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Pre-learner question

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by Veldrik, Dec 27, 2010.

  1. Hi guys,
    Firstly, I'm James - Hi!

    I haven't ridden a motorcycle for around 24 years (since I was a kid) and I wouldn't really say that it counted as it was for a quick (slow) buzz around a dirt track and I remember nothing about it.

    I did the first day at Clyde today of the RTA's pre-learner course, and I guess I didn't do to badly (eg gear changes etc) - however one thing I did over and over (and I mean ALOT) was stalling/killing the engine when moving off from a stopping position.
    I think it comes down to me letting go of the clutch way to quickly (and the instructor agreed). From what I can remember, I was pulling in the clutch, trying to find the friction point (I actually found this quite hard, so I think I wasn't near it half of the time), releasing the rear brakes, then if the bike moved, I'd kill it in like half a metre. If it didn't move, I'd think "oh let the clutch off more) and kill it again.
    Any tips that any of you could share would be fantastic. However my second day is in the morning at 8am, so I guess I didn't leave you much time to reply - however any help would be fantastic.

    PS - I haven't driven a manual car for around 8 to 10 years either.
  2. A good idea to introduce yourself in the Welcome Lounge as forum etiquette.

    I had the same problem on the second day of the QRide course. I practiced some more, slept on it, and it wasn't an issue - there's no way most people learn in a single day.

    Practice practice practice will make this problem a thing of the past. Of course every time you get something down pat you notice something else that goes awry - motorcycling is not easy, its hard to do right, and most of us have to work at it.

    Of course those here that have been inhaling petrol fumes since the age of 6 will say it's easy. Yes it is when you learn that way - for those of us that come 'later' it requires time in the saddle and practice, practice, practice.
  3. Thank's possumBob.
    It would be great if we had time to practice at the course, but oh well, all on the same level - atleast they say that if we get binned, they offer the same course at a later date free.

    I'll head over to the welcome lounge after the the sessino tomorrow - atleast then I can say I was a failure, or able to go for the L's theory :)
  4. Give that sucker more revs! It's particularly hard to stall an engine when you're pumping it full of fuel. Of course, done to the extremes and you might end up with a wheelie to control... (though, I highly doubt that will happen)

    You're probably using your 'car ear' to listen to the engine. Generally speaking, a bike needs to rev faster than a car, so just give it more than you think is appropriate and you'll probably find it's the right amount. Also, don't just let go of the clutch at any point - get your revs up and then slowly let the clutch out - you'll be able to feel it stick much easier that way too.

    Though I'm no expert, I'm just passing on what I've picked up - someone else may have more pointers. But it really will come down to practice in the end.
  5. Only advice I can think of is to point out that unlike cars (most) bikes have a wet clutch which means you can get away with riding the clutch for some time without problems.

    It sounds to me like you're trying to release the clutch lever fully as soon as possible, so try taking it a little slower and keep in mind that if you keep the throttle at a fixed position it is perfectly possible to control the acceleration of the bike with the clutch alone (at least at low speeds in first gear).
  6. #6 Nickers330, Dec 27, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2015
    Hi Veldrik and welcome to Netrider mate.

    Pulling away from a stop is a manoeuvre which takes a significant amount of practice to perfect, when starting out and/or returning to riding after a significant absence. The first thing to tell yourself though is that YOU WILL GET THERE (y)
    We all make mistakes from time to time and without these, there simply is no scope for progressing beyond. Be positive and patient but more so, remember the saying "Practice makes perfect" ? It's true - in no time you'll have this little snag well and truly mastered.

    There are many riders within the forums who will be able to assist you further with how to approach this difficulty you're experiencing, which really, again with practice, you'll nail in no time. First and foremost however, is to continue doing all that your motorcycle instructor has taught you - my pointers/tips below are helpful suggestions only. These may/may not assist you (I'm hoping they do :) )

    To make it as easy as possible, consider this :

    Letting go of the clutch too quickly ? No problem !
    On the side info :
    A motorbike's clutch isn't 'sensitive' like a car's, which you remember was not a good thing to 'ride' whilst in a car.
    Unless you ride a Ducati or certain BMW bikes, the clutch assembly/transmission is different on motorcycles (transmission is basically two metal plates that meet one another inside a bath of oil...'wet clutch').
    Pointer :
    * Ride the clutch during practice a little more, don't worry (if this is your concern) that you are causing any damage to your clutch.
    * DO try and find the friction ('biting') point for your particular motorbike by smoothly and slowly releasing the clutch, using idle power (no throttle input for the initial break-away). At all times, head up and look straight ahead, to where you want to go. This may take several times to get right and that's fine - you are relearning basic riding skills so please take time here to perfect this, no rush needed mate.
    * Once you have practised and mastered the above and during this process, you will have identified the ~ RPM at 'friction point'. At that point, whilst still looking straight ahead, as you are releasing the clutch towards the 'bite', smoothly increase RPM by controlled small input of the throttle. You'll know by sound whether you're a) over-revving (smoothly release a little throttle) or b) about to stall - non-smooth sound and near-jerking of bike (smoothly increase throttle a little to smooth out any jerkiness).

    Once you've consistently achieved this, it's BIG pat on the back time dude !
    Next on the agenda, and this will come naturally with practice, is to 'listen' to the RPM at which the above occurs and 'feel' this motion, in one smooth and controlled action. You'll know exactly when to add throttle input to the point you'll be taking off smoothly, every time.

    Here is a link you may find helpful :
    (13mordeth has very useful training vids available online - at 2:00 onwards is when he gets into it )

    Practise, practise, practise ! This can't be emphasised enough mate. It is a simple manoeuvre which you WILL master.
    Be methodical, patient and mindful of your Instructor's advice ...and enjoy being back on 2 wheels (y)

    Best of luck and please keep us updated.
    Cheers bud.
  7. Thrash it.

    Ride the clutch and rev the guts out of the bikes. The above posters have hit on everything you need to know. takes a bit of getting your head around, but you'll get there. More practise, keep your chin up.

    Bit of encouragement: I did much the same thing on my Ls training days. Be thankful the bikes have electric start. I stalled my bike three times in a row with a big line of prospective L platers waiting patiently behind me while I started, tried to go, stalled... started, tried to go, stalled.... started, tried to go, stalled before finally wobbling off :D .
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