Other motorcycle controls (CBT)

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Other motorcycle controls

Riders must keep their eyes on the road

Whilst we have previously discussed the importance of the five basic controls (front brake, rear brake, clutch, throttle and gears), being proficient with the remaining controls can be equally as important. With respect to these additional controls, it is natural for learner riders to glance down. Practice and discipline are the essential stepping stones to a rider keeping their eyes on the road, whilst intuitively operating these additional controls. Even though motorcycle controls can vary slightly between models, the most common configuration is as follows:

Left switch gear

Controls that are operated with the thumb of the left hand are: horn, left and right indicator switch, indicator cancelling switch and headlight (low and high beam). The passing light switch is normally situated on the front of the left switch gear and is operated using the first finger of the left hand.

Central controls

Whilst there are some variations, for most learner style motorcycles, the only central ‘control’ is the ignition. This can be operated with either hand and would only be operated whilst the motorcycle is stationary and out of gear (in neutral).

Right switch gear

Controls that are operated with the thumb of the right hand are: starter button and emergency kill switch.

VideoBiker Advisory Panel advice

Mike Harbon says: “Be aware of additional accessory switches, such as heated grips.”

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Get free access to the CBT audio guide

FREE membership includes:
CBT essential audio guide

CBT tip sheets

Rider basics
Key skills
Junction guide
Road rides

Resources do not substitute professional motorcycle training and are subject to our terms.