Being seen

Gear, accessories, gadgets, etc that make your ride more enjoyable.
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Tag7768
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Posts: 92
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2015 4:51 pm
Region or State: California
Motorcycles Owned Currently: 1992 seca2
Location: Petaluma

Tue Feb 02, 2016 11:03 pm

Yesterday I was almost hit by a driver that seemed to be looking at me. her friend stopped her but not before I had gotten into a skid and came close to laying the bike down. I have: a red bike, flashing headlight, white riding gear and helmet. I was in the proper lane, not speeding, looking at her as a potential problem. What else can I do to be more visible? weave a little to catch their attention? I'm a new rider, not just venting, I'm looking for ideas. I have no interest in fixing up a bike to grind it down on the asphalt.

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radare
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Region or State: Rocky Mountains
Motorcycles Owned Currently: '92 XJR600, '92 Seca II
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Tue Feb 02, 2016 11:47 pm

IMHO, they aren't going to see you regardless of what you're wearing or what accessories you have. Motorists don't expect to see motorcycles and therefore, they don't see them. Rather than expect drivers to see you, my advice is for you to ride as if they never see you. Expect that they will change lanes into you, stop in front of you, turn left in front of you and otherwise be completely oblivious to your existence.

I tend to ride with this mentality and usually wear mostly black/white gear (Rev'it Dragon jacket). If you learn to keep an eye on the drivers around you as-if you are invisible, and have it become second nature, you will find that these interactions with drivers become infrequent.

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Nelsonmd
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Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2011 4:35 pm
Region or State: New England
Motorcycles Owned Currently: 92 XJ600S; 2002 Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom
Location: Boston, MA

Wed Feb 03, 2016 9:24 am

I agree with Radare's comments, but I think there are some other things you can do to improve visibility.

Headlight modulators are great if your state allows them
Having multiple headlights/aux light on the front of your bike, rather than 2 single headlight This is an even bigger deal at night
Having yellow running lights in your turn signals
Put alot of reflective tape on all sides

That all said, again Radare is correct that people will still not see you. One of the big studies, I think it was the MAIDS report found that lights and reflective tape didn't make huge differences in head-on visibility to prevent things like cars turning left in front of you.

Ultimately, you really do have to ride under the assumption that you are invisible like Radare said. Always protect your escape routes, and assume everyone is going to turn out in front of you. And Always be super diligent about looking around you, check your mirrors, stay out of blind spots, and take your safety into your own hands.
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M̶y̶ ̶o̶t̶h̶e̶r̶ ̶l̶o̶v̶e̶:̶ I don't love her so much anymore... NelsonMD's 4Runner Build Thread

New (primary) ride: 2002 Suzuki V-Strom 1000

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TonyKZ1
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Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 12:15 pm
Region or State: Missouri, U.S.A.
Motorcycles Owned Currently: 1997 Yamaha XJ600s Seca II
Location: Marble Hill, MO. U.S.A.
United States of America

Wed Feb 03, 2016 9:36 am

Echoing what's already been said, they don't see you or even look for you. A couple years ago, I was wearing a hi-viz (think burn-your-eyes-out bright yellow and black) one-piece armored suit on a red bike (with the headlight on of course) and a white helmet. I went into the right turn lane, the guy in front of me that had stopped at the light going straight changed his mind or something and went into the right turn lane while I was already there. Hit my Ninja, his ins. company took care of it with no problems but still, he told the officer that eventually arrived on the scene, yea I didn't see him...
1997 Yamaha Seca II - mostly stock, Racetech upgraded forks, FZ6R rear shock, Oxford Adventure Style Heated Grips, Barkbusters Blizzard Cold Weather Handguards, a Scottoiler vSystem chain oiler. My Mileage Tracker Page.

