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Why have you refrained from making a particular safety decision (Ex: parts/accesories, safety gear, riding practices)
1
It doesn't make me/my bike look good - 11.1%
1
It inhibits the freedom of the "motorcycle experience" - 11.1%
2
It's uncomfortable to use - 22.2%
0
It's too expensive to justify - 0.0%
1
I don't think it really makes me safer - 11.1%
4
Not listed (if so, please note in thread) - 44.4%

 
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VT_ID
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   Posted 10/23/2011 12:27 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
What keeps some motorcyclists from taking the obvious steps to being a safer rider?

I'm an industrial design student at Virginia Tech. I just got my first bike (a beat-up old virago 920) and I'm doing a design project to improve rider safety, focusing in particular on visibility of motorcyclists.

I was hoping to get some insight from riders, both beginner and experienced, on what safety decisions you have or haven't made and why. These decisions include purchasing aftermarket parts, safety gear, riding practices, etc. I'm looking into style, comfort, cultural, and cost characteristics that influence these safety decisions so please let me know what influences yours. If you don't have time to leave a post, filling out the poll at the top will help.

Thanks a lot for your time and I'll be sure to post my design concept when I'm done.
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Richard47
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   Posted 10/24/2011 1:47 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.

I live in England, where road conditions are a little different to those in the US, and the car drivers better disciplined, if this forum is any guide. Drink driving is punished and socially unacceptable.

I always wear a helmet (mandatory here) and I choose a full face. I always wear a jacket with some form of armour, textile as I don't care for leather, although I own a leather one as well. I always wear gloves and ankle length boots, but not neccessarily boots designed specifically for riding. I may or may not wear leather pants, depending on the ride I am doing. I have waterproof cordura pants for the wet or cold.

The modern bike I use (I own some old ones too) has the headlamp/tail lamp permanently on and has the mandatory yellow retro-reflective rear number plate (about 9"x7"), the bike is yellow in color too. For these reasons I don't take any other steps to improve my visibility as I reason that if a driver doesn't see me it is because they are not looking, so additional visibility will be to no avail. However, my old bikes are not ridden with the lights on and have the old style black painted plates, so I am probably going to buy a new jacket with high-vis inserts for next season.

I ride defensively, although not particularly slowly, bearing in mind my advancing years make me less sharp than I was. As Clint Eastwood said, 'A man has to know his limitations'. I never tailgate and never overtake near road junctions and I'm always wary when I see cars waiting to make a turn.  


Toilet Brush Dog Owner

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Andy VH
Where is the earth shattering kaboom!?



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   Posted 10/24/2011 8:53 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I am a 40 year rider and a 20 year MSF instructor. I ride street, touring, dirt bikes, ice bikes, so I like a lot of experience. I ride 100% in a FF helmet, boot, jacket, gloves, etc. The only piece of riding gear missing are protective riding pants and I'm getting closer to those all the time.

Years ago, like over 20 years a go, I guaged my riding season by how many close calls I had. Then finally one day I had a light go on, "why am I even having close calls?" I changed my riding habits, got training, increased my visibility, got very aggressive at scanning/searching/looking, and now I rarely have anything like a close call. If I do its MY FAULT.

That said, I feel most riders do nothing about protective riding gear, or increased visibility, simply because of the inconvenience issue MORE than anything else. I feel this especially applies to the riders claiming, "its my right to ride without a helmet! To not feel claustrophobic (ya right), so I can hear and see better (bull)." Really? Your "right" perhaps, but honestly I bet the real reason MOST riders don't wear a helmet is simply because: 1. Don't want to pay for one, 2. Don't like helmet hair, 3. Don't want to lug a helmet around off the bike, 4. Don't want to care for a helmet, 5. Simply don't want any "inconvenience".


Training, the best safety and performance "equipment" you can get!
Get MSF trained, check out: http://www.msf-usa.org
 

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VT_ID
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   Posted 10/24/2011 1:08 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I appreciate the insight. Since I'm a new rider, it helps to get the perspective of people who have much more experience under their belts. Your info will go to good use.

