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Thoughts from a daily motorcycle commuter...

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Thoughts from a daily motorcycle commuter...

Old 05-29-2019, 04:35 PM
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I ride and I get it DMack. ATGATT for me even in the blazing NC summer heat. I do listen to radio shows on bluetooth while I ride, no blaring music though. I find the ride to and from work to be high points of my day and it's not that way in my Yukon. To each his own. That's a sweet ride you have, glad you're enjoying it
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Old 05-29-2019, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by SeaJay View Post
What could seem to be inconsistent, is that when the topic of boat safety (always wear a life vest, always have epirb, redundant radios and pumps, etc.) the THT collective is all for safety, and chastise those who do not follow the collective.

Yet riding a motorcycle on the wild, wild west that today's roads are -- well it is their choice to accept the risk, and they don't want to hear any lip about it.
Most activities have risk it is how you manage it. Wear a helmet....wear a life vest. It is not all a zero sum game. My company banned motorcycles while conducting company business because a guy in our London office got hit and killed on the way to a client meeting. I think it was just a knee jerk reaction by the "risk managers" in legal. But it was all perception because one of the other employees got the accident data and it turned out that for metro London riding a motorcycle to the client was safer than walking.

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Old 05-29-2019, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Eastport205 View Post
I had a friend years ago that rode a Honda from his home (I think Fairless Hills PA) to our factory in North Brunswick Nj. He rode that bike almost every single day, Summer, Spring, Winter and fall and in the rain. The only time he didn't ride it was snow or ice and when it got colder than 15* , the reason he stopped @ 15* was he told me his eyeballs would freeze. He always had the windscreen up but he said he was always falling asleep when he drove his "cage".
15*F was about my limit until....my later 40's. A few years ago my wife and I used to try to do a "New Years Day Ride"...here's a pic from the last one I did. This was years ago, and it's the "newest" Harley I've ever had, the only fuel injected one I had..didn't like it, always prefer older carbs. This was actually a "Street Bob" that I changed up to an older Super Glide look. Some snow on the ground...back in the day I rarely went a whole month in the winter without a ride. About the age of 48 or so I didn't like <32*F anymore...and slowed down after that. Old age..bones hurt. Hands and shins take the brunt of winter rides...I wasn't about to bother spending tons of money on snowmobile clothing, I'd just put on thermals under jeans, a few layers and a heavy coat.

My wife road too...she had a gorgeous Sportster for a while. But her eyes are getting shot, water too much, sold it after she had a major retina tear in her right eye..she doesn't even drive at night anymore.

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Old 05-29-2019, 06:13 PM
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Op, what a wonderful thread. Thank you. I am glad you ride every day. I have ridden a lot and done a lot of commuting.
For the last 5 or 6 year, not so much. As said above, cell phones are a bad thing. Nearly every car driver you look at is looking down at a phone. I am too old to bounce like I used to. I am not riding nearly as much as I used to and I started in 1974.
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Old 05-29-2019, 06:39 PM
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My last bike was a Honda Shadow 1100. Smooth and comfortable with enough power for me. Sold it a year or so ago after being pushed off of the road twice in one week. Love to ride, been riding for 53 years but decided it was time to hang up my boots.

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Old 05-29-2019, 06:55 PM
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I had an 09 GSA for a couple years ,really liked it . Could not deal with other vehicles on the road . Found the risk too high .
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Old 05-29-2019, 07:22 PM
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Things that make riding safer:

Headlights that pulse from bright to low make it easier to notice a motorcycle.
Have an extra bright tail light/brake light-- preferably more than one at different heights/widths.
Loud exhaust so we can hear you coming
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Old 05-29-2019, 07:35 PM
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Former biker here.

I drive through a major college campus on my daily commute to work. Between the girls putting their make up on and fixing their hair and the frat boys texting on their phones - everyone morning is an adventure. A couple of times a year I see a minor/major accident. Lots of rear end accidents where the offender is texting. Also, students running late for class racing through yellow lights to be on time for class.

