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Second gear is a motorcycle favourite

hi-techqhi-tech abs
BMW HP4 with cornering ABS

Second gear is the most fun you can have on a motorcycle.

That’s the gear of tight corners, power slides and power wheelies. It’s where I’ve had the most fun in motorcycling and it’s my go-to gear for entertainment.

As the Beach Boys “Little Honda” song goes: “First gear, it’s alright, second gear lean right, third gear hang on tight … faster, it’s alright”.

Yet I have a love for all the gears.Riobert Gull performs ice wheelie stunt - second gear


First gear: This is the gear of the traffic light derby, the gear where the world starts to blur and you rev right out to the redline and feel your pulse race along with the engine. Bikes are about acceleration and this is where it happens.

Second gear: More acceleration, plus lots of leaning, peg/boot scraping and maybe even knee-down fun. This is really what bikes are all about.

Third gear: When that tight second-gear corner starts to open up and you click third gear and feel the weight shift to the back wheel as you power out of the corner. Oh what a feeling!

Husqvarna 650 - second gear

Fourth gear: Now we’re starting to honk along. On the gravel, this is where you spin up the back tyre around sweeping corners and flick the back out as you crest a hill and feel the bike go light.

Fifth gear: This used to be top gear, but now it’s the gear you drop back to for highway overtaking and showing those cage drivers just how much power and acceleration you have for swift and safe passing of the traffic conga line.

Sixth gear: Feel the wind in your face as you ease back into your seat and admire the views and peel back the miles to your destination. Cue the Easy Rider soundtrack.

What’s your favourite gear and why?