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Low speed jerkies

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by gundy, Sep 18, 2011.

  1. I went along to the learner session on Saturday. Loved it. Feel like I'm a lot more prepared now, in many ways, however it made me curious about one thing.

    I found that I was okay when I was able to maintain a constant(ish) throttle, but found it a bit tough to control the bike smoothly when transitioning between being on-throttle and off-throttle (eg. having to adjust speed because a particular cone gap was different to the previous one). The bike seemed to jerk around a bit. I'm guessing that the mechanical reason for this is the slack in the chain, but of course there's probably a fair amount of my n00bness to blame too :)

    Anyway, today I was reading Azamakumar's thread about bike dropping, and one of the hints given was that using the rear brake to moderate the speed of the bike while maintaining a bit of throttle is a good way to handle low-speed maneuvers. That intuitively makes sense as you're keeping the pre-load on the chain and thus helping to prevent the jerkies.

    My question to the more experienced riders is whether this is something that you would (or do) do when approaching the cones or other similar exercises.

    Are there any other tricks for avoiding the jerkies when riding slowly that I can try next Saturday?
  2. Which bike do you have? Edit: It's a Honda VTR250.

    To maintain smoothness, keep the throttle and clutch constant, ensuring the revs are in the higher range, then use rear brake to adjust speed.
  3. Thanks alexanderino - yep - it's a vtr250.

    I'll try to get in some practice during the week, and will give it another go next weekend.. It's a lot to try and keep track of - throttle, clutch, brakes, steering, cones, but hopefully I'll get there eventually :)
  4. I suggest lay off the cones, and quit playing with your dingy.

    ****, after a few cones I can't even drive straight.
  5. It works the same as the high-altitude training for athletes. If you train while up high, you'll be much better when you come back down. :-s YMMV.
  6. maybe you roll off too much? there's slack in the throttle cable and if you roll off completely you need to take that up before you get any power. I did an instructed ride a while ago and they picked up I was doing it.
  7. Best advice I got when I was learning and had this problem was "relax".

    May or may not work for you.
  8. Are you doing it in first gear or second?
  9. First gear. The cones seemed a bit tight to be using second.
  10. Thanks twistngo, that's definitely a possibility too. I'll try to pay a bit more attention to what's happening next time.
  11. That sounds like good advice too. I do find that I keep having to remind myself to relax my posture while on the bike, and it wouldn't surprise me if at least some of the jerkiness stems from my lack of relaxation. I'll try to keep this in mind next time I'm out too.
  12. #12 jmck, Sep 18, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2015
    If there is a mechanical reason it is more likely to be slack in the throttle cable, but the more likely reason is you just need to practice slow maneovers. Get some tennis balls cut them in half use them as cones an practice , practice, practice.
  13. There's your problem. Use second gear and the bike will be smoother.

  14. +++1

    VTRs are jerky in first gear if you throttle on and off. I rarely ride mine in first for that sort of stuff - change up to second as soon as you can. You'll find throttling goes much more smoothly.
  15. Using throttle smoothly is an art. The ultimate answer is smoother wrist action. Going from off to on in first is likely to cause a jerk. While smoother throttle control will fix this, in the mean time try second gear on the cones. Provided you are achieiving the minimum speed required for second (pretty low) on won't be as on and off won't be as off. Things will seem smoother.
  16. It's not a throttle cable mechanical problem, my VTR250 is the same. The Vtwins have awesome engine braking.

    Previous posts in this thread have given you the solution (use rear brake + clutch).
  17. +1 for the comments on rear brake. Makes a huge difference. You'll find you can keep the rev's higher (less jerky) with the rear brake which makes the ride smoother.
  18. #18 bulby, Sep 19, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2015
    +1 for 2nd gear.

    I found 1st gear very jerky too. Even with rear brake on. The 2nd gear + clutch slipping + rear brake combo seems to work better for me :)

    YMMV though
  19. Umm yes! This is standard knowledge that applies to all riders. Anything under about 20k's, any slow or slowish manouvering the rear brake is your best friend for stability (car parks, roundabout's, traffic snarles etc.

    (note! No mention of using it as a brake for stopping when riding at normal speeds)

    Had you bothered to search first, you would have descovered many many threads explaining it in great detail.
    Or you could have asked one of the guys that organize the L sessions, and received some very practical assistance. They are'nt there because they like to hang around car parks in their spare time!

    Yes ok, i sound harsh, but these things are organized purely for your benefit, so put it to good use, eh.

    Why are the rest of you blokes raving on about throttle control!!??...are you also ignoring the best tool God gave us to help control the bike at low speed, as well!!??
    Good throttle control is important...yes...i'm very good with it, but i still ALWAYS use the dragging OF the rear brake as THE control FOR STABILITY at low speed. Anyone who is'nt is wrong. Yes, WRONG!

    Throttle control, is not the key, but it's imperative that you become good at it, for reasons of control at ANY speed as part of your general riding skills.
    And being good at it will help in low speed stuff, but the rear brake is the PRIMARY CONTROL, for stability at low speed manouvering.

    I can't believe that most of you did'nt know this, or neglected to focus on it if you did!!
    A bit disappointed in you new riders...it's all over this site!
  20. Use the clutch and maybe even 2nd gear if it will let you... Rear brake too!

    If you practise for a while though give the clutch a rest as low-speed stuff can heat it up fairly well from the slipping