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Twisted!!!!!!!
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1,471 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got to thinking:hmm: while reading the front tire thread and speed rating thing on tires.

I understand no one wants to discuss these things out of denial but there is an inherent risk to riding motorcycles. Especially if at any time you have felt too irresponsible about your riding. I know I do at times.

I'm riding this V-Rod like it was a lighter bike, except I still cannot wheelie the thing like I want to (keeps spinning), a stoppie seems impossible, not to mention stupid on both accounts. FEELS like the safest large bike I've had to run on the street on my whole life.

To die because of equipment failure seems shameful. Anyone cares to share experiences? I mean, stories the dead cannot tell or the live ones have shared. I saw a kid in the ER whose rear tire "blew" on a GSXR 1000. NASTY. MESSY. Very MESSY business. I am very tired of death, SICK is more like it, people wasted. I strongly believe you can ride very hard and still be safe if you stay within your abilities.

I still laugh at the loud exhaust saving lives kind of thing, just an opinion, but am having one installed. I'll do anything just so no one has to see my brains flowing out of my ears. Any input into making a safer ride will be apreciated. REAL safety inspections, what loosens up, what is it about the V-Rod or any that can kill you? What techniques does anyone use to make it a safer ride, especially around cages (cars).

Just don't tell me not to ride it like that to be safe 'cause I'd rather sell it. This type of riding is really why I love motorcycles. I always do it in a closed course with plenty of pillows around on the hospital parking lot with the trauma surgeon watching over me while wearing an armor;) :spit: . Bullshit 'cause he has one too, AND a Hayabusa.
 

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Fries with that?
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1,541 Posts
I try, try, try to save my Banzai runs for when I'm on a racetrack... but I still speed damn near all the time.

There, I'm fully armored, fully padded and the cornerworkers/medics can get to me in a matter of seconds if something happens.

Before I got into the track scene, I never really gave it a second thought. I always rode with the thought that I was invisible and that other drivers didn't give a damn - a philosophy that continues to serve me very well. I wore my leather when it was cold, and my tank top when it was hot. Rides usually began and/or ended at the local bar. I remember one summer night about six years ago blasting up and down Belmont Avenue on a friend's Road King, wearing a dress and heels. Sunday afternoons ended with a high speed blast from the state line back to the city... slicing and dicing through traffic on our Harleys as if they were sportbikes.

As the years have passed, I find I ride more aggressively than ever (I have the same comfort level and sense of control at 100 that I did at 70 five years ago), however, I have become a "convert" to the church of protective gear... to the point that I want to order myself a second set of armored leathers for the street.

I spend a lot of time on our local sportbike forum, providing counsel to new riders. The most frequently stressed points I make are

1. Dress for the crash.
2. Ride your own ride.
3. Learning never stops.
 

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Twisted!!!!!!!
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1,471 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've tried several body armor apparel and cannot get comfortable with the hot weather here. Can anyone reccomend a body armor that actually works in hot weather? I'm ready to buy without trying first because of safety concerns. HD dealer has some of their own brand name of course but I got hot in air conditioned environment even with the lining removed, of course I was standing still.

I also try to look at the car mirrors as sometimes you can tell if they already saw you or not. I also find it true that if you follow the "rules" of "safe" motorcycling you are more likely to get into an accident. If you ride at least a little faster than cages and get into the sweet spot in between groups of cars you may be less likely to get a surprise hit or bump on the road. I'd rather do a seemingly unsafe maneuver to get out of the way than to have a cage ride beside me longer than 2 seconds. A claustrophobic kind of sensation.

Can anyone ride 55 or even 70 mph for a long time without turning up the juice? I can't!
 

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Fries with that?
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1,541 Posts
Vanson and Syed both make custom-fit, fully perforated, fully armored riding gear. The perforations and venting found in the construction of these two brands is exemplary and the quality is 100% first-rate. Combined with some "Cool-Max"-type underwear, you should be comfortable.
 

