Bret Tkacs is at it again on YouTube, schooling adventure riders who want to get better. This time around, he’s teaching and talking about mounting a motorcycle.
When it comes to adventure riding, Bret is one of the more informed coaches out there, and when he’s not out riding and bombing trails on his big ADV, he’s giving useful bits of advice, food for thought, and information on YouTube for adventure riders, particularly those that love or want to go off-road.
For this video, we’ve got the “mundane” or “simple” task of mounting a motorcycle. While most of us swing a leg over most bikes, adventure riders may often go out on their two-wheelers and take a lot of stuff with them. Fully loaded with, let’s say, a GIVI top box, Kriega luggage, or even hard side cases, it might become a challenge to get on your bike, much more if you have a pillion. Bags can tend to get in the way and couple that with a full adventure suit and the undeniable height of a lot of ADVs, and you may end up struggling. Couple that with soft ground, a sinking side stand, and everything else that was mentioned, and you could end up tipping over your motorcycle on top of having a hard time getting on.
So the first thing to learn according to Bret is to learn how to mount the bike on the other side. To help combat a sinking side stand, even if you have a foot on it, is to mount away from it. Putting pressure on the opposite peg to the stand will keep it from sinking. It’s rather ingenious, and it definitely helps you stably mount a motorcycle on gravel, sand, or mud. When doing this, make sure to pitch your weight forward, and use your knee to plant your weight into the bike to keep the bike on its stand.
Now, the same technique of pitching your weight forward, and jamming your knee into the bike can also be used on the left side of the bike where the side stand is. By doing that, instead of keeping the bike from tipping over away from its stand, you are actually putting pressure off the left side and keeping the stand’s foot from sinking into the ground, overloading the side stand, and looking like an inexperienced rider.
What about the pillions? There is also a method for a rider and his passenger to manage to get on a bike. What most people do is driver first and passenger after, but what if you flip that? What if the passenger gets on first, but uses the driver’s seat to get on? It is possible if you think about it. If the passenger goes first, they get free reign to move around on the bike, allowing for them to go on the pillion seat by moving backward. Once in place and secure on their perch, the driver can come aboard. It’s possible and at times easier. It’s an out-of-box solution that actually made me go “Why didn’t I think of that?”