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Thread: ON MAGAZINE MOTOSAFE page 40

  1. #1
    USN MM2 (SS) Saigon 1968 johnnywishbone's Avatar
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    ON MAGAZINE MOTOSAFE page 40

    i will always gracefully slide into neutral before my RT comes to a stop.
    it will stay in neutral till i want to advance.
    there is little chance that even if i was frantically checking 360?? for possible evil doers, i would be quick enough to do anything meaningful about it. maybe you're lightspeed.
    spend a lot of time sitting there in first gear, car or bike, waiting for the green. the green will go to your mechanic.
    i'll admit i've never taken a riding class. maybe i'm wrong.
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    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    I am going to move this over to Just Ridin' ... a better fit about riding thoughts.

    I too read that and have heard it in MSF courses and from MSF folks. A nice consistent pattern to teach to the masses, but all of us will tweak what works for us. Kind of like how many fingers cover a brake lever

    It depends on how long I plan to stop. If it's a typical urban signal, I am most likely in neutral as well. If it's a known short cycle or a blinking 4 -way, I am cycling thru in gear. I don't like holding the clutch engaged whether its hydraulic or cable operated as it seems to just put unneeded wear on things.

    I do make sure the vehicle behind me sees me stopping and acts like they are doing the same. I think jumping on the throttle to avoid an issue while at a stop invites more issues. Where am I going to end up after that maneuver being one...maybe in cross traffic? Maybe the guy in the truck to my side is thinking the same thing and we meet in the middle?
    Steve Henson
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  3. #3
    Registered User ANDYVH's Avatar
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    MSF instructor piping in here. When I am in traffic, stopped, and if I have no other stopped vehicles behind me (at least one, preferrably two) I hold the clutch lever in, bike in gear ready to go if I have to. Once I have some stoppped, stable vehicles behind me, I might shift to neutral and relax a bit, but not very often. WAY too many brain dead drivers on the road, and I don't need to be in their way if I have the option of a quick take-off to an escape route.

    A few comments:
    1. Rear enders are some of the least common crashes.
    2. Rear enders, when they happen, can be very destructive even at low vehicle impact speeds.
    3. I have had it happen to me, that I moved out before being the "meat" in the car sandwich between the stopped car in front of me and the car stopping behind me without enough room.
    4. If you feel you cannot be quick/sure on an emergency take-off, then that is something you should practice and be comfortable with.
    5. All your stops, should include a planned alternate/escape route. To not do so is primer for it to happen when you least expect it.

    Of course, this can vary with where you ride, the area demographics and driver habits, city size, traffic load, etc. But why chance it and sit there like the sitting duck you could well be?
    Woodenshoe to Cheesehead

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    God? What god? roborider's Avatar
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    About 4 years ago, I emailed my MSF instructor who changed me to be "in gear" and ready. It might have saved my life.

    I was on a 4 lane highway, making a left across a double yellow with a gap in it for turns into a restaurant (that is, a legal turn). A van was approaching behind me, maybe 50 mph. I was waiting for oncoming traffic to clear, but it did not. I throttled up and took off straight. The movement must have caught the driver's eye, as they locked up the brakes and slid right through where I was stopped. A similar incident happened later in a left turn lane. So that's two.

    I will sit in neutral AFTER traffic stops behind me, not before. Also, you have to remember to leave a good buffer in front of you. If you are 3 feet off the bumper, you aren't going anywhere no matter what, except maybe the hospital.

    And what exactly is wearing out with the clutch engaged? If you have a wet clutch, it certainly is fine (and easy to R&R, too). With a dry clutch, the only part being used is the throw out bearing. You aren't wearing the friction disc, the flywheel, the pressure plate, etc.

