Proficiency Proof - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
Riding Proficiency Tips and suggestions for improving the rider's safety skills and riding techniques

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post #1 of 23 Old 10-06-2019, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
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Proficiency Proof

Yesterday (Saturday) I was doing a favor for some friends who were selling their scooter. It is a 2013 Honda 150cc with 79 miles on it. They bought it new. Rode it a couple of times and decided they were just not the biker type. It sat in the garage until Friday, essentially 6 years. I loaded it on a trailer and brought it to my place. It still had the same gas in it from the dealer and both tires had gone flat. New air, new gas, a dash of Seafoam and a battery charge _ zoom zoom. I rode it a couple of times and it worked fine but yikes ... tiny wheels, 2.5 inches of suspension, no clutch and barely any rake. It cured any thought of ever migrating to a scooter in the future. But that is not why I'm posting in the rider proficiency thread.

The owners asked me to take it to a consignment shop about 20 miles away so it could be sold. Nice day, should be fun. Riding along on a wide, flat, straight two lane semi-rural road with light traffic _ I saw a car come to the end of a driveway on my right. The driver stopped, looked to the left, looked to the right, looked to the left again. I could see the driver's face well enough but evidently her brain never got the message from her eyes. Yup, she pulled out right in front of me turning to the right to go in the same direction as me _ and in no hurry. There were three cars coming from the opposite direction.

I was going 60 mph. Because I'm old, I knew that jamming on that scooter's brakes would have turned me into a "Break Dancer" and YouTube sensation. There was no possibility of stopping in time. That was non-negotiable. So I turned my attention to the oncoming cars. They were placidly traveling along at the posted speed (60ish) and about 3 feet off the center line. My new best friend was also about 3 ft off the center line and now up to about 35-40mph and still oblivious to my presence.

So yes, I just rode along the dotted line. Six feet is plenty. The elapsed time of the whole episode was between 2 and 3 seconds. No adrenaline.

My point is that a lifetime of unending "what if" situational considerations adds gallons of proficiency.
And that your first reaction might not be your best option.

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Current Rides: '14 DL1000 ADV, '06 SV650N, '93 900CBRR, '74 Ducati 750GT ['02 BMW K1200rs SOLD Aug '17]
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post #2 of 23 Old 10-07-2019, 12:50 AM
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When I see a vehicle with someone behind the wheel I am always thinking "what if" and pondering my options.
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post #3 of 23 Old 10-07-2019, 02:58 AM
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Well done .

I had a similar situation of my own making and knowing the bike well let me parse options successfully ..

I run what if all the time tho once in while you just can't predict an outrageous move .....I do think bikes make drivers stupid nervous at times....I detect target fixation drifts into my lane with sudden corrections too frequently.

BTW don't judge scooters by a 150 Honda. Burgman 650 might be quite an eye opener for you.
http://www.onewheeldrive.net/2006/10...uzuki-burgman/
It was for the VFR800 rider in the canyons ...
Quote:
"if this was a race I would not be able to lose the Burgman 650"
My experience too, shocked at how well it handled twists...and I rode a pair for 100,00 trouble free KM.....love the storage, the climate protection and the always in the power band aspect of the eCVT.
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Canada 2018 CB500x >2009 CBF1000 sold 10 Wee ABS sold 09 Burgman Exec sold 10 NT700v sold
Australia> 04 KLR650 93 ST1100 sold
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Last edited by Macdoc; 10-07-2019 at 10:19 AM.
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post #4 of 23 Old 10-07-2019, 10:07 AM
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WOW!!!!!!! Glad you were able to ride the line!


Like you, whenever I ride I'm always trying to predict what the cagers are going to do. I keep my finger on the V Strom 'Passing Light' trigger so that whenever a driver is intersecting my path, I will pull the Passing Light trigger and hold it steady. So far that has seemed to work well to enable the 'blind driver' see me and not pull out in front of me.
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"There comes a time in the affairs of men, when we must take the bull by the tail and face the situation."
W. C. Fields
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post #5 of 23 Old 10-07-2019, 11:39 AM
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Like Big Boy above, I flash the high beams at cars that could pull out in front of me. Just a couple quick flashes. Seems to work.
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post #6 of 23 Old 10-07-2019, 01:10 PM
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Over my trip in September I had a few close calls with deer, one with two lost dogs on a highway at night, and yesterday I had one with a turkey. Pretty good for someone who lives in the heart of a major city.

