Please evaluate my habits - Star Motorcycle Forums: Star Raider, V-Max, V-Star, Road-Star Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-09-2015, 08:23 PM Thread Starter
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Please evaluate my habits

Since I had a careless accident in 2012 on CandyRedVstar1100 (hence, my name), I took two years off, spent a lot of time blaming the other driver, then realizing the whole thing could have been avoided by me, then buying another 1100, then riding 3,000 miles riding on the edge of scared until the rider I have now become…much more mature, skilled, aware…and just better.

So I think.

In those now 4,000 miles of seat time since the accident, I have developed what I think are some good habits. Agree or disagree?

1. Ride ATGMOTT. I would say that I ride with full gear 80% of the time. This includes full face helmet, boots, gloves, armor jacket and pants. When not wearing full gear, I wear everything above expect the armor over-pants. They are a pain in the arse to take on and off.

2. High beams all the time except in traffic at night.

3. Placing a "I Voted Today" sticker on the back of my helmet

4. When riding behind 4+ wheeled traffic, stay back at least 100 feet.

5. When riding behind 4+ wheeled traffic, ride close to the center line to make myself visible to vehicles pulling out from the left side of the road and oncoming vehicles…and to give myself space to make a move from a driver pulling out from the right.

6. Ride in the right lane on a four lane highway, staying close to the white line. Maximizes space around me if I need to react; and no threat from the right except for on ramps, which I adjust to accordingly.

7. Practice putting my bike in small spaces (not in traffic) to get comfortable using a small, narrow escape route if necessary.

8. Come to rest off to the side behind vehicles at traffic lights in the event someone slams into me, I don't get accordioned.

9. Ride the center of lane with heavy oncoming traffic to maximize visibility for drivers looking to turn left in front of me.

10. Slow down when cars are coming out from side roads or driveways, dropping about 10 mph from cruising speed, ready to jam on brakes.

11. Keep head up at all times, using the top edge of my windshield as my guide to have for the bottom third of my field of vision.

There are others, but enough for now.

Current Ride: 2013 Honda F6B

Former Rides:
2004 VStar 1100 Classic
2008 VStar 1100 Silverado
1982 Suzuki GS650S
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-09-2015, 09:33 PM
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Really like your post. Riding defensively is something most people don't do. I'm with you on all your points. My two wheel riding averages over 1200 miles a month in major urban traffic. I had always geared up except for the overpants. I bought a pair about a month ago and love them. One thing my father taught me when I was first beginning to ride is to always have a way out. Its now a mind game I practice everyday. It goes like this, what if that car on the left cuts in front on me, car on right, car close behind, so I would speed up. I am always looking for a way out and it almost changes every second. I tought my 4 sons the same thing. The neat thing is my 16 year old granddaughter just got her learners permit and we went for our first drive together. So I was going to pass this game to her, and she said "Pop, Dad already told me about that". Guess my kids did listen to me at times. Ride safe!

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Last edited by lesblank; 07-09-2015 at 09:35 PM.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-10-2015, 12:09 AM
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2) i don't see the point in high beams. i think people put too much into this. the headlight is already constantly on. i think investing in a brighter headlight is more beneficial in both daylight and nighttime, like aftermarket bulb.

4)when i'm riding, i can't measure out 100ft. and 100 feet back isn't as necessary at 20mph as it is at 45mph, and might not be enough at 70mph. it's easier to just stick to the 2-second rule. and the 2-second rule applies no matter what speed you're traveling.

5)be careful you're not too close to the center line. i think most riders think of riding as either staying in the left side or right side of your lane.

6)if i'm in the far right lane on the road, i stay to the left side of that lane. if you get to the right side, then you could be in the blind spot for vehicles in the lane to your left. plus, that extra space between your bike and their lane could be seen as an invitation for them to move toward you or cut you off.

