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My newest learned trick: don't pass on the right unless you are SURE you can see thru the vehicle you're passing. I wasbehind a tall SUV that was turning left at an intersection and moved to the right to pass...and a large pickup truck with trailer made a left turn from across the intersection, right in front of me. He looked surprised, too...but he would have survived the impact had it occured. It wasn't a very close call, but it's not gonna happen again.

I'm new to motorcycling (July '07) and I'm conditioning myself to treat each ride out as a real-life video game...you know, where things jump out at you from every direction and everyone's gunning for you.I count every safe mile as a 'win' and I remind myself that there's no 'reset' button or extra lives in this game!

Thanks for the tips...thisis a very helpful thread and I'm taking notes. :cool:
 

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DigbyODell wrote:
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.
Deer are a major issue here, too. When we're rolling down a two-lane road with forest on one side and a cornfield on the other, I slowdown and sweep my head from side to side, looking for any movement. As was mentioned, you miss some scenery...as long as the mobile contigent of the scenery misses you!

Dead deer carcasses on theside of the road are asure signthat you're not alone...
 

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Clarkins wrote:
My newest learned trick: don't pass on the right unless you are SURE you can see thru the vehicle you're passing. I wasbehind a tall SUV that was turning left at an intersection and moved to the right to pass...and a large pickup truck with trailer made a left turn from across the intersection, right in front of me. He looked surprised, too...but he would have survived the impact had it occured. It wasn't a very close call, but it's not gonna happen again.
The infamous "Left Turn" gets more motorcyclists than any other move that car drivers make. There's very little room to escape when the oncoming car takes up all of your space.
 

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I like Clarkin's video game concept. It does appear that it's them against you at all times, and they come from nowhere in all shapes and sizes. On two lane streets I avoid passing on the right at intersections even when I think I can see the on coming lane is clear. If there isn't any traffic coming the vehicle should move on, if there is on coming traffic somebody may just decide to exit left "dead" in front of you.Then there's the last minute " Oh crap this ain't where I turn" that puts you in the gutter or worse yet the back of a parked car.

Iglance at my rear view mirrors each time I sweepmy vison from side to side. Knowing where the traffic is behind is important to me, because I ride claiming the lane. Letting the bike change from track to track ever few hundred yards or soas road conditions permit gives me a feel for mytires and suspension. Also allows my hinney a little side to side relief. (Thats gradual changes, not swoops from side to side) Seems most of the roads give you enough excuse to change tracks with potholes and bits and pieces of road trash anyway.

A friend thats a Harley rider had areally bad experience several months ago. He was in traffic on I35 driving about 60-70 mph. He was behind a van with a good space between them when the van blew a radiator dumping all the antifreeze onto the roadway. The steam and smoke blinded the van driver and he slammed on his brakes and started pulling off the road. When Joe let off the throttle he was already in the coolant. Hes got the brakes on now but he's already going down.He did manage to stay on the high side ofhis motorcycle thru most of the slide. He got throwed offclose to the end of the slide and ended up with somepretty nasty rash on his hands, right arm and side. No broken bones or fractures and not much real meat lost.More than luck and skill involved to dump at 60+ in traffic and walk away. The Harley is even repairable. His medical bills are less than the repairs to the Harley.
 

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The 2 impacts that worry me the most are rear end and left turn in front of me.
This is the primary reason I installed an external alternator so I could run extra lights both front and rear.

One little mistake I made once was to let off the brake which turns off the brake light. An SUV behind me, apparently focusing in on my brake lights, figured I was going to start moving. (I keep an eye on both mirrors and scan constantly). I saw her lurch forward under power but stopped quick an inch from hitting me.

From now on I hold the brake on at intersections til ready to move and the high beam is on during the day.

There are many good and courteous cagers out there, but unfortunately there are way too many that dont give a rats ass about collision avoidance with cars, let alone bikes.
It's amazing how it's like a no holds barred scenario for some of these drivers!
They'll just do whatever they want with absolutely no regard for the law or other drivers.
The only thing important to them is getting where THEY want to go.
Forget about everybody else.

Be careful out there!
 

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One recommendation I heard and like to do is When going through an intersection always try and go through with an other vehicle next to you, either speed up or slow down so you are part of a bigger picture for people to see. And if I cant, I always turn on my fog lights well before the lights.
 

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steve604 wrote:
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 devise, 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?
And people looking through the steering wheel instead of over it.
 

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A few things I try to keep in mind...

Inspect the bike, check the tire preassure before a ride. When getting back on from a stop during a ride, I like to come up to the bike from the right side and giveit a 360° visual while walking around to the left side to mount up.

Other users of the road (even other motorcyclists) are out to hit you.

Protect your lane, but don't defend it.

Ride within your own comfort level.

If you have a co-rider, listen to them. My wife is an extra set of eyes, most of the time I've already identified a potential threat, but she has less to do on the pillion and can catch things that I don't see and warn me about them. Besides, the thumping on the helmet is distracting if I don't listen to her.

Take a safety course, and keep taking them.I don't know what is available on the other side of that big lake, but the Motorcycle Safety Foundation courses in the US taught me a lot and got me a 10% on my insurance. Every 3 years I take the Experienced Rider Course. Helps to unlearn any bad habits I've picked up and keeps the discount.
 

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One rule I try to follow is, don't be the first one to leave the intersection when the traffic light changes.
 

