As a dominance of thumb, the bulk of share motorcycles have actually “1 down, 4 up” (1 N 2 3 4 5) or “1 down, 5 up” (1 N 2 3 4 5 6) change patterns. This way to shift into the first gear, you move the change lever down, yet to with the higher gears you move the lever up. Neutral is between first and second gear.

You are watching: What is the shift pattern on a motorcycle

But surprisingly, part vintage and non-US motorcycles function different shift patterns, plus racing bikes generally have a reverse pattern, i beg your pardon is recognized as “GP-shift.”

What’s more, motorcycles are made with a sequential transmission, meaning that you have actually to change through every one of the gears to reach the height gear.

If you desire to discover out much more about various motorcycle change patterns, this article is because that you.

We in ~ have compiled the basics under one roof!


Contents show
1What is the change Pattern top top a Motorcycle?
2Do every Motorcycles have the Same change Pattern?
2.1Motorcycle transition Pattern Chart
3What is the transition Pattern of gyeongju Motorcycles?
3.1How execute You reverse The change Pattern on a Motorcycle?
4Why is first Gear under on a Motorcycle?
5FAQs around Motorcycle changing Patterns
6.1Related Articles

What is the transition Pattern top top a Motorcycle?

The change pattern on a motorcycle refers to the layout that the gears. In other words, it guides the proper gear choice on whereby to move the shift lever to reach each speed. It’s safe to say that the bulk of modern motorcycles function a 1 N 2 3 4 5 (6) change pattern. This method for first gear you move the transition lever down and move it up to reach the higher gears.

This surprises countless beginner riders, since this pattern is vastly various from cars’, which typically feature an H-shaped change pattern.

The key difference between these fads is the on a motorcycle you need to go through all of the gears in sequence. (That’s why they are dubbed sequential transmissions.)

In various other words, you can’t “jump” gears to shift for example, from second to the 5th gear. You likewise can’t put the bicycle in neutral from any type of gear, simply from an initial and the 2nd gears.

Do all Motorcycles have the Same shift Pattern?

Contrary to popular belief, no all motorcycles have actually the same transition pattern. While most of today’s motorcycles function the “1 down, rest up” pattern, friend can discover some other models that have different transition patterns. This bikes are mainly small-bore (100-125cc) bikes marketed in India, and vintage bikes manufactured before the ‘70s.

For instance, the smallest Hero motorcycles (below 150cc) have actually all gears up, when in details Bajaj and Tvs motorcycles, every gears space down.

These motorcycles are also manufactured v sequential transmission, however their neutral can be found either on peak or bottom position depending upon the model.

Motorcycle change Pattern Chart

For better comparison, we’ve detailed the many common as well as some old-fashioned motorcycle transition patterns in one chart:

GearsShift Pattern
3 – continual (vintage)1 N 2 3
4 – turning back (vintage)4 3 2 N 1
4 – continuous (vintage)1 N 2 3 4
4 – all down (India)4 3 2 1 N
4 – all up (India)N 1 2 3 4
5 – all up (vintage)N 1 2 3 4 5
5 – regular1 N 2 3 4 5
6 – regular1 N 2 3 4 5 6
6 – reverse (racing)6 5 4 3 2 N 1

As you deserve to see, bikes come with numerous different transition patterns, yet the most typically used patterns today are still the “1 down, 4 up” in 5-speed motorcycles as well as the “1 down, 5 up” in 6-speed models.

What is the shift Pattern of racing Motorcycles?

Surprisingly, gyeongju motorcycles feature a reverse transition pattern (6 5 4 3 2 N 1), which is regularly referred to together a “race transition pattern” or “GP transition pattern” as well. The whole reason behind this reverse transition pattern is that it renders upshifts easier and safer when cornering. This is since when the bicycle is leaning, and also the racer is hanging turn off the bicycle it’s challenging for the to location his foot under the transition lever.

In this risky situations, the last thing a racer desires is to lose regulate of the bike. That’s why racers want to minimize the changes in their body position.

This is whereby the racing transition pattern comes right into play, as it enables the rider to choose a higher gear by pressing the change lever down.

It’s also a lesser-known reality that this racing bikes room not produced with different transmissions. Instead, v a little trick their transition patterns are reversed.

Are you wonder how?

Keep reading!

How perform You turning back The change Pattern ~ above a Motorcycle?

To turning back a change pattern ~ above a motorcycle you have actually to adjust how the change lever connects to the shift spindle. Surprisingly, it’s very simple. Friend can discover a sleeve on the end of the transition spindle, which has to be flipped to the other side. If you execute this, the change spindle will revolve in opposing direction, just like the change drum inside the gearbox.

Here’s a good video on just how to turning back the shift pattern on your bike.

Why is an initial Gear down on a Motorcycle?

It’s a lesser-known fact that an initial gear top top a motorcycle is under for three different reasons: safety, convenience, and to it is in legal. To be an ext precise, it’s not the very first gear that is put down however neutral is placed between an initial and 2nd gear. Why? This is since in an emergency it would be dangerous come accidentally shift into neutral, especially at greater speeds.

Besides, you only want to placed the bike into neutral once you want to stop, and also before you stop you room likely already in the lower gears.

And finally, we have to cite legal issues.

The transmissions that motorcycles to be standardized in the United states in the ‘70s. Based upon that, motorcycles were forced to have actually their gears in a stated pattern and also the change lever on the left side.

Since America was a substantial market, each significant motorcycle manufacturer wanted to comply v these regulations.

Eventually, this caused the global standardization that motorcycle transmissions.

FAQs about Motorcycle changing Patterns

What go 4 up 1 down Mean?

“4 up 1 Down” describes the 1 N 2 3 4 5 transition pattern of a 5-speed motorcycle transmission. Most production motorcycles come with this shift pattern.

What is the shift Pattern for a Harley-Davidson?

The transition pattern of 5-speed Harley Davidsons is 1 N 2 3 4 5, which equates to “1 down, 4 up.” back the bulk of Harleys attribute a 5-speed transmission, you can also find some 6-speed models ~ above the market. The changing pattern of these Harleys is 1 N 2 3 4 5 6, meaning that these bikes have actually an extra sixth equipment at the top. Neutral ~ above a Harley is situated between first and second gear.

What is GP shifting on a motorcycle?

“GP shifting” describes the afore-mentioned reverse shifting pattern. Due to the fact that this pattern is frequently used on racing bikes it’s additionally known together “race-shift, or “GP shift” as well.

Is a GP shift pattern better?

Although a GP shift pattern is recommended for racers, the typical driver can’t gain much advantage from it. Why? Simply because motorcycles on the highways are seldom ridden as hard as GP bikes. Therefore, everyday riders can change easily and safely in the corners, even if your bikes don’t function a GP change pattern.


The most usual motorcycle transition pattern is the “1 down, 4 up” (1 N 2 3 4) ~ above 5-speed motorcycles as well as “1 down, 5 up” (1 N 2 3 4 5 6) on the 6-speed models.

However, some bikes feature different patterns, especially vintage Indian bikes. These are mostly 4-speed motorcycles with “all-4-down” or “all-4-up” change patterns.

See more: What 7 Letter Word With The Most R'S, Words With R And L

Finally, the racing transition pattern describes a “reversed” (6 5 4 3 2 N 1) pattern, which is frequently used on gyeongju motorcycles.