Wheel the motorcycle and bring to a halt
There will be times when you will not be able to ride the motorcycle from where it is, to where you want it to be. You may need to push it into or out of the garage ready to ride, or you may have to use manual handling to park it up or take it out of a parking space.
It’s important to know how to safely manoeuvre your motorcycle in various situations. An important skill to have is the ability to wheel your motorcycle to the left and right, bring it to a halt, and wheel it backwards. Here’s a guide on how to do it properly.
Pushing the bike forward
To begin with, stand on the left side of your motorcycle, facing the front of the bike. Place your left hand on the left handlebar and the right hand on the right handlebar. Place the fingers of the right hand onto the front brake lever.
If the bike is stationary, apply gentle pressure to the front brake lever to prevent the bike from rolling, especially if you are on a camber or incline. If you want to move the bike, release the pressure on the front brake and make sure the bike is in neutral if you want to push it forwards or backward.
Keep the bike leaning towards you
Keep the bike leaning slightly towards you to stop it from toppling over the opposite direction and away from you.
When you push the bike forward, make sure you cover the front brake, in case you want to slow it down or bring it to a stop. When applying the front brake, always apply the brake gently and never grab or snatch the brake.
You should look in the direction of travel when pushing or wheeling the motorcycle and never apply the brake when cornering. Put the handle bars straight and look forward to bring the bike to a controlled halt.
Wheeling the motorcycle to the left and right
When turning to the left or right, look in the direction of travel first to make sure you have an aiming marker.
Once you locate where you want to turn, gently turn the steering to the left or right to make the bike move in that direction.
As you wheel the motorcycle, make sure your right leg is not going to come into contact with the left hand rider’s footpeg. You must be far enough away not to impede the movement of the bike by brushing against the footpeg.
Do not look down directly at the floor in front of the motorcycle as this will cause a loss of direction and balance. Keep the head up to keep balance and control.
Bringing the motorcycle to a halt
If you need to bring the bike to a halt or slow the motorcycle down, straighten the steering first and then gently apply the front brake. Never snatch or grab the brake, especially in a bend as the bike could lose balance and fall over.
The preferred way to move the bike is to keep the motorcycle moving slowly and smoothly, keep the bike leaning slightly towards your body.
- Stand on the left side of the motorcycle, facing the front of the bike
- Place your hands on the handlebars
- Push the motorcycle forward slowly and smoothly
- If you want to turn the motorcycle to the left or right, look in that direction
- Straighten the steering to bring it to a stop
GET Regular RIDING TIPS
Sign up to get Riding Tips and advice directly to your inbox
Wheeling the motorcycle backwards
When wheeling the motorcycle backwards, stand on the left side of the motorcycle, facing the rear of the bike.
There are two ways to do this, you can either place both hands on the handlebars and hold the motorcycle upright. Use your body weight to push the motorcycle backwards, using short steps to maintain balance.
Or you can hold the left handlebar with the left hand and place the right hand on the grab rail or place it on the scallop of the rear seat. This way you can push with the right hand into the seat to get some momentum and guide the bike with the left handlebar.
Be aware of your surroundings
Be mindful of your surroundings and any obstacles in your path, as it can be more difficult to steer the motorcycle when moving backwards. The best thing to do is only push the motorcycle backwards in a straight line to begin with until you are confident and experienced at pushing the motorcycle.
If you need to turn the motorcycle while moving backwards, gently apply pressure to the handlebars in the direction you want to turn.
When you want to stop the bike, either stop walking or pushing the motorcycle and it will naturally come to a halt. Or if you are on a slope or camber, gently apply the front brake with the fingers of the right hand.
- Stand on the left side of the motorcycle
- Face the rear of the bike
- Place both hands on the handlebars and hold the motorcycle upright
- Or left hand on the handlebar and right hand on the seat
- Use your body weight to push the motorcycle backwards
- Use short steps to maintain balance
- Use the front brake gently if you want to stop
Practise makes perfect
Remember, practice makes perfect when it comes to wheeling your motorcycle. Start off by practising in a safe, open area with no obstacles or hazards on flat level ground. Gradually build up your skill, confidence and experience.
Make sure the motorcycle is in neutral when wheeling it, as it can be difficult to control the bike when in gear. Sometimes pulling the clutch in whilst in gear can have the desired effect but at times there can be a lot of drag and it can be difficult to move.
Keep your eyes focused on where you want the motorcycle to go, and avoid looking down at the ground or obstacles.
Use your body weight to control the motorcycle’s direction and speed, and be mindful of your centre of gravity to maintain balance. Keep the bike leaning slightly towards you to prevent it from falling over the opposite way.