Motorcycle racing, riding skills and technique, moto kids & parenting

Throttle Control: Part I

Mention the term “Throttle Control” to any rider and they will nod importantly and say something to the likes of, “yep throttle control is really important!”


Of course you need to have good throttle control when riding a motorcycle, but what exactly is good throttle control?  What does it mean?


The throttle is the device that controls the flow of fuel or power to an engine.  Control is the power to influence the course of events. So throttle control essentially means, how well you influence the course of events on your bike by controlling the flow of fuel or power to the engine.  That sounds pretty important doesn’t it?  That’s because it is.


Throttle control is probably the most important aspect of motorcycling.  It affects such things as acceleration, deceleration, traction, and ultimately the stability of the motorcycle.  Everyone knows that when you roll on the gas the bike will accelerate and when you roll off the gas the bike with decelerate.  How well you roll on and off the gas will determine not only the amount of traction you have, but also where you bike ends up in the corner.  How does the throttle affect traction and line?  Let’s look first at what happens to the geometry of a motorcycle when you roll on the gas.


In his book, Twist of the Wrist II, world-renowned motorcycle coach Keith Code explains, “To determine an ideal scene for traction, machine-wise, we start by simply measuring the contact patches  (the actual footprint of the tire where it contacts the road surface) of the tires to discover what the basic distribution of loads should be while cornering.  Roughly speaking, those measurements show that 40 percent of the total load should be up front, 60 percent at the rear.”


“The rider’s task is to match the exact load specs of his machine with expert use of the throttle.  How do you do that?  Considering that most machines in a static or constant speed situation have a 50/50 weight distribution front-to-rear, we begin to calculate th

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