I'd love to ride a motorcycle to work (or even a scooter) but I'm too afraid to ride through the combat zone.
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Old 05-29-2019, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Lorne Greene View Post
I know two people who got into bad motorcycle accidents during the long weekend. Does not make sense to me. It's not if it's when. As much anger as I have towards the world I still enjoy being alive. Im going to step outside for a smoke now.....
Have two toys with one wheel. (Boats) Two motorcycles with two. Dragster has 4 sometimes likes two for a short distance. Pickup has 6 and my big truck has 18.

Every wonder how some folks never have a wreck or involved in a crash when others do?
Seat time. Like anything else the more you do it the more aware you become of whats not only happening but whats going to happen around you like cars turning in front of you. If your really in tune with your driving you will see what car slowing down and almost know whats fixing to happen. Don't laugh. 5 milllion miles zero accidents . .
Driving that car hauler I'm over top of my cars and trucks. 4x4 crowd is up there with me but there ain't to many of them. LOL

I ride in the back of the pack now on the bike, if one of our bikes is cranked mama is on the ass end. My bike is built. 123 HP is a lot for a harley. I can pull most guys single with her on the back, but those days are over. We ride to enjoy and she totally loves a motorcycle. Picking my bike up next week, She paid for the custom paint job. 2500 dollars. She loves riding more than I do. No kidding.

Anything can kill you. The odds are greater on a bike I'll give anyone that, but most that live to ride don't pay that much attention to their riding. Just like in cars. Takes time to get use to seeing everything thats happening in front of you . Some pick it up quicker, some never get it. You can ride with someone behind them I can watch them and tell if they are in tune with whats going on around them. Its that noticeable. Just like cops can spot drunks, or other things you get use to it then it becomes second nature.

Cell phones are bikers worst enemy but I have my own views, bikers can be careless themselves so its not always someone elses fault. There just a lot harder to spot when someone in a car or truck is doing other things.

Maybe after a year and a half building this harley I'll finally get to ride it finished next week.

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Old 05-29-2019, 08:22 PM
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I was read ended twice in 2017 while I was stopped at a red light, but l was in a 2014 F150.
both time the ones that hit me had a lot more damage than my truck.
sure would not want to be on a bike and have that happen.
gave up bikes many years ago.

being aware of your surroundings will not keep you safe all of the time.
I saw them coming, but could not get out of the way with other vehicles in from of me and no where to slip off to on the sides
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Old 05-30-2019, 06:07 AM
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It's a personal choice.The facts are that statistically,you will be involved in a traffic incident at some time in direct proportion to time riding.You are more likely than not to be seriously injured.Much more so than if in a car.You need to take into account your responsibilities in life and make a determination of risk when deciding to become a "biker". Buy good insurance (life and medical) and good safety gear.Learn from your near misses and re-evaluate you decisions accordingly.Bikes can be great fun and enjoyment,but there is always that risk.
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Old 05-30-2019, 06:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Fish Haid View Post
LOL! Do you always ride against the flow of traffic, or just for photos?
I'm in the OUTSIDE turn lane, for a LEFT turn. If you look ahead of me in the picture, there are two lanes turning left as well (oncoming). As stated in my caption, I was preparing to do a left U-Turn, and I was first in line.
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Old 05-30-2019, 06:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Knoxes View Post
DMack - I've taken the BRC. What's the next MSF course that you would recommend for a beginner?
Take the MSF Advanced course or the MSF Circuit Rider Course. Both are excellent.
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Old 05-30-2019, 07:44 AM
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You ride to be seen in black? try a high viz yellow helmet and jacket
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Old 05-30-2019, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by 805gregg View Post
You ride to be seen in black? try a high viz yellow helmet and jacket
The BRC instructor said that white is the most visible color.

I've already picked my new gear:

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Old 05-30-2019, 09:37 AM
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Old 05-30-2019, 09:52 AM
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Only one "rider in black" didn't have to worry about not being seen...

Thank ya, thank ya vury mutch!

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Old 05-30-2019, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by MattGoose View Post
Hey - I'm all for increasing motorcycle safety. I did read your whole post, but I'm not quoting it because it's too long I think you raise some really interesting points about how to stay safe and hopefully other riders read it and find something useful.

