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Old 02-04-2013, 10:30 AM   #61
scottrnelson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilB View Post
I believe that the higher those capabilities, the safer you will be, provided (and this is a BIG "provided") that you (a) have the skills to use that capacity, and (b) have the willpower not to abuse that capacity to be an idiot.
I'm not sure you'll find any riders at all who truly can do (B) on a powerful bike.

For example, if I want to pass someone on a nice two-lane road, I can get around them reasonably well on my XR650L if they're not going much more than 60 mph, but on my KTM 990, I can downshift two or three gears and really get past them quickly. I spend less time exposed in the other lane, but I'm going quite a bit faster when I'm pulling back into my lane of travel, which might mean that I need more braking for the next corner. The Multistrada 1200 would be even worse in this case. I have the power, so I'm going to use it when I "need" it, but now there are other issues affecting my safety.


Did you really ride a Monster more than 200K miles? Congratulations on that.
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:54 AM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottrnelson View Post
I'm not sure you'll find any riders at all who truly can do (B) on a powerful bike.

For example, if I want to pass someone on a nice two-lane road, I can get around them reasonably well on my XR650L if they're not going much more than 60 mph, but on my KTM 990, I can downshift two or three gears and really get past them quickly. I spend less time exposed in the other lane, but I'm going quite a bit faster when I'm pulling back into my lane of travel, which might mean that I need more braking for the next corner. The Multistrada 1200 would be even worse in this case. I have the power, so I'm going to use it when I "need" it, but now there are other issues affecting my safety.

Did you really ride a Monster more than 200K miles? Congratulations on that.
The greater ability of the bike (again, assuming the rider knows how to use it) does mean that you can safely do things on it that you can't on a lesser bike. That is not the same as abusing that capacity to be an idiot, if what you use the extra capacity for is done safely. More capacity does require more discretion, which does accord with what I said. To use your example, if you make that pass on the big bike and it results in needing more braking for the next corner, if this is a surpise you may have failed the discretion test. OTOH, if you planned for that corner, and the braking you need for it is still well within the ability of you and your bike, then you haven't done anything stupid and haven't compromised your safety.

If your attitude really is "I have the power, so I'm going to use it when I 'need' it", then I agree that the more capable bike isn't going to make you safer. I disagree that all riders will have that attitude. For a mature rider who has good impulse control (which is the qualifying condition I specified in my answer), more performance means a greater margin of safety. For other people, not so much.

I have indeed ridden my Monster over 200K. I bought it new, for much the same reasons I outlined above -- nimble light sportbike with good brakes, and with a good sized V-twin for better torque at traffic speeds, so as to be the best combination for safety and responsiveness in the real world. Nothing had ABS back then, so that wasn't a factor. It was the perfect choice at the time, and still works damn well for my daily transportation (any time the roads aren't icy).

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PhilB screwed with this post 02-04-2013 at 11:01 AM
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Old 02-04-2013, 01:24 PM   #63
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I always tell squids and pirates that you have better control of the bike with dirt bike ergonomics. Think about it... Wider handlebars give better leverage and quicker response. You can slide back and forth to weight the front or the rear as needed for traction. You can weight the pegs indivdually for more control on gravel and such.

Crouching over the tank is for going fast, doesn't really apply at legal street speeds.

Feet forward is for feeling relaxed or thinking that you look really cool.
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Old 02-04-2013, 01:55 PM   #64
scottrnelson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlipChip View Post
Crouching over the tank is for going fast, doesn't really apply at legal street speeds.
Having ridden nearly 400 miles on Saturday on my KTM 990 Adv with upright dirt-bike seating, I can say that the more forward lean of my previous Ducati ST2 sport touring bike was better on the back and for wind protection for long distances than the KTM, at totally legal speeds (55-65 mph). I will agree that the way forward lean of the Ducati Superbike was not better for legal speeds, though.
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Old 02-04-2013, 03:00 PM   #65
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Very interesting thread. I am completely on the fence after reading everybody's very reasonable perceptions of safety on a bike.

I myself, sold 2 street bikes this year to focus on off-road riding. I consider myself a very alert and careful rider which I attribute to my experience as a helicopter pilot. That being said, I had a couple of very realistic nightmares about crashing on the street and decided to give up my very fast street bikes.

That was all well and fine until I got myself a little 99 DR350. Now I am commuting to work a couple days a week on the 350. I actually do feel better about riding the DR on the street for several reasons already mentioned. But it's mainly the inability to blip the throttle and be going 100+ that probably makes it feel safer. The other thing is I feel like I can now have far more escape routes on the DS, you know, sidewalks, ditches and the shoulder of the rd is all pretty manageable on a DS compared to crotch rocket or a big sport tourer like my K1200rs.

