Kawasaki Vulcan Forum banner

1 - 20 of 57 Posts

·
BOTM Winner, October 2013
Joined
·
311 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
191 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,098 Posts
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!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,477 Posts
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...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
492 Posts
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!

Sent from Motorcycle.com Free App
 

·
BOTM Winner, October 2013
Joined
·
311 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
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!

Sent from Motorcycle.com Free App
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.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,384 Posts
Speaking of paint, it's easy to let your guard down in parking buildings. That paint is still slick!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,620 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
340 Posts
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
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
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.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
170 Posts
Anyone else try to hit those metal expansion joints on curvy overpasses a little more upright rather than leaning into the corner? I do myself especially early morning or if it's been raining. I may look like I'm "zig-zagging" in the lane but I've felt my cage slip on those when they're wet, at or below speed limit, and I've had no desire to see how that feels on two wheels.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
107 Posts
Whenever I ride with anyone who I normally don't ride with, I take a minute to explain how I ride and how I expect them to ride with me. I'm picky about who I ride and it is good to get the ground rules out there.


Rule #1 Self preservation, "You get killed it's on you!" I'm not your babysitter. Never try to keep up beyond your ability or comfort zone. I know you were back there I'll wait or find you. If a light turns after I go through and you run it that's on you. If I'm out running you on the turns I'll let you catch me, I still know your back there. We'll be on the same road just keep coming.

#2 Don't ride too close to the bike in front of you! We all know or have heard of that wreck where 1 guy went down and 2 or more of his buddies plowed into him. DERP! I see groups in tight formation all the time asking for a multibike pile up. The law is actually about assured clear distance! take that as a rough guideline of how far back to be then double it!

#3 Know your range. Short fuel range determines group gas stops. When we stop for gas, get gas 1st. Then if you need a restroom find one. Get a drink and fire up a cig if you plan too. We may not be stopping again anytime soon We'll be down for 10-15 minutes normally to let everyone get their stuff together. Don't make it a habit to be the one we are waiting on when it's time to roll. The other part of know your range, We're riding X number of miles today, are you up to that? Bike all good? Rider all good? Passenger? If not, stay home! Not being mean, don't want you to ruin every ones day! Are you on a permit? might not be legal for you to go this far, ride these roads or cross this state line.

#4 I don't point out dead animals.pot holes, etc. You are to be paying attention to the road!

#5 Ride staggered formation as road conditions and skill level allow. Road too rough take the smooth line. Twisties ride your own line, You have to decide what is best. Never lock onto the bike aheads line unless you allow more space between.

#6 Special rule for riding with me. Never come up on my right side while we are moving. It's fine when we stop. Actually I expect you too when I am stopped at a light or a sign. My right "eye" is a piece of acrylic and it sees about as well as most pieces of acrylic. Don't be there unless I'm stopped. Most people tend to forget that I'm totally blind on that side but I still am. The fact that people cant tell, well I take pride in that. But In the name of self preservation I tell everyone I ride with.
That being said what special concerns do you bring to the party, deaf ear? blind side? half stupid? full on stupid? anything we need to know? stoned? drunk? whatever it is get it out there before we ride!

I could go on but I gotta go to work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
Someone mentioned that it's not good landing with a 800+ lb bike on top of you. From recent experience, watch out for the automatic exit gates at gated parking lots. Especially the one's with the warning 'For Automotive Use Only'.
Traffic in front of me didn't allow me and my VN2000 to clear fast enough. Before I knew it was there, the arm came back down, hit the front top of my helmet and knocked me and the bike over on the right side.
Unfortunately, my right foot was stuck under the bike. Needless to say four weeks after I still have 2.5 weeks before the fractured, dislocated ankle is ready for rehabilitation.
Be careful, this is one you may, like me, not see coming.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
340 Posts
Anyone else try to hit those metal expansion joints on curvy overpasses a little more upright rather than leaning into the corner? I do myself especially early morning or if it's been raining. I may look like I'm "zig-zagging" in the lane but I've felt my cage slip on those when they're wet, at or below speed limit, and I've had no desire to see how that feels on two wheels.
Those bridge joints, and the train tracks that don't squarely cross the road, right in the middle of a curve.
Cross all that a bit more upright & slower than usual.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Excellent advice at a light this tactic saved my bacon as well. Apparently, this happens more often than I care to know about. I'm always paranoid, - been hit twice in my cage while sitting at a light - (no room to move) but I have been a spectator to a rear-end event while sitting off to the side, and once watched a T-bone accident because I moved and they hit the intersection full speed, in cross traffic.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,219 Posts
I am not an old timer but I have seen this multiple times. Be easy on the front brake in gravel and curves. Don't get me wrong you need to know how to brake in the middle of a turn, but if you find your self doing this all the time, you are coming in too hot. Slow down and power around the turn. Last thing you want to do is grab your front brake and stand your bike up, or in gravel lock it up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
No-one is as awesome as you are and you aren't that awesome!

Ive broken a lot of bones on snow and lost a family friend due to his over excitedness to 2 strokes!

I ride a familiar route every day to work and know it well, i still dont drop my guard.

E.g. I snowboard a lot and the mountain i cut my teeth on was like my back garden(yard). I used to throw myself down it all kinda ways thinking it had got used to me too, it didnt give a shit! 2 verterbrae, a broken leg, collarbone and being left blind for a month due to swelling in my brain was the result.

My riding experience is through commuting but i learned a lesson early not to take things for granted.

You know you're awesome, everything and everyone else doesnt.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
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!)
Oh this one gets me going, 97% of all rear end collisions to motorcycles at red lights the rider was in gear, doesn't work well then does it? Sounds good, but in reality, one is no safer than the other. I hate holding in the clutch, of course I use the clutch only for take off and stopping, the rest of the time I shift without the clutch, years of riding.
Setting in gear is no safer than setting with it out, wish people would stop spreading false information, just because they had a experience.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
814 Posts
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!)
Good information new riders.

They stress Romans advice in the MSF course. Its been mentioned many times on this thread to keep a sharp eye on what's coming up behind you at those intersection stops. Even if it's only one time in your cycling life that you're able to quickly maneuver out of an impending rear end collision, it's worth the little extra effort it takes to be prepared. Stay in command as much as possible. Don't be a dishrag.
 
1 - 20 of 57 Posts
Top