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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The easiest task can sometimes be so difficult!

Yesterday on my commute home I encountered a pretty steep hill where I needed to stop at the red light, go on green and turn right going up another steep hill. In my mind I felt like it would be no big deal but I wound up stalling a couple times, panicked a bit when I started rolling back. Eventually I took a couple deep breaths and took the revs up to about 5K and had a bit of a jumpy start and I was off.

I felt super embarrassed and realized what I was doing to repetitively stall. I was sitting in an upright posture, right foot on the rear brake and when feathering the clutch and giving some throttle it would choke and stall (not taking my foot off the brake enough). It bothered me a lot when I got home because it's something that put me and other people at risk. I waited about 30 minutes and went out again with the goal that I was GOING to learn how to do this consistently. I found a local neighborhood with an extremely steep hill and practiced over and over again. I found that if I lean more onto the gas tank while feathering clutch and throttle it was a lot easier to take the pressure off the rear brake and start off more consistently.

Anyone else have a similar experience?

Today I took the same commute and nailed that uphill start.
Man I love riding and I love this bike.

 

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As an MSF instructor, I can tell you that you're not in the minority here. I see this ALL THE TIME! Doesn't even have to be a steep hill, or not even a hill at all. Getting going/using the clutch properly seems to be the hardest thing for beginners to master, especially those that do not have much or any experience with driving a car with a manual transmission.

When I first learned, which I did by taking an MSF class, I used to stall all the freakin time. I probably stalled easily 20 times in my class. But afterwards something sort of clicked and when I got my own bike it happened maybe a few times in odd situations, but very very rare. I haven't stalled for years. All I can suggest is PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE! Some people just need a bit more practice than others with anything...I am typically among those people lol
 
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As an MSF instructor, I can tell you that you're not in the minority here. I see this ALL THE TIME! Doesn't even have to be a steep hill, or not even a hill at all. Getting going/using the clutch properly seems to be the hardest thing for beginners to master, especially those that do not have much or any experience with driving a car with a manual transmission.

When I first learned, which I did by taking an MSF class, I used to stall all the freakin time. I probably stalled easily 20 times in my class. But afterwards something sort of clicked and when I got my own bike it happened maybe a few times in odd situations, but very very rare. I haven't stalled for years. All I can suggest is PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE! Some people just need a bit more practice than others with anything...I am typically among those people lol
Well said SBK, in a years time you will laugh at yourself, but until then keep practicing.
 

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The rear brake on the R3 is a joke and by no means enough to choke out the bike. Just give it some more gas.
As you're sitting on the hill, feel the rear brake and see just how much is needed to hold you from rolling back. That's where you leave it. When you need to get going, give it some gas, get rolling and release the brake.

If you continue to have problems, I very strongly recommend the R6 throttle tube. It will change your world. It just makes the bike much easier to ride.
 

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i see this all the time, its a bone headed thing to do. But just stay calm and remember to listen to the bike. i use my rear brake to start and let the clutch out slowly while twisting the throttle. If you just stop thinking and just do it, it becomes easier.
 

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Wait... If you pulled away at 5k for the steep hill, how low revs do you pull away normally? 5k is generally my minimum... if I wanna pull away faster I shoot up to about 7-8k.

Also about leaning forward, I feel there would be better ways of going about it. Just try stay calm. If in doubt, add revs! On my 125 I've had to pull away at 10k revs once on a horrendous hill:) that was hilarious. Moving nowhere with the bike screaming.


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You did the right thing by finding a nice quiet place to practice. Do you know how to drive a manual on a car? The idea is the same - you need to balance the clutch and the brake then get off the brake and onto the throttle quickly enough without stalling. On the bike, you've got the right idea - and 5k is nothing to get started on a hill so just try to get a feel for it.
 

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Do you know how to drive a manual on a car? The idea is the same - you need to balance the clutch and the brake then get off the brake and onto the throttle quickly enough without stalling.
This... and with a bike, it's even easier than with a car.
To do in a car what we do with a bike, you'd need a third foot. LOL
 

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This... and with a bike, it's even easier than with a car.
To do in a car what we do with a bike, you'd need a third foot. LOL
yea I think its slightly easier to stall out a car on a hill.. you have to know just how much clutch you can let out and how far you can let the rpm drop without stalling before taking your foot off the brake to give it some gas

i've stalled on the bike before after splitting lane to the front of a red light, when it turns green in between two rows of anxious impatient cagers and the bike cuts out, super embarrassing.. can just throw your hand up like hold up i got it i got it, start it up and go.. flip up your visor and the wind should cool down your red face lol

very rarely will it happen once you practice practice practice and really understand your own bikes clutch friction zone and the proper RPM's it craves
 

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Barndog said it, listen to the bike!

