1. Hello Guest. You have limited privileges and you can't "SEARCH" the forums. Please "Log In" or "Sign Up" for additional functionality. Click HERE to proceed.

Be The Bunny! Safe riding and motorcycle survival thread

Discussion in 'Hangout Lounge' started by bigfitz52, Jul 25, 2008.

  1. bigfitz52

    bigfitz52 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    21,082
    Likes Received:
    163
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Rural SE Michigan 60 miles N of Motown
    OK, since the "new outlook on riding" thread turned into a safety symposium and suggestions for a safe riding forum seem to have fallen on deaf ears, lets do it with a thread. I see a lot of "newbie" posters are not just new to XJ Yamahas but new to motorcycling altogether. Since a lot of these folks simply aren't going to start off with a MSF safe riding class, I think it falls to those among us with beaucoup riding experience (43 years on road bikes for me) to find a way pass along our lessons learned and even some basics oft overlooked by even the most grizzled veteran. Gentlemen, I know you're out there, sound off!
     
  2. treybaxter

    treybaxter Member

    Messages:
    218
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Mississippi
    My biggest fear is the road itself. I ride a daily commute of about 85 miles. Very rural area, i can take interstate most of the way but that adds about 20 miles, so i take the trail through the woods, plus i love the country. So most of my route takes me though narrow roads with lots of potholes, no painted lines, lots of old dairy farms and rolling hills. Now the deer are plentiful, they can be tough if not impossible to predict,

    But....

    The thing that will nail you without question are the dirt roads that intersect the pavement, always lots of dirt and gravel. Also, even a clean stretch can be spoiled by a little weekend logging activity and some rain to push fresh mud on the road. For this reason, i never ride fast on unknown roads. I like to really know the ins and outs of these small country roads before i start squeezing the throttle and enjoying the country.

    Just a little thought to pass along.
     
  3. stereomind

    stereomind Active Member

    Messages:
    1,440
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Tulsa, OK
    Every time I ride, I pretend that every cage on the road is my enemy. Sometimes I want to relax and just ride, but then I snap out of it and realize that I have no seat belt, no air bags, no crumple zones around me, and the only thing that keeps me from becoming mince meat is my ability to react to any situation. I hesitate at red lights, look left and right at every intersection, even when I have the right of way. I stay out of cars' blind spots. I try to always check my six when I'm stopped... You never know when some tard behind you quits paying attention while he's texting or changing the radio station.

    I also try to look far ahead, and react when I see rough spots in the road. It helps to raise your butt off the seat when you go over bumps and let your legs and arms absorb the shock.

    Last but not least... WEAR YOUR BRAIN BUCKET... and any other protective gear you can muster up. Today I was gently reminded about the beauty of a full-face helmet when I flattened a locust with my visor at about 70 mph.

    Keep 'em coming, people!
     
    Franz, SpearChucker and Adam Shaffer like this.
  4. flash1259

    flash1259 Member

    Messages:
    661
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    W.R. Wisconsin
    Another thing that is most important :

    Overdriving your headlights is when your stopping distance exceeds the range of illumination of your headlights typically the average distance vehicles headlight will light a 30 meter path infront of the vehicle.

    This is true for motorcycles, snowmobiles as it is for cars and trucks. Increased speed lowers your field of vision at night.

    Also: Wear a skull bucket guys/gals we are not supermen,

    Drive safe
     
  5. bill

    bill Active Member

    Messages:
    2,813
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    I'll add be visible! The all black look may be "cool" but hardly visible. I run a modulator and wear a red/black/silver padded riding jacket.

    I also remember that cagers have difficulty judging a bikes speed. Steromind is right on - be defensive.
     
  6. flash1259

    flash1259 Member

    Messages:
    661
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    W.R. Wisconsin
  7. spamsxj550

    spamsxj550 New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Location:
    Warner Robins, Ga
    I am a "newbie" to motorcycles. But i did take the BRC course that is offered through the DDS here in Ga. And all i have to say is the you have to ride like every cage on the road's only purpose is to turn you into a pile of ground beef. I have had at least 20 drivers already (and i have only been riding a month) look straight at me and then pull out in front of me. And yes i agree with the "wear your brain bucket" comments. and may i suggest that you get a FULL FACE. may not be as comfy or "cool" as a halfsie but we learned in the class that in a high side throw you are going to land on your chin about 85% of the time. and i dont know about you but i dont want facial reconstruction surgery any time soon. peace to all. keem em upright!
     
