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I was driving my truck today & pulled out in front of a biker. The thing is that I didn't see him. Why??? Because there was a Semi behind him coming over the hill. The distance was more than enough to do so. However the biker blended in. The Semi looked like it had one head light. The biker was in all black. He literally disappeared into the Semi's Grill. He was not safe distance away. Man I felt terrible. It made me realize that I need to go Hi Viz on my gear.
Any thought?? Has this ever happened to ya'll? :confused:
 

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Nope. But I agree. My gear isn't HiViz. Should be. But my bike has more reflective tape than a construction zone.
 

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I bought one of those cheap bright yellow vests from WalMart ($9.00) and wear it over my jacket and have noticed that people can see me a lot better. I have not had any problems since wearing that vest. Everything else on my bike is black.
 

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I was driving my truck today & pulled out in front of a biker. The thing is that I didn't see him. Why??? Because there was a Semi behind him coming over the hill. The distance was more than enough to do so. However the biker blended in. The Semi looked like it had one head light. The biker was in all black. He literally disappeared into the Semi's Grill. He was not safe distance away. Man I felt terrible. It made me realize that I need to go Hi Viz on my gear.
Any thought?? Has this ever happened to ya'll? :confused:
Definitely know how you feel. I too pulled directly in front of a biker this winter and felt super bad. I also have one of those cheap flourescent vests that is for sure going on this year.
 

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Any thought?? Has this ever happened to ya'll? :confused:
Yes, thankfully just a couple times. Thats a good example of why we all need to ride defensively no matter what we do to be seen.

When I'm in the car, with my wife driving (Yes, I live my life on the edge...) I make her nuts with the "do you see that bike up there?", "there's one coming up on your right", "what, you didn't like the color of that red light?" comments.
 

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Human error, we all make mistakes. I started to change lanes in my motorhome and got a bepp-beep from the bike that was there.

One of my pet peeves is those riders who post a close call with a car and everyone, I mean everyone goes over the top bashing the car driver who in most cases didn't see the bike or made an honest mistake. I have posted pretty much what I'm saying here and got roasted. There are cases where the driver had a vendetta and I say out with the torches and pitchforks then.


Train, good on you for sharing this, we can learn something from every encounter, every accident, every close one.

Ride like you're invisible...you are!

I've been riding for over 50 years and have had my share of close ones and even some off the bike encounters but those incidents are few. The miles of pleasure FAR outweigh any negative encounters.
 

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Happens to me occasionally even in my hi-viz.


I've cut a bike off a few times in my 28 years driving. It just reminds you to remain vigilant. It is an awful feeling.
 

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Happens to me occasionally even in my hi-viz.


I've cut a bike off a few times in my 28 years driving. It just reminds you to remain vigilant. It is an awful feeling.

White helmets have been shown to be the most visable, a Hi-Viz one would be a significant improvement over black also, just saying.


I look at bikes when I'm out in the car to see how noticeable they are. Here's my .02...


1. All black gear is the worst for visability and the most popular by far. Really black blends into everything even during the the day.

2. High beams on during the day make it harder to locate the bike. Yea I know it's legal but that law was enacted back when bikes had low output electrical systems. Today's headlights are extremely bright on high even during the day and make the bike disappear in the glare.

3. The color of the bike doesn't make a difference unless it's a big touring type like a Goldwing and then it's mostly from the back.

4. A Hi-Viz jacket is mostly obscured if there's a top box on the back. A good reason to have a white/Hi-Viz helmet.

5. A solid light color helmet is much more visable than one that has graphics.

6. Headlight modulators are annoying, flashing the high beam lends itself to the same over bright problem.

7. Lateral movement is key to break up an oncoming bike's profile. Even with all the Hi-Viz whatever a bike is still hard to locate in front of a car.

8. Bikes with yellow fog/marker lights lower than the headllight help identify it as a motorcycle, triangle of light effect.


My conclusions prioritized:

1. Wear a white (or Hi-Viz) helmet.
2. Wear a Hi-Viz jacket.
3. Yellow marker lights mounted lower and wider than the headlight(s).
3. Add sideways movement when you want a car to see you, weave side to side somewhat when approaching an encounter.
4. If you ride significanlty faster than traffic don't complain about close calls!

The most important one: don't expect anyone to see you anytime and ride accordingly!
 

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Maybe they're right....?????

 

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Spec can you elaborate on this?
7. Lateral movement is key to break up an oncoming bike's profile. Even with all the Hi-Viz whatever a bike is still hard to locate in front of a car.

How and when do you apply this?

I agree with you on Headlights not really making a difference. It actually seems to confuse the cages more.
 

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Spec can you elaborate on this?
7. Lateral movement is key to break up an oncoming bike's profile. Even with all the Hi-Viz whatever a bike is still hard to locate in front of a car.

How and when do you apply this?

I agree with you on Headlights not really making a difference. It actually seems to confuse the cages more.

Sure, swerve back and forth in your lane a bit when approaching an intersection with cars waiting to turn left or them turning out/crossing the road you're on. The theory is that they will notice the movement.

Something like 75% of car/motorcycle accidents are the cars violating the right away of the motorcycle. The classic I didn't see him. Recognize those situations and be extra carefull. Add some lateral movement, does help but still don't count on them seeing you!

