Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Mechanicsburg, PA
Good shifting is low-wear shifting, basically. The smoother and more proficient you get, the better for your bike too.
You will also find that you can often upshift without clutch at all: just blip off the throttle, toe up, roll the throttle back on and you're good. That certainly saves wear on the clutch... but whether it's a 'good' practice, I don't know. I've done it for years and years with no problem.
Having said that, as you'll see in BRC, the BRC bikes' clutches take a beating as they teach you how to play the clutch properly. I said to my instructor that they must replace a lot of clutches and he said "not really, since they're wet clutches, they do better than you'd expect versus dry-clutch on a car"... YMMV, but this is a guy who's seen a LOT of bikes get a LOT of abuse...
Another note: much more than main clutches being a problem on our bikes, you hear about the starter clutch (a separate thing) going bad. The A#1 advice you'll see on the forum to prevent this is: Make sure you read the manual and start as it says... Short version: hold the starter button in until the bike is fully going (e.g. maybe 3-5 seconds), rather than what you may be used to (e.g. release the starter button the moment it 'fires'). I had a Honda CB650 that would start with just a touch of the button: bam! You could literally press and release it as fast as you could and the bike started. From what I've read here, doing that on a Vstar will doom your starter clutch.
Also, read up on 'valve noise' here. The consensus seems to be (and I agree personally) that our engines make valve noise. If they're NOT making valve noise, the tolerances are too tight and that's a problem! Best advice I can give you is learn your bike's noises. What you need to worry about isn't "noise X" so much as "new or different noise than usual"...
2007 V-Star 1300