Stopping and starting on a hill

werdigo

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I have about 450 miles on my new 2014 NC700X but am a returning rider who accumulated about 20K miles back in the 1960s. I like this new Honda very much. It is quite a different bike from my 1964 Super Hawk, maybe more suited to someone my age!

But...I'm having some trouble starting off from a stop (red light, etc.) on an uphill. My technique has been just to hold the bike with the rear brake until the light changes or cross traffic is clear, and let up on the rear brake as the clutch begins to engage. Is this standard practice?

I did get into some potential trouble this afternoon, on one of the narrow, hilly, twisty back roads out in a nearby rural area. I suddenly found the little road I was on T'd into another one, with a fairly steep short uphill to the stop sign at the T. There was a barn blocking the view to the right, and the intersecting road (the top of the T) came over the brow of a hill anyway, so I couldn't see what was happening on the road I was T'ing into. Frankly, I knew I couldn't handle a stop and start on that steep hill, so I slowed down, slipped the clutch, and, hoping for the best, ran the stop sign, turning left onto the road forming the top of the T. As expected, no traffic, but I'd rather not repeat that.

Just read another thread where an experienced rider went down on a slanted uphill stop. These sound like situations best avoided if possible.

PS: 72 mpg at my second fillup.
 

GregC

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I use the rear brake method on steep hills. On less steep I can hold the front brake and then roll on the throttle as let off the brake, but if it's steep is the rear brake. Being able to flat foot the NC is helpful to the rear brake method.
 

VA700X

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I use the rear brake mostly. If I need to put my right foot down, I'll let out the clutch enough to hold the bike. The NC has enough torque at idle to hold itself on most hills.
 
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bamamate

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I generally come to a stop using both brakes which puts you in the correct position of left foot down and right foot on brake. If I get a little tipsy and need to put both feet down then I hold the bike with the front brake Until I can get myself situated with left foot down and right on brake. Once I'm comfortable I left off the front brake and hold the bike with the rear. Then I give her some gas, let the clutch out until it begins to pull against the brake, then let off the brake and start going. Torque comes on so quickly so it doesn't take much gas or clutch slipping.
 

dduelin

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Yes to Bamamate's post in particular. Training classes generally teach stopping with the left foot down and right foot on the brake.

Practice makes perfect. Yes, it makes sense to avoid situations that overtax the learning curve right now but as you accumulate miles don't continue to avoid uphill and stopping across grades as these are everywhere and unless you only ride a limited area you will find yourself coming to a place like this again.
 

ld_rider

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My technique has been just to hold the bike with the rear brake until the light changes or cross traffic is clear, and let up on the rear brake as the clutch begins to engage. Is this standard practice?
Yes...as confirmed by a bunch of other posters ;-)
But, after reading what you wrote, it sounds like your issue has nothing to do with stopping...more like how to get going <after> the stop.

That can be very tricky on a steep uphill, especially if the intersection is less than 90 degrees, requiring you to almost double back. Add in a substantial road crown or slant to either the left or right, limited sight lines, and even experienced riders might get a bit nervous. Here in coastal Maine it seems like most rural intersections are exactly like that.

First, don't be afraid to put both feet down on a steep hill, (it will give you more confidence and stability) and STOP. Take a breath. Take another one. With both feet down and stopped, you will obviously be holding position with only the front brake.

You will need to creep out to establish sight lines...You do that by "palming" the throttle a bit. Not exactly sure how to describe it, but rather than grabbing it and twisting, I sorta keep a couple fingers on the brake lever feathering it, and using my thumb rotate the throttle. I have small hands and have no problems doing all this.

The NC has a lot of torque and just above idle you can creep out a foot or two to get a sight line. All this time I'm sorta duck-walking the bike those last few feet to give me stability at this (basically) slower than walking speed.

I've just reread what I've written and it sounds way, WAY more complicated than it actually is. I've honed my riding skills on these crazy uphill, slanted T intersections that double back at less than 90 degrees riding my 1,000+ lb fully dressed Goldwing. Even with that, there are some intersections that I would simply avoid because they were either too dangerous or beyond my comfort level. Don't be afraid to find a different route until you get more saddle time ;-)
 
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ld_rider

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Yes, it makes sense to avoid situations that overtax the learning curve right now but as you accumulate miles don't continue to avoid uphill and stopping across grades as these are everywhere and unless you only ride a limited area you will find yourself coming to a place like this again.
^^^^^ This ^^^^^^^
 

Motodrocher

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Practice - Practice - Practice - and make sure you stop at those stop signs.
Nothing beats practice! For me it is easy to start at any hill with both feet on the ground and holding the front break. Never had problems after my first drop right at "hill start"))))))))))

The technique is simple - lock your front brake and when you are ready to move give it some gas gradually till the bike starts "dive" forward a bit and release the clutch as at normal conditions (smoothly and slowly).

This is pretty much the same with the manual transmission cars.

And again
Practice - Practice - Practice - and make sure you stop at those stop signs.
 

L.B.S.

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My Mom cheated on her car driver's test for starting on a steep hill in a manual shift car.

Small town, and she knew the instructor's wife. She set up the app. time for the last test of the day, and had her friend make sure to tell the instructor that she was cooking his favourite supper. The hill start was the last one of the test, so she dragged out the session until it was just past dinner time, and the poor guy finally threw up his hands, said she passed, and let's get back quickly or I'm in trouble with the Missus for being late.
 

TN Thunder

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Many hills here where I live. I stop using both brakes, put both feet down most of the time. Depending on the angle of entering, and some we have are really treacherous, up hill and in a curve. If I'm turning left and can't see very well to my right, I hold the front brake with 2 fingers and with thumb and last 2 fingers, use the throttle and pull out staying in the on-coming lane a bit to make sure traffic coming from my right was missed. Same if turning to the right but stay in my lane. If this makes sense to you. I hold the bike via front brake. And when I enter the traffic I do so with gusto to make sure I am in the clear. It's an uncomfortable feeling when you can't see both directions clearly, I just try to take the safest option.
 

sumo

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Practice - Practice - Practice - and make sure you stop at those stop signs.
I too am a returning rider. The other day i made a slow speed u-turn as I wanted to stop in front of the post office, well I didn't quite time it right and I was going to slow or too fast (not sure) finally bounced over the curb and almost fell down. I don't know if anyone was watching but I'm sure it was comical to watch!

Yesterday I spent 15 minutes in a deserted parking lot doing figure eights, back brake, a little throttle, more brake, look left when turning left... I'm going to practice practice practice so my next slow speed challenge goes better, if not perfect. I even found with my DCT it made sense to hold a little throttle and use the back brake to regulate the 'slow speed' in the figure eight.
 

itlives

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I even found with my DCT it made sense to hold a little throttle and use the back brake to regulate the 'slow speed' in the figure eight.
Ed Up taught me that. Works with non-dct's too. It's the gyro affect of the engine. He was coming to a complete stop and staying upright (for a second or two).
 

Adlibgib

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I use two fingers on the brake and can roll on the throttle and release the brake in the same motion.
 

SergeantChuck

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I can understand your being nervous about situations like you described. I'm sure we all went through that when we first started riding. It's a combination of when to let off the rear brake and how far to release the clutch. It takes practice. It's just like the first time you learned to do the same process in a car with a standard transmission. It took a while before you got good. Based off your statement in the first post, your using the same method we use, you just need to keep at it and get it down. Good luck and be safe.
 
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