Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Over They'a
Safety Riding Tips
Saw this old post and thought I would re-post, some excellent suggestions for all of us.
Riding suggestions that could save your life:
1. Always wear a helmet even if you are just going around the block.
2. Never cross railroad tracks at an angle. They are slick! If possible, cross straight on.
3. When you are following semi-trailers) on the interstate, always follow directly behind their wheels. Reason: If they straddle the dead animal, brick or block, etc. in the road, you will not have enough reaction time to change directions if you are following directly "centered" behind them. Do the same with cars.
4. Fast food places. Be careful when you pull up to the drive through window!! This area is always covered with oil from idling cars. Watch your footing. Be forewarned.
5. DO NOT RIDE IN FORMATION!! (Side by Side) To many things can go wrong and in formation if you mess up, you can take your partner down with you.
6. Always... always... always... expect the car, truck, van etc. to pull out in front of you. Always believe that they DO NOT SEE YOU. Even if they are looking directly into your eyes, that does not mean they mentally see you.
7. Car phones!! If you see someone talking on a car phone be afraid. He is your enemy!! He (she) is not paying attention to you or the road. Statistically, this causes as many accidents as drunk drivers. Also, never use your cell phone while riding. Pull over to make or answer a call.
8. Braking!!! Until integrated braking is released your front brake is 80% of your braking power. Get used to braking with ONLY your front brake. Go to a large parking lot and practice until it is first nature.
9. Counter Steering. Learning this technique will save your life! All racers use this method. In a nutshell, pull on the right handlebar and you go left or pull on the left handlebar and you go right or ( the exact reverse ) push lightly on your left handlebar and you'll go left.. or push right... go right. Learn the physics. Learn it until it's second nature because many times in an emergency situation, you have only reaction time, not thinking time.
10. One simple rule is to eliminate the blind spot to zero. Knowing who is around you at all times without having to turn your head all the time is one way to stay alive. Adding little blind spot mirrors on the bike can do that.
11. Braking Part 2. Always complete your braking BEFORE you enter a curve. Example: On any approaching curve and do all your braking before you start to lean into the curve. In the curve you have the choice of either coasting through it or accelerating through it.
12. Always wear gloves. In the summer at the very LEAST wear fingerless gloves. WHEN you do go down, your hands will take most of the impact. We're talking serious road-rash here.
13. Check the tire pressure often. Proper air pressure is more important than they are on a car.
14. Stay focused! This is not the time or place to be worrying about your upcoming dream bike, your next job promotion, or your receding hairline. Relax, take in the sights, sounds, and smells, but STAY FOCUSED.
15. If you hydro-plane, do not hit your brakes. Ride it out and keep it straight. Sometimes it helps to tighten the anal muscles during this maneuver, something that seems to come naturally.
16. Always wear eye protection. A gnat in the eye at 55mph feels like a 22 caliber hollow-point! Lets not even talk about locust season.
17. Re-read # 6
18. Proper lane positioning. Always let other people know you are there by how you position yourself in various circumstances. Stay out of people’s blind spots.
19. If it's early morning, or late evening, and the sun is positioned such that you can see YOUR OWN SHADOW in front of you, that means you are pretty invisible to oncoming traffic. Ride accordingly.
20. Never drive your big road bike (street tires) on wet grass, muddy roads, roads covered with fall leaves, or anything wet with a rut in it.
21. Don't allow yourself to get cold on a bike. Hypothermia can impair your judgment abilities as much as alcohol or drugs.
22. In hot weather, stay hydrated, you dehydrate quickly on a bike. Drink plenty of fluids.
23. Ride like your invisible. Assume that nobody sees you (except the highway patrol).
24. There's gravel/sand lurking on every unknown curve, and it is waiting for you.
25. Power-Wheelies happen easily with a passenger. Additionally, don't accelerate unexpectedly with a passenger or you'll lose her/him.
