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Since things are a bit slow this time of year, I figured the grizzled riders here could share some "road knowledge" gained over the years. Hopefully not too much of it was learned in a painful way. :eek:

If a deer runs in front of you, slow down as much as possible. There are probably one or two of his friends right behind him.

If you're trying to decide if it's time to put on the rainsuit, see if the cars coming your way have their wipers on. People leave on wipers long after they're not needed.

If you see debris in the road, increase the distance between you and the car in front, and watch for more. The morons of the world who don't secure the loads on their trucks will often deposit several "presents" over the course of a few miles, so stay alert! Note that this doesn't hold true for mattresses. The brain-dead fools who tie these to the roof of their car with twine usually only have one to kill you with.

If you're behind a truck that looks like it has a bunch of loose stuff blowing about, get as far away as you can. Don't wait for that trashcan to blow out of the truck bed.

The worst time to lanesplit is when traffic is just beginning to slow. This is when everyone abruptly decides the lane *next* to them is going to be the one that doesn't slow down. Wait until the realization that they're trapped rats fully sinks in before you go between them.

If there's a breakdown on the highway, get at least two lanes over. There will always be someone who doesn't see the stopped car, comes abruptly to a halt, then pulls out at three miles per hour into the next lane, where traffic is moving at full speed.

Hope you enjoy my list. Add some of your own, and everyone, have a great (and safe) new year.
 

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Ok, here are a few that have helped keep me alive:

Don't just avoid the common blind spot on either rear quarter of a car/truck - try to avoid staying beside the driver as well. Many of them don't have or use peripheal vision. I always try to smoothly pull ahead where I'm more likely to be seen.

Check your brake light with front and rear brakes before every ride.

Even though you can come to all but a complete stop withDucati engine braking, get in the habit of applying some brake when you start slowing so the drivers behind you are aware you are slowing down.

Test your horn before riding.

Cover your horn, clutch and brake any time another vehicle is in a position to turn in front of you.

Even if you never plan to, try riding in the rain sometime to gain experience. The key is just be totally smooth with every input and never put yourself in a position to have to trail brake into a turn. If you ever get a rain shower at a track day, don't sit it out. You'll be amazed at the experience of riding a wet track.

If something sounds funny or feels different, stop and check the bike over.
 

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Good ones Mark!

The last one really saved me one time when I noticed the handling seemed a little "funny" and pulled over before I got on the freeway. A big ol' nail was causing a significant air loss in my rear tire. Happy to discovered that while stopped instead of at 65 with cages all around!
 
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here's a couple of things that have worked for me:

loud pipes and horns are no match for people who need hearing aids and people who listen to music so loud that they'll need them soon. ask a police officer or fireman how deaf cagers can be.

when stopping quickly in traffic, go to the edge of your lane instead of being in the center of it (if you're in the far left lane, go to the far right of your lane and vice-versa). most people don't know how to properly drive (in the us), but for the 35% that do, it'll give them an extra bit of space not to crush you. this saved my life on 695 in balitmore.

when you think the guy ahead of you is drunk, sometimes it's best to just pull over and call the police. drunk drivers suck and they can't be trusted in front of you, but they are scarier behind you. getting home is more important than trying to get home quickly.
 

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Just pretend everyone else is trying to kill you.
 

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Give your bike a quick once-over before you saddle up.
You can do it while the bike is warming up and you're gearing up.
Check that all lights function properly, that nothing is leaking, and nothing about to fall off.

During longer trips, check at every fuel stop as well.
I once found my shifter nub about to fall off. Had about another 200 miles to go to get home that day, so it would have been a real chore without it ... :-[

Very Monster specific, but check the chain tensioner bolts frequently. I've been on two group rides where I saw a loose one.
It's ugly when the swingarm cap starts fighting with the sprocket or brake disc. No FHE thankfully, but I've seen pictures
 

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loud pipes and horns are no match for people who need hearing aids and people who listen to music so loud that they'll need them soon.
 

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I've been riding a tiny, little while, but here's a few...

