New riders have to learn how to use a motorcycle clutch. The clutch is usually a hand operated lever, on the left handlebar of the motorcycle. To disengage the gears, the lever is squeezed and held. While the clutch is in this pulled in condition the gears can change through use of the gear shift. It takes some practice to learn to use a motorcycle clutch smoothly. Motorcycle clutches can also be adjusted through various mechanisms depending on the style of clutch, either cable or hydraulic.
To use a motorcycle clutch, you need:
- Squeeze the clutch lever smoothly. This disengages the gears. Riders may want to coast in this condition, or use it to shift down or up in gear, or to place the motorcycle in neutral.
- On accelerating, be smooth. Let the clutch out smoothly as you apply throttle. Too much clutch too soon and the engine may stall and the motorcycle might fall over if starting from a standstill.
- For low speed maneuvering, feather the clutch. Moving in and around parking lots riders may need to feather the clutch in and out for power needs, without fully letting the clutch out. This also takes some practice to get a feel for.
Make sure to practice how to use a motorcycle clutch in a large vacant parking lot or other training facility such as a motorcycle safety course. Be aware that first time users may have a tendency to let the clutch out too fast and dump the motorcycle, so it's best to also have another person around for safety.