Parking a motorcycle - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-26-2014, 11:40 AM Thread Starter
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Parking a motorcycle

I see that to properly park a motorcycle on a street, you are supposed to park with the rear tire backed against the curb. I don't have a problem with that, I was just wondering why.

Yes, I am a noob rider

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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-26-2014, 11:47 AM
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I don't "Know", but I will give you my opinions why.

1. Takes up less space.
2. Front end pointed in the direction needing to go.
3. If pointed uphill, you can leave in neutral and it won't roll off.

I am sure there are more, but that is what first comes to mind.

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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-26-2014, 01:03 PM
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My opinion, don't know if it's correct.

Most streets crown in the center for water shed. If you park with your front tire against the curb, you will have to try and pull your bike backwards, uphill, by the bars. If you have a light bike, no big deal but still a pain. The big bikes, near impossible.

When you back in, the bike rolls down hill into the spot with no effort, then when you leave it is all motor that is getting you out of the hole that you would be stuck in. Make sense?

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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-26-2014, 02:24 PM
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It's a safety thing. In addition to keeping the bike from rolling on a hill, making it easier to pull away and see oncoming traffic, it also puts the kickstand downhill, making it harder for the bike to tip over the wrong way. Not impossible, just harder. Instead of doing 90 degrees against the curb like I see a lot, I like to part it at about a 45 degrees. That has the back wheel against the curb and the front wheel about six to eight feet from the curb pointing towards the middle of the street.
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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-26-2014, 02:30 PM
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+1 to keeping the kickstand downhill. Make sure the weight of the bike is pushing BACKWARDS, never FORWARDS. I myself have witnessed that ending badly. Actually at a motorcycle dealer, with several bikes pointed down a very slight hill and in neutral. Two or three finally rolled forward and came to rest with a bang on their sides before someone came out and moved them. They would roll forward just a little and the kickstand would fold up, down they went. If they rolled the other way, they'd be dragging the kickstand with them, scraping it across the asphalt, which could potentially stop the bike before it gets into too much trouble.

Also, while your transmission will hold the bike at a stop in gear (I never leave it in neutral; always in gear), it's best to not force it to as things can slip or even fail! The closest you can get to being able to park the bike and leave it in neutral safety (even if you actually leave it in gear) the better. Back tire up against a curb will often accomplish that, as the weight of the bike sitting still isn't usually enough to push it up over the curb.

The final reason, is where it'll roll. Lets say it pops out of gear, it's on a hill. You have the bike facing uphill, but the back tire is away from the curb and the front tire is against the curb. It rolls back, skidding and dragging the sidestand; right into traffic. Could cause a serious accident. If it's facing the curb, worst case scenario is it just kind of scuttles and skids into a parked car, or just falls over. That sucks; but it's way better than it skidding out in front of a car, a car which plows into it, which claims it was your fault because the bike was improperly parked and the court agrees with them! Explain to your insurance company how your parked bike did $10,000 in damage!

So; always always always park it facing up the hill. And keep it 'pointed' away from traffic (which means pointing it TOWARDS traffic if it's facing uphill, as then, it'll roll backwards).

I'll second the comment about using the motor, not your legs to get out of a parking spot. Whenever possible, I back my bike in so I don't have to push back with my legs. In fact often I will locate a spot where I can 'roll it back' down a hill (like an ever so slightly sloped side of the parking lot), and then just pull out using the engine. Why work harder when you can work smarter!

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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-26-2014, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Romans5.8 View Post
+1 to keeping the kickstand downhill. Make sure the weight of the bike is pushing BACKWARDS, never FORWARDS. I myself have witnessed that ending badly. Actually at a motorcycle dealer, with several bikes pointed down a very slight hill and in neutral. Two or three finally rolled forward and came to rest with a bang on their sides before someone came out and moved them. They would roll forward just a little and the kickstand would fold up, down they went. If they rolled the other way, they'd be dragging the kickstand with them, scraping it across the asphalt, which could potentially stop the bike before it gets into too much trouble.

Also, while your transmission will hold the bike at a stop in gear (I never leave it in neutral; always in gear), it's best to not force it to as things can slip or even fail! The closest you can get to being able to park the bike and leave it in neutral safety (even if you actually leave it in gear) the better. Back tire up against a curb will often accomplish that, as the weight of the bike sitting still isn't usually enough to push it up over the curb.

The final reason, is where it'll roll. Lets say it pops out of gear, it's on a hill. You have the bike facing uphill, but the back tire is away from the curb and the front tire is against the curb. It rolls back, skidding and dragging the sidestand; right into traffic. Could cause a serious accident. If it's facing the curb, worst case scenario is it just kind of scuttles and skids into a parked car, or just falls over. That sucks; but it's way better than it skidding out in front of a car, a car which plows into it, which claims it was your fault because the bike was improperly parked and the court agrees with them! Explain to your insurance company how your parked bike did $10,000 in damage!

So; always always always park it facing up the hill. And keep it 'pointed' away from traffic (which means pointing it TOWARDS traffic if it's facing uphill, as then, it'll roll backwards).

I'll second the comment about using the motor, not your legs to get out of a parking spot. Whenever possible, I back my bike in so I don't have to push back with my legs. In fact often I will locate a spot where I can 'roll it back' down a hill (like an ever so slightly sloped side of the parking lot), and then just pull out using the engine. Why work harder when you can work smarter!
Done this on my 1500 Classic the first time I took it out. I was used to my little 650 Honda Nighthawk and could man handle it where ever and not think about it. After I had to get help with the 1500, I started thinking how I was going to leave before I parked.