    SpearChucker likes this.
  8. bigfitz52

    bigfitz52 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    21,082
    Likes Received:
    163
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Rural SE Michigan 60 miles N of Motown
    Re: Be The Bunny! Safe riding and motorcycle survival threa

    Excellent!! For the new riders, I was going to discuss crossing railroad tracks, especially in the wet. Railroad tracks are UNGODLY slippery when wet. Even dry, tracks are often sitting in a veritable DITCH in whatever grade crossing material (wood, bad coldpatch, those rubber mats) was used. Quite often the tracks ARE NOT completely perpendicular to the road. There are some horribly oblique crossings around where I live. It is important, especially in the rain, to alter your "line" moving from one side of your lane to the other as necessary, to cross tracks at as CLOSE TO A 90% ANGLE as possible. You don't want to chance the slot the tracks are in grabbing your front wheel, or sliding along the wet rail. If you still have to cross obliquely, SLOW DOWN and be very careful. I learned this one the hard way at a young age. Next time: Countersteering--you probably don't realize you're doing it and it can save your life.
     
  9. treybaxter

    treybaxter Member

    Messages:
    218
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Mississippi
    Here's a habit i picked up after a guy close to me got killed a few years back. He was a lifetime rider, wonderful guy, well respected by all in his riding group.

    There was some road construction going on. Flagman had everyone at a complete stop. He was about third in line on the highway waiting to be flagged on. Lady came barrelling up behind him and never slowed down, crushing him between her and the car ahead of him.

    So....

    Now, when i have to stop on the highway for construction, wrecks, etc, i pull all the way to the right line, or even just off the road a foot. This happened to me just a couple of days ago as they are paving the road near my work. When you do this, your left mirror is focused clearly behind you, and if you need to, you can shoot forward if someone's coming on too fast. This may be common sense, may even be taught in those classes, i dont know, just something i picked up after that guy got killed.
     
    Franz and SpearChucker like this.
  10. jdpesz

    jdpesz Member

    Messages:
    487
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Stanwood, Wa
    Re: Be The Bunny! Safe riding and motorcycle survival threa

    Keep your eyes peeled and stay focused, that's at the top of my list. It is a challenge to not fixate on passing scenery, especially on a very scenic route. You simply must scan your path and look into your turns. If you must take in the view, pull over and get out your camera.
     
  11. TIMEtoRIDE

    TIMEtoRIDE Active Member

    Messages:
    4,686
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Clermont FL near Orlando
    My dad taught me "plan your out" , plan your escape route. Imagine where are you going to go if somebody does something unexpected.
    It applies to cars and bikes.

    Recently I had to stop quickly and locked the back tire, twice, which caused me to automatically release both brakes, then re-apply favoring the front brake. That half second of no brakes really upped the ante on how hard I needed to hit the brakes. I would advise we all practice high level braking so our brains have the "raw data" available when it's needed.
    Of course practice wearing your gear, and away from traffic.
     
  12. treybaxter

    treybaxter Member

    Messages:
    218
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Mississippi
    I second that. I bought my bike from a guy in tennessee. He was telling me what parts he had replaced, including the front pads. He told me he was taught to never use the front brake, except at traffic lights! OMG! You only have two really small patches of rubber connecting you to the road. We all need to do like TimeToRide suggests and practice using them both in all weather conditions for maximum stopping and control, until the feel and handling is hardwired into the brain.
     
  13. randall68

    randall68 Member

    Messages:
    144
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    I have been riding for 23 years now..Started on a 73 Yamaha 250 enduro and was stupid. I rode all year in the winter in the snow ice etc. I jumped railroad tracks, did wheelies (when i could) and basically raced around.

    Now and for about 15 years I drive as if I'm invisible. My eyes constantly scan every direction the mirrors and the gauges. I still have a pleasant experience as I'm used to driving like this even in my car or truck.

    This won't stop a crazy idiot drunk or moron from ramming me somewhere so I also Pray before every trip out.
     
  14. PSteele

    PSteele Member

    Messages:
    344
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    The Rule of Invisibilty as randall so wisely brought up has been the #1 rule in my book. My Max and I have been through a raft of near-misses and the latest one at the gas pumps (!) last Wednesday night really brought it home.