26. Never get confrontational (or angry) on a bike. The car is bigger, and you will lose.
27. There's no such thing as a "fender•bender" on a bike.
28. If your face shield gets too bug splattered, stop and clean it.
29. Only ride in the rain if there's no other way. When in the rain, on multilane highways, don't let a passing semi get too close, it will suck you in (and terminally mess you up).
30. If you do go down, try to ride out the slide; DO NOT try to get up while you are sliding.
31. Be highly conspicuous: lights, reflective wear, horns, and body language should always be a part of your repertoire.
32. Avoid deer like Ebola. They will hurt you and make your beautiful bike real ugly real fast. Be particularly aware of them when the light is changing; Dusk and Dawn. Be extra cautious during rut when deer have no fear and do stupid things for the same reason men do stupid things when they have the same thing on their mind.
33. When it just starts to rain•• Stop •• have a cup of coffee or a soda and wait for the rain to clean the slime from the road.
34. Don't drive in slow lane while on the interstate, especially by off ramps. There's always the idiot who almost missed his exit and sweeps four lanes to get to it.
35. Don't pass on the right. You'll be between the car on your left and the sacred parking spot or obscure turn•off on your right that it’s looking for.
36. Never drive at the same speed as traffic... i.e. never be static in anyone's peripheral view.
37. Where possible, enter intersections with a vehicle on your right, otherwise down the middle.
38. Wear bright colors and reflect from all angles, lest you become a no•see'um.
39. Traffic control devices won't save you. Scan all compass points prior to entering all intersections. Green can also mean go directly to the morgue.
40. The safest place in traffic is in front of it.
41. If you're an all year rider read up on weather riding and practice! You can't stress practice enough. Remember that cone course exercise you did back in MSF school? Go to an open (vacant) parking lot and practice those things on your bike. Try practicing when the lot is wet and practice easy riding on the street before pressuring yourself to ride to work in the rain. Remember, you don't have to ride. You don't have to subject yourself to these critical life situations that riding puts you in, but always be prepared for whatever kind of riding you want to do.
42. Learn from your past experiences/mistakes and hopefully others as well.
43. Keep your mount clean. If not for vanity's sake It'll be easier to maintain because you'll be able to i.e.spot the source of that fluid leak more readily or see that bolt missing from the front of you're otherwise road grime encrusted engine case. Isn't it interesting how the bike seems to have more power after a good detailing.
44. If you find yourself rushing to get out the door for work it might not be a good idea to take the bike. Don't ride when you're mind is racing in a mad dash to get to wherever. It's not good for your health.
45. A pre•ride inspection should be done before every ride, and even when you stop along the way. It's just one of those cursory things that only takes a minute (once you get the process down) to perform and can literally make the difference between life and death It’s the basic things, like oil level, loose bolts and low tires that cause accidents.
46. Know where motorcycle shops that can work on your make of bike are located in the areas you'll be riding.
47. Learn how to maintain and service you're own bike. This is a lifesaver skill is to possess. Common sense has it that if you know how you're bike is put together and how things are supposed to operate you'll be more articulate in performing your pre•ride inspections and if break•downs ever occur on the road or you drop the bike you'll be better prepared to handle the situation.
48. Leathers are great but it's a blessing either to have a rain suit handy or a set of some sort of synthetic riding suit available for riding when the weather is uncertain. This applies especially if you're a 365day/year rider who commutes everyday.
49. If you tend to breathe heavy or if it's going to be cool/cold on your ride applying some sort of anti fog coating to your glasses and/or face shield will work wonders in letting your eyeballs do their job unhindered. Fog City Fog Shield is an ingenious product which is basically a condensation proof sheet of plastic which is applied inside the face shield. It helps to be able to see every little nuance of detail of the road you're about to ride over and a few seconds of face shield clouding when you're canyon scratching or riding in traffic can make all the difference when self preservation becomes a factor. Figure out what method works for you and use it!
