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Downshifting on your motorcycle to slow down is known as:


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Use this motorcycle practice test question to prepare for the real written exam at the DMV or during your motorcycle safety course

Downshifting on your motorcycle to slow down is known as:

  1. Granny shifting.
  2. Engine braking.
  3. Slow shifting. 
  4. Brake shifting. 

Find the answer to this question and an explanation below. 


This topic may show up on your motorcycle permit test. 

The answer is: B. Engine braking.

How’d you do? Learn more about this motorcycle topic below. 

Explanation: Motorcycle Downshifting

In order to pass your motorcycle permit exams and to become a safe rider, it’s important to know why a particular answer on the motorcycle written test is correct. 

When you smoothly shift to a lower gear on your motorcycle, it has a similar effect to using the brakes. This practice is known as engine braking. 

To utilize engine braking:

  • Shift down to a lower gear. 
  • Ease out the clutch. 
  • Stay in the clutch’s friction zone until the engine speed matches travel speed. 
  • Fully ease out on the clutch lever. 
  • Shift down to the next gear, if necessary. 

The sequence for downshifting in general involves:

  • Rolling off the throttle.
  • Squeezing the clutch lever. 
  • Press down on the shift lever. 
  • Ease out the clutch while you roll on the throttle. 

Aim for smooth, gradual shifts and try to match the engine speed as necessary. 

You can find more information about this topic in the motorcycle rider’s handbook.

Check out more motorcycle permit test questions and answers here.

Find in-depth articles for new riders in our section dedicated to learning how to ride a motorcycle.

Plus, check out an overview of the requirements to get a motorcycle endorsement in each state.

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