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Thread: 1st gear or neutral at stops?

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    Registered User Bmandiego's Avatar
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    1st gear or neutral at stops?

    This was brought up a thread, I thought it made an interesting topic.
    When you stop in traffic, do you leave it in first, or place in Neutral?
    Do you also leave it in first while parked?
    I'm in first most of the time for all the above.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bmandiego View Post
    This was brought up a thread, I thought it made an interesting topic.
    When you stop in traffic, do you leave it in first, or place in Neutral?
    Do you also leave it in first while parked?
    I'm in first most of the time for all the above.
    Yes at a stop sign or controlled intersection--the practice saved my ass one time.

    I was number one at a stop light and the lady approaching from behind started to skid in the rain. I took one quick look and realized she was going to take me out, so I let out the clutch and worked my way through the cross traffic. She ended up skidding through my position at the light and out into the intersection

    Yes, when parking. I've watched many a BMW take a nap as they slowly roll of their side stands in neutral.

  3. #3
    Mike LngRdr's Avatar
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    1st

    Yes to both. I always try to leave room and watch my rear until the car behind me comes to a stop. I put it in neutral to start but leave it in first when I park it.

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    All-round Motorcyclist MarkM's Avatar
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    I leave it in first at lights so I'm ready to get out of the way if I'm about to be rear-ended. I leave it in first when parked so it won't roll. My bike rarely sees neutral.
    Mark M, St. Louis, '95 R1100RS, '01 Super Sherpa
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  5. #5
    Registered User arthurdent's Avatar
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    First

    Onliest time I use neutral is on center stand in my garage or when maneuvering. MSF says first whenever in traffic - avoids sandwiching if you're paying attention.

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    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    First at lights, neutral when parked, unless the ground is uneven.

    PS I use neutral when parked because I usually have to turn the bike around in the driveway when I leave.
    Last edited by tommcgee; 06-27-2012 at 04:25 AM. Reason: Hell of it
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  7. #7
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LngRdr View Post
    Yes to both. I always try to leave room and watch my rear until the car behind me comes to a stop. I put it in neutral to start but leave it in first when I park it.
    What he said, and for the reasons he said.

    Taught to all my students - stay in first when stopped for evasive maneuvering if needed - as long as clutch fully in - don't worry about 'damage to internal parts.'

    Always park in gear - have seen more than one bike bumped down because someone didn't.

    Pretty simple.
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    OK, but what about the guy sitting first at the light, in first gear with the clutch in. The clutch cable snaps and he jumps into the intersection in front of a big truck blasting thru the intersection? Won't happen if it's in neutral.

    I usually put it in neutral unless it's obviously gonna be just a short stop but keep the clutch covered & left foot on the shifter.

    Some of these stories are pretty scary. Makes me wonder if I shouldn't just hang up the helmet & sell the bike...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MARKAZ View Post
    OK, but what about the guy sitting first at the light, in first gear with the clutch in. The clutch cable snaps and he jumps into the intersection in front of a big truck blasting thru the intersection? Won't happen if it's in neutral.

    I usually put it in neutral unless it's obviously gonna be just a short stop but keep the clutch covered & left foot on the shifter.

    Some of these stories are pretty scary. Makes me wonder if I shouldn't just hang up the helmet & sell the bike...
    not likely to happen, but I can see your point.. for me once the traffic situation around me stabilizes I don't see any reason to remain in 1st...

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    Quote Originally Posted by MARKAZ View Post
    OK, but what about the guy sitting first at the light, in first gear with the clutch in. The clutch cable snaps and he jumps into the intersection in front of a big truck blasting thru the intersection?
    wow, that sounds pretty scary.

    when did you see that happen?
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  11. #11
    Addicted to curves azgman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MARKAZ View Post
    OK, but what about the guy sitting first at the light, in first gear with the clutch in. The clutch cable snaps and he jumps into the intersection in front of a big truck blasting thru the intersection? Won't happen if it's in neutral.

    I usually put it in neutral unless it's obviously gonna be just a short stop but keep the clutch covered & left foot on the shifter.

    Some of these stories are pretty scary. Makes me wonder if I shouldn't just hang up the helmet & sell the bike...
    Reading your post, I realize I stop with the clutch in, 1st gear selected AND my foot and/or hand on the brake. If the clutch ever malfunctioned, the bike would just stall.
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    Registered User AKsuited's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MARKAZ View Post
    OK, but what about the guy sitting first at the light, in first gear with the clutch in. The clutch cable snaps and he jumps into the intersection in front of a big truck blasting thru the intersection? Won't happen if it's in neutral.
    It won't happen if the bike is idling, it will stall every time.

    I will stay in first at a light unless there are vehicles behind me offering some protection. If I am safe, I'll slip it into neutral.

    On a closely related topic, I always check my mirror anytime I slow or stop, and while stopped.

    The BRC taught me many years ago to always park in gear and I see no reason to do otherwise.

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  13. #13
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MARKAZ View Post
    OK, but what about the guy sitting first at the light, in first gear with the clutch in. The clutch cable snaps and he jumps into the intersection in front of a big truck blasting thru the intersection? Won't happen if it's in neutral.

    I usually put it in neutral unless it's obviously gonna be just a short stop but keep the clutch covered & left foot on the shifter.

    Some of these stories are pretty scary. Makes me wonder if I shouldn't just hang up the helmet & sell the bike...
    On a modern motorcycle, your clutch cable catastorphically "snapping" is unlikely.

    Getting rear ended by a distracted driver (that's politically correct language - old version was "idiot") - much more likely.

    Stay in gear, keep one bike length back from vehicle in front of you, angle your bike to an escape path on either side of what's in front of you and watch your rearview mirror.

    Live longer that way.
    Kevin Greenwald - Touring Tips Editor
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  14. #14
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    +1

    And for the exact same reasons... although mine was a young girl on a cell phone, and my completely restored S.... on it's side after i had just rolled it out of my garage.

    Quote Originally Posted by limecreek View Post
    Yes at a stop sign or controlled intersection--the practice saved my ass one time.

    I was number one at a stop light and the lady approaching from behind started to skid in the rain. I took one quick look and realized she was going to take me out, so I let out the clutch and worked my way through the cross traffic. She ended up skidding through my position at the light and out into the intersection

    Yes, when parking. I've watched many a BMW take a nap as they slowly roll of their side stands in neutral.
    Somers, NY

    Just enjoying the ride.......

  15. #15
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    I say use context... all the above posts with keeping it in 1st at a stop light assume you're number 1 at the light, or maybe dead last, and nobody behind you.. in both cases, I too am always in 1st... but if I'm the 5th vehicle in a row of 10+ and I've got cars on my left and right, there is NO WHERE to bolt to... I'm essentially stuck.. so I put it in N and rest my arm..

    As for parking.. if it's flat/level, then Neutral for me, this way I can start my bike and warm it up a bit before I hop on... if there is ANY incline/angle then it's in 1st.

    context.

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