Kawasaki Motorcycle Forums banner

Newb Going to International Motorcycle Show

1271 Views 6 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  ervins
Hey guys,

I'm a total newb when it comes to motorcycles. :icon_frow I've read a lot about them online, but I've never owned or operated one before. Anyhow, I'm going to the International Motorcycle show on Saturday in Long Beach, and I'm hoping to sit on a few bikes. I want to know what's okay and what's not, so I don't mess anything up.

I already know you're always supposed to get on and off a bike from the left side only. Is it okay to try out the brake levers? Can I pull in the clutch? Roll on the throttle? Would it be bad to shift through the gears, with the clutch pulled in, while the bike is off? Would pulling my legs off the ground with the bike leaning on the side stand be bad? Could I use my legs to try and stand the bike straight up and down (taking the weight off the side stand), or would that be a bad idea?

Sorry for the totally beginner questions, but if I don't ask them, I won't feel comfortable doing anything more than straddling the bike with my feet on the ground, and my hands on the handlebars - and I'd kind of like to be able to get a little bit better feel for a bike than doing just that.
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
After working in a m/c shop for a year, I can tell you what hacked me off.
It's OK to sit on the bike with your feet on the pegs.

I don't think they will have a problem with the clutch/brake lever, but I wouldn't whack the throttle, you can do that when you buy one!

And I don't see why you couldn't stand the bike up. You need to know how your legs stand in an upright position.

It has 4/5/6 gears, one down however many up. You can practice that at home, too.

I'm sure there will be people watching, and will tell you nicely if you get out of line.

And have fun! Sit on ALL the bikes for the rest of us that can't go!
First of all, if yer going to the show, go to the show. Sit on all the bikes you can. Most of the vendors want you to try the stuff out, including the levers, mirrors, throttle etc. Shifting a parked bike tells you nothing, so don't worry about it. Don't take it off the stand unless you're sure you can hold it up. If in doubt, have someone hold the bars while you swing your feet up into position and make zoom-zoom noises. Leave your WWF belt buckle at home for the day. Wear sensible shoes. Take your camera. Ask questions (that's why those guys are there) Have fun.

Study hard. There will be a quiz later!
+1 all of the above.

The Kawi Vulcans have a "positive neutral finder" that prevents you from shifting to anything other than 1st or neutral when the bike is not moving, and once the shifter has been moved, it's hard to get it to do anything else until you slip the clutch, so don't trust anything you "feel" with your left foot.

Most salesmen/reps will be happy to steady the bike by holding the forks/bars while you sit on it in normal riding position.

As for the brake, when mounting/dismounting, it is common practice to hold the front brake while you swing your leg over.
+1 all of the above.

As for the brake, when mounting/dismounting, it is common practice to hold the front brake while you swing your leg over.


I learned this one a long time ago first hand, with the front brake engaged the bike cannot roll forward off the stand and make you look like a complete idiot or damage your bike.

Most Important! Sign up for a Basic Riders Course at the Motorcycle Safety Foundation Best money you'll ever spend on a bike. At least that is my opinion.
Sit on as many bikes as possible. That is the key. Get brochures and ask questions. Once that is done, consider what you liked and what you did not like. Spend hours sitting on the bikes...Heck I spent 4 hours at our show...Sign up for the MSF and go ride with the Socal BTK guys.
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.