Author Topic: Friction zone (Riding the Clutch)  (Read 1643 times)

Offline Outlaws Justice

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Friction zone (Riding the Clutch)
« on: August 27, 2013, 01:33:14 pm »
The first thing someone must master when riding is the clutch. If you come from driving a stick shift car or truck you may say no problem. While in some respects it is similar, in others it is different. First and formost many people try to operate the clutch by sight, They look at it to judge when it is engaging instead of by feel. First when you look at the controls you are not looking where you are going and second your control by sight is not as good as your sense of feel.
 
A major difference between bikes and cars is the type of clutch. When learning to drive a car people will tell you "Don't ride the Clutch" And while that is true for a car it is not for a bike. A bike (Unlike a car) has a Wet Clutch system. The clutch plates are inside the engine and lubricated with the engine oil. It is ok and necessary to master the skill of riding the clutch. Having good control of the clutch will enable you to start smoother, change gears smoother and control the bike better at low speeds.
 
With today's high speed and high power bikes if you do not have mastery of the clutch you will never be smooth and also not be able to make those tight turns or other necessary maneuvers. None of this is hard but without good clutch control you only make your riding more difficult than it needs to be. So Learn to ride the clutch, and learn to do it well. For practice you can sit in one spot and feed out the clutch until it engages and moves you forward a couple feet (Without fully releasing the clutch) then pull it back in. Do this over and over and get used to be able to hold the clutch at the point that it is partially engaged until you are moving smoothly enough to fully release it.
 
This will help you when starting, shifting and in tight slow speed maneuvers. You will also find that mastery of the clutch helps you when starting out on a hill. You really need that sense of feel so remember to always get used to the controls and operate them by feel. When you want to stop the car do you look down to the floor for the brake pedal? Ok then keep your eyes up and operate the bike by feel as well.

Offline PAULRIDES

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Re: Friction zone (Riding the Clutch)
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2013, 02:08:38 pm »
Good Post.

Some drill team riders recommend (more or less) applying constant power and use the rear brake for control.

I never had a lot of luck with that (lack of practice, I reckon). But, One thing for sure the braking rear method works good (and easy) on my Burgman 650 Scooter (automatic and rear brake controlis on left where clutch lever would be).
Ride Country Roads - a lot. :-)

Offline Knoxvillan

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Re: Friction zone (Riding the Clutch)
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2013, 02:31:04 pm »
* "A bike" doesn't apply to a lot of Ducati's and Bmw bikes. Just to clarify

Offline Outlaws Justice

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Re: Friction zone (Riding the Clutch)
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2013, 03:01:12 pm »
As to wet Clutch, correct, But even with those it is important to master the art of the friction zone.

Offline Knoxvillan

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Re: Friction zone (Riding the Clutch)
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2013, 03:20:44 pm »
I am all about knowing where the slipping point is, I am confused as to why you would recommend "riding the clutch." Riding the clutch, even in a wet clutch scenario, causes glazed fiber plates, bluing steel plates, and the heat can easily cause trouble to the "throw out" bearing as well. Maybe I am reading too far into it, or not far enough.Just trying to clarify

Offline Outlaws Justice

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Re: Friction zone (Riding the Clutch)
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2013, 03:33:22 pm »
Maybe I am reading too far into it, or not far enough.Just trying to clarify

Maybe

We have training bikes that have been in service for 12 years, of everyday newbies using the friction zone, siting in place learning where it is and keeping it in the fictionzone for extended periods as they work across the traning range and back. In those years we have yet to have a clutch related failure. I am not saying it cannot happen, but it is not a car, has serveral clutch plates (Friction plates and steel plates).

This is just a simple key to learning to ride, where to start and what to master first. So please do not read too much into it.

Offline Knoxvillan

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Re: Friction zone (Riding the Clutch)
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2013, 03:35:53 pm »
in short....finding the slip point... Gotcha. I am on board now.  :21