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beginner engine idle question
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beginner engine idle question - April 6, 2014, 08:56 AM

complete beginner question:

an automatic car idles high enough for the car to make headway without applying any throttle.

why shouldn't i increase the idle on my bike so that it also "inches forward" without applying any throttle? the bike spends 90% of its time at 5k 6k 7k or whatever rpm when in use anyway. Being able to "inch forward" would be so handy in bumper to bumper DC traffic.

what would happen if i idled at 2k or 2.5k instead of the usual 1.2k?

Last edited by vanilla; April 6, 2014 at 09:05 AM..
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April 6, 2014, 09:17 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by vanilla View Post
complete beginner question:

an automatic car idles high enough for the car to make headway without applying any throttle.

why shouldn't i increase the idle on my bike so that it also "inches forward" without applying any throttle? the bike spends 90% of its time at 5k 6k 7k or whatever rpm when in use anyway. Being able to "inch forward" would be so handy in bumper to bumper DC traffic.

what would happen if i idled at 2k or 2.5k instead of the usual 1.2k?
What kind of bike do you have? Some bikes can "inch forward" just letting the clutch out with a normal idle level.
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April 6, 2014, 10:12 AM

kawi ninja 300, it doesnt have much low end torque - stalls if i let out the clutch without gas. i guess my question is, are there any glaring problems with setting a high idle?

Last edited by vanilla; April 6, 2014 at 10:24 AM..
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April 6, 2014, 10:33 AM

You're computing an automatic vehicle that's designed to never stall with a manual vehicle. A stick shift car can't inch forward. Your clutch is either engaged or it isn't so I don't think raising your idle will achieve what you want it to.


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April 6, 2014, 11:21 AM

maybe this will clarify what i'm saying:

bike is sitting in traffic at a standstill with the clutch disengaged. now its time to move.

as the bike is setup now, i would:
1. feather the throttle until it hits 2k rpm
2. engage clutch and go

if the bike is set to IDLE at 2k:
1. engage clutch and go

am i missing something here?

Last edited by vanilla; April 6, 2014 at 11:23 AM..
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April 6, 2014, 11:22 AM

As mentioned there are a lot of differences between a car and a bike. Even more so between an auto and manual transmission which seems to be what you are comparing to, even though in a car you can't just dump the clutch in first gear at idle.

All that said... Yes you can raise the idle to 2000-2500 rpm if you choose to. It won't hurt anything. I run the idle in that range on my track bike, but not for the reason you're looking for a change.

Regardless of what you decide to do with the idle it sounds like some more time getting used to the clutches friction zone would be a good thing to do. It's not an on/off switch. Getting smooth with applying gas while feathering the clutch takes time. The more you practice it the more natural it becomes. With time you'll be doing both at the same time without even thinking about it.


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April 6, 2014, 12:25 PM

Learn to ride the bike as intended.

Clutch control is pivotal and trying to band-aid that with a higher idle is both ill advised and audibly annoying.
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April 6, 2014, 12:28 PM

My assumption is you're trying to make your Ninja 300 act more like an automatic transmission car when starting to move which I think is a bad idea. They are two completely different systems with very different mechanisms for applying power from the engine to the rest of the transmission.

You still need to add throttle once you're fully engaged anyway, why not do that while you're engaging the clutch (which is proper operation of a manual transmission motorcycle) rather than fully engaging the clutch, slowly rolling forward, then giving it throttle? I think what you will find is you will constantly let out the clutch too fast and stall, or it will be a very jerky start, especially if you raise the idle too high.

If you ever get to the point where you need to start moving on less than ideal surfaces (rain, sandy area at a stop sign) you will need the skills to engage the clutch while rolling on the throttle anyway so you don't spin your rear tire. Also a passenger may not like the jerky start using your method.

I guess to answer your question, yes you can raise the idle and let out the clutch slowly and it likely won't stall. But, I highly recommend you DO NOT do that. Your manual may have a range for proper idle speed, I suggest you stick with that.
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April 6, 2014, 12:59 PM

many thanks for the advice and info. I'll keep the idle as it is while I'm learning so that I develop those core clutch skills.

The situation I'm talking about is pretty specific: its riding in bumper-to-bumper rush hour traffic inside DC, with a whole lot of stopping and starting and not exceeding 15 mph. this kind of riding (unfortunately) makes up a pretty good chunk of my time on the bike.

Last edited by vanilla; April 6, 2014 at 01:41 PM..
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April 6, 2014, 01:18 PM

Sounds like your riding time is pretty vanilla.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Fitz View Post
My wife wants to get LASIK or a boob job

She asked my opinion

I told her I have no vested interest in making her eyesight better
Quote:
Originally Posted by alex View Post
Im not really fast enough to notice a difference between tires. I buy the kind thats black and made out of rubber.
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April 6, 2014, 01:40 PM

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April 6, 2014, 01:49 PM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Fitz View Post
My wife wants to get LASIK or a boob job

She asked my opinion

I told her I have no vested interest in making her eyesight better
Quote:
Originally Posted by alex View Post
Im not really fast enough to notice a difference between tires. I buy the kind thats black and made out of rubber.
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April 6, 2014, 02:00 PM

That picture is amazing.
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April 6, 2014, 04:57 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by vanilla View Post
The situation I'm talking about is pretty specific: its riding in bumper-to-bumper rush hour traffic inside DC, with a whole lot of stopping and starting and not exceeding 15 mph. this kind of riding (unfortunately) makes up a pretty good chunk of my time on the bike.
Perfect, you'll get lots of practice with the clutch and ought to be pretty slick with it in no time.
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April 6, 2014, 05:02 PM

Yeah, friction zone. Put your before go position to right after the dead zone, then feather clutch. I had no problem using zero throttle on my 300, unless it was a hill to just take off.

Or sell it and get an Aprilia Mana, you can find them for like $4K nowadays.
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