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6 tips to help your throttle control 24/02/2020
Throttle control is crucial for any rider, whether on the road or on the race track. However, what many people don’t understand is that the result of good

Throttle control is crucial for any rider, whether on the road or on the race track. However, what many people don’t understand is that the result of good throttle control is more than just speeding up and slowing down. Experienced riders use the throttle to stabilise their bike allowing for a safer and more enjoyable experience. Follow on below as we go through 6 tips to help you achieve good throttle control and you won’t look back. 

  1. Stabilise your bike

Weighing a static motorcycle on scales revels that the weight distribution front to rear is 50/50. Seat a rider on a static bike and the weight distribution stays the same. Now consider the contact patch sizes. The rear is larger and the front is smaller- the distribution between the contact patches as a percentage is roughly 60 rear & 40 front. There is a disparity between the weight distribution 50/50 & the contact patch sizes 60/40. Good throttle control is key to shifting weight from front to rear so that the contact patches are satisfied stabilizing the bike. Anything other than good throttle control while cornering and you are reducing the available traction by either over loading or under loading one of the contact patches.

 

  1. Line prediction

Is line important to a rider- you bet! A stable bike will hold a stable or predicable line. Good throttle control is what stabilizes the bike so once the bike is pointed where you want it to head, apply good throttle control. You can be confident in knowing where you will end up later in the turn. 

 

  1. How much throttle

The correct amount of throttle is the key to line prediction. Apply the correct amount and your bike will be stable and the line predicable. Don’t roll on enough or pause with the roll on, the bike will slow due to the cornering forces and the line will tighten. Roll on too much and the additional centrifugal force will widen the line. 

If you get too aggressive with the roll on, you may experience a loss of traction- a rear wheel slide. An inexperienced rider’s solution to a slide is to panic and close the throttle. The result is traction being regained instantly, the rider is thrown out of the seat or in an extreme case  high sides. The correct use of the throttle in a slide is to pause on the gas- don’t roll it on or off- this allows there rear wheel to recover traction at a more gradual rate and the issue will resolve. Modern bikes have traction control, though not full proof it does provide a safety net if you make a mistake with the throttle. 

 

  1. Tyre pressure 

Always ensure that your ride is good to go before taking to the road or the track. In particular, check the tyre pressures as this directly impacts the handling of your motorcycle.

Road riding pressures are higher than track pressures- roughly 38 PSI front and 42 PSI rear. Heavier motorcycles also steer better in road riding situations when tyre pressures are at manufacturers recommended pressure. Tyre life is optimised, particularly if you do a lot of commuting or motorway miles. 

Track riders are looking for outright grip, the trade-off is tyre life. Tyre pressures are reduced providing a bigger contact patch both front and rear. The tyre carcass deforms more so the tyre heats at a faster rate- warm tyres= more grip.  

Our standard tyre pressure setting at California Superbike School for our student’s is 30 PSI front & rear. This is a good track base setting for most tyres.

Tip: Always check the tyre manufacturers recommended tyre pressures for road and track use, or check with an expert for assistance.   

 

  1. Bike set up

Having your bike set up for the type of riding you do is essential to be in comfortable control of the bike. On the road, if your bike is too stiff or too soft it will be reactive to surface imperfections. As well as being uncomfortable, it will be hard to ride well. If the rider is uncomfortable on the bike, it is likely to affect their riding including their throttle control. 

Most stock bikes are easily set up for rider weight and riding style by simply adjusting the pre-load and dampening of the stock suspension.

Race bikes are a different story, they are set up stiffer to compensate for the forces they need to deal with- suspension set up is critical. Rider weights are taken in consideration when selecting spring rates. Spring rates, preload settings and dampening settings can vary circuit to circuit where racers are looking for maximum edge grip front & rear.

Tip: Set your bike up to suit you, as well as adjusting your suspension, consider moving your controls into the right position and maybe fit rear sets to suit your leg length. After all it is your bike- would you wear a pair of jeans that don’t fit?

 

  1. Train with professionals 

These tips are a great starting point for anyone looking to improve their speed, safety and overall enjoyment while riding. However, the best way to take your skills to the next level is by working with an expert team of coaches. At the California Superbike School, our trained professionals help students to improve their technique. We break it down one step at a time:  with classroom briefings, on-track demonstration & observations, off track drills, personalised feedback and more. We boast a ratio of 1 coach to every 3 students for on-track sessions and we cater to all levels of ability- from beginners to racers.  

Contact our team today

Get in touch with the California Superbike School to find out more about what we offer. Call today on 0456 005 554 or send through an email to info@superbikeschool.com.au


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