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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When i went to the local honda dealership yesterday, something suddenly occurred to me that I hadn’t considered before.
As a new rider, I won’t be able to ride a bike up my steep driveway. With a bike weighing a minimum of 200lbs more than i do, I couldn’t walk it up either.
How would I get a motorcycle up my driveway, into my yard, and back into the shed, and vice versa?
 

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So, a very steep driveway, and you have to stop abruptly at the top? Or can you continue into the yard once you reach the top? How steep - like a ramp onto a trailer or truck bed steep, say, 3 foot rise in 6 to 10 feet?
I can think of a few solutions, from riding it like a dirt bike (assuming you can continue into the yard), to mounting a cable winch long enough to reach the bottom of the drive if you have to stop at the top.
 

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What I usually do is put the bike in neutral and put the side stand out. Then I put my arms on the bars and use my legs for strength. I walk the bike up from the left side and if I run out of energy I'll grab the front brake, stop, and put the bike in gear. I'll then rest the bike down onto the stand with the gear locked, take a rest, then go back at it.
 

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You can use the friction zone in your clutch to gently power the bike up the driveway whilst keeping your feet on the ground. It would be better and more stable to simply slow speed ride it, though.
 

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Just curious, why cant you ride it up the driveway?
 

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Just curious, why cant you ride it up the driveway?
Thinking about it again, in theory you can just get it in first gear before the driveway then just ride it up. But in clutch when you reach the top and shut off the engine. Release clutch and the bike will hold itself up.
 

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For one, I'd like to see a photo of this drive, with someone standing on it for reference.
 

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Just curious, why cant you ride it up the driveway?
She is a new rider with no riding experience. She made some threads before about how her work and home schedule didn't work with the available riding classes in her area. I have a slightly steep driveway. Getting my bike in and out of the driveway was challenging for me even though I took an MSF course. Just like Mils, I didn't even think about getting in and out of the driveway when I bought the bike.

Hi Mils. I think your best bet is trying to get used to the friction zone and walking the bike using a little throttle (while sitting on it). This was one of the first things they taught us at the MSF class. I would just have them deliver your bike at the front of the driveway parallel to the entrance so you'll be on level ground...hopefully. Practice friction zone & throttle control until you feel comfortable enough where you can walk the bike up the driveway.

Slowly let the clutch out without using any throttle until you feel the bike start to move then pull the clutch in. Just kinda rock back and forth. This is what they taught us in the MSF Beginner's Course. When you become comfortable with that, start adding a little throttle but don't let the clutch all the way out. There should be many videos on YouTube that can explain this process better than me.

I know just how you feel with this driveway situation. Good luck! It will get easier.
 

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If, however, your bike's seat height challenges your inseam too much, and you can't get comfortable duck-walking it, you may be forced to walk along side it, using the friction zone very carefully, to go up the hill. That's how I get my Valkyrie up a ramp to a trailer, when a power winch isn't available to pull it for me; this is followed by a dry mouth, of course.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I’m going to try post a picture but hopefully, one of the suggested methods will work. My neighbor has a motorcycle but he also has a nice flat driveway.
 

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Don't be embarrassed to ask your neighbor to show/help you get the bike up the driveway. Right now it may seem rather challenging, but it will be a piece of cake once you get used to the bike.
 

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Don't be embarrassed to ask your neighbor to show/help you get the bike up the driveway. Right now it may seem rather challenging, but it will be a piece of cake once you get used to the bike.
I agree with Ketchboy. Since your neighbor rides, ask him or her for a little help. The one thing that you'll quickly find out as you become a seasoned rider is that most riders are always willing to help another.
 
