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Old 01-31-2013, 07:34 AM   #46
jtatknox OP
Joined: Jun 2012
Oddometer: 44
State Farm is paying for everything!

Don't give up, guys.
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Old 02-05-2013, 02:50 PM   #47
Joined: Jul 2009
Oddometer: 96
Weaving - slightly off topic.

THANK YOU for posting this!!!! I often weave for visibility but did not know that it is a recommended practice.

Originally Posted by der_saeufer View Post
This is 205, but OP appears to be new here so I'm posting it anyway:

It's a great video once you can get over the fact that everyone is driving on the wrong side of the damn road

Also, OP, keep pushing against the cager's insurance company. Whether you could've saved it or not, the car driver failed to yield.

Good choice on the gear, and glad you're OK.

And zippy is right--some people just don't pay attention. I've gotten SMIDSY'd on a clear day driving a white 10-ton delivery truck with the headlights on. ABS and modern brakes literally saved the passenger's life.
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:37 PM   #48
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Joined: Jul 2008
Location: Rancho Bernardo (San Diego)
Oddometer: 1,064
Originally Posted by jtatknox View Post
Practicing braking is really good advice that everyone should take! I think if I had had more braking practice I could have potentially avoided locking up the front wheel. Then again, maybe not...
I don't know what the chances are of a State Farm rep seeing this post.... But I wouldn't want them seeing it!
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Old 02-15-2013, 09:59 PM   #49
Retired and Roamin
Joined: Nov 2012
Location: Western USA
Oddometer: 52
Front Visibility

My moniker - Retired-N-Roamin - is what I did last summer with my pickup (bike loaded in the bed) and RV trailer. I was in position to be heading east on I90 in central Montana just as the gathering at Sturgis was ending. In just one day I literally saw several thousand bikes from a head-on perspective.

As you might expect a traditional single headlight with a 'normal' incandescent bulb is difficult to visually parse from the background clutter.

Many Harley's have a lightbar with 3 lights in a horizontal plane - same comment as above - hard to see.

What stood out was the HID bulbs. Either bright white - or better yet, bright blue. At least the bikes with these were easier to see against the background of dry grass that lined the interstate and median.

Better yet were bikes with two headlights that 8" to 12" apart. Distinctive even with 'normal' incandescent bulbs, but very good visibility with the HID bulbs.

Best - the absolute best visibility I observed in these several thousand bikes was the combination of an HID headlight and two bright lights (HID or LED?) low down on the fork legs forming a triangle. This combination always got my attention.

The first time I saw this was on Lolo Pass in Idaho. As you might know, Lolo is renowned for its twisty nature. There are not lots of long straights. But I just happened to be on one - perhaps 3/4 of a mile long. This particular bike entered the east side of the straight just after I made the corner on the west side. Bright blue lights in the triangle formation immediately caught my attention. At about a 1/2 mile separation I could easily see the triangle of lights.

Further, I looked above the lights and I saw a white 'blob' - even at a 3rd of a mile away. As they bike got closer I was able to make out that the white 'blob' was actually the top 1/4 of the pillion's helmet. Even closer I noted the rider had on a shiny black helmet. Perhaps the contrast between the black/white allowed me to see the white further away. But this was a shady tree lined section of the road so maybe the black just blended with the shadows.

So... as I went east on I90 I started looking at all the bikes going west from Sturgis. I even looked in my truck mirrors to see what I could about visibility from the rear.

Here's my observations.

Visibility from the front
  • White helmets stand out. High-vis yellow and orange are (sort of) surprisingly less visible on bright sunny days.
  • Lights - as above. The bright white or blue triangle is an attention getter. I consistently saw bikes with this light setup from more than 2 miles away on the interstate.
  • Lights - incandescent bulbs are pitiful and can't be easily distinguished from background clutter for more than 1/3 to 1/2 mile.
  • Headlight modulators - better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick - may be good in urban traffic situations but out on the interstates - not so much. That said, I have one on my mid-sized cruiser style bike and the local-yokels in rural Texas did seem to move to the far right of their lane when we met head on and the modulator was running. But it could have been a combination of my white helmet and the flashing light that fooled 'em into thinking I might be a LEO. Dunno fer sure as I never asked any of 'em.
  • Any color helmet but white is a non-starter as far as visibility goes. Why do folks wear black gear if they are concerned about cagers seeing them? Must still be 'cool' to wear black in the mortuary.

Visibility from the rear
  • Bikes with bags are more visible from the rear than those without - duh. Bigger surface area to see.
  • Colors - two colors really stood out as being visible - bright yellow and that (to my eyes and aesthetic) ugly orange that Harley painted some of their bikes. Any other color - white included - and I'm talking all shades of blues, grays, reds and greens just blended into the background clutter and was lost to the eye very quickly. Of course black is a complete non-starter as far as visibility goes.
I cannot speak of lighting on the back of bikes as we were on the interstate going in opposite directions at a combined 140-150 MPH. But I operate with the theory that more is better and flashing brake lights can't be bad.

From the rear the ultimate visibility combination was yellow - either the bike itself (with panniers/saddle bags) or yellow strapped on luggage/bags and a white helmet. Bright yellow was easily visible as far as I could see - estimated to be 2+ miles on the straight stretches of the interstate.

Again, at a distance bright fluorescent helmets and vests did not increase the bikes overall visibility. This may change when dealing with a few hundred feet instead of hundreds of yards.

My recently purchased gear is a light gray Olympia jacket with lots of reflective strips and contrasting black trim patches. I believe the mix of dark and light makes it more visible. And of course my completely white helmet.

As always, your experience and opinions may be different and your mileage may vary.

"For the truth is that I already know as much about my fate as I need to. The day will come when I die. The only matter of consequence is what I will do with my allotted time?

Retired-N-Roamin screwed with this post 02-15-2013 at 10:04 PM Reason: typos and stuff
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