One counter point from a cager with a dad that spends A LOT of time on a bike... The phrase "ride like you are invisible" irks me. You ARE invisible on a motorcycle. Unlike cars, your entire bike fits in my blind spot. The overwhelming majority of the other "things" that I have to contend with on the road are other cars - so that's what my brain is poised to see. It's kinda like old basketball video with the gorilla where you're supposed to count the passes or whatever.

On top of that, motorcycles move in a way totally different from cars - they move laterally much faster, they accelerate and decelerate much more quickly. The rules of the road and the laws of physics are different. And oftentimes motorcycle drivers take advantage of that in unexpected ways - like the half dozen bikers weaving in and out of traffic on Memorial Day. I'm sure I passed 30 riders being smart, but those six stick out a lot more in my mind. I won't even comment on the riders that choose to lane split in traffic in a state where that's not legal.

The single best way to get my attention? Big, honking, loud pipes. So long as you don't go ripping through the neighborhood at 2 in the morning, I say make 'em as loud as you possible can!

Stay safe.
I think the truth is somewhere in the middle. While a bike could be hiding in your blind spot, most of the time it's not. Some specific cases to consider, some where I think the bike could have done a better job, and others where the car driver dropped the ball.
I have personally observed all of them.

Case 1, motorcycle mistake. Bike in the left lane, car in middle lane. Bike is hanging back just off car's left rear quarter. You are asking to get hit! (YOu are invisible in this case).
Case 2, car mistake. Left lane moving slowly, middle lane moving faster. Car sees a small car-sized gap in the left lane up ahead, and decides to accelerate and cut over, into the space currently occupied by a bike.
Case 3, both making mistakes. Bike stopped at a 4 way intersection at a red light. Cars stopped in the oncoming lane across the intersection. Light turns green, bike goes straight, car makes a left turn hoping to beat traffic and hits bike head on. Car doesn't pay attention to what's in front of them, or bother using a blinker. Bike should realize how dumb most car drivers are, and know that cars don't understand that bikes can accelerate faster. Bike should always assume the first car in an intersection will make an unannounced left turn and try to hit them.

I had a case where I was in the left lane, and a car in the middle lane moved into the right lane without even looking, and no directional either. She moved directly in front of an F250, who had to slam on his brakes to avoid plowing into her. Must be a pretty big blind spot! My lane began to move faster, putting that craziness behind me. Little did I know, she moved back into the middle lane. Later on my lane slows down, and she is directly opposite of me. My head is centered between her side view mirror and front door handle. She choose to change lanes, and I don't know whether to be more shocked that she's about to hit me, or the fact that she's so close I can see that she never turned her head to the left before, during, or after changing lanes. WTF?

Obviously this was an extreme example, but her blind spot was anything not visible through the front windshield! I can't give her a pass on that one.

Last edited by jobowker; 05-30-2019 at 10:06 AM.
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Old 05-30-2019, 01:35 PM
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I ride as much as possible, as I get a good stress relief from it. I've only owned two street bikes in my life and have about 80K of riding them. First was a 1982 Maxim 550 with 3K on the odometer that cost me $500. My current ride is a 1994 Heritage Soft tail that had 7800 miles when I bought it a dozen years ago. It just turned 61K on my way back from a trip my brother and I just took down to Greenville, NC to visit our friend over the holiday weekend. We put 1080 miles on in just two days of riding. One two aholes the whole trip. I ride to fit the conditions. Sometimes you have to ride aggressive, but most times not. Loud pipes and paying attention are key. Like Liveaboard states: I read traffic all the time and I think it makes me a better driver too. I'm 53, and as long as my back allows, I will be riding quite a few more years. I've rented a few bikes and rode all over San Francisco, Sausalito, Napa, and the Florida Keys.

Cass, WV
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Old 05-30-2019, 03:03 PM
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Beautiful bike Zenfold. I have an '03 Heritage Softail. Love it.
I ride most every day. Go see my 86 year old dad most every afternoon, and we take about a mile walk.
If you see a deer cross in front of you, slow way down, as lots of times there will be another one behind it. I experienced this in '17, and what could have been really serious turned into some scraped elbows and knees.
Love to ride! Stay safe!
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