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Thread: 50 survival tips - Read 'em now!

  1. #1
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    17th January 2005 - 10:54
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    Thumbs up 50 survival tips - Read 'em now!

    Found this article and thought it might be good to spread the knowledge.
    -------
    Assume you're invisible
    Because to a lot of drivers, you are. Never make a move based on the assumption that another driver sees you, even if you've just made eye contact.

    Be considerate
    The consequences of strafing the jerk du jour or cutting him off start out bad and get worse. Pretend it was your grandma and think again

    Dress for the crash, not the pool or the prom
    Sure, Joaquin's Fish Tacos is a five-minute trip, but nobody plans to eat pavement. Modern mesh gear means 100-degree heat is no excuse for a T-shirt and board shorts

    Hope for the best, prepare for the worst
    Assume that car across the intersection will turn across your bow when the light goes green, with or without a turn signal.

    Leave your ego at home
    The only people who really care if you were faster on the freeway will be the officer and the judge.

    Pay attention
    Yes, there is a half-naked girl on the billboard. And the chrome needs a polish. Meanwhile, you could be drifting toward Big Trouble. Focus.

    Mirrors only show you part of the picture
    Never change direction without turning your head to make sure the coast really is clear.

    Be patient
    Always take another second or three before you pull out to pass, ride away from a curb or merge into freeway traffic from an on-ramp. It's what you don't see that gets you. That extra look could save your butt.

    Watch your closing speed
    Passing cars at twice their speed or changing lanes to shoot past a row of stopped cars is just asking for trouble.

    Beware the verge and the merge
    A lot of nasty surprises end up on the sides of the road: empty McDonald's bags, nails, TV antennas, ladders, you name it. Watch for potentially troublesome debris on both sides of the road.

    Right-turning cars remain a leading killer of motorcyclists
    Don't assume someone will wait for you to dart through the intersection. They're trying to beat the light, too.

    Think before you act
    Careful whipping around that Camry going 10km/h in a 40km/h zone or you could end up with your head in the driver's side door when he turns in front of you.

    Beware of cars running traffic lights
    The first few seconds after a signal light changes are the most perilous. Look both ways before barging into an intersection.

    Check your mirrors
    Do it every time you change lanes, slow down or stop. Be ready to move if another vehicle is about to occupy the space you'd planned to use

    Mind the gap
    Remember Driver's Ed.? One second's worth of distance per 16 km/h is the old rule of thumb. Better still, scan the next 12 seconds ahead for potential trouble.

    Beware of boy racer cars
    They're quick, and their drivers tend to be young and aggressive, therefore potentially hazardous

    Excessive entrance speed hurts
    It's the leading cause of single-bike accidents on twisty roads-some cruisers can make unheard of amounts of power. Use it on the way out of a corner, not in.

    Don't trust that deer whistle
    Ungulates and other feral beasts prowl at dawn and dusk, so heed those big yellow signs. If you're riding in a target-rich environment, slow down and watch the shoulders.

    Learn to use both brakes
    The front does most of your stopping, but for a lot of heavy cruisers a little extra rear brake can really help haul you up fast.

    Keep the front brake covered-always
    Save a single second of reaction time at 100km/h and you can stop 50m shorter. Think about that.

    Look where you want to go
    Use the miracle of target fixation to your advantage. The motorcycle goes where you look, so focus on the solution instead of the problem.

    Keep your eyes moving
    Traffic is always shifting, so keep scanning for potential trouble. Don't lock your eyes on any one thing for too long unless you're actually dealing with trouble

    Come to a full stop at that next stop sign
    Put a foot down. Look again. Anything less forces a snap decision with no time to spot potential trouble.

    Raise your gaze
    It's too late to do anything about the 5.meters immediately in front of your fender, so scan the road far enough ahead to see trouble and change trajectory.

    Get your mind right in the driveway
    Most accidents happen during the first 15 minutes of a ride, below 70km/h, near an intersection or driveway. Yes, that could be your driveway

    Never dive into a gap in stalled traffic
    Cars may have stopped for a reason, and you may not be able to see why until it's too late to do anything about it.