50. Be well fed and well slept before you ride. If you're going to go on that epic sporty ride or starting that epic trip the next day make sure you get a proper meal and appropriate amount of shut eye the night before. You'll feel much more stoked for the ride when you get up in the morning because you're body/mind will be ready for whatever. Also, don't eat heavy meals during break stops on the ride. Try to eat a snack or light meal such as a salad w/ a bit of chicken or soup and a roll or half that sandwich. You want as much blood as possible to stay in your brain and not be digesting food. Did you ever notice that after a grand meal you feel like taking a grand nap?
51. If you do end up taking your mount to get dealer serviced you'll want to go over it thoroughly before riding off. Are you willing to bet your life that that young kid mechanic or even old salt mechanic didn't overlook the fact that the break fluid reservoir cap was not properly tightened or that the bike was even properly filled w/oil before putting the fairing back on or that the tires are appropriately inflated after having been renewed? Don't laugh, it happens more than you know.
52. Look where you want to go, not where you don't want to go. Everything else we do to control a bike is secondary to this. Some situations can be avoided by slowing down, driving defensively, being more visible and so forth. But these only help prevent a bad situation, they don't fix it after it has occurred. And once in a bad situation, while there are many different ways to move a bike to help get out of that situation (weight transfer, sliding tires, handlebar control, throttle control, etc), the bike does not know instinctively where it should go • it has to be told. Before it can be told, however, the driver must make the decision of where he/she wants it to go. That means looking to that spot. Target fixation is real! Equally important is a parallel rule that says while looking at where you want to go, don’t fail to look at where you are. You can be so fixed on where you are going to turn in for gas a hundred yards away that you fail to see the wet clay or a dead possum that is ten feet in front of you.
53. When riding in mountains you really need to understand how your direction of travel is linked with the sun. You'll be coming around the mountain rubbernecking or whatever and then BLAMMM sun in face, and wind generally follows the sun. The thermals cause wind to "rise" with the sun and set with the sun. Ridge lines are usually swept clean with high winds cutting a right angle to the road. Moisture, sun and wind play a great role on surface moisture. There are places in the mountains that after summer will not be hit by the sun until next year. Combine this with natural springs, condensation, or other fluids in the road and there can be a big puddle right around the bend. To a lesser extent this rule applies anywhere. You can go around a shaded curve even on flat land and suddenly have the bright rising or setting sun blind you long enough to lose control.
54. Whenever stopped in traffic, NEVER put the bike in neutral. Keep the transmission in 1st gear and get used to holding in the clutch lever. As much as most of us hate to do this, it allows the rider to simply release the clutch and go if you need to move out of the way of danger. A motor officer in South Florida was killed because it took him too long for him to clutch, engage 1st gear, release the clutch and begin to roll, even though he had enough time and space to escape the approaching car. Remember..."Neutral Kills!"
55. As you approach a stoplight or stop sign, angle the bike slightly so the mirror of choice has a clear view directly behind you. It’s no secret that you can’t realistically glance in the mirror and see what’s approaching from directly behind you without contorting your body. So just before rolling to stop turn the bike slightly until the view to the rear is clear. Now you’ll be able to see the 103 year old blue-hair in the Dodge Dart that still hasn’t seen you between her and the school bus.
56. A second reason for #55… Now that you are aware that the approaching car isn’t going to stop, the angle of the bike points it between the two cars in front of you allowing rule #1 to come into play and allow you to quickly roll forward to the “safer” place between the cars up ahead.
57. Emergency gear to carry in your pockets at all times: A cell phone (but don't be surprised if it doesn't work from rural roadside locations); a whistle, so you can attract the attention of a rescuer from the bottom of the canyon after you're too weak to yell; a pencil and piece of paper to take phone numbers, street or trail names, or instructions from an emergency operator. If you carry a cell phone while you ride, make sure you have it on your person, not in your tank or saddle bag. If you crash, and your bike ends up on the other side of the road from you, and you can't crawl or otherwise get to it, you'll be unable to call for help. You should also have the number of your phone taped to the phone somewhere it can be easily read, since someone may be using the phone on your behalf, and therefore won't know the number, and the emergency operator would really like to be able to call them back.
