Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Odessa, Washington
That sounds goofy to me. I agree with your concerns - using the clutch sounds like the most difficult, dangerous way to slow down that I can think of.
I took the MSF course this spring and our instructors had a different take. They discouraged slowing the bike down by downshifting because they want you to get in the habit of always applying the front and rear brakes together to maintain maximum control. Their concern was that someone who was in the habit of downshifting would downshift in a corner or in slick conditions, break the back tire loose, and lose control of the bike. I've found out the hard way that downshifting in a corner to slow down is a very bad idea.
I'm a relatively new rider and I have to say that I think they gave good advice. I might downshift one gear when coming to a stop but mostly I use the brakes, pull in the clutch, and downshift all the way to first gear while I come to a stop. I've found that when I get into a tight situation my reaction is to focus on applying the brakes which has worked well so far (I haven't crashed the thing yet).
Never ride faster than your guardian angel can fly.