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A learner question

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Hypasonic80, Apr 5, 2014.

  1. Hi all,

    Really enjoy my CBR500R, great bike and so much fun learning to ride.

    Just question is there any techniques used to maintain a stable speed as a slight change in throttle tend to decrease speed very quickly, I assume I'm just not in the right gear? Or another reason?


  2. Throttle control comes with time and practice. Litre bikes have the opposite problem: a slight change in throttle tends to increase speed very quickly! ;)

    Try relaxing your shoulders and elbows (you need to do this anyway to allow the bike to do what it needs to do - bikes know how to ride better than riders do). Only grip the bars enough to be able to twist the throttle without slipping (grip the tank with your knees/thighs, and "grip" the heel plates with your heels, with the balls of your feet on the pegs).

    Large throttle movements can be made with your wrist. Fine movements can be made with a small amount of straightening or bending of the thumb.

    Practice with the engine off for a start so you can see how finely you can control the movement of the throttle. You might also want to practice with the engine running (stationary, in neutral) to get a feel for how much the engine RPM changes, but don't over rev it, and only do it in an area with very good ventillation to prevent giving yourself carbon monoxide poisoning from the exhaust gases (it can sneak up on you surprisingly easily/quickly, giving headaches, nausia, and potentially killing you - best to do this stuff outside in a breeze).

    Only try it while riding AFTER you're comfortable with knowing how to move your wrist and/or thumb without looking at it: you want to be alert to what's going on around you, but also taking note of how the fine and coarse throttle changes affect the bike.

    As you get better at it, your wrist will become more able to do fine throttle control, and your thumb will then do very fine throttle control.

    Have a try for yourself and see if/how it works. Good luck! :)
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  3. Read this on another site. Thought it was applicable to OP. Good advice on learning throttle control!

    I wanted to bring up a riding technique (specifically, a throttle control technique) that is vastly under appreciated among new riders. Specifically, the number of videos I see of riders with all the right gear and nice bikes that end up plastics down due to sudden throttle chops has driven me to the magnanimity of elucidating the point: roll off (do not chop) the throttle.

    Briefly, by a roll-off I mean you don't let the throttle slip closed or jam it closed suddenly. Instead, you keep your grip and close the throttle with control, specifically actuating it to decrease the amount of throttle mindfully.

    Remember that even given the presence of a slipper clutch on your modern, high performance cornering device, the engine slowing the motorbike achieves primarily wear on the engine, but secondarily and most importantly drag forces over which you have no control.

    The reason the strongest brake is in your right hand is that your hand, being more dextrous than your foot, will provide the most precise control of the drag forces slowing your motorbike. The rationale for this is that slowing the cycle will transfer the weight to the front (your thinner tire, with the smaller traction patch), so you want to be very precise in doing so.

    However, when you chop the throttle, you allow the engine to brake with no deference to your will. Not only is engine braking out of your control, but it is sudden, ever present and nigh unpredictable since the degree of drag will vary with your current speed. The brake allows for the precise application of drag, the engine applies it at a constant rate based on its friction regardless of your input.

    Particularly in cornering, this will destabilize the bike, result in the wrong weight distribution and, if you're at your traction limit on the rear tire, possibly produce a quick high-side.

    The point? A slow, or at least smooth roll-off with the throttle will reduce the sudden impulse of resulting drag. In mid corner (upon noticing a hazard or finding traffic) it will give you an opportunity to hold your lean angle rather than standing the bike up and going wide (an immediate result of increase weight and drag on the front tire).

    The place to practice this, I have found, is on the highway. With long straights where all you have to consider is the joy handle, it's easy to attentively practice the roll off and notice the results. With a smooth roll-off, you will notice the forces throwing the bike forward, even at highway speed, aren't as pronounced. The bike will feel stabled and controlled, and so will you. You'll become accustomed to this there, and when you're mid-corner and come up on a minivan moving 20 mph slower than you are you'll be ready.

    As an added bonus, the smooth rolloff will require that you anticipate your moves on the highway, which I found enhanced the precision of my negotiation of traffic. Remember that one of the downsides of your weightless machine is your ability to change velocity unpredictably. If you're smoother, other drivers are (slightly) better able to anticipate your path.

    To experience this, go to a big, empty parking lot with plenty of room in front of you, and throttle in to a sweeping, wide turn. I mean wide: Don't do this in a sharp turn or you'll crash. Stay in low gear and don't get going too fast (basically, be in a speed and gear where you're turning smoothly and comfortable at 6000 rpm). Brace yourself into the bike with your knees so that forces won't move you forward or aft. Mid turn, without providing additional steering input, let the throttle snap closed.

    You will feel the bike begin to right itself almost immediately, since the force of deceleration (which you don't control) is now transfering all the weight to the front, adding drag that forces the bike to correct to the path of least resistance, decreasing the friction by attempting constant velocity.

    At this point, if you try to provide too much steering input to correct the change, you will absolutely destabilize the bike, forcing the front tire to bear a greater load than it was intended to.

    After this, attempt the same excersize, but this time roll off smoothly and try to keep the line. With a smooth rolloff, you can spread the drag on the front tire over time, reducing the amount of friction and making the steering effect less dramatic.

    I feel sort of bad suggesting this, but I tried the same excersize myself with both throttle and brakes to get used to it. I would only stress that you attempt this with very shallow lean angles and tons of room on and off your intended path.
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  4. Watch Twist of the wrist 2
    bestest eva
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  5. And do the throttle exercise. In a carpark and in neutral with the stand down, rev to 1,000, 2,000 etc up to 6 to 8,000. Close eyes, try again, open eyes whe you think you are at expected revs. You won't be right most of the time but you will learn to control your throttle. Worth trying a number of times. Make sure you are sitting on the bike.
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  6. I'm not sure what speed you're talking about, but something that hasn't been mentioned above is usage of the clutch.

