For someone who owns a motorcycle, having it fall over from improper parking can be a real embarrassment. For an inexperienced rider, parking on a hill can be very intimidating.
So, how do you park a motorcycle on a hill? When parking a motorcycle on a hill, it should always be parked with the back of the front tire touching the curb and angled towards the street. It’s more ideal to park a motorcycle uphill than it is downhill, so make sure you initially attempt uphill parking first.
Following the instructions given above will remove that anxiety and allow you to park anywhere comfortably. Doing this will prevent your motorcycle from falling over when you are away from it and also make it very easy for you to pull back into the road when you get back on.
If you are ever uncomfortable parking your motorcycle on a hill, you can always look for a flatter place to park nearby. Below, we will dive into a few other tips that will allow you to park your motorcycle anywhere with confidence. From here, practice will make perfect and you will learn how to adjust the proper practices for parking in any scenario.
How To Park A Motorcycle Uphill
When the time comes to parking your motorcycle uphill, you want to make sure you are doing everything right. Coming back to a bike that has fallen over is devastating and could result in hundreds of dollars in damage. That is why it is important that your motorcycle is always properly parked to ensure that this never happens.
When attempting to park a motorcycle uphill, it is important that you always turn your wheel so that it is at an angle. Back the front tire up until it touches the curb and rests against it. You should never try to leave your bike parked parallel uphill as this is a very unstable position. Having it angled about 35-50 degrees from the curb will prevent a wide variety of accidental tip-overs.
It’s also important that you are aware of the placement of the motorcycle’s side stand. Be cautious and always analyze the situation when doing this. Leaving the step stand leaning uphill can be dangerous as the bike potentially could tip over. Leaving it leaning downhill can also prove to be disastrous if not done at an angle.
The exact angle that you should be parked will be determined on a case by case basis. Based off of how steep the hills are, what the curb is like near you, and the weight of your bike, you may need to adjust the angle at which you park. It is always wise to check that your bike is stable after parking it to prevent any accidental mishaps. Put a little pressure against the front tire to ensure it’s snugly pressed against the curb.
How To Park A Motorcycle Downhill
Parking downhill can be extremely difficult to do and scary to an inexperienced rider. It is always important to think about how hard it will be to get out of a parking spot when you are looking for a place to park. A certain parking spot may not be a good choice if you have to back up the motorcycle to get out of it, so it’s better to look elsewhere.
If you have an 800 lb. bike, trying to back it up a hill could be almost impossible. You may even find yourself having to ask people passing by to help give you a push so that you can get out. That is why it is always ideal to try to flip around and park the bike pointed uphill. This will make it much easier to get out and also better increase your stability while parked.
From there, follow the guidelines provided above to know how to properly park your motorcycle uphill. If you absolutely must park your bike downhill, always park your bike diagonally. You will be relying very heavily on your side stand so make sure that it is parked in a very stable position. Again, always remember to check how stable your bike is before walking away from it. Taking that extra second is always worth it.
Should You Keep Your Motorcycle In Gear On A Hill?
It is important that you always leave your motorcycle in gear when parking on a hill. This is an excellent additional safety feature as it provides additional stability to your bike through the transmission. Always make sure that your motorcycle is in 1st gear before leaving it on a hill. This will ensure that the transmission does not allow the bike to move at all when you are not on it.
Never leave your motorcycle in neutral while it’s parked, especially on a hill. It is absolutely fine to park your bike in gear even on flat ground as well. The only time when you might want to park it in neutral is when it is in your garage and you might want to wheel it around easily.
The gearing in the transmission will hold the bike in place and it will take a huge amount of force in order to get the wheels to turn at all. As motorcycles generally do not have parking brakes, this is a very important practice to always incorporate. Doing so can prevent the embarrassment of your bike falling over and also prevent damage to the bike itself.
Tips For Keeping Your Motorcycle Safe While Parked On A Hill
In addition to the important steps we’ve discussed, there are other things that you can do to make parking a motorcycle on a hill a better experience. If your bike has bags or storage space, you can bring a wheel chock along with you. That way wherever you park, you can place the chock under your wheels and make your motorcycle more secure.
Another important thing is to balance out the weight on your bike. If one side of your bike is far heavier than the other side, you are starting off at a disadvantage when parking on a hill. This will greatly increase the chances that your bike tips over. Make sure you try to even out the weight as much as possible if you are leaving things on your bike or if you have bags full of things.
It is also important that you do not have your motorcycle parked too close to anything nearby that people will try to get to. Even a small bump from someone could be enough to tip your bike over. I always try to park my motorcycle in the least populated parts of a hill, if possible. Always be aware of your surroundings to make sure that no other influence could cause damage to your motorcycle.
How To Get Your Motorcycle Out Of A Parking Spot On A Hill
Before you ever consider using a parking spot on a hill, consider how you’re going to get out of it before using it. It’s easy to pull a motorcycle into any parking spot and usually easier to get out compared to cars, but parking on a hill is a whole different ball game for motorcycles.
As always, check your surroundings before pulling out. Unfortunately, other drivers are much less likely to see motorcyclists, so perhaps you may consider some brightly colored flag to wave before pulling out. Take it nice and slow as getting started immediately uphill can be a little difficult; you’ll likely need to use the throttle a little more to give your motorcycle the extra umph to get going.
Since the back of your front tire is up against the curb, you shouldn’t have to worry about going backwards, assuming you found a parking spot uphill. If you have to park downhill and your motorcycle is easy to move around by yourself, consider walking your motorcycle to a safe spot that will make it easier to get started. This is a much better alternative than trying to reverse yourself uphill.