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Clutch Usage


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After reading (a lot of texts and Keith's books & audio) & riding extensively I am not sure of the correct clutch action regarding cornering/braking/downshifting.

When exactly should the clutch be used from the time braking (&downshifting) begins until after the throttle is rolled on in the turn? How does it or should it coordinate with the other control inputs from a professional stance?


ie. When braking, do I keep the clutch disengaged throughout downshifting and steering or only disengage it to blip & downshift keeping the clutch engaged nearly all the time with the throttle off, bike in gear to make the steering input? Another way to ask it is when braking/downshifting/steering, is the clutch always pulled in (or not)? In spite of a lot of study, I have not seen any definitive explanation, please advise.

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The clutch should be engaged unless you're downshifting, launching, or controlling a slide/wheelie (if you're proficient enough with the clutch to do that).


Coming into a corner, braking, you want the clutch engaged (out) as much as possible, to allow engine braking to help you. Additionally, the only way you can really stabilize the bike is through the throttle, and the throttle will do you no good without the clutch out/engaged.


Going through a corner with the clutch pulled in (disengaged) is a BAD idea. You have no control over the weight balance of the bike, and you're likely to overload the front end.


Downshift ONE gear at a time, letting the clutch out after each gear change. If you jump more than one, you're likely to lose stability/traction in the rear end, which can get ugly.

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