Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

Question about slowing down

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by thetrumpetplayer, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. Hey all,
    I'm just wondering: when slowing down on a bike approaching a red light / stop sign coming up etc, what is the best way to approach it?

    - Do I stay in gear (3rd gear for instance) and just pull the clutch in when I get closer and coast to the line while applying brake.

    - Do I gear down through the gears as I approach and just flip it into neutral when I'm there?

    Sorry for the noob question, but I'm not sure if one approach is better than the other.
    • Like Like x 1
  2. What you should do isn't necessarily what I do all the time :p

    None of the above.

    Gear down through each gear.

    Stay in gear at the lights at least until you've got a big queue of cars behind you. This (in theory) is to allow you to get away quicker if you see a semi in your mirrors, barrelling toward you with smoking tyres.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Gear down as you slow down. This way you'll be in the correct gear, you can accelerate quickly if need be and you can use engine braking. I only pull the clutch and flick down through gears if I've stuffed something up and don't have time to shift and rev match, I'm working on avoiding this and it rarely happens.

    When I'm stopped I only put it in neutral if there's no chance a car can come up behind me (cars behind me already stopped so I don't need an escape route) and I know it will be a long wait at the lights. I try to anticipate the change of lights by watching the rest of the traffic through the intersection and watching the other lights so I can be in first and ready to go ASAP.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. I'm not saying you don't do this...but for the new riders..

    When you fly off the lights just as they go green...MAKE SURE you check carefully both ways for red light runners.
  5. just by reading the above, does that mean it always happens? i mean car ramming at your bak...

    now i'm scared....
  6. Not very often but it does happen. It's scary out there.
  7. You ride a motorcycle. Slowing down should only ever happen in a sudden and tragic manner at the end of the third verse :twisted:.
    • Like Like x 2
  8. you should always be in a gear the puts you, and your bike, in a gear that is ready to go.
    So..... if you are slowing down, you still need to always be in a gear the lets you accelerate away cleanly if needed.
  9. Yeah that's correct. Never run through an intersection unless you've checked that it's safe to proceed. There's a reason why intersections have such a high accident rate, too many idiots clean up people because they run reds.

    Ideally if you've been watching the traffic you'll know if anyone is going to run through the intersection, and you won't go as soon as it goes green if there's danger.
  10. You should be in first when you get to a complete stop. Then when you put your left foot down, you can use your right to activate the footbrake. Then your hands are free to clutch and accelerate, without worrying about the brake. It is, in car terms, a handbrake start. Otherwise stopping halfway up a hill and getting going again is a bit of a juggling act.
  11. Agree with everyones posts so far.

    The Q-Ride instructor recommended getting down into 1st ASAP so you can pull away smoothly once the light changes - or so you have an escape plan in case a car or truck struggles to pull up at the light in time.

    Similar to what's been said, he also suggested getting the foot on the rear brake and holding that position so that your right hand is freed up to handle the throttle for take off.
  12. Good. It'll make you more aware of what is happening around you.

    My son learnt that lesson very early in his riding life after getting hit from behind by a P plater driving a Magna while he was stopped at a pedestrian crossing.

    Something else we learnt that day is that the back end of a KLR650 is stronger then the front end of a Magna. No damage to the KLR, but the Magna had its bumper hanging off.
  13. I got rear ended when stopped, does happen. He did stop behind me, then hit me when the car in front took off. Bit of broken plastic on my bike, just a pity he had a bull bar. Still mangled his number plate.

    One of my dads friends got killed while waiting at a set of lights by a taxi that didn't stop.
  14. Thanks for all the suggestions everyone. At the moment, I've been gearing down back through the gears as I approach as well as lightly pressing both rear & front brakes (so to at least let the driver behind me that I am in fact slowing down). I'm staying in 1st at the lights 95% of the time, except for those long-wait intersections I'm in neutral.

    Thanks guys.
  15. Get both those brake levers and throw them away. Problem solved.
    You should be in the right gear all the time...full stop.
    pls don't ask what the right gear is. It just is.
  16. I can understand throwing the rear brake in the bin (or at the dog) but the front brake too? Why? Jeez...
  17. How am I going to do stoppies without a brake lever?
  18. Slow down? Why would you want to do that?
  19. The rear brake comes in handy when riding on dirt.
  20. Mate I was taking the piss. That rear stabilizer will be your best friend while you are learning.
    Ok you grab first as you come to a stop. As you are putting your left foot down you should tap the gear lever to first. DO NOT GO BELOW 2nd until you have stopped. Otherwise a wet day and a road marking will have you on your ass quicker than you can imagine.
    Change down slowly and don't over rev it changing down. You have brakes. Use them.
    Pads are a lot cheaper to buy than a gearbox.
    Find the fat of your torque in your motor. Not power but torque. The start of that is where you want to change down to, not into the middle of it on the street.
    Keep it smooth and keep it simple. Learn and master the basics first.
    Get to know your bike inside and out. And the simple fun way to do this is ride. Plain ass in the seat time.