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Buddy went down on Friday


BucksTherapy

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BucksTherapy

A riding buddy on an LT was in the left lane of a four lane city street on Friday. Speed was about 50km/hr or 30mph. In the right lane and just beside him was a quarter ton. The quarter ton flicked on its left blinker and changed lanes quickly. My buddy swung into the third lane(no traffic going other way at that moment) and reached for the brake. The truck proceeded to turn left in front of him leaving him no where to go. He slid the bike into the truck fender and door at 30mph.

He was very lucky and the results speak highly of the LT. The bikes faring, side bumper and bag took the impact without crushing his leg and he came away with a bruised and sore right side.

The guy in the truck gets out and starts to say that my buddy was trying to pass him in the 3rd lane(traffic in opposite direction) and therefore was his fault. My buddy got lucky again as a cop sitting in a local Wendy's wtched the whole thing and chanrged the fellow with an unsafe lane change.

All is well but it is a reminder how quickly it can happen. One thing working against the LT was its lack of exhaust or braking noises and my buddy could not get on the horn quick enough.

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russell_bynum

I'm sorry to hear about the crash, and I'd glad your buddy was not more seriously hurt.

 

<soapbox>

One thing working against the LT was its lack of exhaust or braking noises and my buddy could not get on the horn quick enough.

 

People pull out in front of full-sized bright F***ING red FIRE TRUCKS rolling Code 3 with lights, sirens, and that loud-ass horn that makes people 3 blocks away wet the bed.

 

A pathetic little motorcycle horn isn't going to do a damn thing.

 

As for that "loud pipes save lives" BS, there's a guy on our commute who rides a straight-piped Harley. The bike is PAINFULLY loud...when he's in front of you. I never hear him until he's past us.

 

Two real-life stories....

 

1. A guy at church was riding his loud-piped Harley in the right lane of the freeway (I believe there were 5 lanes at that point). A guy in a pickup merged onto the freeway and basically changed lanes all the way across to the #1 lane. The motorcyclist was in the truck's blind spot. Instead of doing something to save his ass, he sat there wildly revving his loud pipes and changing lanes just inside of the truck. Eventually he ran out of road and crashed. The lesson: A twist of the wrist (with the clutch engaged) or a squeeze of the brakes would have solved this problem in a half-second, but all the American V-twin racket in the world didn't make a bit of difference.

 

2. A guy at work was hit by a left-turner. He saw the whole thing happening and instead of doing anything to resolve the situation, he sat there revving his loud pipes until he collided with the car. He walks with a cane now and has diminished eyesight. The lesson: Again...any number of active responses would have resolved this problem, but even a big S&S V-twin bellowing through drag pipes wasn't enough to change the outcome.

 

Please stop perpetuating the myth that "loud pipes save lives".

 

I'm sorry to be harsh, but I think lots of people get hurt because they sit there using passive things like loud pipes (which only work for people behind you anyway), lights, bright clothing, etc instead of taking an active role in their survival.

 

In the spirit of Monday-morning quarterbacking (which is to say that I wouldn't have necessarily done better, but here's what I think after dissecting the accident after the fact):

Your buddy could have prevented this accident by:

1. Covering the brakes so he didn't have to waste time reaching for them.

2. As he was swerving into the other lane, brake to get clear of the truck.

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eople pull out in front of full-sized bright F***ING red FIRE TRUCKS rolling Code 3 with lights, sirens, and that loud-ass horn that makes people 3 blocks away wet the bed.

 

Poeple that damn stupid should not be driving.

 

I had a some bitch NOT EVEN LOOK IN MY LANE as she was moving over for a car merging on the HWY monday, the damn b*tch I could have strangled her.

 

Who knows maybe shes reading this. wink.gif

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ShovelStrokeEd

Not for nothin', but I'm with Russell here.

 

This kinda stuff happens all the time and, sorry to say, but all too often it is the fault of the rider. That little truck didn't just pop up out of the ground, nor did the "bitch", stupid term BTW, suddenly appear out of thin air. An aware rider doesn't allow these situations to develop to the point where emergency action is even required. You have a throttle, brakes and a very agile machine at your disposal, along with eyes and ears. Use them.

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Dances_With_Wiener_Dogs

Glad your buddy is okay. It's too bad that the driver didn't own up to the accident or just say, sorry-I didn't see the bike. Instead, he's trying to use some lame-assed excuse to point the liability finger at someone else.

