Starting out from a stop…..
….. start bike, engage the clutch, shift into first gear, stroke the clutch out slowly, slowly …..stall.
According to Motorcycle Safety Foundation – USA, The friction zone is that area in the travel of the clutch lever that begins where the clutch starts to transmit power to the rear wheel and ends just before the clutch becomes fully engaged. It is a region of partial engagement in which the clutch “slips” to permit you to precisely control engine power to the rear wheel. Proper use of the friction zone is one of the most important skills you must develop as it is how motorcyclists get moving smoothly from a stop.
Its frustrating learning how to ride a motorcycle. Knowing how to use the friction zone in your clutch is an acquired skill over many hours of practice.
But then i happened to stumble upon the following drill, which has really helped my riding students make great progress quite by accident.
Its really simple. As the images above detail . You place a wedge shaped rock on an even surface.
Have your rider ride slowly towards the rock, taking the front wheel around it until the rock is under and in front of the rear wheel. This initial exercise is important too , helps the rider learn how to handle and maneuver the bike at a walking pace.
The next exercise is for the rider to get over the rock , without stalling , no roll backs or jerking. And that is how you properly use the friction zone.
One can place several similar rocks in succession to speed up the drill.