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One of the serious problems we face as rider is we often ask "What can my bike do?" instead of "What can I do?"

This isn't a fine distinction. Your bike is capable of a great deal more than you think it is. I would even offer that a great deal of wrecks aren't the motorcycle's fault; it could have done it. The machine doesn't always fail us, often we fail the motorcycle. Yup, things go wrong and then we ask the machine to do weird things that don't make sense. We turn the bars and grab a big handful of brakes--no bike is going to do that well--and by making foolish inputs we get disastrous results.

Motorcycles are far more capable than we.

Idaho STAR had this in a newsletter in April of 2013:

"How soon did you see the hazard? Whether it’s a car stopping quickly in front of you, a car turning across or into your path, or an object in the road too big to go around – how soon you see it, perceive the need to respond, decide that braking is the best response, and then start braking makes a huge difference. By scanning 20 seconds ahead (scan ahead to a point it will take you 20 seconds to reach), you are likely to see the hazard sooner. The math is simple. See it sooner = more time and distance to get stopped. See it later = less time and distance to get stopped. At just 30 mph, an extra 2 seconds gives you an extra 88 feet to get stopped. At 45 mph, those 2 seconds give you another 132 feet.

Conclusion – scan well ahead, and increase your following distance so you can see more of what’s in front of you."


http://idahostar.org/newsletters/archive/April_2013

The calculation is based of feet per second and by sighting a problem earlier you have more time (which is space) to get something done. They added this chart:



They used it to illustrate how slowing down will cut your stopping distance. I'm gonna use it to show that if you lean on it you can get stopped in some pretty impressive distances. The distances on the chart are not optimistic the are lowest common denominator which means even if you're riding any kind of bike you should be able to do these distances. In fact you can probably get it done in less distance. I would offer that from 35mph a modern motorcycle should be able to get to a complete stop in around 44 feet or better.

Idaho STAR Recommends:

Stopping Distance Standards

These are standards that beginner level rider training or the DMV state test might use:

· 20mph – 23 feet
· 25mph – 31 feet
· 30mph – 44 feet

Skilled riders should be able to stop their motorcycles in less distance:

· 20mph – 15 feet or less*
· 25mph – 20 feet or less*
· 30mph – 30 feet or less*


But, "MY bike won't do that!"

How do you know? Have you tried? Have you gone out and practiced to find out? More importantly do you know what it feels like to pull .8gs on your bike? Most standards used by the MSF and assorted training agencies are designed to have you pull .6 to .8. Odds are you're doing a "quick stop" and pulling somewhere around .4gs thinking you're kicking butt and taking names.

Here's an idea, go out and find out. That big mega-church's lot is empty on Tuesday afternoons so out and find out. Parking spaces are 8 or 9 feet wide so place an object at the end of one, travel down the aisle at say, 25 mph and then, when you get object stop as quickly as you are comfortable.

Count. 3 x 8 = 24. 4 x 8 = 32. Use your math. See how you do. (I know you're the exception but try it anyway).

Odds are all of use are getting nowhere near the bike's potential when we're riding. Emergency maneuvers are uncomfortable not just because we're pushing a vehicle to it's design envelope but because we're out there at the edge of our comfort envelope. Trust me, there are guys and gals out there who could climb on my bike and I'd watch and say, "CRAP! I didn't know thing would do that!"

If you're looking for a more controlled environment to test this sort of thing then look up a training provider and see what they offer. I love getting feedback from professionals about my riding. It's called coaching and it helps everybody and don't you owe it to your bike to be the best rider you can be?

Be Safe.
 

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One of my instructors at BRC was a small petite young woman. She was the one that did the course demonstrations. I've never in my life seen a person and a bike look like one. I don't really know how to explain it in words, but everything she did, it was done smoothly and precisely. Her emergency stops didn't look anything like ours, which were at times a bit wobbly and awkward looking. I've seen alot of good riders in my life, but she by far impressed me the most. So I had to ask. How long has she rode, and how did she get so good at it? Ten years and alot of parking lot practice. She says the course is always open to the public to use, being on state owned property, as long as class was not running. Two weeks ago, I went up and ran the course on my own bike. My S40 650 can do the box. Not as easy as the 250's where. I even did your around the pole trick. Though I had to pretend there was a pole there......Probably looked pretty silly driving around in a circle over and over.....
 

