Help -- Slopes and Inclines UGH!

by Veronica
(Valley Forge)

Hi Ladies, back for more advice. Just got my license and have been riding around my neighborhood. Getting better with shifting (3rd gear up to 35 mph), controlled stops and turning (still a little wide on some). Just when I think I'm improving, I discover a new issue -- slopes and inclines (haven't even thought of or dare to try hills). The sensation of rolling back even on a small incline scares the heck out of me. So much so that in anticipation of an incline at a stop sign, I stopped too abruptly, lost balance and laid the bike down. When I was 16 (54 now), and started driving a stick shift, I always had issues with hills. Now I find that I have this same issue with riding. Not sure how to overcome my fear and how to get the bike moving from a stop on a slope or incline without stalling the bike (which I have done several times). Please, any advice would be welcomed. Not sure I could survive without Her Motorcyce, this forum and all of you. Thanks.

Comments for Help -- Slopes and Inclines UGH!

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Jul 21, 2013
Help -- Slopes and Inclines UGH!
by: K

As other people have said, use your back brake. I put both feet down when I stop, then put my foot on the back brake so I can release the front brake. When you are ready to go, release the clutch until it's in the friction zone, then let off the back brake and turn the throttle. Definitely practice this on a flat surface before you try it on a hill, and make sure you mastered it going straight before you try to turn. The other option is to keep the bike in the friction zone the entire time you're stopped, but this is really hard on the bike.

Jul 18, 2013
Get off that front brake
by: Anonymous

That will make you go down quicker than a cold beer after a long ride. Keep your foot on your rear brake, learn to balance your bike on the incline while doing so, then roll that throttle on and don't let off that back brake until you're sure you can move forward, then slowly let out the clutch.

Just my 2 cents.

Jul 17, 2013
Inclines & Hills
by: Gina R.

I live on top of a small mountain ridge. The street up to our street is very very steep maybe a 6-7% incline. There is a stop sign at the top. I have killed my bike accidentally by being in too high of gear coming up the hill & it stalling out while I downshifted. I drive an Orange Flame 2012 Honda Shadow 750 Spirit. My hubby was head of me on his Harley had already got into our driveway & came running back down the hill to make sure I had not dumped my bike (as he didn't hear it running) He found me laid hard over my gas tank, feet back on the ground & hard on my front brake just holding my bike from sliding backwards. I tried several times to restart it, but as soon as I started letting off my clutch it would die again. So I just held it. He came down & had to stand on my rear brake peddle so I could completely let go of my front brake. He let off slowly as I throttled up & I moved forward & got on up the hill safely. Now after I come to a stop at a traffic light or stop sign I use the rear brake to hold myself still... slowly let off while throttling up & it goes much smoother without stalling.

Jul 17, 2013
Slopes and Inclines
by: Anonymous

I agree with the other person. Practice finding that friction zone with the clutch. I also find it helpful that once I come to a stop on an incline, I switch to completely rear brake, leaving my hand free to slowly roll on the throttle. Practice makes perfect!

Jul 17, 2013
Slopes & inclines
by: Anonymous

I learned to drive a stick at 16 in the mountains of NC (near Deal's Gap), and although I could take off on a hill without stalling, I still felt like I was a little hard on the clutch. After I got married and as my former truck-driver husband was teaching my girls to drive (a stick), I heard him tell them the ultimate secret... and I will share with you.

Practice on an open area, and it can be flat. Release the clutch as slowly as you can until the vehicle starts to move. You should be able to take off without adding any fuel or stalling! Practice over and over until you know exactly where that engagement point is. When you take that to an incline, it will work the same exact way. Of course, you will want to try with adding a little fuel on the incline.

It sounds very simple, and it is (and it ain't), but practice makes perfect. When you get good at it on a flat parking lot or street, you will be confident with hills, and shouldn't have trouble.

Good luck!!

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