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Tips for starting on hills

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by HB, May 28, 2009.

  1. Anyone got tips on best way to start on hills?

    I live out Eltham way so there a quite a few hills around. Always worried about stalling or slipping back.

    Only had Ls for a few weeks & weigh 50 odd kgs so have problem being able to hold bike from slipping and still have problem occassionally with stalling on flat so add a hill and I get worried.

    What's the recommended technique?
  2. What I do....

    Bike in 1st, right foot on rear brake firmly holding the bike on the slope, let out clutch with plenty of revs, untill the bikes starting to strain and slowly release rear. If the bike doesnt start moving off before the rears fully releaseed your not doing it hard enough. Eventually, you learn the balance so you can smoothly move away with hardly any brake/clutch overlap.

    If I've been silly enough to stop in neutral, its the same procedure, but use the front right hand brake to hold the bike in place while your left foot puts it into gear, then put your left foot down, your right foot on the rear brake, and when its firmly on you can focus on the throttle.

    Also, if you want to you can (on my 250 at least) stop the bike, in 1st, and turn it off. It will roll back a little bit, but the engine holds it in place. Compression lock. Handy when your waiting for people to catch up and your parked on a hill, also for if you have to park on a slope.

    Edit : Also, dont be afraid to rev it. A smaller engine bike needs *much* higher revs than a car to get some torque. When I first started riding i was wincing with how high I had to rev it to be able to engage the clutch on a hill without stalling, but now it's quite normal.

    Focus on *doing it*, then learn how far you can bring those revs down, and making it smoother. Practice.

    Remember, if the bike starts rolling, think carefully about how its rolling and which brake to apply. Slamming on the front or rear is a sure way to drop it, always be smooth and just dont panic.
  3. I live in Greensborough and had the same problem when learning.

    Right foot on rear brake, left foot on the ground for balance. Make sure you are in 1st.

    Slowly let the clutch out as you give it some revs, you will need to rev a bit harder than you would on a flat surface to compensate for the slope. When you feel the bike wanting to creep forward remove your foot from the rear brake and away you go.
  4. rear brake on, open throttle a little while easing out clutch, when you feel the bike try to move under you release the brake and the bike should start moving.
  5. Yeah, i've had a few issues on hills on my ninja 250r as a newbie because i was reving it harder than a normal car (say my dads corolla), but on the ninja the bike would just stall because it wasn't enough.

    I figure, the more you rev it, the faster you take off and the less time you have to actually balance the bike at crawling speed. (0-5km/h). Kinda makes it easier in a way.
  6. Lies. Lies and slander. Thats what your clutch is for, to control how much power is applied, learn how to slip it. Remember, it's wet, it won't wear out like a car one.
  7. The point i was making was that you have to apply the power in the first place.
  8. Oh I see, you were saying its a positive thing, not a hazard.
  9. seems i too have some problems starting... and once in a while... i do wheelies... which is quite scary for a newbie....

    i would like to get it right too... :(
  10. you mean there are actually places where you don't stop on a hill?? I don't think such a place exists in hobart, it's just like a car but rear brake instead of handbrake
  11. Hmm....does anyone know about those handbrakes some ATV's have, it's a basically a locking cam, you pull the brake lever in and thumb a little catch across near the bar. The tiniest squeeze disables it.

    could be a good thing for parking bikes, i'm suprised it hasnt been a crossover technology yet.
  12. Thanks for the info.

    My daughter was telling me the other night I need to take off quicker. I'd been practising in a car park for slow & steady, been a little old lady.

    A couple of times I gave it probably a bit too much throttle and the little Virago really took off. Felt like I was hanging on and was just waiting for my arse to come up out the seat and and me to just be flapping in the breeze.

    Our street has a section that would be at least a 45 degree angle, so I'll pick a quiet time and do some more "homework".
  13. It can help to practice your slow riding in the car park. Helps to learn throttle and clutch control. Apart from that, what they said.
  14. it does get easier over time. I found with my ninja at the start had to rev it a fair bit, since its service don't have to rev as much. With hill starts I used to do the put the foot on back break thing, but know that I know where the clutch takes up I don';t have to do that anymore, and just hold the bike with both feet planted firmly on the ground and hold it that way. But I am tall though. I live in the hills too.
  15. Learn to anticipate this and lean forwards. Then again, I dont know if thats possible on the virago :p
  16. Try and not lock your arms :). Try keep it bent, because like a shock absorber it absorbs the momentum
  17. Yes, and I meant it in the nicest way possible. I was saying it more from the point of view that traffic behind you isn't the most patient in the world. I don't want you to get flustered and panic at the best of times, but even more so in traffic.

    I tried the thing with the foot brake, but all I managed to do was stall and nearly drop the bike in all bar one of the instances I did it. I've found that I have the leg and arm strength to put both feet down and not need to hold either brake in, but I'd prefer to not have to do that. Nothing for it but to practice, I guess!
  18. Yes it is possible to kinda lean forward. When I was practising in car park there was a bit of an incline in parts where the bike would roll back if I didn't use the brake while stopped. I found if I really locked my legs into the tank and sat more forward on the seat I could get both feet that well anchored on the ground that my legs were stopping the bike from rolling. I'm a bit challenged in the strength department so didn't think this was gonna work on the big hills.

    Practise, Practise practise it is.
  19. I meant when taking off. Leaning forward can help you hang on. :)
  20. How the hills starts going? I found at first just practicing on the flat and working out where your clutch takes up makes life a lot easier. Just do heaps of start and stops.