10)don't let your forethought or initial thinking in regards to preventing an accident always be "BRAKES". there are several ways to keep you out of danger while riding and brakes aren't always the best answer. sometimes swerving around an object is. sometimes just moving to a different lane or part of a lane is enough. if you enter into riding situations thinking "i may have to hit brakes here, i may have to hit brakes here" then you're closing off your thought process to other possible actions that may be safer for you. and you should NEVER be thinking "jam" on the brakes. unless you have ABS, you're just asking for your brakes to lock up on you and the bike to slide out of control.

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-10-2015, 04:46 AM
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Ride like EVERYONE else is out to kill you and you will be fine. However there is nothing like experience (southern = perience). Also every situation is different so its hard to say I always do this and that. Been riding for 35 years and thank god never been down on the street but had a few MX crashes in my younger years. I hope my luck, and I hesitate to use that word, continues. :-)
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-10-2015, 05:27 AM
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Bravo! It's good to have folks post their own personal rules for safety for others to see and make comments. I am a firm believer in safety first and was instrumental in initiating a "Safety" forum on another site. You will occasionally get a "Ho Hum" from some but, ignore them and go on. Thanks Augie

I'm always working very diligently to discover the obvious.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-10-2015, 03:20 PM
eGo
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As Bevo said in regards to riding in the center, I avoid it and stick to the left or right "tire track" of the lane.. The center lane is most likely to have oil, water and other fun things in it from cars.. I tend to stick to the left side of the lane myself. Not sure why, just always where I've been the most comfortable.

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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-10-2015, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by dehingst View Post
Ride like EVERYONE else is out to kill you and you will be fine. However there is nothing like experience (southern = perience). Also every situation is different so its hard to say I always do this and that. Been riding for 35 years and thank god never been down on the street but had a few MX crashes in my younger years. I hope my luck, and I hesitate to use that word, continues. :-)
All I'm saying is if I ride like EVERYONE else is out to kill me, it wouldn't be long before I was jailed myself.

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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-10-2015, 04:15 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eGo View Post
As Bevo said in regards to riding in the center, I avoid it and stick to the left or right "tire track" of the lane.. The center lane is most likely to have oil, water and other fun things in it from cars.. I tend to stick to the left side of the lane myself. Not sure why, just always where I've been the most comfortable.

eGo
When I refer to the centerline, I am referring to center of the road, not the lane. Sorry for the confusion.

Current Ride: 2013 Honda F6B

Former Rides:
2004 VStar 1100 Classic
2008 VStar 1100 Silverado
1982 Suzuki GS650S
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-11-2015, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by CandyRedVStar View Post
Agree or disagree?

1. Ride ATGMOTT. I would say that I ride with full gear 80% of the time. This includes full face helmet, boots, gloves, armor jacket and pants. When not wearing full gear, I wear everything above expect the armor over-pants. They are a pain in the arse to take on and off.

Disagree. I've said this on here before; ATGATT means, to me, simply, less riding. Less short trips around town where most accidents occur. Less 'take offs and landings' which are when many simple accidents occur. It is absolutely riskier not being geared up IF you wreck. If the goal, however, is safety, quit riding, now. If I believed a wreck is simply a matter of time, I'd never get on again.

I do NOT believe I can prevent ALL accidents. I KNOW there are certain situations NO one can successfully negotiate. I KNOW long time MASTER riders get killed every year. All that said, to me, for me, the GOAL is to be a better rider and that, to me, means all the practice I can get and short trips to the bank, grocery store, grab lunch, get beer, just go for a ride, and are all opportunities for me to practice and, to me, they add up.

I am FAR more aggressive when I am all geared up. I push it more, skirt the edges, go in faster, exist faster, feel more confident. That takes the risk level up. When I'm wearing shorts, flip flops and a t shirt, I feel more vulnerable, of course, and it makes me pay more attention and work at riding. It reminds me I don't wanna wreck, gear or no gear.

This is not an endorsement of anything but what I do and why. I simply am going to ride a LOT less and would not have the skill I have now, and work at maintaining and improving, were I dedicated to ATGATT or even most of it most of the time. I'm not going to gear up for 15 minute rides so, I'd not ride all those countless short trips and that, to me, is a worthwhile trade off; FAR more practice and experience than ATGATT.



