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Thread: The 12th way to die, a forum paradox

  1. #1
    Still Wondering mika's Avatar
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    The 12th way to die, a forum paradox

    Motorcyclisonline.com kicked off the new year with an article titled A Dozen Ways to Die. A bit morbid but I read the list and number 12 made me think.

    12. Bring on the E-'stractions: Talk to and text everybody in your cell phone's address book while you ride. If that's too difficult, clutter your cockpit with a GPS receiver, satellite radio, MP3 player, radar detector, etc. and let them lull you into an electronic trance. You'll never see what hit you.

    I have wondered about what has always struck me as a paradox on this forum. The BWM riders and the MOA forum are normally very safety minded yet a quick informal count of the gear section resulted in very roughly 25% of the threads I counted dealing with adding or mounting gear that is listed in number 12.

    I will admit I become a Luddite when I get on my bike. My Roadster may be an oilhead but has analog gauges and none of the listed add ons. Even so my tank bag has a map window that gets used when I am on trips and thus serves as the equivalent Luddite distraction to GPS.

    Does anyone else see the inconsistency in what we preach and what we do?

    How do you rationalize it?

    How do you mitigate the dangers the distractions present?
    Pass the mustard and UP THE REVOLUTION!

    St. Paul Pioneer Press , Minneapolis Star Tribune

  2. #2
    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
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    Simple... it could never happen to me. I do limit myself to only the GPS from the list.
    Kevin Huddy
    Intrepid Incompetent
    Tm Pterodactyl MT Outpost

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    Registered User wayneswan's Avatar
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    For me, the GPS helps keep me aware of upcoming intersections and potential dangers as well as eliminating missed turns that would require a U-turn or "accelerated" braking.
    As for the i pod...I don't wear earplugs. I have the speakers mounted in my helmet so I can still hear engine/road noise. I think it actually HELPS keep me alert on longer rides by entertaining the brain vs. putting it to sleep with the dull hum of
    the wind/road/engine drone.
    Mental drift seems to be kept at bay with a lil' tune playing....

    I've seen some of those over-decorated dashboards though, they do look distracting....
    If you can't go fast with 100hp, you can't go fast with 200hp.

  4. #4
    Mars needs women! 35634's Avatar
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    %&*#, half of the instruments that came with my bike don't work. No distractions like watching it overheat or run out of gas.
    1987 K75S
    Original litter
    Original owner
    2012 Ural Gear Up

  5. #5
    Time traveler alien Wise haughty's Avatar
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    Valid question
    I bite
    I use a Radar Detector- mounted above the handlebar inboard of the rear view mirror. It does not block the mirror.. I use my periferal vision for that.

    GPS. LOL I have been too lazy to mount it.. I use my pillion to hold it when on the ride and she will give me directions every once in a while. If on a bike that I have the handlebar mount, usually I will pull over to check near intersections or pull over. I do admit I will take a look if on a straight section that I can ascertain that I think it is safe. Have I looked in the past in traffic? Yes.. I will admit that..
    DO I look long? NO, but I also understand at 70 MPH= 100+ feet per second, your glances MUST be short.. 1 second...
    A football field is less than 3 seconds at 70 MPH people. MIka's point is valid and prudent.
    How many cagers out there do the look down and get the coffee cup, burger, dial or text on the phone, and everyone of them going to where their individual destination is. Add in the spontaneous - I forgot something- oh i need to pull in here- I fully understand Mika's point even better now.

    I think they are out to get me....
    Don't be afraid to say what you feel as those that mind don't matter and those that matter don't mind.. Dr. Suess

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    Registered User 88bmwjeff's Avatar
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    Like Wayneswan, music acutally helps me concentrate. My mind wanders more without it, but I don't listen to music all the time. And, here in CA, it's illegal to have earphones in both ears.

    Number Two on the list is a bit of a gripe with me. Finding attire that's not black can be a task and a half. I also find it a bit ironic that much of the vented, warm weather attire is also black.

    As far as distractions go, it depends how many a rider chooses to include on his/her ride. One E-distraction is one thing, but three or four could be over doing it. It also depends how a rider uses the item. GPS on the bike would not be a distraction if only used while stopped.
    Jeff in W.C.
    1988 R100 RT (the other woman)
    "I got my motorcycle jacket but I'm walking all the time." Joe Strummer

  7. #7
    Cage Rattler wezul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 88bmwJeff View Post
    Like Wayneswan, music acutally helps me concentrate.
    Strongly agree. Straight road noise tends to numb my head.

    The GPS is my only distraction and I make an effort look at it when I am relatively certain it is safe to do so and then in quick glances. Several may be required but it's a quickly look down, look up move.

    Thanks John.

  8. #8
    Bob 108625's Avatar
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    No added electronic distractions for me, nor self deception about being more safety minded than anyone else.
    I just don't want all that crap along for the ride.

