Some riders believe that holding the clutch while braking saves the engine from wear, while others argue that it can lead to instability. Let’s find out!
Whether you should hold the clutch while braking ATV depends on the situation. Holding the clutch in while braking is discouraged because it reduces the engine’s gyroscopic effect, causing instability or even tipping over. However, there are some instances where it can help maintain control.
So why do some riders still believe in holding the clutch while braking? The answer is that there are different schools of thought on this topic, and some riders have had positive experiences with this technique. However, note that most manufacturers and experts in the field don’t recommend this technique. For that reason, I have compiled all you need to know about the technique, including the pros and cons of holding the clutch while braking. Read on to learn more.
So, Should You Hold a Clutch While Braking ATV?
When you are riding an ATV, you may wonder whether you should hold the clutch while braking. The answer is that it depends on the situation.
If you’re riding on a flat surface and you need to slow down or stop, you can use the brakes alone. In this case, holding the clutch when you’re braking is unnecessary.
However, if you’re riding on a steep hill or rough terrain, you may need to use the clutch while braking. When you hold the clutch in, the engine disengages from the transmission, which means that the engine is not powering the wheels. This can help you slow down without losing traction or control of the ATV.
Additionally, if you need to accelerate quickly, you can release the clutch, and the ATV will be ready to go.
What’s the Purpose of the Clutch in an ATV?
The clutch in an ATV serves a similar purpose as the clutch in a car or motorcycle. It is used to engage and disengage the engine from the transmission, which allows you to shift gears and control the speed of the ATV.
When you pull in the clutch lever, you are disengaging the engine from the transmission, which means that the engine is not powering the wheels. This allows you to shift gears or slow down without stalling the engine or causing damage to the transmission.
The clutch works alongside the brakes to help you maintain control of the ATV. When you apply the brakes, the wheels slow down, but the engine is still running. If you don’t use the clutch, the engine can push the wheels forward, which can cause the ATV to skid or lose traction.
Why You Shouldn't Hold a Clutch While Braking
If you’re wondering why most manufacturers discourage holding the clutch while braking your ATV, well, here are some reasons why:
Increased Wear on the Clutch
When you hold the clutch while braking on your ATV, you are putting unnecessary wear on the clutch plates. This is because the clutch is designed to engage and disengage the engine from the drivetrain, and when you hold it down, it’s constantly engaged.
This can cause the clutch to slip, which can cause it to overheat and wear out faster. Over time, this can lead to expensive repairs, and you may need to replace the clutch sooner than you would have otherwise.
Decreased Engine Braking
Another reason you shouldn't hold the clutch while braking on your ATV is that it decreases the engine braking you get.
When you release the throttle and let the engine slow down the ATV, the brakes have less strain, which can help them last longer. However, when you hold the clutch down, the engine is disconnected from the drivetrain, and you lose this benefit. This means that you’ll have to rely more on your brakes to slow down, which can cause them to wear out faster.
In a nutshell, avoiding holding the clutch while braking on your ATV is best if you want to avoid expensive repairs and more frequent brake replacements. Instead, focus on releasing the throttle and letting the engine slow down the ATV, and use the brakes only when necessary.
In What Situations Can You Hold Clutch While Braking?
It’s generally not advised to hold the clutch while braking on an ATV, according to most manufacturers. However, in some circumstances, it may be essential to do so. Such situations include:
When Driving on Steep Hills
When driving on a steep hill, holding the clutch while braking is recommended. This will help you maintain control over your ATV and prevent it from rolling back. Holding the clutch on such terrain will also reduce the wear and tear on your brakes, as you won't be putting as much pressure on them.
When Driving on Extremely Slippery Surfaces
Another instance where you should hold the clutch while braking is when you are driving on a slippery surface. In this case, holding the clutch will give you better control over your ATV, as you will be able to adjust your speed more easily. It will also help prevent your wheels from locking up, which could cause you to lose control of your ATV.
When Approaching a Steep Turn
Holding the clutch while braking can also be beneficial when you approach a turn. This will allow you to downshift smoothly and maintain better control over your ATV. It will also help you avoid skidding and sliding, which could cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
Generally, it’s important to note that you should only hold the clutch when necessary. Holding it for too long can cause damage to your clutch and reduce its lifespan.
How to Brake Without Holding a Clutch
When you are riding an ATV, it is essential to know how to brake without holding the clutch. Here are some steps to follow:
- First, you need to reduce the speed of your ATV by releasing the throttle. This will slow down the vehicle.
- Next, apply the rear brake gradually. Do not apply the brake abruptly, as it may cause the ATV to skid or lose balance.
- If you need to stop the ATV, apply the front brake in addition to the rear brake. Remember to apply the brakes gradually and not abruptly.
- While braking, keep your body weight slightly forward to maintain balance and control over the ATV.
- As you come to a complete stop, you can shift the ATV into neutral or first gear, depending on the situation.
Note that it’s recommended not to hold the clutch while braking unless you need to stop the ATV completely.
The Role of Rider Experience and Skill Level in Determining the Best Braking and Clutch Techniques
When it comes to braking and clutch techniques on an ATV, the best approach for one rider may not be the best for another. Your experience and skill level as a rider can significantly impact how you approach braking and clutching while riding.
As a beginner rider, you may be more comfortable using brakes and clutch simultaneously. This technique helps reduce the risk of stalling the engine but may also make it more challenging to control your ATV.
But as you gain more experience, you may find that you can use the front and rear brakes more effectively without the need for the clutch.
Intermediate and advanced riders may prefer to use a combination of front and rear brakes, clutch, and even engine braking to slow down or stop their ATVs. This technique requires a higher level of skill and experience as it involves coordinating multiple actions simultaneously.
Don’t forget that the best braking and clutch technique may also depend on the terrain you are riding on.
The Importance of Manufacturer's Recommendations for Braking and Clutch Use
When it comes to operating your ATV, it's important to understand and follow the manufacturer's recommendations for braking and clutch use. These recommendations are put in place to ensure your safety and the longevity of your vehicle.
Failure to follow these recommendations could result in damage to your ATV or even injury to yourself. One important aspect of following the manufacturer's recommendations is understanding the proper use of the clutch while braking.
Some riders may be tempted to hold the clutch in while braking, but this can actually be detrimental to your ATV. Pressing the clutch while braking can cause your brake pads and discs to wear out faster, and it can take your ATV longer to decelerate.
Additionally, the manufacturer's recommendations for braking and clutch use may vary depending on your ATV's specific make and model. For example, some ATVs may have a hydraulic clutch system, while others may have a cable-operated clutch system.
I would encourage you to refer to your owner's manual or contact the manufacturer directly to ensure you’re using your ATV's braking and clutch systems correctly.
- Holding the clutch while braking on an ATV is generally not recommended.
- Holding the clutch while braking can result in unnecessary wear and tear on your clutch.
- It can also decrease control over the ATV, causing it to wobble or even tip over.
- It’s best to downshift and use an engine to slow down the ATV while applying the brakes.
- Ensure you use front and rear brakes together to ensure even braking without skidding.
About THE AUTHOR
41 years old. I'm a freelance writer that specializes in informational blog posts. All my articles are detail oriented and well researched. I'm a huge Arizona Cardinals fan!Read More About Michael