It’s one thing to be out riding your motorcycle and having a good time, but eventually you’re going to need to park your bike. You can do this a couple different ways.
The First Parking Method
The first way to park is by backing it into the spot with your rear tire towards the curb. You have to be cognizant of the surface you’re on, it could be gravel, concrete , dirt or grass. Whatever type of surface you’re on make sure you have a firm grip on your bike as your backing it in to the spot you’ve chosen. A reason why you want to back your bike into a parking spot is so that you can freely ride off when you are ready to leave. It’s also safer than backing backwards out of a parking spot into the flow of traffic. Allow yourself enough room on both sides of your bike so that when you stand it upright you can safely lean the bike so that it’s secure on the kickstand and so that you can safely ride away without coming in contact with whatever you are next to. [I.e. Another bike, car, or structure.] Another point to keep in mind is if you have a center stand for your bike, you want to make sure you have enough room all around you to properly sit that bike on it’s center stand when parking.
The Second Parking Method
Another method is pulling the bike in with the front tire first. A good example of this is when you are at the mall. Something to consider is that a motorcycle is a small vehicle and if you pull all the way into that spot a car can come and turn into the spot thinking the spot is empty, and Wham! They hit your bike and potentially knock it over, scratch it, or even dent and damage it. The way to park safely is not to pull all the way into the spot. Try to keep the back of your bike even with the back of all the other cars in that row. This way you are visible to cars.
Rarely do we ever park parallel to the curb like a car. The only time that happens is when the signage says that’s the only way to park. Otherwise its either front tire or rear tire to the curb or spot.
Other Helpful Hints
Another factor to consider when parking is the level of ground you’re on. The ground could be uphill or downhill… all those factors come into play. Here is the easiest tip for you to use: When you park the bike, you will eventually have to leave, so make sure that however you do park you will be able to throttle out of the spot or coast out. There is nothing more embarrassing than asking someone to come and push you out of the spot. If it happens to you once, it will never happen again.
Now let’s talk gears when parking on a hill. You want to leave your motorcycle parked in 1st gear. On hills it’s a must to stop it from rolling back. Do we have a parking brake like a car? If you drive a shift car, do you park it in neutral? When you park your bike it MUST be in 1st gear all the time, even if the ground is level. That is to ensure it never moves while you are not on it. There is no exception to that rule. I know your friends tell you to leave it in neutral, but the only time your bike should ever see neutral is when you start it. Not at a stop sign, not in traffic, not when you park, only when you start it. Anything else could potentially get you in trouble somehow.
So you see there are a few ways to park your bike. Remember to always check road surfaces for hazards and slopes of streets. This will always save you from an embarrassing moment when you have to leave. This is just one small topic we cover in the safety classes. Come to a class and learn something new! See you on the road and ride safe!