Thu. May 28th, 2020


4 min read

How do you start from standstill on a motorcycle? what you need to do to not turn off the bike at the start, and the different situations of starting from standstill, will be the subject of this article.

After writing the article on “How to ride a motorbike with gears” I decided to go into the different situations you may find yourself in, when you start from a standstill with the bike.

How to start from standstill

If you are at your first experience find a parking lot or a parking lot without traffic, large enough and start there to practice using the gearbox.

Another tip is to use a light bike if possible. At the beginning it could happen that the bike goes off with the gear engaged and this could cause a fall from a standstill that can damage the bike and the driver’s leg if it remains under the bike.

The starting manoeuvre:
You are sitting on the motorcycle with the stand up and the engine running with the gear in neutral:

  • You pull the clutch lever with your left hand.
  • You engage the first gear with your left foot giving a downward blow
  • You accelerate a little bit to increase engine revs
  • You start to release the clutch very gently
  • At a certain point you begin to feel that the power is transmitted to the wheel and the engine will drop slightly in rpm, you need to give a little more gas to prevent the engine from shutting down.
  • As soon as the bike starts to move, it is instinctive to release the clutch completely, this is wrong, you must continue to release it gradually.
  • If everything went well the bike didn’t shut down and you started in first gear.

Now I advise you to practice starting from a standstill until you are familiar with this technique.

What if the bike goes off?

If you are a beginner, turning off the bike at the start is not a serious thing you just have to be careful not to fall.
To prevent this from happening:

  • Pull the clutch lever, in this way you can take advantage of the small speed that the bike has acquired to stay in balance and above all to ensure that the bike does not stop suddenly.
  • Place both feet on the ground and use your legs and arms to keep your balance.
  • If we realize that we are not able to stay in balance and the bike begins to tilt with the probability of falling, the best thing to do is to try to accompany the fall gently trying not to be dragged to the ground.

The technique taught at the driving test

When testing for the licence the technique to be used is to put your left foot on the ground so that you keep your right foot on the rear brake pedal. In fact if you should be on an uphill gradient you should keep the bike stationary with the rear brake because it is considered a mistake to operate the front brake and the accelerator control with the same hand at the same time.

How to start uphill

  • It is known that motorcyclists like curves and obviously mountain roads, however, going into the mountains you may have to make an uphill start.
  • The procedure is very similar to a stationary start only that you are on a slope and therefore you will have to hold the bike with one of the two brakes.
  • For those with little experience I recommend to proceed with this technique:
  • Motorcycle stationary uphill, left foot resting on the ground, and right foot pressing the rear brake and motorcycle in first gear with the clutch lever pulled.
  • At this point you start to give gas and at the same time gently release the clutch, as soon as you feel that the clutch attacks and the power of the engine is sufficient to allow the bike to move uphill release the rear brake gently.
  • The bike will start to move and you will have made the uphill start.
  • Obviously if you find the bike in neutral you will have to put it in first gear first and then make the uphill start.
  • The uphill start can be made with the front brake instead of the rear brake.

The right foot must not keep the brake lever pressed but can be placed on the ground if necessary or left on the footrest. This technique allows for greater stability as you can choose which foot to place.
For newbies it is a slightly more complex technique when you have to manage brake and accelerator with the same hand.

Both techniques, those with the use of the rear brake or the one with the use of the front brake, are correct and it is very important to know how to use both in order to be able to choose which is better to adopt in different situations.
If the road is very steeply sloping or the road surface very ruined then it is better to have both feet free to keep the bike balanced.


To ride a motorcycle safely you need to be able to master the different techniques and try to use them in different situations. It is important to do a little practice and try to learn all the different techniques in order to try to prevent and deal with the different situations you may encounter.
If you have other suggestions comment on the article.

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