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05-17-2015, 10:54 PM,
#1
Staying safe
Hey guys. I have been riding bikes for over 40 years. I just joined the forum after buying a 2001 v star 650 classic. I consider myself a safe rider. I always wear a helmet and don't take unnecessary risks while riding. I will be 62 y/o this week and still enjoy riding. As everyone here knows the folks in cages seem to be more distracted while driving as time goes by. I would like to know what things you do to make yourself more noticeable to the cagers. I'm thinking of some bright LED lights on the back of my helmet and on the front of my bike also. I would really like to know what you do to make yourself more noticed while riding. Stay safe everyone.
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05-17-2015, 11:19 PM,
#2
RE: Staying safe
I've added bar-end turn signals, extra brake and rear turn signals, a brake light modulator, and a headlight modulator. I've noticed that traffic sees me sooner when I have the big black bat wing on providing a backdrop for the modulated headlight so I always use the bat wing now. I always wear a helmet and gloves, long pants, and almost always a mesh or leather jacket, depending on the weather.

Bottom line, though, is all of this stuff is nothing compared to the best safety device on the bike...the gray matter inside the helmet. Wink

I always ride as if I expect everyone around me to do something stupid...sadly I'm disappointed less often than I'd like. :)

I actively look for ways things could go wrong...am I in a clear lane but the lane to one side or the other is almost at a stand still where somebody trying to turn can't see me behind what they think is stopped traffic? If so...slow down. Etc., etc. If you've been riding 40 years without an accident chances are you're doing all of these kinds of things already.

John
===========================
2011 V-Star 650 Custom (new in fall 2013)
V&H Cruzer Pipes, Memphis Shades Bat Wing, Floorboards, Highway Bars,
Locking Bags, Tail Rack, LED Signals & Aux Brake Lights, Headlight Modulator,
Brake Light Modulator, 5/8" Gel Pad Under Upholstery.
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05-18-2015, 11:45 AM,
#3
RE: Staying safe
Thanks John. You sound like you approach riding the same way I do. I will look into the headlight modulator for my Vstar. I had one on another bike yeas ago and I noticed people flashing the lights at me so I know they saw me.
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05-18-2015, 12:47 PM,
#4
RE: Staying safe
sylvania silver star headlight, highway lights, cobra exhaust system, kuryakyn tombstone led brake light. lights and sounds for them and at times still does not work, so have aftermarket horn that is a lot louder!
2006 VStar Stratoliner, Freedom Performance split dual exhaust, Mustang seats, Sissy bar with back rack, bolted saddlebags to mounts.
Life's tough .. it's even tougher if you're stupid. - John Wayne

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06-09-2015, 03:33 AM,
#5
RE: Staying safe
Don't wear black, ride a black bike, on black asphalt.

Sent from my QTAQZ3 using Tapatalk
There is great need for a sarcasm font.
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06-09-2015, 07:24 AM, (This post was last modified: 06-09-2015, 07:33 AM by pauli466.)
#6
RE: Staying safe
i always use a helmet gloves and a leather jacket with a zip liner. i'v added a brake light modulator and passing lamps but you just can't beat good ole common sense as john has said. also a little luck wouldn't hurt.
if you learn patience with unattentive drivers you will survive. riding angry because someone didn't see you and darn near dropped you, can get you dead quick be patient and tolerant!!! pull over when angry and regroup.

(05-17-2015, 11:19 PM)OldePhart Wrote: I've added bar-end turn signals, extra brake and rear turn signals, a brake light modulator, and a headlight modulator. I've noticed that traffic sees me sooner when I have the big black bat wing on providing a backdrop for the modulated headlight so I always use the bat wing now. I always wear a helmet and gloves, long pants, and almost always a mesh or leather jacket, depending on the weather.

Bottom line, though, is all of this stuff is nothing compared to the best safety device on the bike...the gray matter inside the helmet. Wink

I always ride as if I expect everyone around me to do something stupid...sadly I'm disappointed less often than I'd like. :)

I actively look for ways things could go wrong...am I in a clear lane but the lane to one side or the other is almost at a stand still where somebody trying to turn can't see me behind what they think is stopped traffic? If so...slow down. Etc., etc. If you've been riding 40 years without an accident chances are you're doing all of these kinds of things already.

John
i disconnected my headlight modulator because to many cars were interpreting it as a go ahead signal. darn near killed me once.
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06-09-2015, 09:46 AM,
#7
RE: Staying safe
(06-09-2015, 07:24 AM)pauli466 Wrote: i disconnected my headlight modulator because to many cars were interpreting it as a go ahead signal. darn near killed me once.

That seems to be a common theme up in the northeast part of the country. Down here it's extremely rare to see anybody flash headlights as a "go ahead" signal.

