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Thread: 1st gear or neutral at stops?

  1. #16
    Registered User NavyDad's Avatar
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    Stop lights, stop signs, etc. Always in gear, monitoring mirrors and ready to bolt I left work one evening and was sitting behind a car at the light on a four lane road with wide median strip. I was watching a pickup approaching from the rear, FAST. I knew it was gonna get ugly I gassed it and pulled well into the median strip and up past three cars about the same time he locked his brakes. Missed me and plowed the car that was in front of me. I watch the rear and leave an escape route best as I can. I park in neutral on the centerstand unless I am in my garage.

  2. #17
    Registered User _Mark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NavyDad View Post
    Stop lights, stop signs, etc. Always in gear, monitoring mirrors and ready to bolt I left work one evening and was sitting behind a car at the light on a four lane road with wide median strip. I was watching a pickup approaching from the rear, FAST. I knew it was gonna get ugly I gassed it and pulled well into the median strip and up past three cars about the same time he locked his brakes. Missed me and plowed the car that was in front of me. I watch the rear and leave an escape route best as I can. I park in neutral on the centerstand unless I am in my garage.
    +1 to that

    Similar thing happened to me this morning, except no accident, although the car did end up in the space I was previously occupying.

    A conclusion is pretty much the place where you got tired of thinking ...
    2000 R1100RT
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  3. #18
    Registered User tourunigo's Avatar
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    1st always and like Newstar, leave that space. Not just an escape route because of something rolling on 'big time' behind you but because of some unsavory type's intent on blocking you and proceeding with criminal intent. With that thought, I try and position myself to one open side (as opposed to being boxed in) whenever possible. Being curbside can have some issues as well but that's a whole other discussion. Never neutral in unfamiliar stop/go high traffic situations. 1st also when parking. - Bob
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  4. #19
    Registered User 88bmwjeff's Avatar
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    When parked on level ground, my bike is on it's center stand and in neutral. I rarely use the sidestand--you know what they say about the stock sidestands on airheads. So most of the time, it's in neutral when parked.

    At stop light, it depends. I usually start off in First, but if it's a long wait, then I'll move to neutral. It also depends on the traffic. There are times that I stay in first. I understand that's not what MSF teaches, but it works for me.
    Jeff in W.C.
    1988 R100 RT (the other woman)
    "I got my motorcycle jacket but I'm walking all the time." Joe Strummer

  5. #20
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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.......

  6. #21
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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.

  7. #22
    Registered User arthurdent's Avatar
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    GS center stand

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkM View Post
    I put my R1100RS on the center stand while in first gear without pulling in the clutch. The wheel comes off the ground without any resistance. Maybe the GS geometry/suspension is different, but you might want to give it a try. It's also nice coming off the center stand in gear because the bike does not roll forward.
    Put much load on a GS and it gets hard to put on center stand. Unloaded its a breeze. Higher off the ground and different center of mass with the bags loaded. Mine is nicknamed Sam Gamgee due to enormous cargo capacity.

  8. #23
    Registered User arthurdent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tourunigo View Post
    1st always and like Newstar, leave that space. Not just an escape route because of something rolling on 'big time' behind you but because of some unsavory type's intent on blocking you and proceeding with criminal intent. With that thought, I try and position myself to one open side (as opposed to being boxed in) whenever possible. Being curbside can have some issues as well but that's a whole other discussion. Never neutral in unfamiliar stop/go high traffic situations. 1st also when parking. - Bob
    Just got done with two month road construction on my commute. One lane with pilot car and no way of knowing if my gravel back routes would help any given day. Being first in line on rural highway with LOTS of cars coming from behind is not a happy place. I always stayed near the shoulder waiting for the pilot car. Yuck!

  9. #24
    Novice Adventurer Newstar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NavyDad View Post
    Stop lights, stop signs, etc. Always in gear, monitoring mirrors and ready to bolt I left work one evening and was sitting behind a car at the light on a four lane road with wide median strip. I was watching a pickup approaching from the rear, FAST. I knew it was gonna get ugly I gassed it and pulled well into the median strip and up past three cars about the same time he locked his brakes. Missed me and plowed the car that was in front of me. I watch the rear and leave an escape route best as I can. I park in neutral on the centerstand unless I am in my garage.
    Amen to that! Glad you were watching! I watch for just that reason as well.

