Any sense in doing this?

I have a friend who downshifts when coming to a stop ,when driving a manual transmission vehicle.I tell him he is nuts,but he insists it saves on the brakes.Personally I would sooner put brakes on,then do a transmission job.I maintain that proper driving technique will save more on brakes then overspeeding the engine.Any thoughts?.I’m sure this has been covered before, being a relative newcomer to this forum,I haven’t seen it-Kevin

It has been discussed many times…try search…if I remember most tended to support the idea that brakes are cheaper and easier to maintain than a transmission…proper driving techniques usually are the best way to go…

I’m in 100% agreement with you that your friend’s frequent downshifting may lead to accelerated wear on drive-train components (synchros,clutch). But I don’t feel he is nuts or wrong.

Your friend drives his car the way he enjoys. If he knows his style may cause the need for a future clutch/syncro repair, that’s a trade-off he’s entitled to make.

True, but some peoples reasoning processes are automatically 180 degrees opposed to your logic-Kevin

I have both manual and auto cars, for me downshifting is variable. I can’t even explain the process of when I downshift and when I don’t, it is based on conditions and circumstances at the moment. If a person understands the purpose of the tachometer and matches the motor speed to the gear they are downshifting into there should be no stress and strain on the clutch or transmission. Certainly over reving the motor is bad. Perhaps your friend uses poor technique when he downshifts.

If you value your friendship, don’t say anything to your friend. It is his car, and his money if he is causing damage. Whether true or not, everyone considers themselves to be great drivers. Any criticism is likely to not be accepted well, even if you have good intentions behind it.

If aggressive downshifting saves your brakes enough to measure when approching stops, your real problem is myopia. You didn’t start coasting soon enough.
I don’t downshift or use my brakes very much because I have that rare gift of being able to spot red lights from nearly a half mile away.

The engine as a brake? See how good a brake the engine is (except trucks with Jake braking engines) by performing a stop using the downshifting technique to stop, and, then just putting the transmission in neutral during braking to a stop. Measure the distance (in feet, and time)each technique takes to bring the vehicle to a stop. Tell us what the difference, in percent, of one technique compared to the other technique.

Whatever floats your own boat.

Saving brakes is crazy as they are cheap.

However some people only keep a vehicle for one brake replacement so using the engine/tranny is a better method in their ownership. Most(majority) owners only keep a vehicle 100k miles or less.

I don’t like the 2 or 3 jerky motions that occur every time you come to a stop when someone is playing out their “Walter Mitty” I am a race car driver fantasy.

I just plan a way not to be in their car, end of story.

True guys,its his property,I just dont suscribe to the Tuetonic school of driving.Anyrate I hold the truths of good driving practice to be self evident.I believe as B.L.E.implies,drive ahead -Kevin

I have been working on breaking the downshifting habit. It is so much fun, on a motorcycle, to downshift for a corner without touching the brakes, but it puts a disproportionate amount of wear on the rear tire, and motorcycle tires are expensive. Likewise, in a car, downshifting puts a disproportionate amount of wear on the clutch, which is expensive to fix and replace.

Downshifting can be fun, and if your friend wants to abuse his car, you probably can’t talk him out of it.

Whitey, I take a mountain pass road (OK about 4200 ft and only 5mile up and 5miles down)to school and I want to buy a single cylinder enduro, 450cc would be great.

For any readers from Tucson its Gates Pass.

I don’t need any type of prestige bike just something about 2000.00 and needs no work, is it possible? and what? (in 1974 I had a Honda XL 350 and loved it 1200.00 new)

I have done mountain passes on a motorcycle. 15 months ago I took my 750cc Shadow through Fancy Gap in VA on a trip up north (fully loaded with touring equipment and camping gear). Most bikes can handle it just fine. Going downhill usually doesn’t require downshifting since the bikes don’t weight that much.

The only thing I worry about is whether or not a 450cc bike can make it up long steep hills at highway speeds. I suppose if you aren’t carrying a lot of gear, and if it is capable of doing highway speeds, and if you don’t mount a big windshield on it, it should be fine. Personally, I would consider stepping up a 550 or 650cc bike, but I weigh 240 lbs. I also mount a full-sized windshield and lower air deflectors for long trips and winter riding, which adds more wind resistance.

Since we are talking about a used bike, make sure you take it for a test ride at highway speeds to see if a bike that small is tolerable at highway speeds. With only a 450cc engine and a single cylinder, you might not like how it vibrates at highway speeds.

Its a real windy road with a speed limit of 35mph, other uses who just be local run arounds. I have always been a fan of big single cyl engines.

This is true-Kevin

I needed a 14-speed transmission on most of my trips through Gates Pass.

I liked downshifting a lot when I was a child with a new driver’s license. Now I would rather enjoy the challenge of good driving most of the time. I try to remind myself that I like driving and must keep that license. If I have a beer, I can barely walk, so I don’t drink and drive. Your friend will tire of roughing up the car after a few years, but for now, have fun.

Man this is so true,I have absolutely no desire to be on the road-under the influence of anything.I have to drive a lot(tickles me when someone else can drive-especially the wife-she doesnt nag herself alot).Some people are exceptional drivers,some are not.The law of averages has a way of catching up.-Kevin

For what you are talking about, a 250 cc bike would be plenty and probably ideal. Off road, the weight of a big bike often hurts you more than its horsepower helps you.
When I was in high school, a 450 was considered a big motorcycle and if you rode a 650, you walked with the gods.
Motorcycle displacement is like deer rifle calibers, just because someone invented a .300 Weatherby Magnum, everybody thinks they need one to kill those whitetails that used to drop dead when shot with a .30-30.

This is great you know about Gates Pass, this is from where I draw my bicycle vrs car opinions.

I always wondered if you could cross the double yellow lines to give a bike room,well I found out. A local cop ended up behind me on they way up the hill and when a safe place to pull over the double yellows came I took it and passed the cyclist and the Sheriff did not pull me over so I guess its OK.

And I have seen what a 30.30 does to 150lb Whitetails,knockes them down right now (provided you place you shot right).