Street/Highway strategies

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by 390beretta, Mar 5, 2013.

  1. B.Curvin

    B.Curvin Feral Chia tamer

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    Pay attention to the heads of drivers in front of you. You can usually tell where they are going before they know where they are going. And you can also usually tell whether they know you are there or not. I can't count the number of times I've gotten out of the way BEFORE a car started coming over on me.

    Stay right except to pass. More side to side motion helps get you noticed (I do a lot of passing :D ).

    KLRs are too slow to get you OUT of trouble on the highway. :evil
    #21
  2. 390beretta

    390beretta Long timer

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    Great tips everyone. Please keep them coming.
    #22
  3. bumbeen

    bumbeen Banned

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    I found what I was remembering, it's on pg 120 of proficient motorcycling. You do not want to do this because the vehicle to your side may try turning down the side street with you in the way. The example given is you are on a one-way street in the left lane, and the car in the right lane thinks its a two-way and tries to turn left over you. So it isn't a hard and fast rule. On highways I won't necessarily ride right next to them but I will hang maybe a few meters off their bumper in the other lane while going through an intersection with vehicles waiting.

    When I was living in Illinois I saw Mexicans turning right from the left lane and left from the right lane all the time. In Alabama they like to stop at flashing yellows and just sit there while the cross-traffic stares at them.
    #23
  4. windmill

    windmill Long timer

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    Its not that complicated, relax, pay attention, don't be stupid.

    Most of the drama is from those who refuse to accept that they don't personally own the road and need excuses to justify their behavior................or they suck at riding and just don't know it.

    Riders love to talk trash about bad drivers, but every statistic and study proves riders are by far their own worst enemy.

    The most important safety tool?



    Good judgment. :deal
    #24
  5. 390beretta

    390beretta Long timer

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    Well, I still find it to be a good strategy much of the time. As another poster said, "the best strategy is good judgement"

    I was in the right lane the other day preparing to turn right. A woman on a cell phone, pulling out of a gas station, looked right at me, pulled right out in front of me and made a right. Because I was vigilant, not going too fast and using good judgement I was able to stop and it wasn't even an emergency stop but damn!
    #25
  6. 390beretta

    390beretta Long timer

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    I'd have to disagree with some of your statement. You're right statistically in certain kinds of accidents riders are their own worst enemy. Excessive speed, entering corners too hot, target fixation, etc. But if you look at accidents involving cagers pulling out in front of riders, whether a left turn situation or from a side street, I think the statistics will show that the cagers are almost always at fault.
    #26
  7. luckygrownup

    luckygrownup Been here awhile

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    1. Trust your gut when predicting vehicles you are overtaking. Logic gets you trouble when making judgement calls. For example, I was leaving an intersection. There was a car in the far right lane about 300' ahead. I was in far left lane with one lane separation. He turned on his signal but stayed in the right lane. My gut told me he was going to come all they way across. Logic said it would not happen. When I was 100' from the car, he abruptly came across two lanes into my lane.

    2. Watch for tar snakes. The wheels will slide a little when the pavement gets hot and the snakes melt. They are also slippery in the rain.

    3. Keep your mind clear. It is safer to ride when you are just focusing on the ride.

    4. On the Highway, expect deer to jump out regardless of the location. Deer are everywhere. They jump out at all times of the day, but are harder to see when it is dark.

    5. On the Highway, keep an eye out for Retreads. They fall off of Semis.

    6. On they highway, stay away from semis or accelerate to get away from them. Dump trucks are equally dangerous.

    7. Be caution around vehicles with tinted windows.

    8. Watch out for Minivans and SUVs. They obstruct your vision. Additionally, they have tend to drive unpredictably.

    9. If you can see in the vehicles, look for a hand next to the ear. If they are messing with a cell phone they will be a hazard. You need to distance yourself from these drivers.


    #27
  8. headhunter1213

    headhunter1213 n00b

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    On the highway I tend to either stick where no cars are and if heavy traffic ill usually blip the throttle a little bit. Ive had people make eye contact with me and a few hundred feet down cut me off. And the ironic thing about that is they had the yellow "watch for motorcycles" sticker on their car. Always look at the cars actions but more importantly what the driver is doing inside the car.

    In the city at 4 way stops I start to roll when its my turn and if everyone knows im going gun it out of there. yes ive had to pull some brake lock ups doing that but its better than getting tboned by a 5k pound truck.In the neighborhoods if I see someone backing out of their driveway I get as far away from them as possible. Another trick is when you are leaving first thing if your in a low speed zone <40mph carve the road to help warm up the tires more. I personally try to run a super sticky tire on the back just incase I need that little bit of traction.

    This probably doesn't belong her but its a common rule of thumb in my book. If you pick up a nail or something like that only ride on a plug to get you home. on any bike ive had if I find any holes in either tire shes parked until I get a new tire. remember that in a car if one tire blows you still got 3 more but on a bike youll only have 1 so if your front goes I hope you can wheelie it the rest of the way home. just my 2 cents
    #28
  9. blk-betty

    blk-betty bam-a-lam

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    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.
    #29
  10. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    ... And it is easily avoidable (preventable) by the rider.


    Does it really matter whose fault it is? It is the RIDERS responsibility to avoid them... OR better yet prevent it by NOT riding straight down the road.


    Add Lateral motion so their brains can see you and this issue is "statistically" turned into a NON-issue.

    Cater to how humans see things or have them violate your lane.
    #30
  11. Mountain Cruiser

    Mountain Cruiser Banned

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    Assume all other motorists have the potential to kill you. Ride appropriately.





    .
    #31
  12. windmill

    windmill Long timer

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    As a professional driver, its encouraging to me that some folks "get it". :clap
    #32
  13. Tepi

    Tepi Been here awhile

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    Ride it like you stole it. People will definately notice you.
    #33
  14. bumbeen

    bumbeen Banned

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    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.
    #34
  15. 390beretta

    390beretta Long timer

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    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.
    #35
  16. blk-betty

    blk-betty bam-a-lam

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    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.
    #36
  17. 390beretta

    390beretta Long timer

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    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!
    #37
  18. squonker

    squonker Eat my shorts

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    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.
    #38
  19. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Love those blue pipes

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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 :yikes - 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
    #39
  20. bumbeen

    bumbeen Banned

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    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.
    #40