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Thread: Riding Tips from Motorcyclist Magazine..

  1. #1

    Riding Tips from Motorcyclist Magazine..

    50 Ways to Save Your Life

    Motorcyclist Magazine, August 2006

    1. Assume you’re invisible
    Because to a lot of drivers, you are. Never make a move based on the assumption that another driver sees you, even if you’ve just made eye contact. Bikes don’t always register in the four-wheel mind.
    2. Be considerate
    The consequences of strafing the jerk du jour or cutting him off start out bad and get worse. Pretend it was your grandma and think again.
    3. Dress for the crash, not the pool or the prom
    Sure, Joaquin’s Fish Tacos is a 5-minute trip, but nobody plans to eat pavement. Modern mesh gear means 100-degree heat is no excuse for a T-shirt and board shorts.
    4. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst
    Assume that car across the intersection will turn across your bow when the light goes green, with or without a turn signal.
    5. Leave your ego at home
    The only people who really care if you were faster on the freeway will be the officer and the judge.
    6. Pay attention
    Yes, there is a half-naked girl on the billboard. That shock does feels squishy. Meanwhile, you could be drifting toward Big Trouble. Focus.
    7. Mirrors only show you part of the picture
    Never change direction without turning your head to make sure the coast really is clear.


    Mirrors only show you part of the picture.
    8. Be patient
    Always take another second or three before you pull out to pass, ride away from a curb or into freeway traffic from an on-ramp. It's what you don't see that gets you. That extra look could save your butt.
    9. Watch your closing speed
    Passing cars at twice their speed or changing lanes to shoot past a row of stopped cars is just asking for trouble.
    10. Beware the verge and the merge
    A lot of nasty surprises end up on the sides of the road: empty McDonald’s bags, nails, TV antennas, ladders, you name it. Watch for potentially troublesome debris on both sides of the road.
    11. Left-turning cars remain a leading killer of motorcyclists
    Don’t assume someone will wait for you to dart through the intersection. They’re trying to beat the light, too.
    12. Beware of cars running traffic lights
    The first few seconds after a signal light changes are the most perilous. Look both ways before barging into an intersection.
    13. Check your mirrors
    Do it every time you change lanes, slow down or stop. Be ready to move if another vehicle is about to occupy the space you’d planned to use.


    Scan 12 seconds ahead for potential trouble.

    14. Mind the gap
    Remember Driver’s Ed? One second’s worth of distance per 10 mph is the old rule of thumb. Better still, scan the next 12 seconds ahead for potential trouble.
    15. Beware of tuner cars
    They’re quick and their drivers tend to be aggressive. Don’t assume you’ve beaten one away from a light or outpaced it in traffic and change lanes without looking. You could end up as a Nissan hood ornament.
    16. Excessive entrance speed hurts
    It’s the leading cause of single-bike accidents on twisty roads and racetracks. In Slow, Out Fast is the old adage, and it still works. Dialing up corner speed is safer than scrubbing it off.
    17. Don’t trust that deer whistle
    Ungulates and other feral beasts prowl at dawn and dusk, so heed those big yellow signs. If you’re riding in a target-rich environment, slow down and watch the shoulders.
    18. Learn to use both brakes
    The front does most of your stopping, but a little rear brake on corner entry can calm a nervous chassis.
    19. Keep the front brake covered—always
    Save a single second of reaction time at 60 mph and you can stop 88 feet shorter. Think about that.
    20. Look where you want to go
    Use the miracle of target fixation to your advantage. The motorcycle goes where you look, so focus on the solution instead of the problem.

    Check your mirrors every time you change lanes.

