side stands and mounting your bike


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brettchallenger
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side stands and mounting your bike

Postby brettchallenger » Sun Sep 20, 2015 2:55 pm



Why is it that motorcycles always have the kick (side) stand mounted on the left of the machine? It makes sense in left hand drive countries, so if you stop at the side of the road, the machine leans into the road's camber and is more secure. But given that most of the world drives on the right, why don't motorcycles have the side stand mounted on the right?

Continuing this line of thought, from which side do you mount your 'Wing? I was taught that you should mount a motorcycle from the left – it seems the only reason is this is how horses are traditionally mounted. In turn, this comes from cavalry soldiers carrying swords (in a scabbard) on their left hand side, and it would have been impossible to mount a horse from the right whilst wearing a sword. But again, in terms of motorcycles, mounting from the left is fine in left hand drive countries, as you are mounting the machine on the pavement (sidewalk) side. Clearly it is the opposite if you are driving on the right side.


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Re: side stands and mounting your bike

Postby Aussie81Interstate » Sun Sep 20, 2015 4:15 pm

Mount the bike from whatever side you feel is right for you.
Personally and from habit I suppose, I always throw my right leg over first. Have found it sometimes when mounting from the right, it feels awkward and I'm falling downhill because of the lean of the bike - if that makes sense.

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Re: side stands and mounting your bike

Postby NVSB4 » Sun Sep 20, 2015 7:08 pm

A friend of mine that was a moto officer told me that they taught them to always mount from the right, away from the road and traffic.
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Re: side stands and mounting your bike

Postby Old Fogey » Mon Sep 21, 2015 5:49 am

It may be more of a traditional thing, perhaps. At one time Britain ruled the world in terms of bike production exported to other countries and then Japan took over, both of which are left side drive.
But maybe not. I know if I ever tried to get the bike off the centre stand from the right, I was always in danger of dropping it. It just didn't feel right. I'm right handed; maybe someone left handed would find it ok.
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Aussie81Interstate
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Re: side stands and mounting your bike

Postby Aussie81Interstate » Mon Sep 21, 2015 5:57 am

I'm left handed - and it definitely feels awkward to me.. :)

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Re: side stands and mounting your bike

Postby harvey01 » Mon Sep 21, 2015 7:35 am

Never thought about it before but I suspect the manufacturers have adopted the concept of the sidestand being on the left site as that works best in most countries of the world. Now I could be wrong and most folks may drive on the left side of the road but it seems to me that most do drive on the right side.

And this keeps it standard for the motorcycle manufacturers or put another way this standardizes one more thing between countries and keeps their costs down.
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Re: side stands and mounting your bike

Postby Mh434 » Mon Sep 21, 2015 2:28 pm

I've always mounted my bike from the left. As you mentioned, the sword gets in the way otherwise.

You DO ride with a sword, like we do in Canada, don't you??! :lol:

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Re: side stands and mounting your bike

Postby brettchallenger » Tue Sep 22, 2015 2:05 am

You DO ride with a sword, like we do in Canada, don't you??! :lol:


Of course we do! You never know when you might encounter a footpad, or Frenchman, or worse, a Scotchman.
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Re: side stands and mounting your bike

Postby Old Fogey » Tue Sep 22, 2015 8:00 am

You might need the sword if the Scotsman heard you call him that. :lol:
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Re: side stands and mounting your bike

Postby Mh434 » Tue Sep 22, 2015 11:44 am

Ach, aye, laddie! And I am, indeed, a proud Scotsman!! Just you tarry a moment! Now - where did I leave my Claymore?

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Re: side stands and mounting your bike

Postby bstig60 » Wed Sep 23, 2015 10:58 am

I always mount from the left, just the way I learned some 50 years ago. I saw a friend step on the right peg and mount the bike that way while it was on the side stand. I thought for sure he would drop the bike, but he didn't. What amazes me is the way you have to mount the bike with a back rest installed.
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Re: side stands and mounting your bike

Postby eagle1wing » Wed Sep 23, 2015 1:37 pm

I mount from the right. Most of my riding is two up. I let my wife get on first, using either the side or center stand. I stand on the right and I hold the front brake as she gets on. I also hold it while I get on. Another reason for getting on/off on the right is that is you should happen to fall in the process, you fall away from traffic.

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Re: side stands and mounting your bike

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Sep 30, 2015 8:48 pm

I mount from either side. I lift my left leg up and over the seat, and slide into place. I have a Corbin seat with a rather large driver's backrest, so there is no swinging your leg up and over that.

If my wife is going to ride with me, I'll remove the backrest, let her get on, replace the backrest, then slide into place.

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Re: side stands and mounting your bike

Postby james.y8 » Thu Oct 01, 2015 9:28 am

I mount from the left. I feel more comfortable that way. I have started standing on the footboard when wearing my riding leathers (just to help me get my leg over the top), but usually I just stand on the ground. My previous bike was small enough that it wasn't a problem.