    Even so, I'll pay to change my RT clutch if I have to with the money and broken bones I've saved from following this sage advice.
    Rob C. , Raleigh, NC
    '05 R12RT, R90/6
    2007 CBR600RR & 09 V-Star
    Suzuki DR 350

  5. #5
    USN MM2 (SS) Saigon 1968 johnnywishbone's Avatar
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    how do you sleep at night?

    yes, the throw out bearing. poor little thing, holding back that plate, lubricated with only what little grease was applied at the factory. really, how do you sleep at night?
    BOXER TWINS. FOR THE DEVOTEE
    2011 R1200R THE QUICKER OF THE TWO
    2011 R1200RT, FULL BOAT, STD. HEIGHT, LOW SEAT
    AGE 67, 5'5", 150 LB. MOA #15165

  6. #6
    Kbiker BCKRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ANDYVH View Post
    MSF instructor piping in here. When I am in traffic, stopped, and if I have no other stopped vehicles behind me (at least one, preferrably two) I hold the clutch lever in, bike in gear ready to go if I have to. Once I have some stoppped, stable vehicles behind me, I might shift to neutral and relax a bit, but not very often. WAY too many brain dead drivers on the road, and I don't need to be in their way if I have the option of a quick take-off to an escape route.

    A few comments:
    1. Rear enders are some of the least common crashes.
    2. Rear enders, when they happen, can be very destructive even at low vehicle impact speeds.
    3. I have had it happen to me, that I moved out before being the "meat" in the car sandwich between the stopped car in front of me and the car stopping behind me without enough room.
    4. If you feel you cannot be quick/sure on an emergency take-off, then that is something you should practice and be comfortable with.
    5. All your stops, should include a planned alternate/escape route. To not do so is primer for it to happen when you least expect it.

    Of course, this can vary with where you ride, the area demographics and driver habits, city size, traffic load, etc. But why chance it and sit there like the sitting duck you could well be?
    Excellent points, Andy. BTW, I am still looking for an article by you in the ON on cold weather tire traction. Remember that thread which I believe you started? Yet another way to get bit in the ass.

    Back on topic (and wish I could remember how to do multiple quotes,) a few thoughts:

    1. If you are first in line at a red light or 4-way stop, you basically have no place to go to avoid a potential rear-ender if there is cross traffic. Assuming level ground, best bet is to flash your brake lights or repeatedly get on and off the brake if you have "flashing" brake lights until you see the following vehicle gets the message. As pointed out, this is not a common accident scenario in the city - maybe more so in stop-and-go traffic on a freeway. In that case, I would be inclined to move as far left in my lane as possible. Perhaps the really inattentive driver will still miss me. (Lane splitting, anyone?)
    2. If you are not the first vehicle to the red light, you should probably be in the left tire track if you are going through or turning left. In either case, leave a car length between your front tire and the rear bumper in front of you. If you are convinced the car coming up behind you may not stop, the space you are headed for is to the left of the car ahead of you.
    3. Making left turns from high speed roadways, whether four lanes or two, without a left turn lane is a dicey business. It comes up for me several times a year on a two-lane highway near my home. I generally try to put quite a bit of distance between me and following traffic. Then I judge the oncoming traffic. Usually I can find a way to make my left turn either before or after oncoming traffic, and before the following traffic can catch up to me. On the rare occasions where there is a long stream of oncoming traffic, I've pulled over to the right side of the paved shoulder and waited for a clear road. Probably would have been even smarter to simply motor on to a genuine left turn lane which would take me home.

    Sorry, think I got off the OP topic.

    One of my goals as a rider is to NEVER force a motorist to do something different to avoid a collision with me. If someone has to brake or swerve to avoid me, I am the one that screwed up. Except at stoplights and 4-way intersections. I'm not sure I can save myself there, though I really do get the theory.
    Doug
    1992 K100RS

  7. #7
    Registered User ANDYVH's Avatar
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    You made the comment, as did another responder, about bike position behind other vehicles when stopped in traffic. I was riding with another MSF instructor going to lunch during a break in a MSF class. I stopped behind a car in front of me, maybe, half a bike length back. I look to my right and Bruce is looking at me smiling. I knew that smile always meant he had a comment waiting to burst out.

    "What?" I said. He replied, "why are you stopped so close behind that car?" I looked, "I dunno, its where I stopped." Not good to Bruce, he said, "never stop closer than at least a car length back." I thought about it, reasoned it out, and he was completely right. Since then I never stop closer than at least a car length behind a vehicle I am stopped behind, and never directly centered behind the vehicle. If its a tall/boxy vehicle, I stop back even more to improve my visibility and line of sight options.

