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Welcome to Motorcycle safety tips and hints from a motor cop

Florida motorcycle training school - classes available - s classes Motorcycle safety tips and hints from a motor cop -  So here goes. Note: if you are in a state that requires the MSF safety course, listen to your ridercoach at the MSF course!

The best way to avoid being in a motorcycle crash is to stay off the damn things. There is really no good reason to ride a motorcycle in the first place.
 Aggressive visibility -  You are responsible for your own safety
. Not the moron in the car in front of you or the one behind you. Make your own safety. You want to get where you're going safely, watch all the time, every second!!! Be ready for everything, all the time. Scary huh? Yep, you've picked a dangerous hobby. Your parents are right. Don't ride a motorcycle. But if you just have to, be alert all the time. Motorcycle Visibility is not enough to keep you safe see them don't put your safety in their hands Motorcycle - Visibility is not enough

Both the Hurt study and the MAIDS study, reveal that motorcycle, experience counts - knowing there are some real idiots out there and watching for them. Harry Hurt (of the famous Hurt study) commented that the best trained motorcycle riders in the world (motor officers), make the same mistakes as newbie's. The MAIDS study further reveals, only 6% of accidents were due to poor evasive action execution and 3.7% had to do with controls familiarity. "The clothing made no contribution to the conspicuity of the rider" ..... The MAIDS study. They won't see you, they don't see you no matter what you wear.

There is "no compelling evidence that rider training is associated with reductions in collisions."....
Insurance Institute for highway safety.

Perception failure and cognizance errors cause most motorcycle accidents.
Don't ride with your head up your butt. Always be aware of your surroundings. Every intersection, every driveway needs to be watched (no matter how small - swing out wide and look as far as you can), Watch for everything, everywhere, and be ready to act all the time. You don't need to be a great rider skill wise, you do need to know what's ahead and behind, plan for what you see. In most accidents the rider never braked or took evasive actions. There was no loss of control of the motorcycle in 68.1% of the cases studied. Why? Because they didn't have time, they didn't see it happening. They were riding along in a straight line with their head up their butt.  I know, I wrote "accidents", the MSF prefers "crashes". I spent a whole lot of time doing accident reports. Changing the word, doesn't change the facts. If you're riding on the interstate and a car passes you in the fast lane and you didn't know it was going to happen, you're riding with your head up your butt. Find a new mode of transportation. You better know what's going on as far as you can see down the road and behind you. Use aggressive visibility, move around so you can see everything that could affect you, way before it does.

Approach riding as if they are out to get you, and it doesn't matter if they see you, if you ride aggressively (aggressive visibility) watch for them. Just because you're paranoid doesn't necessarily mean people aren't out to get you.......lol. Ride like a paranoid. Who are they more apt to take a chance pulling out on, an 18 wheeler or a motorcycle with bright colors on? Don't get a false sense of security when you wear bright clothes, modulating headlights, brake lights, or a spinning light on top your helmet. Watch for what could happen and make sure it dosen't.Motorcycle Visibility is not enough to keep you safe see them don't put your safety in their hands Motorcycle - Visibility is not enough

Motorcycle safety tips and hints

Motorcycle head turn balance three major components regulating our balance vestibular system eyes the body slow speed turns Motorcycle head turn - ocular driving Steering a motorcycle - counter steering counter steering

Fitting a motorcycle -

Lowering a motorcycle - first off lets talk about lowering a motorcycle. If you don't have to don't. It will take away clearance you may need. If you are short, take some height from the seat and make the front of the seat narrower. If you just have to lower the motorcycle with special shocks, raise your foot pegs or floorboards some.
You can take your seat into a upholsterer and ask them to take a couple inches off or ROAR of Daytona does custom seat work. In many cases, you can go to a shoe repair and have the cobbler add an inch or so to your soles.

Seating position - You should be able to be seated with your back straight, turn the handlebars to full lock position without leaning forward. While seated on the motorcycle, hands on the grips, your arms should be slightly bent at the elbows. What if you have to lean forward? there are a couple of solutions. Sometimes simply loosing a couple of bolts and moving the bars downward will place them in a better position for you. There is another solution - handlebar risers. For a full explaination of why posture is important see - Motorcycle head turn balance three major components regulating our balance vestibular system eyes the body slow speed turns Motorcycle head turn - ocular driving

handlebar risers - fitting a motorcycle to youThere are handlebar risers, for short and tall riders they can bring the handlebars up so the grips don't hit your leg, or short riders they can bring the bars closer to you, for a more comfortable seating position. Motor cops sit up straight so they can see more. SEE FURTHER - LIVE LONGER. They sit up straight because it's part of their balance system and helps with orientation. Keep your feet level because there's gravity sensors in your feet, ankles and knees. Keep your head and eyes up, because it helps with your sense of balance.

In any case make sure you can put both feet flat on the ground when seated on the motorcycle.

Crash Bars - Crash bars aren't meant to protect you in a medium to high speed crash. They protect your motorcycle from damage when it tips over. Crash bars also help you to pick up your motorcycle when you do tip over. Picking up a motorcycle video - instead of lifting the bike up with your legs and leverage (see video) you can rock the bike on the crash bars and set it upright easily. Consider putting some rubber heater hose insulation where the bars might touch, to prevent scratches.

