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In the last couple of months we had a surge of tailgaters in the Southern CA (SoCal). I usually drive / ride anywhere between 69 - 70 MPH, the posted speed limit is 65 MPH. Seems to me that the speed limits posted on SoCal roads are for illustration purposes, other drivers are tailgating me and passing me way faster than my current speed. First thing that comes to my mind is " the speed limit is 65MPH " so why are you tailgating me?.

I hate tailgaters.
I would hope these tailgators (which are everywhere I think) would not do that in the right lanes. I understand to a point doing it in the passing lane as most states have a law not to use the left lane except to pass. Virginia is that way at least. Yet many lallygaggers still cruise the left lane as if it is their own. Our law states if a car is behind you in the left lane, move over or speed up so as not to delay the other vehicle. The law is speed agnostic here.
 
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2001 Yamaha XVS650 Dragstar Classic and 1999 Honda NT650V Deauville
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If I am being tail-gated when driving my car, I no longer worry because the crash (if they fail to stop when I do) will be gentle. If, OTOH, I have somebody up my arse when riding, I slow down*, turn around, give them a stern eye and wave them back. Only once did I have to do it twice, the other times the followers have slowed right down. Ladies often give 2-300 yards of room afterwards.

*If it is a truck/semi/bus etc., I either speed away if I can, or turn off the road and let them past - I do not need an angry truck driver with 25 tons of steel following me.
 

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Tailgaters ...
In my car, ... first I slow down. By letting off the accelerator. If that doesn't stop them. Next they get brake checked. That usually stops them.
On the bike, ...
First I'll speed up some if possible. If that doesn't stop them. Next I turn & look. That usually stops them.

I have found that when I wear my leather vest, I get more respect from cagers then when I don't.

My assumption is they think I am part of a motorcycle gang. (Which I am not. We aren't even a club. Just a Riding Association.)

Ride smart! Ride often!
 

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So I had a bad afternoon at work. I told my government rep that I have 1/2 a tank of gas I need to burn on the way home to make it better. I sent a text to Pretty Pillion to let her know I was taking the long way home.

Fast forward to the last few miles before empty on the freeway. I am in the left (passing) lane of three lanes. A black Mercedes with a paper dealer tag moved from the far right lane into the center lane maybe 10 car lengths ahead of me.

As I was passing it, it began moving into my lane. I honked several rapid blasts as I made eye contact with her. I'm on the Rocket III and have plenty of room to bale out to shoulder or pull ahead as I am already 8 to 10 MPH faster. I motioned for her to move right. She mouthed the words "F... You" and kept coming over.

Normally I would think she is just a disrespectful driver. But these days, I wonder of it was more...

In any case, I used the torque God gave me and cleared the X. Got home safely...

Head on a swivel and be prepared for anything... again.
 

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I drive for a living and people are getting kooky out there. Last month I watched a jeep liberty try to pass a line of 8 cars in a massive rush.

He got past 3 before his hood popped up and smashed into his windshield. He got onto the shoulder ok but probably was trying to figure what to say to his insurance company.😁
Here you can only pass 2 at one time. Buddy learned that the ticket way.
 

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So I had a bad afternoon at work. I told my government rep that I have 1/2 a tank of gas I need to burn on the way home to make it better. I sent a text to Pretty Pillion to let her know I was taking the long way home.

Fast forward to the last few miles before empty on the freeway. I am in the left (passing) lane of three lanes. A black Mercedes with a paper dealer tag moved from the far right lane into the center lane maybe 10 car lengths ahead of me.

As I was passing it, it began moving into my lane. I honked several rapid blasts as I made eye contact with her. I'm on the Rocket III and have plenty of room to bale out to shoulder or pull ahead as I am already 8 to 10 MPH faster. I motioned for her to move right. She mouthed the words "F... You" and kept coming over.

Normally I would think she is just a disrespectful driver. But these days, I wonder of it was more...

In any case, I used the torque God gave me and cleared the X. Got home safely...

Head on a swivel and be prepared for anything... again.
Why even try to engage? That's twice you described yourself in a situation where a driver encroached on you in your lane, you added speed to the situation, AND you put the unsafe driver behind you again. If she gave you the "FU" and kept moving toward you when you were next to her, why would you want that driver behind you?
Makes me think you are doing something that does not make you visible to the operator, such as riding in their blind spot. (And BTW....blind spot is determined by how they set their mirrors, which is usually having them turned too far into the car.) Using your horn before you are on their rear quarter panel might help. Patience and not passing helps more. Enough, similar close calls usually result in a not so close call, and you will always lose because 4 wheels > 2 wheels.
 

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@vito, your points have merit. I ride daily in Northern Virginia on the freeways and HOV lanes. The two incidents were months apart but could be daily. I spend most of my time in the slow lanes; one can make better time there as all the loafers are in the passing lane.