So if speed does kill, I should be ok on the little gutless DR350 that I am fast falling in love with!
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Old 10-16-2013, 01:32 PM   #66
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no and stupid question.
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Old 10-16-2013, 08:41 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by vintagespeed View Post
no and stupid question.
Why did you dig up this old thread just to say that? Rude answer.

If you have a valid point, please make it, but spare us the rudeness.

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Old 10-16-2013, 09:32 PM   #68
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The thread is old, but I missed it the first time around.
I feel safer on a dual sport bike, but usually on less-than-highway speeds.
Above that, I prefer a heavier bike (500lb+), or a different seating position(cruiser or sportbike).
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Old 10-17-2013, 06:42 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by M-Cat View Post
Above that, I prefer a heavier bike (500lb+), or a different seating position(cruiser or sportbike).
Wow! I've found my total opposite.

I don't like anything that weighs over 500 pounds and seriously dislike the cruiser riding position. Sport bike riding position is okay while riding fast on a twisty road, but not the rest of the time.

I guess differences like these are what keeps the world interesting.
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Old 10-17-2013, 01:49 PM   #70
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No one bike is really safer than another, because its the nut holding the handlebar that makes the difference, not the bike, entirely.

A Supermotard, with sticky tires, upright seating, wide handlebar, nimble, powerful, quick steering, strong brakes, solid chassis, great suspension, has all the capabilities to provide the best in-traffic performance. But in the hands of a rider that can't handle a moped, it's as deadly as a full on sport bike with 150hp on tap.

Modern sport bikes are so phenominally capable in so many ways you could argue they're actually safer than a lower powered cruiser. But, in the hands of someone not of equal capability to the bike, deadly dangerous.

Hell, I feel scooters are as dangerous as sport bikes, on the argument they are small, slow, small brakes, twitchy handling, not enough power to quickly get out trouble, etc.

No matter the bike, they all fall down without capable hands on them.
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Old 10-17-2013, 02:24 PM   #71
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I think this is an impossibly subjective question.

I do know for a fact I'm safer on the DR than I am on my bandit. I was on a freeway with the bandit in socal with not a soul in sight. I came onto a flat bridge where I had no risk of critters jumping out. I hit 170 indicated which is prolly only about 155 actual (bandit is no where near stock), and that's when I hit the slightly recessed bridge joint. I felt the back end come out, and then gently ease back in. I had just the front tire saving me from sure death.

My point is, I have no desire to move like that on the DR. I enjoy sitting at 55mph taking everything in. I can say for a fact I am a better rider since riding the DR. I throw around more aggressively and little losses in traction (rear) don't get my heart pounding.

On my Alaska trip, I have gone offroad twice to avoid accidents, and both were them pulling out in front of me. One of these I hit the curb at an angle at ~35mph and came to a stop in a parking lot. If it would have happened on the Bandit, I would have been screwed. The DR cannot stop as fast or have as much power, but the DR is capable of stupid lean angles and has long travel suspension.

I will say I have used the Bandits power to remove myself from situations that could have turned bad. The Dr in comparison is having the patience to slow down and let the asshats get way ahead of you.
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Old 10-17-2013, 02:32 PM   #72
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in traffic I felt safer on a crotch rocket just because it was fast and super nimble
more so than My xr650l by a long shot

but at a stop it's mostly irrelevant except the different seating positions you are at as you get ejected if hit
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Old 10-17-2013, 05:10 PM   #73
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I feel safer with each mile on any bike. By the time I sold my Wide Glide I was one with it, and never felt uneasy. First ride on my KTM 350 EXC felt like I was on a wobbling tight rope. By that time I had already become comfortable on a similarly sized WR250R, yet the slight steering geometry change of the KTM was foreign to my reflexes.
Overall I do feel safer on anything with good brakes, decent responsiveness, and adequate controls (brakes shifting). Tend to favor a light dual sport however for reasons I can't articulate... most familiarity perhaps.
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Old 10-17-2013, 06:17 PM   #74
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Feel safe, or are safer?

I think speed, and the ability to go fast quickly only makes a rider less safe in 99.9% of situations.

I have never had a really fast/quick bike by today's standards.
Most of the bikes I have had for the street were quite slow, yet I have never had a bad crash on the street, and never had an issue with traffic in over 35 years.
I never needed power to keep me safe, but tend to go with light nimble narrow bikes.
I use my brain to stay out of trouble, and I think fast and quick only gets you into trouble faster and more quickly.

If a bike is light, nimble and can lean, I doubt it makes much difference what it is.
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Old 10-17-2013, 06:21 PM   #75
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Logically a dirt bike can't be the safest since a Motard has all the advantages of a dirt bike with some of the disadvantages removed. So at least motards are safer than dirt bikes (for an equal rider, riding the same).
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