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MY OTHER RIDE IS A VETTE
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Harry Hurt, the world's foremost authority on mc crashes and their causes died Friday at the ripe old age of 81 of a heart attack. He was a lifelong MC rider who never had a crash.

He developed the accident investigation methodology to study the causes of MC accidents and injuries. Nothing that we old timers don't already know from experience, but newbies might want to take note.

He found that in most crashes:
speed was not a factor
helmets are effective in preventing brain injuries and death
2/3rds of crashes involved cars
2/3rds of those accidents occurred b/c a car driver failed to see the MC and
violated the mc's riders right-of-way.


Here are some of my safety tips I have learned after over a 100,000 riding miles:

Ride like they r out to get u - cause they are.
Anyone who can cut you off - will cut u off
Always wear gear. If u can't afford good gear - just think how much hospital bills and after care of your injuries will cost. if it's too hot to wear ALL YOUR GEAR - it's too hot to ride.
Always proceed with caution and heightened attention going through intersections even at green lights and/or when u have the right of way
Give drivers in front of u alot of space. If u crowd a car other cars won't see u
Make sure the driver behind u gives u lots of space. U can stop quicker than a car
Make eye contact with a driver before u turn in front of them. Don't assume they see u.
Don't play road rage games on a bike - keep your cool. Yes drivers r inconsiderate assholes playing with your life. Just accept that fact and ride to save your own life. Exp: don't increase your speed just b/c a driver doesn't appreciate your cruising. Nor slow down just to piss him/her off.
Don't overreact. Jamming on your brakes is a sure way to lose control.
Keep a constant hypervilgence and anticipate problems before they happen. Mentally rehearse extreme maneuvers to do if confronted by an impending crash, exp: tuck and roll if being tossed from a bike. Cross-up technique where u turn the handle bars at pt of impact. This propels u and the bike toward the side of the road - instead of directly forward just remember to raise your leg out of the way to clear the vehicle.
Don't let peer pressure risk your life. If you're old enough to ride you're old enough to be able to say No to any stupid, risky or dangerous behavior.
Don't ride buzzed, angry, tired, afraid, or any other emotional/physical state that will negatively effect your ability to react, control, and handle your bike.
Don't buy/ride a bike u can't handle either by speed, weight, style, fit, or intimidation of any kind.

that's just a few off the top of my head. If anyone has any other safety techniques post them up.

lol - the hubby wanted me to add the basics:
Make sure you have good, well maintained brakes and tires. Grippy tires can save lives especially for all u knee-draggers.
 

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fix-a-flat
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1,079 Posts
R.I.P. Mr Hurt

The list of advise is pretty good. My only concern is this one:
Make eye contact with a driver before u turn in front of them. Don't assume they see u.
Eye contact with another motorist doesn't necessarily mean that they see you. Be prepared to react.

My contribution to the list:
Engine braking should be done with care. Many bikes can decelerate pretty quickly with engine braking (compared to engine braking in a car). Be aware that use of engine braking alone does not turn on the rear brake light, so such deceleration could catch a following motorist off-guard.
 

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MY OTHER RIDE IS A VETTE
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8,922 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
R.I.P. Mr Hurt

The list of advise is pretty good. My only concern is this one:
Eye contact with another motorist doesn't necessarily mean that they see you. Be prepared to react.

My contribution to the list:
Engine braking should be done with care. Many bikes can decelerate pretty quickly with engine braking (compared to engine braking in a car). Be aware that use of engine braking alone does not turn on the rear brake light, so such deceleration could catch a following motorist off-guard.
agreed. thanks for the tip.

Some road conditions safety tips:
WET LEAVES leaves r a menace. the ground can be dry but leaves may still be wet. A windy day can blow wet leaves onto your path quickly. In that case keep the bike upright. If u have to turn, use the handle bars. Don't lean into a turn on any unsafe or questionable road conditions such as SAND, GRAVEL, ROAD DEBRIS etc.

If u cannot avoid a ROCK, POTHOLE, DEAD ANIMAL, TIRE DEBRI, GARBAGE, etc. Again remain as upright as possible and ride directly over the object. Keep a strong grip on the handle bars. Keep your arms bent to use them as a shock absorber. Be prepared for your body to rise off the seat. Ride it through and you'll be ok.

I ride alone. Does anyone have tips about riding in groups or in pairs? Post them up please.
 

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i <3 boobies
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9,456 Posts
Good thread. Good tips. Thanks :thumbsup:

About leaving a good gap in between the car in front of you and yourself, when going through intersections I tend to hug a little closer to the car in front of me so it "protects me." I don't want to let people think they can make a left turn or make a right in front of me. What do you think?