  10. #25
    Registered User Bmandiego's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maacova View Post
    The clutch lever is so light to pull in that I don't even notice that I am doing it.
    Ken Denton
    I must be a wimp. My 1100rt clutch lever is very stiff. It's lubed and all, cable is not frayed, but it is harder to move than I'd prefer.

  11. #26
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    First gear with clutch in at the stop lights. Ready to go when traffic starts moving. Or get out of someones way if they are not paying attention. i figure if the cops do it, there must be a reason. Maybe safety or maybe to get a jump on the bad guys.
    brhartw
    '87 K75S sold 94578 vin150106
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  12. #27
    All-round Motorcyclist MarkM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by R1200RClassic View Post
    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...
    Your R1200R does not need to be warmed up a bit. Start it and ride away.
    Mark M, St. Louis, '95 R1100RS, '01 Super Sherpa
    There are two roads in life; the twisty one is vastly more fun.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkM View Post
    Your R1200R does not need to be warmed up a bit. Start it and ride away.
    yeah, I don't agree with that at all... I've heard all that "new engines don't need to be warmed up" stuff from others in the past... I ALWAYS warm up my cars/truck/bike for a little bit (I don't wait for it to reach operating temp or anything like that).. The laws of Physics have not been suspended just because manufacturing technology has improved.. if anything, todays engines with tighter tolerances need warm ups even more so..

    The whole warm up isn't important thing has been pushed by certain "green" elements of society and many manufacturers sign on because they know that the problems that will arise from riding an engine hard while cold will not likely manifest themselves until well after the warranty expires.

    I operate multi million dollar state of the art turbine engines for a living and we have time limitations on when we can apply take off power/thrust due to heat/thermal expansion as well as oil circulation requirements... both of which apply to a 1170cc boxer.. thermodynamics 101.
    Last edited by R1200RClassic; 06-28-2012 at 02:46 AM. Reason: edit typo

  14. #29
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    95% of the time I use Neutral when stopped. I always use my right foot to steady myself with my left foot on top of the gear shifter. I always watch cars approaching me from the rear. Twice over the past 40 years I have had to pull into the median before the car smashed into the car in front of me. Always had more then enough time to get it into gear and move into the median. I still have a Cyberlite. If they are looking forward, then they see the brake light. Can't miss it. Cyberlites were excessively bright, which is why their not in business.

    Have tried 1st gear at the light, but a couple times I have been startled and dumped the clutch by accident. I worry more about this then car approaching from the rear. With the Cyberlite, I have very few problems. For me, neutral appears to be a better for me.

    Almost all the time I use the center stand, so it's in neutral when parked. But, if on the side stand then it's in 1st.

  15. #30
    All-round Motorcyclist MarkM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by R1200RClassic View Post
    yeah, I don't agree with that at all... I've heard all that "new engines don't need to be warmed up" stuff from others in the past... I ALWAYS warm up my cars/truck/bike for a little bit (I don't wait for it to reach operating temp or anything like that).. The laws of Physics have not been suspended just because manufacturing technology has improved.. if anything, todays engines with tighter tolerances need warm ups even more so..

    The whole warm up isn't important thing has been pushed by certain "green" elements of society and many manufacturers sign on because they know that the problems that will arise from riding an engine hard while cold will not likely manifest themselves until well after the warranty expires.

    I operate multi million dollar state of the art turbine engines for a living and we have time limitations on when we can apply take off power/thrust due to heat/thermal expansion as well as oil circulation requirements... both of which apply to a 1170cc boxer.. thermal dynamics 101.
    OK, got it. Your 1170cc boxer works like a jet engine and manufacturers are OK with no warm up because it won't affect their warranty claims. Just curious, is "thermal dynamics" the same as thermodynamics?

    Seriously though, several oilhead owners have started their bikes, let them warm up on fast idle, and run back inside for something. Then one thing or another delayed them or they completely forgot they left the bike running. Twenty minutes later they walk out to find bad things have happened to their bikes. Once a guy even burned down his garage that way. So not knowing your background and knowledge of oilheads, it seemed prudent to pass along this bit of wisdom collected here on the forum. There are plenty of folks here who have ridden with minimal warm up, racking up well over 100K miles on their bikes.

    Ride safely and enjoy that beautiful R. Love the stripe.
    Mark M, St. Louis, '95 R1100RS, '01 Super Sherpa
    There are two roads in life; the twisty one is vastly more fun.

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