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 Post subject: Safe Riding #9 Wheelies With Clutch
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2006 8:24 am 
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Wheelies with Clutch
Practice wheelies at slow speed, using good clutch and throttle control. In 2nd gear, standing, squeeze your knees against the side of the seat. Then use the clutch with smooth throttle to pop the front end up.

As the front rises, control it by touching the rear brake. Always keep your toe over the rear brake to avoid looping! Practice wheelies so you are consistent with holding them a short distance.

Approach an obstacle that you can easily ride across in 2nd gear, such as a small ditch or foot high bank. When you get near it slip the clutch and open the throttle to lift the front end enough to clear it. Get used to that by doing it a dozen or so times.

Then drop to first gear. Approach slowly, squeeze your legs in and pop the clutch to lift the front wheel from a near standstill. This teaches balance, body position, leg clamping, clutch control, and improves hand/eye coordination. It resembles the position you need starting into the whoops.

Get used to clutching to raise the revs into the power-band and accelerate faster. This is a crucial skill, especially for jumps with short approaches. Use 1 or 2 fingers on the clutch. Keep the finger on the clutch always. Then you are ready the instant you need it. Also keep a finger on the front brake.

Another clutch exercise is sliding into a 90-degree turn. Set a flag or rock marker and approach in 2nd, standing in attack position. When you reach the marker pull the clutch in and lock the rear brake to slide the rear wheel to do a 90-degree turn. Look the direction you want the bike to face.

When the bike is pointing in the right direction lean forward, release the clutch and wheelie away without putting your feet down. But don’t just dump the clutch. Smoothly ease the power on. Clamp the seat like the first wheelie drill. Get used to seat clamping- it will cut down arm pump. This drill is also excellent practice for increasing your sensitivity to the limits of traction, as well as clutch and throttle control and balance.

These drills are all about making your body more sensitive to bike and terrain input, and responding from reflex, without thinking. This is key to smooth riding especially at race pace. If you have to think about it, you will not be smooth.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2006 10:59 am 
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All this talk about clutching the bike does that apply to 4stk or is that a 2stk technique?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2006 11:49 am 
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Not as critical or useful on the thumpers, but it still works if you are a gear high. I will be riding the 450 this weekend, have not ridden it in ages, will experiment a bit... The 450 has such a broad torque spread (as does your 520) that it is rarely needed. I am thinking back to when I was riding the 450 more and can't recall clutching it much- now the KX- the clutch is used all the time...

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'03 KX250/310 #95
'01 KX500 #10


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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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