STREET STRATEGIES ( must read ) - Wrist Twisters
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post #1 of 38 Old 07-07-2006, 11:12 AM Thread Starter
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STREET STRATEGIES ( must read )

This was taken from another forum (Thanks to Moeman), and it is one of the best safety threads I have ever read. Definately a good refresher for those old in the saddle, and a good primer for the new riders.

Watch drivers' heads and mirrors:
Watching the head movements of drivers through their windows and mirrors is an excellent way to anticipate sudden moves. Most drivers won't lunge left or right without first moving their heads one way or the other (even if they don't check their mirrors).


Trust your mirrors, but not totally:
Your bikes mirrors can be life-savers, but they don't always tell
the entire story even if they are adjusted properly. In traffic, always buttress your mirror generated rear view with a glance over the appropriate shoulder. Do it quickly and you'll add an extra measure of rearview and blind spot knowledge to your info gathering tasks.


Never get between a vehicle and an off ramp:
This sounds almost too simple but drivers who decide to exit at the last minute kill plenty of riders each year. The simple rule then, is to never position yourself between a vehicle and an offramp. Passing on the right is generally a no-no, but in this day and age it's sometimes necessary. So if you do it do so between exits or cross streets.


Cover your brakes:
In traffic, you must often react very quickly, which means not fumbling for the brake lever or pedal. Always keep a finger or two on the brake lever and your right toe close to the rear brake pedal. When that cell phone-yakking dorks cuts across your path trying to get to the 7-Eleven for a burrito supreme, you'll be ready.


Be noticed:
Make sure drivers and pedestrians can see you, even from a distance.
Ride with your high beams on during the day (as a courtesy turn it off when sitting behind someone at a light) and wear brightly colored gear, especially your helmet and jacket.


Be ready with power:
In traffic ride in a gear lower than you normally would so your bike is ready to jump forward instantly if asked (not everyone rides open-class twins after all). Doing so gives you the option of leaping ahead instead of being limited to just using the brakes when that pickup suddenly moves over. The higher revs might also alert more cagers to your presence.


Traffic slowing? stay left (or right):
When traffic slows suddenly stay to the left or right of the car in front of you. This will give you an escape route if needed. It will also keep you from becoming a hod ornament if the car behind you fails to stop in time. Once you've stopped, be ready; clutch in, your bike in gear and your eyes on the mirrors. You never know.


Practice the scan:
Constantly scanning your entire environment while riding-from instruments to mirrors to the road ahead to blind spots to your left and right and rear keeps you aware and in touch with your situation, and therefore better able to react. Dwelling on one area too long; watching only behind or in front of you, for instance, is just begging for trouble.

Left turn treachery:
When approaching an oncoming car that's stopped and about to turn left, be ready. Your bright should be on so the driver can see you (during the day) but don't rely on this to save you. Watch the car's wheels or the driver's hands on the steering wheel if you see movement be ready to brake, swerve or accede, whichever seems best for the situation.


Study the surface:
Add asphalt conditions to your scan. Be on the lookout for spilled oil, antifreeze or fuel; it'll usually show up as shiny pavement. Also, keep an eye out for gravel and/or sand which is usually more difficult to see. Use your sense of smell too; often you can smell spilled diesel fuel before your tires discover how slippery the stuff is.


Ride in open zones:
Use your bike's power and maneuverability to ride in open zones in traffic. In any grouping of vehicles there are always some gaps, find these and ride in them. Doing so will separate you from four - wheelers, give you additional room to maneuver and allow you to keep away from dangerous blind spots. And vary your speed; riding along with the flow can make invisible to other drivers especially in heavy traffic.


Use that thumb:
Get into the habit of canceling your turn signals often regardless of the traffic situation. A blinking signal might tell drivers waiting to pull into the road or turning left in front of you that you are about to turn when you aren't. So push that switch a few times each minute. Better to wear out that switch than eat a Hummer's hood, eh?


It's good to be thin:
A huge advantage single-track vehicles over four- wheelers is their ability to move left and right within a lane to enable the rider to see what's ahead or through their windshields, seeing what's coming can give you lots of extras time to react.


More than one way out:
Yeah, motorcycles fall down, but they're also light, narrow and hugely maneuverable, so you might as well learn to exploit their strengths when things get ugly, right? So don't just brake hard in a hairball situation. There's almost always an escape route. Swerving into Mrs. Smith's front yard could be a lot better then centerpunching the Buick that turned left in front of you. Always have an escape route planned and update it minute by minute.


