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MDKramer wrote:
Reading through this thread, I notice the one thing I do the most is missing.

Watch people's heads. Cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles, pedestrians, bicycles, doesn't matter...watch the head.

People are like horses in the fact that they tend to lead with, and follow their head.

If you're coming to an intersection, and the person's head isn't pointed your direction, there's no guessing here, s/he doesn't see you at all.

Even if that person at the intersection's head is pointed at you, don't assume they see you. I've made solid eye-contact with a cager coming up to an intersection, and they STILL pull out in front of me.

If you're behind someone and in a different lane, and their head points toward your lane, get ready, because they'll be in that lane before you know it...whether you're there or not.

If that head is locked straight ahead, they're not observing anything but where their car/bike/motorcycle is going...They're not watching for you, and odds are, haven't noticed you.

If that head is bouncing around like a bobble-head doll...they're paying more attention to their radio than anything else.

If that head is tilted to one side with a hand coming up to it, they're on the phone...avoid them like the plague.

Observing another person's head on the road will give you a second or two of lead time in what that person may do...And that could be the reaction time you need to save your life.

Mike
Quite true, O'l Chap, quite true
 

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My new favorite rule to remember, Where you look is where you go! I forgot this recently and it hurt alot, especially when the wife was scrubbing the sand and gravel out of the road rash. I also like a full face helmet, in that accident if I had been wearing a half helmet or beany I would have ended up in the hospital and looking alot uglier than I already am.
 

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There are number of things I've learned about riding a bike. If you see someone ahead preparing to turn left in front of you, assume it will happen. An insurance company surveyed a bunch of cage drivers years ago, that had turned left in front of motorcycles, causing a collision. When asked if they had seen the motorcycle approaching, a large percentage of drivers said that Yes, they did see the motorcycle coming at them. When asked why they still turned left in front of them, they said it was only a motorcycle and either didn't feel threatened or figured it was up to the motorcyclist to maneuver around him...

A tip from a long haul trucker...use your blinkers when changing lanes, even if there are no other cars in the area. This will help keep you awake and alert.
 

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Welcome to the forum sfermano

When you get a minute please fill in your location under your profile.

Visit often, Contribute as much as you can and above all ride safe.

When you mention turning left in my case being on the correct side of the pond I presume you mean turning Right
 

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I think the best advice is to take a safety course. Then after you take the course stay vigilant and keep your head in the game.
 

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I really enjoy all these tips on riding. Part of the fun of riding is finding better ways to ride. But after reading all of this a thought came to mind. People who might be thinking of getting into riding motorcycles might be wonderingwhy would anyone in their right mind want to. A paramedic on this thread stated, I am paraphrasing, "If I stayed away from everything that could hurt or possibly kill me, I would never leave the house".A life without chances is a life not lived. The key is to minimize your chances of getting hurt with education and practice as mentioned in this thread.But also keep some perspective.

Here in Washington State we have 213K motorcycles registered and, if I remember the year of the report right, we had 66 motorcycle deaths and that was part of 800 major motorcycle accidents last year. Of those most were the result of Alcohol, speed and/or no license. In addition the greatest number involved sport bikes and what the state calls "cafe" bikes (which I think meant custom built bikes.) Every accident is terrible and in no way do I want to diminish that, but again perspective. Of all bikes in Washington statelast year4 tenths ofone percent were involved in a major accident. 99.6 percent were not (miles traveled numbers played out about the same). Goldwings/touring bikes were selected out as grossly under represented in the numbers, bring the chances of a Goldwing getting in an accident in any given year (assuming you don't drink and ride or speed) to under 1 tenth of a percent.

So for people looking into getting into motorcycling I want to point out we are not nuts. The goal is to just not be part of that 4 tenths of a percent because if you are none of these numbers matter. That is why continued education and practice are important. It is why I have enjoyed this thread.
 

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Stay focused and don't let your mind wonder.. Easy to do looking at the country side...........
 

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SB in SC wrote:
"....a friend of mine gave me a book called "Total Control" when I first started riding. It is full of helpful tips and techniques on being a safer rider."

I found it useful.

:coollep:SB in SC
This is an excellent reference book, the Author is Lee Parks. The intended audience is those who wish to ride fast on roadways "High Performance Street Riding Techniques" which I don't necessarily wish to promote, but the techniques apply just as well to riding prudently.

One thing he said that I really believe in is, "you might ride fast, but never ride in a hurry". He talks about concentration, mental attitude, vision, not to mention the standard technical topics. Very well presented. Also has training courses you can set up in a parking lot for practice. Paperback, I think about 20 bucks. We often worry about training for skills, but forget totrain ourbrain.
 

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As I read this safety tread, I had the following thoughts:

I really agree with the aim high, or high visual horizon, look thru the turn, be observant of others, try to predict the unpredictable, etc.