Slow speed u-turns - Ok, you want to show off, rather than putting your feet down and power walk the bike around ( What Bikeweek motor cops call the Harley Shuffle) Low speed u-turns are a piece of cake. There are a couple of tricks you might consider. Turn your head and focus your eyes on a stationary object to help you balance . Motorcycle head turn balance three major components regulating our balance vestibular system eyes the body slow speed turns head turn why it works. Most people who have problems with slow speed u-turns are afraid the bike is going to fall over. It's not the end of the world, if it does. Particularly if you have crash bars.

The head turn, eye focus helps, putting your shoulders on the outside of the turn also helps (counter-weight) more with your fear of falling over than anything else. You'll notice a lot of motor cops actually lean into the turn, while making slow speed u-turns. They know the bike isn't going to tip over and they're not afraid if it does. The main thing to remember making slow speed u-turns is not to touch the front brake. Feathering the rear brake helps control the speed and adds one more control method.. Keeping some power to the rear wheel is the key here. The friction zone is definitely the answer (Keeping power to the rear wheel smoothly with the friction zone). The trick to low speed u-turns is practice. Motor cops practice doing u-turns with the handle bars at the full lock position. In other words, they turn the bars as far as they will go.

 Delayed apex -Delayed apex See further - Live Longer. Picking your lines on the track and on a public road are two different worlds. picking your lines Delayed apex There's a saying for motorcycle riders. SEE FURTHER - LIVE LONGER. We're not on the track, there's no yellow flags on the street. We need to know as much information about what's up ahead as possible. What's a delayed apex? It's pretty simple really, you slow down, go straight (outside) longer until you can see as much as possible before you commit to turning. Yes outside inside outside path of travel, but you stay outside as long as you can. It's not a race, it's about safety. If there's a semi taking up both lanes in that turn, you want to know about it as soon as possible.

Brakes - There are a lot of reasons you need to use the brakes. Sometimes it's because a car stops suddenly in front of you, but you should have seen he may have to stop fast before he started, if not you're riding with your head up your butt. It's so cute how some promote riding in a position so the car ahead of you can see you - How charming -  -  ride where you can see ahead of the vehicle ahead of you and watch him too.
If you have to use the brakes - use both - Brakes are not the answer to everything. Keeping your head and eyes up helps, but looking for an escape route is good and good for ya. You have to be aware of every situation - WATCH. If you're going to swerve to avoid something, separate the braking from the swerving. If you had to do a fast swerve, guess what, you were riding with your head up your butt to begin with. If you haven't mastered braking or you have a problem with panicking (We don't panic, we look for a way out and we already planned for it - no need to panic), consider purchasing a motorcycle that has ABS brakes. ABS aren't designed to stop you faster, they help you maintain control of the motorcycle, but they provide confidence to new riders, thus shortening stopping distance. When it's wet out there, ABS brakes can be your best friend, although 90% of motorcycle accidents happen in dry weather. Missing your exit and doing a quick brake trying to catch it, is not a good thing. Ride on to the next exit, dummy. Motorcycle balance keep the bike straight up and down motorcycle braking

Freedom of the road - Let's be truthful, a motorcycle doesn't give you more freedom. In fact a cage gives you much more freedom. You can turn on the ac, drive in the cold, in the rain, etc. etc.  That's motorcycle manufacturer marketing talk. You're in the real world. There's stuff out there that will get you if you're not alert all the time. The fun is the challenge of getting where you're going in one piece.

You may ride motorcycles for many reasons, self image, picking up dates, whatever, it can be fun and it's definitely challenging. But riding can get you hurt. You have to be aware of your surroundings ALL THE TIME and know what you are capable of. If you are not the best at taking turns, slow down, if you are still unsure of your braking skills, slow down and stay back. Watch every intersection, every driveway - oh hell, watch everything, THINK!  What could get me up ahead and what am I going to do to avoid it. A recent motorcycle accident published nation wide, had a motorcyclist passing a RV and the RV turned left as the rider was passing. If there's an intersection up ahead (any side road or driveway), it's not the best time to pass - right?
No one can keep you safe but you
. You don't have to be a great motorcycle rider to get home safe. You do have to ride below your limits, be alert and give yourself the space and time you need to get where you're going safely.

Riding a passenger - First off don't ride a passenger unless you can control the motorcycle no matter what they do. Yes tell them to look over your shoulder in the direction of the turn, but be prepared to be able to turn the motorcycle even if they hang off the opposite side.
Give the passenger something to do: They don't need to be scared to death. Show them hand signals and tell them they are responsible for them. Tell them they are responsible for waving to other bikers.

Braking with a passenger - More weight (as long as it doesn't exceed the weight limit of your motorcycle, means more traction, so you may be able to stop faster, if you squeeze and keep squeezing. (read the motorcycle operators manual for max weight), the added weight of a passenger won't make your braking distance longer. Studies show that the driver has a tendency to let off the brake when the passenger slams their back. Don't let off the brake.

rain, motorcycle, overpass

 You're on the interstate and it stated to rain - does this look like a good place to be (image)? Oh hell no. Just like a motorcycle tends to go where you are looking - (target fixation), so do cars. If you stop under an overpass, choose a good one, turn on your emergency blinkers and get away from the motorcycle .......

 

Visibility - Big yellow school buses get clocked all the time. Don't depend on the kindness of others. ALWAYS, ride as if you are not seen and are not going to be seen.
 Motorcycle Visibility is not enough to keep you safe see them don't put your safety in their hands Motorcycle - Visibility is not enough

 
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