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You'd want to stay in gear in case of emergency situations.

What if you're rolling to a stop and spot a stop sign runner about to blast you. That extra second to shift in might make it so you can't get away.
 

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Personally, I never do it, as I always use downshifting for some engine braking. The other thing to remember is that if the bike is in gear and something happens that you need to do an avoidance move, you are already in gear and able to power on for that.

From a mechanical standpoint, I don't believe that it would hurt anything.
 
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I only ever shift into neutral at stop lights if it just turned red and I'll be waiting a while. Otherwise I stay in gear.

If the question is about damaging the transmission because you shifted into neutral while still moving then I say no, it's safe, with a caveat. If you're doing 60mph in 6th, grab the clutch and shift all the way down to neutral (while still doing 60mph) then you will be spinning the tranny really fast in 2nd gear before you hit neutral. Now, the bike will do 60mph in 2nd, so it's fine, but I have heard about redlining a transmission by shifting all the way down while still moving fast. I don't know if it's BS or not. Either way, I agree with triplethreat, always progressively shift down, and if you want to slip it into neutral just before you stop, that's totally fine mechanically.
 

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You can roll to a stop in Neutral on a bike, no probs. But stop with a nice cushion between you and the car in front of you and put it in first. Then, sit there and watch you rear mirrors, ready to pull out to the side if about to be rear ended.
 

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If the question is about damaging the transmission because you shifted into neutral while still moving then I say no, it's safe, with a caveat. If you're doing 60mph in 6th, grab the clutch and shift all the way down to neutral (while still doing 60mph) then you will be spinning the tranny really fast in 2nd gear before you hit neutral. Now, the bike will do 60mph in 2nd, so it's fine, but I have heard about redlining a transmission by shifting all the way down while still moving fast. I don't know if it's BS or not.
there's no redlining the transmission*, but there's a potential issue if you try to shift out of neutral while the bike is still moving.

when you let out the clutch in neutral, the transmission's input shaft syncs with engine rpm, but the output shaft is synced with rear wheel rotation. if you let the revs drop down to idle, the input shaft will be spinning way out of sync with the output shaft. pulling in the clutch and shifting out of neutral with the shafts out of sync like this would result in loud banging sounds (this wrecks gear engagement dogs and shift forks) - don't do this. instead, blip the throttle with the clutch out first to bring the input shaft up to speed, then pull in the clutch and make your shift. the rpm you need to blip to depends on how fast you're moving and which gear you'll be shifting into. e.g. if you're at 30mph in neutral with the clutch out and you want to shift down into first, you'll need to rev to about 5500rpm (redline in first is about 60ish, in second it's 80ish) before pulling in the clutch and making the shift. if you're at 50mph and want to go into first, you'll need to rev up much higher, to about 9500-10000rpm. on the other hand, going up into second requires less revs.

you can avoid needing to worry about all of this by not going into neutral with the clutch out until you're very close to stopping.


* edit note: i rethought this, and yes, it's possible to 'redline' the input shaft of the transmission if you shift down way too far. e.g. if you're at 120mph and pull in the clutch and shift way down into first without letting the clutch out, the input shaft would be spinning twice as fast than it ever normally would. this by itself probably wouldn't cause any damage, as it's just a spinning shaft, but you don't want to be letting out the clutch in that configuration. 60mph in 2nd is okay, though.
 

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i'm never in neutral - even if there are cars behind me, there is no under estimating what stupid distracted drivers will do to you. Given that, i'm always ready with my hand on the throttle and my eyes watching my rear views.
 

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You can roll to a stop in Neutral on a bike, no probs. But stop with a nice cushion between you and the car in front of you and put it in first. Then, sit there and watch you rear mirrors, ready to pull out to the side if about to be rear ended.
This. Keeping it in first can save you from that person on the phone not paying attention or the dude mowing down a cheeseburger with one hand. Once you get another car stopped behind you it's probably safe to put it back in neutral since you've got a crash buffer.

If I'm sitting at a light with nobody behind me, I'm always in first regardless of whether or not I coasted up to it in neutral.

To answer the original question though there's no harm to the bike, though.
 

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The only time I ever shift into neutral while on the bike is when I'm stopped at a rather long red light and there's already a car stopped behind me. Also, I stop with the bike angled slightly so that if I have to accelerate to avoid something I will end up on the shoulder or in between lanes rather than in the rear end of the car in front of me.
 

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If we're getting into safety tips, avoid blipping the throttle while waiting for a red light to change. I know a guy who was rear ended after blipping at a red light because the cager behind him wasn't looking and thought because he blipped the throttle the light had turned green.
 

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When sitting at an intersection, get in the habit of flicking your brake light on and off by tapping the front brake lever. It tells cars behind you to stay way back, works surprisingly well. If the guy behind you gets rear ended you don't him plowing into you...
 

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You can add the risk of bike-jacking ...
I don't know for the FZ09 but if you ride a superbike (like R1 or Panigale) you must take this un account.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Great, thanks everyone. I was interested in the potential engine damage, but there is some really great safety advice / reminders in here as well. Thanks again!
 

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a lot of riders here avoid neutral,

but id say 90 percent of the riders ive seen in california always go to neutral at stop lights....if you ride a lot of street..then you'll understad
 

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Is this something to avoid at all costs? Does it matter?
If I'm parking...sometimes. Never on the road. I stay in gear all the time except when I am near the front of the line with around 10+ cars behind me. Basically no chance of becoming car sandwich meat.
 

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When sitting at an intersection, get in the habit of flicking your brake light on and off by tapping the front brake lever. It tells cars behind you to stay way back, works surprisingly well. If the guy behind you gets rear ended you don't him plowing into you...
I got myself a custom led brake light modulator...in the video on the link I use pattern 6 about 4:08.

It also works great if somebody is tailgating. It's the easiest install ever, you cut one wire and splice into another...the hardware they include makes it extremely simple. I installed it in 5 minutes.
 

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If you want to be able to get away from someone who is going to ram into you and kill you, then you want to be in first, pay attention to who is coming up behind you, and be ready to take some evasive action if necessary. I always leave it in first.

If you are at a really long light and everyone is stopped and waiting, I guess you could put it in neutral. I don't want to build that mental habit though and my automatic response is to shift down to first.
 

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I got myself a custom led brake light modulator...in the video on the link I use pattern 6 about 4:08.

It also works great if somebody is tailgating. It's the easiest install ever, you cut one wire and splice into another...the hardware they include makes it extremely simple. I installed it in 5 minutes.
It looks like a fairly small device. Did you have any trouble finding it a home under the FZ-09's seat?
TIA
 
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