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Accident Avoidence & Dual-Sport Bikes


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It occurred to me a long time back that knobby tires have much less contact surface with asphalt (as well as stuff getting into the spaces between the knobs, etc). So that realistically a knobby tire will not grip as well as street tires making a fast braking situation all the more demanding.

On US roads, one of the most common cause of motorcycle accidents is having someone make a left turn in front of you at an intersection. In fact (according to the USTSC) having someone turn in front of you is the major common cause of non-self inflicted accidents, period.

Given that the 16yrold girl texting madly will not pay attention to your life as she turns at that intersection; my question is; do you have a better chance in the center lane closer to her, to swerve - or in the slow lane to attempt to brake?

I have had a few near misses & they were just like that. The problem is that knobbys just don't brake as well as road tires & I have had to think much further ahead than ever. There are several important close calls that people have learned from. Some very valuable information has been learned about dual sport bikes because the differences don't stop at the tires. They have a taller center of gravity but they also allow you to see further into traffic, etc.

I would really like to hear about the "Lessons Learned" because it may be the most valuable thing anyone could pass alone.

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living in central michigan where the deer and dogs and stupid drivers run loose i always ride next to the center line. if i am following a car they can see me in the mirror.i try to ride with my headlight shinng in their side mirror so they know i'm there. as far as riding next to the center line , my theory is that i have an equal chance of going left or right to avoid trouble. just my 2 cents.

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I have a set of tires on now that are more an 80% road, 20% off road type. I noticed a great difference in how they "hug" the road compared with the knobbies i had before. I can bank corners much quicker and the tire feels solid underneath me. I have also noticed a greater stopping ability.

I know not all accidents are avoidable, but I like to think that I avoid a fair bit of accidents by:

* Staying out of blind spots (I tend to go faster than traffic so I can keep it all in front of me rather than behind or to the side).

*Slow down at intersections (especially when the yellow comes on)

*I use hand signals when I can because people tend to ignore bikes and bike turn signals

My .02...

Jared

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I've taken the ditch, I've also almost made contact on my street bike, I rarely ride on pavement now, too many stupid drivers, and if you do get killed, know that your life is not even worth real jail time, even under egregious conditions like this stupid wench

http://www.suntimes.com/news/24-7/2525278,nail-polish-driver-sentenced-072210.article

river who was painting her fingernails when she struck and killed a motorcyclist was sentenced today to 18 months of periodic imprisonment by a Lake County judge who rejected prosecutors request for a stiffer prison term.

yep, that's what your life is worth if you ride a motorcycle

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Well, I'll take a stab at this...

Earlier this Spring I installed a set Michelin knobby T63 tires and noticed my braking go from OK to crappy. Now I see that I must increase the distance of my focus zone bigtime. This is in addition to what's normally needed when approaching an intersection [that doesn't have a red arrow to stop the left turners] like slow down, ride in the right side of the right lane, flash my brights a couple times, all while covering the brakes. This is my lesson learned. Oh and wear a helmet.

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I always ride the left side of the lane unless I'm following another bike. You're more noticeable if you are on the left side on the lane and if someone passes you, you have room to move to the right if they cut it short.

Also, watch the traffic pattern. I try to stay ahead or behind the groups of cars that form from drivers going too slow in the fast lane. I never understood why people will not move to right if someone is behind them or why they people tailgate.

As far as riding in town, I hate it. I do it, but I don't like it.

I ride in town, knowing I can't avoid the idiot that decides to turn into your path while looking right at me, or the guy that tunes at his radio, decide to answer or make a call on his cell phone, or is just not paying attention and either runs a light or a stop sign because he didn't see it or runs into whomever is in front of them because he didn't notice they had stopped.

I worry more about that, then the fact that my knobbies aren't as good as street tires. I understand why my tires behave the way they do, but I can't begin to understand why some people are able to get a drivers licenses.

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Most accidents that aren't avoidable happen so quick that no matter what a person is riding, they don't have enough time to react.

Anything that happens that quick and if the rider can do anything, the quickest thing to do is low side it because there is no time to judge distance and modulate the brakes. Hitting something and taking a tumble will risk more injury than sliding and in a low side the motorcycle is going to make contact first. There is always a chance of stoping underneath what the rider was trying to avoid, but at least the motorcycle will get there first, possibly holding up whatever is above it enough to allow the rider to avoid serious injury or death.

