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This may be a simple one (but that's why I'm asking).

I'm a novice (been riding enduro for a few years) and I think I've got really poor throttle control. It may be because I'm very left handed but I work the clutch all the time and perhaps use it to make up for lack of throttle control. I've already fitted a slow action throttle.

So - Are there any good drills for developing throttle control?

Any pointers for when to stay off the clutch?

Thanks.

Edited by al_orange

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Find a bit of flat ground and ride round in a big 'figure of eight' without using the clutch. Gradually make the turns tighter and when you can do lock to lock without stalling, move to a slope and do the same. It will be as frustrating as all hell to start with but worth the effort.

 

Cheers  

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From watching new riders while scoring, most points are taken from over use of the clutch. You have made a good point, throttle control is very important and is almost a lost art with todays bikes and riding styles. As Paulmac has stated, tight circles are the most basic practice. Good luck.

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It's often more complex than just the throttle. Any given surface has a level of traction but better riders always get more from it.

Look at some video of pipeline in the ssdt. I'd say on this section body position is as important as throttle control. You need to maintain momentum and that is about having enough weight over the rear, absorbin the bumps to keep the rear wheel on the ground, picking the right line and throttle control.

Practicin figure eights is good throttle control practice as mentioned. However to get good traction there's a bit more to it.

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Thanks for the replies.

My issue is that I tend to unconsciously just hold the throttle about 1/2 and modulate the power using the clutch. I tend to do this even when traction is good. Like my right hand just goes from closed to open and nothing in between. Then the bike either bogs from too little throttle or takes off - either way I end up slipping the clutch to control it.

I guess it's just practice but any more structured drills?

One expert rider did tell me to get off the clutch once and that did make me ride much more smoothly.

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I'm not really sold on the idea that there is such a thing as overuse of the clutch on a modern bike. But in any event, if you think your throttle control is bad, set up a section to ride. Ride it how you'd normally ride it. Then say 'NO CLUTCH', and ride the same section and force yourself not to use the clutch.

 

Also, make sure the bike is running well. A dirty carb will cause the bike to want stall as the revs drop, which will really over-emphasize your clutch use if you're compensating for it. A good running bike should be able to creep along in first gear with no clutch and barely any throttle without stalling.

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This is a very interesting topic. I found a big difference moving from my older GG200 to my new Sherco 250 as far as when creeping along with no throttle. The Sherco sort of "chugs" with little surges when going really slow which is not very smooth but it keeps going where the older 200 would have stalled. I would think if you are typically always running at 1/2 throttle you wouldn't be riding super slow but more like quick bursts of clutch then stopping then going again.

On the other end of the scale... on a training day it was demonstrated what opening up full throttle is actually like - scary as hell! You kind of get used to 1/2 throttle being about all you ever need so kind of forget what is possible when you go past that 1/2 throttle point. In my case nothing ever good comes of opening the throttle past 1/2 way but it can be fun trying (when in a controlled practice area with a soft landing area) - LOL!

Edited by michael_t

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Yeah, I think the 1/2 throttle comment is just, well, wrong. No one rides a 270 at half throttle all the time ;)

I suspect he just means a constant small throttle opening. The only time my GG 250 (or any other bike I've ridden) sees half throttle or more is on the loop or clearing some non-insubstantial obstacle, and then only very briefly.

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Maybe gear the bike down by one tooth on the front and learn to ride no clutch? Apart from very tight turns, you shouldn't really need to use the clutch on sportsman/ beginner sections.

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Yeah, I think the 1/2 throttle comment is just, well, wrong. No one rides a 270 at half throttle all the time ;)

I suspect he just means a constant small throttle opening. The only time my GG 250 (or any other bike I've ridden) sees half throttle or more is on the loop or clearing some non-insubstantial obstacle, and then only very briefly.

You're right there. If I knew how much the throttle was open I probably wouldn't have a problem. Lol

I'm ok creeping through sections in first gear it's just that when doing a climb for example, I end up holding the throttle steady and use the clutch more until I either get to the top or fail. I see more skilled riders using half the revs and using the throttle on and off as they go up. Does that make sense?

It may be a hangover from enduro where you can pretty much blast up anything. I'm still astounded at what a trials bike will crawl up in first gear and how few revs are needed.

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I agree with the figure 8's tighter and tighter with no clutch and then move to the same on a hill for the starting point of throttle control.

Once you have this down I would go with making a section and riding it with and without clutch for comparison and then see if you can tighten up the lines as you get better with just the throttle.

Soon you will have a good balance between clutch and throttle and can focus on body position and other things.

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Hi,

 

Some good advice here.

My Mont has so much grunt and instant take off I don't think I have ever used full throttle on the stuff I ride, barely even half throttle.

It'll climb just about any hill I have the guts for without having to rev much at all.

It also takes off for logs and steps without too much of a handful.

So it always amazes me when I see/hear guys reving the nuts off. (Maybe that's the difference between 2T and 4T)

 

My take on your throttle control issue could be that you are struggling with the enduro to trials scenario.

I guess maybe you use the throttle kinda on or off?

 

Try covering the front brake lever with one finger.

If I don't rest a finger on the brake lever, I find, especially when concentrating on new moves, that it is hard to meter in the throttle gently, and therefore it is easy to give it a gob full when you don't intend to.

 

Keeping a finger on the front brake gives me a reference point and it becomes very easy to make tiny adjustments or suddenly wake it up a bit without over doing it.

 

Works for me.

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I'm not really sold on the idea that there is such a thing as overuse of the clutch on a modern bike. 

 Because of our stupid all day dab rules, trials has hundreds of new riders that really have no real control other than pulling in the clutch and hitting the brakes while dabbing. You are not riding the bike anymore, that is overuse of the clutch! People do this over and over in every section and think they are riding trials. Of course all the good riders use the clutch 90% of the time. We are talking new riders, they think the clutch is there best friend. When in reality every time they use it, a dab or two is the result. Most never learn throttle control, just panic, pull in the clutch and dab. I could take pictures all day long tomorrow at our event of this happening.  

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Because of our stupid all day dab rules, trials has hundreds of new riders that really have no real control other than pulling in the clutch and hitting the brakes while dabbing. You are not riding the bike anymore, that is overuse of the clutch! People do this over and over in every section and think they are riding trials. Of course all the good riders use the clutch 90% of the time. We are talking new riders, they think the clutch is there best friend. When in reality every time they use it, a dab or two is the result. Most never learn throttle control, just panic, pull in the clutch and dab. I could take pictures all day long tomorrow at our event of this happening.

I definitely scooted my way to a 3 through 2 of the sections last week. That was more to do with balance than clutch control but I know what you mean.

I'm doing a trial tomorrow so I'll see if I can try some sections without touching the clutch.

I definitely use the clutch to hold the bike back when it starts getting away from me and that's a hangover from enduro for sure. This lack of throttle control hurtd my enduro riding too so it's not just a carry over but it has a more obvious affect in trials.

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Because of our stupid all day dab rules, trials has hundreds of new riders that really have no real control other than pulling in the clutch and hitting the brakes while dabbing. You are not riding the bike anymore, that is overuse of the clutch! People do this over and over in every section and think they are riding trials. Of course all the good riders use the clutch 90% of the time. We are talking new riders, they think the clutch is there best friend. When in reality every time they use it, a dab or two is the result. Most never learn throttle control, just panic, pull in the clutch and dab. I could take pictures all day long tomorrow at our event of this happening.

Fair enough. I wasn't really thinking total novice.

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