    As to multi-lane intersections, and being first in line with lots of cross traffic, position again has a big influence on your options. Hold your initial stopped position back far enough from cross traffic, and in the left or right third of the lane. If you have to, then you could move to the gap area between the lanes, and before getting far enough out into cross traffic. Yeah, I know, lots to think of, picky little differences, could you actually do this quickly if you had too, all seemingly arguements to say you have to take what comes. But, subtle differences can have huge rewards when the event comes.
    Woodenshoe to Cheesehead

  8. #8
    I'm from M.A.R.S. From MARS's Avatar
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    I'm in the "keep it in gear until I have a barricade behind me" group. As for the wear issue; with the clutch in, the throwout bearing spins. With the clutch released in neutral, the input shaft on the transmission spins. There are more bearings in play with the clutch released than in.

    Tom
    "Everything is something."
    '88 K75C, '03 K12RS, '93 R100GSPD '02 F650GS (all gone, but not forgotten)
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  9. #9
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Cool

    As long as your clutch lever is fully pulled in (in contact with the hand grip at all times until it's time to go), there are millions of miles of experience telling us that's not a problem to worry about.

    Getting 'accordian'ed' between a distracted motorist (yeah - that never happens, right?!) and a stationary 3,000 lb. object in front of you will just ruin your day.

    ALWAYS stop in gear, an eye to the rear, and at least a full bike-length away from the car in front of you. That way, if 'soccer-mom' is ominously barreling down on you, the advantage of operating such a skinny vehicle as a motorcycle is that we can slip in next to the motorist in front of us, and very quickly if in gear.

    It makes sense to me, is a practice I follow, and I teach it to all new students in my MSF classes.
    Kevin Greenwald - Touring Tips Editor
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    I'd contend that "in neutral" from the beginning is just plain wrong based on my own experience.

    It was riding the bike thqt taught me to always be ready to move (not an instructor because I've been riding since way before MSF courses existed). That "waiting for a left hand turn opening" and having to move or get hit has happened to me a couple times and so far I've always been lucky or quick enough to get out of the way of the locked up slider. It also taught me to do the same in a car which once kept damage on my old Z car to minor bumper dent while the gal in the Pinto that nearly squished it ended up with her radiator back in the motor somewhere.

    So I don't go to neutral until there is a bank of cars behind me that is likely blocking my rearward vision anyway. And I've got both Hyperlights and the BMW accessory light as flashing brakes on the back plus 3M reflective stuff all over the luggage of the RT. I watch the mirrors when stopped and use those flashers liberally.

    There so many folks out there texting (illegal here but still common due to zero enforcement) and using cell phones and now, readers, that there is at least a couple per cent chance that the person behind you is not looking forward. Maybe you like those odds but 'I don't. From the accidents I've seen in the past few years I believe that the number frequently used (about 25%) being caused by distracted drivers is way low and is probably closer to 70%. From my perspective we are long overdue to prosecute those who create accidents from their device use the same as drunk drivers- they drive worse than many folks who are at or near the legal 0.08% limit. Had 2 friends hit in the past year by these idiots- fortuneately neither seriously hurt as they are ATGATT types.

    Intertsingly, BMW cars have about the worst built in driver distractions of anything on the road due to the poor design of I Drive.

  11. #11
    Registered User MOTOR31's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ANDYVH View Post
    MSF instructor piping in here. When I am in traffic, stopped, and if I have no other stopped vehicles behind me (at least one, preferrably two) I hold the clutch lever in, bike in gear ready to go if I have to. Once I have some stoppped, stable vehicles behind me, I might shift to neutral and relax a bit, but not very often. WAY too many brain dead drivers on the road, and I don't need to be in their way if I have the option of a quick take-off to an escape route.

    A few comments:
    1. Rear enders are some of the least common crashes.
    2. Rear enders, when they happen, can be very destructive even at low vehicle impact speeds.
    3. I have had it happen to me, that I moved out before being the "meat" in the car sandwich between the stopped car in front of me and the car stopping behind me without enough room.
    4. If you feel you cannot be quick/sure on an emergency take-off, then that is something you should practice and be comfortable with.
    5. All your stops, should include a planned alternate/escape route. To not do so is primer for it to happen when you least expect it.

