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Discussion Starter #1
On some steep downhills full of twisties where there's just no right gear I have maximum control if I pull in the clutch, coast, and use the brakes gently and sporadically. I'm talking for a full minute or more on some stretches. Is this bad for the bike?
 

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Keep in mind your clutch is a wear part just like brakes.

Would you hesitate to use your brakes because they wear out?

Use your clutch, don't worry too much about it. As long as your doing it correctly it will wear very slowly anyway.

'njoy,
awk
 

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On some steep downhills full of twisties where there's just no right gear I have maximum control if I pull in the clutch, coast, and use the brakes gently and sporadically. I'm talking for a full minute or more on some stretches. Is this bad for the bike?
your going to really hurt yourselve coasting through fast to even
moderate turns if i understand you correctly.
you have much more control in general with the bike in gear.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
your going to really hurt yourselve coasting through fast to even
moderate turns if i understand you correctly.
you have much more control in general with the bike in gear.
If you can find the right gear for the grade, yeah. Otherwise the handling is smoother coasting - the thing handles like a big bicycle. Maybe it's just me and all perception but I felt the same way on much heavier bikes (my old Nighthawk 750).
 

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Downshift into 3rd gear or even 2nd gear if the hill is steep or the turns are tight. Be sure to blip the throttle to rev match the engine to the transmission speed so you do not lock up the rear wheel and skid when downshifting.
The engine will act as a natural brake helping you to maintain a constant speed when you are in a lower gear and also saving premature wear on your brake pads.
 

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There is a correct gear. You just have to find it or switch to it. The one that puts just a little engine braking into the mix should work. That way you can still accelerate positively and negatively without upsetting the bike. I am no expert but the thought of flying down hill while holding the clutch in makes my stomach churn. Not a good idea.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Acceleration from gravity is constant. Throw engine braking and throttle into it and nothing is constant no matter how smooth the bike. Again, probably just me but whether it's a 350 pound bike or a 500 pound bike I have a much finer level of control when using only the front and rear brakes on a steep downhill (using engine braking for really, really steep downhills). For those of you in the SF Bay Area try this on Tunitas Creek road and see how it works.
 

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I'm talking for a full minute or more on some stretches. Is this bad for the bike?
Answer to question is no won't hurt bike. As far as saftey goes the same people who say your going to hurt yourself are either conservative or inexperienced. As long as your not new to riding or putting someone else in jeopardy do want you want
 

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Nor-Cal may have a point but I say it is not a good idea for several reasons which I believe to be factually correct. I think:
1. You are not going to be able to stop/slow as quickly w/o engine braking.
2. Brakes will fade and not be as effective if you have to ride them down a hill.
3. Autos and cycles have higher inertia or greater holding power when a gear is engaged. I remember reading about a test regarding this long ago. The difference was significant and I remember trying to verify this in my '77 vw rabbit years ago. Who knows if the source was reliable. An automag I think.
4. Seems unnatural to have the clutch pulled in - plus you would have to make sure you are in the right gear if you picked up too much speed on your descent.

Anyway, having said all that, I am definitely going to try it out this evening to experience what you are talking about. Looking forward to it.
 

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Btw, my post was strictly referring to clutch use. I did mention using it correctly, but didn't really read as closely as I should.

For those of us who live in mountainous areas, we all know it's better to use engine braking on hills. Brakes overheat pretty fast and fade.

When I first read that I thought you were referring to shifting while going uphill. My bad.

'njoy,
awk
 

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why would you not use engine braking to maintain your speed? coasting downhill with the clutch in is a bad habit, but it wont physically hurt the motorcycle unless you throw it on the ground when you let the clutch back out and the rear tire locks up.
 

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Ok, so I was lucky enough to get to ride about 70mi. this afternoon. Riding down hill with the clutch in was very strange. At first it felt pretty cool. You couldn't hear the engine at all and it seemed very much like you were on a very big and very, very heavy bicycle. I did get the sensation that I didn't have nearly as much control without using the engine to my advantage. Maybe it was just in my head but it didn't feel right
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Ok, so I was lucky enough to get to ride about 70mi. this afternoon. Riding down hill with the clutch in was very strange. At first it felt pretty cool. You couldn't hear the engine at all and it seemed very much like you were on a very big and very, very heavy bicycle. I did get the sensation that I didn't have nearly as much control without using the engine to my advantage. Maybe it was just in my head but it didn't feel right
Feels smoother to me. If it's really as dangerous as people suggest I guess its a wonder that it's legal to ride bicycles down the same grades we take our motorcycles. I've seen bicycles go down some steep twisties in the Santa Cruz Mountains (Kings Mountain Road, Tunitas Creek Road) at speeds I probably wouldn't be comfortable with on my CBR.
I don't feel inclined (pardon the pun) to do it on really steep grades. But on certain long stretches of milder grades I get a sensation of greater control. This could be due to learning and riding on carburated bikes which were just never that smooth in gear.
 

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My $0.02

The throttle is your direct connection to the tires & weight distribution between the front and the rear. The throttle is your direct connection to traction.
The throttle when used correctly is your best friend.

When the clutch is pulled in, your best friend (Mr. Throttle) is rendered useless.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
My $0.02

The throttle is your direct connection to the tires & weight distribution between the front and the rear. The throttle is your direct connection to traction.
The throttle when used correctly is your best friend.

When the clutch is pulled in, your best friend (Mr. Throttle) is rendered useless.
Maybe this will cause even more tongue clucking but if I'm forced to go through a patch of gravel, mud, or leaves I also do that with the clutch pulled in (after first slowing). It's much easier to avoid any variation in speed that might cause slippage.
 

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Maybe this will cause even more tongue clucking but if I'm forced to go through a patch of gravel, mud, or leaves I also do that with the clutch pulled in (after first slowing). It's much easier to avoid any variation in speed that might cause slippage.
Get thee to an MSF Advanced Rider Course or spend some time on the track. Clutch in means you've lost control of the rear.
 
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