Neutral at stop - Star Motorcycle Forums: Star Raider, V-Max, V-Star, Road-Star Forum
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post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-17-2019, 07:07 PM Thread Starter
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Neutral at stop

I did a forum search before posting and didnít see anything. If itís been covered I apologize. Certainly not trying to start a war. Disclaimer, I also mount my ride from the kickstand side. Always have always will, havenít died doing it yet.

Question: do you sit at traffic lights in neutral? Do you glide up to a stop in neutral?

I have always shifted down to a stop on every bike Iíve ridden, in every situation, racing, woods riding, CBR 600 or Magna Cruiser. I sit in gear with my hand on the clutch at the light. If itís an intersection wth turn arrows and such and itís gonna be a while I may click into neutral for a rest or to adjust my position. Basically no rhyme or reason or specific safety issue for me. Thatís just the way I ride.
I see people on YouTube videos clicking into neutral before the stop and going into gear when itís time to take off. Thoughts?
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post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-17-2019, 07:14 PM
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Your method is the same as I have been taught in every motorcycle safety course I have ever taken. And to me, logically, it makes sense. You must always be ready to take quick evasive action including leaving a stop through the ditch if necessary.

You're never really lost on a bike. You're just riding somewhere you haven't ridden before.
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post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-17-2019, 07:25 PM
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Some people think sitting with a manual transmission in gear holding the clutch in will wear out the throwout bearing on the clutch.

That was true before ~ 1965 when throwout bearings were a carbon/graphite ring that did wear down and did need to be replaced. But with roller throwout bearings its no longer an issue, esp on a motorcycle with a wet clutch immersed in oil.

If Im stopped and need to let go of the clutch lever, I leave the bike in 1st and hit the kill switch. I dont have to pick up my left foot and fiddle with the shifter, looking at the neutral light... just hit the kill switch and it stops in a second.

Whatever Im doing I probably need to let go of the brake and keep both feet down, so the bike remains stable in gear with the engine stopped. Im painfully aware of everything around and behind me when I do this.

Ditto the MSF training. Personally I prefer to creep up to a stop at about 1mph, and never actually stop or put my left foot down. The reason is simple, you cannot buy just the left boot when you wear a hole thru the sole.

Last edited by KCW; 02-17-2019 at 07:27 PM.
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post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-17-2019, 07:25 PM
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I down shift to a stop in traffic and stay in gear. The Houston traffic I commute in almost requires me to. At lights traffic will almost always inch up slightly thru out the light cycle. I leave adequate room between me and the car in front of me but am moving up a bit. Sometimes I will kick it into neutral if I'm one of the first few vehicles as you are not moving up much. I travel about an hour each day, each way to work in this:

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post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-17-2019, 07:31 PM Thread Starter
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Ugh lesblank ! Iíd leave sooner and find a back road. Nashville traffic sucks so if I ride to work I have a twisty route that adds a few miles/ minutes but at least Iím moving. I feel ya.

FYI to all other forum members, when replying to ďlesblankĒ, do a spell check before hitting send. Auto correct is not kind to him. Funny, but not kind. 😂
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post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-17-2019, 07:40 PM
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"Les" works all around
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post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-17-2019, 07:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Preacher15 View Post
Ugh lesblank ! Iíd leave sooner and find a back road. Nashville traffic sucks so if I ride to work I have a twisty route that adds a few miles/ minutes but at least Iím moving. I feel ya.

FYI to all other forum members, when replying to ďlesblankĒ, do a spell check before hitting send. Auto correct is not kind to him. Funny, but not kind. 😂
Unfortunately there is no back roads to speak of. There are very few twisty roads. My commute at 5am isn't too bad, it's the leaving at 5pm that's a bummer. Rush "hour" here is from about 5am to 8pm, yes I'm serious. One of these days I'll move but came to Houston in 1973 on two wheels. Except for about a 10 year hiatus in the 80's due to having children and needing a cage I've been on 2 wheels ever since. One thing I'll add about leaving bike in gear is one of the first things I do on all new bikes is to adjust clutch for very quickly engagement, very close to grip. I have small hands and it makes it easier in traffic as my clutch hand is unclinched earlier. Don't know if the right thing to do but works well for me. As far as spell check, I've got thick skin so leave it be, maybe put my name in parentheses after the spell check version. 😀😀

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post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-17-2019, 07:52 PM
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Riding in downtown traffic is part of my commute to & from work. For a while, I was getting in a bad habit of going into neutral. And not thinking of an exit plan.
Since realized it. Each time, I make a conscious effort to leave in first & have 2 exit plans.

Ride Smart! Ride Often!
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post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-17-2019, 07:57 PM
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the thing you need to watch for when stopped is not the cars behind you, you can see them coming

its the car infront of you shifting into reverse, Backup lights come on. When you see the white lights come on, dont think about it, dont wait to see if the car moves, dont blow your horn, GET OUT from behind the car NOW. You have just seconds to go around it.
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post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-17-2019, 08:11 PM
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Another thing I'll do sometimes when light turns red and need to stop a little quicker than normal is not down shift all the way. I try to remember to always kick it into first, but I'll blame old age and don't always. Taking off in second isn't too bad but third or fourth make me look a rookie taking off. The torque of the Harley is a little more forgiving than the 1100 but it's still a rough start.
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