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Wasn't it soupy1957 that had a similar problem with turn and steep road? Maybe he could help here. I do believe it will take practice. Unfortunately you are hit with the challenge before you can get the needed practice to develop the skill needed. I do believe the best way will be to duck walk the bike until you become comfortable just riding it right on up the drive. I had a similar problem when I hit the streets of San Francisco. Crazy darn streets there plus having to negotiate trolly/street car rails/tracks. Either stop signs or stop lights at the top of nearly every intersection. I at least had several months of flat land practice but it was still frightening. I'm honestly not sure what to suggest here if the fear is overwhelming. The friction zone is key though. One suggestion I've offered before is the use a 4 x 8 or 12 plank and learn to ride up the 4 inch side and stop on top. But you got this chicken and/or egg thing. Dare I say, just do it ??? Much easier said than done I know but that is just where you are. You may learn more than you want all at once I fear. All I can say is good luck. And I mean it. Not sarcastically but truly hope you can get it done.:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
 
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Once you get good at this you'll look back and laugh but right now I understand that driveway seems like an insurmountable obstacle.
Maybe you need to avoid it for a month or two, do you have a friend who lives on flatland who can put your bike in their garage for a month? If not, can you rent a storage unit or garage on flat ground in a quiet area, preferably near a practice spot, for a month or 2 to give yourself someplace to keep the bike and get started riding it? In your circumstances that might pay off.
I bet a month after you get started you'll be riding up that driveway like a pro, so don't sign a long term lease! I can relate, I was really intimidated by the 100 yard rutted mud and gravel, steep and winding alleyway where I used to live, but after I got over my worries it turned out to be nothing, I rode it in the dark, in the rain or on ice, every morning at 0400 until I moved.
 

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Hi Mils. I think your best bet is trying to get used to the friction zone and walking the bike using a little throttle (while sitting on it). This was one of the first things they taught us at the MSF class. I would just have them deliver your bike at the front of the driveway parallel to the entrance so you'll be on level ground...hopefully. Practice friction zone & throttle control until you feel comfortable enough where you can walk the bike up the driveway...
I think this is the trick -- even the smaller bikes have more power than we do in our legs, but getting used to the fact that M/C clutches can be slipped for a moderate amount of time without harm takes getting used to for a lot of folks... I might try to find some place with a modest incline and practice there; some place with enough incline to require the friction zone technique, but not so much to be intimidating. Once you know the bike's friction zone, you'll me amazed how you ever rode without it... I used to have to ride up to a security gate on a very steep incline (they put the guard shack on the incline on purpose), then show my badge, get clearance and then move on -- always worked, but always require more clutch slipping and concentration that usual (HD Ultra).

-- Larry
 

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My C50 is the heaviest bike I have ever owned, and I quickly realized that handling it in various parking situations was going to take some technique and finesse. "Duck-walking" is your friend. Learn that clutch, and learn how to walk the bike around slowly under power, and that will work in 90% of the situations encountered. Also hard-learned -- if a parking space is slanted down toward a curb, DO NOT pull in nose-first! Ride slowly past it, stop, find Neutral and back in to it under foot-power using the front brake to keep it from running away backward. It's great to be strong and fit enough to manhandle a bike if you need to, but there are plenty of us who aren't! That's what brains are for -- figuring out how to make maximum use of what physical power we possess while making the bike do most of the work.
 

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Ask the neighbor that rides for help, as advised by others. He/she is there, they can see the problem you're facing. They may even offer to let you use their flat driveway or garage to park your bike until you feel more secure in your abilities. Your neighbor may even see a simpler way to do something that you have not have thought of yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Ask the neighbor that rides for help, as advised by others. He/she is there, they can see the problem you're facing. They may even offer to let you use their flat driveway or garage to park your bike until you feel more secure in your abilities. Your neighbor may even see a simpler way to do something that you have not have thought of yet.
That would be the ideal situation but my neighborhood isn’t exactly, friendly. We don’t even know each others’ names. It’s also a little more complicated because I’m a female and he’s married. I don’t know his wife and I don’t want anybody to get any wrong ideas. If I were a guy, I’d feel more comfortable about asking but even though he’s lived on the opposite corner, for years, neither he nor his wife nor I, have ever said two words to each other. Plus, they’re significantly younger than i am.
 

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You're making too much of it, Mils. Catch either one of them when they're outside (taking out the trash, mowing the lawn, getting the mail, whatever) and introduce yourself. If that doesn't work, knock on their door. Introduce yourself, show them where you live, and explain your situation. Unless this guy and his wife are real snobs, they will be more than happy to help. 99% of bike riders will help. The odds are in your favor. Just do it!
 
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