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This covers what I think is one of the most vital points of safe riding: Looking ahead to identify potential problems before they become actual problems.
 

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Braking

I have had much to say about braking in many posts.
No one stops as well as a fast road racer. Which is why I have a lot to say. Sometimes a rookie will disagree with me. Tough.
177 feet for a 60 mph stop is about what a drum braked 1970 Moto Guzzi would do, or an old Buick.
A CB400 four with a single disc was about 130 to 140 feet.
Most modern bikes with 3 discs can do about 120 feet.
But, as you said, many riders can not match that.
Not sure what lag time they are using, for not paying attention.
Too, an experienced rider expects the car in the drive to pull out in front of them. The rookie complains after the crash, that it was the [email protected]#$%^&*( cars fault.

Unkle Crusty. Zero crashes on public roads since 1961. Several crashes at the road race track, quite a few at the motocross track, and hundreds during cross country races.
 

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Scanning is definitely the most important IMHO. I always try to look as far ahead as possible, side to side and behind as well. My Dad was a truck driver for my entire life and he was the one who taught me to drive way back in the yonder years. Add to that mountain biking, road cycling and dirt riding and it's become a habit that I don't want to break. It's also one of the reasons I will abort a ride. If I find myself not paying attention.
We all need practice though.
 

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One of the serious problems we face as rider is we often ask "What can my bike do?" instead of "What can I do?"

This isn't a fine distinction. Your bike is capable of a great deal more than you think it is. I would even offer that a great deal of wrecks aren't the motorcycle's fault; it could have done it. The machine doesn't always fail us, often we fail the motorcycle. Yup, things go wrong and then we ask the machine to do weird things that don't make sense. We turn the bars and grab a big handful of brakes--no bike is going to do that well--and by making foolish inputs we get disastrous results.

Motorcycles are far more capable than we.

Idaho STAR had this in a newsletter in April of 2013:

"How soon did you see the hazard? Whether it’s a car stopping quickly in front of you, a car turning across or into your path, or an object in the road too big to go around – how soon you see it, perceive the need to respond, decide that braking is the best response, and then start braking makes a huge difference. By scanning 20 seconds ahead (scan ahead to a point it will take you 20 seconds to reach), you are likely to see the hazard sooner. The math is simple. See it sooner = more time and distance to get stopped. See it later = less time and distance to get stopped. At just 30 mph, an extra 2 seconds gives you an extra 88 feet to get stopped. At 45 mph, those 2 seconds give you another 132 feet.

Conclusion – scan well ahead, and increase your following distance so you can see more of what’s in front of you."


http://idahostar.org/newsletters/archive/April_2013

The calculation is based of feet per second and by sighting a problem earlier you have more time (which is space) to get something done. They added this chart:



They used it to illustrate how slowing down will cut your stopping distance. I'm gonna use it to show that if you lean on it you can get stopped in some pretty impressive distances. The distances on the chart are not optimistic the are lowest common denominator which means even if you're riding any kind of bike you should be able to do these distances. In fact you can probably get it done in less distance. I would offer that from 35mph a modern motorcycle should be able to get to a complete stop in around 44 feet or better.

Idaho STAR Recommends:

Stopping Distance Standards

These are standards that beginner level rider training or the DMV state test might use:

· 20mph – 23 feet
· 25mph – 31 feet
· 30mph – 44 feet

Skilled riders should be able to stop their motorcycles in less distance:

· 20mph – 15 feet or less*
· 25mph – 20 feet or less*
· 30mph – 30 feet or less*


But, "MY bike won't do that!"

How do you know? Have you tried? Have you gone out and practiced to find out? More importantly do you know what it feels like to pull .8gs on your bike? Most standards used by the MSF and assorted training agencies are designed to have you pull .6 to .8. Odds are you're doing a "quick stop" and pulling somewhere around .4gs thinking you're kicking butt and taking names.

Here's an idea, go out and find out. That big mega-church's lot is empty on Tuesday afternoons so out and find out. Parking spaces are 8 or 9 feet wide so place an object at the end of one, travel down the aisle at say, 25 mph and then, when you get object stop as quickly as you are comfortable.

Count. 3 x 8 = 24. 4 x 8 = 32. Use your math. See how you do. (I know you're the exception but try it anyway).

