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That's kinda what hyperbole means.
"exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally."

People say it to make a point; and yes, I do understand that point.
Riding a motorcycle is always risky business; and more-so when sharing the road with 2 ton autos; piloted by comfortable, insulated from the risk, drivers.


There just isn't much for a new rider to take away from it.
The OP isn't a new rider; but you can bet there's one reading this thread.

If a new rider doesn't understand the inherent risk in riding; he's not going to parse the meaning out of hyperbole.
If he's really trying to understand how to mitigate the risk. Then he already gets the point and will benefit the most from specific technique advice.

Some-one turning left in front of you is one of the most dangerous situations because it gives you very little time to observe and/or react.
But, most interaction with cagers is a lot less "instant".
One of the best things I could advise is to start observing patterns in drivers. What they drive, color and age of car, age and gender of driver; are they alone, how close are they to the car in front of them. What they're wearing, what time of day and day of week. What part of town and what type of road are you on, is the speed limit going to increase/decrease soon.

After a while you develop a marginally reliable intuition about drivers. You know when they're going to change lanes before they do; you know when to hit the gas and get a good distance ahead or hit the brakes and get a good distance behind.

I think it creates a confidence that's necessary to avoid turning a low risk situation into a high risk situation out of fear.

Now, believe me there's been times when I cursed and called cagers just about every name in the book for being so F-ing stupid!
I just think I'm (and probably most people) a better rider when I'm calm and making confident decisions.

Scott
 

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Two riders were killed in my area recently. The dreaded left turn in front of you that you can't miss. What do you guys do to avoid it? I brake and just assume everyone is going to turn left in front of me.

I suppose some cases are unavoidable but it seems to be the major cause of accidents. They literally don't see us. What can we do to change that?
Since you started this thread there has been another fatality from the left turn in MO. Many here know of Don Myers and his custom bars for the Vaquero. Unfortunately there will be no more.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
Since you started this thread there has been another fatality from the left turn in MO. Many here know of Don Myers and his custom bars for the Vaquero. Unfortunately there will be no more.
We are up to 8 deaths in my area already. Sorry to hear about Don.
 

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That's awful. I read an article on the crash but it didn't state whether or not he was wearing a helmet, does anyone know? I've only had one close call personally and it was a car headed toward me that turned left in front of me. It wasn't a lock it up and lay it down situation, but scary non the less. Gave me first hand experience regarding the vanity of a single front disc vs. the function of two on a heavy bike.
 

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I totally agree with the idea that bright lights on a bike are very effective to drawing attention. Loud pipes are not all that helpful IMO. Just having some cheap led's on during my 5k km ride to the west coast in 2015 made a difference I believe.
 

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One thing I want to add to this post....8 months after the last addition....is the benefit of LED lights at night. I'm talking about the set that shines on the engine and bounces off the chrome. I saw a video on cruisercustomizing.com and the girl doing the install was asked "what the benefit was of LED lights" and her reply was more or less that it was BAD ASS!!!!

My belief has always been that if it's something that makes you stand out from the crowd, then you get noticed by a few more people. If someone notices the blue lights around your engine and think "that's pretty cool" or even "that looks stupid", then you've MADE that person notice you and they now know that you're there and are less likely to hit you. To me it's all about doing what I can do to get as many people around me to see me first. That way I have a smaller chunk of the cages out there that I have to avoid.

If I had unlimited funds, I would do the head light and tail light modulators, LED headlights for the extra brightness, spot lights, LED engine lights, hell even keeping your chrome shiny might make a difference. And then the WOLO horns and/or loud exhaust.
 

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Sometimes, there is nothing you can do. Some idiot, off duty fireman, with inadequate insurance is determined to kill your minor daughter as she and a friend are on their way to choir practice at church. The friend has a concussion and some other injuries, but no broken bones and no severe injuries. My daughter got flown to Las Vegas with a broken right leg and both forearms broken. She had surgery on the leg Friday, right arm Sunday and more severely broken left arm today. She will set off the scanners for the rest of her life. She will recover, but it will be months.

Review your policies. What you have is not enough. Stupid driver has only $50,000 liability, which goes nowhere in a trauma center. I have $100,000 underinsured motorist coverage, which is not enough.
 

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That's very unnerving, the concept of under insured motorist coverage makes no sense to me, if someone can't/won't carry enough insurance then I have to pick up the tab for their legally allowed irresponsibility? The industry is broken and offers coverage with no association regarding what repairing a person can actually cost. Why someone would be allowed to operate anything heavier than a Schwinn on public road with only $50K worth of liability insurance is beyond me, in most parts of the country that'll cover the first 10-15 minutes in a trauma ward, not including the helicopter ride there!
 

