A Curiosity Question About Stopping and When To Buy A Bike

by Jen

I recently finished the MSF Basic Rider Course. I was taught in that class to use the front break, rear break, and to pull the clutch in when stopping. So now when I am at a red light in traffic (in my car), I notice that motorcyclists also stopped at the same light do not have the clutch pulled in. Their bike is still running...so they did not stall. Did they put it in neutral once stopped...and then once the light turns green they put it into 1st gear and slowly release the clutch to get going? I don't see them switch gears, but maybe they do it so fast.

I also don't have a bike of my own. Even though I am licensed now, I don't think now is the best time for me to get a bike due to financial reasons. It seems common for a new rider to purchase a bike once they get licensed, but I don't know when I'll get on a bike again. Will this hurt me in the future? Or do you typically pick up where you left off once you get back on?

Comments for A Curiosity Question About Stopping and When To Buy A Bike

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Jul 31, 2010
I waited 3 months for bike.
by: Sassy2731

I waited from May to August before purchasing my 1st bike after I took the MSF course. Then I had to wait for the hubby to repair the bike for me to ride, because I bought a wrecked 1992 bike (sportster) for my first bike. Then after the repairs were made, I left it with different color fenders and tank. My hubby said we can paint it before you ride, but I told him no because if I drop her I won't mess her up again. I did drop her a couple of times, but not bad or fast. I finally got her almost completed then the hubby had me go up to the fatboy. Anyway what I wanted to say is I went awhile between my class and actually riding on the road and it all comes back to you once you get on the bike. Even now after 4+ years of riding I still catch myself thinking about what I need to do in different situations while riding and it all goes back to that MSF class and what I learned then.

Jun 10, 2010
by: Anonymous

Ok here goes. People that have been riding for many years will sometimes but not always put the bike in neutral at a long stop, I do at times also. As far as the 3 point and so on, this is for people who are newbies and don't have the natural reflexes yet. I am always aware of what's going on around me, and if it looks as though someone is going to back-end me, (which hasn't happened yet) I can put it into gear and take off very quickly, I put both feet down when I stop, again something for newbies to get used to. You have much greater balance with two feet on the ground than one. I have my hand on the front brake when in neutral at a long stop. The safety course is a place to start, and good advice, but you will as you become experienced find your style and what works for you, and still stay safe. Would be really good to get a bike to ride as you will have to start all over again if you go too long. Good luck!

Jun 10, 2010
Bike In Gear
by: Lynn - SW FL

Some riders always put the bike in neutral at a red light and even take their hands off the grips to rest (I guess). I never take my bike out of gear at a light. Not only for safety reasons but in a group ride it's annoying waiting for the rider ahead to clutch, shift & take off when the light turns green and they aren't paying attention.

I would find a cheap starter bike so you have something to ride after the class so you don't forget all you've learned.

Jun 10, 2010
3 Point Position
by: Anonymous


The 3 point position when stopped is:

Left foot on ground.
Right foot on right foot break.
Bum in saddle.

And you would be in 1st gear and you would have clutch in.

Try to find a used 250 Honda Rebel, or 250 Yamaha Virago...something small, but not new and would cost little to insure. Such a bike would give you a lot of confidence and a lot of fun, for years even. Those bikes can be found on on-line searches for your area. I live in Canada so don't know the sites if you are in the US.

Warm regards,


Jun 09, 2010
by: Jen

Thanks. What is the 3 point position though?

Also, it amazes me how so many people get a bike right after they are licensed. I would love to do the same so I can practice. There is actually a very big cemetery near where I live and I learned to drive a car there. It would be a perfect place to practice riding a motorcycle because it's a big place with hills, turns, and flat ground too...and no one will bother you! I really want to make good use of it. Do you know anyplace I could buy a good but somewhat cheap bike?

Jun 09, 2010
Clutch In at Stop Signs, Red Lights
by: Anonymous

I recently finished the safety course and the road course for motorcycles and it was drummed into our heads that we always make sure the bike is in 1st gear when we stop. We trained at speed to do emergency stops and to be sure to gear down into first and in fact, in our skills test, we were in 2nd gear, but we had to be in 1st gear once we completed our emergency stop.

We were told always be in first gear and ready to take off, for emergency reasons: i.e. stopped at red light at intersection and motor vehicle behind isn't stopping and will rear end you. You need to get out of there fast, and being in neutral can get you killed.

So, that was what we were taught. I think it would be more comfortable to be in neutral and 2 feet on the floor, but the 3 point position is the safest, in gear and ready to take off fast, if needed.

As far as comfort, I believe that with only a couple months riding behind me, if I put it all aside for a while, I would be starting back close to the beginning in skill and confidence. But, having the license is great and there is always parking lots to practice!

Have fun!

Warm regards,


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