Go Back > General > Motorcycling News


Thread Tools
Old January 12th, 2018, 06:10 AM   #1
Ninjette Newsbot
All the news that's fit to excerpt
Ninjette Newsbot's Avatar
Name: newsie
Location: who knows?
Join Date: Jun 2008

Motorcycle(s): only digital replicas

Posts: 376
[RideApart] - Ask RideApart Two-Fer Thursday Edition: Hills and Earthquakes

Ask RideApart Two-Fer Thursday Edition: Hills and Earthquakes

What to expect when motorcycling in the Golden State

Dear RideApart

Just moved to CA and I got two questions. One, how do you park on those steep hills of the Bay Area without tipping over?* Two, what do you do if an earthquake hits while you are riding?* Thanks.

– Lisa

Hey Lisa, thanks for writing in! So, you moved out to the Best Coast and you have some questions regarding the, uh,*unique challenges of riding in the Bay Area. I'll tackle your questions one at a time, and I'll start with the situation you'll encounter most often – parking.

READ MORE: Ask RideApart: Advice on Beginner Sportbikes

Parking a bike anywhere hilly can be a hassle, but parking a bike in a city as*vertical as San Francisco is on a whole other level entirely. Lucky for you, the tactics used when parking someplace mildly hilly and parking on, say, Lombard St. are largely the same. First, you want to make sure you park facing up hill. Back into the spot you've chosen at a slight angle, butt the rear wheel up against the curb with the front facing up the hill, leave the bike in gear, and voila. Leaving the bike in gear lets the engine's compression act as a sort of parking brake, the curb (hopefully) keeps the bike from sliding away, and facing up the hill ensures that the bike is pulling against the kickstand in the direction it deploys rather than pushing against it in the direction it closes. All these forces should work together well enough to keep your bike from rolling down to the bottom of the hill and into the bay.

Exhibit A - a fantastic parking job

Photo courtesy of

That said, there are a few important things to be aware of. First is your surroundings. Is the spot safe? Is it easy to get back into traffic from the spot? Is there any broken pavement/gravel/sand/trash/whatever that the bike could slip on? If any of those questions have unsatisfactory answers, or if the spot faces downhill, your best bet is to find somewhere else to park. Better to be safe than sorry, and better to walk an extra block or two than to have your bike totaled because it fell down a hill.

READ MORE: Ask RideApart: Is a Harley-Davidson Breakout a Good First Bike?

Second thing to be aware of is how much lean your bike has on the kickstand. Not all kickstands are created equal (obvs), and a kickstand's length and where it's mounted on the bike can greatly affect the bike's stability when parked. Get to know how your bike rests on its kickstand when parked on level ground so that you can better judge how it sits on different grades. Even the most stable bike can be shaky when parked on a hill. Oh, and one more thing. If you have to park perpendicular to the hill instead of parallel – like, say, in a parking lot – just make sure your kickstand is facing up hill and you should be golden.

Now that that's out of the way, let's talk about earthquakes. Lisa, I'm gonna level with you here. Your chances of being caught in an earthquake while riding your bike, even in California, are vanishingly small.*Infinitesimally small. So small, in fact, that it's not worth worrying about. Is it a scary thought? Hell yes it is. Is there anything you can do about it? Not really. I guess if it*does happen, you'd do well to stop in as safe a place as possible, watch out for debris and other dangers, and get to shelter as fast as you can. You can get a new bike, you can't get a new*you.

This ain't happening on your commute. Don't sweat it.

READ MORE: Let’s All Tell Yamaha What to Do

That said, while there may not be much you can do*during a quake, there's a lot that a bike can help you with after the Big One flattens San Francisco again. Check out this story Wes wrote back in 2011 about how to survive an earthquake using a motorcycle. It's a bit tongue in cheek, but there's some good advice in there.

So, yeah. I hope I've answered your questions and calmed your worries a bit. Just make sure to park facing uphill, keep your eyes peeled for falling masonry, and you'll be good to go.

More from RideApart:
     Related Stories

Click here for full story...
I'm a bot. I don't need no stinkin' signature...
Ninjette Newsbot is offline   Reply With Quote


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
[RideApart] - BMW Limited Edition HP4 Race in Production Ninjette Newsbot Motorcycling News 0 April 20th, 2017 10:22 PM
[RideApart] - Alpinestars Releases Special Edition of Tech 10 Boot Ninjette Newsbot Motorcycling News 0 March 22nd, 2017 10:24 PM
[RideApart] - Order Your Kawasaki H2 Carbon Special Edition for Valentines Ninjette Newsbot Motorcycling News 0 January 28th, 2017 12:11 AM
[RideApart] - The Sidehackers (1969) MST3K Edition — Moto Movie Review Ninjette Newsbot Motorcycling News 0 May 17th, 2016 08:30 AM
[RideApart] - How To Restore Vintage Parts, Vapor Blast Edition Ninjette Newsbot Motorcycling News 0 August 7th, 2014 01:10 PM

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Motorcycle Safety Foundation

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:39 AM.

remote server monitor
Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2018 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Except where otherwise noted, all site contents are © Copyright 2016, All rights reserved.