Neutral to First Needs 2 De-Clutchings

Joined
Apr 27, 2015
Messages
1,629
Country flag
Just don't opine on a public forum about how you know better than the experts who are trained to teach people potentially life saving tactics.
This is called, making an argument from authority. It's an argument that claims to be valid based on the person's credentials, not on logic, or the merits of each side's arguments.

Personally, I've had a clutch cable break more than once. One of those times I did end up in an intersection without the right of way. Other times, it happened on a gear change and I just rode home powershifting with no incident. I'd say that I've broken 4 clutch cables over 40 years. I have an extra plate in my basket and a lightened pull.

The "fast getaway" theory is nonsense. Drive fast, things happen fast, both good and bad. Your expert should argue the merits of his theory, not list his qualifications....
 

acadian

VIP MEMBER
Joined
Mar 5, 2010
Messages
1,093
Country flag
This is called, making an argument from authority. It's an argument that claims to be valid based on the person's credentials, not on logic, or the merits of each side's arguments.

Personally, I've had a clutch cable break more than once. One of those times I did end up in an intersection without the right of way. Other times, it happened on a gear change and I just rode home powershifting with no incident. I'd say that I've broken 4 clutch cables over 40 years. I have an extra plate in my basket and a lightened pull.

The "fast getaway" theory is nonsense. Drive fast, things happen fast, both good and bad. Your expert should argue the merits of his theory, not list his qualifications....
And once again, there's the anecdote...

Fine. You want evidence...

2010-2016
  • Rear-front/front-rear collisions average 28% of all multi-vehicle incidents involving PTWs, this is predominantly in urban zones experiencing transit delay in excess of 2 minutes per Km of travel - this data is cross sectional and aggregated from a range of municipalities (Stockholm, London, Auckland, Toronto, Paris, New York etc.)
  • These types of incidents predominantly occur Monday-Friday during peak congestion hours, in traffic zones where lane filtering is explicitly or de-facto permitted collisions of this type are below 10% (but we're not talking about the merits of filtering here)
  • Data collected via traffic camera's in Paris (2014 and 2016) as well as in Auckland (2012) are our best sources of truly generalizeable evidence showing actual and near rear-front collisions involving PTWs
  • In total, 56 rear-front PTW collisions were analyzed from the traffic camera data
  • in these examples, operators who maintained a mean buffer space of at least 1 bike length between themselves and the vehicle in front, and who demonstrated "naturalized" observational tactics (mirror focus), were able to avoid the rear-front impact by navigating between stopped traffic (12% of the collisions analyzed)
  • the characteristics of naturalized hazard perception, specifically mirror attentiveness and action readiness (clutch in, gear engaged), were operationalized for the first time in a 2015 study of urban riders in London UK
    • Aupetit, S., Espié, S., & Bouaziz, S. (2015). Naturalistic study of riders’ behaviour in lane-splitting situations. Cognition, Technology and Work, 17(2), 301–313. http://doi.org/10.1007/s10111-014-0293-z
 

MichaelB

"Sons of Arthritus"
VIP MEMBER
Joined
Jan 14, 2004
Messages
1,345
Country flag
Wow, has this thread gone off course.
However, I for one think debating Motorcycle safety is a good thing. Never too old to learn something.
Most of us here are seasoned riders and have developed our skills accordingly.
Keeping the bike in gear has merit, it's also an issue with a stiff, dragging clutch that is also generating more heat and other issues.
I have done and do both. Can't really explain when I go neutral, it's when I feel safe and can relax. Of course, maybe this is false security, that's when things can happen.
When it's left in gear, I'm more aware and on edge a little.
The MSF has come into being in my riding lifetime. I just decided to take another look what they offer.
My goodness, take a look at this.
https://www.msf-usa.org/

i'm sure there is something in there I can use.
 
Joined
Apr 27, 2015
Messages
1,629
Country flag
Action readiness doesn't say, "those holding their clutch in with their bike in gear" That's something your expert has extrapolated the meaning of, without considering the other implications like a clutch cable snapping.

Why isn't observing the light attentitively to clutch and shift when the light is changing a better solution?? This way you are in gear when the light turns, and you don't risk the few minutes standing at the light with the bike in gear, holding the clutch in?? Sorry, you don't need to be an expert to parse this sort of scenario.

Possibly, clutch cables snapping are less likely in modern bikes, so it's not as valid as a counter argument, but I would say that it's certainly something that happens occasionally on a norton commando. WTBS, the occasional occurrence makes it a valid consideration which is not factored into a generalized theory.
 
Joined
Feb 10, 2009
Messages
2,085
Country flag
  • In total, 56 rear-front PTW collisions were analyzed from the traffic camera data
That sample is too small.

  • in these examples, operators who maintained a mean buffer space of at least 1 bike length between themselves and the vehicle in front, and who demonstrated "naturalized" observational tactics (mirror focus), were able to avoid the rear-front impact by navigating between stopped traffic (12% of the collisions analyzed)
Does the 56 collisions include 7 (or 6.72, to be more exact) non-accidents, where they think disaster was avoided by the vigilant rider? Or did the 7 collisions occur, by way of the car behind hitting the car in front?

