Can Motorcycles Go in Reverse? Is It Possible or Just a Myth?

One of the things that are most effective for car riders when riding is the use of rear gear. That truth is quite absent for motorcyclists because many motorcycles lack the strong rear gear.

So, can motorcycles go in reverse? Most motorcycles do not have a rear gear that allows them to go in reverse. However, some specific motorcycles have a very rare rear gear, although they are mostly heavy motorcycles that need assistance when reversing because of their heavyweight, compared to lighter motorcycles that are faster and easier to reverse.

The truth is that most motorcycles don’t really need a rear gear. You can just reverse the motorcycle by pushing it backward with your feet, although it also requires learning some techniques to push it. However, heavy motorcycles need to have reverse gear because of their weight.

If you want to know more about any motorcycles rear gear issues, this is just the right guide for you. In this guide, I will show you why most motorcycles do not have a reverse gear and also, how you can go in reverse and better push your motorcycle.

Here are the topics I will discuss in this guide

Why most motorcycles do not have a reverse gear?
What types of motorcycles have rear gears?
How to reverse with your Motorcycle with your legs? (without reverse gear)
Related questions

Why most motorcycles do not have a reverse gear?

So, as I said before, most motorcycles don’t really have a rear gear but a few of them do. Here are several justifiable reasons that will surprise you.

  • A motorcycle rear gear is ineffective – the first reason most motorcycles don’t come with a rear gear is that they are inefficient except for heavy motorcycles.
  • It’s hard to use – another reason that explains why most motorcycles don’t have a rear gear is because it is very difficult to use. When using the gear, you may have a very hard time balancing the motorcycle, which may lead to a crash. But when you push the motorcycle backward with and your feet, you have more balance and control over the motorcycle.
  • Assembling a motorcycle rear gear is expensive – so, not only is the motorcycle rear gear not effective in most cases, it is also very expensive because you will understand that reverse gear cost a lot to manufacture and so most motorcycle manufacturers do not produce them.
  • Riding a rear gear is dangerous – the reason why most motorcycles do not have a rear gear is that it is quite dangerous. You will understand that it is very difficult to ride and reversing a motorcycle is very dangerous even though you can teach and train yourself to ride a motorcycle with a reverse gear, it is still very difficult and unsafe in most cases.

What types of motorcycles have rear gears?

There are very few types of motorcycles with rear gears and, as I have just said, heavyweight motorcycles weigh too much; therefore, only a few specific motorcycles have rear gears.

So, the truth is that most cruiser-type motorcycles and heavy adventure motorcycles have rear gears that allow you to reverse. Good examples of motorcycles that have a rear transmission are the GL1800 heavy-duty BMW models and most cruiser motorcycles.

By the way, when it comes to heavy motorcycles, it’s important to note that the rear gear can be more efficient and less dangerous because heavy-duty motorcycles are much more stable, which makes you ride back together with a reverse gear not to lose stability

How to reverse your Motorcycle with your legs? (without reverse gear)

If you do not have a rear gear for your motorcycle, you need to learn and know how to reverse your motorcycle backward without a rear gear – how to reverse the motorcycle with only your feet and body.

In addition to having a rear gear on your motorcycle, I still advise you to not use it anyway. Instead, use your feet. Believe me, it’s safer and more comfortable using your feet.

So here are all the tips to help you learn how to reverse your motorcycle. While it’s important to know that this requires practice, you should also consider the tips below. In addition, it is important to note that the tips are suitable for all types of motorcycles including heavy and lightweight motorcycles.

  • Make sure your motorcycle is neutral – before you start to reverse the motorcycle, putting the motorcycle in a neutral gear will greatly facilitate the movement of the motorcycle.
  • Hold the Front Brake – When reversing your motorcycle, you need to use your right hand to hold the front brake together with two fingers. Doing this will help you get control of your motorcycle.
  • Use your body correctly – You can reverse your motorcycle steadily and safely by supporting your whole body with the weight of the motorcycle. When doing this, you should be stable with your hands holding tight on the handlebars.
  • Push your motorcycle – With the help of your feet, push your body and reverse the motorcycle, while using your waist as support especially if you have a heavy motorcycle.
  • Do it slowly – the last thing is when reversing motorcycle, try to do it slowly so you can stay steady and balanced and not drop your motorcycle, especially if you have a heavy motorcycle.
  • Ride in a Straight Line – To reverse your motorcycle in a good way, you need to make sure the wheels are turning straight without unnecessary turns. When doing this, you should try not to move the handlebars too far and make sure that the motorcycle is moving straight before you park it.

Related questions

  • Do some motorcycles have Reverse? Yes, there are specific motorcycles with rear gears, which are mostly heavy motorcycles. However, it is quite rare to find motorcycles that have a rear gear system.
  • Is it safe to use a motorcycle rear gear? In most cases, it is not safe because it is very difficult to stabilize the motorcycle when using reverse gear, which can cause you to lose balance. Therefore, it is safer to use your legs and body to reverse the motorcycle.
  • Why do most motorcycles not have rear gear? Most motorcycles do not have a rear derailleur, which is in most cases unnecessary and ineffective. So, it is more effective to use your body and feet.


If you have any questions or opinions about this article, please write us a comment and we will get back to you within 24 hours.

Thanks for the reading


I’m Rob, the owner of RX Riders Place. My family and I have a long history of riding dirt bikes and ATVs and want to share what we have learned.

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