Riding Skills: riding slowly with less wobbling

By Peter Baker -

Riding Skills

 03 July 2009 17:32

Q: I'm a confident rider at normal speeds but when I’m in slow moving traffic or turning in the road I constantly feel like I’m about to drop my bike. It’s even worse when the bike is loaded with luggage or I’m carrying a pillion. 

A: The secret to slow speed riding confidence is using the clutch and rear brake as one control. To practice, find a flat, deserted car park and in first gear, trundle along at walking pace. Now softly apply the rear brake and at the same time partially disengage the clutch and raise the revs. You’re basically slipping the clutch and making the engine pull against the rear brake. Think of it as trying to keep a piece of string taught. Don’t touch the front brake at all unless you need to stop. By keeping the revs higher the engine is working in a more efficient, controllable way and the rear brake doesn’t upset the suspension.