58. ALWAYS be extremely paranoid when riding alongside parallel parked cars, or even worse, stopped traffic lines. When the idiot who's in a parallel spot, or in line, pulls out, or even worse, does a U TURN out of their parking spot, you'll be flying over their car onto the pavement.
59. On the highway, if you're on the leftmost lane, and cars abruptly stop ahead of you, PULL OFF QUICKLY AND CAREFULLY ONTO THE SHOULDER. Let the moron behind you who isn't paying attention rear-end the car in front, not sandwich you between his car and the car ahead.
60. When its wet, watch out for man-hole covers in turns and intersections. They're always in the worst spot for motorcycles. Also, painted lines at crosswalks and those great big painted arrows at intersections are really slippery when they're wet.
61. Always carry a camera, even a disposable camera works great. As they say, a picture says a thousand words. And in the case of an accident, you might need photos of skid marks, highway signs and markings, where vehicles ended up, initial damage to any and all vehicles, (damage might mysteriously increase after leaving the scene) injuries, dead animals, witnesses, road and weather conditions.
62. When trying to rack up lots of miles on a bike, you can help keep your body on even keel by eating small, mini-meals at each gas stop - as opposed to one or two heavy fast food meals during the day. Fruit slices, unsalted nuts, and water works great at each gas stop. These mini-meals help keep blood sugar at normal levels even if you are neither hypoglycemic nor diabetic.
63. Contrary to the view taken in tip# 3, riding behind the wheels of an eighteen wheeler can also be hazardous to your health. The retread tire is a way of life for truckers. We all know what happens when a tread separates from a tire. The shock and noise numb your brain just long enough to get you killed. The tread usually "bangs" against some part of the under side of the truck, then it comes off (Hopefully in small pieces). The failing tire can also cause a vehicle to swerve into you or your path. Flying tire treads can be deadly. The tread can be very heavy and take on very unusual flight characteristics. The impact from a tread (especially a large section) can kill you. If you are given a choice, don't ride behind any large, heavy, vehicle unless you are going slower than twenty five!
64. Bikes can slow down awfully quick without using brakes, so when decelerating by engine compression alone tap on the brakes to warn the driver behind you and let them know you are slowing down.
65. Heavy rain: It’s begun to rain so torrentially that you need shelter fast. There’s a bridge underpass up ahead. If you stop, stop at the far end of the underpass. If you stop at the near end, or even the middle, you may be run over by a car or truck that decides it needs to stop beneath the underpass, too. It may be raining so hard that the driver doesn’t see you until it’s too late.
66. Strong wind: If you find yourself struggling against a strong crosswind on the open road, focus on muscling your knee and thigh against the fuel tank for counterbalance. With a little practice, it’s remarkable how effective the knee/thigh pressure on the bike can be in riding safely and comfortably in a strong crosswind.
67. Quitting time! Be incredibly alert around quitting time, people are tired and hot to get home and come sailing right straight out of those parking lots straight for the left lane. Friday afternoon ahead of 4th of July, they're also towing a trailer and coming at you twice as fast.
68. Late Apex! As you ride the twisties keep your line where it should be. As any rider with experience knows if you ride early apex's it's just a matter of time before you hit something in the road or hit a curve that is a reducing radius and you find yourself in the wrong lane.
69. An appendage to Tip # 3, another reason to always follow directly behind car or truck wheels is that the center of the road has all the grease and drippings from cars and trucks. Riding behind the tire lane of a car gives you a more traction area of the road.
70. Start fresh, Stay fresh. Save that nice refreshing shower or bath for the last thing you do before starting your trip. Get the scoot loaded and pre-flighted, etc. Take a few ( 2 or 3 ) extra minutes at each fuel stop and wash up a tad. Hands, face and neck, underarms, and crotch.
71. A quick check of all the potential anchors and UFO's you have bunjied and tied on to your bike before you leave each fuel and rest-area stop might be appreciated by your fellow travelers too. Stuff flying off your bike at 80 mph is "UFO's to your fellow travelers.
