Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Dandridge (Near Knoxville), TN, USA
As you said, it is BASIC LEARNER advice. It is NOT techincally important to the point that it "should" or "has" to be followed forever to be safe and ride well. It IS important to use set and tried consistently routine practices to teach new riders, that I agree with. If for no other reason than to have ALL instructors on the same page. Once riders become proficient though most will tend to do what is most comfortable to them on each bike ridden. I just found it to be uncomfortable on the LT, and never found it to be technically important or needed in any way. I tried to do it all the time for about a month after taking the course so I would be "Correct", but found I was not starting off smoothly, and was far more "involved" at stops, taking my mind off what really mattered. I went back to what was safe, smooth, and comfortable for me. I had absolutely NO problems starting on a steep uphill, with both feet on the ground. I was far more comfortable, and proficient at starting out in any circumstance without using the rear brake to do so. To me it was second nature, and very easy to hold the front brake lightly with two fingers, roll the throttle on a little, and time the clutch and front brake making a very smooth start. I rode 124,000 miles like that over 4 years, and feel I was a pretty decent rider. To me, starting out with the bike perfectly ballanced and both feet down is much smoother than having it leaned a little to the left, the left leg under pressure, and the right foot up. I was always a little nervous doing that on the LT. Often road surfaces make that even worse. I still say that anyone who is always stopping right foot up by rote will likely have times where an LT may be dropped when right foot down may be necessary for any reason, and their rote response is opposite, making them thing about it for a second. We all know the LT is a very unforgiving beast when nearly stationary, where first time rider training bikes are usually small, light, and very forgiving.
I had a 1958 650 BSA that I rode for several years, it had left brake, right gear shift. I rode that bike entirely different from the LT, a lot because of the weight. Funny thing, when I first started riding again, after 28 years off bikes, I had to unlearn the left brake/right shift mode! Amazing what the mind can retain over long time.
I did find the ERC course very helpful, and did help me become a better rider, but not the left foot down part. That was making me unsure and nervous at stops with the LT.
I don't want to achieve immortality through my work...I want to achieve it through not dying.
EX: '01 Black LT, BAT BYKE (Totaled at 110,000 miles)
IBA SS, BB, BBG, 10/10ths.
No bike now, but maybe in the future.