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clutch tips: stall prevention and cornering

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could any good teachers help out a noob?

i had a hard time today at the track. i only rode the beginner track that they had, but i had an embarrassing day with stalling. :smirk:

coming to a dead stop, slow crawl, or restart and then trying to get moving again, i'd stall.

here's my sequence:

1) clutch lever pulled all the way in with bike in 1st gear

2) feed maybe 5-10% throttle

3) slowly let clutch lever out. i think i can tell where the friction point is, because if i go slightly past, i can hear the revs go down, i pull back in.

4) i can feel the bike start to pull/roll.

5) i get rolling, try to feed more throttle as i am slowing letting the clutch past the friction point.

6) stall

on smooth pavement or hardpack dirt, i have an easier time starting. (as i practiced before hitting the track). i feel like i can feel the bike pull more, roll easier and i then use that to time clutch release and throttling up. but on rough terrain, slight inclines, its much harder to feel that pull, much less roll, and i think this screws up my timing. (this is my analysis)

any pointers? or pearls? i will take a ribbing one liner, but would appreciate alittle knowledge also. i'm new at this, and i'm motivated to learn clutch/throttle control properly.

what fingers are you using on the clutch? middle? pointer? last three fingers?

how are you guys using the clutch (if at all) in a bermed/flat corner? i come into it with a constant throttle, then pull the clutch in alittle to decrease power as i apex, then release smoothly to power out. is this right?

i'm riding a 4-stroke 250 btw.

thanks again for imparting your knowledge on this humble noob.:bonk:

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it comes with seat time man dont get discouraged

totally diff story if ur ridin a smoker.....ya gotta b revvin or shell stall on ya

all 4 strokes ive owned when ur starting out i could basically let the clutch out and roll with like 1/10th throttle. my old rmz was a beauty....felt like i was ridin a pw80...worked good off the starting line though!

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4Ts and 2Ts are sort of different, I have both. Clutch and throttle technique are different, just takes seat time to learn the unique skills for each. Keep practicing!!!

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You can raise your idle speed slightly till you start getting the hang of clutch/throttle timing , it will HELP with stalling , and allow you to carry slightly more speed in corners

Not enough so the bike sounds like its revving , but enough so the idle is noticeably higher and you can put a load on the clutch without the bike dieing

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Practice makes perfect when it comes to take offs. A lot of us have been riding a bike with a clutch since we were 7 or 8 years old,so it's something that is second nature. After you've had your bike out a few times it will be like that for you too. As for clutch technique once underway,it's important to keep a finger on the lever at all times. I keep my pointer finger on mine because I can pull mine all day with one finger. You might need to have your pointer and middle finger on yours to pull it. Also get in the habit of keeping a finger on the front brake lever as well. These two things will help/force you to do something else that is very important-holding onto the bike with your legs. As for using the clutch in corners,I'll have to defer to guys who ride 250 four strokes,as I've never had one,or any four stroke for a long time. Last one I had was a WR400F,and it didn't take a whole lot of clutch work to keep it pulling,especially if you kept it in the right gear.

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Practice in your driveway, alley, yard, where-ever you have a small bit of room.

Stand on the pegs, don't touch down, and keep the bike moving at the slowest speed you are capable of moving. With practice, you should be able to stop and start moving the bike only inches at a time.

The above drill will teach you clutch and throttle control that will extrapolate to any riding discipline.

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Try practicing feeling the friction zone. Stand over the bike with no weight on the seat and using the clutch and throttle practice rocking the bike back and forth to get a feel for the friction zone. If you are on a hill its going to take more gas to get her going then on flat. In corners on a 4t you don't really need to pull the clutch in in the corners unless you are using the back brake. Seat time is key. For corners being in the right gear is also key.

What 250 are you riding?

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as far as fingers I use pointer and middle most people use just the pointer finger some strange ones use just the middle. Make sure your clutch is adjusted correctly too.

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Practice in your driveway, alley, yard, where-ever you have a small bit of room.

Stand on the pegs, don't touch down, and keep the bike moving at the slowest speed you are capable of moving. With practice, you should be able to stop and start moving the bike only inches at a time.