1985 Honda Nighthawk 650 (First Bike)
2004 Vulcan 1500 Classic (First Big Bike)
2007 Vulcan 1600 Meanstreak (Love Affair)
1999 Yamaha 1100 V-Star Custom (Right Price at the Time)
2008 V2K Classic (Favorite Vulcan)
2014 HD Ultra Limited (Bells and Whistles)
Who would have thought I would grow up to become "Spatially Educated" and play Connect-the-Dots for a living.

Last edited by SWVA_08V2k; 03-26-2014 at 02:43 PM.
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-26-2014, 02:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Romans5.8 View Post
+1 to keeping the kickstand downhill. Make sure the weight of the bike is pushing BACKWARDS, never FORWARDS. I myself have witnessed that ending badly. Actually at a motorcycle dealer, with several bikes pointed down a very slight hill and in neutral. Two or three finally rolled forward and came to rest with a bang on their sides before someone came out and moved them. They would roll forward just a little and the kickstand would fold up, down they went. If they rolled the other way, they'd be dragging the kickstand with them, scraping it across the asphalt, which could potentially stop the bike before it gets into too much trouble.

Also, while your transmission will hold the bike at a stop in gear (I never leave it in neutral; always in gear), it's best to not force it to as things can slip or even fail! The closest you can get to being able to park the bike and leave it in neutral safety (even if you actually leave it in gear) the better. Back tire up against a curb will often accomplish that, as the weight of the bike sitting still isn't usually enough to push it up over the curb.

The final reason, is where it'll roll. Lets say it pops out of gear, it's on a hill. You have the bike facing uphill, but the back tire is away from the curb and the front tire is against the curb. It rolls back, skidding and dragging the sidestand; right into traffic. Could cause a serious accident. If it's facing the curb, worst case scenario is it just kind of scuttles and skids into a parked car, or just falls over. That sucks; but it's way better than it skidding out in front of a car, a car which plows into it, which claims it was your fault because the bike was improperly parked and the court agrees with them! Explain to your insurance company how your parked bike did $10,000 in damage!

So; always always always park it facing up the hill. And keep it 'pointed' away from traffic (which means pointing it TOWARDS traffic if it's facing uphill, as then, it'll roll backwards).

I'll second the comment about using the motor, not your legs to get out of a parking spot. Whenever possible, I back my bike in so I don't have to push back with my legs. In fact often I will locate a spot where I can 'roll it back' down a hill (like an ever so slightly sloped side of the parking lot), and then just pull out using the engine. Why work harder when you can work smarter!
You made a very good point that got me thinking. I always park put it in neutral, kill engine and walk away, leaving it in neutral. Never even dawned on me until just now. Of course you should leave it in gear. So from now on it's going to be Park, Kill Switch, verify it's in gear, pull key and go. (If I remember to pull the key that is? LOL) Thanks!


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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-26-2014, 02:51 PM
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Great post and question, actually. It's something I'm going to have to be more mindful of after getting my V2K. It only took one time of parking it here beside the house where the sidewalk had about a 1.5" bump to get up to the driveway... I had to get some help because I couldn't get enough grip with my feet on the ground to bounce it up that little bump. I immediately dug up a small bit and sloped it so that it wasn't a tiny wall. I don't want to wind up begging for help in a WalMart parking lot!! (so much for the bad-a$$-biker guy!) Thanks for asking, and the responses. I'll be more mindful!
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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-26-2014, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by BigT View Post
Great post and question, actually. It's something I'm going to have to be more mindful of after getting my V2K. It only took one time of parking it here beside the house where the sidewalk had about a 1.5" bump to get up to the driveway... I had to get some help because I couldn't get enough grip with my feet on the ground to bounce it up that little bump. I immediately dug up a small bit and sloped it so that it wasn't a tiny wall. I don't want to wind up begging for help in a WalMart parking lot!! (so much for the bad-a$$-biker guy!) Thanks for asking, and the responses. I'll be more mindful!
Oh yeah those V2Ks are heavy. I have caught myself slamming back in the seat and then working the break to walk it back a few times because I did not realize the ground was as sloped as much as it is. It wide enough you can get too good of grip on the ground to push it back either. Been there, don't want to be there again.

1985 Honda Nighthawk 650 (First Bike)
2004 Vulcan 1500 Classic (First Big Bike)
2007 Vulcan 1600 Meanstreak (Love Affair)
1999 Yamaha 1100 V-Star Custom (Right Price at the Time)
2008 V2K Classic (Favorite Vulcan)
2014 HD Ultra Limited (Bells and Whistles)
Who would have thought I would grow up to become "Spatially Educated" and play Connect-the-Dots for a living.
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-26-2014, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by SWVA_08V2k View Post
Oh yeah those V2Ks are heavy. I have caught myself slamming back in the seat and then working the break to walk it back a few times because I did not realize the ground was as sloped as much as it is. It wide enough you can get too good of grip on the ground to push it back either. Been there, don't want to be there again.
This is likely to threadjack, so I'll apologize up front, but this is where I discovered that the left grip was sliding off... Are those supposed to be glued? It's an aftermarket grip that was on it when I got it. *sorry again* Of all the bikes I've owned and used, I've never replaced a grip.
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