Running interference:
This one’s easy and we'll bet most of you already do it; let larger vehicles run interference for you when negotiating intersections. If the bonehead coming toward you from the left or right is going to blow the light, better they hit the box van next to you, right? For the same reasons, don't lunge through an intersection as soon as the light turns green. Be patient and use the vehicles next to you as cover.

Braking:
Practice quick safe stops on all road surfaces and conditions. Learn the distance you can stop within. If you go 75+ know how to stop from 75+. This gives you a better appreciation for speed and following distances.

Look as far ahead as possible especially around corners. Scan but use your side vision so you always have "one eye" looking ahead. Limit your speed so that you could stop within the distance you can see ahead. One day - you will have to stop.
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post #2 of 38 Old 07-07-2006, 12:01 PM
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Now these are good rules to live by. It always surprises me how many people fail to remember that the throttle on a bike is sometimes better to use in a tight spot than the brake.

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post #3 of 38 Old 07-07-2006, 12:06 PM
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Great post!

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post #4 of 38 Old 07-07-2006, 12:40 PM
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Nice items Mr. Ridge.

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post #5 of 38 Old 07-07-2006, 02:06 PM
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These are great, also one other thing I do, is when passing someone, I almost always have my thumb hanging over the horn button. Just in case. And I always keep an eye on them (safely, as in just an occasional glance to make sure they're not going to try anything silly like plowing me off the road).

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post #6 of 38 Old 01-01-2008, 07:48 AM
 
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Safety at intersections

WOW! There is some great info on this page! I really think this thread got started right with reminders about how to see and be seen while riding. I would like to add one thing that will keep you safer while waiting for a red stop light to turn green.

First thing, when approaching a light that controls traffic at an intersection, be cautious. Others (4 wheel types) don't see you, if they run their red light while making a right turn...they could be in your path of travel really fast. So approach all intersections with caution even when you have the green.

If you must stop because the light is red, don't share the lane with other (4 wheel types). Be considerate as you wait your turn in line just as you would if you were in a passenger car/truck. If you think sharing a lane to get to the front is safer, it isn't. You are negating any "space cushion" between you and others by doing this plus, you are pissing-off the 4 wheel types you just passed. You may say "I don't care, they are in back of me now". That may be true but they are in front of me and they are pissed at all motorcycle riders...Thanks!

Okay, back to what to do if you are waiting for a green light at an intersection. Shift into 1st gear, apply at least one brake and monitor your mirrors for traffic approaching you from behind as well as keeping an eye out front for traffic. Why first gear? If you need to move in a hurry you will have the power to make it. Why apply at least one brake? You are giving an extra signal to traffic coming up on you from behind. Why scan your mirrors? Have you ever seen someone hit from behind by a driver who never saw them sitting at a light? I have! If the guy would have been in gear, scanning his environment vs. sitting back in the saddle, in neutral trying to look cool, he wouldn't have ended up on someone’s hood and his motorcycle laying out in the intersection. Get it? -Ed

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post #7 of 38 Old 01-01-2008, 08:43 AM
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Here's another one to look out for..

A local rider was killed this week on Long Island by someone that decided to make a left turn from the right lane.

http://www.newsday.com/news/printedi...,3306825.story

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post #8 of 38 Old 01-01-2008, 09:22 AM
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James, Thanks for taking the time to post this. As a newer rider, I spend alot of time reading up on motorcycle safety on this forum and other websites and try to practice things when I go out for a ride...a couple of things I try to do that don't really come naturally are:

1) Trying to look as far ahead as I can and using peripheral vision to for the road right in front of me. Seems like when I do this I can easier plan what I'm going to do rather than react and see potential hazards earlier, but I catch myself fixating on the road in front of my front tire occasionally. I even try to do this now when I drive my car. If I can get in the habit of doing this in my car, it should come more natural when I get on my bike.

2) Trying to concentrate on being seen. When I see a car at a crossroad when approaching an intersection, move left or right so they can see my headlight as I approach, especially when behind another vehicle.

I know there is alot to learn and I appreciate all who post these safety tips and when they have bad experiences, so we all can learn from it.

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post #9 of 38 Old 01-01-2008, 10:15 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the kind words. Here's another habit I've picked up in the last few years.

While stopping or at a complete stop and by myself; if I see a vehicle approaching from behind, I will make a concious effort to flash my brakes repeatedly until stopped and I see that they acknowledge my presence.

