Most Important Things to Know For a Motorcycling n00b.

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by MotoMusicMark, Mar 26, 2010.

  1. PlainClothesHippy

    PlainClothesHippy Only dimly aware of a certain unease in the air.

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    This may be a repeat but remember that if the sun is to your back it is also in the eyes of the person coming towards you. Expect anything.
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  2. Upsidedowncreature

    Upsidedowncreature Adventurer

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    Yep. Your shadow points to people who can’t see you.
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  3. gone2seed

    gone2seed Been here awhile

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    “when you lose the front in a corner, get off the brakes and back into the throttle, it will save the slide or end the suspense.”
  4. crowtalks

    crowtalks escaping life, one ride at a time Supporter

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    if you often do day-long or multi-day rides, be sure to get in the habit of maintenance schedules for your bikes, check your ride before you start, always carry a spare clutch cable and familiarize yourself with cable replacement. Spare tubes are always handy to have, if you have the room.

    If you often ride solo, let friends or family know generally where you will be riding and dress (or carry clothes) for the worst potential weather you can expect for your area for the time period you plan on being gone.

    It is always good to take a riding safety course, they have beginners and experienced rider courses available, for we can always learn better techniques.
  5. Plaka

    Plaka Brevis illi vita est

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    never underestimate how cold it can get on a motorcycle.

    stay very well hydrated.

    i stopped carrying clutch cables on my roadgoing bmw when i learned how to maintain them. they no longer break. dirt could be harder on them.
  6. Motorius

    Motorius Road trippin' Supporter

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    I road last Jan from PHX to S Lake Tahoe w/o heated gear. Anything below 48 degrees was definitely cold. Still a great adventure!
  7. CArcher77

    CArcher77 Been here awhile Supporter

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    Assume the very worst driving behavior of the vehicles in your vicinity and prepare accordingly.
  8. viajero

    viajero Too old to be a nOOb

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    Agree. And never count on drivers using their turn signals properly, if at all.

    Also, many cars and trucks and trailers have inoperable tail lights and brake lights.
  9. FreeTimeinTX

    FreeTimeinTX Adventurer

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    In traffic it's more prudent, but always have a plan for a way out. Never box yourself into an unavoidable situation.
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  10. hardhat

    hardhat Been here awhile Super Supporter

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    Does it hurt?

    Most important motorcycle-related question ever. It's what a friend asked me after i was clipped by a car as i was going around a corner and went into a low-speed "get-off".
    Does it hurt? "F***k yes it hurt. Did you see that a**wipe hit me?

    Yes I did. Did it hurt? Next time, get out of his way.

    The cars ARE out to get you. You need to get out of their way. Doesn't matter if it's their fault. It will hurt you and it will not hurt them.

    Last week i got side-swiped by a black BMW from the left rear. Did not see the guy. Hit me hard enought to slide my 701 over a couple feet, almost into another car. Wan't my fault. Thought I was a gonner, but just handled the bike like I was sliding a turn on a dirt road. I pulled over after, and he did in fact also pull over. He appoloized and was scared to death. Put a nice scratch in his pretty black paint job. No harm. No foul. Just glad i was able to handle it wihtout freaking out. Doesn't matter if it was his fault or mine. I was the one that was going to get f***ed.
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  11. multiphrenic

    multiphrenic Been here awhile Supporter

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    I only realized this lately after seven years of riding, but something as simple as putting more pressure on the inside peg with your foot makes turns smoother, more stable, and just all around better. Game changer.
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  12. hardhat

    hardhat Been here awhile Super Supporter

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    Oh yes Grasshopper. Weight can be your freind. Use it wisely. Also, as you make the turn, use your knees agressively as well! Use your weight to "throw" the handle bars around as you turn. There are a number of really great books that talk about this in detail. I think "Twist of the Wrist" is one of the earlier ones, but its worth getting a book on riding technique (as opposed to what moto to buy).
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  13. multiphrenic

    multiphrenic Been here awhile Supporter

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    I’m working my way through Total Control right now and that’s where I picked it up. Thinking next is a two day lesson on a track somewhere too. There’s always something new to learn
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  14. hardhat

    hardhat Been here awhile Super Supporter

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    How do I get to Carnegie Hall? PRACTICE.
    Just practice it all the time when riding. it becomes second nature faster than you might think.

    Next, you can begin working on the slide turn in the dirt. That will REALLY make you look cool!

    SHould have added:
    On the DIRT (where lower tire-road friction allows the bike to "skid" to the outside of a turn) you want your weight on the OUTSIDE of the turn because if an as you skid you want the bike to slide into, and "under" your CG (center of gravity) rather than away from it. SO even if you weight the inside leg, i think you want to keep weight to the outside.

    On the street (where much higher road friction prevents you from skidding to the outside as much) weight should be to the inside. This allows you to keep the bike a bit more upright, allowing for more tire surface on the road and hence higher friction between the tire and the road surface. (But if things go wrong, the bike will skid away from you to the outside of the turn and you will low-side off the bike!)

    Im sure the books explain this much better than i can. Point is, the surface you are riding on also impacts how you use your weight to best advantage. (YMMV)
  15. slownold

    slownold Adventurer

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    An anecdote from the car world, then the moral for us.

    Back when Fangio (yes, THAT Fangio) was racing Grand Prix cars, he was leading a race and overtook another car coming up to a blind corner. The driver of that car was surprised to see him slow down but, when he too got around the corner, he found there'd been a big accident. Later, he asked Fangio how he knew there was an accident. Fangio replied: I didn't, but as I approached the corner, I realised the background was dark, not white. Normally, the spectators are watching me so I see the white of their faces, but this time, I was seeing the dark of the backs of their heads because they were watching something around the corner. So I suspected something had happened and slowed.

    Now, not many have Fangio's reflexes, powers of observation or ability to think so quickly, but it does demonstrate that you need to be aware of everything around you, not just the traffic. For example, that woman running up the footpath might be chasing a dog or a child that could run out onto the road, though it's more likely she's late for the bus.
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  16. slownold

    slownold Adventurer

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    Worse, even if they do see you, your single headlight against the sun makes it harder to judge your location and speed.
  17. gone2seed

    gone2seed Been here awhile

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    They don’t call it fall for nothing. Leaves, wet pavement where you least expect it, cold tires. Slow it down if you can’t see through a corner.
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  18. JohnHB

    JohnHB Adventurer

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    Learn and understand why cage drivers do not see motorcyclists when turning at junctions - or even when using mirrors.

    1) One needs to understand the effect of saccadic eye movements (the phenomenon whereby one does not get a clear image in the brain when the head is actually turning - but only when the head is stationery).
    2) One needs to understand the looming effect. That is to say that the motorcycle appears as a tiny dot to a cage driver until it is actually quite close. Even quite close up the bike is a LOT less visible to a cage driver than another cage.

    With a excellent grasp of the difficulties of being seen by a cage, it is then possible to adopt the necessary defensive riding techniques.
  19. Eric80

    Eric80 Adventurer

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    I agree that knowledge is power. How do you apply the above (particularly #1) to your riding?

    Also, for the record, what you describe in #2 is not technically looming (see: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Looming_and_similar_refraction_phenomena)
  20. ZoomerP

    ZoomerP . Supporter

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