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Clutch Whilst Cornering

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Should i be pulling in my clutch whilst coming into the corner, select my gear and then let out coming out of the corner?

 

Or should i just use the clutch to change gear whilst slowing before the bend and keep the transmission engaged whilst cornering?

 

Apologies if this doesn't make send.

Also i'm a novice ride who only just started riding this year.

 

Thanks in advance

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Depends on the corner and how fast you're trying to go.

You want to be in the correct gear before you start the turn.  The clutch can be used if you're riding aggressively to keep the engine in the power going through the corner, which is also why you need to be in the right gear.  If you're in third and you need to be in second the bike won't have the power to pull through the corner.

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       You want to carry as much momentum as you possibly can, so i would suggest always choosing a higher gear so as not to lose momentum while corning.  Also using the clutch and not having power go to the rear wheel will cause you to lose some of your control over the bike, you want power being put on the groud as much as possible so i would suggest not using your clutch before corning unless you are shifting or braking very hard. If you are having to brake hard before a turn then using the clutch will keep you from stalling, but this is not an ideal situation, you perferably want to use the brkaes as little as possible because like i said before momentum is key! 

       What type of riding are you doing, Motocross or trail? Depending on which one you are doing i might be able to give a few more tips!

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15 hours ago, Thomas Garmoe said:

       You want to carry as much momentum as you possibly can, so i would suggest always choosing a higher gear so as not to lose momentum while corning.  Also using the clutch and not having power go to the rear wheel will cause you to lose some of your control over the bike, you want power being put on the groud as much as possible so i would suggest not using your clutch before corning unless you are shifting or braking very hard. If you are having to brake hard before a turn then using the clutch will keep you from stalling, but this is not an ideal situation, you perferably want to use the brkaes as little as possible because like i said before momentum is key! 

       What type of riding are you doing, Motocross or trail? Depending on which one you are doing i might be able to give a few more tips!

Thanks pal, I’ll be riding mx on both mud and sand tracks

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Gary Semics videos do a great job of explaining this more fully. The clutch is a very important control for MX and all dirt bike riding.

Good luck!

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Nothing wrong feathering a clutch in a corner of you have very good clutch control but it you are too on/off it will put a hinge in your cornering arc. Since you are a novice I’d work on the clutch skills first and for now try to do the corners in the correct gear without the clutch.

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If you find the front tire skipping while accelerating in/exiting the turn, apply some front brake and push on the outside peg 

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Gary Semics video’s and other products are a very valuable recourse that I would recommend. I used those over the years and they gave me some great drills to practice

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And to your question, you do not need to use the clutch at all to downshift. I would also not hold the clutch in until you start exiting the turn. Doing so will upset the bike mid corner when you go from freewheeling to engaging the transmission and throttle all at once. You will learn to use a little of all five controls in combination as needed. Practice as much as possible, focus on 1-2 things at a time and you will improve roll your turns without the clutch at first, apply a little clutch if needed in order to maintain proper rpm especially if your on a small bore 125/250F.

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Someone recently found this old helmet cam footage from about four years ago and sent it to us. It looks like the old 2003 2 stroke Honda and some other classic bikes were getting dusted off that day while the better bikes were likely being fixed in our poor old man cave, that has churned out perhaps hundreds of competition and sports engines in its time. 

 

This same old bike actually got used again a bit this fall while a kind supporter built a new engine for a 450. I think these laps were run in 2014. My oldest and a couple of friends are jokingly mocking some of things newbies say when they get started into the sport. It’s a little slow compared to a modern 450, but the 250 two strokes always sound fast and fun. 

 

The practice track here has doubles and tables ranging from 40-90 feet that need about a “B level” riding skill to safely attempt some of the jumps. Our other larger track is a few miles away in a natural terrain setting of sand hills and woods. I’m not saying this is the right way to use a clutch but it sure makes those wonky old 2 strokes sound good if you’re actually trying to go fast. 

 

https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=qkZ1bTCL1mY

.

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There’s a reason almost any picture of a pro motocrosser will show a finger on the clutch. “Feeding” (not fanning, or dumping, or.......) the clutch is a very effective method of getting really strong, smooth acceleration out of a corner. Gary Semics drills help a rider quickly learn the technique. It’s not required all the time, but having your finger at the ready ensures immediate use when desired. It’s especially effective when exiting a corner between gears (having to choose between one a bit too low or one too high). Select the taller gear and exit much faster/smoother.

 

I’ve never worn out a clutch. (Cringing)

 

 

 

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I often stay in 2 or 3 if it’s that gear coming in to the corner and leaving the bike in a gear to high and feathering the clutch. I often ride trails where you need that higher gear and feathering the clutch for the back wheel not spinning on the wet rocks on big slopes. I never use 1 not even when starting from a standstill. I hold the throttle at 1/3 of the throttle and use the clutch to modulate the speed and engine revs when the engine is bogging a bit pull the clutch in a bit. When pulling the clutch in let it slowly out and you might need to drag it through the whole corner. By practicing clutch control you will be much faster i guarantee

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