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Road Riding Technique

A category on the site devoted to training and technique articles for all levels of rider Read More
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Dirt Riding Technique

How to stay on in the dirt and get over those things that you shouldn't go through Read More
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Greg's Rambles

Articles that take Greg's fancy...mostly written by him Read More
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Things Motorbiking

Fun stuff that's worth a look Read More
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About Me

All about the idiot who put this site together and thinks he knows a little about riding motorbikes Read More
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Road Riding Technique

The Back Brake

The Back Brake

Oh the back brake, what a wonderful example of there is more to a control than its primary effect or purpose.  Good old Newton is all over the back brake.

So one could think that the primary purpose of a back brake is to slow you down and although it is good at this, especially on a bike that managed to keep weight onto it, its effectiveness drops a lot once that weight comes off.

But that DOES NOT MEAN the back brake should be avoided.  Because it’s other effects can be wonderful things for your repertoire of twiddly bits for controlling the wobbly bits.

Read more: The Back Brake

The Clutch

The Clutch

What a wonderful device the Clutch is and such an argued about control.

Should I use the clutch to change gear? You need finesse with the clutch it’s not a switch? Don’t slip the clutch? The clutch is for changing gears nothing else? Etc etc etc.

I’m sure whatever I tell you here you will get someone to tell you something else and argue vehemently that they are correct.   So I will state from the outset that these are my opinions and I will try to give you solid understandings of why.

Read more: The Clutch

The Gear Lever

The Gear Lever

You change gear with this, how could it be simpler?

Yeah I know how, clutch, no clutch, how do you know what gear you are in? What gear should I be in? Can I jump a gear? Change down one at a time or a whole bunch?

How does this work?

Read more: The Gear Lever

The Handle Bars

The Handle Bars

Just about every wobbly bit you can throw at a bike hangs off these damn things.  Without them we would be in serious trouble, but most of our serious trouble comes directly as a result of our use of them.

Newton’s third has a field day with us when it comes to the handlebars. They are without a doubt the most powerful control you have on your motorbike and unfortunately we use them more for hanging onto than for any control input.  When we accelerate all our upper body weight goes backwards and we “hang on” to the bars.  When we brake all our upper body weight goes forward and we lockout our arms and push against them.  When we “lean” into a corner we hold onto them to stop ourselves falling off the damn bike and when we straighten up again we use them to pull ourselves back onto the bike.

If you don’t believe me on that last one, try getting yourself off a bike and back again whilst it is stationary without using the handle bars.   Some advice; put a soft mat on the ground!!!

Read more: The Handle Bars

The Footpegs

The Foot pegs

You are probably wondering what on earth I am going to have to say abut the foot pegs.  I mean in what way are they a control?  Now this is one of those moments when being an old bastard pays dividends. 

Back in the 80’s when bike frames were made of recycled rubber bands glued together, you learnt really quickly about the impact you could have on a bikes wobbly bits (the whole thing) but these days the frames and other parts are so good that it’s not until they are under extreme loads that you start to feel the difference.  Trust me at full noise and full lean on a modern superbike it is a really hard time to learn how to use the pegs to load the frame and stop it wobbling!!!

But the pegs do a lot more than that.  They are a very effective tool for controlling your motorcycle and you really need to learn how to use them.

Read more: The Footpegs