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I too am glad your friend is OK.

Russell you are on the spot with this one. I believe situational awareness and allowing yourself time and distance will keep you alive more than loud pipes. I never ride next to another vehicle, I'm either lagging behind or in front.

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russell_bynum

Poeple that damn stupid should not be driving.

 

It's not even necessarily a matter of being stupid. Everyone has an off-moment now and then.

 

Can anyone here honestly say that they've never looked and thought the coast was clear when, in fact, it was not? I just about changed lanes into a lane-spitting motorcyclist the other day...and I'm a lane-splitter, so I'm always looking for bikes splitting before I go. I looked and didn't see anything, but when I started the lane change...there was a bike there.

 

Stupid people, the pathetic state of driver education/skills training here, etc is really irrelevant in this case.

 

It is all about mindset. You either take responsibility for your own wellbeing, or you sit there passively with your headlight modulator on and your loud pipes and your air horn and your day-glo orange vest hoping that people notice you and don't run over you. Note: Some riders do both, and that's fine...but without the former, the latter is a waste of time.

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Not for nothin', but I'm with Russell here.

 

This kinda stuff happens all the time and, sorry to say, but all too often it is the fault of the rider. That little truck didn't just pop up out of the ground, nor did the "bitch", stupid term BTW, suddenly appear out of thin air. An aware rider doesn't allow these situations to develop to the point where emergency action is even required. You have a throttle, brakes and a very agile machine at your disposal, along with eyes and ears. Use them.

 

Oh no, that term was fitting tongue.gif she was there, and I was full aware of her, SHE was not aware of her surroundings as I was.Wondering what she would do I moved so to avoid her hitting me, silly tongue.gif

 

When I go by cars or they go by me I say "They're gonna hit me, I know they are". Sure enough this one tried to.

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I've made a habit of keeping the horn button covered when riding in traffic. That way, it's instantly available for use.thumbsup.gif

In emergency situations, 100ths of a second can be the difference between life and death and I don't want to waste any time hunting for it.

On at least 3 occasions within the past 6 months, I believe this practice has saved my ass.

 

As the horn on the RT is impressive to say the least, a blast from it gets everyone's attention.

 

Thank you BMW thumbsup.gif

 

Cheers,

Michael

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Can anyone here honestly say that they've never looked and thought the coast was clear when, in fact, it was not? I just about changed lanes into a lane-spitting motorcyclist the other day...and I'm a lane-splitter, so I'm always looking for bikes splitting before I go. I looked and didn't see anything, but when I started the lane change...there was a bike there.

 

Yes, I've had that happen with CARS that came out of no where cuz they where breaking speed limits in city streets.

 

My point is she didn't look, I was watching her before the other car was merging. she then was watching the car, looked a head looked at car, and not the lane left of her. Had she have looked NEXT to her she would have seen a bike, I was not in her blind spot.

 

The orig post makes me wanna ride with my side cases on all the time crazy.gif

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Poeple that damn stupid should not be driving.

Yeah, but they are. And nothing is going to change that.

 

If you want to live on a bike the only thing that will improve your odds is changing what you do.

 

All the pissing and moaning, and anger and indignation won't stop the next stupid person from doing something stupid that we on a bike have to be prepared for.

 

Like the guy said to St. Peter at the pearly gates, "But I was in the right!" Yeah, dead right.

 

OP - Glad your buddy came out of this one relatively unscathed.

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I had a some bitch NOT EVEN LOOK IN MY LANE as she was moving over for a car merging on the HWY monday, the damn b*tch I could have strangled her.

 

Once upon a time, I got angry about things like this when they happened to me. Then one day Steve, a/k/a Principal Skinner (but back when he was still known as "Quotatious Dude"), wrote something about one of his own incidents like this that has stuck with me: "He (or she) who angers us, conquers us."

 

If rage is a rider's first reaction, there's been a waste of valuable time that might have been better spent doing what Ed suggests.

 

[/sermon] wink.gif

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Poeple that damn stupid should not be driving.

 

I had a some bitch NOT EVEN LOOK IN MY LANE as she was moving over for a car merging on the HWY monday, the damn b*tch I could have strangled her.

 

Who knows maybe shes reading this. wink.gif

 

dopeslap.gifSilly me, I thought you meant "sumb*tch". Apparently not. tongue.gif Any other derogatory labels you would like to apply to any other group at this point? Ignore mode activated.

