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Discussion Starter #1
Newbie question here...When sitting at a red light (a long one) in and amongst traffic is it best to leave the TW 200 in first gear with the clutch pulled in and brakes on. Or do you put it into neutral (with the brakes on of course). I tend to leave it in gear in case I have to move defensively or quickly. However sometimes I put it in Neutral so I have my clutch hand free to adjust zipper or sunglasses or to shake my hand out etc.



Maybe I'm overthinking this but would like everyones opinion particularly concerning safety. Love this forum and am learning a lot from you experienced riders. TW people seem to be GOOD people. I know I am in good company !



Thanks, Willinbc.

P.S My name is Will. And I am in B.C.


Ride a 2012 TW 200. Her name is Rosie and she makes me happy !
 

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Hi Will,



Good question. Generally it is recommended to leave the bike in gear in case you need to move quickly and also so you don't need to fumble around when the light changes. Depending on the bike, however, it can also get tiring holding the clutch in for a long time. Don't sweat it if you have to put it neutral to adjust your mirror, scratch your nose, or whatever. Just be aware of what is going on around you and you'll be fine.



Brian
 

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I go with the out of gear method... It's easy to watch the turn arrow, when it goes yellow I'm putting it into first.. Besides I think the wear and tear on the throw out bearing by not holding it in will pay off down the road.... Omm.
 

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Either way...Long lights , I find nuetral... and am ready for a quick gear input. Always keep your hand on that front brake lever,,, Had a friend have his clutch cable break at the stop light ~ in gear ... You might imagine the hurt that followed. Be safe !!!
 

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For me it depends on a few factors.



If I know the light cycle is short or almost over OR I'm not familiar with the light cycle, I'll keep it in gear.



If nobody is behind me yet, I'll keep it in gear.



If I know the light cycle is long and I'm going to be sitting for a while AND I have a cage or two stopped behind me, I'll usually nudge it up into neutral and give my left arm a break.



If I need to use my left hand for something, I'll first try my best to make sure I actually have enough time at the light, then I'll put it in neutral and as soon as I'm done put it back into 1st.





I've read the comment on here before that while we're all advised to keep the bike in 1st at a light so we can skedaddle if we're about to get rear-ended, nobody seems to have an example of a motorcyclist with the wherewithal and timing to actually speed away before the moment of collision.



I've never read an account of such an occurrence (for the next to nothing that's worth!) but more to the point it seems that if you did actually find yourself in that situation, your escape route would likely take you into either the rear bumper of the car in front of you or into cross-traffic where you're unlikely to do any better than where you're already sitting.



If anyone has an example of a motorcyclist sitting in 1st gear narrowly escaping tragedy I'd love to hear it though!



And anyway, even if nobody has pulled it off before I'll still keep sitting in 1st because I'd love to be the first (I believe in myself!) and it just seems like a good idea!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Nice ! I appreciate all your replies and advice. I had never even considered that the clutch cable could break at a light and that particular circumstance. Stuff can happen...

I like the advice about always having your hand on the front brake,I trust it more than the back for stopping power.I am still learning and need the feedback from others.



Thanks again, Will.

willinbc
 

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The Motorcycle Safety Foundation course teaches to downshift to first, put the left foot on the ground, keep the right foot on the peg and hold the bike with the foot brake. The brake light also gives drivers coming up behind a visual clue you are stopped. I would work mine off and on if I thought they might be inattentive.



As pointed out above, a long stop gives you a chance to make adjustments, once your six is covered by a cage or two.



The factory gearing on the TW is so low, you may find it more manageable to ride away in second gear.



One word of caution: When holding the clutch in, it's tempting to use the green light to launch like a drag racer. First, check for cross traffic before letting the clutch out. Some people think they can drive through an intersection when the traffic light has turned pink and has not reached a full red glow.



Take it easy and enjoy the ride.
 

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In Neutral for me, I've had a clutch cable snap at a light while in gear. The bike crow hopped into the intersection, I was lucky and it died before I got in serious trouble, now I don't take the chance.
 

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It is a rider's preference I suppose. I opt for being in gear, I want to be ready to react to anything thats goes on around me. Clutch cables breaking while stopped at a red light? A clutch cable can go out at anytime... I don't see that as a reason not to use it while stopped at anytime. Just my opinion
 

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For me it's

In gear, cover the front brake. ( when my butt hits the seat, my right fingers are on the brake and the kickstand is up)

Keep the rear brake covered unless something challenges you. I also flash my rear brake as I watch someone coming up behind me. Just to be a little more obvious.



I do keep an eye in the mirror, folks do fail to pay attention . . . and I watch the side traffic just in case I do have to advance to stay ahead of a dozer/phoner/bonehead.



My safety is my responsibility.



Bag
 

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In gear, front brake on, one eye in the mirrors, the other on a swivel.



3+ vehicles waiting behind? Neutral.



There is no throwout bearing to wear out. Wet clutches can be held in gear indefinately with no harm done.



Clutch cables don't break without warning while sitting at a light. Cables give mucho warning before breaking. When cables require a sudden adjustment or begin to require more frequent adjustment it probably is time to replace them.
 

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In gear, front brake on, one eye in the mirrors, the other on a swivel.



3+ vehicles waiting behind? Neutral.



There is no throwout bearing to wear out. Wet clutches can be held in gear indefinately with no harm done.



Clutch cables don't break without warning while sitting at a light. Cables give mucho warning before breaking. When cables require a sudden adjustment or begin to require more frequent adjustment it probably is time to replace them.


You nailed it again Qwerty! Saved my a** more than once since I started riding in the early 70s.
 

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I think that mostly it's a personal preference with today's equiptment. However I started riding in the early fifties, and those clutches would get hot and bind and drag at a stop light unless they were in neutral. Since those days I have always put the bike in neutral at lights. However, you must always be aware of the conditions around you. AND it is always easier to find neutral before coming to a stop. Ride safe out there ---Scotsman
 

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I leave the bike in gear with the clutch in until a suitable barricade has formed behind me, then if there is enough time slip it into neutral. 360 degree check upon stopping and a wary eye and ear throughout. In B.C. and other wet areas you have to be carefull which foot you put down at a stop. Never put a foot into the center of the lane where the oil and grime gathers, this is called the dirty foot and it can be like putting a foot on ice when the roads are wet.
 

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In the early 80's, the affordable cars at the time were the big-cube muscle cars left over from the 60's/70's. If a foot were to slip off a clutch at a red light, these cars had plenty of potential of hopping forward rather than stalling. Aside from wearing out the release bearing, I always hit neutral at lights just as a guarantee that granny walking across my bow is in no danger from my environment-crushing smog-monster.



I just can't get those days out of my brain, so I'm in neutral at a light no matter what I'm driving ('cept automatic cars with big wide brake pedals). But it's hard to find neutral on my Dub, so by the time my neutral light glows, it's usually time to kick it down and go!
 
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