Also when following a car, usually with a good distance, when someone is making a left in front of me i'll ride the left side of the lane so they see me and if someone is making a right in front of me i'll ride the right side.

I've only been riding a couple months so i'm still learning. Feel free to point me in the right direction.


A tip I can add:

When stopping at an intersection in the left lane and you're the first vehicle, don't stop in the left side of your lane. People making a left from the crossroad of the intersection tend to cut it close and might hit you. Almost found that out the hard way.
 

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fix-a-flat
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1,079 Posts
About leaving a good gap in between the car in front of you and yourself, when going through intersections I tend to hug a little closer to the car in front of me so it "protects me." I don't want to let people think they can make a left turn or make a right in front of me. What do you think?

Also when following a car, usually with a good distance, when someone is making a left in front of me i'll ride the left side of the lane so they see me and if someone is making a right in front of me i'll ride the right side.
The protection concept is a valid strategy, however I'm not sure about applying it in the manner you describe. A good way to use other vehicles to protect yourself would be to briefly ride next to another vehicle when passing through an intersection (when more than one lane is available), not to tailgate it.
Often, it may be impractical or illegal ride through an intersection along side another vehicle. In such situations, I suggest choosing a following distance and lane position which make you most visible to those who may cross your path, and consider any possible escape maneuvers so that you are able to react quickly if they cut you off.

In my mind, the best ways to be seen are to constantly adjust lane position to whatever suits the moment, and avoid tailgating the vehicle ahead. Tailgating forces you to concentrate too much on the vehicle ahead (which may not be your biggest threat), and I cannot understate how tailgating makes a bike less visible. Remember, most motorists involved in accidents with bikes claim not to have seen the bike.
I've only been riding a couple months so i'm still learning. Feel free to point me in the right direction.
Never stop learning.:thumbsup:
 

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MY OTHER RIDE IS A VETTE
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8,922 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Good thread. Good tips. Thanks :thumbsup:

About leaving a good gap in between the car in front of you and yourself, when going through intersections I tend to hug a little closer to the car in front of me so it "protects me." I don't want to let people think they can make a left turn or make a right in front of me. What do you think?

Also when following a car, usually with a good distance, when someone is making a left in front of me i'll ride the left side of the lane so they see me and if someone is making a right in front of me i'll ride the right side.

I've only been riding a couple months so i'm still learning. Feel free to point me in the right direction.


A tip I can add:

When stopping at an intersection in the left lane and you're the first vehicle, don't stop in the left side of your lane. People making a left from the crossroad of the intersection tend to cut it close and might hit you. Almost found that out the hard way.
there's nothing u can do to deter an idoit, blind, or distracted driver from turning in front of u. Yield your right-of-way if u have to. I would not tailgate. that's just too risky.

Dominate the road. so switching up from left to right might be a good strategy.

Good tip. Staying in the center of your lane is always a safe bet.

The protection concept is a valid strategy, however I'm not sure about applying it in the manner you describe. A good way to use other vehicles to protect yourself would be to briefly ride next to another vehicle when passing through an intersection (when more than one lane is available), not to tailgate it.
Often, it may be impractical or illegal ride through an intersection along side another vehicle. In such situations, I suggest choosing a following distance and lane position which make you most visible to those who may cross your path, and consider any possible escape maneuvers so that you are able to react quickly if they cut you off.

In my mind, the best ways to be seen are to constantly adjust lane position to whatever suits the moment, and avoid tailgating the vehicle ahead. Tailgating forces you to concentrate too much on the vehicle ahead (which may not be your biggest threat), and I cannot understate how tailgating makes a bike less visible. Remember, most motorists involved in accidents with bikes claim not to have seen the bike.
Never stop learning.:thumbsup:
I agree with DJ. Tailgating is not the best solution. You r definitely less visible to other drivers, esp those not paying close attention. they r just waiting for their opening and not checking who or what might be in their way.

riding along side is a sure way of protection, but again probably not the best solution. IMO it is best to leave ample space between cars, and prepare for someone to cut you off. Just ride slow, and use your horn too. I have loud pipes so I use them to make my presence known when going thru intersections and making turns
 

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MY OTHER RIDE IS A VETTE
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8,922 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
cut and past courtesy of motorcycle mag for those to lazy to click a link:

fifty safety tips





50 Ways to Save Your Life
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. --Aristotle
From the August, 2006 issue of Motorcyclist
By The Motorcyclist Staff

The best bike in the world is scrap--or soon will be--unless you learn how to use it. The most powerful piece of high-performance hardware is between your ears. To help you program it with the right information, we've assembled 50 potentially lifesaving bits of street savvy. Some you'll know, some you won't. All are worth remembering, because when it comes to riding motorcycles on the street, the people over at the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (www.msf-usa.org) have the right idea with their tagline: The more you know, the better it gets.

