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Well, with the snow on the ground, I've been taking note of drivers and have almost been hit 3 times in the last week in the roundabouts here in town... Then I got to thinking, hey, what it's going to be like when I'm on my Duc? People seem rather impatient with roundabouts, they don't want to stop for the vehicle that is ALREADY in the roundabout, etc... So just imagine what it'd be like on a motorcycle and impatient people not wanting to slow down for THAT thing...
 

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Discussion Starter #142
Triangleforge said:
To build on a couple of things that have been mentioned above:

1) At intersections where you've got the right of way, be aware of what the WHEELS are doing on cars that appear to be stopped. Since you're moving & your perspective is constantly changing, cars that look stopped may actually be creeping out into the intersection. The wheels don't lie. Unless they're those spinner hubcaps, and then they're just sad.

2) When riding in cow or sheep country, be extra aware of places where ranchers may have been driving stock across or along public roads. That sh*t's mighty slick and isn't always clearly visible until you're in it! First time I was aware of the issue was my first road (bicycle) race in Idaho, when the race referee's pre-race talk included that warning. That, and I learned that there's ALWAYS a breakaway attempt after the field crosses a cattleguard, but that's for another forum...
Excellent points! The cow pattie one nearly got me in New Zealand. My friend and I had to stop for a crossing and when we got underway my rear tire hit a fresh one and I started fishtailing like crazy. Good thing it wasn't a tail chopped monster I was riding!



marvellous said:
Well, with the snow on the ground, I've been taking note of drivers and have almost been hit 3 times in the last week in the roundabouts here in town... Then I got to thinking, hey, what it's going to be like when I'm on my Duc? People seem rather impatient with roundabouts, they don't want to stop for the vehicle that is ALREADY in the roundabout, etc... So just imagine what it'd be like on a motorcycle and impatient people not wanting to slow down for THAT thing...
I think you'll find that *if* drivers see you, they'll give you a wide berth. Bikes are different enough that I find drivers want to give you car sized margins. For example when merging, they never pull up close to me, or when I lane split they don't crowd me when the light goes green even if I do a lazy take-off. But they do have to see you first.
 

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See, I had the opposite reaction when G and I went to Cali last December... I had people swerving INTO me on the 420 while I was LSing... And in Spokane, people just don't look for motorcycles, you definately have to be on-guard there... I don't know what it's going to be like here in OR, I've only ridden here once and it was only for a few miles... *shrugs* I just always assume that they're out to kill me... heh

Btw, it was VERY cool meeting you last fall!! If you make it up this direction again, we definately have to get together again!!! :)

Safe riding everyone!
m
 

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It helps to know the road too. Like this one time I was in San Rafael going south on the 101 in the slow lane, and I sort of got penned in there by some other traffic. Well as i'm coming up on the Francisco Blvd on ramp at the base of the hill, here comes this guy in a brand new S class still with the paper dealer plates on, just putzin onto the freeway at like 40 or 45 MPH with a Hard Back book propped up on the steering wheel. Not lookin...just.., not.....

You know, and like everyone else is doing at least 60, 65 or so.

All I could do is hit the brakes and keep an eye on the rear view...But I shuda been wise to that situation and got over Wayyyy back before it became an issue. That on ramp is insanely short, like 60-70 feet or something....
 

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While riding on two lane roads, move to the right side of your lane if you see a vehicle tailgating an oncoming vehicle.

The tailgater is likely planning to pass and may not be able to see you if you are in the left tire line of your lane.
 

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Thought I'd put this out there.
Living and riding in the Chicago area gives me lots of time through road construction areas. While on my last fall ride I came into one. This is the setup. Riding southbound in rt. lane 40mph straight road slow cager applies brakes as he enters rough pavement of rt. lane. I had already seen the pavement ahead and moved into the left lane where there was a newly paved lane. What I didn't see was the 2nd. layer of pavement @ approx. 45 degrees to the first layer. I got the front wheel over the edge but the back wheel caught and tried to follow the 45 degree edge. The violence of the slapper put a deep bruise about 10" long in my rt. thigh/knee area which I can still feel as I write this. :eek: It was just luck that I didn't go down. If I had the car in the rt. lane surely would have run me over. I've been riding on street 32 yrs. and dirt 38 yrs. and thought I was ready for just about anything but this one took me totally by surprise. Needless to say, but from now on I will ride into these areas with more caution than in the past. Oh yeah, I did have to change my shorts :p
 

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erik822 said:
Today on the way into work:
Just because someone's stopped at a stop sign doesn't mean they won't decide to pull out right in front of you. Thankfully, they looked like idiots so I was already on the brakes.
WOW. lots of good information.

I'm pretty new at riding (only about 400 miles+ MSF class). my first strong lesson was at a stop sign..

I learned to be absolute in making eye contact at stop signs... people around here don't quite know how stop signs work, so I usually let the guy who looks like he's in the biggest hurry go trying to make 100% sure the others waiting are aware its my turn threw the intersection.. If they give me the slightest indicator they are unable to wait the 5 seconds it's gonna take for me to clear a path, I'll wave them threw....
 

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Now that my bike has it's new exhaust on (ExBox, no baffles), I engine brake a bit when coming up to stop signs, roundabouts, etc... seems to help get the attention of drivers at least a lil bit. Also the weather is getting nice here in Oregon, and there are more motorcycles on the road, people are starting to at least notice me a bit more, but the roundabouts cause a few issues from time to time. But this happens if you're in a cage OR on your bike, people just want to get to where they're going and pretty much ignore everything else... And don't worry, that phone call and latte is MUCH more important than running you over... heh *shrugs*

Safe riding everyone!
marvel
 

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Ride the hand you are dealt.

