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Going downhill under power, more control than coasting?

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by hongyi77, Jul 24, 2012.

  1. I have just clicked into week 2 of riding and is having a hell of a time getting into my work carpark.

    To get to it, I do an uphill right turn against traffic, then it is steep downhill where I have to stop to scan my access card which I strap to my forearm over my jacket. That means I have to get really close to the scanner while holding the back brake so that I can tilt towards the scanner. At the moment I paddle the last metre or so, not something I am proud of because I used to be able to do it on my scooter.

    Once through the gates, uneven cambered downhill left U turn to the motorcycle bays. I had a brain fart and kept looking at the pillar in front of me and stupidly stopped in panic. WORST thing to do! Barely keeping it upright and just could not tilt it enough the other way to get out and I was getting damn tired. Had to let it down slowly just to get out of that bind. Gear shifter bend again :( Going for 18,000 service this Friday so I shall enquire about getting it replaced.

    This is a rather long-winded intro to my real question. I think my problem could be I am coasting downhill which doesn't give me as much control? Even if the speed of coasting (ie clutch pulled in) + some rear brake = speed of first gear + feathering clutch + some rear brake, will being under power give me more control? Does it make a difference if I am going straight or turning?
  2. Yes. Yes. No.
    engine braking is rear wheel braking.
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  3. If it's too much for your skills right now, can you approach work from a different direction?
    If possible, that will help you out.
  4. Unfortunately there is only one way in. I am going to set a target each day and see if I can reach a point closer each time to the motorcycle bay. I think better clutch control will help me but it is a tricky one. I know it can be done because I got pretty good on the scooter, so SURELY I can do this! :rolleyes:
  5. Thanks for asking this question as I'm in the same predicament -2nd week in - though my uphill right turn is on the streets into a round about. I stall there alot because of the stop-starting on the hill and panic button. There's also a downhill into a round about at the bottom, and I've just been coasting with clutch pulled in.

    I'll watch this post to see what you come up with and try the downhill under acceleration too, shifting down when I see I need to stop.
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  6. On the road....NEVER coast with your clutch pulled in (unless it is that slow that the clutch out would only stall the engine, of course)

    It is far better to be in a gear at all times, otherwise.

    You guys just need to sharpen up your skills with the clutch/throttle balance.
    Car parks fix that. :)
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  7. +100000000 what Raven said.
  8. Thanks for the advise Raven. I practiced not coasting with the clutch this arvo and managed to shift down properly to second. It helped that the way was clear too.
  9. Me thinks you both need to practice braking more.
    If you have good faith that you can stop the hill wont be a worry.
    Get into a gear that is comfy for the speed you want to do down the hill. One where it's not revving it's titts off or revving so low that you are lugging and getting snatch.
    Lightly apply both brakes to modulate your speed..... Keep your eyes up and well ahead down the road.
    Feel the speed. Feel the brakes retain the speed. Too slow...ease up on the brakes. Getting a bit quick. Lightly apply more brakes.

    Corners can make it a bit tricky. Much lighter on the front brake and increase the rear a little.
    But yeah coast in gear, and go up or down the gears even when coasting. Get a feel for everything and all the bike can do.
  10. Try going down the hill backwards. Saves having to make a u-turn at the bottom :p
  11. Why not go and do some more training? I believe HART have just opened a new centre in Brisbane, and they have some great instructors. Good habits now will last you a lifetime.
  12. Yes. I too, suggest you do the same.
  13. I am in first gear with rear brake and feathering the clutch, it feels almost like I need more braking but I am scared to death of touching the front brake when doing slow turns cos I know from Qride that is a sure fire way to go down really quick! I know front brake works better going downhill cos the weight is on the front wheel but... Turns.

    Having a mental block with the frustration and losing confidence in slow stuff right now :confused:
  14. I've been getting to work an hour early to practice the slow speeds. There's a cul-de-sac right beside the back entrance that no one goes into. Staying in first, keeping my feet off the pegs (not dragging my feet, but ready to put down in case i go to slow while turning or stall my bike) and imagining the curves of the cul-de-sac as a left or right turn. I think (for me anyway) flat surface practice is helping with the downhill turns. I am feeling the limit of the bike (before I think it's going to tip).

    You should check the mentor post Mentors/Tutors to help newer riders and see if there is anyone in your area to give you some help.
  15. An update on the progress of this. After riding home in back to back traffic last week on the motorway due to 2 massive accidents. I had the LONGEST slow ride ever. Such good training for clutch control as I tried holding the throttle at different speeds with same amount of clutch in and then with same throttle but changing how much the clutch is pulled in. It made me more familiar with where the clutch point is and also how much it bites at which point.

    It still feels like I have more control going downhill while slow-riding rather than coasting. Perhaps the moving wheels are keeping the bike up during the slow decreasing radius turn? That, and turning my head and keeping my head and eyes at the motorbike bay!
  16. Good to hear !!
  17. That's great :)
  18. Don't paddle - it actually will make you far, far more unstable. Rear brake + throttle and clutch is the only way to properly do low-speed manuevers. With your feet off the ground you don't have access to the rear brake and you will therefore tend to snatch at the front instead - bad news if your wheel is turned. This is the easiest way to drop a bike as the weight throws itself forward but the bike goes left/right, throwing you off balance quite a lot

    What speed do you go down at? Leave it in-gear in 1st unless it's too slow, then just drag the rear and ride the clutch.

    Also, before doing any downchanges to 1st or 2nd from a fairly high rpm you need to feather the clutch out (for now, you can learn how to blip the throttle and no clutch KD style later). As stated in the thread earlier, the engine braking is essentially a rear brake and as will all brakes, they can cause lock-ups too (compression lock, this is why some top-end bikes have slipper clutches) so you need to be aware of this and develop some finesse in your clutch technique. On a downchange you should never just 'drop' the clutch. Be especially careful in the wet or a downhill (or both!) as they happen a lot easier.
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  19. I have been consciously controlling my temptation to put my right feet down and just push through mentally. It has been working but takes a lot of focus and energy. I know it will get easier as I relax and trust the bike more.

    The downhill decreasing radius turn is from a stop (after I scan my access card for the gate to rise), so maybe 5km/h? I am treating it like a a slow figure of eight with extra rear brake for the downhill. At the moment, front brake is not an option because it is so slow, is it even possible?
  20. Slow riding is easy. Slow riding while turning is harder. Slow riding while turning on a gradient is harder still.

    2 x Coke cans. 1 x empty carpark. Practice, practice!
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