A motorcycle has a wet clutch, which means it both slides and is cooled by the engine oil. Its ok to let the clutch slip - you wont burn the clutch unless you rev the hell out of the engine and hold it in the friction zone slipping for a long time.
Practice using the friction zone by putting both feet on the ground, release the pressure on the clutch lever till the bike starts to pull forward against your feet about a foot. Put more pressure on the clutch lever and push the bike back with your feet to where it was.
Do this several times - let the pressure off the lever till you just feel the bike pulling forwards a foot, put pressure back on and push the bike back.... this lets you "find" the friction zone and get a feel for it.
You should be able to do this without giving it any throttle, if you do it gently. Its ok to give the engine a little bit of throttle when it starts to pull.
If you are doing this with no throttle its always possible to stall the bike, because you are loading it up too quickly.
Normally you are going to give the bike throttle as you take off - you are not going to ride the bike around at idle speed. That takes a bit of practice - find the friction zone where it starts to pull, smoothly give it a little gas as you let the pressure off the clutch lever and the clutch engages more and more.
what you dont want to do is find the friction zone, just starting to pull, and then dump the clutch lever out all the way - you will stall the engine every time, or if you give it a lot of gas you will spin the back wheel - or on a small bike you will do an unwanted wheelie.
BTW, if you are not sure if your bike is running correctly and you are having a difficult time taking off from a stop, duck walk the bike up to 3mph and then let the clutch out in 1st gear, get the bike going, then let it slow down to about 3mph with no throttle, then speed back up. Riding with no throttle is called 'clutch speed'. If the bike wont accelerate with the clutch fully engaged from 3mph, you need to run some SeaFoam thru your gas (walmart auto fluids shelf - follow the directions on the can - $10).
Also - if you stop for a red light and you keep stalling the bike, its in 2nd or 3rd gear. Always downshift to first while the bike is still rolling - 10mph or faster. If you try to downshift to 1st with the bike stopped, there are some tooth to tooth gear positions where the bike will not shift down. Then you need to pull the clutch in and roll the bike forwards a bit while you shift down.
when you are slowing down to stop and shifting down, if you lost your place of what gear you are in, shifting from 2nd into first sounds a little different than the other 4 downshifts - a bit of a clunk into 1st. You will get use to the sound and recognize it after a while.
Last edited by KCW; 08-30-2018 at 08:07 AM.