    Don't saddle up more than you can handle
    If you weigh 65kg, avoid that 500kg cruiser. Get something lighter and more manageable.

    Watch for car doors opening into traffic
    And smacking a car that's swerving around some goofball's open door is just as painful.

    Don't get in an intersection rut
    Watch for a two-way stop after a string of four-way intersections. If you expect cross-traffic to stop, there could be a painful surprise when it doesn't.

    Stay in your comfort zone when you're with a group
    Riding over your head is a good way to end up in a ditch. Any bunch worth riding with will have a rendezvous point where you'll be able to link up again.

    Give your eyes some time to adjust
    A minute or two of low light heading from a well-lighted garage onto dark streets is a good thing. Otherwise, you're essentially flying blind for the first km or so.

    Master the slow U-turn
    Practice. Park your butt on the outside edge of the seat and lean the bike into the turn, using your body as a counterweight as you pivot around the rear wheel.

    Who put a stop sign at the top of this hill?
    Don't panic. Use the rear brake to keep from rolling back down. Use Mr. Throttle and Mr. Clutch normally-and smoothly-to pull away.

    If it looks slippery, assume it is
    A patch of suspicious pavement could be just about anything. Butter Flavor Crisco? Gravel? Mobil 1? Or maybe it's nothing. Better to slow down for nothing than go on your head.

    Bang! A blowout! Now what?
    No sudden moves. The motorcycle isn't happy, so be prepared to apply a little calming muscle to maintain course. Ease back the throttle, brake gingerly with the good wheel and pull over very smoothly to the shoulder. Big sigh.

    Drops on the faceshield?
    It's raining. Lightly misted pavement can be slipperier than when it's been rinsed by a downpour, and you never know how much grip there is. Apply maximum-level concentration, caution and smoothness.

    Everything is harder to see after dark
    Adjust your headlights, carry a clear faceshield and have your game all the way on after dark, especially during commuter hours

    Emotions in check?
    To paraphrase Mr. Ice Cube, chickity-check yo self before you wreck yo self. Emotions are as powerful as any drug, so take inventory every time you saddle up. If you're mad, sad, exhausted or anxious, stay put.

    Wear good gear
    Wear stuff that fits you and the weather. If you're too hot or too cold or fighting with a jacket that binds across the shoulders, you're dangerous. It's that simple.

    Leave the iPod at home
    You won't hear that cement truck in time with Spinal Tap cranked to 11, but they might like your headphones in intensive care.

    Learn to swerve
    Be able to do two tight turns in quick succession. Flick left around the bag of briquettes, then right back to your original trajectory. The bike will follow your eyes, so look at the way around, not the briquettes. Now practice until it's a reflex.

    Be smooth at low speeds
    Take some angst out, especially of slow-speed maneuvers, with a bit of rear brake. It adds a welcome bit of stability by minimizing unwelcome weight transfer and potentially bothersome driveline lash.

    Flashing is good for you
    Turn signals get your attention by flashing, right? So a few easy taps on the pedal or lever before stopping makes your brake light more eye-catching to trailing traffic.

    Intersections are scary, so hedge your bets
    Put another vehicle between your bike and the possibility of someone running the stop sign/red light on your left and you cut your chances of getting nailed in half.

    Tune your peripheral vision
    Pick a point near the center of that wall over there. Now scan as far as you can by moving your attention, not your gaze. The more you can see without turning your head, the sooner you can react to trouble.

    All alone at a light that won't turn green?
    Put as much motorcycle as possible directly above the sensor wire-usually buried in the pavement beneath you and located by a round or square pattern behind the limit line. If the light still won't change, try putting your kickstand down, right on the wire. You should be on your way in seconds.

    Don't troll next to-or right behind-Mr. Peterbilt
    If one of those 18 retreads blows up-which they do with some regularity-it de-treads, and that can be ugly. Unless you like dodging huge chunks of flying rubber, keep your distance.

