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Stoplight Safety: Neutral or First?

Stoplight Safety: First Gear or Neutral?

79470 Views 114 Replies 93 Participants Last post by  Jmacd62
I've read in training manuals that it is a good idea to shift the motorcyle into first gear at a stoplight so that if an emergency were to occure you would be able to hit the throttle and move out of the way.

I've read in these forums about people who have had the clutch cable suddenly snap while sitting at a light in gear and the bike jerked unexpectedly creating a risky situation.

I have been shifting into first gear at stop lights, but I see most people shift into neutral, and then get into gear when the light goes green.

Which is more safe?
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I keep it in first mainly because it's so annoying having to click it out of neutral when the light changes. I had never heard of the clutch cable snapping until now and I'd say the chances of a car not stopping behind you are far greater that that happening and the aftermath would be a whole lot worse.
I usually shift to neutral and try to leave enough space in front of my bike to maneuver in case I spot a daydreamer in my mirrors..
If I know the lights, I sit in neutral with both feet on floor & hands off the bars whilst waiting for green. If I am at lights where they are likely to change soon or I don't know the sequence, then I will sit in neutral with hand on brake, hand over clutch and foot ready to knock into 1st gear.
for me it depends on how long I have been in the saddle, I just started the day I sit there in gear, if I have been riding for a while I will put it in neutral and stretch (while watching for the lights to change)
I usually keep it in 1st gear. However, I will occasionally shift into neutral on a long light and ONLY if there is already a car stopped behind me.
Almost always have it in 1st. Exceptions might be flexing out a hand cramp, getting a water bottle out of the tank bag, adjust mirror....? Hydraulic clutches don't snap. I would think a snapping clutch cable would kill and idling motorcycle. I've had an accelerator cable break on an old Kaw. You're walking after that.
I always keep it in first, mostly just in case I need to move forward for some reason. Like a speeding car that isn't braking as fast as i would like it to.
Usually first gear unless I know the light and already have a stopped car behind and in front. If I know the light and that it will be a while before it become green, I shift into neutral and release the clutch, with both feet on the ground, if there is no hill probably take my hand off the brake and stand just let my behind get a rest and stretch the leg muscles. I figure the car behind me will act as a buffer for those people that brake late, the car in front gives me time to sit back down pull in the clutch, put on the brakes, and shift into first, before the car behind me has determined that .005 milliseconds has elapsed since the light has turned green and they aren't moving and honk their horn at me.:mad:
Just finished taking the MSF course today (it was hot out there!!) and they say to keep it in first gear so you can get out of the way if required. As for worrying about the clutch cable snapping......if you don't sit there revving the engine.....the engine will stall as soon as that cable snaps.
As for worrying about the clutch cable snapping......if you don't sit there revving the engine.....the engine will stall as soon as that cable snaps.
For the 250cc bikes, that's true. But once you get into the larger engines I think most of them have enough torque while idling that they won't die (at least not immediately).
My 800 dies, suddenly, after making a small jump forward and back (just enough to make me almost drop it) (damn newbie mistakes LOL)
I usually leave it in neural unless the light is about to change
The latest edition of "Cycle World" recommends leaving it in first until a car comes to rest behind you. Granted, holding the clutch for prolonged periods at stop lights can be hard on the wrist and hard on your clutch discs. But getting the #@&^% out of the path of impact of an airhead that's DWC (driving while cellular)......priceless!:D
First gear unless I am going to be waiting a while, then I put it in neutral and rest my hands.
I'm with primal. Usually keep it in 1st, but once a car has come to a stop behind me, I put it into neutral while waiting for the green. If no car behind though, I keep it in 1st for the take off..don't want to be getting rear ended so I keep an eye on those mirrors.
Ride safe.
Usually first. As long as you aren't stupidly revving the engine then you should be able to grab some front brake if your clutch cable snaps. You won't go far unless you have a massive engine with a gigantic flywheel. It also doesn't help that my SV650SF is a bitch to get into neutral (it feels like there's a millimeter between 1st and 2nd).

I'll only go into neutral if I need to do something with my left hand or give it a rest.
Im always in first gear now. I had that close call with the idiot on the cell phone putting on lipstick.
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