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Old 10-05-2007, 09:26 AM   #1
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Default Power Band

What's does it mean to stay/be in your bikes power band?
I feel the need to shift up to 3rd/4th when my Ninja 250 is still heading towards 25mph.
At 45 I'm already in 6th.
Am I doing something wrong?
Should I have to shift up so much at such a low speed?
I'd read the owners manual, but the bike didn't come with one..

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Old 10-05-2007, 09:32 AM   #2
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It all depends on how hard you want to accelerate, or be able to accelerate. The 250 needs to be revved up a bit before any power will come on. Cruising at low revs is fine, but to get any acceleration, you will need to downshift at least 2 gears. I don't think it's a matter of right or wrong. It is a matter of what feels right to you. If you don't like revving it super high, or cruising around at 7000 rpm, it really isn't a big deal. Just realize that the bike won't get out of its own way at low RPM, so a couple downshifts will be necessary for brisk acceleration.
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Old 10-05-2007, 09:48 AM   #3
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Your powerband on your Ninja doesn't start until it gets well into 7000 rpm. Do you mind short shifting? Probably not. Can the bike handle the revs in all gears upto around 11000 or so? Yep. Your little Ninja produces a stunning 24+- ft lbs of torque. In your case, ride like you want. When it's time to advance to another bike you can revisit this question. Until then, enjoy they ride.
"Slack" - a state of being in which everything flows smoothly.....a frame of mind so at ease that the universe naturally cooperates.
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Old 10-05-2007, 10:07 AM   #4
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OK, thanks!
So cruising at lower revs (5000-6000) in a high gear isn't a problem as long as it feels ok to me.
I've edged close to 7000 once or twice but not over, yet.
The roads I ride on don't call for it unless I want to break the posted speed limit and risk a ticket.
It's never felt "luggy", like my little escort will if I'm way out
of line shifting, so I guess I'm doing ok. From what your telling me, I'm just not beginning to receive what she'll give me if I ask correctly.
Well goes to show how little I understand how a motorcycle works..revs in the 1100's in all gears?
The very idea makes me wince :O

Last edited by SeeJoy : 10-05-2007 at 10:10 AM. Reason: missing a word
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Old 10-05-2007, 10:22 AM   #5
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I though she meant like Led Zep or Rush or something...

The other guys are right, a good rule of thumb is the smaller the engine the more revs it takes to get it making power
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Old 10-05-2007, 10:24 AM   #6
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As you get more time on the bike riding it, you might feel like it's not accelerating fast enough. If that happens, you want to twist the throttle until the tachometer needle hits around 7000+ rpm and then shift to the next gear. Again, twist the throttle until the tach needle hits around 7000+ rpm, and shift again. The faster you twist the throttle (to get the motor to 7000+ rpm), and the faster you shift from gear to gear (at 7000+ rpm), the quicker the bike'll feel. If you don't do this, then the Ninja can seem like a slow bike that has no power. But once you get to this point you'll understand why the little Ninja is such a fun bike
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Old 10-05-2007, 10:42 AM   #7
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Again, thanks!
I already think it's a blast to ride, and not slow at all. And I especially like how nimble it is.
Years ago, in another life, I rode horses for a living and the Ninja reminds me strongly of the small fast horses many people found the best for barrel racing.
"Quick off the line and turns on a dime."
When I ride tomorrow, I'll hold off shifting till 7000rpm.
Is my head going to snap back?
Yee Haw!
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Old 10-05-2007, 10:43 AM   #8
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A few months and you'll be constantly redlining that little sucker and laughing like a maniac all the while. That's the fun part of the smaller bikes.

Remember, it's more fun to go fast on a slow bike than to go slow on a fast bike.
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Old 10-05-2007, 11:10 AM   #9
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Motorcycles and cars with sticks are mechanically the same. You can rev to redline in any gear, downshift for more power and down shift if you feel it lugging. If your comfortable shifting at 4k then thats fine. You could also shift down and run around town at 9k if you want. I would recommend being higher in the rev range when in bad traffic as having the power on tap instead of having to take the time to downshift could save your life. Though I would play around out of traffic getting used to how the power comes on at different rpms. As more power equals a touchier throttle. So take it out somewhere calm and safe and run through the RPM range, learning where the power comes on at in different gears. At the same time start working on braking, Run through 1st and 2cnd then hit the brakes. go up thru 3rd and repeat and so on. Once your content with going and stopping then with that out of mind you can focus on turning.

To get a better idea of "powerband" take a look at the dyno charts for different motorcycles on this site. As the HP / torque line rises sharply that is where the powerband starts, on a cruiser its right off the bottom of the RPMs and tops out quickly. On a higher reving bike the power comes on later and tends to top out at redline. All motors build power diffrently and thusly creats the "charactor" of the bike we often refer to.
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Old 10-05-2007, 12:25 PM   #10
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If you can, take the bike out to a wide open, lonely straight section of road, and wind it out in 2nd or 3rd gear at full throttle. You'll be able to feel the engine response, while not building too much speed. I rode a borrowed Ninja 250 100 miles on various types of road, and had a great time; once I realized not to shift it at 3500 rpm like I did my Harley.

Most important thing to do is go ride!

Only two months left 'til I get back on my bike! Woo-hoo!

The other thing you need to do is take the bike to an abandoned parking lot, or a corner of the nearest mall parking lot and practice "panic stops". Learn how the bike behaves when you grab a handful of brake. Make sure the pavement is relatively clean.
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