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Old 03-15-2021, 12:08 AM
 
Location: Tucson, AZ
1,571 posts, read 2,208,016 times
Reputation: 3965

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I have been riding motorcycles since about 2002 and I crashed in 2009, not bad, but not good. I was riding in a group in a staggered format. Some how I lost my situational awareness, and got too close to the person in front of me. As we came to the intersection the light turned yellow. His new H-D street glide had ABS my H-D sportster did not. I had a split second decision when monkey brain calculated I could not stop with out locking up. So I tried to lock up and hold. I'm in a group so I can't go left into another bike, I can't go right into the curb. I can't plow into the bike in front of me. So as I'm locked up I have to try to steer in between the bikes, and as predicted the bike fell over at about 15mph and skinned my knee bad, scraped my shoulder, scraped my full face helmet. I basically turtled and was able to hold on. I got lucky because the highway bars and upgraded rear passenger peg really helped me out. People only think it will help protect the bike but if you clutch on to that bike that extra clearance between you and the pavement may save your bacon.

I haven't crashed since because I follow 10 rules.

These are my 10 commandments.

1. Don't group ride if you can help it. IF you want to ride with a buddy that's fine because you can slide right past him. but when you get 10 motorcycles in a formation, it's hard to keep track of everything. I have seen super dangerous situations created when a light turns yellow. The lead bike has to make the decision to stop or go. IF the yellow catches the lead bike when its obvious he can't stop right when the light turns our policy is to go for all bikes.

2. Always remain focused on the road ahead. I have seen someone go wide in a turn because they looked in the mirror too long. or turned their head and got fixated in a turn. It's hard but I have trained myself not to look in mirrors or to the side unless necessary for merging. And don't look at the ground directly in front of you looking for every crack and rough spot, look out ahead.

3. Don't follow too close If other cars cut in, so be it. Notice how when your close to a Tahoe you can't see in front of it? well when it slams on those giant ABS disc brakes because the car in front of it did the same, you'll have much less reaction time if you are closer. More importantly the Tahoe can run over just about everything and be fine. If you hit it like a piece of Metal or a road alligator, good luck. The view was blocked and you never saw it coming or had time to react.

4. Look for the sides of vehicles and then change what you are doing. Dan Dan the Fireman is a Tucsonan YouTuber that has a great channel and one of the things I learned from him is if you see the side of the car be ready to brake or swerve. If you stay in one spot your harder to see so also get to the far side of the lane as you approach. This saved my ass 3 weeks ago, A car decided to turn on right on red without stopping, I saw him moving behind the other lanes and moved to the left, sure enough he got his nose out beyond the cross walk before he finally saw me and slammed the brakes.

5. Go with the flow. If you have to go across 4 lanes to turn left, just take a right. Here In Tucson people I ride with take what I deem unnecessary risks turning left. So they scurry across 3 lanes then try to stay in the refuge lane. I have seen people overshoot the refuge, arrive in the refuge just as a car has decided to take the refuge lane to turn. I have even seen idiots get in the refuge lane way before the turn at brake neck speed. Your not supposed to use it as a travel lane.

6. Avoid areas you know are tricky. WE have a flyover on one of our major artery streets here that is heavily road snaked and potholed and curved and the expansion joint on the bridge is constantly being repaired and crumbling. On that bridge I almost lost control once due to a pothole in a tight turn. And then I almost got smashed or hit by landscaping truck with a trailer who got scared he was to close to the wall and went into my lane, thank god i didn't get panicky. I choose a slightly longer way now to avoid it.

7. Stay slightly ahead of cars/trucks in the adjacent lane, don't follow behind 10-20 feet, that's a bad place. Sometimes I roll on the throttle and and get ahead even if it means speeding.

8. Stay away from Semis or trucks with trailers. If I'm passing, I wait about 10-15 feet behind the trailer until the car clears and then I go quickly around the semi. I don't loiter near him.

9.Don't ride beyond your skill level. No matter what. Don't try to impress anyone. Don't try to keep up if you are beyond you skill level. If you want to pay your medical insurance deductible, by all means go ahead and try to keep up while uncomfortable with the situation.

10. Practice panic breaking and swerving monthly. Absolutely buy a bike with ABS if you can. Set up cones on a deserted col-de-sac or unfinished road somewhere and practice panic breaking and swerving from 50mph. The MSF speeds are so slow they give you a false sense of what it's like to panic break from high speed and when people see they aren't slowing down right away they grab a fist full of brake and down they go. Always practice using both brakes even tough it might feel weird.

My opinion is that the beginner MSF is completely worthless. All it teaches you is slow speed control which you could do on your own in a school parking lot and not pay 375 dollars for it.

I have been riding motorcycles since about 2002 and now that our kids are adults/highschoolers. My wife finally decided she wanted to try riding. I decided a Harley was too much for her so we bought her a BMW C650GT maxi scooter to start. We just went to our local school and set up cones and she could go at her own pace. She didn't have to cram everything into a day. There was no regimented military structure on an i'll fitting weak 250cc. The fact that tall idiots grab short bikes and then leave a 5'2" woman with a tall ass TU250 is dumb. The instructors should fit the students on their bikes but they don't.

The advanced rider course is okay, but you can just watch jerry pallidino for free on youtube. Dan Dan the Fireman and MC Rider are good as well.

I have a Street Glide now with ABS and creature comforts and its night and day from the Sportster I crashed on. My wife decided she wanted a Can Am Spyder RTS so we both upgraded heavily. Buy the right bike if you can afford it. If you get a cheap bike you have to learn its limits and practice fast stops and swerving at speed.

