I took an intermediate riding class today.

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by tessalino, Sep 30, 2018.

  1. tessalino

    tessalino Long timer

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    Billed as a "survival motorcycling class." Taught by motorcycle cops.

    It turned out to actually be only a little more than the MSF basic class, but with some twists.

    First, they wanted us to mount the bike from the right. As cops, when they pull someone over, they dismount on the right so as not to step into the roadway. They insisted that was important for us as well. Their logic for us non cops was that if the kick stand snaps, the bike won't fall on us.

    Second, when we were practicing on stop and start drills, the right foot was always on the brake at the stop. I never do that. I always cover and engage the front brake. And both feet are on the ground.

    There were some other things that I didn't get, but those two were the most pronounced.

    Are they right?
    #1
  2. KZJohn

    KZJohn Been here awhile

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    How many times has anyone here had their side stand break during a ride? I never dismount my bike on a roadway unless its an emergency. I keep both feet on the ground at a stop sign, my clutch and brake levers engaged. They have their reasons for what they do but I don't think that those practices are ideal for the normal rider.
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  3. Rucksta

    Rucksta SS Blowhard

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    Cover the rear brake made a lot more sense when twin leading shoes where the common front brake set up. (no hold backwards e.g. hill start)
    It still makes sense as a hit from the rear does not always mean ending in a fall and if you are in gear you are always ready to go.
    Observe riders who practice left foot down.
    They generally have everything else squared away and look proficient.

    When there is a cop in my mirror I tend to ride text book perfect (according to the police ride manual) even if they don't.
    LEOs do look at the fine points when they pull you over.
    This has helped me avoid tickets for the behaviour that attracted attention in the first place.
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  4. ericm

    ericm Long timer

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    No. Well, being able to stop with the left foot down and the right on the brake is useful when you stop on a steep uphill. Even front disc brakes don't hold the bike well when the hill is steep enough.
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  5. lnewqban

    lnewqban Ninjetter

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    Not the best idea if the exhaust of your bike is located on the right side and/or if the cant, cross slope or camber of the road is pronounced.
    Also, it may not work very well for a light-tall bike.

    Application of rear brake is practical when stopping at hills or roads with longitudinal slope.
    It also helps with stretched more controlled stops or very slow maneuvers or on very slippery surfaces (keeping the transmission and clutch engaged).
    One foot down is sufficient for most situations.

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  6. dddd

    dddd Long timer

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    I've always had the right foot on brake. Not only logical but natural (must be from mountain bibycling). Especially for short riders, though I'm not. Both feet down at a stop is not only floppy and slow to start but how would I open/close the visor if both hands are busy... One foot on peg is one less foot to get on peg when trying to stand up on start in rough terrain.

    Side stand snapping? lol, that must be a 800 lbs harley with a 20 inch long low angle side stand. Most off road riders have turned the bike around on the side stand (100% weight) without problems. But getting on/off from right side is certainly useful in some uneven terrain cases, like when pushing then mounting.
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  7. Tall Man

    Tall Man Priest, Temple of Syrinx

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    Motor officers have to manage a reality that is different from our own. Thus the need (policy) to mount the bike from the right side, etc.

    I respect that the LE instructors took the time to explain their method of instruction. Although my need for such methods is infrequent, I'd still want them in my mental toolbox. One never knows.

    I do agree with the comment regarding Harleys and kickstands, though. I've spun my dual sport on its kickstand, more than twice, to no ill effect.
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  8. Smitty908

    Smitty908 Potentate of Speed

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    In motor school, we were taught right side dismount, so that you are typically dismounting "away from" passing traffic in the roadway.

    Also, it (theoretically) puts the bike between you and the vehicle being stopped, so you could use it as a (tiny) bit of concealment in the case of a bad guy deciding to shoot at you.

    That being said, I am inseam challenged, and I never once right side dismounted, because its super awkward for me.


    The rear brake thing, however has stuck, and I have used it unconciously ever since.
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  9. Signal 13

    Signal 13 Been here awhile

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    I’ve always kept my right foot on the break and left foot on the ground at stops. I’d prefer to have my hands free while stopped...gives them a short break (bit of nerve damage in my right hand and a right elbow injury years back that radiates to my right hand as well).