    21. Keep your eyes moving
    Traffic is always shifting, so keep scanning for potential trouble. Don’t lock your eyes on any one thing for too long unless you’re actually dealing with trouble.
    22. Think before you act
    Careful whipping around that Camry going 7 mph in a 25-mph zone or you could end up with your head in the driver’s side door when he turns into the driveway right in front of you.
    23. Raise your gaze
    It’s too late to do anything about the 20 feet immediately in front of your fender, so scan the road far enough ahead to see trouble and change trajectory.
    24. Get your mind right in the driveway
    Most accidents happen during the first 15 minutes of a ride, below 40 mph, near an intersection or driveway. Yes, that could be your driveway.
    25. Come to a full stop at that next stop sign
    Put a foot down. Look again. Anything less forces a snap decision with no time to spot potential trouble.
    26. Never dive into a gap in stalled traffic
    Cars may have stopped for a reason, and you may not be able to see why until it’s too late to do anything about it.
    27. Don’t saddle up more than you can handle
    If you weigh 95 pounds, avoid that 795-pound cruiser. If you’re 5-foot-5, forget those towering adventure-tourers.


    Stay in your comfort zone riding with a group.

    28. Watch for car doors opening in traffic
    And smacking a car that’s swerving around some goofball’s open door is just as painful.
    29. Don’t get in an intersection rut
    Watch for a two-way stop after a string of four-way intersections. If you expect cross-traffic to stop, there could be a painful surprise when it doesn’t.
    30. Stay in your comfort zone when you’re with a group
    Riding over your head is a good way to end up in the ditch. Any bunch worth riding with will have a rendezvous point where you’ll be able to link up again.
    31. Give your eyes some time to adjust
    A minute or two of low light heading from a well-lighted garage onto dark streets is a good thing. Otherwise, you’re essentially flying blind for the first mile or so.

    32. Master the slow U-turn
    Practice. Park your butt on the outside edge of the seat and lean the bike into the turn, using your body as a counterweight as you pivot around the rear wheel.
    33. Who put a stop sign at the top of this hill?
    Don’t panic. Use the rear brake to keep from rolling back down. Use Mr. Throttle and Mr. Clutch normally—and smoothly—to pull away.

    34. If it looks slippery, assume it is
    A patch of suspicious pavement could be just about anything. Butter Flavor Crisco? Gravel? Mobil 1? Or maybe it’s nothing. Better to slow down for nothing than go on your head.

    35. Bang! A blowout! Now what?
    No sudden moves. The motorcycle isn’t happy, so be prepared to apply a little calming muscle to maintain course. Ease back the throttle, brake gingerly with the good wheel and pull over very smoothly to the shoulder. Big sigh.


    Hedge your bets at intersections.

    36. Drops on the faceshield?
    It’s raining. Lightly misted pavement can be slipperier than when it’s been rinsed by a downpour, and you never know how much grip there is. Apply maximum-level concentration, caution and smoothness.
    37. Emotions in check?
    To paraphrase Mr. Ice Cube, chickity-check yoself before you wreck yoself. Emotions are as powerful as any drug, so take inventory every time you saddle up. If you’re mad, sad, exhausted or anxious, stay put.
    38. Wear good gear
    Wear stuff that fits you and the weather. If you’re too hot or too cold or fighting with a jacket that binds across the shoulders, you’re dangerous. It’s that simple.
    39. Leave the iPod at home
    You won’t hear that cement truck in time with Spinal Tap cranked to 11, but they might like your headphones in intensive care.

    40-50 on next post...

  2. #2
    B]40. Learn to swerve[/B]
    Be able to do two tight turns in quick succession. Flick left around the bag of briquettes, then right back to your original trajectory. The bike will follow your eyes, so look at the way around, not the briquettes. Now practice till it’s a reflex.
    41. Be smooth at low speeds
    Take some angst out, especially of slow-speed maneuvers, with a bit of rear brake. It adds a welcome bit of stability by minimizing unwelcome weight transfer and potentially bothersome driveline lash.
    42. Flashing is good for you
    Turn signals get your attention by flashing, right? So a few easy taps on the pedal or lever before stopping makes your brake light more eye-catching to trailing traffic.
    43. Intersections are scary, so hedge your bets
    Put another vehicle between your bike and the possibility of someone running the stop sign/red light on your right and you cut your chances of getting nailed in half.
    44. Tune your peripheral vision
    Pick a point near the center of that wall over there. Now scan as far as you can by moving your attention, not your gaze. The more you can see without turning your head, the sooner you can react to trouble.


    Everything is harder to see after dark.

