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Thread: Right or left first?

  1. #1
    '91 K100LT, '99 R1100RT theblueeagle's Avatar
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    Right or left first?

    Last week I had a terrible thing happen. After riding for years with my K100LT the worst thing happened. I was making a right turn, stopped at the light, put down my feet and there was no ground there. Yep, as you'd expect, I couldn't keep my balance up and the bike laid down on the right side. It wasn't too bad. Some road scratches on the faring, case and a broken windshield where it hit the curb edge. No injuries other than my dignity. When I got up I had the, " what the $(&#$* just happened" thought. When I looked at the road surface I saw I had been the victim of a bad asphalt overlay. The bike tires were stopped on the high part and my right foot was trying to balance on the lower, un-overlayed section. When I put my right foot down I was balanced off center to the right and fell over. NO, I was not drinking. I don't do that!

    So, here is my question. How do the "experts" land at a stop. Do you stop with your right or left foot first or both or what? Here is how I do it. I slow by applying the rear brake first, then the front and then downshift until I'm in first. Right before I come to a complete stop I put both feet out and "land" right at the point the bike stops. Since my little mishap I've been watching to see how others stop. Some stop with the left foot down and keep the right on the brake. Others stop similar to how I do. Still others stop with the right foot down and then downshift with their left.

    Opinions, suggestions and ideas are all welcomed and appreciated.
    Ride Safe - Be Safe

  2. #2
    Rocky Bow BMW Riders #197 bogthebasher's Avatar
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    I think I pretty much do the same as you... funny I was thinking about that today while out on a ride. I have to tip toe (well more like the front half of my foot) on the RT so don't feel confident with landing just one foot. If I did though, it would be my left - that's what I do on a bicycle. Is it just my imagination, or sport bike riders do the left foot thing more than others? I have seen a lot of cruiser riders plant both feet flat more often than not. ...and although I haven't dropped this bike at a stop, my last VStrom met that fate.
    Ken
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  3. #3
    John. jstrube's Avatar
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    I stop with my foot on the brake & put my left foot down most of the time.

  4. #4
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    If there's no cages behind me, and the red light is stale, I try to slow and coast up without actually stopping.
    If I am stopping for a light, I typically pull clutch in, click down thru gears to neutral, coast up slow with front brake until I stop. Right foot down, left stays at shifter, front brake.
    Same thing for stop signs, right turns, but clutch pulled, and in first gear.

  5. #5
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    Depends on how crowned the road surface is. In TX a lot of county and state roads are seriously crowned for drainage. Typically left if really crowned or you tip way over like you put your foot in a hole! A surprise at times for the uninitiated

    If doing a lot of start/ stops...it seems to be the right down and foot covering shifter.

    I do ease up and roll up to a lot of signals w/out having to do either when it is not the urban jungle type of non -sequenced signals for blocks & blocks.
    Steve Henson
    SABMWRA MOA Club#62's Flat Fixer/ current forum moderator
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  6. #6
    You stupid, fix it! r11rs94's Avatar
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    I do all three, depending on the type of stop, but mostly left down, right on break.
    The thing about traveling is, you never want it to end and you can't wait to get home.
    I answer to Roy, Chief, or Sarg.
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  7. #7
    otherwise
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    No one has mentioned checking the road surface.
    Make sure your imaginary road matches the real one.

  8. #8
    From MARS
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    I always shift down as I come to a stop and place my left foot out for balance. I never sit in nuetral at a light until traffic behind me has come to a complete stop. Tom