They stopped behind some cars (why didn’t they filter?), sat for a while in gear, then they saw the car behind them taking off and charging at them, then they zoomed sideways into the gap up the side of the car in front. Hmm.
  • the characteristics of naturalized hazard perception, specifically mirror attentiveness and action readiness (clutch in, gear engaged), were operationalized for the first time in a 2015 study of urban riders in London UK
How long would you keep it in gear, if the light stayed red?
 
Joined
May 11, 2010
Messages
2,406
Country flag
I did note that we are largely dealing with old bikes here. Whey I took training to get my UK license I was amazed how differently officialdom approach riding viewed from 50 years of riding in the states. It was quite a hill to climb for me I never had ridden a modern bike before. After passing and heading out on my trusty 850 it all fell to hand very quickly.
...we shall see how long before I become a statistic!
 

acadian

VIP MEMBER
Joined
Mar 5, 2010
Messages
1,093
Country flag
Please feel free to publish your own unified, grand theory of collision avoidance from a stationary position in live traffic.

Admittedly, maybe I was a bit too dismissive of clutch cable breakage. I've had it happen, but then I set up my clutch as per DD and no issues since.

Seriously though guys, how do you manage yourselves in bumper to bumper, stop and go traffic? You absolutely HAVE to be working the clutch hard in those conditions.

And back to the OP's problem, have you checked for wear/notching on the clutch center?
 
Joined
Nov 29, 2013
Messages
451
Country flag
Going back to the threads start, the problem with gear selection is often the pawl spring in the cover having a few mm too much clearance to the pawl. It needs to be bent a little to give the minimum gap .
 

Fast Eddie

VIP MEMBER
Joined
Oct 4, 2013
Messages
12,609
Country flag
I think the evidence given is interesting, and I note it was taken from riding in a London. Which, to be honest, makes me reflect and think a little, in that kind of very hectic constant stop-go kind of riding I would also seldom use neutral, mainly as one simply isn’t stationary enough to warrant it and also everyone’s tolerance to a fraction of a second delayed launch is zero!

However, when in slightly less hectic environments, and especially sitting at a stop light, and when I know I’m going to be sat there a while, I would always find neutral. But that’s just habit from a lifetime of riding old bikes, it’s not only a fear of the clutch cable braking, its mechanical sympathy, old bikes just weren’t designed to be sat with the clutch in, pushrods turning against fixed surfaces either end, borderline clutch lift causing drag, borderline clutch bearing and thrust washer designs (on Triumphs) etc, etc.

Also, when I learnt to ride (1984), we were taught to put into neutral, just like you are (or were) in a car (neutral with hand brake one).

As to the rear end collision risks, I personally ALWAYS filter through traffic to the front, I never sit behind a car. I realise that in some places that’s not legal, fortunately it is here!
 
Joined
Apr 27, 2015
Messages
1,629
Country flag
Please feel free to publish your own unified, grand theory of collision avoidance from a stationary position in live traffic.

Admittedly, maybe I was a bit too dismissive of clutch cable breakage. I've had it happen, but then I set up my clutch as per DD and no issues since.

Seriously though guys, how do you manage yourselves in bumper to bumper, stop and go traffic? You absolutely HAVE to be working the clutch hard in those conditions.
I have my own methods which are only based on my own experience, so not a grand theory at all. Probably better discussed in another thread... If I have to go into the city into stop and go traffic, I take the truck...

And back to the OP's problem, have you checked for wear/notching on the clutch center?
Yeah, notching on the clutch center, or too tight of a primary chain seem like the most common cause of a sticky gearbox.
 

acadian

VIP MEMBER
Joined
Mar 5, 2010
Messages
1,093
Country flag
I think the evidence given is interesting, and I note it was taken from riding in a London. Which, to be honest, makes me reflect and think a little, in that kind of very hectic constant stop-go kind of riding I would also seldom use neutral, mainly as one simply isn’t stationary enough to warrant it and also everyone’s tolerance to a fraction of a second delayed launch is zero!

However, when in slightly less hectic environments, and especially sitting at a stop light, and when I know I’m going to be sat there a while, I would always find neutral. But that’s just habit from a lifetime of riding old bikes, it’s not only a fear of the clutch cable braking, its mechanical sympathy, old bikes just weren’t designed to be sat with the clutch in, pushrods turning against fixed surfaces either end, borderline clutch lift causing drag, borderline clutch bearing and thrust washer designs (on Triumphs) etc, etc.

Also, when I learnt to ride (1984), we were taught to put into neutral, just like you are (or were) in a car (neutral with hand brake one).

As to the rear end collision risks, I personally ALWAYS filter through traffic to the front, I never sit behind a car. I realise that in some places that’s not legal, fortunately it is here!
I'm in no way proposing nor do I teach the practice as "universal law". Nothing is on a bike, it's always the best of multiple worst case scenarios you have to choose from.