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82 Posts
Eduarprmd and KBOlsen. It is just like a bunch (of us) motorheads to ignore a safety topic. That's too bad. Regardless of our coveted rods, chrome here and hp there, discussions on stunting and speed, etc, safety should be the number one thing we have in common, IMO! I love everything about the bike and culture around it. I have been 135 mph and no, not on a closed course. I wish I had a closed course to go to! I do not love anything about it enough to give up one square inch of flesh or one moment of my life over. I believe anyone and everyone who enjoys two wheeled motosports should invest in at a least semi-annual MSF course. Regardless of age I think one should have to take a course to receive a motorcycle endorsement on their drivers license.
I am a high mileage rider. My friends are high mileage riders. I've seen too much crap happen and it can happen to even the most experienced riders. In a nano second. Thanks, Eduarprmd for bringing up the topic. We can never get enough safety reminders. And btw, isn't it interesting that with over 100 views, KB was the only reponse. :thumb
 

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Riding the good life
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4,908 Posts
Eduar,

Having the same problem as you, saferty gear and hot weather, somehow, the mix seems not to go together.

Yesterday, at the dealership I picked up the latest Thunder Press mag, Jan 04, and lo and behold, there is a gal out of Las Vegas who manufactures a vest from a material you can wet, wear it without getting wet, and it acts like an air conditioner. I bought one today, and it is to be shipped to me in the next few days.

Since I distribute stuff to all types of retailers, if this sucker works, it will be a welcome addition to our product mix.

The vest was 85 bucks, and it seems the gal who makes these things might have developed something that might hit the target. In their article, they talk about wearing the vest for hours without having to rewet them, and riding in the desert, they feel like they are in a cool comfortable outfit.

The name of the outfit is Chill Out and their number in Vegas is 702.480.9297

There's a link in the mag for a web site www.chilloutdesigns.net

Tell Terry, Rich, the guy in Hawaii sent ya if you decide to get one.

I'll be wearing their vest below my Joe Rocket black and silver jacket, so I am looking forward to seeing how all this works.
 

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Riding the good life
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4,908 Posts
Now, back to the subject at hand, speed rating and tires, and safety while traveling at speeds above the normal speed limits.

While in Vegas, last year in Feb, it was tough to do the speed limit with everyone on my ass. i was doing 90 on a Road King, and being passed by construction workers in pickups with ladders and junk hanging out of their trucks. In Hawaii, going 70 sees me getting passed, and people wanting to get a sclose as possible for a look at the bike too, which causes me to nail it to get away from these jerks.

I am not too worried with safety of the bike, as i follow what MoCo puts out, and then some with my own checks. I found that each bike has its own charecteristics, and certain things tend to occur that can be found through torque checks and eye inspection.

Tires should never be left to doubt in any check, especially after a hard or long ride. Hitting potholes and road debris takes its toll on tires, and if pressure should be checked often, like every 3 tankfuls if your not traveling cross country and allowing the bike to sit a few days between rides and fill-ups.

If traveling, checking every other day will give you the tires eye view of whats going on, and once learned, a rythm can be established for knowing when to do checks. Cold weather to warm weather changes also throw a curve in too, so its best to check again if passing in temperature changes. And that is also for
torque checks for suspension. if in doubt, check it.

There is obviously more to do than what i am writing, but definitely :thumb to the motorcycle classes.

One thing is missing in them though, and that is wet pavement handling and panic stops and what occurs with the bike you are on. They show the video of the guy with the bike and the outrigger wheel set up, but I think it would be worth the bucks to actually experience it to gain the smarts about just when the control of th ebike gives out to uncontrol.

I also have been victim to high performance out of the box. What we are riding today, was not available years ago in the form of shovel heads or panheads. The V-rod is fast, and its way of moving on the street makes me feel like I can get away with a lot. But at the same time, i am not dumb enough to think I can, because the littlest mistake can cost in a major way.

If any of us has not develped a healthy respect for what can happen when mistakes do occur, the price will be paid in raw skin, broken bones and worst case death. Those that have been down before and lived to ride another day are probablly a little more aware of how fast things can go wrong, and those that have not been down yet, I hope it does not happen to you.

