Whats the best wayto come to a stop at an intersection/stop sign?
February 3, 2010 at 1:01 am #3690J.R.Participant
Im very new to riding and somebody told me to engage the clutch, and apply both brakes ( mostly the front brake ), and after you stop put the bike in Neutral, and when ready pop the bike back into First when the light is about to change or when youre about to leave the stop sign. All tips will be appreciatedFebruary 3, 2010 at 1:41 am #24361jcwhiteParticipant
I’m not going to speak to using engine braking vs front brake vs rear brake vs both (I use both brakes and my engine, but I’m curious as to what people think about that part of it). One thing to think about though – if you’re stopped and in neutral, if you see something coming up behind you that you don’t like, you can’t go anywhere. If you’re in gear, you can respond and get yourself out of the way – off to the side or around the corner. Sure, it’s only another half second, but that counts on the road. I’m not sure if that’s in the US MSF course, but it was in my safety course in BC, and it sure seems logical to me.
Also, when you’re learning, be careful with the front brake (as I’m sure you know). Depending on the bike, it can potentially be scary-fast braking.February 3, 2010 at 2:11 am #24363
Don’t shift down to neutral; shift to first gear. Stay in first until there is a car stopped behind you just in case you have to book it to avoid getting smashed from behind.February 3, 2010 at 2:16 am #24365TrialsRiderParticipant
Both brakes must be applied correctly to keep you in a straight line. While the front brake does provide ~80% of your effective brake force, that is NOT to say you should haul it on harder!!! doing so will get you in big trouble real fast unless you have ASBS (and you don’t) Never exceed the traction available to your front tire and in my experience engine braking is nearly as important as the rear brake itself. I rely on engine braking a lot to sluff off speed, especially from high speed. When I’m stopped at an intersection light, I go for neutral, unless someone is approaching from any direction or sitting on my ass, then I agree with jcwhite; I’m in gear, watching my mirror, everything around me and ready for anything!
…You are going to take a course I trust!February 3, 2010 at 2:22 am #24364Gary856Participant
Everybody do this a little differently, so I’ll just mentioned a few items:
– When slowing down, you don’t have to engage the clutch until the engine speed drops to the point of bogging, say, below 2k rpm. This way you take advatage of a bit of engine braking.
– If you were at a higher gear, some people recommend shifting down one gear at a time as your speed drops so you’re ready to reaccelerate at any given moment, like when the light turns green before you come to a full stop. I do that some times. When I’m coming to a stop sign and know I’ll be stopping for sure, I usually wait until almost the end, then engage the clutch and click down several gears to first.
– You should click all the way down to 1st gear just before coming to a full stop, otherwise, on some bikes and some times, it’s hard to shift down to 1st when the bike is stationary.
– When I was new, I’d leave the bike in 1st and the clutched engaged while waiting at a stop. That way I was ready to go anytime. There were times when I was in neutral, and the bike didn’t want to shift into 1st when I was ready to go. After I got more experienced, I’d shift into neutral while waiting at a long light, when there’s a stopped car behind me protecting my rear.
– Sometimes it’s hard to shift between neutral and 1st when the bike is stationary. Roll the bike forward or backward a few inches (it lines up something in the transmission) would make it easier.February 3, 2010 at 2:29 am #24367
That’s definitely something I’d forgotten about, and was a source of stress when I first started. Gary’s tip (rock the bike a bit while trying to get into gear) is a good one to remember, but if that doesn’t work (on a hill with a car right behind you, for instance), another good trick is to drop the clutch into the friction zone and then try to click into 1st.
Another thing: I watch the opposing lights when I’m at an intersection and, when they turn yellow, I get ready to go if I wasn’t already in gear, on the rear brake, etc.. That way you’re not fumbling to get into first in a panic with a green light ahead and honking cars behind.February 3, 2010 at 2:51 am #24371Gary856Participant
One thing I really hated when I was new was forgetting to shift all the way down to 1st when stopping. Let’s say I stopped in 4th gear. The light turned green and traffic started to move. Let out the clutch and the bike stalled. OK, shifted down one gear (to 3rd), let out the clutch and the bike stalled again. You get the picture – wasn’t pretty.
Also, when stationary, the bike often doesn’t want to shift down. Like eternal noted, let out the clutch and barely get into friction zone and click down one gear, without moving, pull in the clutch, then let it out and barely get into friction zone and cilck down another gear, and so on, until you find 1st. When stopped, by getting into the friction zone, or by rocking the bike forward/backward a few inches, you line something up (forgot what it’s called – the synchromesh?) in the transmission to make shifting possible.February 3, 2010 at 5:30 am #24377SantaCruzRiderParticipant
So JR, can we all assume that you’re skipping the BRC? Hard to believe that the didn’t give any info on how to get into gear at a stop.
Assuming that’s the case, you might want to pickup Motorcycling for Dummies, it goes through the most basic of controls and covers alot of territory.February 3, 2010 at 5:32 am #24378briderdtParticipant
As I come to a stop, I downshift each gear and let the clutch out a little, applying both brakes (though I tend to apply the rear first). If I’m going to be at a light for a while, I’ll shift into neutral once the car behind me has stopped. I won’t do that UNTIL that car has completely stopped. Otherwise I’m in 1st. If I’m back a ways at a light, I’ll stay in neutral until the light changes, otherwise I look for the opposing light to turn yeallow and snick into 1st. At stop signs, I’ll often come to a momentary stop and then go in 1st without putting a foot down. I know, not strictly legal…February 3, 2010 at 11:46 am #24380TrialsRiderParticipant
It’s not strictly legal???
..full stop feet up sounds perfectly legit by me. Wonder what that cop would say to stopped waiting for the light to change, feet upFebruary 3, 2010 at 12:10 pm #24381
Coming to a FULL stop without putting a foot down IS perfectly legal, at least according to all cops I’ve ever asked (in Cali, Oregon, and Washington). If you can balance at full stop, even for a second, more power to ya.February 3, 2010 at 2:24 pm #24383briderdtParticipant
Even on a bicycle, a foot down is the legal requirement. Doesn’t matter if I can track-stand for a half hour (which I can), if I don’t unclip and put a foot down, I can get cited (though Mercer Island is the only place I’ve ever heard of this actually happening).
YMMV depending on where you are.February 3, 2010 at 2:25 pm #24384IBA270Participant
Use both brakes, shift to first, stay in first at a light. Why? Because the person behind you expects you to go when the light turns green…assuming they remember you’re even there as they sent six text messages while waiting on the light. If you botch the neutral to one shift, you just became an obstacle. And even if the car behind doesn’t tag you, the car behind THEM might just bump them as they expected YOU to move.
And get to the BRC…don’t cheat yourself. Do a little research on the statistics and you’ll understand why.February 3, 2010 at 3:05 pm #24385
I’m really curious to know, as I’ve neither read anything of this in any DMV/DOL/DOT literature, nor heard this from police offers I’ve asked. Here are the only definitions of a “stop” that I can find in DOT law:
Nothing in the “Rules of the Road” mentions having to put feet down either.February 3, 2010 at 8:37 pm #24386eonParticipant
There is no legal requirement to put a fut down in WA but the cops are trained to look for folks who don’t put a foot down. So you are more likely to be pulled over if you do a full stop with no feet than if you simply dab a foot down and roll through. Got this tidbit from the MSF coach on my ERC who works/trains with local officers.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.