In conclusion riding a motorcycle can be no more dangerous that a car if you have the right bike, the right skills and the right mentality and know when to back off, or get out of a situation. Just like driving a car, there are just times you cant account for everything.
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Old 03-16-2021, 01:14 PM
 
Location: Orange County, CA USA
377 posts, read 148,111 times
Reputation: 454
You covered a lot of ground.
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Old 03-19-2021, 11:06 PM
 
Location: Sandy Eggo's North County
3,547 posts, read 1,313,658 times
Reputation: 5031
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyAMG View Post
10. Practice panic breaking and swerving monthly. Absolutely buy a bike with ABS if you can. Set up cones on a deserted col-de-sac or unfinished road somewhere and practice panic breaking and swerving from 50mph. The MSF speeds are so slow they give you a false sense of what it's like to panic break from high speed and when people see they aren't slowing down right away they grab a fist full of brake and down they go. Always practice using both brakes even tough it might feel weird.
Well, actually, the MSF curriculum is designed to help riders "start from zero" and build their skillsets from there. We just don't have enough time to get all the students to a place where they need to be, skill wise. (Sometimes, I see people that barely passed the eval's. I HAVE to "pass" them, according to CMSP.
I do stress that "braking & swerving" are the 2 "Life Saving" techniques that we teach. Also, I stress during (and after) class, to "keep learning."
Quote:

My opinion is that the beginner MSF is completely worthless. All it teaches you is slow speed control which you could do on your own in a school parking lot and not pay 375 dollars for it.
Completely worthless? Remember, we are talking the BRC here. The "B" is BASIC. Of course it's going to be easy for a rider with experience. But, trust me, it's a challenge for those that are still learning the basic controls. Now, as far as practicing on a parking lot? Absolutely. I do it almost daily. (Quick tip: cut tennis balls in half, and use those for your cones.) They work great.
Quote:

I have been riding motorcycles since about 2002 and now that our kids are adults/highschoolers. My wife finally decided she wanted to try riding. I decided a Harley was too much for her so we bought her a BMW C650GT maxi scooter to start. We just went to our local school and set up cones and she could go at her own pace. She didn't have to cram everything into a day. There was no regimented military structure on an i'll fitting weak 250cc. The fact that tall idiots grab short bikes and then leave a 5'2" woman with a tall ass TU250 is dumb. The instructors should fit the students on their bikes but they don't.
The TU-250 has a seat height of 30". With "sag" it's down to 28." I wouldn't call that "tall ass." (My Husky has a 37" seat height. Now THAT'S TALL ASSED!)
Quote:
The advanced rider course is okay, but you can just watch jerry pallidino for free on youtube. Dan Dan the Fireman and MC Rider are good as well.
Glad to hear you were challenged @ the ARC. Now, enroll in Bike Bonding. Then, Ultimate Bike Bonding. Lastly, watching video's is fun, but the ONLY way to increase your skillset is to put your butt in the seat and ride/practice.

Quote:
If you get a cheap bike you have to learn its limits and practice fast stops and swerving at speed.
Cheap OR expensive, braking & swerving should be practiced on a regular basis. Especially if it's been a week or two since you've ridden.
Quote:

In conclusion riding a motorcycle can be no more dangerous that a car if you have the right bike, the right skills and the right mentality and know when to back off, or get out of a situation. Just like driving a car, there are just times you cant account for everything.
"Right mentality."
This means, don't ride tired.
It means don't ride angry.
It means don't ride "euphoric."
It means, don't ride "carelessly."

Obviously, drugs and/or alcohol need to stay OUT of a rider's system.

Oh, me? Just a retired RC. (Were you one of my students?) I've had thousands...


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BI4XOzcA_I
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Old 03-19-2021, 11:08 PM
 
Location: Sandy Eggo's North County
3,547 posts, read 1,313,658 times
Reputation: 5031

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYdj3cV8Qbk
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Old 03-19-2021, 11:09 PM
 
Location: Sandy Eggo's North County
3,547 posts, read 1,313,658 times
Reputation: 5031

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4t5-CHIwEQ
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Old 03-19-2021, 11:11 PM
 
Location: Sandy Eggo's North County
3,547 posts, read 1,313,658 times
Reputation: 5031
There's other video's somewhere...
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Old 03-24-2021, 06:33 PM
 
48 posts, read 16,683 times
Reputation: 148
It can be dangerous.
So can walking outside.

It's a sense of euphoria nothing else gives me.
So i ride.
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Old 03-25-2021, 07:02 AM
 
Location: West coast
1,467 posts, read 601,042 times
Reputation: 3664
I ride a few motorcycles.
I have 8.

I am going to have to sell 3 of them because they are just to fast for our new area.
Our maximum speed limit here is 55 mph.

That’s bogging it in second gear and I don’t want any speeding tickets .

I’m thinking of buying some Vespas or some of them little street legal trail bikes for fun.
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Old 03-27-2021, 07:00 AM
 
Location: Sandy Eggo's North County
3,547 posts, read 1,313,658 times
Reputation: 5031
Quote:
Originally Posted by MechAndy View Post
I ride a few motorcycles.
I have 8.

I am going to have to sell 3 of them because they are just to fast for our new area.
Our maximum speed limit here is 55 mph.

That’s bogging it in second gear and I don’t want any speeding tickets .

I’m thinking of buying some Vespas or some of them little street legal trail bikes for fun.
Might keep a "roadburner" or two, if you're in SoCal. I can show you some places to "let the dogs run..."
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Old 03-27-2021, 07:06 AM
 
Location: Denver, CO
31,391 posts, read 13,820,185 times
Reputation: 23100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicago-guy View Post
It can be dangerous.
So can walking outside.

It's a sense of euphoria nothing else gives me.
So i ride.
We all make the risk versus reward decision in most things we do. Life is short, do what you want.
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