Throttle control is a REALLY important aspect when it comes to dirt biking. You do not want to be one of those guys who are whiskey throttling every time you ride.
Whiskey Throttle Defenition: It where you give the bike too much throttle/gas and the bikes forward motion pulls your body towards the rear of the bike, which just makes the rider pull the throttle/gas back even more. Because of the forward momentum, it’s really hard to stop this once whiskey throttle is in motion.
Typically in the middle of a “whiskey throttle,” the front wheel is lifted off the ground and the bike becomes uncontrollable.
Having the right technique will help avoid whiskey throttle and keep you safe.
On a dirt bike, you have a “twist throttle” this is a throttle that you use your hand and wrap your fingers around the twist throttle like you would grab a round bar.
With a twist throttle, you will roll the throttle back towards you and this is like pushing down the gas peddle in your car. The farther you roll the throttle back the more gas you give the motor. This means that the motor will rev faster and faster.
When you loosen or let go of your grip a twist throttle will snap back into its original position. This is the same thing as letting off the gas peddle.
When the twist throttle snaps back forward to its original position the motor is no longer revving up and the motor slows down.
How to hold the dirt bike throttle starts with the proper technique. You want to make sure you have the proper form and leverage over your dirt bike. You want to ride the bike and not fight the bike. Fighting the bike and improper technique can result in a whiskey throttle.
There are 2 positions for holding the dirt bike throttle:
- Holding the throttle while accelerating
- Holding the throttle while braking
When you are accelerating you need to make sure you are holding the bike grips/throttle up higher. This is the same practice for sitting or standing. This allows you to have the proper leverage over the bike as your arms will not be down too low.
When you are braking you need to hold the throttle and grips straight on. This makes sure that your hand doesn’t slip off the bars while you are braking.
Make sure you practice these techniques separately and slowly. After you are done braking you need to make sure you rip grim for throttle accelerating.
How hard should you Grip your throttle?
It’s also important that you do no OVER grip the throttle. This typically happens if you are going too fast for your skill level. When you get nervous you tend to grip/squeeze the throttle harder and harder.
This will result in tired arms often referred to arm pump. Arm pump is painful and can be avoided if you use the proper gripping technique.
Make sure you are NOT gripping the throttle too hard. Stay loose.
How hard should you Grip your throttle?
If you find yourself gripping the bike too hard and your arms hurt, slow down. Just like getting your body in shape you have to get into riding shape as well.
Arm pump by gripping the throttle too much can result in whiskey throttle.
It’s also important to note that throttle control and grip work side by side with clutch grip and control.
Covering the front brake is part of the proper technique when learning how to grip the throttle properly.
Grip the throttle with 3 fingers,1 thumb and your pointing finger needs to be covering the front brake lever.
1 finger on the clutch and the rest gripping the throttle
If you are new to dirt biking make sure you get the dirt bike in neutral and practice twisting or blipping the throttle back and forth.
When you roll or twist the dirt bike throttle back you will hear the motor rev up.
Practice releasing the throttle to see how fast the throttle snaps back up into its original position. If this snapback is slow or hard. DO NOT RIDE THE BIKE, this means the throttle is stuck or broken.
The more your twist or roll back the throttle the faster you will go, just like the further down you push down on a car’s gas peddle the faster you will go.
Once you feel like you understand how to roll the throttle down and releasing your grip to get the throttle back its time to also incorporate gripping the clutch and the throttle at the same time.
Gripping the clutch side you need to make sure you’re gripping with at least 3 fingers (includes the thumb). No more than 2 fingers should be on your clutch. Typically 1 is recommended.
Practice gripping the twist throttle at the same time you are pulling in the clutch while the dirt bike is running and in neutral.
Once you fill comfortable with that. Click the dirt bike down into gear and practice letting the clutch out SLOWLY until it engages the clutch.
You will hear the dirt bikes motor slow down a bit.
Once you understand where the clutch engages, you can slowly roll the throttle back at the very same time you are letting the clutch out. ALL OF THIS IS DOWN SLOWLY.
Stay safe and make sure you get the proper dirt bike training and invest in the proper dirt bike protective gear.