There is nothing more unruly than a bunch of motorcyclists who park their bikes at different angles outside a cafe or pub. It’s a good indication that the riders are novices.
Angle-parking a motorcycle seems to be one of those simple procedures that many riders get wrong.
You’ve probably seen a bunch of riders pull up and then spend ages going and back and forth until they are all parked.
And then there are still big gaps between bikes where you could easily have parked another bike.
Meanwhile others are parked so close, the bike on the left won’t be able to leave until the bike next to it is taken off its side stand.
Like parallel-parking a car, there are a few easy tips for angle-parking a motorcycle and getting that perfect spacing and 45-degree angle.
That 45-degree angle isn’t necessarily enshrined in law in all jurisdictions. However it is about the optimum angle for taking up the full width of a car-width space, yet still allowing other bikes to share the car-length parking space.
1 First in
If you are first in line, you will need to get the 45-degree angle just right, or you will blow it for those coming in behind you. So ride into the space about 1m from the gutter and arc back out at full right lock for the last couple of seconds. Don’t ride back out into the traffic, but just enough so you are on about a 30-degree angle to the gutter with your front wheel just over the parking bay line. Now, turn the bars hard left and back it in. Don’t put your back wheel against the gutter and mind low pipes which will scrape on the kerb.
2 Lining it up
Other riders will then have something to aim at – the first rider’s front wheel. They should head for that front wheel and turn away at the end with enough room for their foot to go down on the ground without hitting the parked bike. Arc out from the bike and stop when your bike is half way in line with the front wheel of the parked bike.
3 Back it in
Now turn the bars to the left and back in, keeping off the kerb. Your back wheel is already about the right distance from the bike to your left and will track back in at the same distance. You should now also be the same angle as the first bike.