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Thread: Watch for Motorcyclists

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  1. #1
    Kbiker BCKRider's Avatar
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    Watch for Motorcyclists

    This phrase or something similar maybe isn't as lame or dumb as it seems, and applies when we are on our bikes, not just something the cagers will ignore.

    Last Friday I was on a lake ferry in British Columbia and all 5 bikes on the boat got slotted together. With only a little conversation we learned that three liked to "push the envelope," and it turned out on the road the Goldwing rider was only slightly faster than me.

    Those "push the envelope" guys made very quick passes on double yellow lines where they could not possibly see over the crest of the hill. True, they didn't move out very far into the oncoming lane, but it could have been an accident for a quick motorcyclist coming the opposite direction in the left wheel track on this narrow road if the timing had been just right. We all were stopped for 15 minutes not far up the road, Goldwing and I together, fast guys two cagers ahead because of rock fall being cleared. Then the road crew moved all the bikes to the head of the line. So we got to watch them do it again.

    There are a lot of these guys, good experienced riders, but they are dicing with your life. I'm not sure what the moral is. On blind uphills, I move to the center of the lane or even right of center to give these possible threats more room. And I slow down a bit if I think there is a possibility of a crossroad vehicle also coming onto the road near the crest.

    I still occasionally ride very quickly, but I try to pick spots where that is not likely to do me or anybody else any harm.

    Somebody else said it far more eloquently, but I try to respond to the "possible" threat rather than have to take emergency action for the one in my face.
    Doug
    1992 K100RS

  2. #2
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    You're right. There are enough threats forced upon us by other drivers. We don't need to create more on our own.

  3. #3
    RK Ryder
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCKRIDER View Post
    On blind uphills, I move to the center of the lane or even right of center to give these possible threats more room. And I slow down a bit if I think there is a possibility of a crossroad vehicle also coming onto the road near the crest.
    On approaching a hilltop on a two lane road, I always reduce my speed. This has bode well for me on two occasions. Once, two dogs, were waiting, sitting on the right and left wheel tracks and on once, the van of passengers I was following decided to stop to sight see, just over the crest of the hill. In each case, further reducing my speed was not difficult.

    I don't ride being afraid, but I do ride trying to anticipate situations which could arise and being prepared to avoid them.

    When on or in a vehicle, I consider it my duty (to myself, my family and other road users) to do whatever I can to avoid something which might be unpleasant and life altering. There is too much evidence that many drivers/riders do not.
    Paul
    Retired and riding my RTs, the '87 K100 & the '98 R1100 !
    Treasurer of the Forest City Motorrad Club #159
    Knights of the Roundel #333

  4. #4
    Morning Person
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    We had an accident here last week. Guy from out of state, riding the canyon on his Harley (not a Harley indictment...just saying what he rode). Took a turn a little too fast and drifted into oncoming lane. Turns out a local rider was coming that way. Harley clips local rider...major injury accident.

    I sometimes find myself a little too close to centerline on left hand turns that are decreasing radius, when riding the canyon. Have a hard time hugging the right side because of drop-offs. Any advice to cure this? Thanks.

  5. #5
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    fly- ignore the drop off, and focus only on your good/safe line.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  6. #6
    neanderssance man sedanman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flyrider View Post
    We had an accident here last week. Guy from out of state, riding the canyon on his Harley (not a Harley indictment...just saying what he rode). Took a turn a little too fast and drifted into oncoming lane. Turns out a local rider was coming that way. Harley clips local rider...major injury accident.

    I sometimes find myself a little too close to centerline on left hand turns that are decreasing radius, when riding the canyon. Have a hard time hugging the right side because of drop-offs. Any advice to cure this? Thanks.
    Take Lee Parks course ( or any advanced riding course). Once you know that the bike will go exactly where you want it to go and you have a good understanding of late apexing, you will not be afraid to put the bike where it needs to be. Part of my commmute is on a very twisty 45 mph road that moves at 70mph during rush hour. I used to be scared to death of the guardrail ( a.k.a. MEAT GRINDER ). Now that I know the only way I'm hitting that rail is if I tell the bike that's where I want to go, I am much more if not totally at ease.
    Paul
    "Friends don't let friends ride junk!"
    2011 R1200RT

  7. #7
    Morning Person
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    Bikerfish and Sedanman:

    I understand the concept of bike following eye, but if I "look through the turn" on a long turn, my eye line is going to intersect the centerline...and there I go. I've taken to looking through the turn to note the apex, but to shift my gaze closer to the bike (like 50-100 feet, depending on speed) to set the line I'm going to follow "through the turn". That probably doesn't describe it well, but maybe you can help me here.

    Wish I could draw a picture here. Maybe I can...I'll work on it...

  8. #8
    Fidster
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    Finding the third point

    At Superbike School in Level I, you learn the Two Step Drill where you find your turn point (Step One) then turn your head and the bike when the bike runs over the turn point (second step) . You look at the point in the curve where you want the bike to go (probably the apex, depending on the shape of the curve). This is pretty much everything mentioned above so far.

    In Level II, a third step is added and that is : as soon as you're leaned over and on your way to that point in the turn you've aimed for (i.e. the apex in the example above) you look for the point where you want to go after you exit the curve (probably your turn point for the next curve).

    This works very well for two reasons:

    1) It straightens out your line (you can stand up the bike faster, get on the gas faster, brake faster if you need to, etc, )

    2) It keeps you looking as far down the road as possible and focused on the strip of pavement you plan on using.

    After you're comfortable with turn points and turning your head, try adding this step. You'll love it! Much smoother and more confidence and you'll be amazed at how much usable pavement there is.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by flyrider View Post
    Bikerfish and Sedanman:

    I understand the concept of bike following eye, but if I "look through the turn" on a long turn, my eye line is going to intersect the centerline...and there I go. I've taken to looking through the turn to note the apex, but to shift my gaze closer to the bike (like 50-100 feet, depending on speed) to set the line I'm going to follow "through the turn". That probably doesn't describe it well, but maybe you can help me here.

    Wish I could draw a picture here. Maybe I can...I'll work on it...
    probably too close, unless we're talking under 15 mph for 50, or 30 mph for 100.
    your bike travels at approximately 1.5 ft per sec times your current mph- so 60 mph = 90 ft per sec. and you probably want to be looking about 2-4+ secs in front of yourself (assuming a reasonably curvy road that has limited sight distances from one curve to the next).

    regarding your "long turn" (sweeper) issue of turning in too quickly- be aware of the entire curve, but hold yourself on the outside longer. to help you do that- don't look at that centerline as your target. your target is the exit of the corner- keep looking for that.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  10. #10
    Left Coast Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_F View Post
    On approaching a hilltop on a two lane road, I always reduce my speed..... once, the van of passengers I was following decided to stop to sight see, just over the crest of the hill.
    I've been riding for about 100 years and never once have I ever given this scenario consideration - possibly because I've never encountered it. Cars/trucks in wrong lane, animals running around yes, but never this one.

    Thanks for helping me learn something new today!

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