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fateddy
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Region or State: North Colorado
Motorcycles Owned Currently: 1996 XJ600N, 1991 Suzuki DR350
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Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:16 am

Weaving a bit may or may not help. Human eyes aren't great at judging the speed or distance of something approaching directly in a straight line. Weaving a bit introduces lateral motion, theoretically making you a little more visible. I do it when approaching traffic lights, especially when someone is in the left turn lane. I also do it when approaching a stop with someone behind me. I think that even if someone behind me already sees me coming to a stop, a bit of weaving makes them just a little more wary about what I'm doing, maybe even thinking "What the hell is this guy up to, better stay back in case he falls over."

While I don't know that it actually works, it's just one more thing to do, and it's an active exercise that forces you to think about your visibility to other people on the road, which in turn can help you speed up your reaction time through being more prepared.
Go soothingly on the grease mud, as there lurks the skid demon.

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MrJoel
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Region or State: Louisville, ky
Motorcycles Owned Currently: 1994 xj600

Fri Apr 08, 2016 9:30 pm

I've been seen flapping my arms like a freakin bird to try to get people to look that I know don't see me. But to be fair, look at this picture and you'll see that we don't register as a vehicle in the average mind. They are looking for an object with about 30 square feet of frontal profile, not 8! Image


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Leroy
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Joined: Sat Apr 09, 2016 4:49 pm
Region or State: Western North Carolina
Motorcycles Owned Currently: 95 Seca II, 92 DR350, 92 Virago 750, 02 PW50

Wed Apr 20, 2016 8:07 am

you could try one of those fluorescent green, yellow or orange vests the liquorcycle riders use.

I also like the flashing license plate brackets that coordinate with your brake light- I have a VOLO on order from parts very limited.

and on a sarcastic note. Speed and Strength has a vest with an open carry holster on it. That usually gets people's attention more than an orange vest (state laws permitting)

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Slartibartfast
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Joined: Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:30 am
Region or State: Helensburgh, Scotland
Motorcycles Owned Currently: 1999 XJ600N
Great Britain

Wed Apr 20, 2016 11:32 pm

i had a set of spotlights mounted on the lower fork clamps on a previous bike so that with the headlights they were in a sort of triangle arrangement

as it was fairly unusual I think that it caught peoples attention a little more

unfortunately you almost have to ride with the idea in your head that everyone else is a d*ckhead trying to kill you
Nelsonmd wrote: My 4runner on the other hand... I decided she needed to be a girl only because I spent so much time underneath/inside her, I didn't want to think of her as a dude...

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MrJoel
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Posts: 432
Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2014 6:42 am
Region or State: Louisville, ky
Motorcycles Owned Currently: 1994 xj600

Thu Apr 21, 2016 5:27 am

Leroy wrote:you could try one of those fluorescent green, yellow or orange vests the liquorcycle riders use.

I also like the flashing license plate brackets that coordinate with your brake light- I have a VOLO on order from parts very limited.

and on a sarcastic note. Speed and Strength has a vest with an open carry holster on it. That usually gets people's attention more than an orange vest (state laws permitting)
Open carry surely does open people's eyes! Even when I'm out, I can spot a bike quicker if he's carrying! In Kentucky there is no lisence needed to open carry, but one needed to conceal carry...thus a lot more people open carry!

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SpeedRacerOnline
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Posts: 1751
Joined: Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:06 pm
Region or State: Michigan
Motorcycles Owned Currently: '92 & '93 Yamaha XJ600S, '74 Suzuki TS185 Sierra
Location: Thumb Area
United States of America

Thu Apr 21, 2016 3:13 pm

MrJoel wrote:In Kentucky there is no lisence needed to open carry, but one needed to conceal carry...thus a lot more people open carry!
Michigan is weird. Same law here: no license for open carry, license required for concealed carry...thus a lot more people get CPL's, lol.
"I want to drive. I want to feel all of it: freedom, wind, curves, feedback, acceleration, unsteadiness, fear, joy... I don't want to ride. I want to drive."
- Speed's XJ Journal

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