street riding = shift long before you have any fun or the bike screams. This is how you avoid tickets.
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I shift around 6-8k rpm. Going up an on-ramp, Ill shift at around 10k. If Im having a little fun, Ill shift around 15k (by the time you shift your be around the redline). As far as to what gear you should be in....cruising around you want to be in the highest gear possible without overstressing/bogging the engine to get the best mpg. Normally speaking, I will not cruise under 4-5k rpm. I understand the questions you have as my wife has asked me the same...she is just now learning to drive a manual. The beauty of a manual is it will literally do whatever you want it to do. Once you learn how to use the gears and clutch, you will drive/ride much more efficiently than in an automatic with far greater control. I personally believe it should be taught in drivers ed. It really comes down to repetition and eventually your body will just know what and when to do it with out you thinking about it.