At what RPM should I shift gears on a motorcycle?

I just bought a motorcycle as a retirement gift to myself. I’m still learning about all the best practices. When should I shift gears on a motorcycle (at what RPM)?

Bonnie Stinson · Answered on Mar 30, 2022
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
Congrats on your retirement! Most bikes are happy to shift gears around 5,000 RPMs. Some bikes prefer to shift at 2,000 RPMs or 7,000 RPMs, however.
A better answer is “it depends”. It depends on where you’re riding, how you’re riding, traffic conditions, and which bike you own.
Shifting is all about maximizing control and performance. You want to navigate the road safely while also taking proper care of your machine. You can use RPMs to determine the right time to shift, but you can also use speed as a rough guide. For example, once you accelerate past 10 MPH it may be time to shift into first gear. Around 35 MPH you should be in fourth or fifth gear.
Now, every motorcycle is different—and every owner is different. You might discover that you prefer puttering around on country roads at medium speeds. Develop your own rhythm.
If you’re new to motorcycle ownership, it’s okay to take your time getting to know your bike! Experiment with different RPMs and notice how much control you have. Listen to the bike and shift accordingly.
Whether you ride a Kawasaki or a Yamaha, you need motorcycle insurance. It’s not enough to hit the road with just a helmet and leathers!
Reach out to Jerry if you want help finding a cheaper policy. Our friendly agents can help you unlock discounts and sign up for a more affordable rate.
Hope this helps!
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