I'm specifically looking at opportunities in lighting as it seems a common concern of the more safety-conscious riders out there and it's usually associated with higher visibility.

Thanks again and keep the comments coming
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Andy VH
Where is the earth shattering kaboom!?



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   Posted 10/24/2011 2:59 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Without a doubt, anything to increase the visibility of a rider/motorcycle is vital to survival. Part of that is using products, on the rider, on the bike, to increase visibility. Hi tech rider gear with bright colors and flourescent panels definitely help. Same for reflective products on the bike. But also, the rider has to use effective positioning and increased following distance to improve visibility also. Following too close is a certain way to get into trouble in almost all forms of traffic.

As to increasing visibility, the trick is a product that can dramatically increase visibility without detracting from the looks of the bike and rider. Say what you want about safety being the highest priority, but I'd bet almost all riders FIRST put looks/style ahead of all other factors when choosing anything for their riding gear or bike.


Training, the best safety and performance "equipment" you can get!
Get MSF trained, check out: http://www.msf-usa.org
 

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Deacon Blues
The Imaginary Director



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   Posted 10/26/2011 12:30 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
If it increases safety, I'll buy/wear/use it. :) If it's a 'safety' wives tale (loud pipes?) I won't.

I'm a bit evngelical of retroreflective patches/tape/pinstriping and active lighting (modulators and such).

One way to add retroreflective bits without changing the look of the bike is to use "stealth" reflective tape, that color-matches the bike's colors in daylight, but glows (white or amber or red) when illuminated at night. Or, you can incorporate retroreflective elements into the bike's graphics or design scheme, applying pinstripes, frame or cover accents, or other tricks that again, look like they belong when viewed in daylight, but make the bike pop out of the darkness when illuminated at night.


"Lane splitting will never be accepted in those areas where driving is considered a martial art."

Current Ride: 1992 BMW K75RT "Sif"
Past Rides:
1985 Yamaha FZ750 "Diablesse"
1987 Yamaha FZ700 "Pandora"
1979 Yamaha XS750 "Cerberus"

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Andy VH
Where is the earth shattering kaboom!?



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   Posted 11/9/2011 4:04 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
For me, I feel the greatest safety tool or equipment is right between my ears, and my attitude about riding. That itself oversees EVERYTHING else about my riding. Even moreso than riding gear, moreso than rider training, moreso than safety equipment or systems on the bikes I ride.

A rider's ATTITUDE about riding is THE guiding principle for ALL decisions about riding. An attitude of "I can only ride my ride and whatever happens I'll have to deal with" is a passive attitude that puts the rider frequently in traffic situations that require more panic response than planned action. It is the attitude of "I'm riding within my rights and legally on the road, expecting others to respect my right to be there and share the road with me." This is the attitude of SHARE THE ROAD WITH MOTORCYCLISTS. This attitude is likely present in a rider that wears a helmet and maybe other gear, but never feels the need to take a rider training course or analyze why these traffic issues come up so much.

An attitude of "whatever happens, happens, and there is nothing I can really do about it" is a VERY passive attitude that certainly leaves the rider on an inevitable crash course, literally. It is the attitude of "the car SUDDENLY turned left in front of me, there was nothing I could do!" Or perhaps the classic, "I had ta lay it down!" This could be the likely attitude of a rider who never wears a helmet or protective gear, or has the attitude of "I know how to ride and don't need any training." This is the rider you see in traffic, feet up on the highway pegs, riding one handed cruising through intersections, following other traffic WAY too close.

An attitude of "its all and ONLY up to ME to do all I can to ride my best ride, and be the first/most responsible for whatever happens to me on the road" is an ASSERTIVE, almost aggressive attitude that lives in the rider and guides every decision from which road to take, what gloves to wear, which helmet give the best protection, what training course do I need to improve my abilities, regularly pratices braking and evasive skills. It is the attitude of the rider to ride in a manner at all times to minimize his/her risks at that moment, and constantly adjust whatever is needed for every foot travelled. It is the attitude of a rider who first looks within himself/herself to make sure the ride is always as good as it can be done. This rider has a guiding attitude that results in very few close calls, very few things missed in traffic, and next to no crashes. This is ACTIVE riding, not passive riding.


