Just be Smooth

It's the most overused phrase in motorcycle training; "Be Smooth".  You can find it in almost every book, DVD and class about improving your motorcycling.  However, rarely is it defined.

I have struggled with how to explain "riding smoothly" to new students.  It seems to be one of those mysterious things that can be difficult to convey to someone who has never felt it.  It's like trying to explain falling in love to someone who never has, (I'll leave that one for the poets and songwriters).

We just might be able to quantify what it is to be "smooth".  SLOWER - In my opinion that is  the magic word!  Let's think about it.  Let out the clutch too quickly, jerk forward then stall.  The fix?  Ease out the clutch SLOWER. 

Snapping the throttle open or closed will quickly result in jerky weight transfers and a loss of traction.  Once again fix it with a SLOWER opening and closing.

The same hold true for braking procedures.  Slow down the grab at the front brake and make it a squeeze.

Abrupt steering inputs are not exempt here either "Slower" usually is "Smoother". 

None of this is to say that you cannot build on your current skills and ride well at a quicker pace.  This is to help those of you trying to be smooth.  You may have heard the saying, Slow is Smooth and Smooth is Fast. 

So go out for a ride and "Be SLOWER"!!  You just might like what you feel.

Leave a comment