Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Smooth Throttle - A Little Trick to Make it Easier

Smoothness, the act of riding smoothly is a topic for a whole host of potential blog posts, maybe even a blog of its own.  Instead of trying to address all that stuff that contributes to riding smoothly, here's a little tip to make it easier to be smooth on the throttle.

Ready for it?  Cover the front brake.  Come again?  Yep, by putting a finger or two of your throttle hand over the front brake lever you provide yourself a kinesthetic reference point that you can then move the throttle in reference to.  By looping a finger or two around there, you make it possible to consistently move the throttle in tiny increments, ever so important when:
  • You're in a low traction situation, and you need to manage the throttle carefully
  • You've got one of those new-fangled fuel injected bikes that lurches when opening up from a closed throttle
  • You're deep into a turn and on the edge of the tire, and you need to feed throttle in smoothly
  • You're riding one of those terrible, bumpy goat roads I'm always raving on about, and every time you hit a bump the throttle moves and the motorcycle lurches
Yep, I know that the MSF teaches its students to not cover the front brake, and I understand their pedagogical purpose in taking that out of the mix while on the range with rank beginners.  Are you a rank beginner?  I didn't think so.  Doesn't apply to you.

You're a big kid now.  Try it out if you aren't doing so already, and see how smoothly you can manipulate the throttle.  Keep it up and the next thing you know you'll be able to blip the throttle on a downshift while smoothly braking, astounding your friends and neighbors without the benefit of a slipper clutch.  How cool would that be?

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