Stop lights scare me - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 35 Old 09-12-2010, 12:47 AM Thread Starter
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Stop lights scare me

When ever I stop at a red light, I stare in my mirror at the car behind me until I am sure they aren't going to ram me. Last night I was coming home and ended up last in line at a light. It was a long light and I was staring in the mirror at the next group of cars coming up behind. The suv in my lane didn't seem to be slowing as it should. I always leave a good size space in front of me and when this suv made me nervous enough I jumped the bike forward and snugged up to the car in front of me. While my eyes were forward I heard some wheels chirping. Don't know if it was the suv but suspect it was- maybe the abs working? When I got my eyes back on the mirror, I could see them finishing what looked like a hard stop. I don't know if that 12-15 ft I gave the suv by pulling forward kept me from getting rear ended but if not it would have been very close. I've thought about it all day today. It was dark and my brake light probably blended into the rear of the car in front of me. I probably should have split the lane instead of just jumping forward. I hate sitting at those lights. I have a givi top case on for commuting and adding a light kit and brake modulator are on my to do list. Just haven't had the money yet. Anyway, thought I'd share. Made me nervous.
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post #2 of 35 Old 09-12-2010, 02:40 AM
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Sounds like you're riding responsibly.

With your good attitude about safety and ongoing learning I don't think you need to be scared.

I usually stop in the middle to prevent the brake-light blend, and point the front of my bike to the lane-split position (I point the bike there, not just the front wheel).

You're doing the right thing. Do it often enough, and it will become a (good) habit. When it jis just a matter-of-fact way of doing things, you won't be nervous any more. Just don't ever get complacent.

Good job.
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post #3 of 35 Old 09-12-2010, 03:53 AM
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At traffic lights if I can't get to the front of the queue:

I sit to the right or left of the car in front of me (puts me in their mirrors and gives me an exit line if needed).

I keep the bike in first gear.

I use one finger on the front brake lever to flash the brake light while stopped (keep your foot off the brake pedal as that defeats the flashing brake light).

I keep the revs up a bit, ready to launch if I have to without stalling.

I watch my mirrors like a hawk.

I am nervous at red lights (one day being nervous may save my life).

Ock. in Oz

I ride naked and unafraid.

Windsor (near enough)
NSW
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post #4 of 35 Old 09-12-2010, 04:07 AM
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I'm a bit more relaxed about stop lights in town - "already happened, no big deal".
If something hits me with a big enough speed difference I'm not going to be able to run anyway - at low speed - I survived that once. Though it was a left turn not a stop (right turn for the USA). Tore up the car pretty badly, $20 damage to the bike (new tail light plastic).

What does scare me is traffic pulling up on a motorway - I'm looking for somewhere to hide if I'm at the back of the slowing queue - and that HAS saved my life. It's one situation where I will do illegal things, lane split, ride up an embankment - whatever it takes to get out of the kill zone.

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post #5 of 35 Old 09-12-2010, 04:25 AM
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Waiting to turn right is the worst while the rest of the traffic is flowing past, if their are two lanes turning right I pick the most right one to get away from the traffic flow.
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post #6 of 35 Old 09-12-2010, 05:03 AM
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I feel a bit more secure at stop lights since adding the Hyperlites to the rear. Hit the brakes and they flash wildly for a few seconds, then slower, then solid. When I'm sitting, I've gotten in the habit of tapping the brakes just in time for them to start their cycle again. I'm sure they startle the driver behind me under normal braking conditions, like I care.

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post #7 of 35 Old 09-12-2010, 07:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ockerstrom View Post
At traffic lights if I can't get to the front of the queue:

I sit to the right or left of the car in front of me (puts me in their mirrors and gives me an exit line if needed).

I keep the bike in first gear.

I use one finger on the front brake lever to flash the brake light while stopped (keep your foot off the brake pedal as that defeats the flashing brake light).

I keep the revs up a bit, ready to launch if I have to without stalling.

I watch my mirrors like a hawk.

I am nervous at red lights (one day being nervous may save my life).
That's pretty much what I do.

Sent from my Hewlett-Packard 75C, using the Flying Merkel motorcycle app.

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DL650A K7 April 23, 2007 - January 6, 2012, RIP

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post #8 of 35 Old 09-12-2010, 09:11 AM
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Don't bother with the Givi tail light kit for your top box. They are dim and very unreliable, not to mention overpriced. I've had two of them and they were a total waste of money.
I have a Knight Rider tail light bar (stupid name, great light) from Custom Dynamics. I have the non-sequential flashing brake light model. It is a very bright tail/brake light that flashes four times when you stop and then goes steady. I have one on my Burgman and it will be one of the first farkles for a Strom. The sequential model looks trick but attracts tail gaters who come up close to try to figure out what it is. I hear Hyperlites work well as well.

Knight Rider LED Light Bar
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post #9 of 35 Old 09-12-2010, 09:41 AM
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The first day of my last trip, I had just left my house and pulled up to the first stoplight. For some reason that morning, the first thing that popped into my head was "I hope I don't get rear-ended at a light today."

As I'm waiting, a Lexus SUV comes up behind me, and I watch the darn thing because I am paranoid that morning. I notice it comes to a complete stop behind me...which calms my paranoia. So, I turn my gave back forward and...my bike jerks forward a little and starts sliding into the intersection.

My bike stops after being pushed forward a foot or so...and I turn around to see this girl backing her SUV away from my bike.

She was really apologetic, and once we checked over our vehicles (no damage at all to the bike, a nice two inch gash to her Lexus' front bumper, courtesy of my license plate) and we let it be.

I'm really glad my new bike has the Hyperlite U32 kit, an extra LED bar, and a Backoff modulator. The brakes get reapplied whenever a vehicle approaches me from the rear. I've all ready been using the method ockerstrom mentioned.

'09 VStrom DL650A - Sold.
'04 Suzuki Burgman 400 - The wifes
'08 FJR1300AE - Miss Chievous.

WWGWD?

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post #10 of 35 Old 09-12-2010, 09:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeinLA View Post
I feel a bit more secure at stop lights since adding the Hyperlites to the rear.
Yep, hyperlights work. I've been told that by people behind me. They really get attention.


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