1. Assume you're invisible
Because to a lot of drivers, you are. Never make a move based on the assumption that another driver sees you, even if you've just made eye contact. Bikes don't always register in the four-wheel mind.

2. Be considerate
The consequences of strafing the jerk du jour or cutting him off start out bad and get worse. Pretend it was your grandma and think again.

3. Dress for the crash, not the pool or the prom
Sure, Joaquin's Fish Tacos is a 5-minute trip, but nobody plans to eat pavement. Modern mesh gear means 100-degree heat is no excuse for a T-shirt and board shorts.

4. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst
Assume that car across the intersection will turn across your bow when the light goes green, with or without a turn signal.

5. Leave your ego at home
The only people who really care if you were faster on the freeway will be the officer and the judge.

6. Pay attention
Yes, there is a half-naked girl on the billboard. That shock does feels squishy. Meanwhile, you could be drifting toward Big Trouble. Focus.

7. Mirrors only show you part of the picture
Never change direction without turning your head to make sure the coast really is clear.


Mirrors only show you part... read full caption

Mirrors only show you part of the picture.8. Be patient
Always take another second or three before you pull out to pass, ride away from a curb or into freeway traffic from an on-ramp. It's what you don't see that gets you. That extra look could save your butt.

9. Watch your closing speed
Passing cars at twice their speed or changing lanes to shoot past a row of stopped cars is just asking for trouble.

10. Beware the verge and the merge
A lot of nasty surprises end up on the sides of the road: empty McDonald's bags, nails, TV antennas, ladders, you name it. Watch for potentially troublesome debris on both sides of the road.

11. Left-turning cars remain a leading killer of motorcyclists
Don't assume someone will wait for you to dart through the intersection. They're trying to beat the light, too.

12. Beware of cars running traffic lights
The first few seconds after a signal light changes are the most perilous. Look both ways before barging into an intersection.

13. Check your mirrors
Do it every time you change lanes, slow down or stop. Be ready to move if another vehicle is about to occupy the space you'd planned to use.


Scan 12 seconds ahead for... read full caption

Scan 12 seconds ahead for potential trouble.14. Mind the gap
Remember Driver's Ed? One second's worth of distance per 10 mph is the old rule of thumb. Better still, scan the next 12 seconds ahead for potential trouble.

15. Beware of tuner cars
They're quick and their drivers tend to be aggressive. Don't assume you've beaten one away from a light or outpaced it in traffic and change lanes without looking. You could end up as a Nissan hood ornament.

16. Excessive entrance speed hurts
It's the leading cause of single-bike accidents on twisty roads and racetracks. In Slow, Out Fast is the old adage, and it still works. Dialing up corner speed is safer than scrubbing it off.

17. Don't trust that deer whistle
Ungulates and other feral beasts prowl at dawn and dusk, so heed those big yellow signs. If you're riding in a target-rich environment, slow down and watch the shoulders.

18. Learn to use both brakes
The front does most of your stopping, but a little rear brake on corner entry can calm a nervous chassis.

19. Keep the front brake covered--always
Save a single second of reaction time at 60 mph and you can stop 88 feet shorter. Think about that.

20. Look where you want to go
Use the miracle of target fixation to your advantage. The motorcycle goes where you look, so focus on the solution instead of the problem.


Check your mirrors every... read full caption

Check your mirrors every time you change lanes.21. Keep your eyes moving
Traffic is always shifting, so keep scanning for potential trouble. Don't lock your eyes on any one thing for too long unless you're actually dealing with trouble.

22. Think before you act
Careful whipping around that Camry going 7 mph in a 25-mph zone or you could end up with your head in the driver's side door when he turns into the driveway right in front of you.

23. Raise your gaze
It's too late to do anything about the 20 feet immediately in front of your fender, so scan the road far enough ahead to see trouble and change trajectory.

24. Get your mind right in the driveway
Most accidents happen during the first 15 minutes of a ride, below 40 mph, near an intersection or driveway. Yes, that could be your driveway.

25. Come to a full stop at that next stop sign
Put a foot down. Look again. Anything less forces a snap decision with no time to spot potential trouble.

26. Never dive into a gap in stalled traffic
Cars may have stopped for a reason, and you may not be able to see why until it's too late to do anything about it.

27. Don't saddle up more than you can handle
If you weigh 95 pounds, avoid that 795-pound cruiser. If you're 5-foot-5, forget those towering adventure-tourers.


