Motorman answers your questions in this month’s article!

Motorman’s Tips, Tricks, and Techniques – March 2018

Between my videos, my weekly tips on YouTube and my monthly articles, I get plenty of questions via email.  When I start to get some of the same questions over and over, it’s time to take the top three and put them in this monthly column.

Lately, I get a lot of riders asking if the techniques, head and eyes, the friction zone and the use of the rear brake will work on the new Goldwing with an automatic (DCT) transmission, since it has no clutch, thus, no friction zone.

Well, of course!  Head and eyes, i.e., turning your head and eyes and looking in the direction you want to go always works and has nothing to do with what type of transmission you have in your bike.  In fact, it works with motorcycles, cars, skiing, and even surfing.  You will go where you’re looking.

Since there’s no clutch to worry about, for the most control at low speeds, bring the throttle up a bit and put a little pressure on the rear brake to help stabilize the bike at low speeds.

A few weeks ago, a rider with a Yamaha FJ1300 with the auto transmission came to my class and I tried his bike out.  I found that using 3rd gear, along with a little throttle and a bit of pressure on the rear brake made making tight, low speed, maneuvers very easy.  Using 1st or 2nd gear with the Yamaha’s sensitive throttle was more difficult, but 3rd gear was the charm.  On the Goldwing, see which gear works the best for you.

The next question I get a lot is, will using the friction zone cause excessive wear and tear on the clutch?  Well, if you keep your throttle at 1500 rpms and light pressure on the clutch as I advise in my Ride Like a Pro video, the answer is NO, it will not cause excessive wear on the clutch.  Motorcycle clutches are cooled with oil and designed to be slipped at low speeds.  The better you get at manipulating the clutch and throttle, the less pressure you’ll need on the rear brake.  With enough practice with the friction zone, you’ll probably notice you can eliminate the rear brake and still be in perfect control of your bike.

The thing that causes excessive wear on the clutch is revving too high while in the friction zone and putting a lot of pressure on the rear brake.  Since the clutch is a wear item, eventually, you will have to replace your clutch.  I recommend Barnett clutches.  I use them on my training bikes that get a lot of abuse and they last twice as long as the stock clutch and usually cost less than a stock unit.

The next most popular question is, “I know I’m not supposed to use the front brake when making low speed turns, but my bike has linked brakes, when I use the rear brake, it applies front brake too; what am I supposed to do?”  First, let me say that Harley’s linked brakes are not linked until 20 to 25mph.  Since low speed turns and maneuvers are below 15mph, Harley’s linked system has no effect on the technique.

On most other bikes equipped with linked brakes, putting light pressure on the rear brake has very little effect on the front brake.  If you’re using so much pressure on the rear brake that you can feel it affecting the front brake, you’re pressing way too hard.  So, cut that out!

If you have a question, shoot me an email,  To receive my weekly YouTube tips, subscribe to my YouTube channel, Ride Like a Pro, Jerry Palladino.  You will be notified whenever I post up a new video.

Till next month, get out there and practice!

I’ll be performing with my Ride Like a Pro team at the Leesburg 2018 Bike Fest in Leesburg Florida April 27th – 29th.  We’ll be in our regular spot, the USB Bank parking lot, so, bring some friends, enjoy our shows, and have some fun while watching the team whip our bikes around like a bunch of Pro’s!

Jerry “Motorman” Palladino

Copyright 2018

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