Motorcycle Forum banner
1 - 20 of 35 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just wondering if anybody else ever does this.
There are a few really long traffic lights in the Louisville KY area. I feel like when I sit there with the clutch pulled in, I'm putting a lot of wear on the throw out bearing.
Is that so? Doe anybody ever put their bike in neutral for those long lights? Bad idea?

Jay
 

·
American Legion Rider
Joined
·
26,421 Posts
This has been asked before and you'll get a mixed bag of answers. The key in your question though is long lights versus the shorter stop and go type where the cycle time just isn't that long.

Personally I won't put mine in neutral unless I have a few cars behind me where seeing exactly what is going on back there is getting harder to see anyway because rear view mirrors smaller image. Or if I'm just that tired that I need a rest and hoping I get home soon so I can stop for the day.

Does that make it any safer than one car? Probably not but it is what I do. Fortunately you didn't ask if it was a safe practice. That would get even more opinions.
 

·
SUPER MODERATOR
Joined
·
9,328 Posts
For 56+ years of riding, I normally put my bikes in neutral when I sit at a traffic light, especially if it just changes as I approach. No reason to put extra wear on the clutch system. My last Ducati had a 'dry' clutch and I'm sure it lived longer when it rested out of gear.

I do however realize that a quick getaway probably isn't possible if a vehicle approaches me from behind and doesn't stop: It has never happened but I read about it happening to others.

I keep looking in my mirrors when stopped for sure!

Sam:grin:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,299 Posts
Does anybody ever put their bike in neutral for those long lights? Bad idea?

Jay
I stay in gear until I have observed a car pull in behind me and stop or if there is very light traffic and no one observable for a significant distance behind me. Yesterday, I actually shut the bike off while waiting at an intersection that has a 2-3 minute cycle.

Bad idea? As Porky noted, I think as long as you keep an eye on your mirrors, you are not taking any undue risk...
 

·
Zip
Joined
·
2,613 Posts
I stay in gear until I have observed a car pull in behind me and stop or if there is very light traffic and no one observable for a significant distance behind me.
Ditto, except that I also make sure said car is stopped sufficiently far behind me. I get very irritated by drivers who put their front bumper 3 inches from my rear wheel. That car behind you is going to lurch forward if somebody rear-ends it. So when I come to a stop I always leave enough room that I can move forward several feet and still have enough room in front of me for a quick getaway.

And then you have the idiots that try to squeeze around me into that buffer zone I've left ahead of me. Sheesh.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
619 Posts
Unless I need both hands free for some reason, and occasionally I do, I will keep the clutch pulled in and the bike in gear. Does it increase wear on the system? Yeah, I guess. But, especially with a wet clutch, the wear is minor and absolutely inconsequential compared to the safety aspect of being able to get moving NOW when you need to -- and sooner or later, you will need to.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
110 Posts
Nutralized

I am no longer in a hurry to do anything anymore!
I do have a few habits that I can not shake.
As I coast to a stop at an intersection, I find myself shifting to neutral and observing my situation.
If I am safe to the rear, Vehicle behind me at a stop, I will let my bike or Chevy remain in neutral until the light changes. If my tail is exposed, I tend to hold with clutch engaged and capable of acceleration to if necessary.
Long ass lights are respected but often avoided if I can find an alternate route.
Have waited for a safe amount of time, scanned for oncoming and cross traffic and broke the law by running the light. Always aware of the Lurking LEO.
Charlie:devil:
 

·
Visionary
Joined
·
5,413 Posts
Clutch held and in gear until there is someone stopped behind me and I feel safe, then into neutral and release the clutch.
Safety first!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
59 Posts
Many of the traffic lights here are actuated by magnetic field. A bike will never activate them.
I did hear that some states have passed laws allowing bikes to proceed legally through a red light if its safe.
They don't allow it in NJ but I either make a turn, then a U turn and skip the light, or just run it if its late enough at night.
The trouble with that is that they use traffic cameras now and sooner or later I suppose you could get an automatic ticket.

When at a regular stop, I keep the clutch pulled and the bike in gear ready to go. I've avoided a few close calls by getting out of the way fast.
Like mentioned above, with a wet clutch, any added wear would be minimal if it had any affect at all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
537 Posts
I normally hold it in, but I don't live in the city.

And I try to stay out of Louisville if I can, I much prefer the sunny side of the river over here in New Albany. lol

I will say that neutral can be a real bear to find on my 883. That may have influenced my choice over the decades.
 

·
Visionary
Joined
·
5,413 Posts
I think you can stop worrying about red light cams in NJ, unless I'm mistaken they changed the law back and they are no longer legal anywhere, as I recall the reason given was there was too much chance of abuse and conflicts of interest with the private companies that provided them free for a share of the revenue.

In PA they are only legal in larger cities, not every little town that wants to raise revenue can put one in.

Many of the traffic lights here are actuated by magnetic field. A bike will never activate them.
I did hear that some states have passed laws allowing bikes to proceed legally through a red light if its safe.
They don't allow it in NJ but I either make a turn, then a U turn and skip the light, or just run it if its late enough at night.
The trouble with that is that they use traffic cameras now and sooner or later I suppose you could get an automatic ticket.

When at a regular stop, I keep the clutch pulled and the bike in gear ready to go. I've avoided a few close calls by getting out of the way fast.
Like mentioned above, with a wet clutch, any added wear would be minimal if it had any affect at all.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jayrider

·
Registered
2021 CanAm Spyder RT
Joined
·
3,984 Posts
Here in Illinois it is legal to go through a red light if it is safe to do so, and if you have been waiting for 2 minutes or more. Most traffic lights here do seem to respond to my Goldwing but there are some that do not change to green unless there is at least one car waiting with me for the light to change. In those cases, I just look both ways and then go after waiting a bit (which may or may not be the full two minutes that the law requires). You might want to add one of those magnets attached to the bottom of your motorcycle. I have heard from some riders that it really does seem to make a difference in triggering the light sequence.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jayrider

·
Zip
Joined
·
2,613 Posts
Many of the traffic lights here are actuated by magnetic field. A bike will never activate them.
I did hear that some states have passed laws allowing bikes to proceed legally through a red light if its safe.
They don't allow it in NJ
Back in my earlier riding days when I encountered this I could sometimes make the traffic light change by putting my side stand on the ground (get more ferrous metal inside the traffic light controller's pickup loop).

But now this got me to wondering about the law in Ohio where I live, so I looked it up. It is legal for "bicycles and electric bicycles" to proceed cautiously through the intersection. Odd how the class of vehicles is clearly spelled out and clearly excludes motorcycles. I think a phone call to my state rep is in order.
 
1 - 20 of 35 Posts
Top