Riding Tip: Low Speed Motorcycle Maneuvering P2
LOW SPEED MOTORCYCLE MANEUVERING P2
In this video, part two of four, we explore how to master low speed motorcycle maneuvering by improving our clutch-throttle relationship while adding in rear brake pressure. When it comes to slow speed turns, like a u-turn, mastering your clutch-throttle-brake relationship will be valuable.
We will cover these fundamentals in this video:
1) Friction Zone with rear brake engagement: The area of clutch lever travel that starts transmitting power from the engine to the rear tire. We use the rear brake to control our speed; in essence the rear brake is “fighting” against the power delivery from the motor.
2) Clutch Control Lane: A practice area where we can master use of our clutch-throttle-rear brake relationship.
3) Off-Set Weave: A practice area where we repeatedly turn our handlebars while maintaining a steady, consistent clutch-throttle relationship.
For riders who want to improve their skills and have total control of their motorcycle at slow speeds, register for a course or private instruction today at MotorcycleTraining.com!
At TEAM Arizona we often say we’re in the business of building relationships. And the clutch-throttle-rear brake relationship is one you’ll want to master. The best place to master that clutch-throttle-rear brake relationship is in our forty foot clutch control zone.
Because we’re going in a straight line, we have less risk. The goal when we’re in that clutch control lane is to have our RPMs slightly elevated, our clutch in the friction zone, and our rear brake slightly engaged the entire path of the forty foot clutch control lane.
But get this; we want to avoid using any front brake. This mastery is all about using the rear brake for low speed maneuvering.
So does how fast or slow you go matter? That’s a great question, Jordyn, yes it does. Ideally for the entire forty foot length we want to take about ten to twelve seconds to go through that clutch control lane, and again we want to engage that rear brake the entire length so we can feel motor starting to fight against our rear brake and see how it is actually stabilizes the motorcycle at low speed.
Warning: You’ll want to perform this exercise several times, but give your motorcycle a rest. Because we are engaging in the friction zone and using that rear brake we can tend to overheat our clutch. So, perform the exercise several times and then go do something else or take a break.
So, maybe relationships aren’t that difficult. Is there more to it? A lot more Jordyn. Just because we can manage that clutch-throttle-rear brake relationship in a straight line, doesn’t mean we’re finished there. Now we’ve gotta try it while turning the handlebars. We’ve gotta see how smooth we in an off-set weave.
Alright. You’re really ramping it up this time. Yeah, we’re getting tricky. And because riding is so much more fun when we’re challenging ourselves, we’re really going to have the goal of riding that off-set weave with a smooth and consistent clutch-throttle-rear brake relationship. If we experience any dramatic raises in RPMs or if we experience any dramatic pushes on the rear brake to cause the bike to lurch around, then we’ve got more to practice. And, boy, that’s the fun part to motorcycling when we get to practice. Eventually, when you get smooth and consistent at one speed, you’ll want to try and go a little bit faster and see if you can be smooth at that slightly faster speed.
So this seems like a lot to put together, this clutch-brake-throttle relationship seems like a lot of work. And isn’t that true of most relationships. The more work we put into it, the better we get.
I would have never thought to practice the clutch-brake-throttle relationship for slow speed turns. Well, you’re not alone Jordyn. As the old adage goes, we don’t know what we don’t know. And that is why TEAM Arizona exists. We’re here to share our knowledge and understanding of how motorcycles work, and we’re asking people to invest in rider training, so that they have a long, safe riding experience.
Bill Seltzer has been a Motorcycle Safety Foundation RiderCoach since 2003 and a Total Control Advanced Riding Instructor since 2011. He currently serves as the Marketing Director for TEAM Arizona and is a member of the Arizona Strategic Highway Safety Planning committee. Have questions or comments about the article? Email him: Bill@MotorcycleTraining.co