They say there are 2 types of riders, those that have gone down, and those that have not...yet.

Knowing that, think about it when the urge hits to twist the throttle just a bit more.
 

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Fries with that?
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1,541 Posts
(btw, I no longer drink and ride/drive/whatever - just thought I'd make that abundantly clear since I'd left that factoid out of my earlier post).

:jeannie:

Before pilots fire up their planes, they engage in a meticulous pre-flight check. It's a good practice for our bikes, too. Check your tire pressure, especially if your baby's been parked for a few days. Inflate to recommended temperatures. Eyeball the tires, checking tread depth and foreign objects.

Tire pressures should be checked when cold - BEFORE the bike is ridden. Set it and forget it for the day. The heat that builds up in the tire as it is used will cause the air to expand and pressure to increase... trust the manufacturer specs when inflating.

Turn the bike on - do all your lights work properly? Roll the bike forward and check for telltale leaks. Test the brakes as you pull out of the driveway.

Stuff like this (hopefully) is second-nature to us all by now, but it still bears repeating.
 

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Fireman/investigator
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1,965 Posts
You know, the other night, on the way to a meeting, I was on the freeway. I had just had the tank badge replaced, and the thought went through my head that it could possibly peel off. I looked down at it, and my G/F (passenger) tapped my chest. I looked up, and there was a car changing lanes into us. I backed off the throttle and moved into the other lane... felt good about it, except for the tightness in my throat and that funny metallic taste you get. So, in that blink, going 65 mph, I we could have become statistics. I have been in accidents before, just thankfully not on my beloved bike. Pedestrian, car, fire truck, mountain bike, and road bike accidents have all taken their shots. Maybe I am too accident prone to be allowed to have a motorcycle? Dont know, but I know I sure do learn a lot from you guys.

:cheers:
 

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Premium Member
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13,343 Posts
I have also had an epifany (sp?) of sorts. My wrist is a constant reminder of what can happen (even if it is my own fault). I bought a full face helmet (my first) and confess that it gives me a little more feeling of security.
But discovering that I had a foot of tire cord showing on my rear tire was a real wake-up. Really scared me. I didn't even want to drive ot to the dealer - I had them come get it.
I ride the bike to work every day its not raining. I check tire pressure every so often (usually on weekends), as well as the oil at the same time, up on the lift where I get consistent data (I confess, as I have never had to add any, in 7500 miles, it is a low priority). But I'm thinking of how many miles I drove with a very thin rear tire and it gives me the willies.
But I'm still going to drive it every chance I get. Lets just be safe ouit there. Oh yes, we ARE invisible, and the cars WANT to kill us.

Dan
 

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Twisted!!!!!!!
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1,471 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'd say that what Danii says is very true. ASSUME harm may come at all times. I used to freestyle on bicycles and did some skateboarding, have had nine casts (closed reductions) (motocross can hurt). Too many broken bones. Most before I was allowed a motorized vehicle. The last saw me with a broken humerus and complex collarbone fracture with the bone showing because it broke through the skin. That's where I learned it's what may come at you that kills most of the time. Know what? After that one while I've had crashes on bikes and several near misses I never had any major breaks again. It,s been ten years now and these have been the most intense. I am just assuming they are out to get me and pay very close attention not to get into trouble.

I kind of push the limits of my ability a lot. However there's a line and I can see it. Those are not to be crossed until after much time has passed with you being "certain" it can be done. Then you approach the problem slowly and get it done. All this time you wear protective clothing and a full face helmet, otherwise, just cruise:2cents .

I will find out about what you guys reccomend. Thanks KB and Rich for the info on protective wear.

Bagman. I guess some see the thread's name, come in and don't care to discuss, some just deny themselves the possibilities. Scary shit for some these themes are. I find controlled fear of the unknown can help you NOT to get hurt. You can do seemingly stupid things with ease and not get hurt at the same time, you just talk about it and learn.
 
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