The dogs was by far the scariest and closest call.

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Too much other broken stuff to list
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post #7 of 23 Old 10-07-2019, 08:23 PM
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It seems to me that any new rider would benefit from the advice written in this thread.
Fair enough, I guess, as most here have been there, seen that, and are still riding.
For safe motorcycling there is no substitute for experience.
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post #8 of 23 Old 10-08-2019, 07:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Boy View Post
WOW!!!!!!! Glad you were able to ride the line!


Like you, whenever I ride I'm always trying to predict what the cagers are going to do. I keep my finger on the V Strom 'Passing Light' trigger so that whenever a driver is intersecting my path, I will pull the Passing Light trigger and hold it steady. So far that has seemed to work well to enable the 'blind driver' see me and not pull out in front of me.
I avoid riding in the dark these days so I never thought of using the high beam trigger for improved visiblity. Good idea. I'm a big believer in the old "watch the front wheel for movement" mantra.

I will sometimes start weaving when approaching an intersecting driver: a slight weave if there's a car behind me, a lot of weave if there isn't.

It's not a popular opinion among my fellow riders, but I ride with the philosophy that if I get into an accident with another vehicle, it's nobody's fault but my own.

Not saying I'd admit fault if it wasn't mine in the case of an actual accident, but I don't depend on other drivers to do what they're supposed to do. I consider it my job alone to anticipate and avoid collisions with other vehicles.

Closest run-in I've had lately was a school bus that didn't see me and pulled through an intersection from a stop sign right in front of me on a busy, narrow one-way street with car parking on either side of the street. Not only did it pull in front of me, it stopped right in the middle of the intersection when something happened with the vehicle it was following.

Let me tell you, a school bus can move faster than you think and will completely block an entire street leaving you nowhere else to go. It was like The Road Warrior where they used an old bus as a gate to their compound. All it needed was some steel plates welded to the sides and a guy standing on top sporting a mohawk, eyeliner and chaps with his ass hanging out to complete the effect.

Fortunately, I strictly adhere to the posted speed limit on that street as there are lots of kids getting into those parked cars on both sides so the brakes, the only option I had, were enough to avoid a collision. I'll never look at a school bus the same again........
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post #9 of 23 Old 10-08-2019, 07:14 AM
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I reserve the high beam in daytime for the same use but think it's dangerous to flash as that could mean "go ahead" to say a vehicle crossing your path.
I hold the beam on high and horn if needed until I know I have attention.

I don't understand some instructrs that tell students o ride with their high beam on all the time..impolite and in some areas illegal.
Takes away a tool to attracr attention.
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Ontario Canada rider staying in Cairns Australian Feb to May & Aug-Oct each year
Canada 2018 CB500x >2009 CBF1000 sold 10 Wee ABS sold 09 Burgman Exec sold 10 NT700v sold
Australia> 04 KLR650 93 ST1100 sold
Travel photos> https://500px.com/macdoc/galleries Oz riding >https://tinyurl.com/y4c7lm87
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post #10 of 23 Old 10-08-2019, 07:48 AM
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Three life lessons I always stick to:
  1. From having been a Navy aviator and done air combat maneuvering: "Keep your head on a swivel" In other words, always know where every powered hunk of metal is in your vicinity at every moment and always realize one you haven't seen can pop up at any time.
  2. From Murphy's Law: "Assume that if any powered hunk of metal in your vicinity can try to hit you, it will try to hit you." Don't give it the chance.
  3. From the MSF Basic Rider Course: "Always assume you are invisible." Have good equipment that helps make you visible, but never assume it works. I have high-intensity lights, yellow riding gear and a Nautilus horn. They all help, but I never assume they work.
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Self-medicating two-wheel therapist...
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