    Take the panic out of panic stops
    Develop an intimate relationship with your front brake. Seek out some safe, open pavement. Starting slowly, find that fine line between maximum braking and a locked wheel, and then do it again and again.

    Make your tires right
    None of this stuff matters unless your skins are right. Don't take 'em for granted. Make sure pressure is spot-on every time you ride. Check for cuts, nails and other junk they might have picked up, as well as for general wear.

    Take a deep breath
    Count to 10. Visualize whirled peas. Forgetting about some clown's 130km/h indiscretion beats running the risk of ruining your life, or ending it
    Last edited by FROSTY; 25th June 2007 at 19:00. Reason: converting to km/h
    I ride the dirt, I ride the tide
    I search the outside, search inside
    I know I'll always burn to be
    Remind me of what left this outlaw torn
    ~ The Outlaw Torn (Metallica: Load 1996)


  2. #2
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    8th November 2004 - 11:00
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    And can this be made a sticky??
    Do you realise how many holes there could be if people would just take the time to take the dirt out of them?

  3. #3
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    25th January 2006 - 15:33
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    Beware of cars running traffic lights


    So True, that one!!

    Had it drummed in to me by other half not to sprint off when lights turn "GO!"

    One time, had a green light, waited a couple of beats checking the road just as the car behind got on the horn . . . only to have a truck come blasting through the intersection, running the red at full noise.

    Turned around. The expression of total horror on the driver's face was priceless - they must've worked out if they'd been in front and sprinted off they would have got cleaned up big time.

    Tis a big problem here in Bris, the right hand turn light phasing is shocking (very short) and really encourages people to sprint through.

  4. #4
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    6th June 2007 - 13:56
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    Hey this is a great read, especially for someone starting out, all common sense I guess, but seeing it written will help to get it to sink in!

  5. #5
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    10th February 2007 - 12:03
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    very good, the humor kept me interested right up to number 50, especially the one "leave the ipod at home"

  6. #6
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    22nd April 2006 - 16:55
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    All very good advice
    As for the blowouts I had my rear go at 120k on the souther motorway
    Scariest moment I have had on a bike but managed to keep it upright by using the front brake gently but the tank has some scars
    Im not as good as I ones was
    But Im as good ones as I ever was

  7. #7
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    21st September 2006 - 21:35
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    Quote Originally Posted by cowboy View Post
    All very good advice
    As for the blowouts I had my rear go at 120k on the souther motorway
    Scariest moment I have had on a bike but managed to keep it upright by using the front brake gently but the tank has some scars
    try doubling that speed and have the front blow out just as im approaching a corner........ now thats scary. (even kept it upright) ...gentle braking and much buttock cheeck clenching worked in that situation.
    "Speed has never killed anyone. Suddenly becoming stationary - that's what gets you."
    Jeremy Clarkson.

    Kawasaki 200mph Club

  8. #8
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    9th August 2007 - 19:41
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    staying alive.

    All fine comments, I have been riding now for 40+ years with the scars to prove it, I had a B grade road racing license and had raced seriously off road since 7 YO so before I went for my learners I had a little head start on the instructor.
    While there is never too much information on staying alive there are things that are forgotten when the helmut goes on, unfortunately there are some things that simply can't be taught, they are instinctive and you either have it or you don't and the difference can mean being alive or dead.
    I'm still alive so I guess I am half good at riding bikes, the 600 TTR is just a toy, my road bike is a 95 triumph 900 speed triple and having riden all from a 125 trail bike to a 1200 harley and pretty much all in between, you tends to pick up a few tricks on staying alive.
    The main thing apart from lousy roads, oil, white lines etc etc is knowing what the other bloke is going to do, before he does it, while easy to say it's very true and must be learnt.
    I've followed cars that seem to be doing quite OK, their R blinker comes on, they move to the right lane, then turn hard left, so beware of the total opposite which may happen and never ever force your right of way, it can hurt real bad.
    Having also driven many cars and trucks I look for bikes, look left-look right-look bike, is another I always think of especially when learners will persist to ride in the car's blindspot, and some experienced riders still do it, thinking that HP will pull them out of the way, which seldom works.
    Always assume the other driver is pissed, stoned, both, old and half blind or just a total idiot and you may last a bit longer, but when you meet a tourist in his car going the wrong way on a roundabout in the rain on an off cambered road, all bets are off.
    Anyway that's my 2c worth so expect the unexpected, you must learn to drive the other blokes vehicle that is around you, and you must know what he intends to do before he does it, then expect the total opposite which does happen, I know, I have the scar to prove it.
    If anything racing at high speed is pretty easy, you are all going the same way, there are no telegraph poles to jump out and hit ya, and for the fool car driver that's looking for a cigarette or a CD while he goes through that set of red lights at 60mph, just remember he's not looking at you.
    Good luck, that helps too, new riders need it.

