Master the art of riding your motorcycle slowly

Master the art of riding your motorcycle slowly


New Rider: Master the art of riding your motorcycle slowly

By Liam Marsden -

Riding Skills

 07 August 2008 12:09

One of the trickiest skills to learn on a motorcycle is the ability to ride and handle your motorbike at walking pace.

Infact this is the time when novice riders can be most at risk from dropping their motorcycle, particularly if you're trying to execute moves like a U-turn. Here are some tips that should help you master the technique of slow riding.

If you want to practise any of these techniques then make sure you find yourself a safe area, like a quiet car park.

We’ve put the following tips together with help from riding expert Dave Edmondson.

• Back brake. Avoid using the front brake during slow manoeuvring. If you are in the middle of a U-turn and panic grab a handful of the front brake you will almost certainly lock the wheel and the only direction the bike is going to go is down.
Instead trail the back brake. This means constantly applying light pressure to the back brake pedal.

• Throttle. Try to keep the throttle slightly open at all times. Remember the throttle isn’t just to go fast; it’s also a brake if you release it. “Try and keep the throttle constant,” says Dave, “If you feel like you’re going too slow and you’re going to fall over or have to put your foot down, just use the throttle to power out of it and regain the bike’s stability.”

• Clutch. Make sure you’re always slipping the clutch. Never fully engage the clutch because then you lose control of how fast you want to go using the throttle.

• Look. One of the things you will constantly hear in motorcycling is look where you want to go, and it applies as much to normal road riding as it does to slow manoeuvring. “Always make sure you’re looking where you want to go and not directly infront of your front wheel,” says Dave.

Dave Edmondson is from Top Run Motorcycle Training based in Barnsley (01226 282999). If you are a new or inexperienced rider and have any questions about riding or techniques that you would like us to cover in future columns, then contact Liam Marsden at and we’ll do our best to help.

New Rider is presented in association with Just Motorcycle Insurance.