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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-29-2012, 11:15 AM Thread Starter
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The best advice

When discussing story ideas with the editor of Accelerate recently, we decided to do an article about the best motorcycling advice. I put some thought into it and came up with a list of my top five, but I'm sure other experienced riders have other opinions. And some new riders may be even more in tune with what advice really helped them the most.

So here's my take. In the interests of constant improvement, I'd like to hear other opinions, whether you think my choices are good or lousy. What's the best motorcycling advice you've ever gotten (or given)?

Visit www.theridesofar.com to learn more about my book, The Ride So Far: Tales from a Motorcycling Life, published by Whitehorse Press. Read a sample chapter of the book or check out the blog.
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-29-2012, 12:14 PM
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Thank you. An excellent article. The only additional topic that may be worthy of inclusion is "Ride As If You're Invisible" It may be the best, perhaps only, way to compensate for vast differences in driving skills of everyone else using the roads.

Arion

"Plan? Plan! There ain't no plan."
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-29-2012, 12:55 PM
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Ride your own ride and continual training would be my top two and you covered them, though perhaps I would have expanded more on the ride your own ride mantra.

I was never a fan of "ride like your invisible" as plainly nobody rides that way, but I agree with the sentiment. I just don't have a pithy catchphrase that sums up what it implies
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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-29-2012, 03:18 PM
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Agreed with your top five. Another one is to look up when in a corner. Don't look just in front of your tire, look through the corner to where you are going. Your cornering will smooth out because you will stop making minute corrections.
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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-29-2012, 09:55 PM
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I'll second the "ride like you are invisible" comment. The other bit of advice is to become a more proficient rider, put down the keyboard and ride. Of course in my part if the world we are done with riding season...for a bit. ;-)

2009 Kawasaki Versys
SWM Engine Guard; Windscreen de Jour on a MadStad bracket; Motowerk Peg Lowering kit & Stand Big Foot; ProTaper ATV Low bars; Stebel horn; KTM Duals Rear Rack; Coocase 36L topcase...and more to come

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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-29-2012, 10:26 PM
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I ride every blind corner expecting oncoming traffic to drift into my lane . . . It is amazing how many drivers cut blind corners. I allow half a lane for a margin of error, which has saved my behind many times!

Motorcycle Maniac

2009 Versys, 2009 DL650, 2013 CB500X ABS
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-30-2012, 12:14 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, those are the kinds of responses I was looking for. "Ride like you are invisible" is definitely one to consider. Or maybe the paranoid version, "Ride like everyone is out to get you."

Look further ahead instead of fixating on the road just in front of your tire is also very good advice. Also, avoiding target fixation. I think maybe I could have incorporated those two into the "look where you want to go" advice, because they are all related.

The reason I didn't expand on some of the points, as some of you suggested, is because I am limited to a certain word count. While it's true that space is unlimited on the internet, unlike in print publications, the fact is that reader attention spans are not unlimited. In fact, they're probably more limited on the internet.

Keep the feedback coming. I appreciate it.

Visit www.theridesofar.com to learn more about my book, The Ride So Far: Tales from a Motorcycling Life, published by Whitehorse Press. Read a sample chapter of the book or check out the blog.
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-30-2012, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kimel View Post
I'll second the "ride like you are invisible" comment. The other bit of advice is to become a more proficient rider, put down the keyboard and ride. Of course in my part if the world we are done with riding season...for a bit. ;-)
My BIGGIE is sort of connected: ride as if EVERYONE is trying to kill you! Try to always have an 'exit strategy' - where you can go IF things get 'sh*tty'...!


Ed

My KLR trip to Alaska, YT, NWT and BC in summer 2009
http://www.klr650.net/forums/showthread.php?t=69383

My Versys trip to D2D 2013, and Alaska, June '13
http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...ad.php?t=33153

My Versys trip to D2D 2015, and Inuvik, June '15
http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...ad.php?t=83034
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-30-2012, 01:43 PM
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ain't no one loves you but your mother & she could be jiving you too
always assume everyone is stupid
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-30-2012, 06:13 PM
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The best advice I ever received was 'when in doubt, pull out'.........Oh wait, as far as bikes are concerned, since I dual sport quite often, front brakes on pavement and back brakes on dirt.
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post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-31-2012, 07:59 AM
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My advice is, Always check your blindspots.
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post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-31-2012, 08:15 AM
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RLJ,

Ride To Live, Live To Ride....no, really!
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post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-31-2012, 08:28 AM
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The greatest advice I ever got was something I read in an ADVrider signature line. It was a quote from Zodiac: An Eco-Thriller by Neal Stephenson. It impressed me so much I bought the book and read it. He was talking about bicycling but it applies to motorcycles too. I don't remember it exactly but it went something like:

If you've put yourself in a situation where your personal safety depends on someone else seeing you, you're already f----d.

