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Can I do low speed manoeuvres on idle?

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Tylluan, Mar 30, 2015.

  1. Hi there, I was wondering if I can rely upon my idle speed to do the low speed manoeuvres in the MOST.

    I was practising the MOST items like the cone weave and I found it was easier to just give it no throttle and cruise around on idle. The torque is enough in first to move slowly on the flat with no throttle. That rather makes it easier, since the nice even speed is good for doing the turns and the static grip on the handlebars means there's less chance I'll accidentally roll on a tiny bit when turning and get an unwelcome spurt of speed.

    My bike is a new Honda CB400 ABS. It's fuel injected, so it's got no choke - so it seems to me like I can rely on this behaviour since the idle speed should be pretty stable. But is that true?

    Obviously it's an important skill to have to use a combination of clutch, rear brake and throttle. I'm still going to practice that. But on the day of the test, do you reckon it'll be an okay strategy to do it on idle?

  2. You can do it another way? I did mine using idle, but everyone will tell you to use the rear brake. If it works for you...
  3. I prefer to use a bit of throttle with rear brake, if you need a bit more throttle it's easier to increase the rpms smoothly if the throttle is already partially open instead of closed (which can produce a slight jolt). I've never ridden an EFI bike so YMMV.

    Plus it's really good to practice keeping a neutral throttle for higher speed maneuvers.
  4. If you are sure you can do it.... go for it.

    The MOST doesn't have any specific requirement that you are using the throttle.

    Having said that, I'd suggest that you try out using the throttle at wherever you practice....
    just in case.......EFI bikes can have a wee bit of variation depending on the ambient temperature.

    The MOST is really about a test of your bike handling, and, while there is no rule sez you have to use the throttle, sooner or later, you'll find yourself in a situation where you DO need to apply throttle and then balance it against the drag of the rear brake, so getting the hang of it isn't just a waste of time.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. You will have more control and the bike may be a bit more stable with a few revs up and using rear brake and clutch. If you feel more comfortable doing the weave on idle you shouldn't have a problem on a CB400, add a touch of throttle if you need to stand it up a bit. Cone weaves are pretty simple, most people seem to stuff up tighter turns if anything, they are ones I'd be practising.
    There are some good threads on here relating to low speed stuff, much of which has been added to by people far more knowledgeable than me, try doing a search maybe.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  6. CB400 here, and yeah it's possible to do it on idle - but like others have said a little bit of throttle and ride the rear brake/feather clutch will help with stability.
  7. If that's what works for you then do it.

    There are advantages though to using a combination of revs, rear brake and clutch. The gyroscopic effect from the engine gives the bike stability at low speed.

    If you use your method though you risk a stall and IIRC that counts as loss of control and you fail the test.

    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. The only issue is that if you aren't careful you could stall and not infrequently a low speed stall can mean a dropped bike. Personally, I would use throttle, some clutch slip and rear brake.

    But if you are confident it will work and more comfortable doing it that way, go for it.

    However once you have the licence start practicing the correct way.
  9. idle might be giving you more road speed than you need to do the low speed manoeuvring.

    you can slip the clutch at idle but then the jerking of on/off power as the engine tries to cope to stay at idle might over balance you.

    learn the use the clutch.... learn the slip the clutch.
    try applying the rear brake and then using the clutch you will PULL the bike through the low speed turns etc.

    If you don't use the rear brake, then you using the engine to also slow you down... it can be done but is hard way to do it.

    you need to learn to use the clutch to adjust power.
    it can save you down the track
  10. Whatever gets you through I guess but I use the ole throttle rear clutch to dribble along in traffic in Sydney coz I can't filter yet (well not legally anyway:sneaky:) as still on dem poobs :grumpy:
    So as said ^^^^ a skill you will need in shopping centres, traffic coming in your driveway etc. :cat:
  11. Doing the cone weave test at idle with the clutch fully engaged sounds like a sure recipe for stall 'n' fall.
    Do it properly. Hold the throttle at fast idle, maybe 2,500 rpm. Feed in a little clutch to drive. Apply a little rear brake to slow.
  12. You have a front clutch as well :)
    • Like Like x 1
    • Funny Funny x 1
  13. Ha
    Damn that's why those gear changes are so rough!;)
    Ummm I did truly ruly mean the rear brake :)
  14. Thanks everyone, you're all great! This place sure is more lively than the SydneyMotorcycles subreddit!

    My idle torque seems pretty decent - I even managed to give it a bit of rear brake (throttle still closed) and it wouldn't stall, although that does seem a bit of a gamble :D But while it does seem like I've got a bit of headroom, I'll persevere with the proper technique and try and get that as bulletproof as doing it on idle.

    My only occasional issue is the throttle is a bit unstable at low RPMs (seems common to every bike) and so if I turn the handlebars that's sometimes enough to give me a jolt of speed. I could give it more revs and disengage the clutch more but the bike is quite high revving so when I do that it sounds in my ears like I'm doing it wrong/over-revving. Maybe I just need to get used to my bike more.

    Anyone know of a good place to practice the MOST in the inner west of Sydney? I had a good "abandoned" car park but I turned up yesterday and it wasn't quite so abandoned during the week. I know there's some practice sessions out near Olympic Park, but that's quite far along some slooowww roads. (Also does anyone know anywhere nice I can ride that isn't too far? I'm pretty close to the middle of the city and it feels like to get anywhere just requires going through so much city!)
  15. Aye, there is an awful lot of Sydney.

    Where abouts is your version of inner west?

    Is Beecroft any use to you?
  16. Hehe, where I grew up I could stand on the roof of my house and not see another... living in Sydney is quite different from that!

    I'm in Erskineville/Newtown area - Beecroft is more than an hour's round trip!!!
  17. Oh well, my pet wee practice area in Beecroft isn't any help to you.

    I vaguely know where Newtown is, as for Erskineville, I'd have to look up a map to find it, and even then I'm not sure my passport is valid for such places. :)
  18. Most bike are crappy off idle - hence whay you use a high idle and use the clutch to apply power - it will really smooth out the jerky engine.

    with the handle bar issue...
    what you are experiencing is the pull of the accelerator cables due to the turning of the handle bars. They do not tell you this in the service manual, but that is why you need some slack in the throttle when you adjust the cables. if you do not then turning the handle bars can apply power when YOU DO WANT IT!
  19. It's only valid if you own a fixed-gear bicycle and buy only organic beeswax beard shaper for your ironic beard :p
  20. Sounds like a challenge.

    Maybe I should try and sneak across the border into Erskineville on my nasty, noisy, smelly, but fast, two-stroke scooter.

    BTW what does an ironic beard look like anyway?