Motorcycle Riding – The Friction Zone

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 101,739
    Motorcyclist Jeff Thompson demonstrates motorcycle riding and discuss the friction zone.

    Jeff Thompson: Hi, I am Jeff Thompson at Motorcycle Riding concepts and this is Mark Payton he is going to do our demonstration for us today. We are going to talk about the friction zone on the motorcycle which is what is used to start to propel the motorcycle. I always use this same analogy when we are teaching when my dad taught me how to drive a car, he taught me on the Family Pick up truck. Well think about a pick up truck weighing 3500 pounds and the clutch being this big. While on the motorcycle, this particular motorcycle only weighs 360 pounds and the clutch is this big so it is not a lot smaller than the clutch on a big truck like that.

    But the weight difference on the motorcycle is completely different. He used to tell me don't slip my clutch because you are going to burn it up and then I will have to buy a new clutch. On a motorcycle to find the friction zone into ride a motorcycle slowly in a parking lot, you actually have to slip the clutch for stability. So having said that we are going to show you how to do that. Now I am going to step out of frame now so you can see more clearly on the motorcycle how Mark does this.

    He is going to start the motorcycle, and he is going depress the gear selector down into first gear and remember you can do this particular exercise sitting in front of your house on the street or any parking lot where there is a curb stone. Notice the rear wheel is backed up against a wooden block that we are going to call a curb stone for this exercise. Now what he is going to is elevate his RPM, his throttle just a little bit and he is going to ease his clutch out to that friction point where the motorcycle starts to move and he is just going to let the motorcycle move just a little bit forward. He is going to pull his clutch in and let the motorcycle rock back against that curb stone. He is going to do this a few times, to start to feel that friction zone. Some people call that friction zone, the sweet spot and this is the essence of riding a motorcycle slowly in a parking lot. I would tell you to do this a lot in the beginning of learning how to ride a motorcycle so you could become familiar with that sweet spot and how to move that motorcycle. Now that we have understood the concept of friction zone to move the motorcycle we are going to move up to the next step which is actually moving the motorcycle in a circle and we are going to call that Power walking.