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Alot of the discussion on here is about riding safely, and to be honest, living to ride another day.I thought we might share what we have learnedsosomeone elsemight notbecome a hood (bonnet) ornament for some cager.
Since I started this I guess I'll go first.

Whenpassing a stopped vehiclethat may pullinto my path Iwatch their front wheel.It's the first thing you can see move.
 

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I watch the wheels, as well. Also, living in the "corn belt", until harvest whenever I come to a blind corner I slow down and lay on the horn, so some idiot doesn't blow a stop sign and ruin my day.
 

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As I look ahead the 10-15 seconds, while watching the car in front of me I try to look through this car to see the car in front of them. OK, I cheat, I use their windows, but quite often I see the second car in front hit their brakes or swerve to miss something and I can start to react instead of just focusing on the car directly in front of me.
 
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I drove without a valid license for many years, over a decade in fact. So accidents were really a big danger.

I too watch through other vehicles and I watch the wheels. Another thing is my head almost never stops turning looking up driveways and cross streets. I miss a lot of scenery but al of this has become habit.

Another tip for when riding is do not sit in neutral at a light. It's a real good way to get rear ended. Keep yer bike in gear with the clutch just barely past the friction point and the tension out on the throttle. Keep yer right foot on the peg coverin ghte rear brake and squeaze and release the front brake lever so the brake light is flashing.

Something else I do. When passing an eighteen wheeler ont eh interstate I pull up fairly close behind it in the same lane, this lets me slip through the slistream of displaced air behind him, this make acceleration easier when I pop out from behind him in the other lane it takes a very little twist of the trottle to speed up by five or ten miles perhour just coming out of that slipstream. When I get past the traler wheel I hit the throttle hard and stay in it until I'm past the front of the truck by two car lengths. What for? By accelerating through the wall of air at the front of the truck it in minimizes the buffeting that usually accurs and is somethimes strong enough to push your bik eeither towards the ditch or towards the sid eof the truck.

Typicaly by the time I hit that two car lengths mark ahead of the truck I'm aproaching tripple digits. I drop the throttle and dip back into the trucks lane nice a smooth. At two car legnths ahead of him that wall f air that big honking monster is pushing is alsot a tail wind for the bike.

Yeah it's a bit of hot dogging and isn't somethign the novice shout try because your error margin is so slim. but when sone right it's a nice smooth pass that's not only effective ut a bit of fun to.

Ok so maybe that wasn't exactly a safety tip but...it sure is fun.

Ok here is a bit of a safety tip. try to avoid decelerating along side a big rig. When at a constant speed the buffeting is bad enough. But I find that when decelerating it's even worse.
 

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get some life experience before buying a bike you know nothing about or cannot handle, and listen to those that have been around the block once or twice as they could make the difference between making it there or just arriving..
 

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When I corner, I have learned to look farther down the road whilst turning, rather than just in front of the tire. It gives me time to plan and react...

And, ride like you are invisible. Dont assume anything, you are responsible for your OWN safety.

Best wishes.
 

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Your name is out there on someones bumper. The name of the game is never be found. Look, Look,Look ahead beside you and your six. Never assume.
 

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Broke Winger wrote:
I too watch through other vehicles and I watch the wheels. Another thing is my head almost never stops turning looking up driveways and cross streets. I miss a lot of scenery but al of this has become habit.
I couldn't agree more with this one. I too am watching like a hawk as much as possible, in every direction, since you never know where the danger might come from. This has many times averted an incident, which if I hadn't had almost a 6th sense about might well have resulted in a prang. I possition myself carefully on the road, moving more to the centre if there are turnings to the side of the road and by the same token closer to the nearside if I am entering a blind corner to our off side, but only if the nearside is clear of driveways or road junctions. I never ride fast in built up areas, but usually stay wellbelow the posted speed limit. Only on open roads with good visibility will I open the throttle.

In England we have many roundabouts and whilst they do serve to keep traffic flowing well, they can be particularly hazardous, as folks may miss you in the flow of traffic, therfore I always assume that every driver has not seen me and is going to pull out on me.

Yes, I too miss much of the scenery on a ride, but I would rather arrive safely at the end of my ride than get carted off to a hospital and miss it all. My paramount concern is the life and well being of my passenger, who is more important than me and should have their trust respected.
 

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Living in the "tall corn state" when we ride on the back roads, we all stay on the center line this time of year. Deer jumping from the corn fields in an instant. If you are riding on the center line, it gives you just that few extra feet that may save your life. I know some of you always ride stagered. I agree for the most part. However, on backroads with 7-8 foot tall corn not more than 5 feet from the side of the road, you need every second you can get to avoid those nasty forest rats.
 

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Staggered riding is great, especially where the roads are wide and good, but it is common practice to "break ranks and ride single file, even here in UK and in Europe, when the road narrows or doesn't lend itself to staggered formation. When doing this though, it is important to extend your distance from the rider in front to allow that extra safety zone for stopping in a hurry.