Lots of lights, modulators etc, as a whole are probably better than less, However, those on the road with poor concentration, be if from drinking or sleeply drivers, ormind wandering, tend to focus on "pretty things", i.e. they will stare at those pretty blinking lights, and where the eyes go, the mind goes, and the mode of transportation goes also, so be careful of drivers drifting towards you, or into you, especially if stopped on the shoulder. I use to have a nice color-matched, chromed out Harley/Bushtec rig, drivers would pull up along side, give me a thumbs up, stare atmy ride, and start drifting into my lane. I'm sure all of you have experienced this, especially those with really customized rigs.

At intersections, or on the freeway, we watch for 'normal' traffic and 'normal' speeders. But, does our mind consider super speeders? What I mean by this is very fast riders or drivers? I got passed by a bike last year, he had to be at about 135 and shared my lane with me as he changed lanes between me and the car in the other lane to my rear. I was at 65,at night, so he was closing at70 mph from the rear. Scared the #%$% out of me, I never saw him coming. This also goes for emergency vehicles responding thru intersections, or pursuits of high speed vehicles which will run the lights/stopsigns. I saw a pusuit of a motorcyclist go by at a red light, bike was well over 100 mph, my light was red, but had it changed a little sooner, I might have pulled out even after looking both ways, and not realized the conflict, because I would have been looking for average traffic, i.e., 35 to 55 mph vehicles, not a 100+ mphbike (the cops were well behind him, so their lights were way back there and no help in spotting the bike). So now I try to look way down the cross street at intersections and think of very high speed approachers, as well as the 'normal' drivers and 'normal' speeders.
 

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These are all great tips. The one thing I always tell myself is to ride within my abilities. I am fairly new to riding(about 3 yrs)so I need to make sure I don't do something stupid. Never assume the other guy sees you.
 

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Sarge, Here's a better mindset, particularly since you've only been riding a few years:

Assume every car on the road is out to kill you!

That said....
MERRY CHRISTMAS, ALL!!! :cool:
 

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Don't forget to keep an eye behind you while you are at a redlight or stopsign, RR crossings. I had a friend get killed instantly in Gadsden when an 18 Wheeler couldn't stop in time, and killed my friend instantly. My Uncle was also broadsided and killed instantly by a little old 78 year old lady who pulled out in front of him as he was about to start to cross the Bridge. The lady said "I seen him, but to me it did not look like he was going fast". He was doing 45 in a 45 zone. One Never knows. Keep Alert, and believe every ride could possibly be your last.
Also, Riding in the mountains of North and South Carolina, and at night on a country road. (Or Anywhere Now) If you have ever tried to avoid a deer or car and wrecked, and totaled out your wing, you will know what I mean.

Nightrider1
 

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Don't be afraid to use your horn! Just a quick "beep-beep" to someone at an intersection that has not looked in your direction and or made eye contact may get their attention. A quick smile and a wave should diffuse any hard feelings they may have for getting honked at.
This too may help you become more familiar with the horn button in case you ever need it in a true emergency situation.
 

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deradler1 wrote:
Another tip is whenever I am coming up to a green light that I have been watching and I think might turn I look at the pedestrian signs on the poles on the corner.  If they are flashing red, I slow down.
I really love the newer ones that have a count down timer, then you even know how long you've got.
 

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I drive for a living and one thing I see is that a lot of riders tailgate and all I can think is why? It’s just an accident waiting to happen and the truth is you’re not getting there any faster.

I've always thought the more room in front of you the safer you are.
 

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The first safety lesson I learned was never tailgate even when sitting at a traffic light.

I had pulled up a couple of feet behind the car in front of me and while waiting for the light to change, I heard a loud screeching noise from behind. I looked over my shoulder and a V-Dub beetle was coming at me sideways. I looked back in front of me and there was no where to go because I was too close to the car in front of me. So, I’m thinking one day on a bike and I’m going to become the meat in a metal sandwich. Fortunately the V-Dub stopped a few feet short but from then on, at a stop light, I always leave enough room to go around the car in front of me. Also, I always leave it in gear until at least a couple of cars are behind me.
 

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Constantly check your mirrors. You don't want anyone sneeking up on you.
 

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get your commercial drivers license and live in a truck for a few years trust me you will see just about everything that can happen and you will be better prepared
 

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When behind a car at a stoplight or stop sign I never stop directly behind the car. I always evaluate my "best escape route" and stop to either the right or left of the car incase I am about to get rear ended.

Also I never ride at night because of no peripheral vision to monitor for deer or other animals. If I see it there is a chance I can avoid it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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Reverse stearing. This may seem elementry to most, however when I have spoken to others I have found that not many have heard of it. This is something that is taught to the police in the uk. It gives you a more accurate stearing capability. The first time you try it make sure you have plenty of room for error, it is something you do automaticaly when turning but if you do it conciously you will be more accurate. So here goes. when riding at around 30 mph or more if your cornering left, then push lightly away with your left hand and vice versa for right. You can try this on a straight wide road. You will find the bike will be far more responsive than just leaning into a corner. Of corse this does not work at lower speeds. For the technical bods it is all to do with the tyre contact patch and fork rake.

Safe riding Paul
 
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