Training, the best safety and performance "equipment" you can get!
Get MSF trained, check out: http://www.msf-usa.org
 

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portogear Inc.
Portogear



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   Posted 12/2/2011 6:22 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Andy..I totally agree with you. Bike is a machine and its up to you how you are going to ride on it in terms of safety.. But i would like to say that while riding a bike, rider must be equipped with safety materials like helmet and proper safety motorcycle suit. Apart from marketing, i have store on ebay that contains lots of good informational posts about safety in terms of suiting. Thanks


Mike Joe

Sales Dept

PortoGear Inc.
516-806-4300

http://stores.ebay.com/portogear

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thesoapster
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   Posted 12/8/2011 8:21 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I ride at speeds that are less safe than the speed limit. My vote was it inhibits the motorcycle experience to do so. Honestly this is why I'm more and more leaning towards track-only riding. I can still have fun on the street, but I have to hold back to maintain a certain level of safety (I'm not entirely reckless).
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RedDog
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   Posted 12/8/2011 8:54 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Refrain from safety this and that does not apply to my riding ...

Some will say, well, you could slow down cause I could not use more safety gear than I use. I believe in ATGATT.

I am also an MSF instructor and also a MAST instructor - and I have taken my addiction for speed to the track. Track racing is a stunning realization that top speed, serious high speed is a killer on the streets - of course. But you do get a double realization when you start braking from 150 mph plus. You don't do that on the streets unless you want to die. Thus, I did not refrain myself to take it to the track where you can ride as fast as you want in as safe environment as possible created.

Then, back on the street in full ATGATT, being seen is a default. Not only lights and clothing, but positioning - and always scanning as far ahead as possible, creating situations in your mind and how to dodge them. Expect the unexpected. Never ride unless you can pay 100% attention - front, sides and rear.

Going slower? Well you can, but keeping traffic behind you is not a good idea, actually something to refrain from. A slight aggressive riding behavior have saved my buttock. Going too slow, makes me not paying to much attention to the road ahead. I seem to drift off, in thought and looking where I should not.

I believe that to pay 100% attention, you need to carry a safe speed. And that safe speed is personal and depends on your particular experience. That has kept me and pillion safe for over 1/2 a million miles.


RedDog
Think Ahead! Travel Light & Leave Your Fears Behind You!
Normal People Scare me! Travel Light and Leave Your Fears Behind You!

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GAJ
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   Posted 12/9/2011 12:35 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I'm a bit confused by your comment Red Dog; at one point you imply you do NOT want to keep traffic behind you, and then in the next sentence you refer to being slightly aggressive, (which I agree with).

On the freeway I ride a bit faster than general traffic and try to stay in the leftmost part of the leftmost lane unless the road is clear.

On back roads I ride to maintain 4 seconds of vision and when the road opens up ride above the speed limit, but rarely hit triple digits, and if I do, that is only for a few seconds.


Selling my one owner '97 TL1000S: www.bayarearidersforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=372346

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louemc
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   Posted 12/9/2011 1:20 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
RedDogs post should be printed in large letters, and bordered with Andy's "between the ears" , because without that mindset, nothing else works.

And then Framed with flashy color...:-)


 Focus the forces, Be The Force

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RedDog
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   Posted 12/10/2011 7:24 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
GAJ said...
I'm a bit confused by your comment Red Dog; at one point you imply you do NOT want to keep traffic behind you, and then in the next sentence you refer to being slightly aggressive, (which I agree with).


Sorry GAJ I could have been more clear:

I meant that when you ride slow you will create traffic, slow traffic behind you with some potential rage that will not think twice to pass you, ref all these 45 in 55/60 mph bikers out there. Doing this, you'll put yourself in harms way.

So, a more aggressive riding style is a part of my MC survival kit, also keeping traffic behind you, but now they won't pile up in the mirror fighting to pass you.