Stay in your comfort zone... read full caption

Stay in your comfort zone riding with a group.28. Watch for car doors opening in traffic
And smacking a car that's swerving around some goofball's open door is just as painful.

29. Don't get in an intersection rut
Watch for a two-way stop after a string of four-way intersections. If you expect cross-traffic to stop, there could be a painful surprise when it doesn't.

30. Stay in your comfort zone when you're with a group
Riding over your head is a good way to end up in the ditch. Any bunch worth riding with will have a rendezvous point where you'll be able to link up again.

31. Give your eyes some time to adjust
A minute or two of low light heading from a well-lighted garage onto dark streets is a good thing. Otherwise, you're essentially flying blind for the first mile or so.

32. Master the slow U-turn
Practice. Park your butt on the outside edge of the seat and lean the bike into the turn, using your body as a counterweight as you pivot around the rear wheel.

33. Who put a stop sign at the top of this hill?
Don't panic. Use the rear brake to keep from rolling back down. Use Mr. Throttle and Mr. Clutch normally--and smoothly--to pull away.

34. If it looks slippery, assume it is
A patch of suspicious pavement could be just about anything. Butter Flavor Crisco? Gravel? Mobil 1? Or maybe it's nothing. Better to slow down for nothing than go on your head.

35. Bang! A blowout! Now what?
No sudden moves. The motorcycle isn't happy, so be prepared to apply a little calming muscle to maintain course. Ease back the throttle, brake gingerly with the good wheel and pull over very smoothly to the shoulder. Big sigh.


Hedge your bets at inters... read full caption

Hedge your bets at intersections.36. Drops on the faceshield?
It's raining. Lightly misted pavement can be slipperier than when it's been rinsed by a downpour, and you never know how much grip there is. Apply maximum-level concentration, caution and smoothness.

37. Emotions in check?
To paraphrase Mr. Ice Cube, chickity-check yoself before you wreck yoself. Emotions are as powerful as any drug, so take inventory every time you saddle up. If you're mad, sad, exhausted or anxious, stay put.

38. Wear good gear
Wear stuff that fits you and the weather. If you're too hot or too cold or fighting with a jacket that binds across the shoulders, you're dangerous. It's that simple.

39. Leave the iPod at home
You won't hear that cement truck in time with Spinal Tap cranked to 11, but they might like your headphones in intensive care.

40. Learn to swerve
Be able to do two tight turns in quick succession. Flick left around the bag of briquettes, then right back to your original trajectory. The bike will follow your eyes, so look at the way around, not the briquettes. Now practice till it's a reflex.

41. Be smooth at low speeds
Take some angst out, especially of slow-speed maneuvers, with a bit of rear brake. It adds a welcome bit of stability by minimizing unwelcome weight transfer and potentially bothersome driveline lash.

42. Flashing is good for you
Turn signals get your attention by flashing, right? So a few easy taps on the pedal or lever before stopping makes your brake light more eye-catching to trailing traffic.

43. Intersections are scary, so hedge your bets
Put another vehicle between your bike and the possibility of someone running the stop sign/red light on your right and you cut your chances of getting nailed in half.

44. Tune your peripheral vision
Pick a point near the center of that wall over there. Now scan as far as you can by moving your attention, not your gaze. The more you can see without turning your head, the sooner you can react to trouble.


Everything is harder to see... read full caption

Everything is harder to see after dark.45. All alone at a light that won't turn green?
Put as much motorcycle as possible directly above the sensor wire--usually buried in the pavement beneath you and located by a round or square pattern behind the limit line. If the light still won't change, try putting your kickstand down, right on the wire. You should be on your way in seconds.

46. Every-thing is harder to see after dark
Adjust your headlights, Carry a clear faceshield and have your game all the way on after dark, especially during commuter hours.

47. Don't troll next to--or right behind--Mr. Peterbilt
If one of those 18 retreads blows up--which they do with some regularity--it de-treads, and that can be ugly. Unless you like dodging huge chunks of flying rubber, keep your distance.

48. Take the panic out of panic stops
Develop an intimate relationship with your front brake. Seek out some safe, open pavement. Starting slowly, find that fine line between maximum braking and a locked wheel, and then do it again, and again.

49. Make your tires right
None of this stuff matters unless your skins are right. Don't take 'em for granted. Make sure pressure is spot-on every time you ride. Check for cuts, nails and other junk they might have picked up, as well as general wear.

50. Take a deep breath
Count to 10. Visualize whirled peas. Forgetting some clown's 80-mph indiscretion beats running the risk of ruining your life, or ending it. -MC


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