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Primary controls
 

The following six controls are the most important controls you will use to operate your motorcycle or moped:

  1. Handlebars
  2. Throttle
  3. Front brake lever
  4. Rear brake lever
  5. Clutch lever
  6. Shift lever

This illustration is intended only as a guide. Controls and their positions may be different on your vehicle. Some motorcycles and mopeds do not have clutch or shift levers.

Diagram of a motorcycle with its controls

1. Handlebars

These are the two bars you hold to control the motorcycle’s direction. Many of the other controls are grouped on or around the handlebars.

Diagram showing the handlebars

2. Throttle

Twist the right handgrip to operate the throttle. This controls the motorcycle’s speed by controlling the flow of fuel to the engine. To speed up, twist the throttle toward you. To slow down, twist it away from you. The throttle should spring back completely to the idle position when you let go.

Diagram showing the throttle

3. Front brake lever

The front brake lever is on the right handlebar in front of the throttle. You squeeze the lever toward the handgrip to apply the brake to the front wheel. Use the front and rear brakes together.

Diagram showing the brakes

4. Rear brake lever

The rear brake lever is near the right foot rest. Press your foot on the lever to apply the brake to the rear wheel. Use the front and rear brakes together. If your motorcycle has a clutch and gears, remember that although the engine will act as a brake when you gear down or reduce throttle, your brake lights will not turn on and other drivers may not know you are slowing down. Always apply your brakes as a signal to others that you are slowing down.

Diagram showing the rear brakes

5. Clutch lever

The clutch lever is on the left handlebar. It controls the clutch and is used to help shift gears. Squeeze the lever toward the handgrip to disengage the clutch; release it to engage the clutch. Whenever you change gears, you must first disengage the clutch. Try to co-ordinate the movements of clutch and throttle to change gears smoothly. Most limited-speed motorcycles and mopeds have an automatic clutch lever.

Diagram showing the clutch

6. Shift lever

The shift lever is near the left footrest. It shifts the transmission’s gears. The shift lever should only be used when the clutch is disengaged. Select the gear you need by lifting or pressing the lever with your foot. Most motorcycles have five or six forward gears and a neutral posi­tion. Always start and shut off your motorcycle in neutral. Most limited-speed motorcycles and all mopeds have automatic gear shifting.

Diagram showing the shift lever