Street Savvy: The Streetbike Spin

Yanking your shiny new streetbike up onto its sidestand with both wheels in the air might seem dangerous and highly squidly. But as an aid for spring-sag measurement (see page 91) or moving/rotating your bike in the tight confines of a crowded garage or parking area, knowing how to do it safely and securely can be a huge help. (Riders with low-back problems will want to refrain.)

First, stand next to your bike on its left side just as you would before climbing aboard. Spread your legs at least shoulder-width apart so they form a line roughly perpendicular (90 degrees) to the bike's centerline/wheelbase.

Next, place your left hand on the left grip and look for a good handhold for your right hand on the bike's right-rear side. A passenger footpeg bracket, right-rear passenger grabrail or a frame tailsection downtube are good spots for this. You want something solid and easy to grasp here because it's this handhold that'll afford you the most control of the bike while you're pulling it up onto its stand and while it's balancing on the sidestand tip.

Once you've located a solid grasp point for your right paw, begin to pull the bike toward you--using a balanced pulling force between your left and right hands--onto the sidestand. It won't be easy to balance at first; the front and rear wheels will take turns hitting the ground. It'll take you a few seconds to get the angle just right so both wheels are off the ground simultaneously.

Once you've gotten the hang of balancing the bike on a point no larger than a screwdriver tip (it's actually easy to keep it there once you lever it up), you can begin rotating your body and the bike to your left or right depending on where you want the bike to end up and your physical surroundings. Bending your knees slightly will help you keep your balance better than standing upright.

Let the bike back down slowly and you're done. See? It's not that hard at all.