  9. #9
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    13th August 2007 - 20:29
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    Oh just gota say, thats a great post!

    Ive been riding for about 5 months now, and anything like that is always good to apply out there.

    Thanks

  10. #10
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    23rd November 2006 - 08:42
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    Awesome advice, I just have a question about this one:

    Quote Originally Posted by outlawtorn View Post
    Found this article and thought it might be good to spread the knowledge.
    -
    Keep the front brake covered-always
    Save a single second of reaction time at 100km/h and you can stop 50m shorter. Think about that.
    I have been advised not to ride with my hand over the brake because it means not so much control on the throttle?
    Maybe it doesn't make as much difference when you have bigger hands, but for me it seemed the choice was either to cover the brakes and have only the space between thumb and first finger left for throttle, or curl my hand around and actually be in charge of my speed.

    Any comments?

    I have never let my schooling interfere with my education ~ Mark Twain

    Vegetarian Motorcyclists Unite

  11. #11
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    20th July 2007 - 16:17
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    Thought I'd read through and see if there was anything I don't do instinctively after 20 years of riding. Nope but all essential advice.

    My last accident was when I stopped to let a woman use a pedestrian crossing and got hit from behind by the woman driving the car behind me. So the 51st tip should be run over people on crossings.

  12. #12
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    25th January 2006 - 15:33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hanne View Post
    Awesome advice, I just have a question about this one:



    I have been advised not to ride with my hand over the brake because it means not so much control on the throttle?
    Maybe it doesn't make as much difference when you have bigger hands, but for me it seemed the choice was either to cover the brakes and have only the space between thumb and first finger left for throttle, or curl my hand around and actually be in charge of my speed.

    Any comments?

    Have the same problem - small hands.

    Throttle rocker is your friend! Some people hate them, but for me they solved the exact problem you just described as you are controlling throttle by palm pressure not grip.

    I got mine for $10 bucks in Brisbane, not sure what they are worth here but are brilliant.

    Actually, now I have to find mine. Got taken off for the shift to NZ a coupla weeks ago and gawd knows where 'tis now.

    Edit: Hah! Found it!
    Illuc ivi, illud feci.

    Buggrim, Buggrit.

  13. #13
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    20th July 2007 - 16:17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hanne View Post
    I have been advised not to ride with my hand over the brake because it means not so much control on the throttle?
    Maybe it doesn't make as much difference when you have bigger hands, but for me it seemed the choice was either to cover the brakes and have only the space between thumb and first finger left for throttle, or curl my hand around and actually be in charge of my speed.

    Any comments?
    Is your brake lever adjustable for span, i.e. distance from the bar? With the excellent stoppers on the ZZR250, you should be able to use just two fingers (1st & 2nd) to brake, and still hold on to the throttle with ease. It will require that your brakes aren't spongy, and you need some reasonable strength in your fingers. If your brakes are spongy, you will trap your 3rd & 4th fingers behind the bar. It's the only way to ride through traffic and be comfortable that you're in control.

  14. #14
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    good stuff should have read it before i stacked it into a parked car

  15. #15
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    4th June 2007 - 19:20
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    good stuff should have read it before i stacked it into a parked car & watch out for local farmers stoped in the middle of rural roads having a chat came round a corner straight into the back it wasnt that fun

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