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Author Topic: Street D'fense - Defensive riding tips  (Read 22858 times)

hagrid...

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Street D'fense - Defensive riding tips
« on: August 03, 2006, 03:29:18 PM »
STREET D'fence

The Top 10 tips for Street D, that's Defensive Street Riding for Motorcycles.  If you don't read or do anything else, read the first three, they will save your life.

1. You should always slow down when approaching an intersection. Intersections are where most accidents happen, and unfortunately, it is were most motorcycle riders are crippled and killed.

2. You should never speed up to make a yellow light.  Adding speed going into an intersection is the most dangerous move a rider can make. Cars and trucks might anticipate the green and pull into the intersection early, or someone might make a quick right turn. Not to mention all the others possibilities, like a pedestrian or bicycle crossing the road.

3. You should never anticipate the green and lunge into the intersection.  Cars are always speeding up to make the Yellow Light and more often than not, they are going thought on the Red Light.

4. Slow down when you see a car waiting to pull out or to cross the road that you are on, see if you can make eye contact or at least see that they are looking in your direction.

5. Always slow down in areas where cars are pulling out into traffic, ride in the outside of your lane. This will make you more visible and will give you more time to react.

6. Always slow down in areas where where cars are parallel parked. Cars will often pull out without looking or open their doors, and cars will often make a quick stop to grab a parking space.

7. Don't ride to close to the vehicle in front of you.

8. When in traffic, ride to the outside or inside of your lane.  This will allow you to see changing conditions in front of you, especially those ladders, matrices, desk, chairs, couches, and BBQ Grills that falls off cars and trucks.

9. Don't make rapid lane changes.

10. Last but not least, don't think for one minute that cars are looking for you, the fact is that they are not. To often I see motorcycle riding with "road-rage" again cars that don't see them. In my opinion, this is not only stupid, but a waste of time.  I have excepted the "fact" that cars do not see me, and I drive accordingly.  It's bad enough that they don't see you, it's even worse when you let them make you act like a fool.

11. Added just for the return of WhiskeyRR - welcome  back - Beware of cars with idots talking on the cell phone.  Like I said before, people in cars are not paying attention and are not looking for motorcycles.  So be onguard.

I hope that people will share other tips and comments for Street D'fence, this is what keeps us alive so that we can ride hard and fast when conditions allow, or on the track.
You'll never see a U-Haul behind a hearse, so have fun now!

BlackNumberOne

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Re: Street D'fense - Defensive riding tips
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2006, 03:39:10 PM »
12. keep a finger or two on the brake
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hagrid...

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Re: Street D'fense - Defensive riding tips
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2006, 03:51:35 PM »
BlackNumberOne - Good suggestion, is that something you typically do when in traffic or all the time?

Hagrid...
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phi2one

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Re: Street D'fense - Defensive riding tips
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2006, 05:18:37 PM »
i'm especially guilty of #3, my reasoning being that i wanted to get some space opened up between myself and the traffic behind me, but the light bulb just clicked on. thanks for inspiring me to rethink that one.

Bounce

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Re: Street D'fense - Defensive riding tips
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2006, 05:38:22 PM »
BlackNumberOne - Good suggestion, is that something you typically do when in traffic or all the time?

Hagrid...

I do it all the time on the street.

I agree with the list except:
Quote
3. You should never anticipate the green and lunge into the intersection.  Cars are always speeding up to make the Yellow Light and more often than not, they are going thought on the Red Light.

The very last two places that I want to be is in an intersection, and in a clump of cars.

So...after I filter up to the front at a light, I spend my time at the light watching cross-traffic.  When the light goes yellow, I start watching to make sure everyone's going to stop.  Usually, it's pretty obvious...and if I don't get positive confirmation that people will stop, I don't go.  If I do see that everyone's going to stop, I'm out of the clutch and on the gas as soon as the light turns.  This gets me through the intersection as quickly as possible AND gets me ahead of the pack of cars that I was sitting at the light with.

The other things that I would add:
1.  Don't get emotional.  If someone cuts you off, get over it.  You're not going to win an argument with a car, so just say "asshole" inside of your helmet and move on with life.
2.  Don't think like a cager.  You don't need a space the size of a car when you're on the bike.  If someone starts into your lane, don't sit there like an idiot honking your horn (which they probably can't hear anyway)...MOVE YOUR ASS.  If that means you have to accelerate and lane-split between a couple of cars to get to the next clear spot, then so be it.  Don't hesitate to put your bike anywhere you need it to be in order to maintain your wellbeing.  I've ridden on sidewalks, shoulders, lawns, driveways, and (once time) a drainage ditch.  I don't do it as a matter of practice, but if I'm getting squeezed and feeling uncomfortable with what traffic around me is doing, anyplace that's big enough for my bike is fair game.  The one time I got pulled over for it (riding across a lawn to escape some jackasses in a car who were intentionally trying to mess with me, I explained to the officer that I'm happy to be alive to have this conversation with him and I'd do the exact same thing next time.  The officer let me off...but even if he didn't, a ticket is better than a funeral.
3.  Learn to use your brakes.  Most people on the road today don't know how to stop their bikes.  Spend a Saturday morning in an empty parking lot working on braking.
Russell
'03 CBR600RR - track
'03 Tuono - Street
'01 DRZ400S - Dirt/street

If you love your motorcycle, set it free.  If it comes back, you've probably highsided.

maskale

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Re: Street D'fense - Defensive riding tips
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2006, 05:40:14 PM »
Get use to using the rear brake, it does not do much, but everybit counts. So when you are hard on the front, yeah the rear will lock up VERY easy, so you need to also practice using the rear brake, and lock it up so you know what that feels like and so you will know what to expect. Yes using the rear brake and locking the tire up can be dangerous, but when it is life and death, guess what, I am gonna use that rear brake, and if it locks up, I am gonna stay on it.
Locking the rear up may make the bike want to slid out from under you, but with practice you can leave a black mark for a long way.
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Bounce

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Re: Street D'fense - Defensive riding tips
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2006, 05:53:41 PM »
Get use to using the rear brake, it does not do much, but everybit counts. So when you are hard on the front, yeah the rear will lock up VERY easy, so you need to also practice using the rear brake, and lock it up so you know what that feels like and so you will know what to expect. Yes using the rear brake and locking the tire up can be dangerous, but when it is life and death, guess what, I am gonna use that rear brake, and if it locks up, I am gonna stay on it.
Locking the rear up may make the bike want to slid out from under you, but with practice you can leave a black mark for a long way.

