Stopping, Starting and Holding a Motorcycle on a Hill

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If you want to learn how to start, stop, and hold your motorcycle on a hill, you’ll have to find a hill to get a bit of practice on.

It is best to find a sparsely traveled portion of road with a few hilly sections, in order to minimize the risk of interfering with other traffic. This way, you’ll have plenty of time to practice your uphill launching and holding techniques without being worried about lots of traffic.

Whenever you have to stop on an incline, bring the motorcycle to a stop as you normally would on a level street. Gradually place both of your feet on the ground as the bike comes to a stop. Lean over the handlebars and keep your body as far forward as possible while holding the right handle brake. Doing so will keep the motorcycle as stable as possible.

Make sure the motorcycle is in first gear. As you get ready to take off, move your right foot to the rear foot brake while keeping your left foot as solidly planted as possible. Afterwards, you can release the right-hand brake and focus on engaging the clutch and throttle. Slowly twist the throttle to feed the motorcycle some revs, and at the same time, gradually release the clutch up to the point where you can feel the bike going forward. This is the clutch’s “engagement point” and it’s something you should note if you want successful launches. If you release the clutch too quickly, the bike will stall and you’ll have to get it restarted again.

As you feel the clutch engage, slowly release the rear foot brake and balance yourself on the motorcycle. At this point, the bike should be moving forward on the incline. As you gain momentum, you can take your left foot off of the ground and place it on the peg near the gear change lever.

When coming to a stop on a downhill section of road, keep in mind that the frontal weight transfer is greater than stopping on a level road section. This makes the rear wheel much lighter and therefore harder to keep stable while braking. In this instance, you’ll have to rely more on your front brakes than the rears as you come to a stop.

This kind of thing can seem intimidating for new riders, but it’s an essential skill to learn. If you don’t feel comfortable teaching yourself, consider taking a motorcycle training course to improve your confidence.