Riding in the middle of the roads (safety tip)

670cc

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It must be a nightmare over there trying to to abide by all the diiferent states laws
It's not really a nightmare. Just have a motorcycle driver's license in your home state, wear your helmet, have your headlight on, and don't split lanes, and you are pretty much legal in all 50 states. Common safety sense is all it takes.
 

Rocker66

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I thought that there were strange rules in some states such as (the only one I canremember) a maximum height for the handlebars. yes it was a custom bike magazine that somebody found on the train and passed onto me
 

tabrady817

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I always stand by the lead left ,follow right train of thought, on the side street & the highway, giving you more time to react and a better visual, as nearly all vehicles will come into your lane from the right (US.) It would seem to be intuitive ! Taking the outside radius of a turn or traffic deteriorating is the only time I vary. I practice riding every day and am rarely surprised. I tell my sons , daughter, and others," do it today, do it tomorrow,and all the days that follow, on a motorcycle, you have to see it coming," & if you get in a wreck it's always your fault !" I learned that lesson on a Friday in Sept. 1967 & it's kept me safe all these years. ..................PS I believe that crashing in the "dirt" whilst riding "on the edge"is pretty much manditory and a badge of honor,and traslates into "don't do this on the pavement!!!"
 

Daboo

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As someone already wrote, I use active lane positioning, and rarely ride in the center of the lane...anymore.

When I first started riding again a few years ago after a long hiatus, I read some well written articles about the virtues of riding in the center. It sounded great and I did it. With the exception of areas where cars stop, like signs and signals, the oil is pretty rare around here. What changed my mind though is all the metal debris I picked up. In one year of riding, I made 5 repairs to the rear tire.

The cages are very courteous around here and they pick up all the screws, nails, cotter pins and other sharp pieces of metal in their car's tires for me. Since that one year, I have had only one flat in about 80,000 miles of freeway commuting.

I'll position myself on either side of the lane to "protect" my space and to be as visible as possible. It's now almost unconscious because I've been doing it for so long...and learning from the times when I did something dumb like knowingly staying in someone's blind spot. When that happened, I couldn't blame anyone but myself.

I think this is an excellent topic. Each of us has to think about what we're doing, if we are to ride safe. :)

Chris
 

jakeisbill

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Certain states have different motorcycle laws. I live on the border of South Carolina and North Carolina, in SC a helmet is not mandatory but in NC it is. On a daily basis you will see people stopped at the state line either putting on or taking off their helmets. Personally I wouldn't ride without one, but try telling that to a 60 year old on a HD Street Bob with ape hangers. Darwin already figured that one out for us.
 

TechiePilot

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Certain states have different motorcycle laws. I live on the border of South Carolina and North Carolina, in SC a helmet is not mandatory but in NC it is. On a daily basis you will see people stopped at the state line either putting on or taking off their helmets. Personally I wouldn't ride without one, but try telling that to a 60 year old on a HD Street Bob with ape hangers. Darwin already figured that one out for us.
Indeed, jakeisbill. For my safety and minimal damage to self, I will wear the necessary gear, regardless of which state I'm in. Also, its much simpler than keeping this list of laws handy... I like the idea of living to ride another day :)
 

happy

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Indeed, jakeisbill. For my safety and minimal damage to self, I will wear the necessary gear, regardless of which state I'm in. Also, its much simpler than keeping this list of laws handy... I like the idea of living to ride another day :)
Has any one here ridden your bike/bikes without helmet? (of course it is a no no but when I sometimes do it for a short distance, it feels so strange AND free....)
:p
 

berryw

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Has any one here ridden your bike/bikes without helmet? (of course it is a no no but when I sometimes do it for a short distance, it feels so strange AND free....)
:p
I normally did not wear a helmet on my XL unless I would be going on any type of highway that was over 55mph speed limit for more than just a quick stretch, or some serious off road trails. Around town I really felt like i could hear a lot more, and I was just more comfortable. With the NC, it seems like the little windscreen throws all of the air right into my face (I'm 6'2") and I cannot stand riding without a helmet.

btw - not a law here to have a helmet, very common
 

Olythom

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Differing laws in the states is not much of an issue. Many of our states are larger (geographically) than most EU countries so, in my case for example, I suspect I will seldom cross state lines on the bike.

