How To Master The Art Of Slow-speed Riding: 5 Pro Tips
Speed is not always the most defining parameter of expertise on two-wheels. Sometimes it's more important to be slow and steady. When you are riding in bumper to bumper traffic in countries such as ours, your skills need to be honed for riding slowly and maintaining balance over the motorcycle at the same time. With that in mind, here are five tips to master the art of slow speed riding in a high traffic condition. Know the dynamics of your machine The better you know the dynamics of a motorcycle the more convenient it will be for you to control it even at very slow crawling speeds. Know where the mass of the motorcycle lies. In most cases, the heaviest part is usually placed in the center and lower to the ground but with adventure motorcycles the mass is higher off the ground. Once you start understanding the dynamics of your motorcycle it will be child's play for you to maintain balance over it irrespective of the speed or incline on the road. Bring your body weight into play It's all about balance in the overall weight of the motorcycle in conjunction with your own body weight and the weight that is added due to the presence of fuel inside the motorcycle. Counterbalancing the weight of the motorcycle with your own body weight gives you better stability and control over the motorcycle and will help you maintain slow speed balance quite easily. Learn how to control the bike with your thighs gripping the fuel tank and using your upper body to counterbalance the gravitational pull over the bike. Feather the throttle A common mistake new riders trying to balance the motorcycle make is to use a lot of throttle which launches the bike forward and makes it difficult to maintain balance. Learn how to feather the throttle and give very gentle inputs which will keep the bike moving forward slowly all the while keeping the balance perfect. A common hack used by experts is to place the thumb on a stationary part of the handlebar and use it to lock the throttle in place which ensures a steady flow of fuel to the engine thereby maintaining a slow and predictable engine behavior. Clutch and brake Riding a motorcycle at slow speeds is an art in itself and it needs proper coordination between the three controlling parameters of the motorcycle. We have already mentioned the need to feather the throttle in the previous point, but it is equally important to maintain the balance between the clutch and the brake to create the right amount of tension in the transmission mechanism. The combined physical effect of all of these three inputs is what keeps the motorcycle steady and balanced at low speed. Practice, practice, practice Riding a motorcycle at slow speeds isn't an exact science! You will have to master the art with a lot of trial and error and get better at it in small increments over a period of time. That is why you need to practice riding slowly whenever you get the opportunity. Keep the basics strong and continue to find out more about the dynamic balance between your body and the bike's weight as well as other factors like crosswinds and the amount of fuel or luggage on the vehicle. Always make sure to wear a motorcycle helmet and other riding safety gears and all time to protect yourself irrespective of whether you are going slow or fast.