on 11-17-2007
    • Central Brissy
    • Posts 124

    learning to shift?

    Does anyone know of a good website (or other source) that provides some instruction or information about the basics of learning to drive a manual-transmission scooter?

    I first learned to drive (cars) in manual transmission vehicles, and have owned several, so my problem is not that I don't understand what a gearbox is or how to use a clutch, but my scooting has been 100% twist-n-go.

    I want to have some basic concept for how the bloody thing works before I ask a friend I have just been getting to know if he will show me how to drive his restored/vintage scoot, and google is failing me (or I am just not savy enough with the search phrases I am trying)...

    Vespa LX150 (prugna-plum) & 1961 Vespa VNB (lemon yellow)

    my Vespa is plum,
    ...aubergine, or wine, or eggplant will do just as well - but it is NOT purple!
  • 06-07-2008 03:29 PM In reply to

    • Gibbz
    • Top 500 Contributor
    • Joined on 05-21-2008
    • Posts 28

    Re: learning to shift?

     same as driving a motorbike i assume.

     Becarefull tho, the left level should be th clutch and not a rear brake like on a scoot.

     

    Basically, u pull in the clutch(Left lever) then with your left foot u change gears. then release the lever and give it a bit of acceleration... Not much to it, just takes a few hours to get the hang of it.

  • 06-07-2008 03:39 PM In reply to

    Re: learning to shift?

    I seriously doubt there are any web-sites as such.

    How ever, riding a manual scooter is not that different to driving a manual car, except that 99.9% of manual scooters have the gearshift & clutch on the left hand side of the handlebars.

    Probably the main thing to get used to is the concept of rotating the left grip to change gear while simultaneously holding the clutch lever in with the same hand.

    You also need to realise that these gearboxes are not like a car's syncro-mesh gearbox, and they sometimes will "baulk" at going into a particular gear,  you just have to repeat your attempt.

    The rear brake will be a foot operated brake on the right hand side of the floor.

    Before riding,  I would practice the gear change motion a few times while stationary so you can get the feel of it. 

    ------------------------------------------
    David
    Vespa GTS 300 Super
  • 06-09-2008 03:56 AM In reply to

    • bemocked
    • Top 200 Contributor
    • Joined on 11-17-2007
    • Central Brissy
    • Posts 124

    Re: learning to shift?

    Gibbz:
    u pull in the clutch(Left lever) then with your left foot u change gears

    Thanks for the response.  I am new to this... but I am pretty sure that most "shifty" scooters (classic Vaspa, Lambretta, etc) do not involve the foot in the shifting process?  I'm no expert as I have never before touched/driven a manual transmission two-wheeled vehicle (motorcycle or scoot).  Alas, the idea that it is 'same as a motorcycle' is not actually increasing my understanding?  Before my scooting began, I was pretty hardcore into push-bikes, so I approached the world or scooterdom from the other (non-motorized) direction.

    motorrad:
    Probably the main thing to get used to is the concept of rotating the left grip to change gear while simultaneously holding the clutch lever in with the same hand. [...]  The rear brake will be a foot operated brake on the right hand side of the floor.

    Before riding,  I would practice the gear change motion a few times while stationary so you can get the feel of it.

    Thank you!  This was the sort of thing I was clueless about...  sounds as though it may be tricky to get the hang of it at first.  Does a scoot have "neutral" (out of gear) like a car?  Can you put it into & out of gear, or is it just switching between gears with the left grip, and neutral-not-in-gear is just with the clutch lever pulled? 

    So, is it more-or-less the same as a car (procedurally) to get moving from a stop?

    1) apply brake & clutch

    2) put into first gear with clutch engaged (or switch to first gear, down from other gear)

    3) Release brake

    4) Gently apply gas/throttle while simultaneously disengaging clutch untill the engagement point is reached and the vehicle/scoot begins moving - Is this a difficult or sensitive engagement point to find?  Will a beginner typically stall out the scoot quite frequently while learning to find this engagement point (especially starting uphill)?

    Then... you twist one way (forward?) to shift up to the next gear, and the other direction (backward, towards yourself?) to shift down a gear (with the clutch lever squeezed, and no throttle while shifting)?

    If you are moving/driving in 3rd gear when you come to a complete stop, do you then have to shift down twice (two separate times, once to get back to second, and then again to get back into first from second) while stopped to put the scoot back into first while to then start moving again?  Or is there a different way to set the scoot back into first gear?

    Do you need to have the clutch squeezed (engaged) to roll the scoot backwards? 

    You should completely stop applying any throttle when you engage the clutch to shift gears, right?

    Thanks SO MUCH for taking the time to respond...  I realize this is extremely basic stuff.  I've never touched a manual tranny bike of any sort... and I know it will help me to have all this straight in my head, before I am out there "touching the bike".
     

     

    Vespa LX150 (prugna-plum) & 1961 Vespa VNB (lemon yellow)

    my Vespa is plum,
    ...aubergine, or wine, or eggplant will do just as well - but it is NOT purple!
  • 06-09-2008 08:06 AM In reply to

    Re: learning to shift?

     You've more less or less got the idea correct,  a scooter gearbox works in a very similar way to a car.

    As you rotate the gear lever you can feel the "detents" for each gear and the gear is actually indicated on the handlebar head next the shift. There is a neutral position and you need to make sure it is in neutral before you start it.

    I found this YouTube clip that will show you how easy it really is.

    http://www.scootercommunity.com.au/Utility/Flash/dewplayer-mini.swf?mp3=EkSVMU4D_sw <p><a href="http://www.scootercommunity.com.au/Utility/Flash/dewplayer-mini.swf?mp3=EkSVMU4D_sw">http://www.scootercommunity.com.au/Utility/Flash/dewplayer-mini.swf?mp3=EkSVMU4D_sw</a></p>  

    ------------------------------------------
    David
    Vespa GTS 300 Super
  • 06-11-2008 12:11 PM In reply to

    • Scott
    • Top 25 Contributor
    • Joined on 12-06-2007
    • Brisbane South
    • Posts 1,702

    Re: learning to shift?

    Great clip find Motorrad. 

    I had no idea how they worked but now I am learned about it Stick out tongue

    I can now let out the phrase "I learnt something new today!"

    Wife first, scooters and birds second.
    Got to remember that order......

    The 125cc Bug Agility is rather ill, may be terminal so onto the Mighty Mio 100!
  • 06-11-2008 01:23 PM In reply to

    • allen
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 07-19-2007
    • Sydney NSW Australia
    • Posts 6,248

    Re: learning to shift?

    he obviously adjusted the cables prior to doing that video as its the sweetest gear changing PX I have ever seen

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  • 06-11-2008 05:43 PM In reply to

    Re: learning to shift?

    I've owned three manual Vespa's (two Vespa PX's and 1966 Vespa), I have to agree that unless the cable is properly adjusted it would not be as smooth as the video clip makes it seem, but then who rides a scooter without the brakes properly adjusted (I'm referring to the rear drum brake as is common place),  it really is no different.

    I found the gearshift rarely needed adjusting unless the cable was on it's last legs.

    ------------------------------------------
    David
    Vespa GTS 300 Super
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