Cross Training: Dropping the Clutch

Cross Training: Dropping the Clutch

Author: Media/Monday, March 21, 2016/Categories: State News

Dropping the clutch to get wheelspin and roost is a favourite when we first start dirt riding as it takes very little skill. But in Trials riding, wheelspin is a cardinal sin and yet Trials riders are dropping the clutch all the time.

This controlled dropping of the clutch takes a lot of skill to get maximum drive with minimum wheelspin, and it forms the foundation for many techniques in extreme Enduro riding, whether it is jumping gaps, wheelies, pivoting over logs, or jumping up vertical banks.

A good basic exercise is to take off on an incline with a slippery surface, such as mud, gravel or dust on a rock face. The trick is to weight the pegs as you release the clutch by straightening your legs. This weight pushes the tyre into the ground and creates more tread contact with the ground.

This may look easy, but it takes careful balance of the throttle and clutch, which needs to be timed with your weighting of the footpegs.

As your body gets higher, this raises your centre of gravity so the bike is more likely to go into a wheelie so you may need to apply less throttle once your legs are straight.

At other times this tendency to wheelie can be handy when tackling a very steep bank or rock face.

You need to lift the front wheel to tackle the face, so you can keep accelerating even though your higher centre of gravity is causing the front wheel to lift. As the front wheel hits the steep face your suspension will compress which allows you to keep accelerating up the steep bank.  

As you get better control over the clutch and weighting the pegs, try this controlled dropping the clutch when tackling larger logs and other obstacles.

To see this technique in action, watch this video.

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