Street/Highway strategies

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

  1. Import

    Import Been here awhile

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    I agree with steel rider,
    In the right lane, I always dominate the lane by riding to the left of center, cages can't undertake.... And if they want to pass they have to go all the way round....

    In the left lane, I prefer to ride to the right of center, it gives cages a chance to see me quicker in their mirrors, and leaves me room to react and hit the horn if they missed me.

    On round abouts and when in doubt i reinforce turn signals with hand gestures....... I sill believe eye contact Is important, although no guarantee of result.

    Eighteen wheelers are at the least unpredictable, always leave as much room as possible, and get past as swiftly as you can, go back to your ride speed once you are safe, cross winds are often a factor, so be aware....

    My chief instructor on my advanced course said to me.... The bigger the vehicle, the greater the gap you leave, position yourself so you can see the danger in front and behind.........
    Remember we all have so much passing power, showing a little restraint will allow you to get home safely......
    Enjoy...........
    #81
  2. windmill

    windmill Long timer

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    I agree with everything except the high beams.

    They should only be used with bikes that have weak headlights. Most of todays bikes have very bright lights, their high beams will mask your turn signals, make it very difficult to judge your speed and distance, and interfere with the ability of others to observe whats near you.
    The goal is to be seen without creating issues for yourself for others, forcing others to look away is not a productive way to be "seen".
    There are so many intelligent, responsible, effective options, there is no excuse for irresponsible use of high beams.

    Good rule of thumb,
    If a driver can't see the turn signals, or see which way the rider is looking, the lights are too bright.



    IMO, the words "I don't care" don't belong in a motorcyclists vocabulary, we're too vulnerable to not care about every decision we make, these days its unwise seek negative attention.
    #82
  3. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    +1 :beer
    #83
  4. the_sandman_454

    the_sandman_454 Been here awhile

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    Try not to get upset at that idiot who just cut you off or pulled some other bonehead move. Just avoid the hazard as best you can and get on with the rest of your ride. Nothing good will happen as a result of being mad. A bike will not win a pissing match vs a cage, those have 'the right of weight'. Ask yourself questions to critique your technique. Did your lane position contribute to the cage driver having trouble seeing you, were you hanging out in that guy's blindspot, etc.

    Continual improvement of skills and analyzing your technique and incidents you're in are important, as they can improve your avoidance of future incidents.

    Don't draft other vehicles, especially the semis. Tire blowouts are unpredictable, and you'll have virtually no time to react and avoid debris from a blowout or anything the truck happens to run over, potholes, etc.

    Try to scan well ahead of your current position. 10-12s is a good goal. If that isn't possible, then just be alert and look as far ahead as you can for anything that can threaten your safety (animals, other vehicles, obstacles, intersections/traffic signals. It isn't easy to be this attentive for long blocks of time, but try for continuous improvement here too.
    #84
  5. fallingoff

    fallingoff Banned

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    lost me on no.2

    why why why do you want to piss people off

    everybody else suffers for your arrogance

    think about it.

    otherwise i agree

    cheers
    #85
  6. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Love those blue pipes

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    +2 :beer
    #86
  7. Screzzy

    Screzzy Been here awhile

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    +1

    On a busy highway, failure to follow this practice is a death wish.
    #87
  8. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

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    1. Learn to ride properly. Take a BRC. Practice the drills regularly. I practice braking and counter-steering quite frequently. SEE. Re-read the book occasionally. Ride dirt too. Get used to less-than-ideal surfaces/terrain. Read other material and scenarios. Continue taking courses and learning from other sources.

    2. Pre-ride checks. Check the bike. Check yourself. If your head isn't in the ride, take a break until it is.

    3. Wear hi-viz with reflectivity, but don't depend on it and become complacent. It only works for people that are looking and care. Many people aren't looking. Many people don't care.

    4. Make sure you have good mirrors on your bikes. Adjust them so you can see pretty much 360-degrees around you if you use peripheral vision.