    45. All alone at a light that won’t turn green?
    Put as much motorcycle as possible directly above the sensor wire—usually buried in the pavement beneath you and located by a round or square pattern behind the limit line. If the light still won’t change, try putting your kickstand down, right on the wire. You should be on your way in seconds.
    46. Every-thing is harder to see after dark
    Adjust your headlights, Carry a clear faceshield and have your game all the way on after dark, especially during commuter hours.
    47. Don’t troll next to—or right behind—Mr. Peterbilt
    If one of those 18 retreads blows up—which they do with some regularity—it de-treads, and that can be ugly. Unless you like dodging huge chunks of flying rubber, keep your distance.
    48. Take the panic out of panic stops
    Develop an intimate relationship with your front brake. Seek out some safe, open pavement. Starting slowly, find that fine line between maximum braking and a locked wheel, and then do it again, and again.
    49. Make your tires right
    None of this stuff matters unless your skins are right. Don’t take ’em for granted. Make sure pressure is spot-on every time you ride. Check for cuts, nails and other junk they might have picked up, as well as general wear.
    50. Take a deep breath
    Count to 10. Visualize whirled peas. Forgetting some clown’s 80-mph indiscretion beats running the risk of ruining your life, or ending it.

  3. #3
    I have had some close calls with dumbass cagers this week...I thought it might be the way I was riding..Hope this is informative & not a repost..

  4. #4
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    Anything intended to improve attention & focus while driving is good. Everyone has close calls. Just yesterday I called PSCO about a white Ford pickup (FL plate X84 IDP) that tried to hit me. Literally stared at me and swerved into my lane from the left after I gave him a head shake for cutting me off. The retards are out in force, so be careful.
    Last edited by DeltaNu1142; 02-26-2008 at 12:06 PM.

  5. #5
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    good tips!!! I know I feel like we're invisible all the time....

    i'm always checking for stupid cagers..it's helped us avoid an accident more than once!
    03 SV650S (Current)01 GSXR-600 (SOLD)
    Jlea aka Jennifer

  6. #6

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by DeltaNu1142 View Post
    Anything intended to improve attention & focus while driving is good. Everyone has close calls. Just yesterday I called PSCO about a white Ford pickup (FL plate X84 IDP) that tried to hit me. Literally stared at me and swerved into my lane from the left after I gave him a head shake for cutting me off. The retards are out in force, so be careful.
    I know this might be a little off topic, but to speak of crazy people, a good friend of mine was followed by a white sti not too long ago from north of tampa palms all the way to my house off of livingston. He tried to loose the guy a couple times through the back roads on the way............ Well, I live on a dead end so the guy had to do a turn around and drive back by my house. we confronted him out in the road, I told him to get out of his car but he would not, instead he told us to F off and took off.

    My friend said that he didnt do anything to the guy and that he didnt know what to do.

    It amazes me that anyone would ever think to follow someone to there "house," You never know what will happen. I personally have a concealed weapons licence, but I am a little reluctant to be armed when I ride, maybe I shouldn't be.
    Last edited by ksdeltonafl; 06-01-2008 at 12:37 AM.

  8. #8
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    Good tips
    We take these risks not to escape life...but to stop life from escaping us.

    '03 RC 51, '05 ZZR600, Yamaha PW50

  9. #9
    +1 on the crazies!!! Was going to ride to work yesterday but for got that I had to make a run to lowes. Well some clown in an old infinety(sp.) with Jesus in the back window is behind me swereving from lane to lane, then backs off and then comes flying up behind me. Gets off at Bears and I think that was close. Next thing I know this clown catches me again at Busch and screams past me and gets on I-4. Now I am like I am glad I didn't ride!!! Careful everyone!!!!

  10. #10
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    A$$ clowns are out in force. Last night my wife and I were returning home from dinner and were northbound on US19, just south of Curlew Road intersection. I was explaining what happened wednesday night about this same time and just then some a$$wipe on a motorcycle rode through weaving in and out the congested traffic a at a high rate of speed. The traffic light was red so everyone had to stop. There were two motorcycles ahead of us and when the light turned green they took off in the normal manner riding properly. We commented that no one will recall the pair on the bikes but eveyone will remember the solo rider from hell. Just north of the intersection he clown turned left into a strip mall for tacos or something.

