Do you have a heavy bike, and you will be a bit uncomfortable going down a steep hill? Don’t worry, this guide on “how to ride a motorcycle down a steep hill” will answer all your questions.
Riding can be incredibly thrilling, but at times it becomes challenging too. And one of those times is going down a steep hill. So, the most important thing is, you need to be in a stiffer sitting position and try your best to keep the handlebar as straight as possible.
This is crucial because you are being driven by the bike, but gravity is also pulling on you. So, you need to be in a solid position to handle the steep ride. In this guide, we are going to talk about it all, so keep reading!
How to Ride a Motorcycle Down a Steep Hill – A Comprehensive Guide
So, how to ride a motorcycle down a steep hill? In this comprehensive guide, we highlight some important points you need to know to learn how to ride on a slope.
Sitting position while going downhill
You need to shift your bodyweight towards the back of your bike seat. You don’t have to keep your weight on the front of the bike. This way, you will be putting too much weight on your handlebars. And you will notice that you don’t have enough control over your bike. You can always slide back on your seat to control the way you are balancing your bike.
Your hand placement on the bike
Maintain an excellent grip on your handlebars at all times and keep the front area lever pressed along with the clutch. You can place your two fingers on your front brake lever. Leave the rest of your hand to control your handlebar. You can place one or two fingers from your left hand on your clutch. Doing this will enable you to stop your motorcycle from stalling.
How to position the legs?
When learning how to ride a motorcycle down a steep hill, you must keep the position of your legs in your mind as well. For example, you can try and grip the tank of your motorcycle with your legs. This way, you are locking yourself in one position.
It means you won’t be able to shift your weight forward, and you will have a lot more control over your bike. You will be able to brake in a better way while going downhill curves.
Where to look when riding downhill?
To put it in simple words, make sure you keep your eyes on the road at all times. For example, you might notice you are looking at the front wheel of your bike but don’t do that.
Instead, you need to keep your gaze forward to know what lies right in front of you. This will allow you to respond properly and turn the handlebar and direct your bike in the right way to maintain your ride comfort.
The right gear for going downhill
You have to go for the gear that will keep your bike in slightly higher RPM than it would normally be. Ensure you don’t go for the first gear, as it will significantly spike the RPM, and you have to use your brakes a lot more.
Going for the second gear will keep your ride within the speed limit without boosting the RPM. So, whether you are going downhill straight or on a curvy hill, going for the second gear would be a better option.
Going downhill on a motorcycle
You have to bear in mind to ride slowly and keep those brakes applied with light pressure. Just don’t overdo it, or you will end up stalling the bike. So, it would be better to start with a standstill. Then, start making your way going downhill with a slight rate increase.
Brakes should be applied in a moderate manner
You have to make sure you moderately apply those brakes. Riding downhill can quickly turn into a scary experience. So, you might end up applying your brakes a bit too hard.
This is something you shouldn’t do because you don’t want to end up falling from your bike over your head. Therefore, it is important for you to apply those brakes gradually to prevent your wheels from locking up as you hit the brakes. Just keep a slight momentum, and you will be fine.
Getting more confidence going downhill
If you are learning to ride a motorcycle down a steep hill, you need to ride the smaller hills more gradually. Then, you can practice driving uphill in a comfortable manner. Don’t just start going for tall mountains straight away. Instead, you should work your way up and start climbing smaller hills on your bike first.
Going down a curvy hill
If you are looking to go down a curvy hill, keep your bike in second gear and bring the front back in use near a turn.
Apply the front brake when you reach close to the turn, which will slow your bike down a bit, and you will still be in control of it. Once you have gone over the turn, you can reapply your front brake and leave the clutch.
Switching gears when turning
You shouldn’t shift any gears while going through a turn. This will make your back end wheel lock-up or spin, and your bike will skid. So, instead of shifting gears during the turn, you must change the gears right before the turn begins.
Countersteering on turns
Countersteering is just leaning your bike in the direction of your turn. As you approach your turn, you can press on your handlebars in the direction where you want to turn. It will allow you to lean your bike. Then, as you are going out of it, start accelerating your bike, and it will upright on its own.
How to ride uphill?
When going uphill, you need to balance your weight and bike. You don’t have to shift your weight too far back on your bike when going uphill.
This will make steering extremely difficult. Instead, keep your feet on the pegs and your weight along the center for the front end of your bike. And then, switch your gear faster. Keeping your bike in second gear will be a better way to go uphill.
Put your bike in third gear on a hill. As soon as your bike loses some power, shift back to second gear and maintain momentum going uphill.
No matter what the situation is, you have to keep in mind that you don’t shit to first gear. This will make your heel spin, and you will get stuck right in the middle of the hill.
What should I do if I find myself going downhill too fast?
At times, hills are a bit too steep for what you initially thought. There are situations when you end up misjudging the gear as well.
If you have been using your gears to control the speed going downhill, you can always use brakes to gain more control and reduce your speed.
But progressively use your brakes. Shift down one gear and release the clutch when you think you are at a comfortable speed.
Should I use brakes a lot while going downhill?
You have to regularly inspect your brakes because they will keep you safe when you stop your bike.
But these brakes can only absorb some amount of heat. Keeping them pressed will make them absorb too much heat from friction between the brake pad and the rotor.
Using these pads all the time will make them stop working. This is called heat soak, and you have to prevent this from happening.
Can downhill riding be tough on your transmission?
If you execute your engine braking properly, you won’t have to worry about the transmission. Likewise, downshifting your gears won’t cause your transmission to fail. But the engine braking shouldn’t be the only way you use to control or slow down your bike.
In regular driving or riding conditions, you need to use your brakes instead of engine braking. Else, it will start messing up your transmission. Applying brakes and changing them from front to rear is a much easier process than changing your gear and clutch.
How to ride a motorcycle down a steep hill isn’t that hard. You only have to keep your handlebar straight and a solid grip to grab the fuel tank.
Just keep yourself seated on the rear end of your bike and maintain a second gear while controlling your bike through the way. Make sure not to change your gears mid-turn.
And if you think you are gaining speed while going downhill, apply brakes, change the gears, and carry on riding. It’s that simple!