If you’ve been riding for any length of time at all, you’re probably already aware that your riding suffers when you grip the handlebars too tightly. That fact holds true no matter what type of riding you’re doing. Beyond that, though, there’s also a better way to grip the throttle (and the bars in general) to get your bike to handle the way you want it to.
In this video, Ryan from FortNine talked to none other than Dylan Code of California Superbike School to get some professional insight into why we should all think about ice cream the next time we’re contemplating our throttles. That’s right; your good summertime friend, a tasty ice cream cone. Any flavor(s) you choose, chances are good that you’re still going to hold it the exact same way every time.
How we naturally tend to grip an ice cream cone is, it turns out, also the best way to think about gripping our throttles—and our handlebars, in general. Keeping your elbows dropped, and your grip light but firm, makes it easier to twist the throttle open or closed as needed. It also helps you push and pull the bars toward and/or away from you without unintentionally also pushing down at the same time. (That’s especially a problem for taller riders with more arm real estate to accommodate.)
Holding the bars in this way helps you steer the bike the way you want, when you want—with optimal torsion through your wrists and arms so everything works smoothly together. That’s especially important when cornering, more than at any other time. As with other skills, the more you practice, the more confidence and skill you’ll gain.
Having better control also helps you avoid applying throttle when you shouldn’t, such as when you’re leaning through a corner. To optimize the contact patch on your tires, you want to avoid exerting both longitudinal (speed) and lateral (lean) forces at the same time. Instead, you should lean first, and then add in some throttle to power through the corner. Why? It’s when you do both at the same time instead of in the correct order that you sail right over the edge of grip, and find both yourself and your bike sliding across the tarmac.
As usual, F9 delivers this important lesson in a tidy, well-crafted package. It sticks around long enough to tell you what you want and need to know, but doesn’t overstay its welcome—or overexplain its point. Writing, delivery, and editing are all as on-point as usual—and if you like F9’s sense of humor, then you’ll find plenty to enjoy if you take just under six minutes of time out of your day to watch.