Throttle and gear changing

Good throttle control is an important part of being able to ride fast and safe. Roll the throttle on and off smoothly. Most throttles have a light action and ‘grabbing a big handful’ won’t make you go faster but it will stretch the cables and make you grip the bar tighter.

The throttle will also help you to get round a corner. Closing the throttle will make the bike turn tighter. Opening it will make it run wider. If you think the front is going to tuck under heavy braking, open the throttle a bit. Centrifugal and gyroscopic forces work to keep the bike upright on the road, but forward speed is also needed to do that.

“No-one ever lost the front on the power” (Kenny Roberts)

Using the throttle for steering in a corner is simple but smoothness is the key. Mid corner, start to open the throttle once the apex is passed, transferring weight back to the rear tyre. As you get more upright and the contact patch gets bigger, you can gradually feed in more power. This will help to balance the bike and minimise the chances of losing grip.

Blipping the throttle on down changes is smoother, upsets the handling less and is kinder to the gearbox. Change down in plenty of time before the bend. Then you can concentrate on the line out, not your braking on the way in.