    Yes IanH&D, reminders such as your list of tips need to be brought up now and again. We are not superhuman, just regular Joe's, so everyone be careful out there. Riders tend to forget or don't understand that sometimes you don't have to be doing anything wrong and still get hurt.

  11. #11
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    Good Post... We Sometimes Forget Things When We Get To Comfortable Riding And Reading Tips Helps Keep Our Minds More Alert When Situation Presents Itself..... Thanks
    It's All Good! ( . Y . ) -->> TODD <<-- '09 Hayabusa...Why do people ask if I have an extended swingarm or fat tire kit? ...No, but thanks for asking.

  12. #12
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    Thanks for the read. Some good tips.
    "Beware of the lollipop of mediocrity. One lick and you'll suck forever!"Brian Willson

    “I guess it's because we all want to believe that what we do is very important, that people hang on to our every word, that they care what we think. The truth is, you should consider yourself lucky if you even occasionally get to make someone - anyone - feel a little better. After that, it's all about the people that you've let into your life.”— J.D.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by macgxr750 View Post
    +1 on the crazies!!! Was going to ride to work yesterday but for got that I had to make a run to lowes. Well some clown in an old infinety(sp.) with Jesus in the back window is behind me swereving from lane to lane, then backs off and then comes flying up behind me. Gets off at Bears and I think that was close. Next thing I know this clown catches me again at Busch and screams past me and gets on I-4. Now I am like I am glad I didn't ride!!! Careful everyone!!!!
    I tell you what It allways seems the people with a jesus sticker or a minivan/suv with the sticker of everyone in there family seem to be the worst drivers. Makes you wanna carry a brick in your bag with WWJD markerd on it. Everytime they almost run you off the road or change lanes no signal no look put it through thier window.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gulfripper View Post
    I tell you what It allways seems the people with a jesus sticker or a minivan/suv with the sticker of everyone in there family seem to be the worst drivers. Makes you wanna carry a brick in your bag with WWJD markerd on it. Everytime they almost run you off the road or change lanes no signal no look put it through thier window.
    amen to the Jesus stickers. On Sundays they will run your over to get to church, then splatter you again to get to whatever feed spot they're ALL GOING TO afterwards.

    the ones with the family stickers hate you because they believed all the cutesy bullshit 'parenting' magazines, and can't afford a motorcycle for all the cutesy bullshit they bought at Kneedman Markoffs.

    ya, we have kids, no, we don't let the cellphone drive

  15. #15
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    the ones with the family stickers hate you because they believed all the cutesy bullshit 'parenting' magazines, and can't afford a motorcycle for all the cutesy bullshit they bought at Kneedman Markoffs.

    ya, we have kids, no, we don't let the cellphone drive [/QUOTE]


    OMG!!! I had a mini van a couple weeks ago that ran a stop sign at my sub division (Heather Lakes) and it had a bumper sticker that said "Mom's taxi"...

    BTW, about the brick mentioned earlier the writing on it should read "Jesus wouldn't try to run me over"... (which is true)

  16. #16
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    the ones with the family stickers hate you because they believed all the cutesy bullshit 'parenting' magazines, and can't afford a motorcycle for all the cutesy bullshit they bought at Kneedman Markoffs.

    ya, we have kids, no, we don't let the cellphone drive

    OMG!!! I had a mini van a couple weeks ago that ran a stop sign at my sub division (Heather Lakes) and it had a bumper sticker that said "Mom's taxi"...

    BTW, about the brick mentioned earlier the writing on it should read "Jesus wouldn't try to run me over"... (which is true)

  17. Appreciate the post!

  18. #18
    As new rider, I certainly appreciate the tips. Thank you.
    '71 BMW R75/5
    '75 Honda CB360t
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    '06 BMW K1200R

  19. #19
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    Great Post i ride 88 miles round trip from lakeland to Channelside 6 days a week Via I-4. Trust me I see some crazies out there. I am very alert when I ride. Appreciate the tips.

  20. #20
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    Some things should be left buried....but this is a good one to dredge up now and again!

    ~ Amanda
    2013 Triumph Street Triple R
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