The above drill will teach you clutch and throttle control that will extrapolate to any riding discipline.

:bonk: +1

You might check into adding a flywheel weight that can be removed later if you need the instant revs for racing. But if most of your riding is on trails, you might want to keep the weight.

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as far as fingers I use pointer and middle most people use just the pointer finger some strange ones use just the middle. Make sure your clutch is adjusted correctly too.

I grip with my index (pointer) and thumb on both the clutch and throttle. I use only my middle finger on the brake, and I use my middle or middle/ring/pinky on the clutch (I see no reason to use the middle two without letting the pinky follow along)

The majority of your grip strength comes from the index and thumb.

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how do you adjust one's clutch? theres supposed to be some play/wiggle at the lever correct?

i was practicing today....i think my stalling may have been due to insufficient throttle.

here's my sequence today:

1) clutch pulled in, shift to first

2) slowly letting out clutch (as i approach the friction point, i can feel the bike pull/roll)

3) roll on throttle to 30-40% (i'm almost at friction point, i can now feel the bike pull harder with throttle)

4) rolling faster, i let off the clutch and feed more gas.

before i was only rolling on 10% throttle as i neared the friction point the bike was bogging and then stalling. i think i was hesitant to feed more throttle because i was afraid the bike looping.

this sound about right?

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Well why didn't you tell us that you've posted a vid on YouTube? http://m.youtube.com/index?desktop_uri=%2F&gl=US#/watch?v=bgCE4TtjHew Haha there's the ribbing you said you welcomed. Lol But seriously,it sounds like you are well on your way. If anything,you may be over thinking things a bit at this point. If you are afraid of looping,maybe find some gravel to practice in,or practice taking off in second gear.

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Keep your weight forward on the bike and it won't loop unless you have LOTS of traction. The back tire will spin instead of the bike wheelying. Find a straight area of loose dirt and practice getting the back wheel to spin, so you know what it feels like. Clutch control comes with seat time. For your experience level, actually out on the track is probably not the best place to be learning. Too many ruts, jumps, and other obstacles. Go find a dirt parking lot somewhere.

Don't get frustrated, keep at it and it will become second nature.

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This is an exercise mostly for trail and DS riding, but it will gain you more bike control.

Try doing figure eights, standing on the pegs, around two cones spaced close enough so you have to stay on the pegs and steer around them without touching down. Weight the outside peg to make tighter turns (no spinning). You'll come to realize the importance of clutch finesse and balance.

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thanks for the drills and tips guys. :bonk:

been riding some twisty gravel/dirt back roads. i'm doing stop/starts and i will add the figure 8 drill to the list.

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do you guys thinking a beginner/intro offroad/mx riding class is worthwhile? it'll be a semi-private class/clinic by a local AMA Motocross Pro with good feedback from former students.

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do you guys thinking a beginner/intro offroad/mx riding class is worthwhile? it'll be a semi-private class/clinic by a local AMA Motocross Pro with good feedback from former students.

Of course it would be! That will be 1000x as helpful as reading instructions off of an Internet forum. I say go for sure. From what I understand a good riding school can benifit riders of most any skill level.

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Yeah you're just over thinking it and is very common in every aspect of moto riding for beginners (like me) although I've got my clutch control down as I've been riding motorcycles my whole life but just got back into MX.

You're stalling because your pussyfooting it on the 5-10% throttle. Don't be afraid to give it more throttle upon letting out of the clutch to where the motor has a little more power than you think. The stalling is always a result of someone being afraid the bike will rare on them ie too little throttle. Still be smooth on letting out the clutch. Your left hand should be where all the finessing is at on letting her out smooth. Dumping it is what will cause the bike to violently rare up, but give her more gas next time. Eventually you won't even think about it and stalling will be a surprise because you're thinking about other things too much, but yea, increase to 15-20% throttle. Use your ears to listen to get the motor to the RPM that you know it won't just die, and once you get used to that it's all just finessing the clutch out. Eventually you'll get so comfortable with the clutch you can quickly get it right to the friction point and then finesse it out and be off and on the way real quick.

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