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post #10 of 38 Old 01-05-2008, 04:52 PM
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Re:

Thanks Ridge, I was taught early by a group of old codgers about covering the brake, being in a lower gear, tapping the brakes at a stop, and letting the blocker clear the intersection for me. After many miles, I still believe they are good habits. And Yes, I've been pinched up against the guardrail on a ramp, the trucker was laughing in his mirrows at my emergency braking!

[
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post #11 of 38 Old 01-05-2008, 09:01 PM
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I'm still not comfortable with the high beams on option. In condtions where you've got the sun on the horizon behind you the lights will blend and voila you vanish. Check out extreme examples of this re Compass Ghost and Yehudi.

The sun going down times are also when drivers and peds are either groggy at sunrise, or run down at sunset. The mysterious "came out of nowhere" accident.

Now those super annoying flashers, that will get you noticed. You can get them on the front too.

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post #12 of 38 Old 01-06-2008, 12:07 PM
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When entering a curve, Go in cool come out hot and always keep your vision high so that you scan past the apex. This will help eliminate the panic attack when you realize your coming in to fast.

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post #13 of 38 Old 01-06-2008, 02:19 PM
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Safety

All of these safety practices I use everyday in my riding. You have to practice them until they become second nature. One thing people may want to consider is this. I have wired in a 2 wire electronic turn signal flasher in series to my brake lights activated by a on/off/on toggle switch. Reason being that when I am in traffic any time my hand or foot is on the brake pedal the brake lights are always flashing. Studies have proven that a flashing brake light will draw more eye attention than a staionary one. Possibly preventing an accident all together. The other side of the toggle switch reverts the brake lights back to being on steady. So when I'm in the hills riding I'm not distracting the other riders in my group by the cool flashing lights. I originally had the brake lights wired straight to the turn signal flasher, but after 1 ride in the hills everybody that I rode with said they were target fixating on the lights. { I rode in the back of the pack for the rest of the day }

Never under estimate the power of
stupid people in large groups.
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post #14 of 38 Old 01-06-2008, 06:01 PM
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Great post! Thanks for the reminder.

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post #15 of 38 Old 09-14-2008, 04:29 PM
 
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don't be a fool, don't act cool

I've been riding 25+ yrs and one of my rules is DONT ACT COOL
The fact is you've got 100 horses under you and the escapability and nimbleness that Houdini couldn't imagine. While there is certainly a swagger and f*** y'all aspect to motorcycling, my closest calls, and some friends mistakes were caused by getting cocky. e.g., looking at yourself in windows, checking out or trying to impress fleshpots, getting lazy mentally.
SCAN, LEFT TURNERS, ROAD CONDITIONS -- MY MANTRA whenever I slip that Shoei on.
Oh yeah, great post!

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post #16 of 38 Old 09-14-2008, 04:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thewant View Post
I've been riding 25+ yrs and one of my rules is DONT ACT COOL
The fact is you've got 100 horses under you and the escapability and nimbleness that Houdini couldn't imagine. While there is certainly a swagger and f*** y'all aspect to motorcycling, my closest calls, and some friends mistakes were caused by getting cocky. e.g., looking at yourself in windows, checking out or trying to impress fleshpots, getting lazy mentally.
SCAN, LEFT TURNERS, ROAD CONDITIONS -- MY MANTRA whenever I slip that Shoei on.
Oh yeah, great post!
and @ fleshpots

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post #17 of 38 Old 05-28-2009, 08:49 AM
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Just a note about covering the brakes - instead of just using a couple fingers, I'd use all of them. I know a biker that broke his fingers by covering the brake with two and having to brake hard to avoid a careless driver. My advice is just keep that space between the brake lever and throttle clear.

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post #18 of 38 Old 06-04-2011, 04:58 AM
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0ne i picked up somewhere and use is when riding in dual lanes, watch the front wheels of nearby vehicles,as where they point they go,

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post #19 of 38 Old 06-04-2011, 05:46 AM
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Great post. Often these type of posts are longer reads (kinda like this one). The OP was brief and to the point which helps more people read them and hopefully learn or refresh on a few things.

One thing related to a few of the points is having awareness of the riskier drivers around you, the ones who are less likely to know you're there. It helps you to identify the higher risk drivers and to prioritize your awareness. In four lane traffic the cars behind you or that have already passed you in the next lane are less of a risk then the cars that you are passing if your lane is moving quicker.

