Bad Habits learned from riding motorcycles - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-26-2013, 08:13 AM Thread Starter
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Bad Habits learned from riding motorcycles

Hey all,

I am a newbie to motorcycles - started riding about a year ago and have about 10k miles under my belt.
Lately, I have been cutting off people when I drive the car thinking there is plenty of time before they catch up to me - which is very true with the motorcycle, but not so true with the VW jetta diesel. Now I am wanting a prosche/Vette or something much faster, or just ride the bike 100% of the time. I have to make a conscious decision not to get infront of them - and get "Why aren't you going?" from the wife once in a while..

What bad habits did you learn from riding your motorcycle?
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-26-2013, 08:28 AM
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Interesting question. If anything, riding a motorcycle has helped me unlearn bad habits acquired behind the wheel:
I have learned to assume no one sees me.
I have learned that given the off chance that they do see me I should assume their intent is to run me over.
I have learned that people driving cars will get angry and occasionally aggressive if they think I've cut them off.
I have learned I don't own the road.

Perhaps the one bad habit I have learned riding a motorcycle is taking longer routes than necessary to reach my destination. That's not really a bad hibit, though, if it adds pleasure to the ride. That's why they make gasoline.


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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-26-2013, 08:29 AM
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I learned the hard way. Riding beyond your abilities, and running of the road in a curb, trees always win!
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-26-2013, 09:12 AM
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My bike has taught me more survial skills that apply to most everything than bad habits (like the Robert Frost school of navigation).
ALWAYS look further ahead than I used to
ALWAYS double check my head check
EVERYBODY is stupid
NO ONE cares about you
YOU are the final guarantee of your continued existence
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-26-2013, 10:55 AM
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Always turn off turn signal...Always. Or else they will turn in front of you.

Slow it down a bit... I am not as invincible as my 18 year old self believed. Take time to enjoy the ride, smell the smells, enjoy the scenery. Life is rushed enough.

Always tell my wife and daughter I love them before leaving the house... You just never know. I have had a few close calls over the years and fortunately for me my skills and awareness combined for a scrape free escape.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-26-2013, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stallhorn View Post
Hey all,

I am a newbie to motorcycles - started riding about a year ago and have about 10k miles under my belt.
Lately, I have been cutting off people when I drive the car thinking there is plenty of time before they catch up to me - which is very true with the motorcycle, but not so true with the VW jetta diesel. Now I am wanting a prosche/Vette or something much faster, or just ride the bike 100% of the time. I have to make a conscious decision not to get infront of them - and get "Why aren't you going?" from the wife once in a while..

What bad habits did you learn from riding your motorcycle?
What you describe is not bad habits learned while riding as much as it is bad habits while driving. Everything you do in a vehicle (doesnt matter how many wheels it has) should be a "concious decision".
It sounds like you need a "check list" to follow. One thing on that check list should be "check traffic in mirrors before changing lanes". If you do that, it doesn't matter whether you are riding a motorcycle or driving a semi, you won't be cutting anyone off.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-26-2013, 11:39 AM
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First of all thank you for the topic and being honest!

When I ride my bike I go into an extra alert zone. Hard to explain. Lets just say its like Heads Up!

The book suggested on this forum to me was Proficient Motorcycling by David L. Hough. What a great book!

I am still learning and this forum and all my fellow riders have really helped me become a safer rider.

Thanks again!





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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-26-2013, 11:54 AM
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I'm not sure IF riding made me a more defensive driver, or being a defensive driver made me a better rider....

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-26-2013, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, I am going to clarify this a bit.

I have learned to be a much better driver after I started riding motorcycles. I look 12 seconds ahead when I can (or more), give me a buffer by not following a car closely (I have seen motorcycles on the freeway wayyy too close to a tail of a car), turn on (and off) my blinkers, stay out of people's blind spots, and always have an out. So all these are good habits.

I don't cut off people while on motorcycle, because I can accelerate much faster than I can in the diesel. The bad habit here is that I assume I have enough room to get on the road (which may or may not be true in the diesel) - and of course people step on the gas as soon as they see me get on the road.

The motorcycle, being so nimble, keeps me safe. For example, leaving a traffic light, I accelerate much more quickly to the speed limit so that I don't have a bunch or cars around me - I have the road to myself and everyone else is behind me. I think it is safer that way.

Taking the long way around is also the other "bad" habit
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-26-2013, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTS View Post

The book suggested on this forum to me was Proficient Motorcycling by David L. Hough. What a great book!
Also More Proficient Motorcycling by David Hough.

