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Learned Something New

13 posts from 12 voices
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  1. Gina7

    I took a Motorcycle safety course. Only one excercise that barely made it to third gear. Anyway, was in traffic (only the 2nd time) a few weekends ago the light turned yellow and the car in front of me stopped for the red light and I coasted in to a stop, then changed gears to first after stoping. All you experienced riders know what happened next. The light turned green and I tried to take off in high gear...sput sput sput...the light still green and I can feel the heat off the car behind me. Finally got it fired off when I realized what was up.

    Lessons learned...never coast to a stop. Always make sure your down shifiting to the stop. Check to make sure you in low gear immediately after you stop. Rock the bike if it's not where you want it!

    I thought I'd share my life lesson incase some other newbie finds themselves in the same spot. Also, are there any oldtimers that have any hints on this??

    Panama City Florida

  2. Kigsby84

    They taught us in class to always be in first gear when stopped in case you need to take off and "escape" in a hurry. I've heard many people say the car behind them doesn't see them and they would have been crushed had they not gotten out of the way. So now I'm always in first gear when I stop and if its going to be a long light, I don't put it in neutral until the car behind me has stopped (and seen me!)

  3. stealthcav

    The light turned green and I tried to take off...

    Gina, just remember, never let anyone rush you or force you to ride above your capabilities.

    I've done just the reverse. Downshifting for a red light and was one gear lower than I thought. Stood it right up on the back wheel when the light turned green. I did get to meet the nice LEO who was in the lane next to me though.

  4. Gina7

    Old Bob, Thanks for the tip hadn't thought of that one! I will be watching for it. It's hard to know what to do or not do if you've never done it before. At least here I on the blog I'm learning a good deal and that gives me things to practice and bookmark in the old brain!
    Thanks Again,
    Panama City Florida

  5. Archaeon


    I have been riding off and on for nearly 35 years and I did the same thing just yesterday, don't feel bad, it happens.

  6. 4mrAkankmpr

    I've been riding for years and I can't begin to count the number of times I've stalled the bike because I wasn't in first gear as I thought. There've been countless times I've slipped the clutch at high revs to extract myself from such embarrassing situations. I'm sure lots of moto-cops have done the same!

  7. g2pirt

    One effective tip that I can offer when you're at a red light (and first in line) is to always lightly tap your brakes a few times and keep an eye on your mirrors once you come to a complete stop to give the driver approaching from behind a CLEAR indication that you are FULLY stopped. It's something that I'm always cognizant of when stopping just because I don't trust anyone!!!

    As for your initial question, well I ALWAYS try to make a conscious effort to ensure I gear down to first when coming to a complete stop, thus avoiding the problem of starting out in second. If you pay attention and get into the habit of doing this EVERY time you shouldn't have any future problems... but that's always easier said than done, lol.

  8. bevo844

    if you're at a stop and there is a vehicle that has pulled in behind you and stopped, and it's in hot climate, i recommend going to neutral. the stopped vehicle behind you doesn't pose any danger now, and getting out of gear in the heat will help save your clutch.

  9. einzdan

    I disagree; you should never be in neutral at a stop light. Just because the driver behind you has stopped doesn't mean the situation behind you won't change 10 seconds later where you have to get out of the way quickly.

    Clutches are replaceable , your life or well being isn't. Besides, in all the years I've been driving, staying in first at a red light has never damaged my clutch.

    You should always be down shifting into first when you come to a stop.

  10. yhennlj

    One more thing I'll add that I've heard about, never happened to me though, is that the 650 sometimes is tricky trying to get it into first from a complete stop and on a moments notice. I always down shift to first, old habit from my days as a truck driver. Sometimes I will even check by tapping the shifter to make sure it's in first.

  11. yhoower

    Gina, just remember, never let anyone rush you or force...

    If they weren't so damn expensive I'd put a gear indicator on my bike. But I'm not paying that kinda money to avoid the few times I forget what gear I'm in.

  12. Cliffort

    if you're at a stop and there is a vehicle...

    When you are stopped with the clutch lever fully sqeezed, there is no wear; unless the clutch is not properly adjusted.
    I rode a ways with a guy who had a Road Star converted to foot clutch and hand shift. At every stoplight he would put it in neutral so as to put both feet on the ground. When the light turned green there would be a delay while he put his foot to the pedal and pressed it to shift to first and get going. Every time there would be honks from behind us!.


  13. Cabri103

    Gina welcome to the most fun you will ever have on two wheels! I have been riding for many years now and still manage to do come to the red light in the wrong gear once in awhile....put, put put away. One thing, never let the car behind you dictate what you need to do. If you need to stop and get the bike into first gear it is better than trying to take off in the wrong one then dropping the bike in the middle of the intersection. Thing is it is all a learning experience and you only get better every time something like that happens.

    Keep on riding, Phil


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