How to Apply Gears on the Royal Enfield 350cc Standard Bike
I have been asked, "What is the correct procedure to apply gears on a Royal Enfield Standard 350-cc bike?" Specifically, people have asked me:
- What are the two clicks that you hear between gears on the Bullet (between first, second, and even third)?
- Answer: The neutral between gears is a false neutral. If you land in this false neutral, tap the lever again, and it will fall into the right gear. Never put the bike into neutral when it is in motion; you will lose all engine braking. When you come to a halt, the bike will be in one gear or another; it doesn't matter which one. Press the clutch and tap the neutral finder to bring the bike to neutral. Then slot into first and ride away.
- When you come back from fourth to third gear, why does it go to neutral? (Mine does this sometimes when I don’t pull it up hard.)
- Answer: First of all it needs to be understood that there is a false neutral between every gear. The neutral finder was introduced to deal with this problem. The first of the two clicks is the sound of the bike disengaging from the gear to neutral, and the second is the bike engaging from neutral to gear.
- Can you use the neutral finder all the time? Or at what speed should you use it?
- Answer: You cannot use the neutral finder all the time; only to reach neutral from second, third, and fourth gears Some people may practice using the neutral finder to shift down from fourth to third and from third to second. You should use neutral finder once your Bullet is moving at less than 20 km/h.
- Can you just move into second gear from a stationary position without using first gear? (I have good pick-up even in second gear, so why use first gear at all?)
- Answer: There is no harm in starting out in second gear unless you need a higher initial torque, but again this is not recommended.
- Should you get to the maximum speed with every gear before changing to the higher gear, or do you have to get to the top gear irrespective of speed quickly?
- Answer: The top speed you should go in each gear depends on whether your Bullet is in the running-in period or not. See the table below.
Speed Limits in Each Gear During Running-In Period
First 500 km
10 km/h max
20 km/h max
20 km/h max
After this 2000-km running-in period, you will understand your Bullet, including how and when to apply the gears.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
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© 2012 Rajinder Soni