I do turn it off when I'm being passed by a truck because the flash for "you're clear" is pretty common all over the country and I don't want the driver to glance in his mirror and think I'm telling him that his rig has cleared me. I also usually turn it off on the freeway for much the same reason and because there is much less chance of somebody pulling out in front of you unexpectedly, there.

On surface streets and two-lane highways though I can definitely tell that people see me much sooner with the headlight being modulated and with the bat wing on then they do if I turn the modulator off or remove the bat wing.

On the bat wing my theory is that it makes the bike look closer and larger and possibly that it provides a good contrasting background for the headlight.
===========================
2011 V-Star 650 Custom (new in fall 2013)
V&H Cruzer Pipes, Memphis Shades Bat Wing, Floorboards, Highway Bars,
Locking Bags, Tail Rack, LED Signals & Aux Brake Lights, Headlight Modulator,
Brake Light Modulator, 5/8" Gel Pad Under Upholstery.
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07-06-2015, 02:34 AM,
#8
RE: Staying safe
Snaykbite is right. All blacked out to see yourself in a plate glass reflection (come on, we all do it), or wearing very hi visibility helmets & jackets is a much safer option. Getting double takes so often is priceless eye contact. The high vis gear is flying off the shelves both online & local shops. So I end up looking like "Lightening Bug Man", I guess it's a question of being cool in one's own mind, or keeping bones and spinal cords intact! My wife deserves the latter, she doesn't worry near as much & she is the only person I need to look cool for anyway~! JMUO
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07-06-2015, 07:23 AM,
#9
RE: Staying safe
(07-06-2015, 02:34 AM)davonwav Wrote: Snaykbite is right. All blacked out to see yourself in a plate glass reflection (come on, we all do it), or wearing very hi visibility helmets & jackets is a much safer option. Getting double takes so often is priceless eye contact. The high vis gear is flying off the shelves both online & local shops. So I end up looking like "Lightening Bug Man", I guess it's a question of being cool in one's own mind, or keeping bones and spinal cords intact! My wife deserves the latter, she doesn't worry near as much & she is the only person I need to look cool for anyway~! JMUO
a guy said i look like a banana riding with my bright yellow jacket. i said, so you saw me pretty good did ya well thats the point. this came from a harley rider dressed in black on a dark blue bike that you wouldn't see until it went by ya.
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07-06-2015, 10:46 AM, (This post was last modified: 07-06-2015, 10:50 AM by OldePhart.)
#10
RE: Staying safe
(06-09-2015, 03:33 AM)SnaykByte Wrote: Don't wear black, ride a black bike, on black asphalt.

Sent from my QTAQZ3 using Tapatalk

There are things worse than black, though. About three cars ago I owned a compact silver car. I will never again own a silver vehicle, especially a silver bike. Silver and gray are both perfect urban camouflage; up close silver is beautiful but from 200' or so away it blends into asphalt and concrete road surfaces, glass buildings, concrete buildings, light brick buildings, and just about everything else you find in an urban area. Driving that silver car was like having a sign that said "please, pull out in front of me"...no, wait, people might have seen a sign... LOL For about two years I couldn't figure out why people kept pulling out in front of me all the time, then I read an article that claimed silver cars were more likely to be involved in an accident and why.

The other thing to avoid that seems counter-intuitive is helmets with crazy patterns. Studies have found that most motorists will correctly identify a motorcycle and rider against a "busy" background if the rider is in a solid-color helmet (even a black one, interestingly enough) more quickly than if the rider is in one of those helmets with crazy patterns even if it is brightly colored. I know from experience flying RC model planes back in the day that even very bright (as in metallic plum and fluorescent yellow) things turn to an indistinct brown smudge at any distance. The same thing happens to helmets; all those lightning bolts, swirls, zig-zags, etc. that are so pretty and eye-catching up close turn to indistinct mush at 100' or so.

In solid-color helmets I read one source that indicated that having a helmet and gear the same color as the bike helped in some cases (that study was talking about touring bikes with fairings and luggage, though, and I suspect that it's just a case of the matching helmet and jacket making the whole package look bigger at a distance). Another study indicated that it was more important that the helmet be bright or light-colored, and another found that helmets that resembled those worn by the local motor police was a huge benefit...kind of makes sense, I guess.

As far as visibility of the "fluorescent" colors goes they aren't all equally visible. If I recall correctly the "so green it's almost yellow" lime green and the orange were neck and neck for visibility, and the real yellow and hot pink came in not too far behind. I find that I personally spot a day-glo orange more quickly than the other colors...but I also wonder if motorists might not dismiss it as being a vest on a construction worker or a traffic cone and subconsciously file it as "not moving" after a (to) quick glance.

The rider's head is usually the highest thing on a bike (well, on cruisers anyway) so helping people see "head" rather than "indistinct smudge" in traffic has to go a long way toward helping one be seen.