It seems like the left side stand is also common to bicycles, probably a left-over convention from that as many early motorcycles were just modified bicycles. I also think that the right side kick-starter plays a part, but putting the kick-starter on the right is probably a result of the side stand being on the left, rather than the other way around.

I never saw Ponch and John mount from the right, but it seems reasonable that motorcycle police would be trained to mount away from traffic, it may depend on other equipment such as gun or baton holders.

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Re: side stands and mounting your bike

Postby moorew » Thu Oct 01, 2015 9:30 am

My guess is because most people are right-handed and naturally balanced on the left leg it is more [i]natural [i] to mount on the left. However, the same question could be asked about why almost all bicycles have kick stands on the left?? :roll:

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Re: side stands and mounting your bike

Postby copperdog » Thu Oct 01, 2015 11:23 am

I would suggest that when it comes to wing riders it almost certainly isn't their first bike and who (barring physical impediments) mount/dismount the bike from either side as required by conditions and I would also suggest it's impossible to say one side is consistently better than another.

Roadside stops usually don't provide the best of environments and as with any motorcycle your primary concern is finding a place where the bike stays on the stand once its down and not the mount/dismount. Once the bike is safely on the stand we assess the dismount and get off away from heavy traffic (if the slope allows). If you've graduated to a wing you could probably mount the thing from a fence post if you had to so, with an eye to traffic, usually get on when and from whatever side is safest at the time. If both sides are equal in that regard you get on however you find most comfortable. Mounting from the right as patrol officers do is simply good risk management but by no means a difinitive method, just applicable to the job.

As for swords, something tells me it would be easier to get on a horse wearing one than a bike with a backrest and besides thats officer crap anyway. Imagine how many enlisted men laughed at a tangled up 1st trying to mount up. They probably gathered to watch.

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Re: side stands and mounting your bike

Postby toanogreen » Thu Oct 01, 2015 11:27 am

I'm ambidextrous! Either way is fine with me. Sometimes it depends on how the ground is sloped.
If the center stand is used, I usually get on the left just out of habit and that's where the foot bar is located.
And some days it depends on which leg is working better!

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Re: side stands and mounting your bike

Postby Mh434 » Thu Oct 01, 2015 1:31 pm

So...you're actually..."ambifootstrous"? ;)

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Re: side stands and mounting your bike

Postby goldper » Thu Oct 01, 2015 1:49 pm

I mount my GL1200 from the left.

I always mounted my Royal Enfield from the right, but that was the side the kickstarter was located.

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Re: side stands and mounting your bike

Postby gbearth » Thu Oct 01, 2015 4:16 pm

I don't have a problem getting on my Goldwing it's the getting off, I have to do the Goldwing Shuffle or the left leg hop sliding my right leg over the seat.

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Re: side stands and mounting your bike

Postby ram11397 » Thu Oct 01, 2015 9:02 pm

I get on and off on the left, but i do use the floor board to mount and dismount due to my aching bones ...lol I have arthritis and its just easier, i wonder how long the side stand or floor board is going to last before they bend with my 280-300lb weight.

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Re: side stands and mounting your bike

Postby spiralout » Fri Oct 02, 2015 1:33 am

gbearth wrote:I don't have a problem getting on my Goldwing it's the getting off, I have to do the Goldwing Shuffle or the left leg hop sliding my right leg over the seat.

I hear ya. Been feeling really self conscious of this lately, too. I've got a tall backrest and can't swing my right leg off. If there's people looking at me when I pull in to a store, gas station, etc. I usually wait until they're not watching to dismount. I can mount from the right side if I want and look cool like those HD Dyna riding killers on Sons of Anarchy but I have to do the left leg hop to get off. :lol:

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Re: side stands and mounting your bike

Postby CMReynolds1 » Fri Oct 02, 2015 9:09 am

Washington State Patrol teaches all their Troopers to mount from the high side only. As Admin stated, I also have a back rest and it just is awkward to get on either side!
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Re: side stands and mounting your bike

Postby callieh » Fri Oct 02, 2015 9:14 am

In South Africa we drive on the left. But the problem is that the road also slopes to the left to left water drain off, and that can tilt the bike quiet dramatically - and then it is a bugger to get it upright again. So I always try to find a "level" spot before using the side stand.

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Re: side stands and mounting your bike

Postby jandjgoldwing » Fri Oct 02, 2015 11:21 pm

I usually mount from the left (although I now see that mounting from the right may be safer). The reason I mount from the left is probably that I've been riding a bicycle since before I can remember, and I usually mount a bicycle by stepping on the left pedal, setting it in motion, then swinging my right foot up and over to the other pedal. The bicycle is moving before I'm in the seat. I can't even imagine trying to do this from the right side. My 71 year old bones would probably become future fossils in the pavement due to the resulting crash. Dismounting was, when I was younger, a reverse of the mount, where the bicycle was moving right up to the time my right foot dropped on the ground on the left side of the bike. Now, I try to find a curb to step off onto after stopping, which means riding on the left just before stopping.




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