Every month in Motorcycle Consumer News, Ken Condon does a column called Proficient Motorcycling. Sometimes he covers topics we've read about before, but he covers them well and explains useful strategies and techniques. Ken's column is straightforward, instructional and thorough, if a bit dry.

Eric Trow writes a monthly column in Rider called Riding Well. This column is more about people and experiences than instruction, but it makes you think about things related to being smart with you hands on the bars.


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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-26-2013, 12:14 PM
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Taking the long way around is also the other "bad" habit
There's a grocery store I like that's about 20 miles away, but somehow when I go there on the bike it takes 80 or 100 miles to reach it. Oh, well.


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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-26-2013, 12:55 PM
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My wife hates it when I "ride the wheel track" when driving the car. I keep myself as the driver about 3 feet off the center line. She likes the car centered in the lane. I also brake later and steer around obstacles sharper than she'd prefer. I notice that I don't do this in my van as much.
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-26-2013, 01:04 PM Thread Starter
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My wife hates it when I "ride the wheel track" when driving the car. I keep myself as the driver about 3 feet off the center line. She likes the car centered in the lane. I also brake later and steer around obstacles sharper than she'd prefer. I notice that I don't do this in my van as much.
Haha.. how about roll-on the throttle in the turn? "Once the throttle is cracked open, it is rolled on smoothly and continiously through the turn" - per Keith Code - except it is stepped on instead of rolled on.
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-26-2013, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLACK DOG View Post
My bike has taught me more survial skills that apply to most everything than bad habits (like the Robert Frost school of navigation).
ALWAYS look further ahead than I used to
ALWAYS double check my head check
EVERYBODY is stupid
NO ONE cares about you
YOU are the final guarantee of your continued existence
+1!


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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-27-2013, 01:36 PM
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There's a grocery store I like that's about 20 miles away, but somehow when I go there on the bike it takes 80 or 100 miles to reach it. Oh, well.
Bones - I GOTTA get THAT program into MY Garmins....


Ed
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post #16 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-27-2013, 04:47 PM
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Bones - I GOTTA get THAT program into MY Garmins....

I have a "motorcycle" setting where I can pick "curviest route" when choosing route options.
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post #17 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-28-2013, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Bones View Post
Interesting question. If anything, riding a motorcycle has helped me unlearn bad habits acquired behind the wheel:
I have learned to assume no one sees me.
I have learned that given the off chance that they do see me I should assume their intent is to run me over.
I have learned that people driving cars will get angry and occasionally aggressive if they think I've cut them off.
I have learned I don't own the road.

Perhaps the one bad habit I have learned riding a motorcycle is taking longer routes than necessary to reach my destination. That's not really a bad hibit, though, if it adds pleasure to the ride. That's why they make gasoline.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BLACK DOG View Post
My bike has taught me more survial skills that apply to most everything than bad habits (like the Robert Frost school of navigation).
ALWAYS look further ahead than I used to
ALWAYS double check my head check
EVERYBODY is stupid
NO ONE cares about you
YOU are the final guarantee of your continued existence
Quote:
Originally Posted by Capn Kirk View Post
Always turn off turn signal...Always. Or else they will turn in front of you.

Slow it down a bit... I am not as invincible as my 18 year old self believed. Take time to enjoy the ride, smell the smells, enjoy the scenery. Life is rushed enough.

Always tell my wife and daughter I love them before leaving the house... You just never know. I have had a few close calls over the years and fortunately for me my skills and awareness combined for a scrape free escape.
Definitely agree with the above posts. Motorcycling has me many great skills and habits that make me a better person on the road period.

My Versys Travels:


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post #18 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-28-2013, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by stallhorn View Post

The motorcycle, being so nimble, keeps me safe. For example, leaving a traffic light, I accelerate much more quickly to the speed limit so that I don't have a bunch or cars around me - I have the road to myself and everyone else is behind me. I think it is safer that way.
Be very careful doing this. Make sure the cross traffic is stopped before proceeding into the intersection. Watch for oncoming cars that might turn left in front of you into a driveway. They will think they have time because the light just turned green and won't expect the quick acceleration of the motorcycle and will turn in front of you.

My Versys Travels:


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post #19 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-28-2013, 07:07 PM
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Be very careful doing this. Make sure the cross traffic is stopped before proceeding into the intersection. Watch for oncoming cars that might turn left in front of you into a driveway. They will think they have time because the light just turned green and won't expect the quick acceleration of the motorcycle and will turn in front of you.
Shhhhhh........
We're not supposed to let "that" group of cyclists that need to be the very first vehicle through an intersection know about this.
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