How about some helpful tips from us old timers - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 57 (permalink) Old 08-31-2013, 04:56 PM Thread Starter
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How about some helpful tips from us old timers

Been watching this forum and a thought came across my mind (now my brain itches lol) Some of us older riders that have seen everything and screwed up in about every way you could think of should post or antics here for the new riders to see, do's and don'ts, the things we just do naturally without thought at. Like seeing that EVERY car out there is after you at all times lol. One of the things I do that has saved my ass once is, when stopping at a traffic light, I never stop dead center of the car in front of me, always pull to the side of the lane and aimed to the side of the car, stay in 1st gear and WATCH your mirror, if the next car coming up don't look like even a little bit it's going to stop, GET THE HELL outta there, right up the side of the car you just aimed and set yourself to go around if needed, I don't start to lower my guard till at least 3 cars have stopped behind me. This saved my butt once, I was watching my mirror and the car coming didn't look right to me, I dumped the clutch and was outta there and SLAM he rear ended the car that WAS in front of me, the driver was texting and I would have been the special at The Waffle House. Another tip is, when coming to a side road with a car waiting for traffic, some say look at the driver to see if they are looking at you, well how many time have we heard, "I didn't see the motorcycle" ? Look at the front tire of the car, if it moves, take action. Always keep in the back of your mind a escape route if something goes sideways in front of you, like I said, in time you won't even think about what your doing, your just doing it.

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Last edited by gearheadfl; 08-31-2013 at 04:59 PM.
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post #2 of 57 (permalink) Old 08-31-2013, 05:23 PM
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Anyone starting out, or re-visiting riding, should take some version of the MSF course. So many lessons can be learned from the instructors there. Piggy backing off Jim, when I am coming upon a stopped car that is waiting to join traffic I glance at the driver then look at their wheels, If they are turning then I am slowing. Check way up the road and ride accordingly.
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post #3 of 57 (permalink) Old 08-31-2013, 05:23 PM
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I saw your comment in another thread about pulling to the side when behind a car. This was excellent advice that I have rarely followed but I am now going to start thinking this way. We need a way out in many situations.

We want to enjoy our rides and we want to be focused enough to survive another day. Lots of careless people out there and their lack of respect toward others can cost us big time. Great thread!

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post #4 of 57 (permalink) Old 08-31-2013, 06:37 PM
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Be very, very careful crossing RR tracks! Around here they have steel plates between the tracks that are really slick all the time. They don't need rain to make them slippery! Cross them at a steady rate, as close to a right angle as possible and as upright as you can be. I trashed a bike and a lot of skin, way back when, learning this little tidbit...



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post #5 of 57 (permalink) Old 08-31-2013, 06:56 PM
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Watch out for painted lines in the road. The paint that is used is very slick when wet. Even dew will make them as slick as ice. That goes for the turn arrows in lanes too.

I saw a rider making a left turn onto a side street during a light rain. He was doing great until he hit the white line on the side of the road. Then bam, down he went.

A steady throttle hand and staying as square as possible to the lines will keep you upright!

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post #6 of 57 (permalink) Old 08-31-2013, 07:10 PM Thread Starter
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Watch out for painted lines in the road. The paint that is used is very slick when wet. Even dew will make them as slick as ice. That goes for the turn arrows in lanes too.

I saw a rider making a left turn onto a side street during a light rain. He was doing great until he hit the white line on the side of the road. Then bam, down he went.

A steady throttle hand and staying as square as possible to the lines will keep you upright!

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On the white line subject. Even when your coming to a stop in the rain, don't put you foot down on a painted line, it could slip and over you go, if you land right and the bike is on top of you, that's a good way to have to be on crutches for awhile, and if nothing more, everybody will see this trick and you will end up on U-Tube somewhere.

Jim in Florida
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post #7 of 57 (permalink) Old 08-31-2013, 09:55 PM
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Speaking of paint, it's easy to let your guard down in parking buildings. That paint is still slick!