I got into a rough pavement situation couple of weeks ago. They were resurfacing the highway. I found myself in the outer lane with rough pavement, large bumps, and loose debris. I wanted to change lane, but the next lane over was 3~4 inches higher because it still had asphalt. I rode the bumps until I could get out safely.
 

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Watch out for poorly maintained roads with chunks of pavement missing and wide cracks down the center of the lane. The roads up here in the northeast are full of them. Many times they will go on for quite awhile, long enough to span through a decent set of left/right turns. If I must cross them, I try to get as close to perpendicular as possible while keeping the bike as upright as possible. Getting caught in one mid turn was not fun, lesson learned.

[begin rant]
Fortunately some cities/towns in Maine have decided that road repair is just not important enough, so they have decided to cut it out of their budgets for this year...Good timing as more people are riding motorcycles and mopeds due to the high gas prices...but I digress... ::) :-\
[/end rant]

Safe riding to all. 8)
 

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The Parkway that runs through town here literally has sections with signs saying 'Rough Road'... they aren't kidding... It's from all the vehicles with studs on during the winter and big huge chunks are missing... fun riding... heh
 

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Wow

Thanks everyone for the tips. That took me a long time to read but was well worth it. Being new to motorcycles is intimidating and this really helps.

thanks again
 

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I'm planning a cross country trip from my home town in Chicago, Il to Orange County, CA. I am set to take off roughly 1-2 weeks post Cubs season. Any additional tips or suggestions that may relate specifically to my ride would be greatly appreciated. However, the true purpose of my reply is to gather a consensus on what tires i should go with for such an excursion...any input???
 

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So much great info on this thread, apologize for repeating stuff others may have said.

Operate as though no one knows you are there.

At stops, stay in 1st gear. Once a guy ran up to attack me and I laid rubber through an intersection only because I saw him running up at me in my rear view mirror to tackle me in traffic. Awesome.

Make your passenger hold onto you. If they can lock their hands, make em do it. The previous entry reminds me of this importance.

I signal early and leave it on as much as is proper. My feeling is that the more bright blinking lights and ways to let others notice me for safety -- the better.

Be an assertive rider. Don't be afraid to strongly pass someone, get away, etc. Getting around and away from cars keeps us alive.

For the rear:

Signal cagers to the back by flickering your brake light. I tend to use the front brake to jiggle lightly only to catch attention of cagers in back of me. Non-regular flashes are most recognized by people (psychology undergrad degree).

Try to stop in the center of the lane if traffic abruptly slows. My reasoning is that the cager behind me will see the larger brake lights of the car in front of me + my tail light. If it's oily in the middle, use your best judgement about being in the middle.


To the front:

I wiggle my handlebars to flash cagers in front of me if they seem to not notice, be upward stopped on a hill (may roll back onto me).

Also keep 3-8 feet back from the cross walk if I am the first next to it. Cars go over their lanes and I want to stay away from their senseless nature.

Nodding to other drivers when they are looking at me can help wake them up and think "there is a person there."

Stay out of blind spots on both sides, away from the direct sides of cars, and always add space between you and the car. Often I count when a car passes an object (post, landmark, whatever) and try to keep 3 seconds between the car passing the object and me passing the object. The faster you go, the more distance this gives you.
 

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This is my first post, so sorry if the wording is strange.
I own a 2007 s2r 1000, and I took it to a local track day last month.
When leaning over for a left-hand turn, the left footpeg scraped the asfalt.
Is this normal or do I have to adjust the supension.
Any suggestions for avoiding this - I found it quite disturbing?
Thanks
 

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Thanks guys. I'm a noob here and a noob to a motorcycle world. I decided to be smart about it and got a smaller bike. Well, the smallest I could find in Ducati, other than the European 400cc. Which, I could've and probably should've got. I got a 620, passed a safety course, passed the license, and am still scared shitless about getting out on the street. I live in Chicago and drivers here are the worst that I have seen anywhere. This is a "mutt" city. I'm not racist but, some cultures do not have business behind the wheel for the reason that they have never been exposed to driving before coming to U.S. Our driving tests here are a joke and no one pays attention to anyone else on the road. My mom had to know how to maintain an engine, change oil, tires, all fluids when she was passing her drivers exam in Europe. Here, it is simply get in and roll. So, thank you for this thread. I hope to learn all that I can to be a safe biker for life. I've been through track racing, offroading (Cars only) and now its time to try a bike. I need tips like this to reinforce what I know and stay alive. Thank you. OOORAH!
 

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Great Thread!

One more to add....

Make a habit of making full stops (left foot down) even if it's just for a sec and then go, even if there's no cars coming or so it seems; but I've found that this good habit comes in very handy to avoid confusion when dealing with other cars and also helped avoid situations where cagers blow the stop sign or pull a rolling stop. Also helps with cops, if they see you respect little things like that, then they are more prone to give you leeway if they see you lanesplitting on the shoulder in heavy traffic or going a little faster than the rest of the traffic.

The thing is once you make it a habit you don't think of it anymore and you never know who's watching you.

Keep the good advice rollin' /\^^/\
 
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