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This discussion has certainly made me want to jump in with my opinions. First let me say that fifteen years ago I was tboned in an intersection while riding a Gwing. Put me through the windshield and twelve days in the hospital. So, the driver stated he didn't see me of course jumping a red didn't seem to be a real concern. I was wearing a black leather jacket and black jeans and of course black helmet. I only just started riding again this year I have a vest that is fluorescent orange and my helmet has three reflective stripes. I have been told that the vest is very visible and had an RCMP constable want to know where I bought it so he could get one for himself. As stated before being visible is a high priority but will not cure the idiots that don't pay attention to their driving. We as motorcyclists have to be very defensive in our driving as 70% of the other drivers are not. Just one added comment I have sta in an office overlooking a very busy intersection for and hour or so and the number of people stopped at the light playing with phones, gps and kids in the back seat just phenomenal.

Stay visible and drive defensibly !
 

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In order of importance:

1. Slow down per the road signs, nobody does this!
2. On approach, have throttle closed, hand on brake lever, foot on brake pedal and be prepared to nail them if needed. A 15 MPH impact is better than 35MPH!
3. Put the day dreams, nature scenes, unclothed women on the corner out of your mind for a moment, and glue the eyes to the cars that may create a conflict.
4. Get good lights, if your state allows a flasher install it, and keep headlights on high. A small fine is worth them being on high.
5. Wear flourescent cloths orange or other. Never black. If you like leather, wear it, and put a bright vest over it.

You have to ride as if you plan for the unforseen. Lets admit, when we drive our pickup trucks, do we drive as careful as we do on our bikes. I know I don't!

Our bikes these days are becoming loaded with more and more distractions. The new indians have a huge navigation display and a very small windscreen. I can;t see how this is safe.
 

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More suggestions:

Don't assume that some vehicle types are less likely to turn in front of you than others. I had a school bus turn in front of me! Fortunately, I had prepared and managed to stop a couple of feet from it.

Headlight modulators do get attention and are legal everywhere (in the US) during daylight hours. If you have LED headlights, you need one that is designed to work with LEDs for it to work in a legal manner. Be aware that few morons (hmm, a certain school bus driver?) think that rapidly flashing light is you indicating that they should go! I have had many folks tell me that my 6000°K (LED) headlight modulator and LED driving lights really catch their attention. No complaints about it blinding anyone.

Driving lights: Too many folks install them so that they are close together, like on the forks near the axle. This makes it difficult for other drivers to judge your distance and speed. Your headlight(s) and driving lights should make a wide triangle. This makes it much easier for others to judge your speed and distance and it is more likely to catch their attention that a single point of light, or 2 lights (driving lights too close blend into one) in a vertical line. The Voyager driving lights are wide enough, but they could be a little lower to be more effective.

If you are going to wear leathers and no hi vis vest, wear a white helmet. Add some retro reflective strips to it to help when it gets dark. They do work. I have had a number of people comment about how visible my helmet was in the dark because of such strips.
 

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...Be aware that few morons (hmm, a certain school bus driver?) think that rapidly flashing light is you indicating that they should go!...
To be perfectly fair, flashing your headlights is a very common way people use to signal giving up right of way. I see it ALL the time here in PA. Flashy lights belong on emergency vehicles. I don't mind a brake light modulator that does a quick set of flashes then solid, but I wouldn't use a headlight modulator myself.

Sounds like your defensive equipment may be responsible for causing a near miss if it's confounding other road users?
 

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On multilane in-town roads, I try to ride to the rear of a cage as a marker in their left lane with enough clearance and far enough to the rear so that if they use their right mirror they can see me.
Just make sure you are looking over the top of them if they are making a right turn and another vehicle decides to join into the flow as that original cage gets out of the flow and makes the turn.

Happened today, the cage made a right turn, the new cage made their right turn into the flow from the parking lot and zipped across all 3 lanes straight over to the left turn lane.
They cant see you at all back there when hiding behind another cage
 

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To be perfectly fair, flashing your headlights is a very common way people use to signal giving up right of way. I see it ALL the time here in PA. Flashy lights belong on emergency vehicles. I don't mind a brake light modulator that does a quick set of flashes then solid, but I wouldn't use a headlight modulator myself.

Sounds like your defensive equipment may be responsible for causing a near miss if it's confounding other road users?
I don't see how rapidly and constant flashing lights can be interpreted as manually flashing lights to indict that someone should go. Before I started riding, I would see bikes with modulators and knew immediately that they were not manually flashing their lights. I had no idea what a headlight modulator was, but I knew that it got my attention. No way someone could flip the switch that fast for that long. People flash their lights as a go ahead here, too, and it is very easy to tell the difference.