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russell_bynum

As the horn on the RT is impressive to say the least, a blast from it gets everyone's attention.

 

Yes, indeed. A huge red firetruck with lights, siren, and a horn powered by a compressor the size of the oilhead motor on the RT doesn't catch everyone's attention, but the pathetic little 12v RT horn the size of an apple does. Makes perfect sense to me.

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Yes, indeed. A huge red firetruck with lights, siren, and a horn powered by a compressor the size of the oilhead motor on the RT doesn't catch everyone's attention, but the pathetic little 12v RT horn the size of an apple does. Makes perfect sense to me.
Russell, you have apparently not yet learned that every device on a 1200RT represents the very pinnacle of effectiveness.
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ShovelStrokeEd

Russell gets it, as does Seth and probably quite a few others. The average cage operator has the situational awareness of a salad bar. Destination fixation, failure to do a simple head check before changing lanes, inability to judge closing speeds out the windscreen never mind mirrors, these are SOP. Our only defense as riders is not to be there when something stupid is going on or about to go on. This requires riding your motorcycle at a completely different level of awareness and readiness to take corrective action.

 

The kind of crap mentioned above used to happen to me a lot. It doesn't anymore, not cause the cage drivers have suddenly gotten better, it is cause I have. I have raised my situational awareness in traffic to the point where I see this stuff long before they get a chance to take a shot at me. I'm simply not there, having changed lanes, or speed or both as needed to make sure that it doesn't happen. It is called anticipation. My record is not yet perfect as idiots continue to make hash of any idiot proof plan but it is far better than that of the average rider. It is also a whole bunch of work having to do the thinking for myself and the cars surrounding me. If you are not willing to undertake such a work load, you are really just an accident waiting to happen.

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Poeple that damn stupid should not be driving.

 

 

It's not even necessarily a matter of being stupid. Everyone has an off-moment now and then.

 

Often when reading this pages, I think I must have died and gone to heaven . . . we all seem to be infallible beyond the capability of mortal men and women. I was having this very conversation--about "off moments"--with a firefighter friend of mine a couple of days ago, after a truck that was in the lane ahead of us pulled a bonehead move similar to what was described in the original post. He commented on how stupid it was, then we started talking about the fact that anyone can suffer a lapse of concentration. Most often, it occurs without any dire consequences--either nobody else is around, or "the other guy" is able to react and compensate for our error.

 

But the bottom line is this: you have to always ride in anticipation of the motorists around you doing the stupidest possible thing. It's easy to criticize either the truck driver or the motorcyclist in this scenario, but I tend to think that the guy on the bike could have done a better job of positioning himself, relative to the truck.

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+1 to Mike.

As I've said before here, I am constantly playing my favorite riding game, "Who's going to TRY to kill me next."

From Neil Peart's BMWOA article, "I always have a personal mantra - if I'm ever startled, I blame myself - that I should never have allowed myself to be in a position where I could be surprised."

Not infallible, but I have made that my mantra as well.

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... If you are not willing to undertake such a work load, you are really just an accident waiting to happen.
If there is one core truth to staying alive on a motorcycle, that is it. If someone changes lanes into me and I have nowhere to go I would consider the situation to be as much my fault as theirs. Everyone makes driving mistakes (yes, some more than others) and the only answer is to stop worrying about other people's skills and instead focus on the concept of defensive driving as an art form.
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all i'm saying is that in my experience the RT's awesome horn has proven itself to be a lifesaver.

 

(there always has to be a pessimist) smirk.gif

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The average cage operator has the situational awareness of a salad bar. Destination fixation, failure to do a simple head check before changing lanes, inability to judge closing speeds out the windscreen never mind mirrors, these are SOP.

 

Really Ed, I think you're giving them too much credit. grin.gif

 

Seriously, I couldn't agree more. If you are vigilantly proactive in protecting yourself it will make a difference. No, it cannot eliminate all risk but, just as poor driving habits among many car drivers are bound to lead to more dangerous situations, practiced good habits are tantamount to "making your own luck". One simply has to be as committed to staying focused as others are to being distracted.

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I agree with Ed, Seth, Mike and others.thumbsup.gif

 

I take control of my own safety and try to be aware and avoid developing dangerous situations. The times when I have had closer calls is when I wasn't paying the needed attention to what was happening around me.

 

I rarely use my horn. While manuvering away from a person pulling a bonehead move, hitting the horn is not my first priority. By the time things under control, it's often times too late to use (I am usually well away at this point). I hope that I never have to rely on using the horn to save my butt.

