Someone recently gave me a wonderful compliment about my ability to maneuver my motorcycle. Being a short stack (as my husband sometimes refers to me) I can't always maneuver my bike in the same way as others. Sometimes you have to work with what you got. And if I limited myself to just what I could maneuver while seated on a motorcycle, I'd probably still be riding a 200lb scooter right now. But why should you be limited to anything? As long as you have the right tools and techniques, it can be done. A 20 point turn to get it straightened up. It doesn't help that my SV has a very limited turning radius. It always feels like a 10 point turn, no matter how big the parking lot is. And then if there's gravel or sand or an uphill grade, that makes things a little more complicated. It's impossible for me to back my bike up any kind of incline. And if I have to back my bike downhill, it can be even harder, as is the case with my garage.
I could practically do this with my eyes closed!
If you've ever driven around San Francisco, you know how the houses are set back from the street a little bit. Although there is a very flat sidewalk right in front of my garage, the garage itself is sloped downwards right where you pull into the garage and then it's still sloped once you get inside. Unfortunately it's not totally flat and can make in and out a little difficult.
When I get home from work, I pull up to the garage and back it in by walking it in since both of my feet barely touch the ground. I can get away with this on a flat surface, but with a downward slope, I'm sure to tip over. So my strategy is to walk it in backwards. I use this technique every time I need to maneuver my bike in and out of a space that it simply too tight or difficult to turn around in.
First, I always try to wear my Daytonas or other riding boots while doing any manuevering. With the added traction beneath my feet, it actually makes it easier for me to push the bike around. It almost feels like I don't have to push as hard to get the bike to move in the direction I need it to. I have more leverage to push the bike where I need to. Oh and a bonus are my framesliders which are right where my knee can push against the bike as well, if need be. They've come in very handy when I have to push my bike up a slight grade a few feet.
Second, I also am very conscious of my front brake and use it oh so lightly. One hard grab and I'm done. I use 2 fingers to manage the front brake so that I don't grab it too hard. Generally I just drag the brakes a little bit as I walk backwards.
Knee is braced against the slider, or up against the bike
Look Ma, No Hands. The bike is resting solely on my hip, so as long as I stay upright, so will the bike!
As you can see we have a funky slope in our garage, it's not flat, but YAY for having a garage to keep the bikes dry and warm