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post #8 of 57 (permalink) Old 08-31-2013, 11:29 PM
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Dunno if I'm really an 'old timer', but I've got a couple of tips; two common mistakes I keep seeing from folks around me.

1) Be on your guard, always. Successful (aka alive) motorcyclists ride proactively, not reactively. Nothing should catch you by surprise. When cars are in the 'danger zone', aka, stopped or slowing to make a left turn, with a blinker on, sitting in a driveway, appear to be going slower than other traffic; any of those 'red flags', you should be plotting an exit strategy. What's around? Can I swerve? Can I brake? Should I slow down now or can I proceed but just be cautious?

For example, I'm in the habit, when approaching cars stopped waiting to pull out or make a left turn, of checking the oncoming lane for traffic and covering my brake with my fingers. That way, if they do violate my right of way; I'm being PROACTIVE. A proactive rider knows that the lane is open (or knows that traffic is oncoming) and is already applying the brake when trouble happens. A REACTIVE biker has to get their bearings, apply their brakes, and begin looking around for an exit. Reactive bikers take more time; time you might not have.

2) Leave it in gear at a stop. Resist the temptation to pop it in neutral. Not only is it annoying to be behind 'that guy' while he gets it into gear and takes off; if someone decides to barrel down on you at a stop, you do NOT want to have to be dealing with your transmission! (Again, a reactive biker has to put the bike back in gear; a proactive biker is ready to take off!)

This one saved me a couple weeks ago. I was stopped at a light, and I looked in my rear view mirror to see a minivan coming to me at about 30mph, slowing down, but not slowing down near fast enough. I saw the drivers head bobbing up and down as she was fishing through her purse (or picking up whatever she dropped, etc.) in the floor. I was able to easily move it over onto the shoulder while she ran the red light; finally looked back up and sped up. I don't even think she realized she went through the intersection. Keeping it in gear made what could've been a bad accident nothing more than a minor inconvenience.

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Last edited by Romans5.8; 08-31-2013 at 11:31 PM.
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post #9 of 57 (permalink) Old 09-01-2013, 08:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gearheadfl View Post
Been watching this forum and a thought came across my mind (now my brain itches lol) Some of us older riders that have seen everything and screwed up in about every way you could think of, should post our antics here for the new riders to see, do's and don'ts, the things we just do naturally without thought at.

Like seeing that EVERY car out there is after you at all times lol. One of the things I do that has saved my ass once is, when stopping at a traffic light, I never stop dead center of the car in front of me, always pull to the side of the lane and aimed to the side of the car, stay in 1st gear and WATCH your mirror, if the next car coming up don't look like even a little bit it's going to stop, GET THE HELL outta there, right up the side of the car you just aimed and set yourself to go around if needed, I don't start to lower my guard till at least 3 cars have stopped behind me.
This saved my butt once, I was watching my mirror and the car coming didn't look right to me, I dumped the clutch and was outta there and SLAM he rear ended the car that WAS in front of me, the driver was texting and I would have been the special at The Waffle House.

Another tip is, when coming to a side road with a car waiting for traffic, some say look at the driver to see if they are looking at you, well how many time have we heard, "I didn't see the motorcycle" ?
Look at the front tire of the car, if it moves, take action.

Always keep in the back of your mind a escape route if something goes sideways in front of you, like I said, in time you won't even think about what your doing, your just doing it.
I do keep a close watch on that other front tire,
And I've started lining up at stoplights off to the left of the rear bumper ahead of me

And lastly, the big escape route... take the less congested...and more enjoyable... way home.
You're on a bike, take the time to enjoy the view

.
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Last edited by Lkdelta; 09-01-2013 at 08:25 AM.
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post #10 of 57 (permalink) Old 09-01-2013, 01:07 PM
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Best recommendation I could make would be to take the MSF Basic Rider Course.

And from that course: Look at where you want the bike to go, not at what you're trying to avoid.


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