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Old 12-05-2008, 02:53 PM
rgvkid rgvkid is offline
Motorized Bicycle Elite Member
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Los Angeles,CA
Posts: 110
Default For those who are interested: Street Riding Tips...

I thought i'd post some tips that i have learned through out the 18 years of riding Street Motorcyles which i carry over to riding my motorized bike. Whether you ride at 10mph, 40mph, or 90mph these tips might help you become a better Defensive driver. Im 34 years old and im an 18 year Los Angeles licensed motorcylist and within that time i have been fortunate to avoid all traffic close calls. The 2 times i did go down were of my own accord by lowsiding going 90mph around a canyon turn dragging one of my knee pucks on the pavement. The other was when i over throttled while shifting from 3-4 with the front wheel in the air, you get the point.

This may sound like alot to do but it will soon become habit and make your ride more enjoyable, less nervous, and Safe

Aside from riding tips, i think riding gear is probably most important. From my experiences i have seen what a half helmet can do to someone even at 15mph... Not For Me... Not that a full helmet is #1 but it is much better if you want to keep your cheeks and nose. I wear a Full Face BMX helmet with sunglasses, i posted a pic of the one i have. Its not DOT and its of course heavier then a bicycle helmet and can be a bit warm if you run out of gas but definitely better then a half helmet. The sunglasses help with debris and or sunglare. I once rode my motorcycle with my full face sheild up and a bee flew in and stung me right on the eye lid, half of my face was swollen for a week and I had to cancel a Hot Date, Damn Bee! Gloves would be my second must, Leather motocycle gloves are to heavy for all the shifting on the bicycle so i use good tight fitted, leather palmed, Mechanic gloves. Road rash and Picking asphalt pebbels out of your skin is not fun, even at 10mph.

The key word is Defensive, you always have to be a defensive driver even if you are not in traffic. On my Motorized bike commute half is on main streets with constant traffic and businesses and half is a semi busy residental street. I've trained my eyes to pretty much always look ahead and scan. Remember the Light on the Hood of the original Knight Rider car, side to side scanning. You can stand up to look over cars and anticipate an exit if you need it.

My #1 Key Tip i use and give to all new riders who will be riding in traffic or even along parked cars is the Front Tire Check. The Front tire is the first indication of which direction a car is going, if its rolling, how far it is to your the line of path, and its speed. Its too hard to determine distance and direction by just looking at the body of a vehicle because it is a bigger area of focus and it doesn't neccesarily show which direction its going. You will see a Vehicles front tire turn before the actual vehicle itself. Im most cases, If a vehicle is parked, people often turn the wheel before rolling out into the lane. Its also a better spot to judge distance if the vehicle is traveling into your line of path. With parctice you will see what im talking about especially if you are riding up to the line at a red light between cars.

Always look ahead, you will get to a hazard spot quicker then you realize it, so looking ahead will give you a chance to react. While scanning and coming up to traffic, Check Your Spots. Check the driver, check their mirror, are they on the phone, can they see you. Same goes for parked cars, do you see any tail lights or brake lights on, is the tire turned in your direction of path, is the driver looking in their mirror or over their shoulder. Same goes for vehicles pulling out of a driveway. I stand up on my pegs and check the driver to make sure they spot me.

If i have to merge into a lane, I always look ahead to give myself a safe distance to quickly look over my shoulder for any vehicles behind me. If there are vehicles, you can usually tell if they slow down to let you merge and or because they see you. You can't tell distance and speed by looking through a mirror.

So remember, Look ahead, Scan, Spot Check, and give yourself enough Distance To React. I know it sounds like alot but it will become habit and make your ride much more Enjoyable and Safe. I hope this helps and feel free to add any tips or point of views on mine.

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Last edited by rgvkid; 12-05-2008 at 03:08 PM.
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