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What is safe rpm speed and shift speed for my 1300? I feel like factory recommendations are pretty low
 

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from the Vstar owner manuals Ive read the recommended shift speeds are the minimum upshift speeds, so you dont drop the engine down below the speed necessary to keep the oil pressure up

and so the cylinders dont misfire

some also have the recommended downshift speed, and they are all the same for all 4 gears: 15mph - that means when you slow down kick the bike all the way down to 1st gear before you get below 15mph, so the gears and shafts will still be spinning and it will shift easily. If you come to a stop and try to shift down from 5th to 1st... good luck!

your bike has a rev limiter, so just cranking the throttle and upshifting you cannot red line the engine

the thing you have to be careful of (because its one of the few ways you can blow your engine) is reving it up high in any gear, and then downshifting and letting the clutch out at a speed that will mechanically force the engine to spin faster than its redline. There is nothing in the engine that will stop you from doing that, most likely you will smash the pistons into the valves (because they cannot close fast enough, and they are at an angle to the piston).

if you search for the factory service manual online (free pdf) there are charts that show the max and min speed/rpm in each gear, and I think where the peak engine HP is in a big composite graph.
 

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some also have the recommended downshift speed, and they are all the same for all 4 gears: 15 mph - that means when you slow down kick the bike all the way down to 1st gear before you get below 15mph, so the gears and shafts will still be spinning and it will shift easily. If you come to a stop and try to shift down from 5th to 1st... good luck!
KCW, this is a particularly important riding tip for people learning the ropes. Trying to downshift after coming to a dead stop is never a good idea. Chances are you'll get off to a slow start or stall when you try to get rolling again. If you are in front of other vehicles, this can be a dangerous situation.
 

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Ive read thru the owners manual section on the min downshift speed, with all four being the same 15mph

the words dont make sense in english, I think the manual was written in Japanese and translated into english, and the wording on that table originally meant something else

when you are riding and you slow down you want to down shift as you are slowing down, so you are always in the right gear to speed up again if you need to

its only when you are stopping for sure, like a stop sign, that you can leave the bike in 5th gear, slow all the way down to about 20mph and then clickclickclickclick to 1st as you come to a stop.

For most bikes a good baseline is to shift up and down at 10, 20, 30, 40mph if you are just cruising.
 
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