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It is fairly easy to steer and blow the horn at the same time. I have been saved from a collision with at least one inattentive lane changer by my readiness to blast away at the first sign of her move toward me. Keeping an eye on the cage's front wheel gives the earliest warning, and fingering the horn in anticipation of using it saves precious milliseconds.

 

As taught in MSF, accidents occur as a result of a series of events and circumstances coming together. The key is to be aware of these as they develop and usually you just have to eliminate one of them to prevent a crash.

 

Jay

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russell_bynum

Keeping an eye on the cage's front wheel gives the earliest warning

 

Wrong. By the time the front wheels turn, the problem has already started to develop and you're already behind the curve.

 

The key is to be aware of the whole situation and recoginze the patterns that are going on. Despite the initial appearance, things are not totally random, and you one can generally do a pretty fair job of predicting what's going to happen...and plotting a course to stay well clear of the problem long before it ever happens.

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I agree with Russell, Joel, Ed, Mike and others. ONE of the things that I personally - in some would say a sick way - enjoy or relish about riding is the danger. I like mitigating it. I recognize that's part of riding. I can choose to spend my energy protecting my hide and riding proactively.

 

That being said when the heck is this nation going to get serious about driver training and mandate Skip Barber for all cage drivers? Oops. smirk.gifwave.gifgrin.gif

 

Gosh, I almost forgot about the rider. Hope he heals well.

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I agree with the fact loud pipes mean nothing for safety. Go ride with a Police Officer or a Fireman. I can be running lights and siren and people do not see or hear until you get very close. Then the panic comes in and it is amazing how long it takes people to react. Some never do and some will simply slow down when there is no way to go around. Yeilding to Emergency vehicles is a thing of the past. Cars will actually get as close as possible to see what is going on and not slow down. I have cars regularly pass within inches in excess of 80 mph and only inches away. This is on the interstate and when they could have been in the 2nd or 3rd lane. I am sorry for your friend and hope for all to be well soon. As is the case with most vehicles the drivers do not use thier mirrors well enough while changing lanes. instead of cars being equiped with back up warning alarms it would be nice to have similar devices activate on the sides when the turn signals are used. Problem there is who uses turn signals to indicate a lane change. It is a let me over because I can not get over without asking signal more than anything. Sound is not an issue with these type accidents. The horn can be but is rarely able to be used quick enough to be of use.

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Keeping an eye on the cage's front wheel gives the earliest warning

 

Wrong. By the time the front wheels turn, the problem has already started to develop and you're already behind the curve.

 

The key is to be aware of the whole situation and recoginze the patterns that are going on. Despite the initial appearance, things are not totally random, and you one can generally do a pretty fair job of predicting what's going to happen...and plotting a course to stay well clear of the problem long before it ever happens.

 

Your point is well-taken, but I disagree. All of us have to pass cars on occasion, and you can't reliably predict who is going to change lanes and when. My point is that watching the front wheel (without neglecting the other things going on around you), gives an earlier warning of a lane change than does watching the whole car.

 

Jay

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russell_bynum

you can't reliably predict who is going to change lanes and when.

 

Yes you can. I do it quite freqently, and I know plenty of other riders/drivers who do as well.

 

Is it 100% accurate? No, of course not. But it'll get you there 99% of the time.

 

For that 1% where you screwed up and didn't accurately predict what was going to happen, then yeah...front wheels are a good place to look...especially if traffic is stop and go since stopped drivers may turn the wheel anticipating an opening (of course...if the driver sitting down low in their car can anticipate the opening, then you up high on your motorcycle should be able to as well.) When traffic is moving, I personally find it too limiting to watch front wheels. Instead I keep my eyes up, not watching anything in particular, but rather, watching the whole flow of traffic.

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+1 Russell. Just as we are taught in riding, "the bike goes where you look", I look for head movement first. Even a slight shift to the left CAN (but, obviously doesn't always) signal to me a possible pending lane change. As I said in David's "What in front of you scares you" thread, I look for impatience. 'Course on LA freeways, I get LOTS of practice spotting that! dopeslap.gif

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It is fairly easy to steer and blow the horn at the same time. I have been saved from a collision with at least one inattentive lane changer by my readiness to blast away at the first sign of her move toward me. Keeping an eye on the cage's front wheel gives the earliest warning, and fingering the horn in anticipation of using it saves precious milliseconds.