Odds are all of use are getting nowhere near the bike's potential when we're riding. Emergency maneuvers are uncomfortable not just because we're pushing a vehicle to it's design envelope but because we're out there at the edge of our comfort envelope. Trust me, there are guys and gals out there who could climb on my bike and I'd watch and say, "CRAP! I didn't know thing would do that!"

If you're looking for a more controlled environment to test this sort of thing then look up a training provider and see what they offer. I love getting feedback from professionals about my riding. It's called coaching and it helps everybody and don't you owe it to your bike to be the best rider you can be?

Be Safe.
Excellent, Excellent, Excellent post. Well said. Get out and get some coaching people :) It's not the bike's fault, it often the rider's mistake that caused the problems. Get yourself trained up to be the best rider possible.

Be excellent :)
 

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This is an excellent post, and one we all need to pay attention to.

Now correct me if I'm wrong, bike size and weight, and road condition, will also effect stopping distance. My 1800 Goldwing can be brought to a stop from 65 mph, in about 135 feet on a good roadway. So, if I'm doing 65 mph I should be looking at least 175 feet in front of me.

So here is a question, you are coming up to a blind corner that has a 45 mph recommendation, but can only see fifty feet of roadway. How fast should you take that corner?
 

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So here is a question, you are coming up to a blind corner that has a 45 mph recommendation, but can only see fifty feet of roadway. How fast should you take that corner?
Personally, I would take it at right around 30 mph, because that's about how many feet I can safely stop in a curve.
 

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Dods has a good point. It's not really about how fast you can go to safely get out of the corner, but how fast can you go and still stop if you come around that corner and find something there that's gonna make you stop......I've came across a blind corner and seen a pack of wild turkeys. I had no choice but to mow them down, cause I was traveling too fast to stop. Thankfully, I was in my truck.....
 

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Dods has a good point. It's not really about how fast you can go to safely get out of the corner, but how fast can you go and still stop if you come around that corner and find something there that's gonna make you stop......I've came across a blind corner and seen a pack of wild turkeys. I had no choice but to mow them down, cause I was traveling too fast to stop. Thankfully, I was in my truck.....
Yeah, I have a tendency to corner too fast. It's something I need to stop. I typically will run to fast on roads I'm really use to, corners that I know by heart. And yes Zippy, turkeys can put a real hurt on you, we have way to many of them down here, deer and bear too.
 

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I seem to be a turkey magnet.....deer I see alot, but I've only been hoofed by one, never hit one. I was driving by a deer when he just up and kicked my car right on the gas cap door, made it impossible to open door to get gas...stupid deer. My worst case was hitting a pheasant. I was pulled over plucking my radiator......his quills went through the radiator and I had to end up replacing it.
 

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I know what you mean Zip, I almost got run over by a bear once, but the turkeys are vicious! (and stupid) I've had 3 bears, a couple bobcats, several deer and entire flocks of turkey in my yard this year. The bears seemed to come down early.
 

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Dods, you are right on target. How many of us will actually slow down to an appropriate speed? Reality is very few, myself included and I'm beginning to rethink my riding habits in my area.
 

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Dods, you are right on target. How many of us will actually slow down to an appropriate speed? Reality is very few, myself included and I'm beginning to rethink my riding habits in my area.
I slow down to a safe speed before cornering. I'm not in so much of a hurry to risk crashing by pushing my luck and rolling the dice. If you roll enough times, eventually you will roll snake eyes.
 

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If you're looking for a more controlled environment to test this sort of thing then look up a training provider and see what they offer. I love getting feedback from professionals about my riding. It's called coaching and it helps everybody and don't you owe it to your bike to be the best rider you can be?
Be Safe.
+1
 

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Vision
What aspects of riding does vision affect?

Vision is the one thing done on the bike that impacts everything else that happens on the bike, both conscious and sub-conscious.

1. Vision controls everything we do on a motorcycle. this includes throttle, braking and turning.
a.) throttle and brakes effect the suspension (so in turn in many aspects vision has an effect on suspension)
2. Body position has a great impact on vision (So does fear and your mental state)
a.) Moving around on the bike also has an impact on Suspension so we don't want to do it while in the turn)
3. Throttle and brakes or a combination of can be used to change your line in a turn, Yes you can Tighten your line using the brakes as well as making the bike run wide, it is how they are used that has the impact. (these are not newby skills)
a.) Trail braking (Is not impacted by linked brakes as it can be done with either brake or both)
b.) trail braking allows you to make changes to the brakes or throttle with very little reaction time and also without upsetting the bikes suspension.

