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Old 03-07-2013, 01:58 PM   #31
Mountain Cruiser
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Assume all other motorists have the potential to kill you. Ride appropriately.





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Old 03-07-2013, 01:58 PM   #32
windmill
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Originally Posted by blk-betty View Post
This!

I really don't drive my car(s) any differnet than my bikes.

What most are sying seems like common sense and what I do without even thinking about. When it gets to the point that these tips don't come naturally it will be time to quit riding.
As a professional driver, its encouraging to me that some folks "get it".
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Old 03-07-2013, 02:18 PM   #33
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Ride it like you stole it. People will definately notice you.
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Old 03-07-2013, 04:23 PM   #34
bumbeen
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Originally Posted by blk-betty View Post
This!

I really don't drive my car(s) any differnet than my bikes.

What most are sying seems like common sense and what I do without even thinking about. When it gets to the point that these tips don't come naturally it will be time to quit riding.
I damn near stop on the bike if possible if I see a car idling on the shoulder of a two lane road. In the cage I ride right past and would be very surprised if you slow to 15mph to pass them in such a prudent manner when not on the bike.

I also fall back from a vehicle that changes lanes in front of me very quickly on the bike with immediate brake application. In the cage I just coast a bit to make up the distance lost.

It is prudent to slow for every intersection(green light) in a city when you can't see very far down the side streets for fast moving cross traffic. In the cage I blow right through them, I would be surprised if you didn't do the same?

If a vehicle is following me closer than three seconds behind I will immediately make an effort to put distance or get them around me on the bike. In the cage I will tolerate a 1.5 second distance from the vehicle behind.
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Old 03-07-2013, 05:37 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by bumbeen View Post
I damn near stop on the bike if possible if I see a car idling on the shoulder of a two lane road. In the cage I ride right past and would be very surprised if you slow to 15mph to pass them in such a prudent manner when not on the bike.

I also fall back from a vehicle that changes lanes in front of me very quickly on the bike with immediate brake application. In the cage I just coast a bit to make up the distance lost.

It is prudent to slow for every intersection(green light) in a city when you can't see very far down the side streets for fast moving cross traffic. In the cage I blow right through them, I would be surprised if you didn't do the same?

If a vehicle is following me closer than three seconds behind I will immediately make an effort to put distance or get them around me on the

bike. In the cage I will tolerate a 1.5 second distance from the vehicle

behin
You know, I hate tailgaters! I don't like them closer than three car lengths, alas that's not always possible. (and to be honest, most of them are young women). I've had excellent luck glancing in my mirrors a time or two while slowing just slightly and dropping my left arm and waving the "back". It's amazing how well this works! If they comply, I give a friendly "thank you" wave. I honestly think that most cagers don't "get it". They've never ridden a two wheeler in heavy traffic, they've become accustomed to "tail gating" and again, young women are the worst (but they are so damned cute". Too bad their daddys didn't teach them better. I try to ride very reasonably, but with "alacrity" and don't hesitate to use my bike's acceleration to get out of trouble or to position myself. In the big scheme, something I read in "Superbikes", an old book "Try not to move a lot faster than most cagers would expect". I think that means that cagers judge distance/time in terms of what they're "used to seeing" and Dog knows most of them are distracted to amplify the problem. So far, I've ridden 12000 miles on Phx city streets and I'm still able to post.
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Old 03-07-2013, 05:54 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bumbeen View Post
I damn near stop on the bike if possible if I see a car idling on the shoulder of a two lane road. In the cage I ride right past and would be very surprised if you slow to 15mph to pass them in such a prudent manner when not on the bike.

I also fall back from a vehicle that changes lanes in front of me very quickly on the bike with immediate brake application. In the cage I just coast a bit to make up the distance lost.

It is prudent to slow for every intersection(green light) in a city when you can't see very far down the side streets for fast moving cross traffic. In the cage I blow right through them, I would be surprised if you didn't do the same?

If a vehicle is following me closer than three seconds behind I will immediately make an effort to put distance or get them around me on the bike. In the cage I will tolerate a 1.5 second distance from the vehicle behind.
What you describe sounds like riding in fear and I'm not implying that you are fearful when riding, just very cautious. Which is fine for you but riding to me is about having fun and if I'm worrying about every car on the side of the road, every intersection, tailgaters and cars changing lanes rapidly, well that's just no fun and that's when I give it up.

For what it's worth I ride my bikes and drive my cars fairly aggressively.
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:07 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by blk-betty View Post
What you describe sounds like riding in fear and I'm not implying that you are fearful when riding, just very cautious. Which is fine for you but riding to me is about having fun and if I'm worrying about every car on the side of the road, every intersection, tailgaters and cars changing lanes rapidly, well that's just no fun and that's when I give it up.

