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Slow/walking speed riding: Clutch or brake?

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by mogley, Jan 19, 2012.

  1. Hi all,

    Just started out learning on my Ninja 250R and been trying to practise slow speed riding.

    I get how you are supposed to use the clutch and rear brake to modulate speed and hold a constant throttle to stop the engine from stalling.

    But...if i want to increase/decrease my speed am i supposed to use the rear brake or clutch?

    I'm more reluctant to use the clutch as I don't want to be taking a very slow corner tight corner (with a bit of lean) and kill the drive to the wheels which will make me lose balance.

    Should i be using both?

  2. #2 jag131990, Jan 19, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2015
    Think you would modulate with rear brake. Hold you clutch point steady and keep plenty of rpm up to make sure that you don't disengage the rear drive
  3. NO NO NO
    comstant RPM, near constant REAR brake pressure and modulate clutch around the friction point to amintain/adjust speed, AND THE MOST IMPORTANT BIT = keep your eyes up and looking where you WANT to go NOT just in front of you on the ground
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Definately clutch is the bigget factor in setting speed. If you are worried about stalling ypu just need more practice.
  5. Give the bike a bit more throttle than needed for the speed you want and hold that constant. Then use clutch at friction point and a little rear brake to achieve the speed you want. If the bike gets to fast its clutch in more and brake on more and if too slow, clutch out more and brake on more.

    You may never get the clutch fully out and may be be playing with different degrees of friction and also you will only be braking lightly. This will push the bike along at walking speeds or less. At this sort of speed best to stay well away from front brake especially if you don't have your bars straight.

    Bottom line is that a bike is a two wheel vehicle and will falll over if it stops. However if you pull the clutch while you are rolling it won't stop instantaneously. So you get to play with the clutch ... too slow and the bike starts to risk falling over, then let the clutch out a bit. It is not all or nothing, you have infinite degrees of friction point that you can choose to use. You are the one in control.

    Not sure about the point you are making about cornering and the clutch. At the sort of speed we are talking the bike will have zero lean because you are barely moving. So cornering should not be an issue.

    Unless of course you mean U-turns. If so I would normally be riding slow but a little faster than walking pace and depending on the circumstances may have the clutch fully out. But if I wanted to do a slow U-turn I would be doing the same as above. However with that degree of turn at slow speed the bike is possibly going to want to topple over to the inside so a little lean to the opposite side can help balance this.

    If you do mean U-turns then are plenty of threads describing the techniques. If you don't mean that I am not sure what you mean, what are your circumstances when you are doing a tight turn at slow speed?
  6. ..... General slow speed riding I rely on clutch and throttle control (much like with the manual car). If it helps any... I find slow speed riding much easier on the 600 than I ever did on the 250!....8-[
  7. Is it because of the bigger rear tire?
  8. You are doing it correctly, but let me hi-light something that will make things clear for you.
    You set your clutch and throttle to hold the engine revs desired, then use your rear brake to adjust your speed higher or lower as needed. The rear brake is effectively your speed control by increasing/decreasing pressure.

    Those of you relying on the clutch/throttle friction point to maintain or adjust speed are using the more complicated route to control speed, and I don't recommend it, because it's harder at first, but it does work, and is not wrong.
    Once experienced enough with the technique, you may sometimes use both, as you adjust for differing conditions as you are slow riding. (tightening turn, downhill slope etc)

    I always prefer and recommend using the rear brake for speed control and training to think that way, as this prepares you for more advanced use of the rear brake, once you become experienced enough. Using the friction point as the speed control, cannot be used at the far more advanced levels, so some 're-learning' would be required. Difficult to change your thinking at that point.

    Of course, you may have no desire to get into advanced use of the rear brake, and that's perfectly ok, to.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. ...My bigger rear is always tired!!.... 8-[

    ...Probably due to the larger tyres..and also the fact that the weight of the larger bike makes for easier balancing.
  10. mogley, how about into one of the sat morn prac sessions, which state are you in?
  11. I never know if I should be in 1st or 2nd while doing this. 1st seems so much jerkier for me.
  12. Aly. First is always jerkier. If you can grab second then do it. It's a much more controllable gear than first. But only if you can. You don't want to labor the motor too much.
    I do all my Fig 8's and slaloms in 2nd.
    If I am crawling along @ walking pace..ie 5kmp/h then it's first gear. And would be on any bike.
    The rear brake controls the ground speed mostly. For most slow speed work.
    The throttle controls the amount of torque and righting motion available.
    The clutch KEEPS IT ALL SMOOTH and stops the shudder or jerking
    End of lesson grasshoppers
  13. Hi all,

    Thanks for all your help. I'll give the rear brake a go as i did find it easier to focus on keeping the throttle and clutch steady and modulate the brake.

    I know it's probably just practise but want to get a good system going more than anything.
  14. That's Bretto. That sounds like what I'm doing. I just dont like doing the 5km in 1st bit. Think I better do more practise.
  15. I am in NSW. To be honest i don't want to hit the road until I am a little more confident with my slow speed maneuvers. Don't want to duck paddle my way off the lights for a right turn. :)
  16. And something to do with being more experienced and more confident?
  17. when you feel safe to ride on the road, get down to Homebush!! sat morn prac sessions there will help you get on the way, alot people are available to help you, just ask!!
  18. ...Nah!!.. I still wobble like all get out if I ride the 250!!... :-w
  19. ...nothing worse than a jerk!!.. hay??... :rofl:
  20. If only it was 1 or 2...