Did My Title get your attention
Membership in this club has its privileges. It is called the Smooth Riding Club.
So how does one become part of the smooth riding club? What are the requirements for membership? Simple just be committed to continual improvements and safer riding. In this club we don’t need people who are ignorant and inconsiderate of others, but what I really mean here is that members in this club are consistently smooth and precise. No jerks, no clunks, no head banging, no abrupt and jarring moves. How can one get the keys to the smooth riding clubhouse? Well I will let you in on a few club secrets.
READ THE ROAD AHEAD Getting your eyes up and looking farther ahead means you can eliminate the constant steering corrections that are common when riders focus just a few yards ahead of the front fender. Looking farther ahead also helps you anticipate activity up ahead, allowing you to eliminate surprises and respond smoothly and calmly to developing circumstances.
MAINTAIN A LIGHT TOUCH. The smoothest riders keep a very light touch on the handlebars and guide the bike with subtle inputs instead of steering the bike with forceful, tight-fisted stabs and tense,stiff arms. Lightly and tenderly movements is key.
MAKE BRAKING ULTRA-SMOOTH. Most riders could benefit by improving their braking transitions. Skilled riders recognize the need to allow smooth weight transfer from the rear wheel to the front during braking, and then back to the rear again as throttle is reapplied. To avoid bouncing the suspension like a pogo stick and accomplish a smooth transition, a minimum of 3-4 seconds should be allotted for braking, allowing sufficient time for smooth brake application and release (longer,if greater braking effort is applied). Think of braking like squeezing someone’s hand. Don’t grab. Instead, use a progressive squeeze and a polite release.
EXECUTE SEAMLESS UPSHIFTS. What is the trick for smooth up shifting? Three overlapping steps and regular practice. Start by pre loading the shift lever with your boot (you are wearing boots, right?). Apply just enough pressure to suggest the shift, not enough to cause an actual shift to occur without disengaging the clutch. Secondly, when your ready to make the shift, gently squeeze the clutch lever just far enough to be in the friction zone. ( You do know what is the friction zone is?).
It’s not all the way to the handlebar. The pre load shift lever will slip effortlessly into the higher gear. Thirdly, reestablish smooth and steady throttle as you ease the clutch back out of the friction zone for a silky smooth and silent up shift.
MAKE SILENT DOWNSHIFTS. The mark of a truly proficient rider is how he or she executes ultra- smooth down shifts with no clunks, jerks and no”turtle kisses” ( This is when riders and passenger bump helmets). In addition to pre loading the shift lever as described in up shifting, the trick is to match engine rpm with the gear you’ll be shifting to. How? Some riders blip the throttle as they squeeze the clutch lever. I prefer to hold the throttle steady in place of rolling off the throttle during the shift. I then squeeze the clutch lever only enough to allow the shift lever to snick into the lower gear (don’t squeeze the lever all the way to the handlebar). With practice, every down shift will be marked only by a change in engine sound, not by clunks and jerks. By dedicating efforts to work on these key techniques, you will not only see a marked improvement in your ability to ride more smoothly and expertly, you’ll be among the distinguished membership of the smooth riding club, And that’s not a bad club to be in. After all, there are no jerks allowed.
Keep The Contact Patch Between The Lines
National Road Captain
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ASR Ohio District Coordinator and National Road Captain at Azusa StreetRiders Motorcycle Ministry
Michael Theodore is married to Laureen, and both are devoted followers of Jesus Christ. Michael serves the Azusa StreetRiders Motorcycle Ministry as both National Road Captain and as Ohio District Coordinator. He is passionate not only about riding, but also using motorcycles as a witnessing tool to affect souls for the Lord Jesus.