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Tag: brake

Risky Business – Being Seen

In my previous installment of Risky Business, I looked at being vigilant and acutely aware of the hazards  when riding on the street. This time let’s take a look from the other perspective, making yourself visible to other vehicles on the streets with you.

How often have you heard someone involved in an crash say “I never saw the other driver, rider, etc”. More often that you would think, this is actually a true statement. The driver may have actually been looking right at motorcycle and their brain never registered the bike as an object to avoid or be concerned with.

Drivers can get used to just looking for cars and other hazards on the road. Let’s face it, motorcycles just aren’t as plentiful on the roads as cars and trucks. It’s hard for some motorcyclists to understand this but as riders, we often take note of other bikes. Being on a bike seems to make us “tuned in” to see other bikes where drivers of cars simply aren’t.

So what can one do as a rider to mitigate this phenomenon? Let’s learn how to be seen. The following are some ways to improve your visibility on the road.

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Risky Business – Being Vigilant

RiskyBusinessRisky Business is a series of articles about mitigating risk for the motorcycle rider. I started this series years ago for Nashvilleriders.com but since I closed up that site I wanted to bring this content to Motorcycle Words.

The first in this series is Being Vigilant.

Vigilant is defined as “keenly watchful to detect danger; wary”. Sounds like something every motorcycle rider should be doing, but as there are so many potential dangers out there, where to begin?

Forget “The Force”

Despite Luke Skywalker’s success destroying a death star while keeping his eyes closed, your best way to spot and be aware of potential threats is to use your vision. This sounds a bit basic but I’m always surprised at how many drivers (and riders) out there seem to be using “The Force” to guide their vehicles down the road and not very well I might add. As a motorcycle rider one typically has an unobstructed view of the surroundings. In fact sitting on most sportbikes, sport-tourers, and standards can give riders a height advantage over most car drivers.  

Rider education courses point out it’s very important to be watching what’s happening down the road as far as you can. Being able to see farther ahead will help you prepare for sudden stops, debris, and other road hazards you might encounter. You can make it much easier to have a good vantage point by doing a few things such as:

  • Not all windows will be easy to see through.

    Not all windows will be easy to see through.

    Don’t ride behind large trucks and tractor trailers that block your view of the road ahead. Sure you can stop quicker than most trucks but if they crash into something  you may find yourself out of stopping room real fast.

  • Look through and past the front and rear windows of the vehicle(s) ahead of you. While it may not be that easy to see a lot of details you will most likely be able to see the brake lights of several of the cars in front of you through each vehicle’s front and rear glass.
  • Don’t tailgate. Sounds like a no-brainer to me but you really want to provide enough space between you and the car ahead of you to see and avoid an object such as a piece of tire carcass that wasn’t visible until after the car in front of you passed over it.

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Skene Programmable LED Brake Lights Review at wBW

skene-p3-brake-lights-kawasaki-ninja-1000Rick K from webBikeWorld and I team up for a review of the Skene P3 Programmable brake light system for motorcycles.  Here’s a teaser:

“The Skene Design P3 LED brake lights are small but powerful.  They come with brackets for mounting on the license plate bolts. You can buy the lights separately or with a programmable controller. The IQ-260 controller has 10 different programming modes, accessible at any time.”

Click here to check out the full review.

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