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Hello all.
My name is Michael. I started riding in the summer of 2006. My first motorcycle was a Tank 50cc mini Chopper. It was good enough to acquire a Motorcycle license and not much else. Sold it three months later for a bigger and better ride. Second Motorcycle was a Suzuki GZ250. Bigger, faster, a little more power, but still not something I would take on the freeway. Totaled in January 2007 when some idiot made a left turn without looking because they were talking on their damn cellphone, resulting in a broken femur, tibia and fibula. Got a little bit of money, but I'd rather still have two good legs. I took a break from riding for a few years til I got that itch again. In august of 2011 I decided to jump back on. Right now I am riding a retro 150cc scooter and putting the money I save aside for a KLR. I spend $100 less a month when I leave the SUV at home. I should be hopping on a brand new KLR by this summer. I find that I am a more cautious rider since the accident and now have the mindset that there are a lot if idiots on the road, so I best assume everybody is. I stay in the center lane and flash my brights when coming across anybody getting ready to turn.
 

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Hey, I'm also new to the forum and just picked up an 06 KLR. A few years ago I got taken out by a truck on the San Francisco freeway. I'm right there with you on riding very defensively. I have titanium holding my left elbow together and no amount of settlement money will ever give me full range of motion again.

Welcome, and stay safe out there.
 

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Always assume everyone is trying to kill you and you'll be fine.
 

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In my opinion, that's even worse because they think you are turning. I wiggle the bike back and forth. People have a hard time judging speed and distance with large objects like trains and small vehicles like motorcycles. Swerving back and forth in the lane flashes the headlight as the beam pattern lifts on the high side and helps the other driver better see distance and closing speed. Once I started doing this I very rarely had anyone pull out in front of me.

There really is no right answer to this one.

I also found drivers had a really hard time judging distance and closing speed at night when they would approach from behind. A single tail light is just a point of light in the dark. I created a pattern of reflectors on the back of my helmet that looks like an upside down T (I also have wedge-shaped reflectors below each side of the visor so people can see which way I'm looking). My hypothesis is that this shape that is on the X and Y axis makes it easier for drivers to see distance and closing speed. That and the large reflective surface on the helmet relative to the tail light.
 

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I also found drivers had a really hard time judging distance and closing speed at night when they would approach from behind. A single tail light is just a point of light in the dark. I created a pattern of reflectors on the back of my helmet that looks like an upside down T (I also have wedge-shaped reflectors below each side of the visor so people can see which way I'm looking). My hypothesis is that this shape that is on the X and Y axis makes it easier for drivers to see distance and closing speed. That and the large reflective surface on the helmet relative to the tail light.
I ordered and am going to add a couple of 1"x4" reflectors to the back of my "top case." Got them from some scooter store. They're not illuminated, but will add a couple of red reflectors up a lot higher than the one that hangs down below the rear fender. Figure they can't hurt anything. Might add some of that silver reflective tape, too.
 
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