Regarding helmet use.... I have a full-face helmet. Running down the road at 55mph, I had a huge bug hit me the other day that hit like a rifle shot and splattered all over my face-shield. I can't imagine what that would have felt like if not for the shield!
>T
 

drdubb

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I've been on the ground and all the gear saved my skin, my jaw and a few other body parts. I'm ATGATT even if I'm just riding around the block. Blue jeans will disintegrate in the first few feet of a slide. Then its your skin vrs. the asphalt. Guess who wins. As another fellow says...its an asphalt belt sander you are riding on.
 

DanH

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Thanks Happy! Great discussion topic! I agree with everyone. Different scenarios require different decisions. Ride where its safest and you have the greatest ability to react to the unexpected. As a good friend once said, "Ride like you are invisible and there is a price on your head."

As another fellow says...its an asphalt belt sander you are riding on.
My brother calls asphalt "instant tattoo remover". He has lots of tattoos - and a BMW.
 

Akar.Zaephyr

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At my theory part of motorcycle DL course, en ex-cop was our trainee. He's been the sort of highway cop so he's been to bike accidents a lot, plenty of stories ;)
He told us of a weird issue where witnesses said a motorcycle driver was just driving straight, then fallen down, nothing happened, he just felt from the bike.
Turns out the guy was doing 80km/h - 49mph with his full-face helmet on, and the shield opened. Somehow a bug hit him right in the eye (despite he had glasses on!), the eye popped out and that was it - guy lost it, there was nothing to save.

If it's any use to anyone, always wear a helmet, no matter what state law says. Bugs hitting the eye, rocks bursting from car's wheels, stupid people throwing stuff at ya - you name it, you never know when you'll need it. And when you do, it's better to have it ;) Choice is yours.

As my DL instructor said: do you know who a good biker is? A living one. (Then, as I knew the answer, he changed to "old one", you get the picture ;) )

And a little joke to lighten the mood up:
(...) "Ride like you are invisible and there is a price on your head."
(...)
If I was riding being invisible and had a price on my head, no one would claim the bounty ;) Sorry, Reno Rains :D
 
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Fuzzy

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I had a bird fly out of the woods direct into my face shield. Aimed just right to miss the wind screen. He or she gave a life in the encounter. We both would have been hurting if I hadn't had a full face helmet with shield closed.
 

kharli

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An instant bee sting on the face is excruciatingly painful at speed. I was always told to `half` the danger .
Following vehicles without a rear view mirror I like to stay on the outside lane so they can see me in the drivers mirror so they are aware of me . Obviously I move to avoid potholes ,diesel spills and gravel where possible . Always be aware whats behind you and where they are and that's the best you can do to be an old rider.
 

ChilliRider

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As my motorcycle course instructor said (as a general rule in North America) when on a multi-lane road "left side or right, tight to the white". The reasons for this general rule are many and most have been stated in the thread: oil/debris in the center of the lane; visibility with cars and "owning" the lane at the point where cars are most likely to enter your space). One that I haven't seen mentioned that is a critical safety issue is to NOT ride on the inside third (curb side) of the lane where there are side streets/intersections: a car approaching from a side street may not see you due to the angles involved and your speed and pull out right in front of you. SO MANY motorcyclists are killed at intersections by cars that "never saw them" and you need to do everything you can to make yourself visible--including high-viz clothing.

The "general rule" is just that and you need to vary your lane position around trucks/RVs that are pushing a lot of air, and also watch the approaching traffic coming over a hill (move right to avoid some bozo passing coming up the hill that you can't see and can't see you). The only time I would ever ride in the middle of the lane is in a severe cross wind when there might be chance the wind will push you into a lane you don't want to be in.

Just my 2 cents...
 

Hank

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In my state handlebars cannot be above eye level. The laws are not all that different from state to state, and many of our states are larger than European countries, so it is not like it changes every five minutes.
 

Hank

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Gruezi! Swiss roads are indeed wonderful. We need skid plates and radiator guards here just to commute.
 
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