    If you're rolling off the throttle you can pull the clutch in just a little bit so it's at slipping point to smooth out the drop off the power. I'd suggest though you might be in too high a gear if you're noticing a lot of engine braking gradually rolling off. So if you're doing 8k and roll off you're going to notice it a lot more than you would if you were at 4k which might be a fine rev range for your bike.

    If I'm downshifting I'll generally start rolling off, pull the clutch in in one action, then blip the throttle and shift down before easing the clutch out again.

    Disclaimer: I've only been riding for a couple of years on the road so I'm not that experienced.
  7. Another thing is low speed control through use of the rear brake - think around a car park type speed in first gear. Minute throttle control in first, especially rolling off can be pretty jerky, so you're better off leaving the throttle cracked open slightly and using your rear brake to slow you down as needed.
  8. Threads that foster replies like these are invaluable for us noobs. Cheers.
  9. On the CBR500R it's possible you're not leaning forward enough if you're unable to keep the throttle stable at speed.
    If trying to keep a stable low speed in 1st gear (filtering/parking) make use of the clutch and rear brake as already suggested. Sounds like a bad idea from a car perspective (you wouldn't purposefully accelerate with the clutch/brake engaged in a car) but this is how to ride a motorbike at low speed.

  10. Seriously, do it. That DVD has a book that you can get too, but the DVD is enough for novice riders. It will bring a lot of what is said on these forums into context.

    You shouldn't need the clutch to smooth your roll off, and higher gears make the abruptness less intense. I know I'm being picky but this is a thread for new riders and its just bad to be giving them incorrect advice.

    I'll say it again, watch twist the wrist 2. It will say all this stuff better than I can and it was made by a bike racing coach. It covers some things which are only really applicable to racing but most of it is good info for road riding too.
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  11. Get Both, I did and it improved my riding and my enjoyment of the ride 1000%. I can highly recommend them. Especially the book and it explainse more that the video. And I also use it as a reference, so when I make a mistkae, I re read the chapter that the mistake is covered in, to help continually improve my riding. Just last weekend, I ran wide on a corner. But in hindsight I know what I should have done. I entered wrong, and it stuffed up my line, lack of concentrations.
  12. I agree with Daniel. Low gears give more deceleration on closing the throttle, while high gears make it smoother. This is why many rider trainers recommend using a higher gear than you would normally use if it's wet. The smoother operation (as long as you're not labouring the engine) leads to less "brown trouser" moments in the low grip conditions.

    Also, ATOTW2 is a very good thing to watch. The acting in the scenarios is crap, but the info is very good (listen to what the "actors" say, not how they say it)! The animations of the physics are also very good for those who like to understand how and why things work as they do. You should be able to find the ATOTW2 video on the web somewhere for downloading, but it's always good to pay for it so Keith Code gets a return on his investment (it's well and truly worth what it costs). The ATOTW2 book has some other info, but doesn't have the animations, so the two go together very well.

    The original ATOTW book is actually more advanced than ATOTW2, so it's better to wait until you've digested ATOTW2 properly before reading ATOTW. I know it sounds strange to advise reading book 2 before book 1 (if you ever bother with book 1, that is), but trust me, it's better that way. There was a large gap between writing 1 and 2, and Keith worked out a better way of teaching in between writing the two books.
  13. Without getting too technical, the book was first.

    The DVD was produced for the folk that can't or won't read.
  14. I sort of agree about book 2 being more useful than book 1, but book 1 is far more track applicable, while 2 is much more useful for road riding.

    ...yes, Keith got better at it for book 2. :]
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  15. I actually just tried my own advice on the way to a meeting and realised I only do this when I'm down shifting, which I associate with rolling off the throttle. What I noticed that I do is ease the clutch out after downshift to make the engine braking less apparent, which smoothes everything out.
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  16. From ATOTW DVD, On DOwn SHift, Pull the Clutch in, blip the throttle and down shift at the same time, clutch out. If you didn't blip enough or gave it too much, it will jerk when you let the cluch out, but if you get it right, you get a nice quick shift and a smooth down shift. Unless you have a slipper clutch, most track riders will blip the throttle on the down shift. Get the DVD, pretty cheap an Amazon.
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  17. That makes more sense. I agree with what Senetor17 said above. The blip of the throttle during a downshif in this manner makes it easy once you get it right. Has to be re-learned when on a different bike and it takes some thought when learning (don't get preoccupied with it) but your downshifts will become as fast and effortless as upshifts
  18. When you can downshift without the clutch, and make it nice and smooth, you know you're getting it absolutely right. However, clutchless downshifting isn't a learner technique! Just saying it to let the learners know that there's more "outside the square" once they're up to that point (not that they need to learn how to do it, because they don't).
  19. I was always told that clutchless downshifting wasn't a good idea as it can lock the rear if combined with the rear brake or cornering.

    Also possible mechanical damage? Clutchless upshifts naturally have the engine rpm falling which is what the next gear wants but for downshifts it rises. Also, the engine braking loads the gear so the gear lever becomes stiff and should not be forced out, unleke upshifts in which you preload the gear lever and let the gearbox fall out of gear as the engine transitions from accelerating to braking.

    I'm happy to be wrong, I've just never heard of this before. I tried it on my GS500F on P's but the engine braking would not let me without kicking it fairly hard unless the revs were really low. I decided it was not wise to continue trying.
  20. It does require very deft throttle control. Certainly not a learner technique, but it is quite do-able. I've found that it doesn't work well on my bike unless the revs are up around 4000 to 5000 RPM before down shifting. I certainly wouldn't do it while braking heavily or cornering.