Posted by Team HNP

Not only will rev-matching keep your motorcycle stable, it will also decrease the wear and tear of its powertrain.


What is Rev-Matching?

Rev-matching is a technique used to downshift gears on a motorcycle. To explain the science behind it in a layman fashion, it is the act of matching the speed of a motorcycle engine with that of its transmission when shifting down a gear.

When you downshift on a motorcycle, the engine RPMs increase. If you do it without rev-matching, the engine will feel bogged down and the motorcycle will also lurch forward. This can be avoided by simply rev-matching while downshifting.

Why should you do it?

As we know, downshifting without rev-matching lurches the bike forward. This movement has the potential to upset the motorcycle. This is quite evident when approaching a corner on a track at high speeds. Failure to rev-match in this case will lead to the motorcycle losing its balance. The jerk to the powertrain can also induce a rear wheel slide. If you are not capable of rev-matching, chances are you will not be able to stabilise your motorcycle in such a situation.

Now most people don’t end up visiting the track that often but downshifting without rev-matching has similar effects on your motorcycle on the road as well. They are toned down however as speeds at a track are always far in excess of what they are on the road. However, failing to rev-match while downshifting also increases the amount of wear and tear occurring in your engine, and the rest of your powertrain. So failing to rev-match on the road might not lead to losing control of your motorcycle that easily, it will however deteriorate the life of your powertrain more quickly.

How to Rev-Match?

Rev-matching requires 3 controls to be operated simultaneously on a motorcycle. When a downshift is required, the rider must pull in the clutch, downshift a gear and blip the throttle just before releasing the clutch. All these steps have to be carried out as one individual function as they overlap.

If a rev-match is done correctly, the motorcycle will not be destabilised in any way and no jerk will be induced in the powertrain as well. It is a skill that takes time and practice to perfect, and one that comes in handy in all possible riding scenarios.

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