Most motorcycles have manual transmission and have their controls in similar positions but bikes with automatic or semi-automatic transmission will be different. The diagrams and descriptions on this and the following pages are a general description of the controls on a typical motorcycle.
1. Gear selector
Gears enable you to match engine power to road speed. You will use a low gear to move off and a higher gear once you’ve gained speed.
Changing smoothly through the gears is a skill that will improve with practice.
The gear selector is usually on the left side of the motorcycle, just in front of the footrest.
The neutral position is when no gear is engaged. Most motorcycles have a green warning light to show when the gears are in neutral.
Gears are selected by lifting or pushing down the gear lever with your foot. The positions and number of gears vary with the make of motorcycle.
2. Rear brake pedal
This pedal is usually on the right side of the motorcycle, just in front of the footrest. Some automatic motorcycles have the rear brake lever on the left handlebar.
3. Kick-start lever
This is usually on the right side of the motorcycle, near the footrest.
To use it
- Make sure that the cut-out switch is on
- Switch on the ignition
- Put the gear selector in neutral and check that the neutral light is on
- Fold out the kick-start lever
- Tread down sharply on the lever. Keep doing that until the engine starts
Next Section >> Left Handlebar Controls