    Of course, this can vary with where you ride, the area demographics and driver habits, city size, traffic load, etc. But why chance it and sit there like the sitting duck you could well be?
    What he said. ^ When I went into enforcement riding training this was a small part of the training syllabus. We were advised to remain in gear so that we could maneuver the bike if needed. We were also trained to look and plan our stop BEFORE we came to the stop in traffic. Specifically to look for an escape route and then position the bike in the stop to facilitate that escape should it be necessary. That means putting the bike in position for a quick jump ahead and to the side away from the impending rear end impact. Splitting the space between cars in the lanes if that its all or look to the shoulder for a place to go.

    My bike is rarely ever stopped facing directly ahead when at a signal or stop sign behind other traffic. I am also looking directly behind for the approach of the vehicle behind me. Once a couple vehicles are stopped behind me I may then slip into neutral while waiting and observing the signals for the change. I'll also go back into gear before the change to green if I can see the cross street signals.

    The clutch assembly and related parts were supposed to be designed and manufactured for frequent use. If I have a feeling that there is imminent failure of the sytem or the hydraulic clutch has a leak it is a good idea to get it fixed and not ride it in that condition. In other words get it fixed and don't wait for it to fail totally. Murphy's law says it will fail when it is most important that it not fail.
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    [QUOTE=johnnywishbone;732436]i will always gracefully slide into neutral before my RT comes to a stop.
    it will stay in neutral till i want to advance.
    there is little chance that even if i was frantically checking why frantic? until you get some traffic stopped behind you, that is the most likely place for another vehicle to come from that might be a danger. what are you looking at that is more important while sitting at the light? 360?? for possible evil doers, i would be quick enough to do anything meaningful about it. maybe you're lightspeed. probably not lightspeed riders, just better prepared for negative eventualities.
    spend a lot of time sitting there in first gear, car or bike, waiting for the green. the green will go to your mechanic.
    i'll admit i've never taken a riding class. maybe i'm wrong.[QUOTE]

    i will be blunt, as that is my nature.
    no maybes about it- you are wrong.
    the other posters have given you the rationale for changing your thoughts, and thus your behavior. your choice as to what you care to do with it.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  13. #13
    God? What god? roborider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnywishbone View Post
    yes, the throw out bearing. poor little thing, holding back that plate, lubricated with only what little grease was applied at the factory. really, how do you sleep at night?
    Hey JW, I've NEVER had, or even heard of a TOB going bad. Clutch wear, sure, but just the TOB? Never on a car, bike, or friend's vehicle, or here on this forum.

    Has anyone ever had a TOB fail? If so, I bet it was just bad, period, and not caused by using it 'too much'.

    So I sleep fine, but like I said, if I used neutral all the time, I might be permanently sleeping in the dirt right now!

    I think the compromise is the way to go. Drop it in neutral if you wish after you get traffic behind you.

    Also, I must add, where I ride, I spend VERY little time sitting at lights. I don't ride much in the city. No twisties, I'll take my car. That way I can watch DVDs while I drive (deliberate bating there!).
    Rob C. , Raleigh, NC
    '05 R12RT, R90/6
    2007 CBR600RR & 09 V-Star
    Suzuki DR 350

  14. #14
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    That's MSF all right, how to be safe standing still.

    Or riding around a parking lot.

    I'm just so sorry guvmint won't fund closed course training at highway speeds, but it seems there's a bit of overcompensation happening. That is, be uberprepared for the unlikely, hardly prepared for the many times you can fall off going fast. I'm never normal-stopping my motor with the kill switch, either. It's egos run amok.
    Kent Christensen
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    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  15. #15
    Cam Killer marchyman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoboRider View Post
    Has anyone ever had a TOB fail? If so, I bet it was just bad, period, and not caused by using it 'too much'.
    [subject drift]
    You've probably read of folks needing to replace a clutch slave cylinder. That's where the throw-out bearing lives. I believe it is the bearing or the seal that wears causing the slave cylinder to fail. I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong.
    [/subject drift]

    Regardless, I never think about the throw-out bearing and how I may or may not be reducing it's life. If it wears I'll replace it. I don't have any 100% rule about neutral/not neutral at stop lights. Depends upon conditions. That said, I don't think I ever coast to a stop in neutral.

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