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 Putting it in neutral at stop lights
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James R. Davis
Male Administrator
17295 Posts
[Mentor]


Houston, TX
USA

Honda

GoldWing 1500

Posted - 05/22/2007 :  4:55 PM Follow poster on Twitter  Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
quote:
Originally posted by smertens

Then perhaps you don't understand how adding trailing brake will help stabalize your motorcycle.

If we assume you can't pull past the car in front of you because he is at the limit line of an intersection. You have to do an emergency swerve from a dead stop to the left and then back to the right and go no farther than 10 feet forward and stop again. You won't be able to do it without rear brake to stabalize you.



I've heard that if a frog had wings it wouldn't bump its butt, and have reason to believe that's true. On the other hand, your 'if' statement requires rather a huge leap of faith and knowledge that is not evident to me. For one thing, you have no idea whatever of Duane's skill level. For another, you have postulated a scenario in which there will not be any 'stability' - during the maneuver you will be constantly correcting for instabilities. Finally, trail braking is valuable, as you suggest, in certain slow maneuvers, but it is braking nonetheless and your scenario requires fastest possible movement from a dead stop.

When you make declarations of fact, do be sure to be ready to support those declarations around here. We are not in the least tolerant of misinformation.
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ColoRexer
Male Advanced Member
616 Posts
[Mentor]


Castle Rock, CO
USA

Kawasaki

ZX14

Posted - 05/22/2007 :  5:05 PM
quote:
Originally posted by smertens

Then perhaps you don't understand how adding trailing brake will help stabalize your motorcycle.

If we assume you can't pull past the car in front of you because he is at the limit line of an intersection. You have to do an emergency swerve from a dead stop to the left and then back to the right and go no farther than 10 feet forward and stop again. You won't be able to do it without rear brake to stabalize you.




I'm with Duane on this one, I normally put both feet down, but remain in first. I take care to position myself when stopping such that if I had to scoot out of the way it would be as easy as possible. Planning an easy escape route seems like a better proposition than relying on drill-team skills, at least for me. At my present state at least, attempting to add rear brake during an evasive maneuver would probably be more harm than good. There may be something to that, but for now I'll keep it simple.
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smertens
Male New Member
16 Posts


Phoenix, AZ
USA

Honda

GL1800

Posted - 05/22/2007 :  5:45 PM
___________________________________
Finally, trail braking is valuable, as you suggest, in certain slow maneuvers, but it is braking nonetheless and your scenario requires fastest possible movement from a dead stop.
___________________________________

I'll stick with my statement that you don't understand trailing brake! If you think you can do without a rear brake a full lock left then right and stop without going more than 10 feet I'd like to see it. I'd really be impressed!

In any case I'll still be out of there a second ahead of you. By virtue of the fact that you will have to pick up two feet one at a time to keep from falling over.

As I said it has happened to me three times in my life. So go to a parking lot and try it. A parking space is a perfect place to try and one space is about the length of a car. So stay behind a space from a stop do a lock left / right then stop before the end of the space. If you come back and tell me you did it, I'd like to buy you a drink, but don't ride your bike to the bar!
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scottrnelson
Advanced Member
6884 Posts
[Mentor]


Pleasanton, CA
USA

KTM

990 Adv, XR650L

Posted - 05/22/2007 :  6:30 PM
smertens, thanks for making things a bit more lively here.

There are a bunch of things that you've posted that I disagree with, but many of them have already been covered.

One of the times when I definitely need a right foot down is when it's windy and the wind is coming from my left. Maybe a Goldwing has enough mass to resist wind gusts like that, but none of the 19 bikes that I've owned could.

I don't see the need for the use of a rear brake to pull up between cars. Since I live in California, I actually get to practice that maneuver regularly. If I've stopped a reasonable distance behind a car, I don't have to go to full lock to get around it and squeeze through the gap, and my bikes don't turn as sharply as yours, as noted in a different post from earlier today. I would just steer into the gap and would be able to stop perfectly well with the front brake only once I'm pointed straight, assuming I am somehow not able to get my foot back up in time, which I can't imagine.

