How to ride on the Freeway - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-16-2010, 10:58 PM Thread Starter
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How to ride on the Freeway

I learned a good lesson today. I live about 8 miles north of the Tijuana Border & the traffic can be pretty wild. I was returning home from a lazy back road ride to the Laguana mountains cruising along at 75 mph on the freeway when the SUV on my right swerved into my lane & pushed me over into the next lane which was also occupied. She wasn't done yet she continued into far left lane causing me to brake to the point my front wheel started to lock up all while the car next to me is starting to skid. She then changed lanes back to the right all while she was braking. This is all taking place in heavy in fast traffic.

My solution ride in the fast lane at whatever speed it takes to keep safe. If I get stopped for speeding it has to be better than being scraped up.

P.S. I am going to start wearing riding pants & jacket again no matter how hot it is.
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-16-2010, 11:02 PM
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I learned a good lesson today. I live about 8 miles north of the Tijuana Border & the traffic can be pretty wild. I was returning home from a lazy back road ride to the Laguana mountains cruising along at 75 mph on the freeway when the SUV on my right swerved into my lane & pushed me over into the next lane which was also occupied. She wasn't done yet she continued into far left lane causing me to brake to the point my front wheel started to lock up all while the car next to me is starting to skid. She then changed lanes back to the right all while she was braking. This is all taking place in heavy in fast traffic.

My solution ride in the fast lane at whatever speed it takes to keep safe. If I get stopped for speeding it has to be better than being scraped up.

P.S. I am going to start wearing riding pants & jacket again no matter how hot it is.
Try getting a Stebel Horn. With it you might not be seen but you will be Heard!!!!!!!!!
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-16-2010, 11:03 PM
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I agree..riding aggressive is safer in my opinion. Constantly moving up through the pack is a good technique.

Also, my riding pants are much cooler than jeans. And you can even argue that a good mesh jacket is cooler than a t-shirt....keeps the sun off of you.
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-17-2010, 12:12 AM
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Nobody sees you. If you let them they will kill you. It's on you not to let them. Your number one key to staying alive is the Blind Guy Theory:

http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...2&postcount=30

Always have an escape route. While that is often using lane number one it isn't always.

Horns really aren't that useful. Drivers in socal use a lot of a/c, a lot of stereo, and a lot of raised and commercial vehicles. Plus they only work if you anticipate what is going to happen -- and if you have anticipated a problem you should be using your reaction time on getting out of danger not honking and wasting valuable time to observe a reaction that might never come.

I can only offer you anecdotal experience so take it FWIW but that includes SoCal freeway riding from the day I turned 15 1/2... 33 years ago.

Be safe.
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-17-2010, 12:18 AM
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I notice now, with a license finally, I ride to avoid idiots and not cops. I agree with the previous post about getting stopped. If I have to scream by a moron on a cell phone to avoid becoming roadkill, the ticket would be worth it.

Also, my Stebel horn is super effective at making people drop the phones.
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-17-2010, 12:19 AM
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Good to hear you made it out of that one.

In my experience riding on the left track of the left lane keeping ahead of traffic is the safest bet. Danger only comes from the right and better end up in the median than under the car on your right. Keep looking ahead for an escape route all the time remember that your bike can out accelerate most cars. It is not about ridng aggresively is about maximizing your safety bubble. In the freeway it is very rarely you can do that going slow on the right. Lastly, ATTGAT. Mesh is cooler than jeans and a tshirt (well maybe not) but it is more comfortable than a tshirt at high speeds. Armor not only keep your skin in place in a spill but keep wind, bugs and debris away.

My two cents.
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-17-2010, 12:24 AM
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Here's an idea to fix the problem with distracted cage drivers



A motorcycle mounted gatling gun. Will need larger panniers for the ammo though.
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-17-2010, 01:03 AM
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Originally Posted by rumbo75 View Post
I agree..riding aggressive is safer in my opinion. Constantly moving up through the pack is a good technique.