Jay

 

I appreciate Jay's effort to be hyper-aware on the bike, which everyone here agrees is vital. And I can see where the horn readiness/blowing technique might be of some value in high-traffic situations where there is no way to properly space yourself from the other traffic.

 

But in any situation where proper spacing is possible, then maintaining that spacing is the way to stay safe, period. In short, in almost every situation, defense, not offense, is the way to safety on the bike, no?

If proper spacing is possible at all, blowing the horn becomes the technique of an aggressive or unobservant motorcyclist.

 

On the other hand, I have employed my RT's honker once or twice to apparent good effect as I was quickly passing other vehicles which appeared to be moving or thinking about moving into my lane.

 

Still, with the exception of passing or being trapped in heavy traffic, I guess I still don't really buy it.

In a situation where evasive action is required NOW, I'd rather have ALL of my attention on swerving/accelerating/braking than having some attention/time/muscle action on holding down the horn button while trying to maneuver the bike at the same time.

 

I'm reminded of Monseigneur Code's analogy of the ten dollar's worth of attention. Personally, if evasive maneuvering is necessary or even imminent, I don't want five cent's worth of attention on the horn, even if my bike is yellow and says "NYC Taxi" on the side.

 

And then what about the offending driver? In some cases he/she might hear the horn, determine where it's coming from and what it means in the extremely short time frame necessary, but is it not likely that some misinterpretation of, or confusion generated by, the sound might actually delay a proper response in some drivers?

 

Last, I just don't want to have my thumb on the horn all the time - it just seems like a constant distraction from actually controlling the bike. And if my thumb isn't always on it, separating it out from the turn signals in an emergency (with winter gloves on?) - no thanks.

 

As for the watching the front wheel technique, don't some MSF instructors teach that for situations in which you're keeping your eye on a car poised to cross an intersection in your path of travel? But as to watching a car's front tire in an adjacent lane, it seems to me that keeping your attention toward the ground in that way would be a BIG distraction from the big picture that you need to see, especially in traffic.

 

And a happy Friday to all! smile.gif

 

P.S. - According to Rider mag's website, some of Larry G's former assistants are planning to keep the Stayin' Safe tours going - good news for all of us who care about the above subject matter!

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Forgot to mention that I’m glad, too, that the LT rider is OK, and also that the officer was there to counter Mr. Butthead pickup driver’s contention that the rider was at fault.

 

Also, the loud pipes as safety technique idea reminds me of the horn as safety technique idea, and not just because both involve sound.

 

In both cases, I can see a few circumstances where both ideas might work, but for general use each idea seems to have far larger down-sides than virtues, both for safety and for public/motorcyclist relations.

 

Loud pipes blow.

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russell_bynum

n short, in almost every situation, defense, not offense, is the way to safety on the bike, no?

 

I'd say, yes. I am agressively defensive when I ride in traffic.

 

If proper spacing is possible at all, blowing the horn becomes the technique of an aggressive or unobservant motorcyclist.

 

That, or just a cry for the other driver to "Please, please, please notice me and react intelligently when you do." I've seen people swerve INTO the path of the vehicle that honked at them. They're startled and don't have time to figure out where the noise came from, and what to do about it, so their reaction (if any) is somewhat random and not necessarily good.

 

Still, with the exception of passing or being trapped in heavy traffic, I guess I still don't really buy it.

 

Solution: Don't be trapped in heavy traffic. I will lane-split in a heartbeat if I feel like my wellbeing is threatened and I don't give a sh*t if I'm in a state where it's legal or not.

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Russell, yes sir, "aggressively defensive" is an excellent way to put it.

 

By "heavy traffic," I was thinking more of East coast style high-speed close combat rather than the bumper to bumper jams out in your neck of the woods.

 

By the way, pardon me, I misstated the pick-up driver's name that caused the accident leading to this thread.

It was not "Mr. Butthead" but "Mr. Sal Adbar."

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I will lane-split in a heartbeat if I feel like my wellbeing is threatened and I don't give a sh*t if I'm in a state where it's legal or not.

 

Just a note of caution Russell. There are lots of places (here where I am for instance), where lane splitting your way out of a traffic jam will greatly increase the odds of your last heartbeat occuring soon. Where people are not used to this custom it is regarded as an afront to one's manhood, an insult to one's mother and the equivalent of having sex with farm animals.

