Highways - getting used to the wind - Page 2 - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-20-2012, 07:26 AM
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One bit of advice that I got from my riding instructor when I took my initial safety course was never be afraid to pull off the road if you fear for your life. It's much better to take five minutes extra to be safe then to not make it to your final destination. That goes along with the "safety bubble" mentioned above. And truthfully there's no minimum requirement on the size of your engine to follow those rules either.
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-20-2012, 07:32 AM
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Keep a physical "zone" of space around you that coincides with the 2 second rule, and keep a mental picture of what is happening in your 12 second zone. You can be vigilant without being white knuckle, but @#$ happens fast at 70 mph. As you watch the cagers moving in relation to you, and to each other, you can frequently tell who is about to make a sudden lane change or who is texting and oblivious. I am a huge believer in making myself visible with lights and hi-viz gear. Don't get complacent, but do try to relax and enjoy it.
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-20-2012, 08:13 AM
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Getting use to the wind blasts I think is just a matter of experience and learning/knowing what situations create them and knowing what to expect. That way they don't come as a big surprise.

At least for me it helps to be prepared that way so you can just go with it rather than over react.
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-20-2012, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Cheesefood View Post
So yeah, I'm new and riding on the highway is a bit scary. Any suggestions? Those semis really create a lot of pressure when they pass. Changing lanes is tricky because I'm not too comfortable moving my head to look far over my shoulder.

Any tips or sanity checks to get used to highway rides?
I was in a motorcycle accident involving a Semi. You are wise to be aware of them and what they can do. You are wise to admitting to be scared. Trust me when I tell you, it's not pleasant.

I recommend getting used to the basics first. Practice, Practice, Practice. Ride around your neighborhood, get used to stopping and looking and being aware of what's around you.

Whenever you see a car on the road, or a pedestrian on the sidewalk, or a dog you should be mentally asking yourself, what do I do if they do something stupid? Make a game out of looking for exits. Be aware of the traffic all around you, assume they are out to get you, and ask yourself what action you will take if they make their move. If the time ever comes when you really -do- have to act, you'll do it without thinking.

Truck Drivers don't want to hit you, but they are people. They get tired, they make mistakes. I don't pass a Semi if I'm going to be stuck beside one for a length of time. I stay aware of their blind spots. I always look for that exit.

Practice the basics. When you're comfortable with that, little things like the wind blowing your bike around a bit will actually be enjoyable.
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-20-2012, 03:51 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the continued good advice. Yeah, right now i'm scared. There's no margin for error at 50 MPH. People drive aggressive because cars bounce and motorbikes crash. I was scared of the highway when I started driving a car (and by the way, it's spelled c-a-r, not c-a-g-e).

Thanks and keep up with the advice.
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post #16 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-20-2012, 04:03 PM
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get used to a car being refered to as a cage.....thats how it is about 75% of the time on MC forums !!

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post #17 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-21-2012, 08:46 AM
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I'll add one more thing too. There's an old saying, "Gas will get you in, and Gas will get you out."

If you're driving on a highway at 70-80 mph, I'd make sure you're on a bike with enough power to accelerate your narrow buttocks out of the way as quickly as possible if need be.
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post #18 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-21-2012, 11:42 AM Thread Starter
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I'll add one more thing too. There's an old saying, "Gas will get you in, and Gas will get you out."

If you're driving on a highway at 70-80 mph, I'd make sure you're on a bike with enough power to accelerate your narrow buttocks out of the way as quickly as possible if need be.
Nice, thanks. I think a 900 is big enough to handle my un-narrow buttocks. Seems like a bike that has plenty of gusto but doesn't throw me off.
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post #19 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-22-2012, 12:48 AM
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I have notice some big differences on the highway on what I wear. I don't have a windshield as it's not something I care for.

My warm weather gear (mesh jacket) seems to not 'sail' as much and don't have a lot of drag or buffeting.

My cooler (leather) seems to 'sail' more it is loser fitting than my mesh to allow for a liner. I do get more drag with it.

So I ride the lanes differently depending on the gear, cooler I have a tendency to stay on the inner lanes and warmer I will stay on the outer lanes. (this is riding I-5) .
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post #20 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-22-2012, 01:42 AM
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convex mirrors!! one on each stock mirror. you can get them at walmart for about a buck. your confidence will greatly improve and one good look in your new mirrors and a quick glance over the sholder. Best investment you can make.
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