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Runnin' up that hill

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by dishy, Mar 13, 2007.

  1. I got my learners on Saturday. What a great feeling. Did it at Ride-tek. The guys there are very funny and laid-back.

    Since then I've been riding my Hyosung around the local streets. At first I was wondering "where should I go to practice" - and then I remembered that there are really cool roads just around the corner.

    Particularly some lovely low-speed twisty roads around the local parks - really nice blind bends that are posted with 30km/h warning signs. Great for practicing finding a line at low speed away from traffic.

    But the problem I couldn't get around was at the top of my street. I live on a hill, that gets very steep right at the top. I just couldn't get the bike to move without stalling, or rolling backwards.

    It's so steep that it's too heavy to hold the bike up with just my feet. So, somehow I have to use the brake, but transition through the clutch friction point while releasing the brake.

    How do you guys start from a stop when you are going up a steep hill?
  2. use rear brake, put throttle on and relase brake when the bike starts moving.
  3. Dishy, I use the rear brake much like the handbrake in a car, left foot down, right foot on rear brake, give the bike some revs (a little more than I use on a flat take off) ease the clutch out and start rolling with the rear brake still applied, gently ease off the rear brake.
  4. Thanks, I'll give that a go. I would have thought it would be a bad thing applying power with the rear brake on. Is the rear brake not powerful enough to completely stop the wheel from turning with power on?
  5. Sounds like my driveway! I solved the problem by parking it on the street :grin:

    If you've stalled:
    1. Back brake
    2. You're still in first, so clutch in and start it up
    3. Fast idle (if its really really steep like my driveway you'll be looking at very fast idle)
    4. Friction point and let out gradually as you lessen your back brake
    5. You're moving!
  6. On a hill start, think of the rear brake like the handbrake on a car. Hopper has explained the correct technique.

    Re your question about sending power to the wheel with the rear brake on: the aim is not really to get yourself rolling with the brake on, although a small amount of it is inevitable, as Hopper said (especially when you are learning). You use the brake to hold the bike while you bring the amount of power going to the rear wheel up to enough to exceed the force of gravity pulling you down the hill. When that force is reached, you can ease the brake off. If you have insufficient power, you'll stall and roll back a little - apply the brake and try again.

    When you are applying enough power, the bike will start to move forward as you ease the brake off. Voila! You have your successful hill start.

    Practice it slowly and try to keep your hand and foot movements smooth. And - stating the obvious - practice at the BOTTOM of the hill, not the top or the middle, so you don't have so far to fall if you make a catastrophic mistake and lose it!
  7. Only do the rear brake/handbrake trick til you stop stalling. Then try to learn to do without the brakes..

    If you can find where the exact point is that the clutch bites, your gear shifts will be much smoother and you'll have much more control of the bike..

    When I learned in a car, I was made to do hillstarts nonstop on a basically 45 degree hill, until I could do it without any roll backs and without riding the clutch at all.

    Practise doing that, it's the best possible way to learn.. Rear brake should only be used if you're in traffic and paranoid. Or if you want to hold yourself up on a hill..
  8. It's also well worth learning to do hill starts with the front brake, as keeping both feet on the ground is much more stable than one foot(particularly when you move on to a larger, heavier bike).

    Feel for the biting point of the clutch whilst gradually releasing the front brake at the same time as feeding in a little throttle. Takes some practice, but will help enormously with braking & throttle control.
  9. True this... learn also how to use the front brake...

    When I come up to a hill, I stop and hold myself there with the front brake - but once I want to take off I lift my right foot and put it onto the rear brake...

    It's easier than using a handbrake in a car to be honest as both hands can still operate the bike.
  10. Use right thumb and forefinger to control the throttle and the other 3 (hopefully) fingers on the brake.

    Then just sit sit there, rocking the bike forwards and backwards (as nearlyempty said) by holding a faster than usual idle while releasing the clutch and easing off on the brake. Then reapplying clutch and brake as the bike starts to move off.

    This is the best way I know of to get a feel for clutch/throttle/brake control.