How to Avoid a Motorcycle Accident After Your Clutch Goes Out
Did your motorcycle clutch cable just snap? There is no need to panic. Even with a broken clutch cable, you can still ride your bike. What happens when your clutch cable breaks is that you lose the ability to disengage the clutch. Changing gears and braking becomes more difficult. Now this is a problem for inexperienced motorcyclists, but not for seasoned riders. However, you should be aware of the risks involved and ride only if it is absolutely necessary. If you collide into a car or if a car hits your bike, then phone a motorcycle accident attorney immediately.
Here is how you can ride with a broken clutch cable.
- Check if Your Bike Has a Failsafe
A failsafe prevents your bike from starting if the clutch lever is not pulled in. Check if your bike has a failsafe. If it does, then the switch is probably in the clutch perch. Find it and pull the lever in to start the motorcycle, even if the lever is not connected to the cable. If there is not a failsafe, then you can start with step 2 (below).
- How to Get the Bike Moving
Put the bike in neutral, switch it on and get the wheels rolling. Holding the handlebars, run alongside the bike until you have picked up enough speed and hop on and change the gear to second gear. The reason you should not change to first gear is that on most bikes first gear is too short and abrupt. If you have a friend, he can push you while you are on the bike. Another way to get the bike rolling is to use the bike’s starter motor. Again, change to second gear and when you have picked up enough speed press the start button. This should start the engine and then you can roll on the throttle to accelerate. Remember that the brakes will not cooperate well with you and you won’t be able to stop the bike quickly. So, do not accelerate too quickly or ride too fast.
- How to Upshift and Downshift
Shifting the gear is easy – even with a broken clutch cable. You have to synchronize it with the throttle. To upshift, apply upward pressure on the shift lever, hold it there and close the throttle a little (meaning power it down). The upper gear will slide home easily. Downshifting can be a bit more difficult, but you can do it. To downshift, apply downward pressure on the shift lever, hold it there and rev the engine a little. The lower gear will slide home, but it can cause your motorcycle to jerk. No need to worry about it since it will not put you in danger. But the hardest part is shifting from first gear to second gear. You can do it by easing the throttle a little, shifting to neutral and then shifting to second gear once you have got the right rpm.
- How to Stop at Intersections and Traffic Signs
Obviously, you will need to stop at traffic signs and intersections. Since you won’t be able to brake quickly with a broken clutch, you should start slowing down well in advance so that you will have enough time to downshift. Try to put the bike in neutral before you come to a stop. If you are unable to find neutral, then you can stall the bike, using both brakes to make sure the bike won’t jerk forward. If the bike is too jerky and you aren’t able to control it, then switch it off altogether and push it through the intersection.
When riding a bike with a broken clutch cable, avoid routes with heavy traffic and too many intersections. Always keep to the slow lane. Signal your intent to other vehicles, with your hands if necessary. If you do not have much experience with motorcycles, then you should drop the idea completely. There is no shame in calling the nearby shop for a tow.
In Case of an Accident, Call a Motorcycle Accident Attorney
If you are involved in a collision with a negligent driver, then call a motorcycle accident attorney as soon as you can. You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.