So many people tell you to "Be Smooth" ok, I'll bite, what does that mean?

Instead of telling someone to be smooth give them the tools to be smooth, show them the things they can control, how to control them and they will become smooth. It starts with Vision, Throttle and brakes, and moves forward from there.

You cannot just tell someone to be smooth, if they knew how they already would be.

Learn what and how to be smooth. Most people "Think" they are until they see what it really is and how to achieve it.

Even When I teach the basic stuff, You have to work on vision before the rest works
 

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Most of the 'advanced riding courses' are all about taking corners faster, and just riding faster. To me, that is a huge part of the problem with single vehicle bike crashes -- the motorcyclist thought they could ride faster than was safe... And they rolled "snake eyes".

I do study advanced riding books, mostly during the Winter months, when the bike is moth-balled. I also practice the "Ride Like a Pro" techniques, come Spring. Think what you want, but being able to perform a slow, sharp U-turn on a heavy touring bike, two-up, in a roadway (not a parking lot), is a skill worth having!

I believe too many motorcyclists want to take corners at higher speeds, thinking they have the skills to do it -- they just fail to realize that they are on an open roadway, with other traffic! To me, this is incredibly selfish, self-centered, and self-serving B/S.

I've had four low-side's in my life, with minimal injuries. One was my fault (stupidity -- see comments above, about self-serving...), but the other three were not my fault, they were caused by a road hazard (grease patch in a construction zone threw out my rear tire while executing a 15 MPH turn), and mechanical failures of the two bikes.

We can improve our odds, but we cannot make them a "sure thing", no matter what we do. Ride smart, rein in your ego and your bravado. Your loved ones will thank you for keeping yourself alive, and part of their lives over the long haul. Cheers!
:coffee:
 

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Most of the 'advanced riding courses' are all about taking corners faster, and just riding faster.
I don't think that is completely accurate. My sister went through the same course they give the CHP. I had never practiced doing tight figure eights with my Goldwing. Once I did it gave me a new appreciation for my bikes ability, and I feel it sharpened my riding skills.
 

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Vision

So many people tell you to "Be Smooth" ok, I'll bite, what does that mean?

Instead of telling someone to be smooth give them the tools to be smooth, show them the things they can control, how to control them and they will become smooth. It starts with Vision, Throttle and brakes, and moves forward from there.

You cannot just tell someone to be smooth, if they knew how they already would be.

Learn what and how to be smooth. Most people "Think" they are until they see what it really is and how to achieve it.

Even When I teach the basic stuff, You have to work on vision before the rest works
Excellent point here. People will often tell you to be smooth, or to enter a corner faster, or to roll on more, or brake later, or relax, and while these are all good techniques in riding, it's not just automatic, you need to learn HOW.

I'll never forget racing AMA Supersport at Barber Motorsports park in 2007. I was sucking wind in turn one and braking sooooo early compared to the rest of the riders. My husband said to me, "you are braking too early, you have to just brake later." And I was like, "NO Sh*T!!! but HOW!!!!!" I knew I needed to brake later and carry more corner speed into the turn but I didn't know how to do it, I didn't know why I was so scared in that corner or how I could be more brave until a fellow California Superbike School coach came over to ask me a few questions about the turn.

He asked me what I was looking at and through a series of more detailed questions we realized that I had tunnel vision approaching turn 1 and was only seeing maybe half of the track. I hadn't even noticed the flag station on the side of the track my vision was so narrow. What happens when you have narrow vision? Your sense of speed goes up, you perceive that you are going faster than you are and so you roll of the gas and brake early! With his guidance I was able to widen my vision through that section of the track and the result was that I began braking later and carrying more speed into the turn. NO amount of telling me to "man up, go faster, brake later, ride harder, grow some balls etc etc...would have been able to help me increase my speed into the corner but once I knew HOW to see better I was able to go faster without much effort.

How else can you work on improving your visual skills?
 

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Thank you Misti, You made my point. You dont know what you dont know, or how to do something, get past something till someone who has been there, or has the knowledge can help you to understand and correct the root of the problem.
 
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