John

(07-06-2015, 07:23 AM)pauli466 Wrote: a guy said i look like a banana riding with my bright yellow jacket. i said, so you saw me pretty good did ya well thats the point. this came from a harley rider dressed in black on a dark blue bike that you wouldn't see until it went by ya.
Heh, heh. I get that reaction a lot with my modulated headlight. I've had people next to me at a light roll down their window to tell me there is something wrong with the electrical system on my bike. I explain back that it's intentional and helps me be seen and so far every one of them has said something to the effect of "well, I guess it works." :)

John
===========================
2011 V-Star 650 Custom (new in fall 2013)
V&H Cruzer Pipes, Memphis Shades Bat Wing, Floorboards, Highway Bars,
Locking Bags, Tail Rack, LED Signals & Aux Brake Lights, Headlight Modulator,
Brake Light Modulator, 5/8" Gel Pad Under Upholstery.
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07-06-2015, 10:53 AM,
#11
RE: Staying safe
yeah @OldePhart I definitely had people giving me more space when had the retired police motorcycle than I do now, would have people slow down on the main street when I pulled up to it, people wave, hah. some day may get another so slow down the miles on blu.
2006 VStar Stratoliner, Freedom Performance split dual exhaust, Mustang seats, Sissy bar with back rack, bolted saddlebags to mounts.
Life's tough .. it's even tougher if you're stupid. - John Wayne

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07-06-2015, 08:16 PM, (This post was last modified: 07-06-2015, 08:57 PM by lesblank.)
#12
RE: Staying safe
[Image: 20150702_195406_zpsj3m2v1rt.jpg]


https://youtu.be/vg_c74xFcHM





Daily commuter in Houston Texas, hot and sticky. I use a mesh jacket (have two to rotate), mesh gloves, mesh over pants,
boots and 3/4 helmet. One main thing I did was add extra lights in the back.
I bought set of turn / stop LED strip like you see on pickups between
tailgate and bumper. The video does not show how really bright they are.
The attached picture shows how I mounted them.
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07-06-2015, 08:57 PM, (This post was last modified: 07-06-2015, 09:01 PM by OldePhart.)
#13
RE: Staying safe
(07-06-2015, 10:53 AM)Keith Wrote: yeah @OldePhart I definitely had people giving me more space when had the retired police motorcycle than I do now, would have people slow down on the main street when I pulled up to it, people wave, hah. some day may get another so slow down the miles on blu.

Heh, heh. I have a "lime yellow" long-sleeved "core" shirt that I wear sometimes if the weather is not too hot and I'm not going to be on the freeway (I wear the mesh jacket if I'm going to be on the freeway) and both of my helmets are plain white.

Anyway, turns out that some of the local moto officers wear yellow vests and white helmets, and are on bikes with a black fairing. I've had people practically stand on their brakes when I was a block away. LOL

(07-06-2015, 08:16 PM)lesblank Wrote: [Image: 20150702_195406_zpsj3m2v1rt.jpg]


https://youtu.be/vg_c74xFcHM





Daily commuter in Houston Texas, hot and sticky. I use a mesh jacket (have two to rotate), mesh gloves, mesh over pants,
boots and 3/4 helmet. One main thing I did was add extra lights in the back.
I bought set of turn / stop LED strip like you see on pickups between
tailgate and bumper. The video does not show how really bright they are.
The attached picture shows how I mounted them.
Dang, @lesblank - every time I see the back of a Classic I wish I had a Classic instead of a Custom. LOL
===========================
2011 V-Star 650 Custom (new in fall 2013)
V&H Cruzer Pipes, Memphis Shades Bat Wing, Floorboards, Highway Bars,
Locking Bags, Tail Rack, LED Signals & Aux Brake Lights, Headlight Modulator,
Brake Light Modulator, 5/8" Gel Pad Under Upholstery.
Reply
07-07-2015, 09:05 AM,
#14
RE: Staying safe
@OldePhart check with RCom he converted his to a Classic said was not that difficult.
2006 VStar Stratoliner, Freedom Performance split dual exhaust, Mustang seats, Sissy bar with back rack, bolted saddlebags to mounts.
Life's tough .. it's even tougher if you're stupid. - John Wayne

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07-12-2015, 03:59 AM,
#15
RE: Staying safe
(07-06-2015, 08:16 PM)lesblank Wrote: [Image: 20150702_195406_zpsj3m2v1rt.jpg]


https://youtu.be/vg_c74xFcHM





Daily commuter in Houston Texas, hot and sticky. I use a mesh jacket (have two to rotate), mesh gloves, mesh over pants,
boots and 3/4 helmet. One main thing I did was add extra lights in the back.
I bought set of turn / stop LED strip like you see on pickups between
tailgate and bumper. The video does not show how really bright they are.
The attached picture shows how I mounted them.
N I C E ! ! !

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk
There is great need for a sarcasm font.
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