For what it's worth I ride my bikes and drive my cars fairly aggressively.
Nothing wrong with aggressive riding/driving, again as a couple posters have said (with good judgement) I don't think anyone should ride fearfully, if you do you either need to get training, more experience or not ride. Having said that, I see stupid riders doing stupid things daily (because I ride daily for the most part). Whatever works for you!
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:07 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by bumbeen View Post

I also fall back from a vehicle that changes lanes in front of me very quickly on the bike with immediate brake application. In the cage I just coast a bit to make up the distance lost.
I would caution against using the brakes in certain situations, e.g. on the freeway, unless it is absolutely avoidable. Ideally you will be looking far enough ahead and be aware of the potential hazards, thereby avoiding the situation where you put yourself in a position where you suddenly find another car changing lanes that close in front of you. As a professional driver, if I have to use my brakes to avoid a hazard on the freeway I consider myself to have not being doing my job properly. As a professional driving instructor ( I teach semi drivers) I tell them the same thing. e.g. when exiting a freeway, ideally you shouldn't have to use the brakes until you are in the exit lane and out of the thru traffic.

Sure, sometimes it is unavoidable but in general if you are braking on the freeway you are (a) causing other drivers to have to change what they are doing because of the way that you're riding/driving (and that's a bad thing, by the way!), and (b) drastically increasing the chances of being rear ended.
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:16 PM   #39
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Here are a few of the things I have learned and habits I have picked up over more than 30 years of riding:
  • Before you go out on your bike, run through a mental list of possible reasons why you shouldn't - e.g. too tired, distracted, in a rush to get somewhere, been drinking, etc. If any of them come up positive, think very carefully about whether you should be riding.
  • If you're having a day when there appear to be far more than the normal number of idiots on the road ... consider the common denominator - i.e. YOU! - You are probably not as focussed as you should be and are not recognizing and dealing with the potential incidents soon enough. Consider taking a break or going back home and taking the car.
  • Try to train your brain to constantly be mindful of all those around you and in your path of travel, playing "What if...?" for every possible scenario.
  • Make a habit of using the cut-off switch to shut off the bike so you will do it instinctively in an emergency. You should then always immediately follow it up by turning the key off so that also becomes habit and you don't run the battery flat.
  • When you stop for fuel or food, always do a quick visual check for fluid leaks, low/worn tires, loose chain, missing or loose parts before you depart - even if it's only 5 seconds checking the obvious stuff. One day you WILL notice something vital. If riding with others, cast the same critical eye over their bikes too.
  • When changing lanes remember the mantra: "Mirror, Signal, Head-check, Manouver". Also try to do a mini lane change where you start out close to the lane-dividing line, then change lanes across it and stay close on the other side for a second or two. Only move to where you want to be in the new lane once you have satisfied yourself it is safe to do so.
  • To avoid getting sleepy on a long ride, eat snacks and drink water throughout the day but don't have a full meal or a sugary drink until riding is over for the day.
  • Stash a photocopy of your license, registration, insurance card & inspection in a plastic bag stuffed in the fuse box or rolled up inside a frame tube - Just in case you ever lose/forget your wallet.
  • Always carry a clear visor with you if you go out with a tinted one on - You can NEVER be certain you won't change your plans and come home after dark. If you don't have a storage spot on the bike, get one of the faceshield belt-bags sportbikers often use.
  • Don't put your helmet down over a mirror or other hard, pointy object - it will dent the inside padding. Also don't set it on the seat or tank in windy conditions (sounds obvious but I've seen literally dozens of helmets hit the ground from this cause). Finally if you put your helmet in the grass on a warm day, put it upside-down otherwise you might find it full of insects when you pick it up [Fire ants - Seen that happen!]
  • Never stick your knee out on a corner - It's not necessary on the street and you'll look like a total idiot when some grizzled old fart rides around the outside of you sitting upright on his forty year old toaster-tank BMW.
  • If you like to tour, try to do normal maintenance chores with the tools you carry on the bike. If you find you need something special, consider adding it to the toolkit, even if it means buying another one to use at home.
  • If you are using straps you have not used before or strapping something on your bike that you do not carry regularly, check frequently that neither the load or the straps have got loose. Be especially careful using bungee cords with hooks on them [I've seen a bungee cord wound about 100 times round the rear axle that ripped the brake hose clean off, locked up the back wheel and took about 20 minutes to cut free, snapping back and drawing blood in the process]
  • Never be too proud or arrogant to think you can't sharpen your riding by taking any kind of training, reading up on techniques, practicing your skills, watching carefully how others ride, etc.
  • Stop when you see a motorcycle on the shoulder. You never know when it might be you.
There are probably many others but these were the first to come to mind
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:28 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by squonker View Post
I would caution against using the brakes in certain situations, e.g. on the freeway, unless it is absolutely avoidable. Ideally you will be looking far enough ahead and be aware of the potential hazards, thereby avoiding the situation where you put yourself in a position where you suddenly find another car changing lanes that close in front of you. As a professional driver, if I have to use my brakes to avoid a hazard on the freeway I consider myself to have not being doing my job properly. As a professional driving instructor ( I teach semi drivers) I tell them the same thing. e.g. when exiting a freeway, ideally you shouldn't have to use the brakes until you are in the exit lane and out of the thru traffic.