I always ride close to the line and "guard my lane". You are more visible to the drivers in the slower lane because most people have their side-view mirrors set that way. I try to pause a brief moment at a point where I can see the driver in his side-view mirror. If I see them look at me, I know it is safer (not safe, but safer) to move past.

When moving past the drivers in the next lane be aware of their blind spot. I like to "show them a wheel" as quickly as possible. I accelerate through their blind spots and get right beside them ASAP so that I am in their periphery.

Pay attention to their front wheels too so that you can more quickly see car direction changes. Same goes for left-turners coming the other way. Look at the driver, their hands and the front wheel for movement or telegraphing.

BTW - Riding close to the line you are also in the tire track of the car ahead and you can better anticipate and avoid road debris if the cars ahead swerve out of their "slots". If they don't swerve, it is more probable that there isn't debris in your path.

Last year I put my ego aside and bought a high-visibility jacket. I owe it to my kids. I honestly believe that it makes your probability of being seen by drivers improve by maybe 75% over typical, darker colours. Since the change I have only had a few instances of drivers starting to turn into my lane or starting to turn left in front of me. In these few instances they've still sited me quickly and aborted their move.

For the heck of it I wore my black/blue/gray jacket the other night and within 10 minutes a driver cut me off, lol. Lesson relearned.

Think about this: Car drivers hitting motorcyclists almost always claim that they didn't see the motorcyclist. If my anecdotal estimate of 75% improved visibility is right, or even just a 50%, it would eliminate 50% of those collisions. I think about this every time I read an accident report....

Thanks for sharing that post. Be safe out there.

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post #20 of 38 Old 06-04-2011, 06:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cotso View Post
0ne i picked up somewhere and use is when riding in dual lanes, watch the front wheels of nearby vehicles,as where they point they go,
Dig it.

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post #21 of 38 Old 06-04-2011, 12:38 PM
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One more thing to look out for , out of state plates. They usually are not familliar with the roads and make sudden manuevers.
Keep your eye out for blue haired drivers, especially if there wearing hats with flowers on them , and cars with college stickers on the rear windows...DOUBLE your following distance if the sticker is off-center or cock-eyed!!!!!

Never pick a fight with an old man..if he's too tired to fight, he'll just shoot you.
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post #22 of 38 Old 06-05-2011, 07:47 AM
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The safest riding tip of all is this :

Don't ride around town.
And if you must, be extremely wary of and avoid situations where there is intersection type "left turn potential" and any cars are present.
The statistics have never changed much over the years, aside from the extreme reduction in death from head injuries when the helmet laws came in.
Chances are, if you find yourself needing to rely on your riding gear, you will be in town, a left turn will be involved, as will a car, as in a car with an errant driver behind the wheel.

Be like a fighter pilot, always quarter the sky, so to speak, so you don't get bounced.
Pretend any driver that sees you is out to get you.
Pretend any driver that can't see you will get you because of not knowing you are there.

PS: "Right turn potential" is the needed variation for Right Hand Drive countries.

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post #23 of 38 Old 06-12-2012, 10:07 AM
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Not to thread jack but it's amazing with the amount of foolhardy m/c videos on youtube that insurance rates aren't higher.

Great thread! Back later for my refresher course.

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post #24 of 38 Old 06-12-2012, 01:32 PM
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I just always assume that everyone is an idiot and will be moving into my bike or my lane at some point in the near future. ~50% of the time it's accurate.

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post #25 of 38 Old 09-27-2015, 01:12 PM
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Great read, I learned something(s) new today. \m/

- 2004 Honda 919
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post #26 of 38 Old 11-27-2016, 11:44 AM
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I really enjoyed this thread, enough so that I thought I'd bring it back up with a question for the experienced riders: Assuming a safe rider is/was also a safe driver, how much of your safe-driving habits do you think carry over to your riding habits? In other words, is being a safe driver a good predictor of being a safe rider? Or is riding a motorcycle safely entirely different than driving a car safely?

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post #27 of 38 Old 11-27-2016, 02:31 PM
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I would say a safe motorcycle rider makes a safe car driver, but it doesn't necessarily go the other way. I think safe car drivers will likely be safer bike riders than poor car drivers, but riding a bike safely requires a different level of mental capacity than driving a car safely.

