when to (and not to) use clutch? - Star Motorcycle Forums: Star Raider, V-Max, V-Star, Road-Star Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-10-2015, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
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when to (and not to) use clutch?

so i feel like ive gotten basic riding down in my 3 months of owning my 250, but now im kind of curious about the use of clutch outside of shifting.

there are a few moments i've tried to use it as a natural instinct, where i've failed and succeeded:

1) when slowing down/stopping. i hold the clutch in while downshifting, typically all the way to first, second when appropriate. (in the event of stopped traffic on green with a LOT of distance, i'll avoid this and alternate between breaking and engine breaking so im not too far under or over-revving, but this is pretty uncommon)

2) at a dead stop. typically i hold the clutch for the duration of a red light, unless i JUST missed the green on a busy street and there are pedestrians crossing (2+ minutes stopped). at this point i switch to neutral.

3) in a turn. this was a fail. no need to respond to this, but im adding it for any other new riders. sometimes a car in front of me feels the need to break pretty hard in a turn. driving a manual CAR im used to hitting the clutch on instinct, along with break. when doing this i noticed i had FAR less control over my turn angle, so now in this situation i take my time in corners when anyone is in front of me. otherwise i'll just take the turn as i normally would.

4) going downhill. i really just dont like to hear my bike revving when it doesnt need to be. i usually hold in the clutch to avoid unnecessary engine breaking, or just upshift without using any throttle.

thats all i can think of for now, i'll update if i think of more...

but am i using the clutch right? is there any benefit to holding it for extended periods or does it actually do more harm in the long run?
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-11-2015, 06:03 PM
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unless you're in neutral, any time you're stopped you want to hold in the clutch. when going very slowly in 1st or 2nd gear, you can ride the friction zone of the clutch in conjunction with some throttle when needed. when going slowly in those low gears, you need the clutch in when the RPMs of each gear is really low so you're engine doesn't stall out. you're not going to harm the clutch due to 'overuse'. that's what it's there for.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-12-2015, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Reala728 View Post

but am i using the clutch right? is there any benefit to holding it for extended periods or does it actually do more harm in the long run?
Think of the clutch as a variable control, just like the throttle and the breaks and your steering input and your body movement. You can use it in all sorts of circumstances besides just shifting including, as bevo mentioned, the all important friction zone. You can use it in a corner to take off just a touch, or adding a touch, of drive rather than going to breaks or getting more on or off the gas. Point being it is not an on/off control which is what most folks struggle with learning bikes; getting comfortable riding the clutch and using it in ways you're taught not to in a car.

Also, you should have been taught that at any stop, you keep it in first gear and stay aware of behind you as well as front and sides in case you need to move in an emergency thus, you'll be holding the clutch in as a matter of course.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-12-2015, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Larry Gude View Post
Think of the clutch as a variable control, just like the throttle and the breaks and your steering input and your body movement. You can use it in all sorts of circumstances besides just shifting including, as bevo mentioned, the all important friction zone. You can use it in a corner to take off just a touch, or adding a touch, of drive rather than going to breaks or getting more on or off the gas. Point being it is not an on/off control which is what most folks struggle with learning bikes; getting comfortable riding the clutch and using it in ways you're taught not to in a car.

Also, you should have been taught that at any stop, you keep it in first gear and stay aware of behind you as well as front and sides in case you need to move in an emergency thus, you'll be holding the clutch in as a matter of course.
I can't add much to what Larry said except that, feathering the clutch is a learned skill as with using any of the other controls on the bike. Take the classes and practice in a safe environment. Augie

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-13-2015, 07:45 AM
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I can't add much to what Larry said except that, feathering the clutch is a learned skill as with using any of the other controls on the bike. Take the classes and practice in a safe environment. Augie
LOL I wish I could have made the point as well with so few words!!
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-14-2015, 09:01 AM
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I was always shown to use the clutch pulled in at a stop. any more than 20 to 30 seconds ,find neutral.

On my vstar I find that the clutch starts to feel somewhat vague with extended use at low rpm or in traffic moving slowly or stop and go.

It has improved feel with the Barnett clutch springs.

Living in flat Florida taking off going up hill or down hill is not common.
But I can see where a novice rider might have trouble with this.
Taking off uphill from a stop is far more difficult than down hill.
Similar to what you do in a car with a manual transmission.
Manually holding the front brake while letting the clutch out easy
with a little more than minimal throttle.
It takes some trial and error efforts best done off the road if you can
during practice sessions.

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-14-2015, 02:21 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for all the input guys. Its good to know that the clutch is more variable and built for constant use that's mostly what I was worried about.
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