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Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by MotoMusicMark, Mar 26, 2010.
At intersections with traffic lights stop on the line so that you trigger the sensor.
Go over the bike before you ride. Like someone else said check the tires,. Look to see if something is loose and fluid leaks.
Don't armour all the seat or tire sidewalls
Keep the chain properly tensioned, clean and lubricated.
Don't ride away with your XLCH rear wheel still chained to the motel railing. People will howl with laughter! Happened to a friend at Laconia, 1980.
No passengers while your learning.
When you do have a passenger.
Tell them that they are not to get on or off the bike until you tell them. Tell them to lean with you and not against you.
That they are not to be jumping around.
Make sure they have gear on too.
The bike is going to react differently with their added weight.
A good passenger is hard to find, but a pleasure to ride with.
If their helmet keeps bouncing off yours you are not riding smoothly.
A piece of black electrical tape at the top of the visor helps block the sun when the sun is low in the sky.
Reminds me when I took off with the disc lock still on.
Expensive lesson. Most of mine have been expensive but I do remember them
If you use a disc lock run a string or something else to the handlebars so you don't forget it.
A small piece of aluminum or plastic to put under your side stand. In the dirt the sidestand will sink, and it will on hot pavement. Ypu can buy one or make your own. Drill a hole thru it, run string thru it and wrap around handgrip. That way when you take the bike off the stand you can give it a tug without bending over, and your less likely to forget it. Use neon string. You don't want to take off with it, it could get caught in the chain.
Look out for where dirt roads meet pavement, cars and truck track gravel onto the hottop.
If you smell cowshit look out for it on the road. Farmers spread manure on their fields and when they pull onto the road they track mud onto the road.
If one deer or turkey cross the road in front of you there will be others following behind them. Don't look at the pretty deer crossing the road, look for the other one getting ready to cross.
If you see a dog running out to ya, slow down a bit then speed up, it frigs up their timing.
Take a course
Trust me on this one. Keep yor shield on you helmet closed . It is no fun to have a bee in your helmet when your going down the road
As said earlier, wear the gear. And invest in quality gear.
Put a few used dryer sheets in your helmet when you put it up, helps keep the odor down.
When putting your bike up for the winter put in stabilizer, around here they put ethanol in the gas and it soaks up water.
Keep the tank full when you put it up and raise the tires off the ground. Attach a battery tender to your ride. When I pull into the garage I hook mine up. Nothing worse to get all geared up to go for a ride and your battery is dead.
Most helmet manufactures and other riders recommended replacing your helmet every 5-6 years. They deterioate over time from sunlight, oil and aweat from your smelly head.
Never set your helmet on the seat or tank. It will fall off. It may cause damage that you can't see, until you fall off and it breaks in half.
Don't try to clean the bugs off your visor with a paper towel, it will scratch the shit out off it. When you get home from your ride soak a towel or paper towel, place it on it for awhile to soften the bugs. Then clean with a microfiber towel.
Don't ride behind or stay very far back from any vehicle that has stuff attached that can fly off.
- Anything on top (Bicycle, Thule cargo box, mattress, canoe, kayak, etc....)
- Work trucks - like a gardener with a pickup filled with all sorts of crap, work truck filled with tools, etc....
- Trailered cars or bikes
The list goes on forever.....
Assume that anything might fly/fall off, hit you and ruin your day will do just that.
I think it was on ADV where I read of a rider who had an oncoming Subaru lose a kayak mid-turn and almost take him out.
In Sturgis in 2005 a rider was killed when a Porta-pottie fell off of a truck in front of him.
Front brakes are your friend......(except when running off of a road racing course into wet grass on a sport bike)
As one of the aforementioned dangerous pickup trucks. Do not follow me. The back of my truck is a bucket. Or in some people's eyes, a free dumpster that will take their trash far away. While I try to be careful and not put anything in the back of my truck that will fly out, other people aren't so careful. I end up with everything from mcdonald's cups to boxes of used diapers, to week old Applebees To-Go bags (with food). None of which are mine, all of which are prone to flying out of my bed at random trajectories. And no, I'm not going to bring other people's trash into my cab.