Finally, as noted in the original post at the beginning of this thread from nearly two years ago, since it was started by me, if you're paying attention to what's going on behind you until you at least have a car or two stopped back there, you can recognize an emergency situation with plenty of time to shift back into first gear and move out of the way. I've never actually had to do that, though. I'll flash the brake light (with my right hand, not right foot) if I think there is any chance someone doesn't see me stopped there, but that's the most I've ever had to do.
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smertens
Male New Member
16 Posts


Phoenix, AZ
USA

Honda

GL1800

Posted - 05/22/2007 :  7:01 PM
No one has to agree with all anyone says. My purpose is to provide information and opinion. In the end it is all opinion, some based on fact or life experiences, some based on theory.

You make a good point that in Ca it is legal to split the lane. Something that is not legal in AZ. Sometimes I forget that. BUt I can always tell a CA'r in Phoenix.

I would challenge you however when you say your bike can't turn as sharp as mine. If it is a production bike from a manufacturer, there are not many that can't make a full U-Turn in 18 feet or less.

Foot down or not - I'm convinced mine is the best way, it's alright if your not. However if you and I were to race off the line you would certainly not start in neutral while I was in gear. That alone should tell you I'd get off the line quicker. Having said that I realize you can mitigate this by paying attention more to your mirrors.

So no one answer is always correct - as with most things it is really what works best for you.

Good discussion however
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James R. Davis
Male Administrator
17295 Posts
[Mentor]


Houston, TX
USA

Honda

GoldWing 1500

Posted - 05/22/2007 :  8:07 PM Follow poster on Twitter  Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
quote:
I'll stick with my statement that you don't understand trailing brake!


That's the second time you have declared, indeed, exclaimed, knowledge of someone's skill level or understanding level. I suggest that you have not the slightest idea what I understand or not about trailing brake. Twice is one times too many since you have been called on doing it already. Consider that your first strike.

quote:
In any case I'll still be out of there a second ahead of you. By virtue of the fact that you will have to pick up two feet one at a time to keep from falling over.


And that is another example of exaggeration and misinformation from you. One does not have to wait to move until they have lifted their feet off the ground, and it is NOT necessary to lift one at a time, and when lifting both your bike does NOT fall over. Finally, whether they lift one or two NEVER takes a full second. That is an eternity in an emergency situation. Your concept of time is terribly flawed. Your willingness to exaggerate (perhaps without realizing it) as a way to 'prove' the merits of your argument are a decided disservice to our readers. Consider that your second strike.

We can have different opinions. We cannot have different realities. When you use declaratives you should be making statements of fact, but it is clear that you seem to think that appending an exclamation point makes an opinion you hold to be even more than a fact. You will not be doing that again on this board.

Challenge anything you want and offer any opinions you want, but if you post declaratives in the future they had better be facts and accurately related.

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nomad dan
Advanced Member
1276 Posts


Denver, Colorado
USA

Kawasaki

06 Vulcan Nomad 1600

Peer Review: 1

Posted - 05/22/2007 :  9:08 PM
quote:
Originally posted by smertens
......... If you think you can do without a rear brake a full lock left then right and stop without going more than 10 feet I'd like to see it. ...........



My thoughts are that if you have to do a full lock turn each direction to get up between the two cars in front of you, then you were too close to them when you stopped.

If you stopped a reasonable distance back, then there is no need for a full lock turn to be aimed right up in between them.

I would say that all the slow speed gymnastic prowess one might be able to call upon in such a situation is all for not, unless you pull up too close.

If we had a contest to see who can pull up the closest behind the cars in front, and still get out, you may win. Perhaps not. But why do it in the first place?

I consider myself an accomplished slow speed, tight turn, rider. I love to challenge myself on U-turns from a left turn lane into the nearest oncoming lane just for fun. There is no penalty for getting it wrong in that situation. I do not challenge myself by pulling up too close to the cars in front of me at a red light just to see how well I can full lock turn in an emergency.

