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Clutchwork During Cornering


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In a separate thread

 

http://forums.superbikeschool.com/index.php?showtopic=2522&st=60#entry31511

 

raised the point that being able to modulate the clutch would be an invaluable technique to have while cornering...

 

 

The premise is that if you blew the corner, say, by having a missed shift, etc. doing a rev match with the clutch (not a throttle blip) or by modulating back/forth the "meet point" to limit the rear tire torque, is acceptable if to say avoid a crash, etc.

 

This would also be a good technique to have in the street, as well. I had the experience that while cornering in the canyons that I over downshifted, and as luck would have it, on a sandy patch... Not knowing about TOTW throttle control then, I just used the clutch to limit the torque to avoid a crash (either lowslide/highside)...

 

To that extent - I have also read articles about some pro riders using this technique in races.

 

The anti-premise, however, is that if you blew the corner, instead of modulating the clutch (which may take a significant portion of the US$10 bill), it would be better to regroup and avoid the mistake the next lap...

 

 

Created a new thread to hear other's thoughts!

 

Cheers!

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prevention is better than cure imho.

 

as said in the book, going into the corner too fast and you'll blow so many sweet spots...

 

screwing up the turn point ALONE makes 11 things go haywire

 

then theres the suspension not in compliance , SR's , screwing up the steering rate etc...

 

its so bad i can easily overtake and out-accelerate bikes nearly double my displacement due to rider error alone on my home stretch... (and its just at 50 KM/H medium speed double apex turn with no chamber)

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A small beater isn't the right tool to pound in a nail but if your hammer broke the beater will still get the job done lol. In other words prevention is the way to go but it's also nice to have more tools in your toolbox because you never know what type of situation you could end up in on or off track.

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Thanks for starting this Alfred.

 

My thoughts are from my point of view which may have a lot to do with the bikes I ride. Most of the bikes I ride at present are dry clutch bikes. Dry clutches do not like to be slipped. They heat up and wear very quickly. As a general rule for my bikes, I may have 3/8" (~10mm) of lever travel between disengaged and engaged. That is not very much room to modulate clutch slippage and work the throttle at the same time. Depending on what type of riding I am at the moment I will clutch up shift and downshift. Other times I will only use the clutch for starts and stops. Normally once my fingers are off the clutch lever they stay off the clutch lever. Exception: When I ride a 2 stroke I always keep 2 fingers on the clutch. I have experienced many, many rear wheel slides due to engine heat seizures, to include having the rear wheel slide for a moment or two after the clutch was disengaged. :o One learns to listen to the sound of a motor and be prepared.

 

If you miss a shift coming into a corner you have blown the turn. How do you know many, if any gears you have just downshifted?

What should you do if you find yourself between gears (false neutral) while downshifting?

I did that at CSS last year while passing a slower rider. Blown turn, wave hand signaling that I had a problem. Regroup and carry on. At the end of the session I apologized to the rider and coach that I screwed up in front of then asked the coach. What is the best thing to do when in a false neutral?

I'll wait for your answer first.

 

To me slipping the clutch to modulate traction while in a turn just does not make sense. There are too many chances that things could go wrong.

Too little clutch slippage = motor has more drive than you want.

Too much clutch slippage = motor revs too much for you.

1. You let off the throttle to return to the same revs you had before slipping the clutch = You lose drive and upset the suspension.

2. You leave the throttle where it is and lunge forward when you release the clutch = You could lose rear wheel traction, invoke a wheelie (at the wrong time). If either of those happen will you stay on the track? If so where will you be? Or will you continue to pull, release, pull, release until you have exited the turn? Upset the suspension, etc...

 

ktk_ace lightly covers it in his reply: "screwing up the turn point ALONE makes 11 things go haywire

 

then theres the suspension not in compliance , SR's , screwing up the steering rate etc.."

 

As with many things there is always a twist.

If you are riding a low powered bike then there are times when slipping the clutch is a needed tool.

After you have crossed the apex and are driving off the turn you find that you are below the power band you may need to slip the clutch a little to get the motor back into the power then it is acceptable. If you are having to do this exiting almost all the turns then you should look for solutions.

1. Downshift a gear

2. Gear the bike so you are not slipping the clutch off the turns

3. Go faster into the turns :) But only after you are ready and confident with you riding skills.

4. Tune the bike so the power comes in at a lower rpm.

 

How is this for a start?

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Thanks for starting this Alfred.

 

My thoughts are from my point of view which may have a lot to do with the bikes I ride. Most of the bikes I ride at present are dry clutch bikes. Dry clutches do not like to be slipped. They heat up and wear very quickly. As a general rule for my bikes, I may have 3/8" (~10mm) of lever travel between disengaged and engaged. That is not very much room to modulate clutch slippage and work the throttle at the same time. Depending on what type of riding I am at the moment I will clutch up shift and downshift. Other times I will only use the clutch for starts and stops. Normally once my fingers are off the clutch lever they stay off the clutch lever. Exception: When I ride a 2 stroke I always keep 2 fingers on the clutch. I have experienced many, many rear wheel slides due to engine heat seizures, to include having the rear wheel slide for a moment or two after the clutch was disengaged. :o One learns to listen to the sound of a motor and be prepared.