Also, my riding pants are much cooler than jeans. And you can even argue that a good mesh jacket is cooler than a t-shirt....keeps the sun off of you.
+1
Exactly. Both points. It's all about having your space. I never just ride along with traffic, too easy for a bozo to go berzerk and decide they need to be where you are.

I find it interesting the look I get when I come in contact with any LE and I take off my helmet and they find a mostly bald white-haired old man.
Then they just want to talk about your bike.

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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-17-2010, 01:14 AM
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A good read for all motorcyclists having to ride in traffic is the MSF Basic Rider handbook. It discusses proper riding position, lane and otherwise in Section 4, page 25.

http://www.msf-usa.org/CurriculumMat...ndbook2009.pdf

Glad you're ok. Interstate can suck. Ride safe!

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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-17-2010, 06:54 AM
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Also, my Stebel horn is super effective at making people drop the phones.
Very true i had 2 people drop thier phones when i hit the horn. My horn has saved my bacon at least 6 times i can remember mostly women on cell phones in big suv's coming over into my lane one blast of the horn and they fly back into thier lane. Seems like men in pickup trucks on cell phones want to pull out in front of you.
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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-17-2010, 07:10 AM
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Try getting a Stebel Horn. With it you might not be seen but you will be Heard!!!!!!!!!
The Stebel can be heard at freeway speeds !!! Needed it a couple times. And people in the city really know your there too

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I agree..riding aggressive is safer in my opinion. Constantly moving up through the pack is a good technique.

Also, my riding pants are much cooler than jeans. And you can even argue that a good mesh jacket is cooler than a t-shirt....keeps the sun off of you.
Moving thru the pack may be goof for some... I am either far enough back so I can see the driver in the side mirror, but if needed I will give a twist to get ahead of her/him.

I also make it a point to watch the vehicle / tire language. If the front tire of a vehicle starts to drift to the line a few times I know they will change the lane without signaling first, that's when I have my thumb on the button ready to press. I know these people are out to kill me, I try to stay ahead.

GEAR !!! I have been doing ATGATT all year, even thin chaps are better than jeans. I have been told that picking asphalt and pebbles out of ones flesh is very painful even when drugged up.

2005 50cc scooter, 2007 GS500f, 2008 DL650 Vstrom,
I'm here for my wife's V . She lets me Farkle her Ride. No Diamonds for her, but shiney stuff for the bike is Okay
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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-17-2010, 10:28 AM
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My Advanced Survival Theory (developed in my teen years utilizing my vast knowledge of not only physics, but also odds) is to go as fast as I possibly can, all the time. I then spend less time in any given spot and am then much less likely to spend it there with another vehicle. I live in quest of light-speed.

Truth is, I have no illusion of immortality, gonna die anyway, and besides my President is preparing the rest of you to support me in my vegetative state until I DO die. Besides there's 72 virgins awaiting my arrival.

No, the truth is, I love the feel of wind blowing through my hair at 35 MPH on my HD. (What hair? I wear a babooshka)

No, wait, here it is, the actual truth ...I love my family and want to be around for them, so I ride with all the gear and a healthy fear of not only other idiots on the road, but also animals wandering around, and most of all, my own limitations.

Ride SMART, study, study, study, and be safe.

V-Zee

"I don't want a pickle, I just want to ride my Motor-sickle"

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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-17-2010, 10:58 AM
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Ride in the right hand track of the far left lane. Keep moving forward until you get in with a sane group of drivers. Stay there as long as everybody remains cool. (nobody to your right, nobody crawling up your rear, no lane changers). This nice little group is usually upset by some a-hole trying to make time coming up from the rear. You will see your happy little group tighten up in a defensive posture until the offending ass makes his way through. Then, everything gets peaceful again. Repeat as necessary.
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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-17-2010, 11:23 AM
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All great advice by everybody. Just to reiterate what has been said & what i really agree with:

ATGATT! I don't care how hot it is out side or how short the ride is. On another forum I belong to there was a great signature line about ATGATT:

I would rather sweat than bleed any day!

Amen brother!