Just my take on the discussion so far.
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Duane
Male Advanced Member
863 Posts
[Mentor]


Buffalo, New York
USA

Suzuki

Boulevard C90T

Posted - 05/23/2007 :  6:42 AM
I for one am glad this discussion has come up again. It has reminded me that I need to plan an escape route when stopping.

Duane
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jollyroger
Advanced Member
2157 Posts
[Mentor]


St. Charles, MO
USA

Harley-Davidson

Springer Classic

Posted - 05/23/2007 :  7:15 AM
Putting the bike in neutral?
What's that mean?
If I want my bike in neutral, I pull in the clutch. Neutral is for sissies.
Now, lane splitting might be illegal in your (and my) state, but you want to believe that if someone's coming up my tailpipe, and going between cars is the shortest route to safety, I'm going splittin'...and if you're smart, so would you.
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smertens
Male New Member
16 Posts


Phoenix, AZ
USA

Honda

GL1800

Posted - 05/23/2007 :  11:54 AM
Oh well this may be strike three

I'm a little surprised. It would seem contrary is OK as long as it does not conflict with James. That Snarkyness is only OK for some. "I've heard that if a frog had wings it wouldn't bump its butt, and have reason to believe that's true" or "
Let me guess, smertens is a RiderCoach"


Bottom line we can pick apart each others argument, and that's fine. In doing so most people will come to their own conclusion.

It seems like I wandered into a sandbox you don't really want me in, so go ahead and do your umpire thing if you must. But know as much baseball as I've played, I don't like to be called out looking. I'd rather go down swinging!

Ride safe
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James R. Davis
Male Administrator
17295 Posts
[Mentor]


Houston, TX
USA

Honda

GoldWing 1500

Posted - 05/23/2007 :  11:59 AM Follow poster on Twitter  Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
Not a problem at all.

You're out.
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timbo
Advanced Member
594 Posts


Uxbridge
United Kingdom

BMW

R1100S

Posted - 06/18/2007 :  4:20 PM
quote:
Originally posted by smertens

Well I know this will sound very hard, but there are only two times when riding a motorcycle when the right foot should go down. The first is when backing up, and the second is when parking. Your right foot should never be down at any other time, not even at stoplights.

First you want to keep your brake light lit up so keep your right foot on the brake. It will make you a little more visible to approaching traffic. Don't depend on any lights however to keep you safe. I have witnessed riders pulling up too close to the car in front of them, with both feet down and hands roaming around. Only to have to attempt an emergency pullout. Fortunately when I pulled up next to him he attempted to back up to talk to me, pushing his bike in neutral backwards. As I watched him thinking what a dope, for some reason I glanced in my mirror only to see a full size pick up barreling down on us. I quickly did a pullout to the right that put me in between two cars. He attempted to get his bike into gear and do the same, and wound up running smack into a car in the lane to the left of him. I waited with him for the ambulance. It was mostly his pride that was hurt, and some major damage to his Ducati, not to mention the car he hit.

Also remember that if you get into a hilly situation, you will need to use your rear brake to hold you on the hill while using the throttle to get you going. This is very difficult to do using the front brake and throttle at the same time.

Enough of my rant. I told you it would sound harsh.



No it isn't. It may not be what you'd advise an inexperienced rider to do out of the box, but is a technique that many, many experienced rider master and use on a daily basis - particularly when really hilly, because then its advisable to get both of your feet on the ground for stability.

Just to keep my views "out there" - over here in the UK we are definitely taught to put vehicles in neutral when stopped because our view is that it is safer.