 

If you miss a shift coming into a corner you have blown the turn. How do you know many, if any gears you have just downshifted?

What should you do if you find yourself between gears (false neutral) while downshifting?

I did that at CSS last year while passing a slower rider. Blown turn, wave hand signaling that I had a problem. Regroup and carry on. At the end of the session I apologized to the rider and coach that I screwed up in front of then asked the coach. What is the best thing to do when in a false neutral?

I'll wait for your answer first.

 

To me slipping the clutch to modulate traction while in a turn just does not make sense. There are too many chances that things could go wrong.

Too little clutch slippage = motor has more drive than you want.

Too much clutch slippage = motor revs too much for you.

1. You let off the throttle to return to the same revs you had before slipping the clutch = You lose drive and upset the suspension.

2. You leave the throttle where it is and lunge forward when you release the clutch = You could lose rear wheel traction, invoke a wheelie (at the wrong time). If either of those happen will you stay on the track? If so where will you be? Or will you continue to pull, release, pull, release until you have exited the turn? Upset the suspension, etc...

 

ktk_ace lightly covers it in his reply: "screwing up the turn point ALONE makes 11 things go haywire

 

then theres the suspension not in compliance , SR's , screwing up the steering rate etc.."

 

As with many things there is always a twist.

If you are riding a low powered bike then there are times when slipping the clutch is a needed tool.

After you have crossed the apex and are driving off the turn you find that you are below the power band you may need to slip the clutch a little to get the motor back into the power then it is acceptable. If you are having to do this exiting almost all the turns then you should look for solutions.

1. Downshift a gear

2. Gear the bike so you are not slipping the clutch off the turns

3. Go faster into the turns :) But only after you are ready and confident with you riding skills.

4. Tune the bike so the power comes in at a lower rpm.

 

How is this for a start?

 

I guess aslcbr600 best points out what I am trying to say - it shouldnt be the preferred way around the corner. But, it does, provide a tool to use, if needed...

 

A small beater isn't the right tool to pound in a nail but if your hammer broke the beater will still get the job done lol. In other words prevention is the way to go but it's also nice to have more tools in your toolbox because you never know what type of situation you could end up in on or off track.

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I think the basic premise in this discussion is that it would be handy to be able to use the clutch skillfully to recover from an error - like a missed shift in a turn.

 

But, there are also a lot of OTHER skills that also come in handy when you blow a turn and have to recover.

 

So, my two cents is that putting in some racing hours on a mini bike, like an NSR50, is a great way to encounter a wide variety of racing situations and gain experience in handling them, at lower speeds on a (potentially) more forgiving bike, at low cost and in a friendly environment. Personally I was a lot more willing to try some stuff, make and recover from errors, and push limits in my NSR races than I ever would be on the BMW. I never crashed, but I did have some goofy things happen that gave me a LOT more confidence in my ability to recover without falling down - like having my throttle not release going into a corner! (That's a situation where a quick hand on the clutch is valuable!)

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I meant on lower power bikes you won't slide much when you overdo slipping the clutch leaned over.On powerful bikes you can highside if you do it wrong yes?

 

Can anyone chime on this?

 

Personally, I dont feel much difference in difficulty with clutch modulation, ie. rev-matching, between small and big displacement bikes, in so far, any situation.

 

 

 

Yes, you can highside on a big bike if done wrong; so, is for a small bike. I had a friend who highsided on a 100-cc while practicing high-speed cornering. He was out of commission for a few months.

 

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I think the basic premise in this discussion is that it would be handy to be able to use the clutch skillfully to recover from an error - like a missed shift in a turn.

 

But, there are also a lot of OTHER skills that also come in handy when you blow a turn and have to recover.

 

So, my two cents is that putting in some racing hours on a mini bike, like an NSR50, is a great way to encounter a wide variety of racing situations and gain experience in handling them, at lower speeds on a (potentially) more forgiving bike, at low cost and in a friendly environment. Personally I was a lot more willing to try some stuff, make and recover from errors, and push limits in my NSR races than I ever would be on the BMW. I never crashed, but I did have some goofy things happen that gave me a LOT more confidence in my ability to recover without falling down - like having my throttle not release going into a corner! (That's a situation where a quick hand on the clutch is valuable!)

 

 

Definitely PLUS ONE on that Hotfoot... Hence, I did recommend a smaller bike for Stroker to practice techniques (in another thread - a Honda Ape, for example).

 

Personally, I learned proper hangoff/knee drag NOT with a big bike; but with a rented 100-cc bike in a parking lot... My motorcycle career (2-yrs now) started with a 400cc bike - a Suzuki Gladius...

 

 

 

On the other hand - any other technique you could recommend for recovering from a missed shift while cornering? Yes - good throttle control should be one of them...

 

Cheers!!

 

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any other technique you could recommend for recovering from a missed shift while cornering? Yes - good throttle control should be one of them...

 

 

Well, if you overshot your turnpoint (which is quite likely) and ended up turning the bike LATER than you originally planned, what skill(s) could you use to get the back onto a workable line?