    "Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature...Life is either a daring adventure or nothing."
    Helen Keller
    Last edited by 108625; 01-15-2010 at 06:45 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 108625 View Post
    I just don't want all that crap along for the ride.
    Same here. Never had any of it, probably never will.
    Howard Edwards

    2009 R1200GS; 1975 R75/6

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    I'm not much for the add-ons.

    I know from trying to look at the map in the tankbag while riding that it would be worse trying to look at a GPS.

    As for music, not too often. On long rides where there is little to no traffic. I like to be able to hear what is happening around me. Also I have noticed if a song I can get into the groove with is on, I tend to get into the groove of the song and pay less attention to what is going on around me.

    I think another look at this thread with the ages of the rider and what they use would be interesting.

    I am 40 and have been riding for close to 20 years.

    Are the gadgets targeted at a certain age rider or a rider with more or less experience?

  11. #11
    rabid reader dbrick's Avatar
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    I had a thermometer on the bike for awhile, and I found myself fascinated with temp changes: "Look! It went down a half degree and I felt it!" So fascinated, in fact, that I noticed myself looking down way too much. I removed it.

    OTOH, my good riding buddy listens to tunes...and he's one of the best riders I know, a CMSP rider/coach, etc. etc.

    I wouldn't prescribe, but this sort of stuff is not for me.
    David Brick
    Santa Cruz CA
    2007 R1200R

  12. #12
    IBA #44567 Ken F's Avatar
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    I feel that a GPS is much less of a distraction than a map, and trying to find roadsigns, ect. One quick glance, and you see where you are supposed to turn, or hear it announced without looking.

    Admittadly this only works if you have a destination when you begin your ride.

    Also, to me it's nice to just take off riding, and not worrry about where you have been, where you are going. When you are ready to head home punch in home and follow the arrows....

    460

  13. #13
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    I bet this will seperate into two lines of thought...those that dislike technology and those that embrace it...sounds like when the K-bike and the oilheads came to be Most will find if they at least try it before condemning it they will maybe see some of the benefits.


    I have bikes with and without bells and whistles. I see it no different than my former 1959 carburated Microbus with nothing to my 2003 Dodge FI Diesel with a radio and a CD player. Times and technlogy have changed.


    I have a GPS/XM. Do not use it all the time... listening to the prompts in congested areas sure is safer than map gazing for me. I still use the map on my tank as well when out in the clear. Listening to the music makes me happy...an idle mind is a dangerous place to be for me...too many deep thoughts

    I do not make phone calls when rolling in/on any vehicle...big peeve of mine

    Radar detector...own one but rarely use it unless I know I am intentionally going to exceed the posted limits...and I still got a ticket the last time I did that and am on double super secret probation I had the heads up HARD display so really not a distraction unless the red LED started flashing and I started looking when I knew better.

    Riding is a high risk already, getting lulled into an electronic trance is ...it's how one perceives his/her comfort zone...so I say ride your own ride...just be careful and stay out of my lane and off my tail. Staring at the white lines can also put one in a trance...

    I bet the pilots here are chuckling...how about heads up displays for the future of motorcycling I can see the new gen K1200LT with it now

    oh yeah...53 years old and 40 years of two wheelin'
    Steve Henson
    SABMWRA MOA Club#62's Flat Fixer/ current forum moderator
    It's not the breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away-D.Dillon/G. Strait

  14. #14
    Still Wondering mika's Avatar
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    GPS has been the focus of many of the responses. Radio is helpful to me when I am in a cage and is the one thing I have thought of adding to my riding kit. The one piece of electronic gear that I have questions about with safety is bike to bike communications devices.

    99% of the time I ride alone. When I ride two up it does not take long to know when my passenger will make some kind of communication. Bike to bike seems to be another sort of animal. It is not like a cell phone yet is. It is not like communicating with the pillion yet is. Of all, to me anyway, it would seem to offer the most uncontrolled electronic distraction that could be dangerous. That said it is a common thing discussed in the gear or various tech forums.
    Pass the mustard and UP THE REVOLUTION!

    St. Paul Pioneer Press , Minneapolis Star Tribune

  15. #15
    It is what it is. Bud's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mika View Post

    Does anyone else see the inconsistency in what we preach and what we do? YES

    How do you rationalize it? I don't.

    How do you mitigate the dangers the distractions present? I don't.
    It is like the random thoughts that roll thru your head when in western Kansas on I 70 and still have 4 more hours to get to Denver.

    I'm guilty of riding on autopilot, much like many car drivers.

    I love to look at the Iron Butt riders motorcycles. Talk about technology! Rob Nye's bike had like what, 3 pc's and maybe 3 GPS?

    Regardless of how little or how much we have on our bikes, we can always improve our riding.

    Good question.
    Ride Well, Ride Often, Ride to

    Charter Member "High Town" crew.

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