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Holding in clutch while braking = bad habit?

Posted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 9:43 pm
by HungPower
When I used to drive my stickshift car, or even any manual car for that matter, everytime I brake, I would find my self holding in the clutch. If i needed to accelerate or maintain a speed, I would just go up to the friction point and then release. But then I realized that as I started to ride a motorcycle, everytime I brake I would also hold in the clutch and follow the same habits. For example, say if I was to start braking, I'd hold in the clutch as I would brake but if I had to continue on, I would slowly let out the clutch and give it some gas. Now if I still needed to brake harder I would hold in the clutch continuiously and then downshift if necessary. Now just wondering, does anyone else do this or do I need to fix my habit?

Posted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 9:59 pm
by ofblong
Your supposed to use your brakes?

Honestly the only time I brake and clutch at the same time is when I am slowing down to a certain point (like I get down to 20mph so I go from 3rd to 2nd). Otherwise I just take hand of the throttle and brake if I have to (which on a normal ride I barely ever ahve to brake). Same with when my wife was teachign me to drive a stick shift car (whcih I still cant figure out the hill thing on those). No point in pushing in the clutch unless you have to really slow down a great deal to where you absolutely need to downshift. I always keep my clutch covered when I am slowing down but dont use it unless I have to.

Posted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 10:06 pm
by VermilionX
when im slowing down/braking... i only use the clutch when or if im gonna downshift.

otherwise, i use just the brake.

plus, you get more stopping power since engine breaking is also present if you don't use the clutch.


oh and i dunno if always using the clutch before braking is bad habit... i think it's just a different way of doing things.

what does the MSF teach about this?

i don't remember since i don't follow eveything they teach anyway. like braking... i follow what "sport riding techniques" teaches ...i use the rear then followed quickly by the front. MSF teaches use both at the same time.

Posted: Thu Aug 24, 2006 1:22 am
by shane-o
There comes a point when ya need to clutch in order to save the bike from stalling, when your slowing down or cdown shifting gears.

but

You gain maximum braking when the engine is under load, than you get if you disengage by clutching then braking. Also an advantage is you need less brake to stop the bike which means less stress on the front wheel (if your using front to stop of course:))

Posted: Thu Aug 24, 2006 7:06 am
by HungPower
Yeah you see, because for a car, there is no engine compression so I would always hold in the clutch for no apparent reason =\. Actually, to switch gears quickly if ever need to be I guess, but you're right, I guess with a motorcycle it's more preferable to not hold in the cluthc and have engine compression help with the braking.

Posted: Thu Aug 24, 2006 7:50 am
by Andrew
No engine compression on a car? Not true. You can engine brake in a car just the same.

I actually have the same problem of disengaging the engine every time I do any significant braking. Maybe this is a common thing for people who have driven nothing but manual transmission.

The only time I feel it's really a bad thing on a bike is going through a curve/corner. You're supposed to accellerate through the turn, and if the engine isn't already engaged and you find yourself engaging it in the middle of the turn, you have to been extremely smooth at the friction point to keep good traction.

It's hard to break those old habits from driving my truck. :frusty:

Posted: Thu Aug 24, 2006 8:12 am
by jonnythan
Andrew wrote:No engine compression on a car? Not true. You can engine brake in a car just the same.

I actually have the same problem of disengaging the engine every time I do any significant braking. Maybe this is a common thing for people who have driven nothing but manual transmission.
I do the same thing, but I'm only a recent convert to manual transmission cars. Unless I know I'll be staying in the same gear throughout the turn (or whatever), I go on the clutch when doing any significant braking. The vast majority of the time, I'm going to be in a different gear when I start accelerating, and I've always figured brake pads are cheaper than engine rebuilds ;)

I found myself doing the same thing on my bike last night, but I just have to make sure I'm back in gear as I start the turn after braking. Trying to do it less.

Posted: Thu Aug 24, 2006 9:20 am
by DieMonkeys
Andrew wrote:No engine compression on a car? Not true. You can engine brake in a car just the same.

I actually have the same problem of disengaging the engine every time I do any significant braking. Maybe this is a common thing for people who have driven nothing but manual transmission.

The only time I feel it's really a bad thing on a bike is going through a curve/corner. You're supposed to accellerate through the turn, and if the engine isn't already engaged and you find yourself engaging it in the middle of the turn, you have to been extremely smooth at the friction point to keep good traction.

It's hard to break those old habits from driving my truck. :frusty:
I may have those same problems as well. I drove a manual transmission truck for three years until I completely tore up the spidergears in the rear. Now when I drive my automatic car I find myself reaching for a nonexistant gearshift and clutch every time I slow down.

I used the engine to slow down my truck all the time, I could stop on a dime faster than people with automatics by doing that.

We'll see what I do when I get my bike.