Sure, sometimes it is unavoidable but in general if you are braking on the freeway you are (a) causing other drivers to have to change what they are doing because of the way that you're riding/driving (and that's a bad thing, by the way!), and (b) drastically increasing the chances of being rear ended.
Disagree, if I am making other drivers nervous that is good because they are going to be watching me and not their iPhones.

Heavy freeway traffic simply will not allow you to maintain a three or four second following distance and cars are going to pull into that gap. I use my brakes to give me back my cushion immediately instead of riding along for an extra 600 feet with a one second following distance to the vehicle ahead of me.

I don't allow vehicles to be close enough to me to rear end me in the first place, and it would be stupid, moronic even, for me to not be watching my mirrors when slowing on a freeway, so I'm not sure why you suggest being rear ended is a risk.
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:37 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by blk-betty View Post
What you describe sounds like riding in fear and I'm not implying that you are fearful when riding, just very cautious. Which is fine for you but riding to me is about having fun and if I'm worrying about every car on the side of the road, every intersection, tailgaters and cars changing lanes rapidly, well that's just no fun and that's when I give it up.

For what it's worth I ride my bikes and drive my cars fairly aggressively.
I was just pointing out some scenarios where it's a good idea to not ride like you drive. Fwiw I almost never see a car idling on the shoulder of a 2 lane, it isn't inconvenient to slow down tremendously once a month for that. As for slowing through city intersections, I get to accelerate after which is always fun. Not worrying about tailgaters sounds ridiculous to me, you realize if you have a car behind you at a 1 second following distance, you effectively are no longer able to quickstop? If I spot a deer I am going to get on the brakes fast, if there's a tailgater that means I am getting run over.
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:10 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bumbeen View Post
I was just pointing out some scenarios where it's a good idea to not ride like you drive. Fwiw I almost never see a car idling on the shoulder of a 2 lane, it isn't inconvenient to slow down tremendously once a month for that. As for slowing through city intersections, I get to accelerate after which is always fun. Not worrying about tailgaters sounds ridiculous to me, you realize if you have a car behind you at a 1 second following distance, you effectively are no longer able to quickstop? If I spot a deer I am going to get on the brakes fast, if there's a tailgater that means I am getting run over.
Bumbeen, if you lack the confidence to ride your motorcycle like you drive, I'd suggest that you get some advanced training, before you get hurt. You have to create safe situations for yourself by reading traffic patterns, and finding the areas that allow you to keep moving faster than the flow of traffic. Being tentative on the road is a recipe for disaster.
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:28 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by bumbeen View Post
Disagree
Fair enough, mate. Cheers!
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:29 PM   #44
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Some of you guys appear to ride real scared. In my opinion, not a good way to ride effectively. If you are that afraid when you are out there, it seems like you would freeze up if something happens, and not be able to deal with it.

As far as riding on a plugged tire, I've ridden them from being 1 week from new, to worn out. If it will hold air, I'll ride with it.

Anyhow, have fun out there.
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:22 PM   #45
slartidbartfast
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Originally Posted by squonker View Post
I would caution against using the brakes in certain situations, e.g. on the freeway, unless it is absolutely avoidable. Ideally you will be looking far enough ahead and be aware of the potential hazards, thereby avoiding the situation where you put yourself in a position where you suddenly find another car changing lanes that close in front of you. As a professional driver, if I have to use my brakes to avoid a hazard on the freeway I consider myself to have not being doing my job properly. As a professional driving instructor ( I teach semi drivers) I tell them the same thing. e.g. when exiting a freeway, ideally you shouldn't have to use the brakes until you are in the exit lane and out of the thru traffic.

Sure, sometimes it is unavoidable but in general if you are braking on the freeway you are (a) causing other drivers to have to change what they are doing because of the way that you're riding/driving (and that's a bad thing, by the way!), and (b) drastically increasing the chances of being rear ended.
You are talking about a variation of "The Pace". It's a great way to ride but on a crowded freeway, I'll often use my brakes (gently) just to get the brake light on occasionally - It's one way to get a following driver to give you a little more space or alert him/her to the fact you are slowing (when all you NEED to do is rolll off the throttle). Maintaining steady momentum is a key strategy for any heavy vehicle. With a motorcycle it really doesn't matter so while you might be doing it, the reasons are completely different. Depending on traffic flow, I sometimes find myself using a lot of throttle and engine braking as I take advantage of suitable gaps and/or squirt past people before they have a chance to do something stupid (another well-tested riding strategy)
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