Nothing replaces constant observation of suroundings. The level of protective gear is always a factor in survivability.

I recently had a reminder of how quickly something can happen when a SUV ran a red light as I was going through the intersection. The SUV didn't slow at all as it came from a side street and ran the red light as I had the green. It was very close. The only highway crash I've had was when I hit a dog and that could have been avoided because I seen the dog on the shoulder long before it ran into the road. My helmet and jacket took the beating and I was ok, lesson learned.

I don't neccesarily have a problem with whatever I'm riding and the type of tires it has because I'm aware of the of the motorcycle and equipment and ride as such.

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The most im afraid of is when i come to a set of lights that are going to turn red on me, but a vehicle is behind me.

Will he see me stop...

Will he stop too...

Is he looking at my bike or the lights turning red?...

Will he run me over...

One time i was sitting at a set of lights(already been red for a few minutes).

Next thing i hear is SCREEEEETCH...BAAANG...

A older lady hits me from behind, she obviously wasnt paying attention to what was happening in front of her(and obvisouly would of went through the red light if i wasnt in her way).

Luckily, i was in my CAR that day...If i was on my bike, i would of been squashed.

Now i tend to look behind me(in the mirror) while coming to a stop to see if the car behind me is stopping too( but this is a bad idea as well, as your not paying enough attention in front of you )

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I don't try to ride like people don't see me... I try to ride like people DO see me, and that they hate me, and want to kill me.

On multi-lane roads, I try to stay close to the dividing line between the lanes - not to the sides. If something happens and traffic in front of me has to come to a sudden stop, the cars always swerve to the shoulders - usually leaving the center dividing line clear.

I also do the same when stopping at an intersection - almost stopping in between the 2 cars in front of me. And keep my eyes on my mirrors. If I think the car behind isn't going to be able to stop in time, I can quickly pull up and let him hit the cars instead of me. Since it is legal to split lanes in CA, these types of accidents are statistically much lower than other states.

I also ride just a few MPH faster than the surrounding traffic. Statistics have also shown that this is safer than riding with the flow of traffic as you will not remain in any blind spots.

I have dual 6" Ricky Stator lights and keep both of them on when I'm on the road, and have a fairly loud muffler. Anything that makes you more noticeable is better.

But, the best advice is to stay alert and have an out. It's like flying an airplane: you always are looking for a place to set it down in case of trouble. Same with bikes: If that car does such-and-such, then I can do such-and-such to avoid being killed.

Although knobbies may not be as good at maneuvering or stopping quickly, at least dual sports bikes are a lot lighter and easier to handle than trying to get my Electraglide to change directions in a hurry...

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I don't try to ride like people don't see me... I try to ride like people DO see me, and that they hate me, and want to kill me.

But, the best advice is to stay alert and have an out.

+ 1000

I also try and follow closely behind a car, or cars, as they go thru an intersection, sort of drafting them. The azzholes turning can't hit you that way, even if they were trying to, which many of them actually are....

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Actually, I believe spitting lanes is legal in Ca when traffic is stopped or under a certain mph and then the bike is limited to only a few mph above the vehicle speed. A MC is a vehicle and it can be cited for unsafe passing is traffic is at normal speed.

Riding to the left is the best idea though. Ride like the cars don't see you and you will be much better off and have somewhere to go.

I have laid it down and gone over the top of cars (the bike stayed:o) People don't see you!!

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Actually, I believe spitting lanes is legal in Ca when traffic is stopped or under a certain mph and then the bike is limited to only a few mph above the vehicle speed. A MC is a vehicle and it can be cited for unsafe passing is traffic is at normal speed.

There is no exact rule about speed for lane sharing. You can read what a police officer has written on the subject here: http://bayarearidersforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=154980

As for turning and stopping ability of various tires, I have IRC GP-110 dual sport tires on my XR and the traction with those is very close to what I get with the tires on my Ducatis. The bigger issue for me when stopping hard is how much the front dives while I'm on the brakes. It makes me not want to brake quite as hard as on a bike that only drops the nose two or three inches instead of ten.