The generalization that can be made is if you're behind a pickup, dump truck, or some sort of giant motorized bucket, assume stuff will fly out of it and you'll have to make some Starfox-esque moves to avoid it. Just because you're in a different lane doesn't save you. Stuff blows around in circles until a crosswind catches it and blows it out.
As a newb who hasn't been on his first road ride yet, great thread. Thanks for the input guys!
All due respect for Sink for bringing them up- but some examples of what I meant by "generalize" follow. A few broad rules are a lot easier to remember than a bunch of specific ones.
Always have an escape route.
Maintain a space cushion.
Avoid surface hazards
Know your machine. Not all bikes are graceful about this (think linked brakes)
Buy a copy of Dave Hough's book, "Proficient Motorcycling". I re-read it occasionally.
If you haven't been riding in a few weeks or months, do some practice drills in a parking lot, especially quick stops.
Keep you bike in gear at Stop signs/red lights rather than in neutral. If you see someone coming up fast behind you and need to get out of the way, that one second it takes to get into first gear and go can make all the difference.
Manhole covers are slippery. So is the white paint used for crosswalks.
Do not turn your wheel and brake at the same time. You will fall over. And it's very embarassing.
Learn how to pick up your bike by yourself. There is nothing worse than dropping your bike and having to get someone to help you lift it up, especially when no one's around.
Keep water and snacks on your bike. On long rides, wear a Camelbak to stay hydrated.
Invest in a really loud horn and don't be afraid to use it.
Watch the front wheels of cars to see if they're starting to turn toward you, into your lane, etc.
Do not ride in a car's blind spot. For that matter, don't ride next to cars any longer than necessary.
If you commute by bike, wear bright colored gear or buy a reflective vest. Some people will say you look like a dork; I really don't give a shit as long as I'm highly visible.
If you don't know a road, stay at the posted speed limit around turns.
Don't cheap out on your gear. Wear ATGATT even if you're just running down the block to the store.
Assume that all cage drivers are the enemy and must be avoided at all costs.
Do not ride when you are tired, angry, upset, under the influence or are not able to focus your full attention on riding. Zone out on a bike at your peril.
I see a lot of people talking about the meditative quality of riding a motorcycle, how it helps to unwind and relieve stress from the daily grind.
I also see people comment on not riding when you're tired, pissed off, frustrated, heads-not-right etc.
Now I realize the answer will be almost entirely subjective but hey this is Perfect Line, par for the course. Where do you draw the line? Come home and wife packed up all her shit and some of yours and left the divorce papers on the kitchen table, probably not a good time to ride. Boss chews your ass on the way out the door at work, not so bad.
So to reiterate, where do you draw the line at "to mentally out of it" to ride? Who rides to and from their night shifts? Have you ever been out riding and realized you really weren't in a sound mind to be out on 2 wheels?
For me the answer to that lies in the fact that as long as you are able to control yourself you are good to go if you are not then dont ride.
That means that if your anger afects the way you use the throttle or if you are sleepy enough to become less aware of the road then you should stop. Now there are times when you are angry at something but riding relaxes you and you forget about it, then you are on the right path or lane.
Hell, I go out of my way to look like a dork. Anyone in Oregon that's seen an FJR rider with a yellow helmet mohawk- that's me. The funny thing is, I know that cagers see it- because they glance in my direction, do a fast double-take, then work very, very hard to not look at me again. The bonus is, they have to know where I am at all times so they can rigidly NOT look at me.
And I don't count on that. Nor do I count on the conspicuity vest I sometimes wear, the hi-viz ballistics on my 'stich, or the eye-searing nuclear puke yellow Fieldsheer jacket I have.
So the difference (as for gear color) betweek DAKEZ and myself is... I'm a dork. I'm OK with that. Parental contractual obligations say I have to do something that's deeply embarassing to the teenagers that live under my roof, anyway, so it might as well be my choice in riding gear.
if you already have a car, you wont save money by buying a motorcycle. Trust me. You might reduce your daily gas expense, but that wont offset the cost of the bike, maintenance, stuff, more bikes, more stuff
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