Having a belligerent driver behind me is not always the preferred place. Then again, I can usually out maneuver all but the most dedicated cager with intent to kill. I hope that was not her intent, just that she is a jerk and did not properly look before she changed lanes. I was already more than half way past her and traveling at a higher rate of speed than she. Slowing down would be that wrong action here. Her attitude indicates she is a disrespectful person at the very least.

I understand the idea that one can be in the cross walk, crossing the road when the sign says you have the right away, and a truck still runs you over. You are in the right, but still dead. I should not be restricted from passing cars while I am in the passing lane though. I know I can't challenge a four wheeler on any bike. I can blow the horn and exit. Just engine braking will usually slow the bike down enough the car will move forward without the need for brakes. Other times WOT will be the answer. Still other times, one needs an escape avenue. Each situation is different.

Relaying my thoughts and experiences here may help another some day or at least allows me an opportunity to vent a certain amount of displeasure with my fellow commuters.

I believe the intent of this thread was safety minded riding. The threats to us come from many avenues including our own behavior and driving styles. Hopfully we all can gleam some learning points from this.
 
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I say god bless you @Boog Recently I traveled through VA on my way to NC and I have to say that was one stressful drive. The on ramps are short and blind. Drivers driving like fools...Bikers doing wheelies at 80 mph....I thought going through Atlanta at rush hour was bad but good gawd your head needs to be on a legit swivel there in VA...Dem people be nutz!
 

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@Redbird58 We have a few groups of squids riding dirt bikes and ATVs around the DC Metro area from time to time. A few times over 100 bikes out. Stopping traffic, doing stunts like you mention, crashing. Some of the crashed bikes are recovered and found to have been stolen.
The police do catch a few few of these holigans, but hey seem to return a few weeks later. The news has likened them the the flash mobs in malls who sing or play instruments, except they are on bikes disrupting the already horrible traffic.
 

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If I ride 70 I would have to be in the slow lane or have people on my butt all the time. People are doing 95 or 100 on my freeways.
 

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If I ride 70 I would have to be in the slow lane or have people on my butt all the time. People are doing 95 or 100 on my freeways.
It is interesting to me Pat how traffic has its own personality. In Virginia, anything above 80 MPH is considered reckless driving. Yet so many vehicles travel at that speed or higher especially in the toll lanes. The law says to keep right except to pass. I ride in the right of three lanes as often as I can and do try to pass only on the left lane; it is safer there I have been taught over many courses. Yet left lane lally-gaggers tend to hang out at or below the posted speed limit daily. There is no way for us to know their mindset, it could be they are ignorant of the law and don't know they are in the wrong. They may be distracted and not realize there is one or more vehicles stacking up behind them. They may simply be self-righteous jerks who declare themselves better than everyone else.

Being a test & evaluation guy by trade, I observe the mood of traffic while riding and find that it can affect my own mood if I am not careful, especially if it seems there are several raging drivers.

It is somewhat consistent to see the right lane is usually the most open lane here. I suspect that is due to the competitive nature many of us have. We can't stand to be #2.
 
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One thing we forget about when talking about being careful is taking the time to develop basic safety skills that can make the difference between nothing happening / fatal crash, and everything in between.

Situational awareness is the most important to me. Every car, every situation has a 'tell' that can tip off an alert rider. Thinking a few steps ahead and reading these tells can save you a lot of heartache. This is a mental thing that can be learned and developed.

The second to me is learning a proper, aggressive emergency stop. This is a physical skill that needs to be practiced. My only crash happened within the first year of having my first bike. I noticed a car driving toward the street I was on, driving the wrong way on a one way street. I anticipated what might happen, I slowed down, but the car turned in my direction, on my side of the street. I panicked, locked the front wheel, went down, and slid about 10 feet. Was it because of the 'stupid cager'? Nope. It happened because I did not know how to do an emergency stop. Now, I can stop. I know just when the back tire will 'chirp'. It came in handy those times I didn't catch the 'tell' in a situation and had to take physical action.
 

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🏅goes to vito 👋
 

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Besides our own skills & be aware of the a$$hats around us to keep us safe.
We also have to have a well maintained motorcycle. Proper functioning brakes, good tread on the tires, etc.

It's like I posted in another thread about the front wobble on my bike between 28 & 35 mph.
Is it rideable? Yes.
Is it 100% safe & functional? No.

So I have it at a friend's house while the weather people figure out where/what Hurricane Isaias is doing. As well as I will be ordering wheel bearings for the front & rear. And I will be bleeding all brakes too. Also, I think while I have the wheels off. I will have them rebalanced.


Ride smart! Ride often!
 

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Many bikes have an inherent wobble between 20 and 55 mph, give or take, usually most pronounced around 40 mph. The CX500 comes to mind, Some tires made it worse, some better, but most owners failed to find a perfect solution. There is no danger as long as both hands or on the handlebars, but if you let go it can get ugly to the point of snapping steering stops off the frame. And since this is not inherent in your model, you are doing the right thing tracing it and sorting it.
 
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