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 Motorcycle Safety
 General Discussion
 On and Off (Mounting/Dismounting)
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Male Junior Member
75 Posts

Richmond, VA


Virago 250

Posted - 12/14/2010 :  5:55 PM
I found out the reason I don't dismount on the right. That exhaust/muffler is hot, burning hot.
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Male Junior Member
83 Posts

Bedford, Nova Scotia


'07 Dyna Super Glide

Posted - 12/14/2010 :  8:45 PM
If I dismount to the right off my H-D Dyna I could come in contact with the shield over the pipes, but unlikely, even with my short stature. In particular if you make an effort to lift your leg a bit.

I just always had the habit of mounting from the left starting with a friend's 50cc Honda (not the scouter).

Then came my small '56 Triumph 500cc Army bike with the exhaust low on the right and after that, a 650cc, 1960, BSA, with pipes low on both sides.

Perhaps it is just what you get used to like a left or right batter, same with picking up the stick for the first time in ice hockey and many other sports.

Alan Sheppard

"If you dismount to the right, your right leg has a good chance of getting burned on a hot exhaust pipe if you happen to rub against it. Is that correct?
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Male Standard Member
132 Posts

Charlotte, NC



Posted - 12/15/2010 :  7:54 AM
Originally posted by Daddio

When we are taught to ride a horse, we are taught to put our left foot in the left stirrup and swing our right leg over. When we dismount we are taught to go left. Why is that? It seems that is why our bikes are canted to the left when on their sidestands. We have been mounting our steeds from that direction forever.

Mounting a horse from the left goes back to the days of swords. You would wear the sword on the left side so you could draw it with your right hand (remember at that time it was considered evil to be left handed). With the sword on the left side it was much easier to swing your right leg over rather than your left leg. Horses don't care which side you mount from. They only care about what they have been trained for.
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Jeff Popa
Male Starting Member
4 Posts

Akron, OH


Ultra Classic

Posted - 12/15/2010 :  7:46 PM
I rode a Police Motor for many years. We were taught to mount and dismount from the right, supposedly to use the Motor as protection. Never understood the logic of this, but that's how we did it.
Now that I am retired, I tend to mount/dismount from the left. Why? Well, since the Motor is leaning to the left on the sidestand, when I put my right leg on the ground, it tends to be very close to or even touch the extremely hot exhaust pipe. That, plus the fact that I am not as agile as I once was pretty well dictates a left side on/off.
So, there's my two cents worth......
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4260 Posts

Meridian, Idaho


Sportster Sport

Posted - 12/15/2010 :  8:51 PM
Back in the day before motorcycles were equipped with "thumb starters" the were started with "leg operated kick starters" which with few exceptions were located on the right side of the motorcycle. The Harley Sprints and BMWs come to mind as having starters that were a bit "odd" and taking a bit of getting used to. The Sprint starter was on the left side and one usually started the bike with the right leg before mounting it. The Beemers had a starter that kicked perpendicular to the long axis of the bike and I don't recall which side it was on but again, most riders started the bike before mounting it.

Mounting from the left seemed more natural to me when the kick starter was on the right. Most beginning riders kick started the bike on the side or center stand. Kick starting the bike when off the stand was usually a sign of an experienced rider familiar with the idiosyncrasies of their machine, confident of not making a spectacle of themselves or being laughed at. Even so, even experienced riders, every once in a while, suffered a bout of sub-optimal balance providing an amusing "show" when they ended up with their bike on top of them. Thus the saying of old time riders "it's a good thing he ended up up under the bike,he knew he could grow new skin but new chrome and paint costs money" or similar words to the same effect.
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Male Senior Member
317 Posts

Phenix City, Al


Sprint & HD XLH1200S

Posted - 12/16/2010 :  5:47 AM
I have been dismounting from the left since I was a wee lad on a bicycle. When riding horses, I had that habit re-enforced. Next I owned a few motorcycles with a right mounted kick start, so the habit continued to serve me well. By the time I was 50 and all my bikes were electric start the habit was pretty much ingrained. Now I own a sporty with chrome pipes and no heat shields I have (yet) another reason to continue mount from the left.
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Male Moderator
1484 Posts

Evanston, IL



Posted - 12/16/2010 :  8:11 AM
I've had bikes with the kick start on the right, Honda CB 350 and 500. I've had bikes with it on the left, Can-Am 175 TNT and BMW R75/5. I've always mounted on the left. That would only change if a bike had the side stand on the right.
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Male Advanced Member
1117 Posts

Jacksonville, NC

Moto Guzzi

2007 Breva V750 ie

Posted - 12/16/2010 :  8:53 AM
Both of my bikes have sidestands on the left, so it is easier to mount from the left, as the seat is canted toward you. You don't have to swing so far over before lowering your butt.

The BMW has a center stand. When the bike is on the centerstand, I will mount on whichever side I approach it from.
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