1. Always give yourself an "out." If I'm riding at 80 mph I'm looking for the safest spot to go in case someone does something stupid. If I'm coming to a stop, I always leave room and have a good line on an escape in case the cage behind me doesn't decide to stop. (I always stop a little ways behind the crosswalk at a light if I'm the first one there, just so I don't have to ride into the intersection to move out of the way of a car who doesn't stop.)

2. I generally try to keep my bike in gear at a stop, unless I'm sure the car behind me is at a complete stop and the light is known to be very long. This generally applies to #1 and holds true for bad neighborhoods too--get ready to move when someone is walking towards you!

3. Make eye contact with other drivers/riders whenever possible.

4. Be courteous--try to be anyway. A friendly wave or a nod of the head often defuses potentially hostile situations and helps promote the good image of our sport.

5. Be especially careful when riding around other bikers. I often encounter other motorcyclists who don't check their mirrors, their speed, are rude, preoccupied, posing, flirting, listening to music, are ill-equipped/dressed, or experiencing mechanical problems. If you don't know the motorcyclist, give him/her plenty of space to do the unexpected.
 

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I have to admit, I don't check my bike over like I should before a ride......one must just make it a habit.

Although because I ride home at night from work, it has been a habit to check the lights and brake lights each time!!

We have been very good at checking tire pressure before each ride..that has become one of the habits.

It's one of those things, that you just have to DO IT......like Speeddog said it can be done while gearing up and waiting for the bike to warm up.
 

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All good ideas. I especially like the one from Duck Stew about waggling the bars to draw attention with the headlight for oncoming traffic. I hadn't come across that concept yet in 36 years of riding.

Keep 'em coming, gang. And hats off to Michael Moore for starting this thread.
 

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Wear ear plugs. Especially if you plan to ride at highway speeds where wind noise is a far worse contributor to hearing loss than loud pipes are at city speeds. Hearing loss is cumulative. And your hearing is irreplaceable - once it's gone it's gone for good. I find that wearing ear plugs (good ones, the noise cancelling style rather than the junk foam ones from the drugstore that slip around and are uncomfortable) make longer trips less fatiguing.
 

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Dress For The Ride,Not The Fall...
 
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AllyCat said:
Dress For The Ride,Not The Fall...
Dress for the fall, not the ride ;)

Remember, cars that leak oil do it at intersections. Nothing worse (or more embarrassing) than putting your foot down on an oil slick...

One of the most important things to remember... LOOK WHERE YOU WANT TO GO, AND YOU'LL GO THERE!! If you get mid turn and fix your eyes on a guard rail, tree, or ditch, you'll more than likely meet up with that object. Look through the turn.
 

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I know it's hard... But, ladies try not to be attention whores on the road. Wear the right gear, no one is benifiting from your thong hanging out, your platform boots and your push up bras showing. If any one does it will be your plastic surgeon you will be visiting after the fall :)
 

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Herb said:
Dress for the fall, not the ride ;)

Remember, cars that leak oil do it at intersections. Nothing worse (or more embarrassing) than putting your foot down on an oil slick...

One of the most important things to remember... LOOK WHERE YOU WANT TO GO, AND YOU'LL GO THERE!! If you get mid turn and fix your eyes on a guard rail, tree, or ditch, you'll more than likely meet up with that object. Look through the turn.
^What Herb said^ It's called apex driving I think
 

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AllyCat said:
I know it's hard... But, ladies try not to be attention whores on the road. Wear the right gear, no one is benifiting from your thong hanging out, your platform boots and your push up bras showing. If any one does it will be your plastic surgeon you will be visiting after the fall :)
hahahahahahahahahahahahaha

ahhhhh

hahahahahahahahahah.... but, but, why did I spend all that money on my tramp stamp and my poser blue, I mean powder blue Frank Thomas riding outfit?

But now you're knockin' my platforms...that's it. ;D
 

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eh...not sure. Never even checked the price on it. All I know is that it's a really light blue and I think it involves assless chaps.... ::)
 
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