V-Twin Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
157 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

2003 FXSTS Springer 27,000 miles. I find that I really get nervous when I plan to make a left or right turn onto a side road waiting for oncomming traffic to clear, from a highway
Shoud I be in the center of the lane like I woulg be in a cage or should I be more toward the center line. I would think like I'm in a cage and stay in the center and keep an extra sharp eye on my rear end.

It really bugs me when I have to do this on a highway with cagers doing 55 or 60 city streets I'm not as nervous about it.

Please advise.

John G.
 

·
You don't say?
Joined
·
422 Posts
I don't know if there's a right or wrong answer, but I like to ride on the left. My logic, or lack there of, is I'm directly in front of the driver coming from behind and I'm more visible to the oncoming cages. I stay away from the center because of the oil and crap that leaks and collects there, especially in the rain!
 
H

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Douglide is right on the money. The center of the lane is always going to have oils and debris that the wheel paths do not. Hydraulic fluid and anti-freeze in particular can make it like ice.

You're method of getting into a good position, then watching your mirror, prepared to evade is correct. You should set yourself you so that you're angled off to the side a few degrees. that way, if you see a car coming up too fast, you can dump the clutch and be out of the way. If you're trying to accelerate in line with the car's path, you'll likely not be able to get out of harm's way, since you're starting at zero. 15 feet at an angle makes you safe. 15 feet straight only moves the point of impact.

Harris
 

·
natural-born world-shaker
Joined
·
2,978 Posts
jguarnieri, ideally when you're stopped at a 90 degree turn like that it's basically the same as when you're driving through the same turn. The best, most stable starting path is from the side away from the turn - be in the left third of the lane for a right hand turn, for example.

Traffic from behind gives me the willies, too, and I rarely stop in the center. If you want to be in the best position to avoid a rear-end, assume you're going to get hit and position yourself where you can either avoid it (dumping the clutch) or be pushed into an opening between cars - not caught between cars. In traffic, approaching stopped traffic, I also stop at least a generous car length back, two if it's wet.

In the last six months or so, I've dumped the clutch from a stop three times: once was questionable, the other two times I'd have gotten pegged for sure. The most recent was when I was stopped at the entrance to my subdivision - the main road curves away from my left-hand turn and it's a downhill turn. There was on-coming traffic so I stopped but kept an eye out behind me. The guy behind me stopped but the truck behind him wasn't slowing. I dumped the clutch and went straight, and the guy behind me followed just as the second truck locked his brakes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
157 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks All,

I like the logic you all mentioned, I'll be off center on my turns in the future

John G
 

·
fourty three and seven...
Joined
·
3,465 Posts
Turning left scares the crap out of me. If I have to stop in the lane and wait for a chance to cross. I feel like an egg on a railroad track with a train coming.

I always fear some cell phone distracted cager not seeing me. On busy roads.

I try to avoid a left turn when possible (on busy roads) by turning right at the next intersection, turning safely around and backtracking to my desired location.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
338 Posts
Harris said:
You should set yourself you so that you're angled off to the side a few degrees. that way, if you see a car coming up too fast, you can dump the clutch and be out of the way. If you're trying to accelerate in line with the car's path, you'll likely not be able to get out of harm's way, since you're starting at zero. 15 feet at an angle makes you safe. 15 feet straight only moves the point of impact.
Harris
This saverd my butt yesterday. I was traveling in the left lane of the highway, stop and go traffic. Probably going about 40 mph. All of a sudden the pickup truck in front of me slammed on its brakes. I was riding on the right side of my lane, trying to see ahead. The truck suddenly applied its brakes for no apparent reason based on what I could see down the lane. I did the comibination breaking (thanks Harris), didn't lock my tires, but had not stopped in time to rearend the truck. FORTUNATELY, I was aimed at an angle, so I came to a stop between the left and center lanes, my rear tire approximaetly flush with the rear of the truck. The SUV behind me came to a stop in the median. It would have rearended the truck if it had stayed in the left lane.

Needless to say, I thought to myself this stuff really works!!! I was also glad that I apparently have worked this into my riding.

Harris, a question for you. This incident got me to thinking. It seems I was safer from being rear-ended by going between 2 cars, vs. using the median like the cagers normally do. Is this a good tactic? I think I would have been hit by the SUV if I had went the median route. Another thought is it seems that my stopping quickly could get me in situations in which I might get rearended. Is stopping quickly only part of the solution? Should the goal be to actually get to a safer position, vs. slowing to avoid hitting what's in front?

Thanks for all you help!!!!!!
 
H

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
dcfatboy said:
Harris, a question for you. This incident got me to thinking. It seems I was safer from being rear-ended by going between 2 cars, vs. using the median like the cagers normally do. Is this a good tactic? I think I would have been hit by the SUV if I had went the median route. Another thought is it seems that my stopping quickly could get me in situations in which I might get rearended. Is stopping quickly only part of the solution? Should the goal be to actually get to a safer position, vs. slowing to avoid hitting what's in front?

Thanks for all you help!!!!!!
There's no perfect answer regarding whether you're safer going to one direction or the other. It depends on the whole situation, which of course varies with each new vehicle added to the picture, and with the particular layoout of the street you're on. For instance sometimes the cars you'd go between are very close, closing your route, other times they just provide a nice escape lane a car can't follow you into. Occasionally you don't have a way out at all. Every time that happens, try to evaluate how you could have changed your approach and planned better.

You're exactly right that getting stopped may only be half the battle. Properly braked a motorcycle will outstop any car. In motor school, we use an exercise called the "brake and escape" which requires combination braking, then manuvering the motor to the left or right, in a maneuver tight enough to require using the friction zone of the clutch. The idea is to train the operrator that when a hazard presents itself requiring maximum braking, traffic behind is unlikely to be able to brake as effectively, so a plan should formed instinctively to clear the path.

Harris
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
That turn left in front of ya is the one that's always in the back of your mind. I always use the signals but just to be sure before as I roll up to the intersection I roll the fork slightly l-r. This action wavers your headlight visually to the oncomer and draws attention to you.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
126 Posts
modulating headlights

Hi Ya'll, I have gone to a modulating headlight that receives 90% of everyone's attention. A couple of a--h---- STILL pulled out in front of me...but they are the one's that pull out in front of a speeding firetruck, light, sirens and all!

CustonDynamics.com and other manufactures produce a headlight that modulates (rapid blinking on & off) and really gets everyone's attention. They are controlled by an independent switch and by turning your bright light switch on. They are legal in all states during daylight hours. They must be turned off at night (duh). I usually leave mine on through dusk as that is the most dangerous time. They are affordable ...and certainly so when considering the alternative.

Give them a looksee!

Ride safe & smart.

FONT="Arial Black"][/FONT]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
515 Posts
P 0 P E Y E said:
Turning left scares the crap out of me. If I have to stop in the lane and wait for a chance to cross. I feel like an egg on a railroad track with a train coming.

I always fear some cell phone distracted cager not seeing me. On busy roads.

I try to avoid a left turn when possible (on busy roads) by turning right at the next intersection, turning safely around and backtracking to my desired location.
I'm with you, I'm never in to much of a hurry not to do this on my bike in busy traffic.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top