  9. #9
    Mars needs women! 35634's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theblueeagle View Post
    put down my feet and there was no ground there. Yep, as you'd expect, I couldn't keep my balance up and the bike laid down on the right side.
    Opinions, suggestions and ideas are all welcomed and appreciated.
    I did the exact same thing only it was a pothole expertly disguised as a shallow puddle. Stuff happens. If you were scanning the tarmac in front of you someone probably would of rear ended you 'cause you weren't checking the mirrors. Or a meteor could of struck you. Hear about the guy jogging on the beach and got killed by a small plane after it's prop fell off? Just be happy you came through it OK!
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  10. #10
    RK Ryder
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    Quote Originally Posted by JStrube View Post
    I stop with my foot on the brake & put my left foot down most of the time.
    Same here except, since I am shorter than I used to be, I check the lie of the road, often stopping in the right wheel track to place my foot on the centre hump of the road which tends to be a little higher. If the road is level, I stop again as JStrube does but slightly slide my body in the saddle to the left to be certain I made a decent touchdown; then I slide back into the saddle and plant both feet on the ground if the cage behind me has come to a complete stop.

    Because I have in the early days of riding my K, found myself in the same predicament as TheBlueEagle, I always check the runway before coming in for a touchdown.
    Paul
    Retired and riding my RTs, the '87 K100 & the '98 R1100 !
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  11. #11
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    Question Vertically challenged rider stops

    Sorry about that....I know that hurt the dignity!!

    Like JStrube, I downshift to 1st, brake with right foot and touch the ground with left foot. I can't "flatfoot" my bike, and know what you're talking about.....a PITA. I'm guessing that in some ways, being short has forced me to focus on how I'm going to stop.

    If things look tricky on the left side, I'll downshift, brake and support the bike with my right foot. But sometimes making that shift at the last minute can prove a bit "hairy".

    Ride safe!
    Piperjim

    '95 R1100RS
    '61 John Deere 3010 LP

  12. #12
    What, me worry? GILLY's Avatar
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    Proper way is to put just your left foot down. Then if you want the right foot down you can do that, but I have a few suggestions. I used to have MSF certification, back in the olden days, so it might be taught differently now. OK.

    I'd suggest keeping the right foot on the brake, for a couple reasons. (And this is my practice, as I am a little on the short side, and it's easier for me than to flat-foot, both on my old and present BMW).
    First if the bike is a little tall for you, it becomes second-nature to just hold the bike up on your left foot.
    If your foot remains on the rear brake, at night, your brake light will be on, which might get you noticed by traffic from the rear easier.
    One really good reason, is that if you are in the habit of holding the rear brake at stops, taking off from a stop going uphill is way easier, you can use your right hand to just control the throttle and not bother with the front brake at all. You release the clutch and control your throttle, while letting up on the rear brake and it all goes very smoothly.

    Gilly
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  13. #13
    Raspberry waffles Bob!!! kewlmoose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JStrube View Post
    I stop with my foot on the brake & put my left foot down most of the time.

    1+ That's how I stop too.
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  14. #14
    Wired for sound!
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    Good dialog on the stopping thing... but aren't we passing up the opportunity to discuss the approach to a landing?

    On a right turn in an area I do not know, I stay left in the lane of travel. Too often, the very scenario that the OP suggested occurs. You pull to the right on the approach and find yourself in a very awkward situation... unless you have the inseam of a basketball player. Those gutters and road crowns edges get deep... and right hand turn sections get abused. In my neck of the woods, there are many sections of right hand turn lanes where massive portions of roadway right up to the concrete of the curb is missing... and those openings are deep and the roadway drops off significantly.

    So as a rule of thumb, if I don't know the area, I stay left in lane all the way thru a right turn.

    Conversely, in a left hand turn, I stay in the right hand part of the lane. While left hand turn lanes are not as abused, you should see the crapola that drivers drop out of the window of their car.... and I'm not talking cig butts or day old coffee. I've seen paper clips, trash off the floor, old lighters... By staying right in the left hand turn, the possibility of picking up junk in my tire decreases, not to mention the fact that if I did hit a turn lane with a small grand canyon in the making, I might be able to complete the turn and not end up on my side.

    So all of this is good conversation, but picking your spot on the approach may keep one out of more trouble then trying to figure out which foot you put down or what is the correct way vs. the wrong way.

    I'm just very glad that no one got hurt in the OP's post. I can buss my pride, but injury takes a lot longer to heal.

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