72. Go on extra HIGH Alert anywhere in the vicinity of Farm equipment and related vehicles, most especially those big Drop Deck heavy haulers with the Big Cats, etc on board. All kinds of stuff can come flying off the trailer deck, from between the dualies, etc.. right at YOU with little or no warning !! This will occur more often when something makes the vehicle bounce, such as RR Tracks, bridges, chuck-holes, etc. Also strong gust of winds will cause more UFO activity too from both these vehicles as well as terra firma. A tumbleweed blowing cross-ways of you when your running 80 mph or more will give you a pucker check.
73. Watch out for tailgaters. One good trick is to increase your following distance, but that doesn’t help if something else makes you brake quickly. A little gentle swerving in your lane helps keep the cell-phone wielding commuters off your tail. It just reminds some people you are there, and makes others think you are just a bit crazy, but after a few weaves, usually you can get at least two seconds’ distance behind you.
74. As a New England alternative to tip # 69...in the spring, the potholes on the freeway always appear in the tire tracks. Particularly on the edges of overpasses. Some of these are big enough to eat your front tire. At night, you may not see them until it's too late. The second place they appear is between the driving lanes, and though generally not deep, they can be long, and they can trap your front tire. On New England freeways, in spite of the oil on the road, it's often safer to ride in the center of the lane. There are potholes in Florida too, especially in the rainy season when the water table rises and the lime rock becomes unstable.
75. A clean bike is a safe bike. Wash Wax and detail your bike on a weekly basis. Not only does it’s shine attract attention, but it gives you "face time" to see loose fasteners, bulged rubber, cracked hardware etc etc.
76. When approaching a cross road at high speed on a highway try to stay behind something large (like a car or truck) and then the idiot who is attempting to get on the highway (in rush hour traffic) will see the big vehicle and not pull out in front of you. At least if he does, he'll get T-boned by the car or truck and not you!
77. You want to stay out of anyone's blind spot, but what you also want is to maximize your separation from other traffic. Usually traffic travels in "packs", and the best way to do this is to spend as much time as possible between "packs", which means traveling mostly at the same speed as the rest of the traffic. Every time you pass someone or someone passes you, the risks are increased.
78. To stop folks from tailgating place the following sign on the back fender of your ride: Tailgating KILLS! Please don't, whether you are following or leading. Guess what, you get 3 seconds of in-trail spacing (most of the time. But also remember that the risks are increased when the biker tailgates. Keep your distance from the vehicle in front of you.
79. If you are as sandwiched in as everyone else around you (and they have not read your sign), but there is no where to go, follow this procedure: Downshift at least one or two gears, let off the gas, and simultaneously turn around and point directly at the offending driver, making eye contact if possible. Be careful if you are wearing a Faith Riders or other Christian clothing, to use your pointing finger, rather than your middle one. Hold this for a drop of about 5 mph maximum, just enough to force the offending driver to take the smallest amount of action and then take off. This will open the lane ahead of you for a momentary escape and will also bring the actions of this idiot driver to the attention of everyone else. Do it in front of a cop (correctly) and you get a bonus: the guy gets pulled over! Needless to say, you have to be totally aware of your surroundings.
80. Tailgaters part 3 (the LAST resort): Upon further soulful deliberation.. this tip has been deleted..
81. Many riders crash out when they are learning or are novice. One of the main contributing factors to this is over confidence and peer pressure. If you are new to motorcycling and are riding with a group of experienced riders don't feel you have to keep up. Ride at your own pace and well with in your own ability. For those experienced riders that have a novice rider with them be considerate, don't all blast off and leave him/her for dead, have someone hang back and offer helpful hints and constructive criticism.
82. Never drive anything while intoxicated or even if you have consumed any alcohol. As only one drink, while not enough to legally intoxicate you, will impair your judgment and physical response abilities. If you are going to participate in poker runs, or attend motorcycle rallies, drink only non- alcoholic beverages.
