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 Post subject: Safe Riding #8 Clutch
PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 8:23 am 
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The clutch is an essential tool. It lets you run a gear high, yet still kick in the power in an instant. You get far more pull and speed range out of one gear without shifting. It is key for many obstacles.

It is sometimes the only thing to let you make a big jump right out of a turn.

It lets you get the front end up in an instant to soften an obstacle.

It gives you almost infinitely variable gearing. It increases power immediately without a downshift. It can save you if the bike starts swapping in whoops.

It can also decrease power. It can allow you to control wheelspin in slick spots. It is essential for brake taps to bring the front end down in midair.

It can be combined with braking to stabilize the bike. It can be slapped during full throttle upshifts to decrease power for a quick shift and let you keep the bike in the powerband without letting off the throttle.

Be smooth with your clutch and throttle. Practice holding on to the grip and controlling the clutch at the same time. Keep one finger on the clutch and the rest on the grip.

Clutch control is crucial on the start. Smoothly slip the clutch for second gear starts to stay in the powerband. Use 2 fingers for the start for more control. Have the lever half way out so the bike is about to move. Hold the revs up with steady throttle.

When the gate drops, don't just drop the clutch. Feather it to control the power to the rear wheel and get the best drive out of the hole. Practice starts to get a smooth takeoff without having to adjust throttle. The clutch should be used to control power. The front tire should be skimming the ground at 100% power and traction. Slap the clutch for full power upshifts.

The clutch can be needed anytime, anywhere on the track. Keep a finger on the clutch always. Clutch use isn’t only for motocross riders. It is particularly helpful for enduro and trail riders too.

Bring the revs up to lift the front wheel with some throttle and slip of the clutch to pop over a log or ditch on the trail. In tight corners and ruts you may need to gently ride the clutch.

MX'ers should cross train on tight trails, where the clutch is used constantly. This builds a habit of clutching without even having to think about it.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 9:07 am 
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Quote:
It is sometimes the only thing to let you make a big jump right out of a turn.

It lets you get the front end up in an instant to soften an obstacle

It is essential for brake taps to bring the front end down in midair.



Joe,
Can you explain some of these techniques in more detail?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 11:17 am 
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Gets revs up as you approach jump face, for more pull/power. Especially handy on a smoker. :)

Same concept as you approach obstacle- whoops, log, creek, ditch, whatever- gets revs up for more power.

Especially handy if you are cruising along a gear high, low in the rpm's, come around a corner or over a ridge and suddenly see the obstacle.

Of course, hard braking is another option there, but some folks prefer to use existing momentum to get over the obstacle, but just need a quick burst of power.


Brake tap is clutching and then locking the rear wheel midair to get a nose high bike to level off, or even go nose low to match landing angle.

But better technique is to be forward on takeoff so you don't go nose high... Although we don't live in a perfect world, and the brake tap can save you from a loop out. Yet, it is no good to ya if you don't practice it regularly.

Just don't stall out- remember to clutch it BEFORE you tap the brake.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2006 10:26 am 
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Bump to order/sticky these.

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