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ShovelStrokeEd

For me, the main clue that a vehicle is about to change lanes is the change in lane position that nearly always accompanies such a move. They will move within their lane long before they actually make the attempt, assuming they are not driven to move in desparation by another brain dead driver. Even there, keeping your head up and being alert for things happening even 2 or 3 lanes over is the key. Now you can decide what you are going to do about the situation. If there is room, I'll simply move left one more lane and give the guy I'm approaching an avenue, if not, well zoom past before he completes the change or slow and let him in.

 

Like Russell, I'm very offensive about my defensive riding. Moving through heavy traffic requires the utmost in concentration and, sometimes, some pretty creative moves to manage the situations unfolding in front of me. It has even gotten me a road side interview now and then. I too will pass, left, right or between cars if I am uncomfortable with the situation developing around me. It is all part of broad observation, a wide awareness, if you will.

 

Safe operation of a motorcycle in and among cars is analogous to running through a herd of cows. They are mostly uncaring about you and reluctant to move from their contented paths. It is up to you, the rider, to postion yourself and plan your moves far enough ahead that you don't get squeezed or shat upon.

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russell_bynum

ust a note of caution Russell. There are lots of places (here where I am for instance), where lane splitting your way out of a traffic jam will greatly increase the odds of your last heartbeat occuring soon. Where people are not used to this custom it is regarded as an afront to one's manhood, an insult to one's mother and the equivalent of having sex with farm animals.

 

Fine, let them be insulted. By the time they figure out I'm there, I'm not there anymore and there's nothing they can do about it.

 

I do know what you're talking about, btw. I've lane-split in pretty much every state I've ridden in (and CA is the only one that's legal). Incidentally, Texas seemed to have the highest number of asshats who were enraged that I was moving and they weren't. But still...by the time they saw me coming, I was already past them and gone...all they could do was sit there stewing.

 

Incidentally, this sort of thing is one of the reasons that I prefer to move through traffic in "stealth" mode rather than running with high beams, driving lights, modulator, orange vest, etc all cranked up. To be honest, I'd prefer that the other drivers didn't see me.

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Incidentally, Texas seemed to have the highest number of asshats who were enraged that I was moving and they weren't. But still...by the time they saw me coming, I was already past them and gone...all they could do was sit there stewing.

Sheesh, those types really need to grow up.

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Incidentally, this sort of thing is one of the reasons that I prefer to move through traffic in "stealth" mode rather than running with high beams, driving lights, modulator, orange vest, etc all cranked up. To be honest, I'd prefer that the other drivers didn't see me.

Yeah, Russell, I remember your philosophy coming up on another thread about splitting and it really helped my confidence.

By the time they figure out I'm there, I'm not there anymore and there's nothing they can do about it.

Your words definitely would ring in my head as I hesitated to move. I basically heard your voice saying "Just do it, (dude) grin.gif!"

Helped me mucho. Thanks.thumbsup.gif

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Couchrocket

Note: Some riders do both, and that's fine...but without the former, the latter is a waste of time.

Can we get an "Amen" from the front pew! thumbsup.gif
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WeirdHarold
I do know what you're talking about, btw. I've lane-split in pretty much every state I've ridden in (and CA is the only one that's legal). Incidentally, Texas seemed to have the highest number of asshats who were enraged that I was moving and they weren't. But still...by the time they saw me coming, I was already past them and gone...all they could do was sit there stewing.

 

Well, no. That's not all they can do. They can also decry those reckless, annoying, cheating, disrespectful, lawbreaking motorcyclists to all their friends who already annoyed by the loud pipe crowd and the wheelie crowd. And there's more of them than there are of us. Guess how they'll vote when somebody wants to further restrict motorcyclist rights?

 

 

Don (who tries not to enrage asshats)

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I don't disagree with any of Brad's comments. The situation I am recalling from my own riding experience where this strategy saved the day was on a freeway. I was passing another driver on the left anticipating that she might try to change lanes into me since she was fairly close behind another car and had not seemed to notice me yet. I kept half on eye on her front wheel, watching for the space to narrow beween it and the lane divider lines. Sure enough, the distance narrowed and I was able to blow the horn before she even crossed the lines. I had an opening to my left on the shoulder I was already moving toward in case she kept coming. She became aware of me instantly and moved back over into the center of her lane. As I passed she gave me an apologetic wave, and I waved back my acceptance of it.

 

Incidently, I find that several irregular blasts works better than one continuous one in terms of drawing attention.

