Tuesday Tip: Four-Stroke Cornering and Clutch Use

This week Doug Dubach gives you the low-down on four-stroke braking, and how to use the clutch to avoid stalling the thumpers.

“On the four-stroke, you want to use the engine braking to help you slow into the corner, because you don’t have to be quite so precise with your braking. It does some of it for you. You roll the throttle off coming in, and roll it back on as you’re exiting the corner. It’s always a motion of rolling off and on. You don’t chop the throttle off coming into a corner, and rev-dump the clutch on the exit like you would on two-stroke style cornering, but you want to always be on the defense to not stall the engine.”

“You need to always have sort of a visual of what’s going on with your rear wheel. If at any point in the corner you feel it almost coming almost to a stop, you want to pull the clutch in a little bit to keep the engine from dying. The lever doesn’t have to go all the way to your knuckles, but you’ll get a feeling of how much pull you need to keep the engine running.”

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“I try to avoid brake-sliding. That’s maybe a five percent technique as far as most tracks you go to, but there are situations where you might get into the corner a little bit hot, or some corners where you actually need to get the rear end to come around just a little bit, and it’s still too early to use the throttle to make that happen. That’s where you’ll do a little slide with the rear brake. That’s another reason you lay that finger on the clutch, is that split-second when you do need to skid it just a little, or get the bike slowed because you’ve come in a little too hot. You want to have that finger up there and ready at all times so you can get the clutch in.”

“As you’re braking in, the optimum is to have the clutch engaged, so you can throttle the engine through the corners. By mid-corner you should already be rolling the throttle back on, and your clutch should be fully engaged. Again, you leave your finger up there because if you start crawling out of the berm…maybe you got on the gas a little too early or you’re still a little hot for the exit, so instead of chopping the throttle back you can just slip the clutch a little and that will help bring you back down into the corner.”