We are lucky not to have too many deer here, but we have more than our fair share of car drivers who are happy to act like them and surprise you when least expected. Actually you might wish to argue that last comment, since the deer are doing a fast brain job of working out fight or flight, the humans are mostly brain dead and just going about their business on autopilot, whilst concentrating on braking the law, by talking on the phone or thinking about something other than what they are doing with the dangerous weapon in their hands!!!!!:shock:

Lane changers are another one to watch out for, especially the many foreign lorry drivers that frequent our roads, with left hand drive vehicles, they often cannot see us as we are passing them and pull out suddenly. I have had this happen on more than one occasion and even when driving a big van. Twice that I can remember,I have smoked the tyres in an effort to avoid the inevitable.
 

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I've noticed that you need to be very cautious when on the interstates where you get numbers of large trucks following each other. The air is bad when dealing with one, but as they line up the air to the side of them gets crazy. Be prepared when passing two or three in a row for rapid changes of air in different directions. One might be pushing towards the truck the other then pushing away. It can really surprize you. Also when you're behind one and one comes up from the rear to pass you and the truck you're following.
 

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Pay attention !!

Pay attention !!

Pay attention !!

AND Never Assume you have the right-of-way !!



Ride safe.
 

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I always try to stay near the centerline, in the wheeltrack, with several reasons for it:

It gives you more choices if you need to make evasive moves, especially on roads with little or no shoulder.

It puts you in the line of sight of the drivers behind you so they are more likely to see you.

It puts you where you are more easily seen by cross traffic.

It helps to identify you as a motorcycle. A 2 wheeler on the shoulder side of the lane can very easily be interpreted as 'bicycle' by a cager and speed and distance may be mis read.

Staying in the wheel track makes it less likely you will hit debris in the roadway, car tires have likely already hit the debris and flung it off the road
 

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To keep myself alert at all times, I imagine what every vehicle around me might do to close off an escape route. I anticipate them doing the worst possible thing, and prepare myself for the evasive action that might be required.
 

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I used to drive for UPS where safety was a big concern. They had 5 rules for driving that we all had to know by heart. They make a lot of sense for trucks car and bikes.

1. Drive ahead. Maybe the most important one. Don't fall into the habit of looking right in front of you when driving, get your head up and look way down the road. Any hazardous road conditions will be revealed much sooner, giving you more time to deal with them. This will avoid 90% of emergency braking and swerving manuevers.

2. Get the big picture. Avoid "tunnel vision". Look from curb to curb in city driving, roadside to roadside in the country. Danger often comes from the side not just in front.

3.Leave yourself an out. Always be expecting trouble from any direction and have someplace to go to avoid it.

4.Keep your eyes moving. Don't fixate on any one object for long. Scan side to side, check your mirrors frequently (Try to have an open space on at least one side, two is better, tell yourself when looking, clean- no car, dirty-vehicle in the space), check your gauges every few seconds. Avoid "road hypnosis".

5.Make sure they see you. Use your signals, use your horn when appropriate, try to make eye contact at intersections before you pull out.
 

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Broke Winger wrote:
I too watch through other vehicles and I watch the wheels. Another thing is my head almost never stops turning looking up driveways and cross streets. I miss a lot of scenery but al of this has become habit.
My best driving advice....pretend you're invisible

Tim :bat:
 

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Use deer alerts. ;)

My tip: slow down. Don't be a hotdogger speeding around like a lunatic.
 

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DougW wrote:
I always try to stay near the centerline, in the wheeltrack, with several reasons for it:

It gives you more choices if you need to make evasive moves, especially on roads with little or no shoulder.

It puts you in the line of sight of the drivers behind you so they are more likely to see you.

It puts you where you are more easily seen by cross traffic.

It helps to identify you as a motorcycle. A 2 wheeler on the shoulder side of the lane can very easily be interpreted as 'bicycle' by a cager and speed and distance may be mis read.

Staying in the wheel track makes it less likely you will hit debris in the roadway, car tires have likely already hit the debris and flung it off the road
All good reasons to stay in the inside wheel track. And don't forget the center of each lane is where most slippery stuff drips out of cars making a nice slick strip for the unwary motorcyclist to slide on. Also, painted areas on roads and parking lotsare slippery, especially when wet.
 

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Vehicles/people to stay away from:

If it was painted with house paintand a roller.

Ifa pickuphas more thantwo cases of empty beer cans in the back.

If you can hear their music over a Harley with drag pipes.

If the driver is on more than one electronic device, cell phone, blackberry, lap top, etc.

Ifthe driver isputting on makeup in the rear view mirror.

If they have blue hair

If they have pink hair.

Any more?
 

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Personally, I stay away from red necks in half-ton trucks with a rifle hanging in the back window and a bumper sticker that says, "I drive over motorcycles."
 
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