Motorcycle Slow Control Tips
Facts are facts, it doesn’t matter where you go in the world riders are generally very poor at riding slowly. Regardless of what the early training was like, many riders do not practice slow control and the thought of turning up in a packed car park full of other bikers fills them full of dread and has their heartbeat raised significantly!
So why is it that riders hate it when they have to ride slowly, especially if it is in front of an audience? The simple truth is, they are not confident and they lack the slow-speed skills to feel in control and comfortable.
It’s the same around the world
I have ridden in many different countries and watched riders from around the globe. It doesn’t matter where people come from, the results are exactly the same. Paddling the bike when trying to pull away, looking down at the floor directly in front of the bike, jabbing on the front brake to stop and worst of all using the front brake when there is input into the handlebars.
All of these above issues result in one thing. Dreading it every time they stop, almost falling off and then hating slow riding even more than before. To the extent that it is something that is never practised and avoided at all costs. After all, riding quickly is far easier and much more enjoyable.
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What is the Solution
It’s easy, learn how to do it properly and then practise the skills until it no longer feels like a problem.
There are a number of riding techniques you can use to develop the skills of riding slowly. In fact, the skills are basic and with a bit of guidance, can be mastered fairly quickly.
It gets worse with weight
It gets even worse when the bike is fully loaded when touring abroad and becomes a nightmare when carrying a pillion passenger (which gets worse with more luggage).
The thing you have to realise is that to remain stable you must follow a few basic principles to eliminate the panic that sets in when coming in to stop or riding slowly to negotiate hazards.
Practice makes perfect and you must dedicate some time into the skills that need to be developed. Riding slowly is the weakest part of most motorcyclists, yet they try to avoid doing it because they detest it so much.
What is stopping you?
The only thing preventing you from learning these new skills is fear of dropping the motorcycle, are you!
Find a large car park and make it part of your weekly ride. Practice stopping and pulling away in a straight line using the rear brake and leaving the front brake alone.
As long as you stop and pull away in a straight line, you can perfect this skill and use it every time on the road. As your confidence grows you can improve other areas of slow riding control too.
Written by Simon Hayes