I have also seen people pull out in front of ambulances, police, fire trucks, etc. Doesn't mean they should not use their sirens and lights. I'm sure it would be much worse if they didn't use them.

More people see the modulated headlight and yield right-of-way than mis-interpret them. I have had a lot fewer people turn in front of me or pull out in front of me than before I got a modulator, so I think it is far better to have it than not.
 

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I don't see how rapidly and constant flashing lights can be interpreted as manually flashing lights to indict that someone should go.
Because people are stupid. I agree with you though that the benefits outweigh the risks, but I got a kick out of that comment. I had a lady pass in front of my bright red Dodge Ram and tell me that she didn't see me. I just looked at her with this "are you really that stupid?" look on my face. Headlight modulators aren't a guarantee that everyone is going to see you and not interpret it as you yielding the right of way. I would drive just as defensively with the modulators that I would without them. Just because I don't know what the person in the other car is thinking...or their IQ score.
 

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Bumping this thread...

I have to disagree w/ a few of the posts on this thread... I *strongly* believe you NEED to ride as if EVERYONE is trying to kill you...
I was stopped at a light, in an intersection, on a sunny, dry, day, wearing bright hi-viz yellow... and an 18 year old texting on her phone, never touched her brakes, and slammed into me hard enough to launch me 20 feet through the air, and shred the rim of my rear tire (as well as total my Strom)...


Just for fun, I decided to compile a few clips (riding different bikes I've owned) of the idiots you'll deal with on the road...
(my cam is running on *every* ride, whether full day trips, or short commutes). I posted this 5 years ago almost to the day, but the adventure continues...
You are NOT first on their minds... they're busy talking to their passengers, texting, and doing anything but paying attention...

Be safe out there...

https://youtu.be/0C9yW59pzRI
 

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Because people are stupid. I agree with you though that the benefits outweigh the risks, but I got a kick out of that comment. I had a lady pass in front of my bright red Dodge Ram and tell me that she didn't see me. I just looked at her with this "are you really that stupid?" look on my face. Headlight modulators aren't a guarantee that everyone is going to see you and not interpret it as you yielding the right of way. I would drive just as defensively with the modulators that I would without them. Just because I don't know what the person in the other car is thinking...or their IQ score.
I think I must have been on some really strong meds when I wrote my comment. :pill:

What I meant was, how can people be so stupid as to think that someone could manually flash their headlights continuously that fast as a signal to go ahead and turn in front of them? That takes a special kind of stupid! BTW, that is a rhetorical question. I KNOW some people are that stupid. I sometimes feel like the kid in a bizarro version of "The Sixth Sense", "I see stupid people."

I do ride and drive a car like they are out to get me.
 

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DO:
-Realize the risk
-Wear a helmet
-Continue sharpening your skills
-Upgrade your lighting system...especially the front
-Upgrade the horn
-Stay observant and ready during "risky" situations such as intersections and night riding
-Stay visible
-Get health-bike-and life insurance

DON'T:
...let fear keep you from enjoying your ride.
 

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Ride like you are invisible. Lights, horn, clothing? Nice, but don't let it be a false sense of security. Observe, maneuver, always have an out & safer spot to go to. Be absolutely alert & vigilant. Wear armor, gloves, etc., just in case. A simple lay down & slide can erase alot of tissue. 40+ years & down 7 times - 1st 6 on 1st of 4 bikes. Ride and learn!

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
 

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I tell my MSF students that every ride is a learning opportunity, and if you are not learning, not building your rider intuition, not advancing your situational awareness on every ride, you are likely going to have traffic issues. And contrary to what a lot of people feel, MOST riders ride themselves into their own issues by their action but mostly by their LACK of actions. ONLY we riders have the best option to reduce our risks. ONLY we riders can do something to reduce our risks. If you expect other road users to consider you, watch for you, respect your rights on the road, then you are missing the fact that YOU, FIRST, are the one most responsible for what happens to you on every ride.

Yes it helps to ride defensively, but I feel that means you are riding REACTIVELY, in other words you react to what happens around you which often means you are riding in a higher risk situation. I coach riders to ride PROACTIVELY, meaning thinking about and doing everything to avoid riding into trouble. Some things you can do to greatly reduce your risks of riding: 1. Create more space/don't follow so close. 2. Do anything you can to improve your visibility, which also relates to creating more space around you, in all directions. 3. Any time you have a traffic issue, don't just blame the other road users, FIRST analyze everything you did/didn't do in the seconds before that issue, and you WILL find things that brought you to the issue. 4. Admit/accept your responsibility to control your risks.

If you start with that, and learn from everything YOU do when riding, your risk issues will decrease dramatically. I ride two to three times the national average in all kinds of weather, and I rarely have issues in traffic.
 
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