But I'll agree to disagree
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twc
Male Advanced Member
836 Posts
[Mentor]


Fort Collins, CO
USA

Harley-Davidson

Electra Glide Ultra

Posted - 06/18/2007 :  5:08 PM
quote:
Originally posted by timbo

No it isn't. It may not be what you'd advise an inexperienced rider to do out of the box, but is a technique that many, many experienced rider master and use on a daily basis - particularly when really hilly, because then its advisable to get both of your feet on the ground for stability.
Well, I'm another "two footer" who uses his front brake when starting off on hills. All it takes is a nice feel for the friction zone and a reasonable amount of right-hand coordination. I agree with the need to keep the brake light illuminated -- preferably flashing it to alert motorists approaching from behind -- but the front brake lever works fine for that, too.
quote:
Originally posted by timbo
Just to keep my views "out there" - over here in the UK we are definitely taught to put vehicles in neutral when stopped because our view is that it is safer.
Can you explain the logic behind that recommendation? The only argument that I could come up with, admittedly after only 60 seconds of thought, was that the risk of an operator error resulting in the bike lurching forward, perhaps hitting a pedestrian in a zebra crossing, is seen to outweigh the need to be prepared to escape an imminent rear-end collision.
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Thom Thumb
Advanced Member
1594 Posts
[Mentor]


Jordan, MN
USA

Harley-Davidson

Sportster XL883

Posted - 06/18/2007 :  11:31 PM
Many years ago, I read in a magazine (Cycle World, I think) that a rider should put his/her bike into neutral at traffic signals so that if the clutch cable happened to break, the bike wouldn't leap forward.

To me, this whole thing is tomato-tomahto. IMO, do what you wanna do.

TT
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bridwell52
Male Senior Member
377 Posts


Pensacola, FL
USA

BMW

KGT

Posted - 06/19/2007 :  6:09 AM
I ride two totaly different bikes. A KGT and a Victory. I do different things on each bike because of its design.
With that said, I never get close to the stopped car in front of me. I position myself for an exit without having to turn the bars much and always leave it in gear. As for relaxing after 2 cars stop behind me, now way. They way these monkeys drive around here, a rear ender usually gets 3 vehicles.
What ever you do, be aware and be ready.
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timbo
Advanced Member
594 Posts


Uxbridge
United Kingdom

BMW

R1100S

Peer Review: 1

Posted - 06/21/2007 :  5:13 PM
quote:
Originally posted by twc

quote:
Originally posted by timbo

No it isn't. It may not be what you'd advise an inexperienced rider to do out of the box, but is a technique that many, many experienced rider master and use on a daily basis - particularly when really hilly, because then its advisable to get both of your feet on the ground for stability.
Well, I'm another "two footer" who uses his front brake when starting off on hills. All it takes is a nice feel for the friction zone and a reasonable amount of right-hand coordination. I agree with the need to keep the brake light illuminated -- preferably flashing it to alert motorists approaching from behind -- but the front brake lever works fine for that, too.
quote:
Originally posted by timbo
Just to keep my views "out there" - over here in the UK we are definitely taught to put vehicles in neutral when stopped because our view is that it is safer.
Can you explain the logic behind that recommendation? The only argument that I could come up with, admittedly after only 60 seconds of thought, was that the risk of an operator error resulting in the bike lurching forward, perhaps hitting a pedestrian in a zebra crossing, is seen to outweigh the need to be prepared to escape an imminent rear-end collision.



OK, Here goes. I'm not really sure where to start so this might be a bit disjointed

a) Sitting in gear with the clutch pulled in is NOT the same as being in neutral. Neutral is a STABLE state - you don't have to DO anything. In gear, clutch in, is a metastable state - you need to keep pulling on that clutch lever to keep the bike safe. This also applies to cars. Now, what happens if you are in gear and your hand (or foot) comes off the clutch. At the least you stall. Then you are in a panic situaiton. At the next you lurch into the car in front and cause a fair bit of damage. At the worst you lurch into the cross traffic and die. So we think putting into neutral is a safe thing to do at the lights.

b) Almost all our vehicles are manual gear boxes - very few automatics. So we do not get the same situation as you guys where at lights when it goes green the auto's just floor it'n'go. Everyone has to put it into gear and go.

c) When we pull up at the lights, the possibility of being rear ended by some lunatic is nowhere on our risk register - and I mean nowhere. Now, when you pull up a a red light, why do you do that? - because it is not safe to proceed. So if you were to see someone in your rear view, what exactly are you going to do - pull forward into the cross traffic and die? How long is it going to take you to decide that the car behind is not stopping. DO you really have time?

d) Are our lights different from yours? - I was coming home this evening and stopping at a red light, I put it into neutral as always. Our lights go RED, RED/AMBER, GREEN. In the time it takes to go through the sequence from RED to RED/AMBER i've put my hands back on the bars, pulled in the clutch, popped it into first and at GREEN it's go time

So there you go. Our logic.
I suspect it is a combination of a number of fairly subtle differences which add up to a totally different approach.

