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Kane

Keeping the Clutch Disengaged / Bike in 1st at a Stoplight

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Heard tires squealing behind me in a line of traffic at a light.  Was in gear, made a quick move towards the curb and watched the car behind me smash into the one in front of me.   I usually sit in gear unless it's a really long light.

 

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Not good for any part of the clutch mechanism from the thrust bearing to the input hub. Yes the 'Safety' crew in training courses suggest it, that's because their main concern is 'Safety'! From a mechanical and component longevity point of view though sitting with the clutch pulled in at lights, or anywhere else, is murder. Especially if whoever has tuned the bike is one of those mouth-breathers who sets the idle speed as low as they can because it 'Sounds cool'!

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So, I can confirm that staying in gear with the clutch disengaged is what is taught by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. I instructed their curricula for five years and was a site administrator.  In any other manual transmission, I have always slipped out of gear at stops.  The apparent wear and issues with my Sport's gearbox input hub, and seeing how tiny the "throw-out bearing" actually is (!), has the Sport slipped into neutral at stops now.

Whether bike or cage, it is advisable to "leave yourself an out" by not pulling up too closely to the vehicle ahead. Whether you can use that space depends on many factors, but largely our awareness to incoming threats (including those from behind).

"Keep your head on a swivel. Don't lock your knees."

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6 hours ago, Kevin_T said:

So Kane, just how many miles do you have on your bike? I don't think having a clutch that drags is a normal condition.  I mean it didn't do that when the bike was new did it?

I just bought this Lemans so I don't have a lot of miles on it, but the condition you describe was a signal to replace the transmission input hub on my Elderado. In  the 100k plus miles I put on that bike I think I replaced 3 of them. The Elderado didn't have a cush drive so 35k was about all they were good for. If you have less then 50k you might want to make sure the cush drive in the rear hub is lubed and well serviced.

Kevin, my clutch isn’t dragging. It feels great. Thanks for the advice on the cush drive. My initial post was about the effect of staying in gear with the clutch lever pulled on the health of the clutch. I know much more know about what happens with the clutch than I did before!

Thanks to all!

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11 hours ago, Lucky Phil said:

Riding schools,sheez. I've heard of this technique they pedal and wondered. So they want you to stop at the traffic lights/intersection in gear looking in your mirrors and if it looks like you're going to get rear ended then accelerate through the red light or stop sign into the middle of a busy intersection to avoid getting rear ended. Sounds totally illogical to me and relies on you being the first vehicle at the lights/intersection of course. 

Cant say I'm a fan of the stop and re start the engine technique either. Engines like to stay running unless its going to be idling for an extended period of time in a traffic jam.    

Ciao

I use a range of techniques actually, first of all I try to avoid having to put my feet down, so I time it to catch the green, hold the clutch in for a short light, try not to stop directly behind the vehicle in front so I don't end up the meat in a sandwich and turn the motor off for a long light, it also varies depending on what bike I'm riding.

Luckily I don't have to negotiate busy traffic on a daiiy basis or l would probably give up riding.

 

It's a good discussion, good to air different points of view.

 

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Thank you, thumper. It looks like a well written study that breaks things down into enlightening statistical groups. At first glance without really delving into the text, it seems like there are avoidable factors for the rider such as speed and alcohol. In most cases it looks like the motorcycle was the “striking vehicle”, which sounds like the fault vehicle. Of course if some idiot driver pulls a left turn in front of a bike and the bike slams into the car, the “striking vehicle” was not necessarily at fault. Not that the authors are trying to place fault; they use the term “Striking Vehicle”, “fault” is my extrapolation which I shouldn’t really say without actually reading the study.

The study is from accidents in 2005. I wonder how much things have changed with the present day state of distracted driving from people using cellphones while they drive.

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On 12/13/2019 at 6:27 AM, Tomchri said:

....Stay invisible in traffic, when I see a fellow rider with a green safety vest, no thank you. The day the government says green safety vest,,, it's over for me.

Tom, I’ve never heard anyone advise to stay invisible in traffic. I know to assume that I am invisible to drivers, but why try to be invisible?

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3 hours ago, Kane said:

Tom, I’ve never heard anyone advise to stay invisible in traffic. I know to assume that I am invisible to drivers, but why try to be invisible?

Well my englisss and strange sayings,, If they see you, you become a target. Meaning I'm better of if they don't see me ( invisible) Have to say I usually go between cars in traffic jam to,    hate wasting my clutch and just beeing a sitting duck.   Been on the road since 1971, so have had plenty of time to obtain all kinds of, some good and for sure some not so good habbits.   Use your eyes and enjoy riding, that makes me smile.

Cheers tom.

 

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That’s a good point of view.

And so many riders try hard, in so many ways, to be seen!

 

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