Posted: Thu Aug 24, 2006 12:17 pm
by roscowgo
I don't enjoy the smell of fused clutch plates. I stay offa the thing unless im coming to a stop, shifting, or pulling out.

Posted: Thu Aug 24, 2006 7:09 pm
by Nalian
I thought one of the advantages of a wet clutch was that it could be ridden a bit more, vs dry like most cars have? I only ride the clutch if I have to stop short, otherwise I try to downshift - but I don't think it actually hurts anything to ride it a bit. Or is that completely wrong?

yeaho!

Posted: Thu Aug 24, 2006 7:43 pm
by misfits9095
my understanding is that riding a clutch causes a great deal of wear and shortens the life of the diaphram (sp?) springs as well as the clutch plate. atleast that was what i was told when i purchased my last car.

Re: yeaho!

Posted: Thu Aug 24, 2006 8:16 pm
by jonnythan
misfits9095 wrote:my understanding is that riding a clutch causes a great deal of wear and shortens the life of the diaphram (sp?) springs as well as the clutch plate. atleast that was what i was told when i purchased my last car.
According to my MSF instructors, car clutches are quite different from motorcycle clutches. Bike clutches are made to withstand the wear and tear of slipping, so it's not a problem to use clutch control to help regulate power to the rear wheel, especially in lower gears where the throttle is touchy and can lead to jerking.

Re: yeaho!

Posted: Thu Aug 24, 2006 8:52 pm
by Shorts
jonnythan wrote:
misfits9095 wrote:my understanding is that riding a clutch causes a great deal of wear and shortens the life of the diaphram (sp?) springs as well as the clutch plate. atleast that was what i was told when i purchased my last car.
According to my MSF instructors, car clutches are quite different from motorcycle clutches. Bike clutches are made to withstand the wear and tear of slipping, so it's not a problem to use clutch control to help regulate power to the rear wheel, especially in lower gears where the throttle is touchy and can lead to jerking.
+1, that's what I've been told as well. I too initially had the same concerns about riding the clutch and whatnot on the motorcycle.

Re: yeaho!

Posted: Thu Aug 24, 2006 8:58 pm
by jonnythan
Shorts wrote:+1, that's what I've been told as well. I too initially had the same concerns about riding the clutch and whatnot on the motorcycle.
To elaborate a little more, among my three instructors, none of them could think of anyone they know who has had to get a clutch replaced on a bike that hasn't been crashed.. including the course bikes that live in first and second gears with the clutches half engaged.

Posted: Thu Aug 24, 2006 9:39 pm
by HungPower
Oh i see. So I guess the consensus is to stay off the clutch while on a curve to stay in acceleration eh? I guess I hold in the clutch until I lean and then I friction point the rest of the way with a maintenance throttle. But I guess that won't do =\

Posted: Thu Aug 24, 2006 9:46 pm
by VermilionX
HungPower wrote:Oh i see. So I guess the consensus is to stay off the clutch while on a curve to stay in acceleration eh? I guess I hold in the clutch until I lean and then I friction point the rest of the way with a maintenance throttle. But I guess that won't do =\
you don't need the clutch when you're doing maintenance throttle while cornering.

Posted: Thu Aug 24, 2006 9:46 pm
by jonnythan
HungPower wrote:Oh i see. So I guess the consensus is to stay off the clutch while on a curve to stay in acceleration eh? I guess I hold in the clutch until I lean and then I friction point the rest of the way with a maintenance throttle. But I guess that won't do =\
Have you taken the MSF class?

Slow, look lean and roll ;) Roll on the throttle into and through the turn to maximize traction.

Re: yeaho!

Posted: Thu Aug 24, 2006 11:29 pm
by rapidblue
jonnythan wrote:
misfits9095 wrote:my understanding is that riding a clutch causes a great deal of wear and shortens the life of the diaphram (sp?) springs as well as the clutch plate. atleast that was what i was told when i purchased my last car.
According to my MSF instructors, car clutches are quite different from motorcycle clutches. Bike clutches are made to withstand the wear and tear of slipping, so it's not a problem to use clutch control to help regulate power to the rear wheel, especially in lower gears where the throttle is touchy and can lead to jerking.
+1 using the clutch makes for a nice smooth ride.

Posted: Fri Aug 25, 2006 6:19 am
by spinner
I slip the clutch the most when taking off from a stop. Also need to slip it if I'm doing a U-turn type maneuver. Besides that, I only slip it a tiny it bit during shifting to make the transition to the next gear a smooth one.

Posted: Fri Aug 25, 2006 12:42 pm
by Shenanigans7
The Crimson RiderĀ® wrote: what does the MSF teach about this?

when i took the MSF course in November, they taught us to only cover the clutch, but not use it unless you absolutely needed to downshift. i use the same technique when i drive my manual '86 toyota truck...however, they did emphasize that when we do quickstops to hold the clutch in, so that you can quickly go to first and take off again in case of emergency.