Thanks Lou!


RedDog
Think Ahead! Travel Light & Leave Your Fears Behind You!
Normal People Scare me! Travel Light and Leave Your Fears Behind You!

Post Edited (RedDog) : 12/10/2011 5:52:34 PM GMT

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GAJ
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   Posted 12/10/2011 10:24 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
No question a motorcycle that is a "roadblock" is asking for trouble.

Thanks for the clarification RD; agree completely.


Selling my one owner '97 TL1000S: www.bayarearidersforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=372346

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RedDog
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   Posted 12/10/2011 10:53 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Roadblocks - good expression.


RedDog
Think Ahead! Travel Light & Leave Your Fears Behind You!
Normal People Scare me! Travel Light and Leave Your Fears Behind You!

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thesoapster
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   Posted 12/10/2011 10:55 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
When I do find myself on highways I try to keep a semi quick pace, but not too much so. Sportbike + speeding = police magnet. Just like the time I was following traffic, I was picked out of a group of cars (all of which would cause far more harm if they lost control than me) for speeding. A state trooper once admitted to me that they do target sportbikers. So, I mainly keep my more heinous speeding off the main roads where I don't have to worry about traffic (at least not in the same way).
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Andy VH
Where is the earth shattering kaboom!?



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   Posted 12/13/2011 4:03 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I tend to ride at speeds in highway traffic, slightly faster than the traffic average, within reasonable range of the posted limit. A little bit extra is ok, but too much and you WILL get the attention of an officer. I prefer my speed just slightly faster than the traffic average so I am overtaking most of the time and not being overtaken most of the time. Gives me more control.

I would not doubt that sport-bikes get the attention of officers just for the bikes they are. Not right, but thems the facts. Conversely, I tend to feel that when riding my BMW, complete with saddlebags, me in full gear (in all weather conditions), that my appearance is "he takes this riding seriously" and I rarely get a glance from an officer. That, and I know my speedometer reads at least five mph higher than my actual speed. So 70 mph indicated is just 65 mph, 75 is just 70, which in my experience never even gets a glance from an officer.


Training, the best safety and performance "equipment" you can get!
Get MSF trained, check out: http://www.msf-usa.org
 

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thesoapster
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   Posted 12/13/2011 4:11 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
My speedometer becomes less accurate the faster you are going. 155 indicated may only be 143, but 70 indicated may be 68. Not sure of exact conversion as I haven't ridden with a GPS unit that tracks speed. Funny you mention the gear etc. While the appearance of my bike/gear is eye-catching (in the flashy way that gets LEO attention), the trained eye will recognize I'm not an idiot. I was stopped once by a Sheriff's Deputy for 60 in a 40 (he saw me and pulled a sneaky move and snuck back up on me after I thought he was nowhere to be seen). There was no ticket, just a little chat. He mainly just said to be careful, though he admitted, "I can tell you know how to handle this bike..." lol He wound up asking me questions about it. I think this was only three months or so since I got my R1, so it was still a relatively new model at the time.
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el SID
merely a man equipped with a bag a seedless grapes



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   Posted 12/13/2011 4:31 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Seems like I ride at the pace that keeps me in the best situation I can handle. That may be faster than traffic or may be slower at times,but that is to keep me visible, and better escape routes open.
Having proper equipment counts when dealing with an officer, especially on a sportbike. Cause at the bottom of it all,thats what they do best, speed. We arent alone,cops do it to sports cars. Wanna give a cop whiplash, have a r1 go through an intersection with a Ferrari going the other way.
smilewinkgrin
I got out of a ticket two 4th of july weekends ago,just because I wasnt in trainers and a T shirt. I got a good stern talkin to. Deserved as well.


Best bike out is the one Im on,sod the rest lmao
current hacks


1996 honda vfr
2012 tuono rsv4 aprc on order baby.... march 2012
1973 kawasaki h1
1998 suzuki rm 125 I have broken her back. I feel guilty. she may have to be laid to rest.

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