May sound funny to all the Newbs on here, but you will need to pay attention to the sounds that the engine makes and you will start to recognise where the revs are just by the noise. I do this without realising it sometimes.

Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
As an MSF instructor, I can tell you that you're not in the minority here. I see this ALL THE TIME! Doesn't even have to be a steep hill, or not even a hill at all. Getting going/using the clutch properly seems to be the hardest thing for beginners to master, especially those that do not have much or any experience with driving a car with a manual transmission.

When I first learned, which I did by taking an MSF class, I used to stall all the freakin time. I probably stalled easily 20 times in my class. But afterwards something sort of clicked and when I got my own bike it happened maybe a few times in odd situations, but very very rare. I haven't stalled for years. All I can suggest is PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE! Some people just need a bit more practice than others with anything...I am typically among those people lol
I appreciate the advice sbk! In the MSF course they do not teach you how to hill start so this was just a complete lack of experience on my part. After practicing a bit I feel much better about it!

Well said SBK, in a years time you will laugh at yourself, but until then keep practicing.
Agree! I captured it on my gopro so i'll save it for a good laugh.

The rear brake on the R3 is a joke and by no means enough to choke out the bike. Just give it some more gas.
As you're sitting on the hill, feel the rear brake and see just how much is needed to hold you from rolling back. That's where you leave it. When you need to get going, give it some gas, get rolling and release the brake.

If you continue to have problems, I very strongly recommend the R6 throttle tube. It will change your world. It just makes the bike much easier to ride.
Thanks Aeson! Definitely appreciate the advice!
I can agree, the lack of gas and my experience with hill starts set me up for that situation.

i see this all the time, its a bone headed thing to do. But just stay calm and remember to listen to the bike. i use my rear brake to start and let the clutch out slowly while twisting the throttle. If you just stop thinking and just do it, it becomes easier.
Thanks, Barndog! I wear earplugs too, either Moldex 6800 or 3M plugs so it's taking some time to get used to the muffled sounds of traffic and the bike.

Wait... If you pulled away at 5k for the steep hill, how low revs do you pull away normally? 5k is generally my minimum... if I wanna pull away faster I shoot up to about 7-8k.

Also about leaning forward, I feel there would be better ways of going about it. Just try stay calm. If in doubt, add revs! On my 125 I've had to pull away at 10k revs once on a horrendous hill:) that was hilarious. Moving nowhere with the bike screaming.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Hmm, normally 3-4k on a normal take off. I'll try 5k to see how that goes.
I agree with finding a better way to go about it. I just finished my MSF and got endorsed at the beginning of June so i'm a super new at riding.

You did the right thing by finding a nice quiet place to practice. Do you know how to drive a manual on a car? The idea is the same - you need to balance the clutch and the brake then get off the brake and onto the throttle quickly enough without stalling. On the bike, you've got the right idea - and 5k is nothing to get started on a hill so just try to get a feel for it.
I will give this a shot! Thanks!
 

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If you have driven a manual transmission on a car its a similar idea. What I do is to use the rear brake to hold it on the hill while I use my left and right hands to roll the throttle and let out the clutch. Once I'm at the engage point on the clutch, I release the rear brake and off I go.
 

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Practice makes perfect. I routinely start on a hill, with a passenger. Once you get intuitive with your clutch engagement point you'll never think about it again.
Having said that, I agree with the previous poster about the R6 throttle tube probably helping. I have done that mod, and it's a much more direct connection to the engine, thus easier to be precise.
 

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Hills are the devil for new riders... i am still fighting with it... so keep practicing, it helps a lot.....
 

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I commute throughout San Francisco daily and the hills there are incredibly steep. One thing I do at stop signs/red lights uphill is (With front brake lever in), Apply as much pressure as I can to the rear brake, then depress the Clutch about halfway (Point right before it starts rolling), Then slowly add throttle to around 2k~2.5k RPM, and slowly release the front brake and rear brake until I get going. As everyone else says, it takes practice but I think the most important part of climbing hills is knowing when your clutch actually activates. On the steepest hills, I'll be around 3.5k rpm at the most. Just keep in mind that it's not necessary to pull the clutch lever in ALL the way. Granted they teach you that during MSF and it's helpful but over time you'll find it easier to climb hills by pulling the clutch in and leaving it at a point thats just mm's away from contact.
 

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Over time you just won't even think about it. You will learn the sweet spot for clutch engagement and won't even need to use any brakes. But until then keep using the rear brake and always have your left foot on the ground for some extra stabilization. Just keep practicing and you will master it!
 

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I use the rear brake to free up my hand and apply throttle and let out the clutch to the engagement point. You will feel the bike start to "squat" and then you can gradually release the rear brake to accelerate without rollings backwards.

I use a similar method with the handbrake in cars on steep uphill starts.
 
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