Tim


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Dawg Rider
Male Senior Member
306 Posts


Sasser, GA
USA

Harley-Davidson

FXD Super Glide

Posted - 06/21/2007 :  7:39 PM
On the "one foot or two" issue:
I'm mostly a one footer, but I will sometimes put both down or even put the bike in neutral if I have to sit for long- once stopped I don't see any big deal there. While stopping I prefer putting only my left foot down because I tend to not use the front brake for the last couple of feet. I have been in a situation before where I had to swerve a bit at the last second, and as we all know, front brake and slow speed turning don't go together. I didn't dump it, but I had to do a minor stiff-legged, bar-tuggin' shuffle to stay upright. Of course, such would be a rare occurance for sure, but I have gotten in the habit of staying off the front brake for the final few feet. I also don't like to put a foot down until the bike is essentially stopped (like most, I'm sure), and it seems easier for me to be smooth by stopping and dropping one foot rather than both (I guess I always have a very slight left lean at the end?). Plus, it irritates me when I see a rider hang both feet close to the ground for the final few feet...pet peeve I guess.
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jollyroger
Advanced Member
2157 Posts
[Mentor]


St. Charles, MO
USA

Harley-Davidson

Springer Classic

Posted - 06/22/2007 :  7:21 AM
quote:
Originally posted by timbo


d) Are our lights different from yours? - I was coming home this evening and stopping at a red light, I put it into neutral as always. Our lights go RED, RED/AMBER, GREEN. In the time it takes to go through the sequence from RED to RED/AMBER i've put my hands back on the bars, pulled in the clutch, popped it into first and at GREEN it's go time




The lights themselves aren't that different (we having only an amber, not red/amber), but apparently, the way they sequence is.
It sounds like your lights go from green to red, at which time, of course, you stop; then, they go from red to red/amber as an alert that the light's about to turn green.
Our lights go from green to amber (which is supposed to be a warning to stop) to red. Then, from red to green, with no alert to go.
So, yeah, they're different. Sort of.
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twc
Male Advanced Member
836 Posts
[Mentor]


Fort Collins, CO
USA

Harley-Davidson

Electra Glide Ultra

Posted - 06/22/2007 :  9:34 AM
quote:
Originally posted by jollyroger

The lights themselves aren't that different (we having only an amber, not red/amber), but apparently, the way they sequence is.
It sounds like your lights go from green to red, at which time, of course, you stop; then, they go from red to red/amber as an alert that the light's about to turn green.
Our lights go from green to amber (which is supposed to be a warning to stop) to red. Then, from red to green, with no alert to go.

The U.K. traffic lights also go from green to amber to caution that they are about to turn red, just like those in the U.S. The only difference is the red-amber signal to indicate that they are about to turn green. The U.K. Highway Code has a complete description.

quote:
Originally posted by timbo

When we pull up at the lights, the possibility of being rear ended by some lunatic is nowhere on our risk register - and I mean nowhere.

I thought this was the most interesting part of timbo's response. It's not like motor vehicle accidents are unheard of in the U.K. and it's surprising that rear-end collisions are considered extremely improbable.
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jollyroger
Advanced Member
2157 Posts
[Mentor]


St. Charles, MO
USA

Harley-Davidson

Springer Classic

Posted - 06/22/2007 :  10:08 AM
quote:
Originally posted by twc

The U.K. traffic lights also go from green to amber to caution that they are about to turn red, just like those in the U.S. The only difference is the red-amber signal to indicate that they are about to turn green. The U.K. Highway Code has a complete description.



I think maybe they're on to something there; of course, over here the hotrods would use the amber/red as a staging light..
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