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How To Do A Safe Hill Start

What have recently passed riders and drivers got in common? Often, a hesitancy when it comes to hill starts. Fortunately for drivers, the handbrake is always available to fall back on and provides comfort for new drivers as they gain confidence on the road. Unfortunately for riders, there is no handbrake which means the process of hill starts can be much more daunting, to begin with.

Here’s our step-by-step guide for a safe and secure hill start.

Step 1: To hill start, you have to stop.

As you’re riding along the road you notice the need to stop, either at a junction or due to traffic. What you don’t want to do is reduce your speed in order to roll until you can pull away without stopping, you will end up panicking and losing control of the bike. Be decisive. Make the stop. Once stopped, you’ll have more time to think about your next actions, and evaluate your surroundings to pull away safely.

Step 2: Stop safely.

Get the bike motionless, in first gear, with the bike securely on the back brake.

Step 3: Have a routine.

Find a comfortable routine when stopping and starting on a hill, this helps to make a habit of the process and ensure a more natural manoeuvre. Whilst static, you should be aware of your surroundings and looking for the opportunity to continue riding in your direction.

Step 4: Pull away with confidence.

Provide your bike with enough throttle to make a safe and controlled start uphill, the idea here is to not let the bike stall. Pulling away uphill requires a lot more throttle and clutch slip, so being tentative or nervous will not improve your chances of a safe pull away. Confidence is key in this situation.

Step 5: Clean Getaway.

As the clutch engages, the back end of the bike will dip, at this point gently release the rear brake and add more throttle. You should pull away smoothly and confidently, rejoining traffic on the road.

At A2Z Motorcycle Training, we want every student to feel confident on the road in all situations, and we understand that each person is different and has different worries. That’s why we tailor each course to the specific person taking it. If you need more time to go over one aspect of the course before moving on, this is fine. Learning to ride confidently and safely is not a race, and you don’t pass your tests based on how quickly you perform manoeuvres, it is based on your absorption of knowledge and how you put that into practice.