"Veni, Vidi, Velcro"-- I came, I saw, I stuck around.
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post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-31-2012, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLACK DOG View Post
ain't no one loves you but your mother & she could be jiving you too
always assume everyone is stupid
Troubled childhood! LOL

Quote:
Originally Posted by rlj View Post
The best advice I ever received was 'when in doubt, pull out'.........Oh wait, as far as bikes are concerned, since I dual sport quite often, front brakes on pavement and back brakes on dirt.
Troubled childhood! LOL

( RIDE FREE BE SAFE )
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post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-31-2012, 09:50 PM
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Great article--thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arion View Post
Thank you. An excellent article. The only additional topic that may be worthy of inclusion is "Ride As If You're Invisible" It may be the best, perhaps only, way to compensate for vast differences in driving skills of everyone else using the roads.
+1

Quote:
Originally Posted by alba View Post
I was never a fan of "ride like your invisible" as plainly nobody rides that way, but I agree with the sentiment. I just don't have a pithy catchphrase that sums up what it implies
It may be "pithy" but it helps a lot of people relate to "the sentiment." I, plainly, don't actually think I am invisible (that--the pic--is what I ride around in nowadays....), but I ride that way: if they can turn left in front of me, they WILL; if they can pull out in front if me, they WILL, etc....

How about...?

The front brake is your friend, learn (train ) to use it to its fullest potential.

or...

If you don't countersteer instinctively, you just might be a statistic waiting to happen.

or...

Be honest with yourself and don't ride over your head. (i.e. clearly recognize your limits)


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Ride to live, live to ride.
2009 Kawasaki Versys
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I've owned a Maico.

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post #16 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-31-2012, 10:22 PM
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Some excellent suggestions!

Being a two wheel rider my whole life I think the one thing that always surprised me was the place where the rubber meets the road. Can a stick, crushed water bottle, or oil spot, sand, round rock, pop can, some leafs, cause you to wipe the hell out?

We have one fellow members video, as he left for work and bam the bike dropped out from under him. It was cold, tires cold, surface cold!

I remember one time I wiped out on a corner and picked my bike up, put it on the side of the road. Waked back to look at the black top pissed off and found a piece of metal square the size of a 50 cent piece. I was shocked!

( RIDE FREE BE SAFE )
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post #17 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-01-2012, 09:13 AM Thread Starter
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Cold tires. Yeah. One chilly morning I was riding to work, about three blocks from my house and this woman dived left in front of me because she was in a super big hurry to get into McDonalds for breakfast. Too much front brake on a cold tire and down I went. Fortunately, there was little damage because I was going slow. Fortunate also because she had no insurance to pay for any damages.

As for stuff on the road surface, years ago when I lived in a tropical climate, I pulled into a parking spot at work, using front brake only to slow down, and was shocked when I just kept going. Almost hit the wall behind the parking spot. I looked on the ground and saw a bit of a palm frond that had fallen from the tree above. My tire rolled on top of it, the brake locked the tire because of the sudden loss of traction, and I skied forward on top of the piece of palm branch.

Visit www.theridesofar.com to learn more about my book, The Ride So Far: Tales from a Motorcycling Life, published by Whitehorse Press. Read a sample chapter of the book or check out the blog.
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post #18 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-01-2012, 09:14 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmdean650 View Post
If you've put yourself in a situation where your personal safety depends on someone else seeing you, you're already f----d.
That is a good way of putting it.

Visit www.theridesofar.com to learn more about my book, The Ride So Far: Tales from a Motorcycling Life, published by Whitehorse Press. Read a sample chapter of the book or check out the blog.
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post #19 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-01-2012, 09:16 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RockyMoto View Post
Great article--thanks.
Thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by RockyMoto View Post
Be honest with yourself and don't ride over your head. (i.e. clearly recognize your limits)
True. And important. I think it falls under my "ride your own ride" advice.

Visit www.theridesofar.com to learn more about my book, The Ride So Far: Tales from a Motorcycling Life, published by Whitehorse Press. Read a sample chapter of the book or check out the blog.
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post #20 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-01-2012, 10:06 AM
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The one thing that I emphasize to any new rider is this:
Learn to come to a stop.
When you've decided that you are going to stop - concentrate on the stop. Clear your head of ideas of looking left and right for traffic and wonder if you can roll through the stop.
Just concentrate on the actual stop.
Make all those other decisions after you have successfully completed the actual stop and stabilization of your motorcycle.
This was born out of experience with my previous - and much heavier Honda ST1100.
It would bite me every time I was not channeling all of my brain and body into actually stopping and stabilizing the bike.
Sure... pay attention to what others around and behind you are doing... but changing your mind mid-stop... or not paying attention to what you're actually doing while stopping because of other factors can and will eventually bite you.
Things are much, much better on my Versys - with 200 less pounds to deal with - but I still make a good effort to concentrate on the stop - when the stop is what I've decided to do.

GeneHil - Mount Dora, FL
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Viet Nam: Dec67-Dec68 & Jul69-Dec72
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