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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi folks, my bike is "heavy" for me (i.e., I mostly have to use the motor to get it around on non-flat surfaces like inclines, etc.) -- I figure this is typical of heavy bikes so not that big of a deal. However, I came into one situation where I didn't know what to do. I turned into a road and ended up on a dirt road -- I didn't want to get my bike dusty so I decided to turn around. I slowed and put a foot on the ground while making a u-turn as I didn't want to get a surprise in the dirt. I then got my front tire into a trough on the edge of the dirt road. At this point, i proceeded to use my legs to pull out and reverse the bike -- needless to say, the bike didn't budge because it was too heavy.

At this point, I figured this was a good time to learn how to do a "donut" and spin my way out of it given the back tire was free to move. I then decided against that (again to avoid dust and after recalling visions of people on youtube falling after trying donuts). I then remembered an old story about Chuck Yeager -- i.e., a jeep was stuck in a trough and had no reverse gear. The solution to get out (for the bike) was to roll forward up the other side and let the bike roll back due to gravity and turn the bars left a little. I kept doing that and eventually, I got out and could go forward and out of the dirt.

Now I think I was lucky to figure this one out -- kind of fun too but a little scary given that it was late, dark, and cold outside.

I had another incident at work where I pulled into the MC parking lot and wanted to back in and the bike was too heavy. So I ended up going forward and going into the parking lot and facing the other way so I didn't have to back in -- again a problem solved but I was lucky again (in this case, there were no other MCs there so I could do this).

So, those of you with big cruisers can you offer some general advice for situations like this that you may or may not have encountered?

Thanks,

Dennis
ps. I hear Goldwings have a reverse gear (a nice luxury on a heavy bike).
Also, I'm going to workout more on my quads and try to anticipate (and plan ahead for) any issues before potentially riding into them.
 

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I have always found it easier to pull backwards than to push forward, therefore I get my situations to lean to that scenario. You have to think about what your doing and watch ahead. Above and beyond that, strong legs dont hurt! :eek:
I have a buddy who has a goldwing with a reverse, yes its nice, but I just dont like goldwings. Reverse or no, I'll never own one. Personal preference only.
 

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I'm with you on the GL1500, and the GL1800 decided to be a Beemer wannabe with the rear swingarm, but the older GL1200s are GREAT. Betcha do a whole lot better when a cager sideswipes you if you're on one of THOSE, thank on anything with a V-Twin.:p But, I'm also taller, so I'm not comfy on much else anyway...

Reverse is probably one of the best examples of a solution in search of a problem. Your solution with your big boy is EXACTLY the way a motorcyclist handles issues like that. Good on you.:cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the advice folks. I'm thinking I'll just work on my leg strength and more importantly, watch ahead and plan for issues like this before they happen.

BTW, my bike is pretty nimble in motion and going forward but I'm not so sure I could push this thing uphill. Maybe I should add a workout where I try to push the bike up my driveway once in a while; I think that will help strengthen the right muscles. Best thing is that if I cannot push, I can let it roll down and the only folks who will see will be the ones walking their dogs at the time I'm on the driveway.

Dennis
 

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Is there a religion or something that dictates that a motorcycle be backed in to park?? If there's an incline, and it's down, then I back in. If it's up, I drive straight forward and park with the front wheel on the uphill side. I've seen guys work their tails off trying to back in a bike uphill. Doesn't make sense to me! I do what's convenient for me. Other people can bust their butts trying to be cool. I'm too old for that.
 

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in my state, when you take the motorcycle drivers test, if you do not back in you get docked points. I really don't think it's a law, I doubt you would get a ticket, however, it is what is expected form the DMV. I do always back in because of this, however, if it is a steep incline, I will park forward as well. Guess first time I get a ticket for it I'll let you know. :rolleyes:
 

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Edger, where are you from? I notice your name is one that your city and state don't appear. You might want to go into the official state site and do a search on it. Maybe it will clarify it for you. If there's no law, I don't see how they can deduct points for not backing in. BUT, I suppose some nutty inspector deducted points the first time, and then it became custom. Who knows!

I was thinking that it might be a safety issue when you leave the parking spot, but that didn't make sense. To back in, you have to swing out and stop in the traffic before you can push your bike back. That seems more dangerous to me, because the car behind you has no idea what you're doing. Again, who knows! :confused:
 

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I have no idea, I know it is not listed anywhere in the manual or anything, however, when I had to take the test here in NE, there were two other riders at the same time. I was the only one that backed in to the spot and I was the only one that didn't get that point docked.

I'll have to check my User CP to see whats up with the tag.

Thanks! Never even noticed it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
If there's an incline, and it's down, then I back in. If it's up, I drive straight forward and park with the front wheel on the uphill side.
This make sense to me and I'll just do that instead of working hard to get the bike in. If it's on an incline, I keep it in gear. During Summer, when I saw all the other bikes were parked a certain way, I tried to do the same just to make the bikes look cool next to each other -- back then my bike was lighter. Today (or actually on the next nice day), if I have to work to get the bike in, I'm parking the easiest way possible.

Dennis
 

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I had a kickstand fold and my bike fell once when parked facing down-hill. I know it shouldn't move much in gear. I found the the fit between the kickstand and the sleeve it moves in was sloppy (end to end) and the spring was fatigued. My bike is a 83'. I put a washer in to take up the clearance and replaced the spring. I'm still careful to turn the bars full lock.
Rocksolid
 
G

Backing the bike in....

Is there a religion or something that dictates that a motorcycle be backed in to park?? If there's an incline, and it's down, then I back in. If it's up, I drive straight forward and park with the front wheel on the uphill side. I've seen guys work their tails off trying to back in a bike uphill. Doesn't make sense to me! I do what's convenient for me. Other people can bust their butts trying to be cool. I'm too old for that.
Yes,the reason for backing the bike against the curb is because the curb is usually lower so it is of course easier as the uphill is using the bikes power when departing and not your legs etc..However backing up-hill is just not making good sense.....LOL:confused:
 

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When I went to my first rally this summer, all the bikes against the curb were backed in. And, believe it or not, the curb was uphill!!!! I drove right in, and you should have seen the looks people gave me! I might just has well have kicked over the entire line and shot their mothers!!!!! That's ok, I have an excuse. I'm old and don't know any better! :D
 

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Yeah, I much prefer flat level when I park.
At work, we all back in, but I suspect it's because when we leave, we can just go roaring off without having to screw around.
In town or out on the road, I take extra time to scope out how to park it, because, like Dennis's, my bike is to freakin' heavy to manhandle. I just don't want to get caught in that pushin' situation. it makes ya look like a newby. (;^)
 
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