    5. Improve the lighting and reflective surfaces on your bikes. I have a tail/brake LED bulb that flashes 3x before going solid. I also install BRIGHT extra marker LED strips...red visible from the sides and rear, and amber visible from the sides and front. I also have yellow fog lights, for some color variation and the "triangle of lights". Their color contrast also works well for me in rain/fog/snow. My bikes have the stock reflectors on them, and I also have red/white reflective tape on the sides and rear. My DR is also blue, but it has bright white side plastics, headlight shroud, and handguards. These stand out nicely. My DR is pretty visible at night, looks almost stock when parked in daylight, and uses less wattage than stock until I turn on the fog lights. I also religiously use my signals on public roads.

    6. Wear gear. The right gear doesn't just protect you from slides or impacts. It also protects you from the elements.

    7. See and be seen. ACTIVELY choose your lane, lane position, and position around roadside obstacles and other vehicles accordingly. Keep your head on a swivel and MAINTAIN awareness of vehicles 360-degrees around you. I do this even on empty highways, at night, even when I don't see vehicle lights.

    8. Lateral movement. Dakez turned me onto this and it WORKS. Like with hi-viz, don't trust it and become complacent though. I use this in fog/rain, even when riding an open road with no cross-traffic. It makes one more visible to critters ahead or drivers that are still coming up behind you at 80MPH.

    9. Keep your head on a swivel and your bike in gear, even when stopped...and even when 2 or more cages are sitting behind you. I've seen situations where the 4th vehicle up, or the 2nd vehicle in line, got crunched. I angle my bike to a hole when stopping, and stop far enough back to take advantage of it and still have other options.

    10. Don't pace next to other vehicles, don't ride in blind spots, don't follow large/loaded vehicles so close that you can't easily dodge something they might roll over or lose. Get past them or drop back. I don't dawdle when passing anybody, even if both of our lanes are on the same side of the road. I don't pass on double-yellow lines either.

    11. Let faster traffic through. I use the passing lane for passing, then I move over. If the idiot in the left lane starts pacing me, I often speed up or slow down to let faster traffic through. I also pull over, where it's safe, to let faster traffic through if there is no other safe/legal passing opportunity for them.

    12. I don't stop on the side of the road unless it's an absolute necessity. I've seen enough videos of troopers and roadside-assistance guys getting hit...even with all their blinky-flashy lights going.

    13. I don't make sudden unexpected maneuvers. If I miss my turn or exit, I miss it and swing a u-turn. I don't jam on the brakes and turn left from the right lane, or turn right from the left lane. I don't swing u-turns from the right shoulder, and I sure don't turn/merge/lane-change without a signal.

    14. Ride like you're invisible. Pay attention for the people who can still see you, and want to kill you. Some people have a chip on their shoulder about something.

    15. Don't ride considerably faster or slower than people would normally expect.

    16. Space. Proactively create and maintain it.

    17. Don't ride too much bike or too little bike for you to safely handle. A DR125 aint gonna cut it on L.A. freeways, and a 900lb bagger with forward controls aint ideal for commuting in Buffalo snow as a noob.

    18. Don't out-ride your sightlines...onroad or offroad.

    19. Ride your own ride. Encourage others to do the same.

    20. Secure your trash. Don't trust bungees. Re-check your trash regularly, including the latches and mounts on hard luggage.

    21. Don't treat public roads like a racetrack.

    22. When 2 lanes are turning, take the outside lane.

    23. Before entering an intersection, check left, right, and left again (driving on the right side of road).

    24. Don't ride when drinking, exhausted, high, incapacitated, etc.
    #88
  9. ttpete

    ttpete Rectum Non Bustibus

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    I can condense this down:

    1. Read and memorize "Proficient Motorcycling".

    All the above is in there.......:D
    #89
  10. steelerider

    steelerider Southafricanamerican

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    My thoughts on lane positioning are such that I will always place myself in a position that gives me the greatest visibility (see) and the greatest opportunity for other drivers to see me.
    Place the bike in a position that it is more difficult for someone else to hit you.
    For instance, you are on a two lane road. A vehicle is coming towards you, and there is a driveway / street on the to your right. Is it possible that the oncoming vehicle may make a sudden, non-indiacted left hand turn right in front of you? Sure. If you simply accelerate so that you pass the street BEFORE that car has an opportunity to turn, you lessen the risk. In other words, you do not pass the entrance to the street at the same time as the vehicle - he has no opportunity to turn in front of you.
    As for the high beams (during day only), I've honestly never had someone wave at me in irritation, or annoyance. Maybe some of you can say the same? I do have the ability to aim the high beam lower on my RT, which is where it is set during the day. At night, high beams are never on unless there is no on-coming traffic.
    OH well, good info here on this thread.
    Cheers mates!
    #90
  11. steelerider

    steelerider Southafricanamerican

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    Hmm. Never thought about the high beam obscuring the signals.... good point.
    #91
  12. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Love those blue pipes

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    Depending upon light conditions your high beam can obscure your entire bike. You want to make yourself stand out against the background. If the background is bright, your high beam may just help you disappear. (Some spy planes had bright lights underneath to even out their overall brightness when seen against the sky)

    I have also come across a winger with so many incredibly bright lights I literally could not tell that he was stopped with his left turn signal on and a half-dozen other bikes lined up behind him. I slowed as I approached him so I could try to see what the heck was going on, which he took as a sign that I was letting him go and the group made a left turn in front of me. Then the idiots all stopped dead, blocking the road when they realized I wasn't continuing to slow.
    #92
  13. dwoodward

    dwoodward Long timer

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    News Release from: Oregon State Police

    UPDATE #3: MAN SOUGHT FOLLOWING INJURY MOTORCYCLE HIT & RUN CRASH WEDNESDAY ON INTERSTATE 205 OFF RAMP IN CUSTODY (PHOTO)

    Posted: March 29th, 2013 11:59 AM
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    A man sought by Oregon State Police (OSP) following Wednesday afternoon's injury hit-and-run motorcycle-involved crash at the Johnson Creek Boulevard off ramp from Interstate 205 is in custody.

    ANDREW JOSEPH PULVER, age 29, was arrested by Portland police March 29, 2013 at approximately 12:15 a.m. and lodged at the Multnomah County Justice Center. PULVER was sought after being identified as the operator of a stolen motorcycle involved in a crash March 27, 2013 in which he was reportedly operating recklessly southbound on Interstate 205 and crashed into the back of a stopped vehicle at the bottom of the Johnson Creek Boulevard off ramp. PULVER, who was injured, fled on foot from the crash scene. Arriving officers searched the area for several hours but didn't find him.

    OSP troopers are at the jail interviewing PULVER. Charges will be forwarded at a later time. No other details available at this time.

    :augie
    #93
  14. ai4px

    ai4px n00b

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    1)Don't loiter next to an 18 wheelers tires
    2)If you keep thinking that car will see you and stop, he won't.
    3)Don't approach cagers at >15mph over their speed.
    4)Get a headlight modulator.*
    5)Get a brake modulator.

    *Added benefit: many think you are the police and pull over to let you by.
    #94
  15. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Love those blue pipes

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    4) Headlight modulators are ok for attracting attention IMO but have a number of drawbacks. I ride with several people who USED to have them but who have mostly switched to using additional running lights to create a triangle of lights or other eye-catching pattern. Also I noted when riding with them that I did not typically notice the modulation with only a quick glance in my mirror. There have been numerous anecdotes where people have had other motorists behave unexpectedly, presumably from thinking they were or might have been being flashed at. Finally, a headlamp modulator is useless at night so you should have an alternate strategy anyway.

    5) Auxilliary flasshing LEDs are a better alternative to brake light modulation IMO. Apart from anything else, they are an additional brake light rather than replacing the OEM, thus adding redundancy rather than introducing an additional potential for failure - Especially important on bikes with a single brake/tail light bulb.
    #95
  16. ttpete

    ttpete Rectum Non Bustibus

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    I've run modulators for many years without any problem. They just flat out work for me. Those who don't like them seem to express opinions that either have no basis in fact or sound like excuses not to use them because they're ashamed to do so.