 

And, what visual skill(s) could you use to make your new plan on how to complete the turn?

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My experience is limited to quarter liters at the most.IMO, there is some sliding and wobble when leaned over and you make mistakes with the throttle, the rear loses traction due to dust ( common here ) and similar circumstances.The lack of wheelspin ( due to lower power ) is an advantage.Most crashes are lowsides, usually having to do with the front end.The rare wheelspin is controllable and is for short durations.No power wheelies either.Any fishtailing is also more controllable due to the lower weight.

 

I personally have never fallen.

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Faster rate of "Quick Turn", a quick application of the "Hook Turn" to get you on your line and both the " Wide View" and "3 Step" would be useful in keeping that line on the pavement

 

Tyler

 

Excellent, well done! And if the turn is the first in a series you could also use the Level 3 understanding of attack angles to help adjust the following turns.

 

Of course, staying relaxed on the bars throughout (not always easy when you've made an error or had an unexpected shifting problem!) will help enormously in keeping control of the bike and not compounding the problem.

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Faster rate of "Quick Turn", a quick application of the "Hook Turn" to get you on your line and both the " Wide View" and "3 Step" would be useful in keeping that line on the pavement

 

Tyler

 

Excellent, well done! And if the turn is the first in a series you could also use the Level 3 understanding of attack angles to help adjust the following turns.

 

Of course, staying relaxed on the bars throughout (not always easy when you've made an error or had an unexpected shifting problem!) will help enormously in keeping control of the bike and not compounding the problem.

 

 

Tyler has beaten me to the answers... But indeed - except for the Hook Turn (Level 3?), these are what Ive learned in Level 1&2, and NEED TO PRACTICE going forward...

 

One point, however, there would be a limit to the lean rate for the Quick Turn, right? Wouldnt it be risky that if a corner is indeed blown, to try increasing the Flick rate? Similarly for Lean Angles?

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One point, however, there would be a limit to the lean rate for the Quick Turn, right? Wouldnt it be risky that if a corner is indeed blown, to try increasing the Flick rate? Similarly for Lean Angles?

 

You mean, as opposed to NOT turning it quickly, and running off the track? :)

 

Yes, of course there is a physical limit to how far you can lean the bike, before you start hitting hard parts. Hook turn and quick turn help you minimize lean angle, as would hanging off; and of course another thing that helps reduce the lean angle is to SLOW DOWN, which might be prudent and/or necessary if you've already made a big error (like a missed shift) entering the corner.

 

You also mentioned it might be risky to try increasing the RATE of steering... what risk do you see in steering the bike more quickly?

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My experience is limited to quarter liters at the most.IMO, there is some sliding and wobble when leaned over and you make mistakes with the throttle, the rear loses traction due to dust ( common here ) and similar circumstances.The lack of wheelspin ( due to lower power ) is an advantage.Most crashes are lowsides, usually having to do with the front end.The rare wheelspin is controllable and is for short durations.No power wheelies either.Any fishtailing is also more controllable due to the lower weight.

 

I personally have never fallen.

@ Stroker. What would be your opinion on why most of the crashes in India are low side?

Would you apply your skills in the same manner on the same bike if it had 2X the power with all else being the same? Or would you modify your thoughts to compensate for the extra power?

 

@ Hotfoot. I think I know the answer but let's let others chime in.

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Most bikes in India are commuters of this kind - http://www.yamaha-motor-india.com/product/crux/

 

The tires are meant for mileage and not grip.Hence, people fall at the slightest hint of rain, at railway crossings etc.They have little knowledge of safe riding techniques, and the average traffic speed is 10-15 kmph.This is why most are minor low sides.They ride on the same tires for like 50,000 km until the steel belt is visible! The roads are bad, and so the rain accumulates in puddles and potholes.

 

Some are like this - http://www.yamaha-motor-india.com/product/r15/index.html

 

They are for the wealthier middle class.They ride and handle great but are purchased mostly by posers for the way they look.Though there are a few hardcore bikers, most riders here are pretty bad, skills wise.

 

WRT your question, the underlying principles are the same, but there are modifications in technique required for different vehicles.EG - Have you seen people who accelerate hard while turning crash because the rear end steps out? In corvettes and such? Why do they crash but some one in a rwd econobox can accelerate as hard as he wants and not crash? It's the power.

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You also mentioned it might be risky to try increasing the RATE of steering... what risk do you see in steering the bike more quickly?

 

Well, Id say - particularly those that still have to build skill - _worry_ of the bike sliding, falling, etc. when steering the bike _too much_

 

How fast can we actually steer?

 

I know from the TOTW2 DVD that there were several reasons when _NOT_ to quick flick; but still not having that confidencr definitely triggers SRs!

 

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Hhhhmm.... Assuming warmed up tires and a non-slippery pavement, like a track, as well - the answer should be most probably NOT.

 

But still, it doesnt avoid thoe SRs...

 

Essentially, would like to quantify the conditions for AQAP and/or as the situations would allow.

 

There are times / situations where quick turn is not practical.

 

But, I bet you can come up with most of them on your own.

 

What sort of SURFACE conditions might require a less aggressive turn rate?

What sort of TIRE conditions?

 

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