    I’ve dismounted on the right plenty of times, but only in Thailand where you sometimes park like sardines and you’ve got more space on the right to dismount rather than on the left due to the lean of the bike on the stand.
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  10. tessalino

    tessalino Long timer

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    Point taken. However, I see your location. I'm in Oklahoma. The only hills here is the coffee by that name. Everything is straight, flat and intersects at 90 degrees.
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  11. Bucho

    Bucho DAMNrider

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    Im motorcycle certified through my department. 80 hour class and a yearly training.
    In general the training and riding skill is very high in most police motor units. But I did find a few of the things they taught to be very dogmatic, as if there was no other way.

    I was also taught to always mount/dismount bike from the right. And to have left foot down and right foot poised on rear brake. When Im riding my personal bikes I pretty much never do this. I dont really see either as terribly important. Sure there are times when you may...

    Take the training for what it is. Its always good to get out and practice. Its even better when you have someone watching/critiquing.
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  12. tessalino

    tessalino Long timer

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    One of the instructors (who was a marvelously proficient rider, btw) insisted I mount from the right. I had to pull the old "bad knee" routine to get him to lighten up.
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  13. canoeguy

    canoeguy Long timer

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    In case the side stand breaks...I guess a rogue band of Leprechauns could run out and push you over as well. That seems like an exceptionally rare event to worry about. Not only that if it did break you would likely still be on the bike anyway. That part is just goofy.

    Right foot up and on the brake is very common for me. I live in the mountains and I am rarely perfectly level. As well if I have my hand(s) off the bar I find that it makes the bike feel more stable to me. Several of my bikes are tall anyway and I cant flatfoot regardless. I don't think it is a hard fast rule that must be followed. On stuff like this I just say to do what you want.
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  14. 4bikes

    4bikes Been here awhile

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    I think it is ignorant to use valuable time on a class on a thing like that. When People show up to a class instructers should use that limited time to teach something that will give them better chanches to avoid crashes. As throttle control, where to see (use Your eyes), how to ride left hand and right hand turns, how to attatch to the bike, how to protect and use Your "Space to act" etc etc. I mean, is it common to be injured because the bike falls on you?
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  15. BetterLateThanNever

    BetterLateThanNever Long timer

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    I agree that the mounting discussion probably wasn't the best use of class time. But I think they're right about the right foot thing. That's how I was trained, and what I do 100% of the time. I'm in first before the bike has completely stopped, so I have no need for my left foot other than to hold us up. Whereas I ride my rear brake for a moment when I'm taking off, which has the dual benefit of keeping the brake light on a little longer (so the cage behind you doesn't reflexively hit the gas too soon) and keeping the bike stable if I have to move out slowly. I haven't heard of a compelling argument to do it any differently, and if I have to pick a limb to occupy with keeping the bike stopped, I'd rather my right foot than my right hand.
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  16. Buzz363

    Buzz363 Been here awhile

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    In B.C. you would fail your endorsement test with both feet on the ground. Right foot on rear brake, left foot down is the rule.
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  17. MarioThePlumber

    MarioThePlumber I like math

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    Maybe it's from years of dirt biking (where you maybe can tip-toe both feet), but it's very natural for me to keep my right foot on the peg and brake. It also frees up my throttle hand to relax for a moment.
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  18. Bucho

    Bucho DAMNrider

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    Interesting.
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  19. KZJohn

    KZJohn Been here awhile

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    What I'm seeing here other than legal requirements is geographic differences in regards to keeping the right foot on the brake. This is my maybe flawed logic for what I do;
    1. I learned to ride on a dirt bike. I will put down whichever foot is necessary for the situation, it's just reflex.
    2. I live and ride in SoCal. We can split lanes and filter up to traffic lights. It is however crowded with phone addicts and you have to stay alert and on your toes. I keep the bike in gear, one hand on the clutch the other on the throttle and front brake. If I need to I can get out of the way instantly, no delay grabbing the clutch and putting it in gear. Have you ever been sitting at a traffic light and heard tires lock up behind you?
    3. We do have hills and mountains to ride in, if I stop on a hill it's right foot and right hand on the brakes, in gear, throttle at the ready.
    I don't have any hard and fast rules, I do what is necessary for the situation. Traffic is an ever-changing beast that must be watched constantly. Dirt bike experience has proven to be invaluable to my street survival.
    #19
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  20. Tripped1

    Tripped1 RonS says I am BSC, scorched earth or something

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    I learned that the other way

    On a hill use the rear brake if able, the front may be hot, and if you clamp on a hot set of brakes and leave it you will screw up the pad bedding and that makes the brakes pulse.
    #20