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When my children get on/off the motorbike, I want them to start doing it by standing on the side that doesn't have the tailpipe or exhaust because the tailpipe might be very hot especially when the motorbike has been running for a long time. The children might get burned if they happen to touch the tailpipe with their legs.

Is it correct to say "You must get on/off the motorbike from the left side"?

  • You have a lot of reputation, so I assume that you know that proofreading requests are off-topic. You should identify a specific problem or issue with the sentence, not simply ask whether the sentence is correct. May 15 at 13:27
  • 3
    Vehicles have left and right sides. And I notice you still haven't decided on many questions where people have worked hard to help you. This all seems like a one-way street.
    – Lambie
    May 15 at 14:02
  • What are your alternatives? What is your worry? Are you concerned if it is ungrammatical, ambiguous, hard to understand, or just not the best way to express it? (I might use a different form with get on and get off so that's something else to bear in mind: do you want to say on, off, or both?)
    – Stuart F
    May 15 at 21:26
  • Like mounting a horse, you either do it left leg first or right leg first. And with most things people have a favoured side. e.g. a left-handed batsman in cricket holds the bat one way a right-hander the other. In boxing a "south-paw" is one who leads with his right, the other being "orthodox". Individuals usually have a favoured side, just as people write left or right-handedly. I am wondering if there is a name for a person who mounts eg. a horse or bicycle from the right ie. left leg over first. Seems awkward to me - but then I'm right-handed at everything.
    – WS2
    May 17 at 17:39

2 Answers 2


Yes, that phrase is fine. However, bear in mind that left and right are relative terms, so you could make it more precise by saying "...left side looking forward".

That said, I can't imagine anyone (except perhaps a trick/stunt rider) wanting to mount a bike while looking backwards, so adding the qualification is probably unnecessary.

Getting away from pure ELL, pedagogically it might make sense to explain this to them while demonstrating next to a bike, and to add the information about the hot tail pipe so as to reinforce the message.

Finally, I'd no idea that all bikes had their exhaust on the right. Is that actually true?


A better expression would be:

You must mount or dismount the motor bike from the side that is opposite the exhaust pipe.

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