Yes, I too sit in neutral at long red lights.

But I only do so after confirming the car behind is fully stopped and not right up my ass. The problem is, with most novice riders, the level of attention paid to the "conditions" under which it would be safe to do so presents them with too many "what if's" then they can reasonably process at an early stage in their riding careers. It's because of this, mostly, that we try to get them to adopt simple and generalized rules of thumb to mitigate the very worst of outcomes. As they develop, hopefully, experience will allow them to apply more adaptable approaches
 

Tornado

VIP MEMBER
Joined
Dec 5, 2017
Messages
2,112
Country flag
The Commando Owner’s handbook agrees with me.

And for good reason.

Last paragraph, page 14.

http://www.classicbike.biz/Norton/OwnersManuals/70s/73Commando-OwnerMan.pdf
That's curious b/c it is exactly the opposite of what Mick Hemmings recommends in his gearbox rebuild dvd. He states idling in neutral while tuning carbs/warming up etc is determental to the sleeve bushing in the gearbox as no gear sprockets are turning to throw gear oil onto the bushings.

So I guess we can all pick our poison here....which will you sacrifice: clutch bearing/sleeve bush/clutch cable?
 
Joined
Feb 10, 2009
Messages
2,085
Country flag
That's curious b/c it is exactly the opposite of what Mick Hemmings recommends in his gearbox rebuild dvd. He states idling in neutral while tuning carbs/warming up etc is determental to the sleeve bushing in the gearbox as no gear sprockets are turning to throw gear oil onto the bushings.

So I guess we can all pick our poison here....which will you sacrifice: clutch bearing/sleeve bush/clutch cable?
Are you saying you think the shafts and gears (why do you call them sprockets?) do rotate and throw oil around when the bike is idling in gear with the clutch slipping?
 
Joined
Jan 5, 2019
Messages
1,678
Country flag
Last time I popped a clutch cable at a stop the bike stalled and quit.... rolled about 2". No fun pushing fast enough to jump on & get into gear and go. Nuff said …. I'm out. I think.
 

Tornado

VIP MEMBER
Joined
Dec 5, 2017
Messages
2,112
Country flag
Are you saying you think the shafts and gears (why do you call them sprockets?) do rotate and throw oil around when the bike is idling in gear with the clutch slipping?
Nope. Idling in neutral with clutch released means the input shaft is spinning on the sleeve busheswithout and gears spinning. The oil level is below that shaft and bushes so no lube is being thrown onto them in this situation. With a gear selected and rear wheel off ground so it can spin, then plenty of oil getting to those bushes.
Hold clutch in will also help those bushes bc the shaft is not spinning.
 

RoadScholar

VIP MEMBER
Joined
Dec 28, 2008
Messages
1,537
Country flag
I have dry clutches on my belt drive bikes and, as designed, on my BMWs. When they get up to temp they de-clutch so completely that I've gotten used to blipping the throttle, de-clutch and select 1st, quickly; I have also "hard-wired" the clutch engagement point(s) and with a modicum of pressure on the shifter, know when to expect the main shaft to begin rolling with little torque to make gear engagement without risking g/b damage.

With wet clutches I fine this method almost unnecessary.

If I am riding in new territory I stay in gear at every stop, but always keep an eye on any vehicle behind and in front of me to get a feel for the driver's behavior; I consider this a safety fundamental. I'd rather select neutral to take stress off the clutch/transmission and do so for lights and signs where the traffic patterns align with previous experiences, I still watch the drivers around me; I have jumped a few curb stones and chosen to seek safe harbor on front lawns; apologies are easier and considerable less painful then collisions.

When I go riding with new-to-me riders I am most comfortable being the sweep, with good following distance. I do this to see if the new-to-me riders carry themselves within my limitations; I am not shy about asking questions about what I consider errand riding behavior (to me), and, as the sweep I can always take a right or a left and ride in my comfort zone. I am not the best rider you'll ever meet or the most competent, but I keep an open mind and am ready to learn anything that makes me safer; I have been a motorcyclist for over 55 years. Go smooth, then go fast...

When I ride with me 2 sons, we click; we look out for each other and we can cover a lot of miles briskly within our mutual comfort zone.

Best
 
Joined
Jun 1, 2003
Messages
2,017
Country flag
this is total BS. with the clutch engaged (hand off lever) the main shaft is turning ,1st and 3rd is also turning so 3rd lay is also turning bringing oil up to the sleeve gear bushings the ONLY time the sleeve gear bushings will NOT see any oil is if you have the clutch disengaged (lever pulled) and than nothing is turning so no need for oil.

That's curious b/c it is exactly the opposite of what Mick Hemmings recommends in his gearbox rebuild dvd. He states idling in neutral while tuning carbs/warming up etc is determental to the sleeve bushing in the gearbox as no gear sprockets are turning to throw gear oil onto the bushings.

So I guess we can all pick our poison here....which will you sacrifice: clutch bearing/sleeve bush/clutch cable?
 
Top