2. High beams all the time except in traffic at night. Disagree. Flick em on. Flick 'em off, whatever. Be distracting. That's the goal of visibility. It's one more tool to maybe get the attention of someone texting and might be a help.

3. Placing a "I Voted Today" sticker on the back of my helmet
Better to put your blood type.

4. When riding behind 4+ wheeled traffic, stay back at least 100 feet. Unless you can work through them, around them, past them. Being a constant distance is bad. They forget you're there. You get complacent just holding pace. Get closer, fade back, move around, be a distraction. They'll be more aware of you, in front of you AND behind you.

5. When riding behind 4+ wheeled traffic, ride close to the center line to make myself visible to vehicles pulling out from the left side of the road and oncoming vehicles…and to give myself space to make a move from a driver pulling out from the right. Move all over the place, left, right, center, weave, anything. Be a distraction. They're less likely to do something to put you at risk by forgetting you're there...if they don't forget you're there. Because they're VERY aware of you because you're all over the place

6. Ride in the right lane on a four lane highway, staying close to the white line. Maximizes space around me if I need to react; and no threat from the right except for on ramps, which I adjust to accordingly. See 5

7. Practice putting my bike in small spaces (not in traffic) to get comfortable using a small, narrow escape route if necessary. Yup. Parking lots, streets you know are tight, tough corners, beyond 90 degree stops, sidehill, uphill, dead ends so you have to work on u turns, etc. Agree.

8. Come to rest off to the side behind vehicles at traffic lights in the event someone slams into me, I don't get accordioned. Disagree. Come to rest and start watching mirrors and planning on where you're gonna gun it to get the eff out of the way when they're hitting 'send' and then trying to hit you.

9. Ride the center of lane with heavy oncoming traffic to maximize visibility for drivers looking to turn left in front of me. See 5

10. Slow down when cars are coming out from side roads or driveways, dropping about 10 mph from cruising speed, ready to jam on brakes. See 5. Slow down, speed up, weave, flahs your hi beams, hit your horn, stretch an arm, kick out a leg ANYTHING to be distracting and get their attention.

11. Keep head up at all times, using the top edge of my windshield as my guide to have for the bottom third of my field of vision. Head up, down, look back over left shoulder to stretch and work at improving flexibility, look back over right, look straight up, down, all over.

There are others, but enough for now.

I may look like a lunatic when I ride and I don't care. I weave every chance I get, change speeds, change spatial orientation relative to everyone else, change spot in lane, change lanes, go around, fall back, move my arms, legs, flash, honk, rev, open helmet and spit, and I have FAR more close calls than anyone I know. I do NOT remember the last one I had. I remember TONS of of times it COULD have become a close call. Or worse But, my perception, my belief
is that my riding habits help, A LOT for others to be aware, very aware, of me.

I'll probably get crushed by a steam roller this afternoon and sound like a jack ass.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-11-2015, 10:59 AM
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All I'm saying is if I ride like EVERYONE else is out to kill me, it wouldn't be long before I was jailed myself.
I ride like EVERYONE is standing in front of the cop, sobbing "But I didn't SEE him!" as my lifes blood drips out on the pavement, I can feel my ribs piercing my lungs with every crushed attempt at drawing at least a little air, my scrambled brain knows it's suffered perhaps a fatal blow, a non stop ringing, and it's getting darker, my legs tingle but I can't really feel them and I can't make them move, at all, and my hands are trembling from the adrenal dump and I sorta can look at what's left of my bike, vaguely familiar, like I should know it's mine but that's not how my bike looks and some EMT saying 'You're gonna be OK, buddy" my ears foggy and he sounds like he's talking to me from inside a pit or something and I start casting about for my last thoughts, sort of chuckling to myself...

Last edited by bevo1981; 07-12-2015 at 06:18 PM.
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