An Important Skill: Putting your foot down

Many things you do while riding a motorcycle become second nature after a while. One of the things that takes a while and that can still catch me out occasionally is stopping a motorcycle. I don’t mean the act of braking, I mean the stopping without dropping the bike.

Most of the time it’s easy, you stop and you put a foot down, but this gets much more complicated on hills, gravel or any other uncertain surface. In fact every time I back my motorcycle out of my driveway I worry about dropping it.

If you’ve ridden a motorcycle long enough you know the situations that make this part hard. The motorcycle was moving, and if that momentum isn’t going exactly like you think or expect it can end up falling over on you. I know that some people get through life without ever dropping their motorcycle, but I know everyone has a moment that they almost do.

My advice to a new rider, passed along from another old timer, is plan your stops. Go slow, and pick out where your foot is going to be, and try and plan the stop as much as possible. I know it won’t always be possible, but practicing good behaviour and habits will help when it is an emergency or there is unexpected gravel (or gravity). It’s all about just keeping the Motorcycle rubber side down.

I’m not sure this picture does the driveway justice, but it’s reasonably steep, and so is the hill. The combination is less than fun every morning.


About MotoCynic

I started riding motorcycles in 2006, and there is no going back. I've ridden more than 100,000 miles, most of it on a Ducati Monster, and despite setbacks and murderous BMW's I'm loving every mile.
This entry was posted in Motocycling, motorcycle, Motorcycles, New Rider and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to An Important Skill: Putting your foot down

  1. Good point. The weight of the bike is important. With a heavy tourer it is a very important to bear in mind where you stop and park.

  2. And if your a little challenged in the vertical department with a tall adventure bike it can become challenging on uneven ground to pick a spot for your toe to reach the ground.

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