I ride on the super-slab every day in rush hour traffic here in the Seattle Washington area. I stay all the way in the left lane in the left portion of that lane. As was said, you only have vehicles on the right side of you in that position. As much as possible, I try to make sure I can see the persons face in the cage to my right in their drivers side mirror. If I can see them, they can see me!

I also try to keep part of my regular eye scanning process to keep an eye on about 4 cars ahead. When in heavy traffic, it is all about making sure you are seen, are not "in the way" if a cager decides to take your space from you & being alert about your surroundings enough to know what you might do if a situation arises. There is plenty of time for relaxing riding when you are out of traffic!

Be safe out there all!

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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-17-2010, 12:41 PM
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For me, this is a very useful thread. Thanks!
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post #16 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-17-2010, 01:34 PM
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I have to agree with the sentiment about horns not being the answer. I just honestly don't think horns prevent accidents. I rode for years in Houston rush hour traffic on I-10 and I-45. Multiple times I was faced with a situation in which I only had a second or two before a potential accident.

Now, my options (and anyone else's) at that moment is to 1) devote that entire time to doing what's necessary to avoid the accident in the first place 2) spend the first half of those few seconds honking the horn and the second half avoiding the situation, or 3) devote all my resources to simply honking the horn and letting the other person know they're wrong, with accident avoidance only as an afterthought.

I just personally find that option #1 is the best, and I honestly cannot tell you if I ever honked my horn (yet I probably avoided dozens of accidents). I think most motorcyclists exercise options #1 or sometimes #2, whereas all but the most "defensive" (smart) car drivers do #3. In the U.S., where nearly everyone really does have auto-insurance, many have a "you better not hit me or you're gonna pay" attitude. That's a luxury we can't afford on a bike.

I also - and I know this sounds stupid - make a game out predicting others' driving behavior. I swear to you I can (as I'm sure many of us can) scan ahead for blocks and I can just tell by the way a car is driving in their lane that they're thinking about switching lanes although no signal is on. Occasionally nudging the lane markers....stay away from them. Car driving 75 one minute, 60 the next, 80 the minute after....emotional driver probably on the phone and speeds up with the pace of the phone conversation. Etc., etc., etc......

Tim
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post #17 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-17-2010, 01:49 PM
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I'm also one who rides in the right section of the left lane.

Yes it is closer to the "danger", but I think it has advantages:
- You are more visible to the people in the lane to your right.
- You claim your space, you don't look like you are inviting people next to you.
- You have some remaining space on your left to move into, if a car starts moving into your lane.

The downside to this driving strategy is that you have to be alert all the time, to catch any shenanigans as soon as they happen.
If you want or need to mentally relax a bit, riding in the left section of the left lane will give you one second more to spot and react to a car moving into your space (but less space to move around in).
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post #18 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-17-2010, 02:00 PM
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Theres a good book Proficient Motorcycling: The Ultimate Guide to Riding Well ISBN-10: 1889540536 . There the aurthor notes that cars move in gaggles in the highway. Something that I never quite noticed before it was pointed to me. He recommend staying away from them.

Good idea

I still prefer the gattling gun idea.
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post #19 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-17-2010, 10:10 PM
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Ride in the right hand track of the far left lane. Keep moving forward until you get in with a sane group of drivers. Stay there as long as everybody remains cool.
I slightly disagree with this. People tend to drive in clusters and you shouldn't join them. Keep moving up till your out in open road without anyone else. Then you can relax, until you get to the next cluster.

Although, I don't always follow my own advice...sometimes I don't want to drive that fast. And traffic moves pretty fast at times where I am. In that case, following distance is the most important. I like to keep about 3-4 seconds.

But of course in heavy traffic there isn't much you can do to avoid traffic. But how do you know when your amongst sane drivers? People are going to surprise you when you least expect.
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post #20 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-18-2010, 12:20 AM
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Gattling guns would be fun but sidewinders would be a sure hit every time.

After being almost taken out in my truck twice today by doofus college weenies yacking on their phones while driving (in a state with a law against that no less) I am seriously considering adding a Stebel to my V and both my cages.

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