Why would you leave it locked?  A sliding tire doesn't stop the bike as well as a rolling tire does.

If the rear locks, I remove a little bit of rear brake pressure until it hooks up again.  Of course, all of that assumes that both wheels are still more or less in alignment.  If not, you can use steering and body english to get the rear end back where it belongs.  Then start removing rear brake pressure gradually until it hooks up again.

I definitely think you should practice locking it and leaving it locked...so you can learn how to steer the bike like that to keep the rear end under you.  But your end-goal should be max braking force out of both wheels...which means that neither wheel is locked.
Russell
'03 CBR600RR - track
'03 Tuono - Street
'01 DRZ400S - Dirt/street

If you love your motorcycle, set it free.  If it comes back, you've probably highsided.

maskale

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Re: Street D'fense - Defensive riding tips
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2006, 09:01:04 PM »
I agree with you 100% Bounce. I am just talking about a "Oh shit" moment. If I am in certain danger, I will probably have all of my attention focussed on the front braking and what is going on ahead and just trying to keep the rear on the ground. Of course if I have to turn while under braking then yes I will have to let off. In the "Oh shit" moment, I will just be glad the rear is still on the ground.

This is not part of my reason for leaving it locked, but it will also act as evidence that you were trying to stop and that you were paying attention.

In the end, Bounce you are right, and in that moment, I hope that I do the best that I can to stay alive. I will have to over come my SR's.
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DakotaCBR

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Re: Street D'fense - Defensive riding tips
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2006, 10:56:33 PM »
8. When in traffic, ride to the outside or inside of your lane.  This will allow you to see changing conditions in front of you, especially those ladders, matrices, desk, chairs, couches, and BBQ Grills that falls off cars and trucks.

LOL last week I was in my truck behind this guy hauling a trailer full of new styrofoam house insulation. These sheets are about 2 inches thick, 4 feet wide, and 10 feet long. One by one, the styrofoam sheets started flying off the trailer. They all floated into the air and did a few flips before landing on the road. I counted six that flew off over about 3/4 of a mile before the guy finally stopped. I pulled up next to him and told him he lost a few sheets, and he said "A few?? I thought I only lost one!"
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Fretless33

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Re: Street D'fense - Defensive riding tips
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2006, 11:34:41 PM »
This thread deserves a sticky! Very well done and honestly is one of the best threads ever started here!

Reply to step #12, in normal situations I found it more comforting to cover the clutch than the brake and have better results engine braking, but when it gets hairy I cover the front brake (and the clutch)
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hagrid...

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Re: Street D'fense - Defensive riding tips
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2006, 07:59:58 AM »
Like most people, I do things out of habit, and when riding last night I noticed that I did cover the clutch most of the time in traffic, so I tired covering the brake with two fingers as well.  The first thing that I noticed is that it promoted a more relaxed gip which if of course is a good thing.

Fretless, do you cover the clutch and brake on the track?  What the general rule or is it different for each rider?

Hagrid...

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Re: Street D'fense - Defensive riding tips
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2006, 08:14:25 AM »
Fretless, do you cover the clutch and brake on the track?  What the general rule or is it different for each rider?

LOL...on the track I'm workin' it boy so I got my fingers all over the place...but seriously, you're very busy on the track, so you're constantly doing a combination of shifting and braking...the trick is doing it in combinations that don't upset the bike!
"There but for the grace of God go I"

hagrid...

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Re: Street D'fense - Defensive riding tips
« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2006, 09:48:34 AM »
Fretless - I though that would be the answer for the track and it make since. So for riding on the street in traffic, covering the clutch and brake can be useful, and can help you respond quicker to changing conditions.

Hagrid...

You'll never see a U-Haul behind a hearse, so have fun now!

BlackNumberOne

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Re: Street D'fense - Defensive riding tips
« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2006, 12:08:49 PM »
i wasn't too specific when i posted #12 up there, but for me......
just like so many other HABITS that I don't even think about, any time i'm coming up to traffic/intersection/surface changes/curves/turns/animals/anything, my fingers automatically go to the levers. i don't even think about it. prolly picked it up as a kid on a dirtbike. the clutch is a pretty sweet lever, but the brake is an awsome lever (as far as levers are rated). multiple times i've said:
"wow, its a good thing that i was already covering the brake"
you can trust me. I don't even have a mustache.

hagrid...

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Re: Street D'fense - Defensive riding tips
« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2006, 05:29:27 PM »
#13. Don't be having a beer when out for a moderate to aggressive sport ride.  Save it until after the ride, when you are going to be "scootering" home.  For those who don't know what "scootering" means, that what you do on a Harley, a.k.a "couch"... Slow riding...

Even though you can drink a beer and still be legally under the DUI limit, a single beer can greatly show your reaction time, and distort your judgment.

I speak with experience, Honda SuperHawk RIP...

You'll never see a U-Haul behind a hearse, so have fun now!