    Stopped at a pump (at 10pm, fully lit gas bar) and came within 5 feet being hit by a car pulling to the same pump, facing me straight on. This guy was staring right at my headlight and unbelieveably, he jumped out and said that he was so sorry, but he just didn't see me!

    And in addition to treybaxter's comments, at intersections around town where I have to stop, the place I choose is as far to the left as possible, but for similar reasons. Puts me in the mirror closest to the driver, keeps me out of the way of an oncoming car, gives me an 'out' if I need it, mirror for the traffic behind.

    One thing I have to offer in addition to other's comments. The Course teaches that you NEVER put your foot down to save a fall. I have found that advice to be double-edged. However, I truly believe that if you have hard saddle bags, the advice is sound. The chance of catching your foot between the bag and the road is too great and can suck you off the bike besides giving your joints a stretch. Don't ask me how I know.

    There are many times when I need to adjust these "rules" to fit the situation. I find myself planning everyone else's screw up and make an adjustment - but maybe that's what motorcycling is all about - reading and adjusting to the conditions. Maybe that's why "caging" is becoming boring and sleepy and riding is so exhilarating.

    Ride on, ride safe.
     
  15. bigfitz52

    bigfitz52 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    21,082
    Likes Received:
    163
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Rural SE Michigan 60 miles N of Motown
    There is an unorthodox solution to the bonehead that is LOOKING right at you but doesn't SEE you...POINT AT THEM. Yes, I said point at them. Swing your left hand up off the bar and POINT RIGHT AT the sleepy driver. If he's looking right at you but not "seeing" you he will suddenly see you! I have had people I swear peed themselves when they realized I was right there--I said it was unorthodox, but it works. I didn't invent it, a long-time Toronto messenger-bike rider passed it along. I was skeptical but have seen it work more times than not and it's downright spooky.
     
    SpearChucker and Alan63 like this.
  16. spinalator

    spinalator Member

    Messages:
    674
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Regina, CANADA
    Good advice. Looking around is great, but also watch the mirrors when you are stopped at a light, or stop sign. I almost had a sandwich experience, similar to the construction fatality story, above.

    This year seems to be bad for left hand cages cutting my off. I am going straight and they turn left right in front of me. I now assume they all are going to do it, and it has saved my bacon more than once.
     
  17. Lisa

    Lisa Member

    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Location:
    Trenton, On
    keep your eyes open for a way out when you are surprised, avoid target fixation. when i first got my bike I ended up in a situation where i was cut off and i was going to rear end the guy who did it. i saw a gap that i could go through and i looked at it, not the back of the suv i was about to hit. it would have hurt a lot more if i concentrated on how shiny the bumper wasn't going to be.

    keep at least 2 seconds to react, you don't have time for anything less.
     
  18. darkangel

    darkangel Member

    Messages:
    194
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Liberal, Ks
    Re: Be The Bunny! Safe riding and motorcycle survival threa

    I am like many of you guys on here. I am very scared at times about riding. My thing is I ride fast, so I pay more attention. I check my 6, I don't ride beside ppl or in their blind spot. At every intersection I am always checking around me, I look ahead...On intersections, and side streets I point at the ppl who pull up, or who are there in the intersection. when Im stopped I dont ever place myself dead center, I am always In the lane closest to the turning lane, on the left side....so Just in case some idiot does stop, I can spin out of the way. My biggest thing is Guys....Where a helmet! Where as much protective equipment that you care, regardless if you are on a long trip or just going to work 5 blocks away...Suit up. wear a EVS neck collar, and a EVS Ballistic vest under your jacket for max protection... Make your bike noticeable when your brake and turn....

    Anyway....
    if your going to ride....Ride Hard!
     
    Xjake650 likes this.
  19. CdnDave77

    CdnDave77 Member

    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Location:
    Norwich, Ontario, Canada
    It may be a small point, but drive extra slow & ready to slam on the brakes when you are in a large parking lot !!! I have had more near-misses in mall & grocery store parking lots than I have ever had on the road. Think of them as infinite intersections... and more often than not, the driver of the cage is : (a) in a hurry (b) irritated (c) talking which leads to (d) about to run over you.
     
  20. flash1259

    flash1259 Member

    Messages:
    661
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    W.R. Wisconsin

Share This Page