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Cagers--not all but some, will naturally bully smaller vehicles like motorcycles. We do not appear to be a big threat to them and so they will use closer limits when crossing our path or cutting out on us. Some of that may be a genuine "not seeing us" issue too, as cagers are conditioned to watch for other cars and vehicles that are bigger than them and therefore a threat to them.

All of the pointers given here are very important and one would have to be stupid to not read them and learn from the vast amount of rider experience that is speaking here. It is always helpful to be reminded of all those things, and I guess that it boils down to common sense and defensive driving.

I am grateful for this thread.
 

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dan filipi wrote:
One little mistake I made once was to let off the brake which turns off the brake light. An SUV behind me, apparently focusing in on my brake lights, figured I was going to start moving. (I keep an eye on both mirrors and scan constantly). I saw her lurch forward under power but stopped quick an inch from hitting me.

From now on I hold the brake on at intersections til ready to move
Be careful out there!
Exactly why I installed my flashing red LED's with a pressure switch on the brake lever that I can activate (and do ) with my index finger before braking and while leaving any stop. :waving:

Let's not forget to "adjust" our riding habits with the changing traction levels, this time of year the farmers are leaving lots of mud & dirt on the roads that can be deadly. City dwellers who do not get out in the country very often might not expect it.Colourful fallleaves are beautiful but when they are wet & on the road they are very hazardous.

Heads Up - Eyes moving - Ride SMART. :waving:
 

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Interesting info here guys and gals, Helen the Viking was following me the other day in her car, only a few miles, having gone to meet her in town for an evening meal.

Afterwards, she commented how my rear lights kind of "mesmerised" her as she followed, she actually wondered if all the rear lit up might not be a cause for inattention by drivers. I have never thought about this before and wonder if anyone has everthought about this one before. :baffled:

I am only throwing it into the melting pot, thinking that maybe some rear ended accidents might actually be attributed to this "mesmerising"?
 

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I tend to agree Silverfox, but have noticed a definite difference with the Flashing lites, the "Flashing" tends to activate the mind rather than the solid static brake / parkinglites. That is why most warning systems and emergencyvehicles use Flashing lites.Solid lites "Take" your attention - Flashing Lites "Get" your attention.

It works for me. :baffled::waving:
 

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I have a brake modulator. When I am sitting at a stop and I see some one coming up on me I activate the modulator to make sure they see the flashing.
 

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I think that this may well be the case, since I believe she would have been looking at my solid red rear lights, ( all top box and saddlebags are lit on mine) and the brake lights are solid, even the spoiler light. I have seen many Wings over here with modulating rear lights, combined with the brake lights, but am not sure of the legality of these. I know that bicycles may have flashing red lights, so long as at least one light is solid, but how this stands with motorcycles and indeed cars I don't know? Bicycles with flashing rear lights are much more visible than those without.

As I have said before, front modulating ones are a big no no, even if not illegal, since it has become common for folks to flash their lights to give someone the go ahead to pull across their lane. Officially the Highway Code says that flashing headlights are supposed to mean "I am here" much the same as tooting the horn, but no one uses that here these days, only rapid flashing accompanied by some interesting hand gestures, when annoyed!!!!:shock::whip:
 

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goldwinger wrote:
One recommendation I heard and like to do is When going through an intersection always try and go through with an other vehicle next to you, either speed up or slow down so you are part of a bigger picture for people to see. And if I cant, I always turn on my fog lights well before the lights.
this is one I try to do also, beings the last2 miles of my 30 mile trip to work every day is in heavy traffic.

I have also installed louder horns from a Dodge Astro van, someone said they are the loudest horns in the automotive market, got them at a junk yard for $10.00 for both. I have used them and they do get cagers attention.
 

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Personally, I assume that every vehicle on the road is driven by my crazed, sniper attitude ex-wife that's looking to take me out. That pretty much keeps me safe. What do they say? Fear is a good thing.
 

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When my Mom taught me to drive 45 yrs ago, she told me to not assume that ever driver would be predictable & said to keep eyes moving at all times. When I am driving a cage , Rig or a bike, I watch the road at least 1/4mi. ahead and behind as well as both sides. I guess her advice was good as I have never had an accident. That's not to say I have never layed a bike down. I have done this quite a # of times in the past in accident avoidence. Someone pulls out in front of me, I just lay her down & step off. I have to say that riding all year in Toronto sure honed my riding skills.
& thank the Lord for snowmobile suits.:cheeky1::cheeky1::cheeky1: Like Paul, I am now an Ex-Avid rider. I'd like to say it's an age thing but we all know that is not true.:cooldevil::cooldevil::cooldevil::cooldevil::cooldevil::cooldevil:
 

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I'm invisible, no one can see me. I live by that rule and believe it. I think that is the best defensive driving tip there is, If you know no one else can see you you will react accordingly all the time. It's kind of like crossing a 4 lane busy highway on foot. If you don't watch your a** while crossing, you won't make it to the other side
 

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fysty-1 wrote:
That's not to say I have never layed a bike down. I have done this quite a # of times in the past in accident avoidence. Someone pulls out in front of me, I just lay her down & step off.

I have never understood the wisdom behind "laying it down." Does the bike stop sooner sliding on metal and plastic, totally out of control, than it does on the rubber tires with brakes applied?
 
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