    I do have auxiliary rear lights instead of strobing the brake light itself. But I have no incandescent lamps anywhere. Those that were have been converted to LEDs which don't burn out.
    #96
  17. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Love those blue pipes

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    There's no doubt that they work. Based upon first-hand experience, I believe there are better alternatives, however. Main drawback is modulator being useless at night. Also does not work with HID.

    I have also converted some lights to LED - but not all. I particularly like LED turn signals because they turn on and off faster and don't cause headlamp to dim. In my experience, LEDs CAN be less reliable than incandescent. I have seen controllers/regulators fail, circuit boards partially fail, ultra-low temp solder fail and all LEDs fall out of lights mounted on engine crash bars (strange one that), heavy LED unit loosen lamp socket and fail to make connection, etc. Also SOME LED replacement lamps are too focussed and therefore do not give enough light to the sides for example. Purpose-made LED units work much better than plug-and-play replacement lamps.
    #97
  18. windmill

    windmill Long timer

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    And I have run without them as a full time rider for many years, that only proves we think we get the results we want. :lol3

    I don't know anybody who currently runs them, but do know some folks who have tried them and didn't like the sometimes unpredictable reaction to them. I've also witnessed the reaction to them first hand.

    I'm open to good ideas, and at one time considered a modulator, but decided against it in favor of what I consider better options to increase my visibility.
    #98
  19. Andyvh1959

    Andyvh1959 Cheesehead Klompen

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    slartidbartfast, a responder above is the first to address an issue that seems to fail many riders, the total riding environment around us. Most everyone focuses on the other road users (as we should) and on the road issues (as we should) but a huge part of the "visibility" issue of bikes and riding is the environment and all the factors that cause us to "blend in a dissappear" into the scene or background.

    In addition to other road users, other vehicles, the road itself, I take into account many other factors:
    1. Lighting conditions, if the sun is low and strong, we are either a shadow (sun behind us) or have limited vision (sun in front). Same applies for other vehicles.
    2. Sun visors down in traffic is a sure sign we dissappear, be extra careful to watch for errant vehicle actions
    3. Shadows, on the road, around us, as we move in and out of them we easily disappear.
    4. Dark backgrounds around us, again, we blend in and disappear.
    5. ANY form of vertical visual elements around intersections especially, because as we pass through the scene we just blend in as another vertical visual element against the background.
    6. When I am driving a car or pickup, I study how easily I loose views due to the windshield posts in the vehicle, and how that relates to other vehicle drivers when I'm on my bike.
    #99
  20. Gummee!

    Gummee! That's MR. Toothless

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    The irony of this post is so effing thick I could cut it with a knife. I don't want to hear shit-nuthin from you in the bicycles on the road thread.

    Me? Ride assertively but not aggressively. Its YOUR LANE. Take it. :nod I'll second the motion of 'the safest lane isn't always the left-most.' It all depends on what traffic's doing. Quite often, I find myself with lots more room in the rightmost lane(s). Also applies to positioning within the lane as well. You get the whole thing. Use it. Most often I'm in the right tire track or further right, right on the lines of the left lane and the left tire track of 2-lane roads or lanes other than the #1 lane on a freeway.

    Watch for faces in mirrors. The brain-dead commuters typically won't look in their mirrors till they're fixin to do something. A face in a mirror sez they're thinking about changing lanes.

    Ditto for watching front tires. The front tire's going to twitch before anything else happens. You don't have to stare at the front wheels of the cars next to you, but keep em in your peripheral vision. :nod

    If you're moving slightly faster than prevailing traffic YOU control where you pass people. Much safer than allowing the cagers to decide where to pass you. ...and you don't have to worry nearly as much about tailgaters 'cause you're constantly scraping em off on the cars you're passing.

    Keep your head on a swivel. Look at everything around you. Don't zone out and stare at the cars immediately in front of you. You just don't know when the brain-dead commuter 2 lanes over is going to make a dive at you to get ahead a few car lengths

    I enjoy 'surfing' the wave of air that a semi-truck causes. Makes boring freeway driving a little better. :ricky

    There's lots more, but those are the big ones for me.

    M