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post #1 of 16 Old Aug 2nd, 2007, 10:02 pm Thread Starter
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stop lights

Okay, here's a question that is bound to provide lots of answers. But I just want to see what others do. When you're at a stop light do you sit with the bike in 1st and the clutch in or do you put the bike in neutral and let the clutch out? Which is best practice for preserving the clutch?

Greg
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post #2 of 16 Old Aug 2nd, 2007, 10:05 pm
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When I'm as SURE as I can be the cars around me have stopped and it looks like the light will stay red a while, I go to neutral and release the clutch.

HOWEVER... my foot floats above the gear shift lever and my hand's over the clutch... ... just in case I need to LEAVE in a hurry.

Keep scanning and listening for squealing tires.... etc... and have an idea of WHERE you will go to...

I stop behind the "stop bar" as much as I can without getting rearended... that gives me some "room" in case I need the space to the rear...

...............
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post #3 of 16 Old Aug 2nd, 2007, 10:14 pm
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Tell ya the truth, I had to read your question a few times just so I understood it! Never thought there was an option.

ALWAYS in 1st - clutch in - right foot on brake, often doing the '1,2,3' tap dance as I watch the guy come'n up from the rear. Once he's stopped - I stay that way cuz the light's 'bout to turn green

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post #4 of 16 Old Aug 2nd, 2007, 10:22 pm
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I stay off the clutch as much as possible... The only time I don't go to neutral is when I hit a stop sign with no traffic...

Me I rather adjust a clutch cable and change it every once in a while than have a hydralic clutch, but I guess thats progress .............Pete

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post #5 of 16 Old Aug 2nd, 2007, 10:39 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zotter
ALWAYS in 1st - clutch in - right foot on brake, often doing the '1,2,3' tap dance as I watch the guy come'n up from the rear. Once he's stopped - I stay that way cuz the light's 'bout to turn green
+1 Never know when you might need a fast get-a-way.

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post #6 of 16 Old Aug 3rd, 2007, 5:30 am
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Best practices for clutch and for safety are different

Quote:
Originally Posted by gpolakow
Okay, here's a question that is bound to provide lots of answers. But I just want to see what others do. When you're at a stop light do you sit with the bike in 1st and the clutch in or do you put the bike in neutral and let the clutch out? Which is best practice for preserving the clutch?
Best practice for saving the clutch is to put it in neutral. Actually what putting it in neutral saves is the throw-out bearing, and maybe the slave cylinder (it seems we have a history of slave cylinder failures .

Best practice for defensive riding is keeping it in gear to enable getting outta the way of the blind zombie speeding into your zone.

So do one or the other depending on circumstances. Vehicles already stopped behind you with good clearance?, put it in neutral.

Yeah, sometimes I wait in gear for what I consider a stable or predictable situation to develop around me and then I put it in neutral and then the light changes in a few seconds. But I do feel better about putting it in neutral when the situation around me makes me comfortable enough to do so.
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post #7 of 16 Old Aug 3rd, 2007, 7:40 am
was
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I try not to stop at stop lights. No, I don't run them, but when I see a light turn yellow or red up ahead of me I slow down well before I come up to the light or the cage in front (depending on traffic, of course) and try to stay upright until the light turns green and the cage in front of me moves. Along with remaining in first gear, it's good practice for balancing the bike at very slow speed. I'm sure this puts more stress on both the clutch (feathering it in and out) and the rear brake (light feathering), but when one of them wears out I'll replace it. When I do have to come to full stop I leave the bike in first.

Bill
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post #8 of 16 Old Aug 3rd, 2007, 8:02 am
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Quote:
...So do one or the other depending on circumstances. Vehicles already stopped behind you with good clearance?, put it in neutral...
+1 for it depends on the circumstances

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post #9 of 16 Old Aug 3rd, 2007, 8:34 am
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Best practice according to MSF clutch in, right foot on brake and left foot on the ground. Going with the concept of always maintaining a defensive posture I think this is the safest option. Seems to me you are also saving one clutch engagement.

Dave
'06 R1200RT
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post #10 of 16 Old Aug 3rd, 2007, 9:56 am
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Exclamation

Always in first gear, my left foot on the floor, right foot on the brake pedal, and my eyes checking the mirrors.

Riding with others you observe a lot of interesting things happen, such as riders revving the engine up until they realize they are in neutral. Because they have both feet on the ground they first need to balance the bike, put their left foot on the peg and shift into first while the car behind them started moving forward, close to rear-ending them. These 2 seconds seem like an eternity and the take-off is not smooth...

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post #11 of 16 Old Aug 3rd, 2007, 10:38 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zippy_gg
Always in first gear, my left foot on the floor, right foot on the brake pedal, and my eyes checking the mirrors.

Riding with others you observe a lot of interesting things happen, such as riders revving the engine up until they realize they are in neutral. Because they have both feet on the ground they first need to balance the bike, put their left foot on the peg and shift into first while the car behind them started moving forward, close to rear-ending them. These 2 seconds seem like an eternity and the take-off is not smooth...
+1... I have seen this too many times...

If I am amongst cages and the light might take a while, I'll go to neutral. But if I'm alone out there, I'm ready to take flight in the event the big bad brainless bastard behind decides he wants to take a bite out 'o' my rear trunk. Got close twice so far... Had the out and took it. Wouldn't have been able to do that from neutral.

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post #12 of 16 Old Aug 3rd, 2007, 12:17 pm
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Clutch in, in first gear, hand brake engaged watching the mirrors for Soccer Mom in her Mommy Tank coming from the rear.

To me, it's worth the wear and tear engaging the clutch and braking to ensure I can get the hell out of the way of that big SUV or 18 wheeler who decides to squash me like a bug.

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post #13 of 16 Old Aug 3rd, 2007, 12:55 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RVB1019
Clutch in, in first gear, hand brake engaged watching the mirrors for Soccer Mom in her Mommy Tank coming from the rear..
Same here but I also flash my hand brake as someone is approaching me from the rear. Just to let them know I am there. After I have a car or two behind me stopped, I might put it in neutral if it is a long light and take my hand off the brake.

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post #14 of 16 Old Aug 3rd, 2007, 1:09 pm
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So you're supposed to stop at those things?

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post #15 of 16 Old Aug 3rd, 2007, 1:32 pm
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Clutch in, first gear as well here.

There is NO strain on the clutch with the lever held in, only stress on the throwout bearing and if you have ever pulled a slave cylinder you will know that there is significant pressure on that bearing even when the clutch is released. 30K and holding.

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post #16 of 16 Old Aug 5th, 2007, 6:11 pm
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Keep watching behind me

I generally keep it in 1st, but if it is a long light and someone is behind me, I'll slip it into neutral. Several months ago, not far from my home, at a major intersection close to I-75 and Fowler, a bike sat at a light and was rear ended. Early Sunday morning, very light traffic and now he is dead! Never heard the results and the markings are still all over the intersection pavement.

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