83. The safest place for idiot drivers is in front of you, where you can keep track of them and can see them.
84. Park your ego and vanity at home. Both will get you dead in any confrontational situation. Better to let the idiots achieve a steady-state. Someone else will judge them later.
85. When stopped at a light, as cars approaches from rear, pump your brake lever couple of times quickly and then hold. This way you stick out. 86. Keep other riders informed by pointing out if there is upcoming debris on the road.
87. Keep an eye out for loose gear or parts falling off another rider’s bikes.
88. When approaching a stopped vehicle that is looking to turn into your lane (typically the dreaded left turn without seeing you), try to quickly determine if the driver has made eye contact with you. At the same time, concentrate on the wheels of the vehicle. If they turn or move even the slightest amount, immediately execute your planned evasive maneuver, one that you planned long before approaching the vehicle in question.
89. If the rider or driver in front of you is slowing down, be sure you know why before you pass him. He may have hit the brakes for (1) the squad car looking for speeders (2) the idiot in front of him who is about to make a U-turn in front of you or (3) the steer in the ditch that is getting ready to cross the road.
90. Be very careful behind open top dump trucks and other haulers. The things they haul have a tendency to want to escape.
91. When you are about to pull out to overtake the vehicle in front of you, check your mirror again. The car in the lane you are moving into may be going much faster than you expect and you cannot see this from a single mirror check.
92. HOW TO SURVIVE A HEART ATTACK ALONE! As many of us are over 40, there is always the chance of having a heart attack while riding or driving. Pay Attention: You are riding along and suddenly you start experiencing severe pain in your chest that starts to radiate out into your arm and up into your jaw. You are only about five miles from the hospital nearest your home; unfortunately you don't know if you'll be able to make it that far. WHAT CAN YOU DO, pull over or try to make it to the hospital? A tough call if on a motorcycle. Without help, the person whose heart stops beating properly and who begins to feel faint, has only about 10 seconds left before losing consciousness. However, these victims can help themselves by coughing repeatedly and very vigorously. A deep breath should be taken before each cough, and the cough must be deep and prolonged, as when producing sputum from deep inside the chest, and a cough must be repeated about every 2 seconds without let up until help arrives, or until the heart is felt to be beating normally again. Deep breaths get oxygen into the lungs and coughing movements squeeze the heart and keep the blood circulating. The squeezing pressure on the heart also helps it regain normal rhythm. In this way, heart attack victims can get to a hospital.
93. What's the most unused button on your bike, other than the emergency flasher? Your horn. Many of us can ride for days or weeks without hitting the horn. This is not good in an emergency situation as you could very easily find yourself fumbling for the horn button while that 28,000lb SUV is merging on you. Before you leave your driveway after your bike is warmed up, re-familiarize yourself with the horn button. Hit the horn a few times. Feel the horn button while not looking. In an emergency situation one or two seconds fumbling for the button can mean the difference of being safe and being in a pine box.
94. If you do find yourself down, outside of the line of traffic, don't move until you've checked out the function of all your parts by touch and mini-movements. If you have ANY neck (or back) pain or ANY numbness or weakness anywhere, stay down, stay still, and please don't let anyone take off your helmet until hospital based professional evaluation is complete and carry ID in or on your helmet and person, and the EMT's have all been trained to look for an ICE (In Case of Emergency) # in your cell phone. Use it.
95. When approaching an intersection, honk and wave at the cross traffic. They'll think that you're crazy, but they'll be looking at you and less likely to run you over.
96. Always check rear view mirrors and tire position before passing a car.
97. In windy conditions up the revolutions per minute to maximum torque of the engine. It stabilizes the motorcycle.
98. Place body or higher reflectors on the front and back of the motorcycle. It makes a world of difference in a parking lot, or at the stop light at night. It makes people stop 20 feet behind you.
99. Always look at driver patterns in front of you, and then open up your spacing if anything looks out of the ordinary.
100. Don't be afraid to ride slowly, and read these suggestions at least once a month.
Have a good ride.
" 2006 Roadking"