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post #28 of 38 Old 11-27-2016, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmdavis984 View Post
I would say a safe motorcycle rider makes a safe car driver, but it doesn't necessarily go the other way. I think safe car drivers will likely be safer bike riders than poor car drivers, but riding a bike safely requires a different level of mental capacity than driving a car safely.
I can understand your reasoning and would agree, on the following condition: the safe driver gets on the bike without being in driving mode.

The key point here is that people think safe driving skills carry over to motorcycles. The fact of the matter is, they don't. Too many people space out while on a bike. This in turn puts them into a reactive state instead of a proactive state.

If you're reacting to something while on a bike, you're not paying enough attention to your surroundings and ever changing environment.

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post #29 of 38 Old 11-27-2016, 04:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pvster View Post
I can understand your reasoning and would agree, on the following condition: the safe driver gets on the bike without being in driving mode.

The key point here is that people think safe driving skills carry over to motorcycles. The fact of the matter is, they don't. Too many people space out while on a bike. This in turn puts them into a reactive state instead of a proactive state.

If you're reacting to something while on a bike, you're not paying enough attention to your surroundings and ever changing environment.




I find the opposite is true. When I am on a bike, I am hyper alert and attentive. When I am in a car, I can get lulled into routine, with the heat on, the radio going, and the comfortable seat. My bike offers none of those amenities, so it is a lot harder to get comfortable. Mind you, I'm not uncomfortable enough to be distracted, just enough to know that I am vulnerable and exposed.

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post #30 of 38 Old 11-27-2016, 05:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmdavis984 View Post
I find the opposite is true. When I am on a bike, I am hyper alert and attentive. When I am in a car, I can get lulled into routine, with the heat on, the radio going, and the comfortable seat. My bike offers none of those amenities, so it is a lot harder to get comfortable. Mind you, I'm not uncomfortable enough to be distracted, just enough to know that I am vulnerable and exposed.
That's exactly what I was talking about: tuning/spacing out.

Btw, heated gear makes a world of difference.

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post #31 of 38 Old 11-27-2016, 07:30 PM
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So as a beginner rider, I'm conflicted with the "Be Ready with Power" idea, especially starting on a 919. My thought was to ride in as high a gear as possible to reduce the impact of a sudden spaz-attack-throttle-grab. I can see the wisdom of the idea for an experienced rider, but what would you guys make the same recommendation to beginners?

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post #32 of 38 Old 11-27-2016, 07:33 PM
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Sell the 919 and buy a ninja 250-300. That would be my advice.

You'll be taking a loss on the 919 so if you can't afford another bike, then you have to make do. Remember, throttle is all in the mind and wrist. Don't worry about being in the highest gear. Be in the right gear for the situation and ride within your means.

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post #33 of 38 Old 11-28-2016, 05:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pvster View Post
Sell the 919 and buy a ninja 250-300. That would be my advice.

You'll be taking a loss on the 919 so if you can't afford another bike, then you have to make do. Remember, throttle is all in the mind and wrist. Don't worry about being in the highest gear. Be in the right gear for the situation and ride within your means.
I know where you're coming from, although I'm committed (financially and emotionally) to the 919 at this point. I think I'll just be taking a lot more time getting used to the bike and its throttle behavior before I use it on a regular basis, maybe take a local Intermediate Rider course in the Spring.

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post #34 of 38 Old 11-28-2016, 06:09 PM
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As long as you can handle the weight and control your wrist you'll be fine.

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post #35 of 38 Old 11-28-2016, 07:37 PM
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As long as you can handle the weight and control your wrist you'll be fine.
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post #36 of 38 Old 11-29-2016, 01:58 AM
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post #37 of 38 Old 01-05-2017, 07:20 AM
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Proper riding gear is important to me. Always a jacket, full face helmet, and gloves. I find that gloves help me with throttle control and hand fatigue. It sucks when trying to grab the brake or throttle and having ones hand half asleep from the handlebar buzz and nerve pressure.

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post #38 of 38 Old 01-05-2017, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Quicksilver99 View Post
Proper riding gear is important to me. Always a jacket, full face helmet, and gloves. I find that gloves help me with throttle control and hand fatigue. It sucks when trying to grab the brake or throttle and having ones hand half asleep from the handlebar buzz and nerve pressure.
You forgot something just as equally important: proper riding boots. You'd be surprised how vulnerable your feet/ankles are until it's too late. My right ankle is still not 100% after a motorcycle accident nearly 7 years ago. However, it would be far far worse if I wasn't wearing proper riding boots.

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