But there are things that you can do while riding on the street to minimize the need for sudden hard braking. If you carefully study Proficient Motorcycling and More Proficient Motorcycling by David L. Hough you'll learn just about everything you need to know to avoid dangerous situations. There are also a lot of valuable riding tips on this web site: http://www.msgroup.org/articles.aspx

I've carefully studied all of the above and now the need for emergency braking is extremely rare for me. I'm able to identify potential issues early enough to make them a non-event. I still know how to brake hard on any of my bikes, but I don't need to.

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The bigger issue for me when stopping hard is how much the front dives while I'm on the brakes. It makes me not want to brake quite as hard as on a bike that only drops the nose two or three inches instead of ten..

something wrong with your bike? My dualsport/enduro's all drop the front end a lot under hard braking. My mx setups do not

in fact I feel more comfortable hard braking my dualsport than I ever did on my triumph daytona, the knobbies start to break and slide in a predictable maner, stoppies are much easier for me on my dualsport

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That whole thread looked like a huge thread on how to not take blame. Splitting is dangerous and is "unsafe passing" (22+ years leo, 40+ riding) but the law does not say you can't. If traffic is stopped or crawling, I may do it.

The vehicle in the lane has the right of way and does not have to yield to a bike passing. 3500 lbs vs 500 lbs, you do the math.

As to the front diving during braking, it has to. All the weight transfers, just physics.

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I really don't like to sound corny but most of these observations can seriously save lives.

Everyone has unique experiences that they have learned from that may only happen once in a lifetime but that same lesson may save someone from a lifetime of crippling injury or death.

My own lesson is to do everything I can to make sure the people around me see me. I used to think a loud bike was a safer bike. I'm not too sure about that but anything that makes me more visible will help.

If I do happen to see the cute little girl texting on her phone or gabbing away, I do my level best to get away from her as safely as I can. If someone is in the left turn lane in front of me I do whatever I can to make sure they see me & more they know I am a human. One thing that works was something I saw a cop do along time ago. He shook his head "NO" at the driver as he drove toward the lane. I thought that was a good idea on a lot of levels.

I don't think that car drivers recognize bikes as vehicles. I know this sounds bad but because less women drive bikes, they have a tendency to not view a bike as a real human being in a vehicle.

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I really don't like to sound corny but most of these observations can seriously save lives.

Everyone has unique experiences that they have learned from that may only happen once in a lifetime but that same lesson may save someone from a lifetime of crippling injury or death.

My own lesson is to do everything I can to make sure the people around me see me. I used to think a loud bike was a safer bike. I'm not too sure about that but anything that makes me more visible will help.

I agree, loud will not save you. How many of us (me too) don't hear a siren. I see it sooner!!

Lessons you may only need once, like concealed carry. I would rather carry it all the time and never need it, than need it once and not have it.

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The "loud pipes save lives" line is total BS. When you are in your car with the stereo on, windows up, aircon running... there is no way you are going to hear a bike until the forks impact your fender.

for me, this is incorrect, I have very bad hearing 1 tumor surgury, 2 surgeries for prosthetics in my right ear, new eardrum in there, and I have had bikes that got into my blind spot without me noticing them, and only the loud exhaust alerted me to their presence

I do not ride on the street, but I support loud but not obnoxious exhausts

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for me, this is incorrect, I have had bikes that got into my blind spot without me noticing them, and only the loud exhaust alerted me to their presence. I do not ride on the street, but I support loud but not obnoxious exhausts

+1!

Has happened to me, too. But, the "loud pipe" debate has come up here every few months, so no use in me rehashing it. I like loud and every little bit helps IMHO.

But, I did think of another little piece of advice that I always adhere to:

When coming to an intersection with a red light or stop sign, I always downshift as needed. I may not always let out the clutch, but at least I am in the appropriate gear in case I need to move in a hurry. I would hate to be in 5th slowing down to 10 mph and have to try to move quickly.

Even when sitting waiting for the light to change, I'll keep it in first with the clutch in. That way, if the idiot texting on the phone coming up behind me, isn't going to be able to stop, I can drop the clutch and go!

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