Trust no one on 4 wheels.
 

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Spec can you elaborate on this?
7. Lateral movement is key to break up an oncoming bike's profile. Even with all the Hi-Viz whatever a bike is still hard to locate in front of a car.

How and when do you apply this?
Here is a video that describes The Weave (in addition to other tips)
http://www.youtube.com/embed/eqQBubilSXU


There is some good information in it on "how to be seen".
 

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i cut a Goldwing off when i was 19. that was the day i learned to shoulder check every time i change lanes. the rider was firm but fair. i'm not so plesant when i get cut off, but i definately ride like the cars are trying to kill me. not so bad on the KLR but you gotta be paying attention on the zx11.
 

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Spec can you elaborate on this?
7. Lateral movement is key to break up an oncoming bike's profile. Even with all the Hi-Viz whatever a bike is still hard to locate in front of a car.

How and when do you apply this?
I was going to mention that if someone else didn't bring it up.

The problem you're trying to resolve is to make sure that you don't blend in with the background. I agree that the worst case is the one mentioned where there is a semi behind the motorcycle and nothing distinguishes the motorcycle from the semi from where the car driver is located. But it can also happen with a background that isn't moving. Because motorcycles are so narrow, a car driver often won't detect movement - or the perception of it getting larger - until the motorcycle is much closer than a wider vehicle. In other words, the motorcycle doesn't get noticed as soon as a car, which in turn doesn't get noticed as soon as a dump truck or semi.

So what you can do as a motorcyclist is to move back and forth in your lane as you approach anybody who could potentially pull out in front of you. You don't need to make a sudden movement, but moving from one side of the lane to the other over two or three seconds, then moving back is enough to get noticed.

When I'm riding a motorcycle, I'm constantly looking for ANY vehicle that could possibly invade my space. I pay special attention to them until I'm past them and they're no longer a potential threat. Side to side motion is normally enough to get noticed. If the vehicle starts creeping forward anyway, or especially those making a right turn on red into my path, I'll switch from low beam to high beam until I'm past them. This is easy on my KTM (and on the Ducatis that I used to ride) because there is a flash-to-pass switch that I can just grab with my left index finger. The Honda doesn't have one of those, annoyingly. Does the KLR have one?

Although I wear a solid yellow helmet and put on a fluorescent vest for longer distances, I don't count on bright colors alone to get noticed. I make sure that my movement and occasional use of the high beam also helps me get noticed.

And for the record, the last time I had a close call with a car pulling into my path was in 1986. Most of that is from me learning how to identify threats before they become serious, but it's also from knowing how to get noticed by those threats before the situation becomes serious.
 

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Years ago I did a left hand turn and cut a guy off.. I didn't see him, and luckily he saw me and came to a stop in time.. I felt like crap, but I also learned from it.. I've had it happen to me on the bike a few times, and this time I was on the other side.. Very educational..

And many of the older users here remember when I was run into by a 9 year old roller blader.. Luckily, I was able to stop and brace her as she ran into the front of my KLR.. Even her Dad came over a day later to apologize, and I still felt bad for her.. She only got a slight cut on her leg and her Walkman was broken, but as her Dad said, it was a good thing it was me and I as able to stop.. If she had run into an oncoming car, she might not have had it so lucky..

That one still gives me chills..
 

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I believe in paranoia on a bike....they are all out to get you. Fortune has prevented me from ever cutting of a bike. I am hyper alert for them. I have driven a semi on the road and it makes you realize how fragile the cars and bike around you really are. This is why I loathe aggressive semi drivers. Too many guys driving anything have their perception of their manhood tied up in not being passed or in retaking the lead if they are passed. I laugh and wish them a happy ticket. Aggressive bikers, I totally let it go and let them zoom on or around. The fools care less for their lives than I do. On the flip side, there are those who feel their mission in life is to make everyone behind them obey the speed limit or slower. Get in the damn right lane where you belong. What if one of those you are holding back is trying to get to a hospital? Even if those people behind you just want to speed, it isn't your place to hold them back. I would bet You don't hold back when it suits your purposes.

Lord knows I am not perfect. Yet, I try to avoid the behaviors described above. Be careful guys. I do not want to read on here that one of you was killed in a crash.
 

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This is what I like about this forum. Most posters on other motorcycle forums have a victim mentality. They forget cars pull out in front of cars to, and if they think about most of them have done it at least once in there life.
 

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This is easy on my KTM (and on the Ducatis that I used to ride) because there is a flash-to-pass switch that I can just grab with my left index finger. The Honda doesn't have one of those, annoyingly. Does the KLR have one?
Good to see you again, Scott. Did you get rid of your Ducatis???
 

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Good to see you again, Scott. Did you get rid of your Ducatis???
Sold them both last summer. I now have just the XR650L plus a KTM 990 Adventure.

I never rode the 888 Superbike and was always worried about scratching it, so I sold it to someone who would take better care of it and who really wanted it. Then, with a bit of cash available, I started looking around and bought the KTM. At that point, the ST2 was now pretty much redundant, so I sold that too. The KTM works very well for every type of riding that I like to do, even if it doesn't look nor sound quite as good as a Ducati.
 
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