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Safety TipsTips:145-180   Tip178   Print article Print

Finding Neutral Is A Start-up Activity
Leave it in gear!

By: James R. Davis

There are very few times while your engine is running that you should be in neutral. That is, when you start-up in the morning you should find neutral, start your bike, put it into gear and leave it in gear even after you have finished your ride. (Being in gear is the closest thing you have to a parking brake.)

Now, if you happen to be in a very slow parade with prolonged waits between movement your left hand muscles can cramp so you should have no problem dropping it into neutral for awhile in that situation. But if you are at an intersection waiting on a light to change your bike should be in gear! If you need to take off fast (some turkey is coming at you from behind that is clearly not going to stop) then you need to move your scoot in a big hurry. It takes time to stomp it into first gear - you will probably have to shift weight to your right foot, then stomp the shift lever, then crank the throttle.)

Think that's not very much time? Watch this (the motorcyclist got as far as shifting his weight to the right foot before he became airborne):

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(James R. Davis is a recognized expert witness in the fields of Motorcycle Safety/Dynamics.)

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