 

Obviously no strategy works every time, and you are welcome to disagree, but I am convinced this was the right thing to do in the above circumstances.

 

Jay

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russell_bynum

They can also decry those reckless, annoying, cheating, disrespectful, lawbreaking motorcyclists to all their friends who already annoyed by the loud pipe crowd and the wheelie crowd. And there's more of them than there are of us. Guess how they'll vote when somebody wants to further restrict motorcyclist rights?

 

And I would happily be alive to fight those laws...and get pissed off and post here when they get put into place anyway.

 

It's not like I'm looking for an opportunity to break the law and piss people off. But if I feel like my safety is threatened, there isn't a law on the books that would stop me from doing what I feel I need to do.

 

I'll lane-split, ride on the shoulder, on the sidewalk, on the wrong side of the road, or across someone's front lawn if that's what I need to do.

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Glad your buddy is ok.

 

I too try to keep my thumb on the horn button in traffic. The first time I tried to grab for it in a panic situation cured me of not keeping my thumb there.

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ShovelStrokeEd

I don't think I have intentionally blown the horn on one of my bikes in about 6 years. Switching back and forth between the S and the Blackbird has caused me to blow the Honda's horn more than once. Usually, if riding a BMW, I'm more apt to give a miscreant a vicous blast of left turn signal.

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That being said when the heck is this nation going to get serious about driver training and mandate Skip Barber for all cage drivers? Oops. smirk.gifwave.gifgrin.gif

 

Funny, but I've always thought that riding a motorcycle for a year or so would be the best car training one could have. For me, I have become a tenfold better cage pilot since starting to ride.

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you can't reliably predict who is going to change lanes and when.

 

Yes you can. I do it quite freqently, and I know plenty of other riders/drivers who do as well.

 

Is it 100% accurate? No, of course not. But it'll get you there 99% of the time.

 

For that 1% where you screwed up and didn't accurately predict what was going to happen, then yeah...front wheels are a good place to look...especially if traffic is stop and go since stopped drivers may turn the wheel anticipating an opening (of course...if the driver sitting down low in their car can anticipate the opening, then you up high on your motorcycle should be able to as well.) When traffic is moving, I personally find it too limiting to watch front wheels. Instead I keep my eyes up, not watching anything in particular, but rather, watching the whole flow of traffic.

 

I'm with Russell on this one...you can often tell when something is about to change...they speed up, or slow down, or change positions within their lane or maybe there is something up ahead that will make them want to change lanes and you have to see that before they do.

 

BTW, the closest call that I have ever had on the bike was someone violently changing lanes into me - I managed to brake and they missed me by less than a foot. But it was a lesson that I needed to learn: Don't ride where they can get to you.

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If someone changes lanes into me and I have nowhere to go I would consider the situation to be as much my fault as theirs. Everyone makes driving mistakes (yes, some more than others) and the only answer is to stop worrying about other people's skills and instead focus on the concept of defensive driving as an art form.
I have been reading this thread with interest. I agree with your second point, but not the first one, not everytime. There are times in heavy traffic when you can find yourself without a good escape exit. Some will say, you shouldn't have allowed yourself to get into such a predicament. But, let's face it, some traffic grids just don't allow for a cushion of safety in front, to the side, or behind you. Try and give yourself room in front of you and two cages will try and occupy that space before you can blink.

 

Case in point: I was traveling to Torrey, passing through the city of Lost Wages on a Thursday at about 10:30 a.m.. Traffic was pretty thick, moving at maybe 50-55 mph, with me using the No.1 lane. My lane was moving a little swifter than the other three lanes so i stayed in it. I had a car in front, behind and had just moved up beside a car to the right, momentarily blocking my only exit to the right. I was watching the guy to my right when he, without turning his head toward me (he was busy having a conversation with his female passenger), signaled left and started to move over into my space in the same motion. I immediately decelerated and gave him a blast with my 138 db horns. I must have already had my thumb on the horn because the blast was instantaneous. This ended the story as the dude corrected his error and all was well. There was no time to get mad and braking may have cooked my goose as the guy behind me was maybe only 30 feet off my license plate.

 

In this case, the horn saved me, I was lucky. I do not rely on the horn to save me as has been noted, the offending party must have some level of cognizant thinking for the horn to save your ass.

 

As for the RT horn, it is puny. Yes, better than allot of others, but still puny. The Magnum Blaster 138db horns are a huge leap forward in being heard. thumbsup.gif

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