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Just an opinion

Discussion in '24-7 Lounge' started by Trout, Oct 16, 2012.

  1. Trout

    Trout GT Reference

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    I started this in reply to the Sidestand rotary switch thread but it became apparent that it I was getting away from the topic.

    The old Ambassadors side stand spring would get weak and fall off. I pogo'd (new word: Like a pogo stick)thru a left curve one time that increased my heart rate by quite a bit.

    As far as the "safety" end goes if you are into a curve at any speed and the stand is down (because you left it down or the spring went away) that kill switch is not going to make a difference.

    As riders are we not responsible for knowing how to operate our machines?

    It's my opinion that in general we have become too dependent on laws and things that protect us from ourselves. There is a whole new generation of riders demanding more & more technology to protect "us". The cry is: Build us bigger engines with more horsepower, let us go faster because we have armor clothing and big insurance policy's but you need to build in all kinds of stuff so we don't get seriously injured or we will sue you for our stupidity. We want traction control & anti-lock brakes & side stand switches and rev limiters and........

    How many riders actually do a safety check before riding?

    I love seeing chains waving in the air or so rusted it's squeaking. Bald tires, leaking fork seals, smoke coming off engines from oil leaks. Just this past Sunday I pulled up along side of another rider & pointed to his engine smoking. He just smiled, shrugged and said "Yeah I know got an oil leak from pushin it too hard a few weeks ago." Cool so just crash & burn behind me baby, the rear tire was covered in oil.

    Do you look for the neutral light to know you are out of gear?

    I know what gear I'm in by the sound of the engine so I know how many clicks down is neutral. Sitting still with the engine running just let that clutch out a little & see if it pulls.

    Is it really that hard to rock the bike to see if it is in gear before hitting the button?
    It was always funny to me in the time before the "electric foot" when somebody would jump on the kick starter and the bike would flop over because it was in gear. Usually only happened once to the same person. Before all the safety stuff I saw guys with electric start do the same thing which was even funnier because at times the engine would start. You learned or you got hurt or you quit riding but because people are lazy and cry loudly we had to have clutch switches and neutral switches. I say know your machine, learn to ride and take responsibility or pay the price.

    How quick can you stop your bike?
    Take a Sunday and some chalk and a tape measure and go find an empty parking lot to improve your braking skills. Take along some other riders and turn it into a contest.
    Then spread some dirt and do it again.

    How tight can you do figure eights?

    How slow can you ride in a straight line?

    Chalk line 30 feet of parallel lines 6" apart keep your tires between the lines, go slow and then faster speeds.

    Can you back your bike up in dirt, wet grass, soft sand, loose gravel without sitting on the saddle?

    Do you look through a curve?

    Do you turn your head and visibly look when changing lanes?

    These are all basic skills that make better & safe riders. The rider training courses I've observed are a joke, people are getting license that can barely shift properly let alone stop without falling over, it's a license mill producing an income but not quality riders.
    And that's why we have to have "safety" stuff.

    Who taught you how to ride?
    Who have you taught to ride?

    Live to ride & ride to live.
     
  2. pokeyjoe

    pokeyjoe High Miler

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    Go take a look at a new bike and see how many warning labels there are. I believe I counted 14. There was one up
    by the handlebars that said something about not letting anything fall down in the works and impede your ability to turn the handlebars. Nice. Anti-litigation tactics I'm sure, but apparently people without any common sense need to be warned. One of my favorite quotes: "I say we remove all the warning labels and let things work themselves out."
     
  3. Rafael

    Rafael GT Reference

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    That's how I see the DMV drivers tests for 4 and 2 wheels! It too easy to get a drivers license and redundant and over cautious road signs are the result. All the extra signs demanded by residents near a frequent accident area, or decided necessary by a traffic engineer, because of incompetent drivers can't remember a basic driving rules. Such as, at a traffic light, " stop for a red light before making a right turn". WTF?

    I tend to forget the warning labels and the safety stuff on bikes since I started driving before lots of that stuff and started driving.

    My favorite psudo safety exclamation is "Loud pipes save lives". or what ever it is. There's usually a handful of examples of reckless or lack of judgement behavior that can be spotted right off by the bearer of that attitude. First to mind is an 800+ pound bike.

    Early on in my driving career, I left my side stand down a couple of times and was notified by a bystander. So, I decided to figure out how the bike might respond to a sidestand impact. Basically I left the sidestand down with the bikes weight on it and let out the clutch. If the sidestand doesn't retract a pole vault effect is most likely.
    My SP has a Norton sidestand with a custom bracket. The sidestand extends far enough out and only slightly forward so it hesitates a little and then almost immediately retracts.
    Can't remember if I tried it on my eldo, too long ago.
    Tontis have a PITA self-retracting side stand, so not an issue. Can't remember how the Harper's sidestand fared either.

    Hopefully when we have a laps of some sort, we'll learn from it and not pay with our lives. I was lucky last year with an incident, lets call it a laps of attention. I've become more thoughtful about sight seeing.

    Yup, first line of defense are your skills.
     
  4. Trout

    Trout GT Reference

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    Oh Yeah! The 2011 Cali had stickers all over and they are a treat to peel off. I gotta admit I agree with the quote.

    I remember as a kid that the most common observation concerning a two wheeler was that they were dangerous. Maybe that was enough to keep most people away from them but for me it was an invitation.

    I've gotten old and jaded about a lot of things like organized sports I say take away all that protective gear and play ball like the Cherokee did. You know the risk before walking onto the field, you're making big bucks so take your chance. Nascar? What a joke. Everybody is running engines from the same company, same frames etc to me it is no more than the old wrestling match with the winner decided before the bell. I liked it when a Ford was a ford and a Chevy was a chevy and it took real skill and a real head mechanic to make a winner. Nascar is just a reality show.

    I met a young guy who was on his third Triumph Speed Triple. Why? He financed it, bought state of the art armor clothing, insured it to the max and then rode it till he crashed. Just slip slidin away ..... The insurance company bought him a new one and clothes so why should he care. If you didn't work for it how can you appreciate it?

    The answer is you don't so it gets abused and people sue and big awards are granted and then laws are passed & we end up with safety stuff that we don't really need if you are a responsible person.
     
  5. ett

    ett Cruisin' Guzzisti GT Contributor

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    I understand where you're coming from.
    I've joked many a time. That if you want better drivers on the roads; replace the air bag in the steering wheel with some Punji sticks.
    That will either make people pay attention to their driving and surroundings or get rid of the ones that don't. :lol:
     
  6. Roblatt

    Roblatt High Miler

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    Trout,

    the easy answer to all your questions is if you're in tune with your machine you will know without any test, just by feel or sound. Of course this is old school and many people don't posses the sixth sense any longer.

    Problem is we live in a world where someone else is always accountable for our own stupidity. When I was younger, we made mistakes and learned. Today we make mistakes and find someone to sue.

    So everything from road laws to licensing is dumbed down to the lowest common denominator so the rest of us need to suffer. (someone I know just sued their local council successfully because said person tripped over on a crack in the concrete)

    Our vehicles' bells and whistles make the trips more comfortable (and safe sometimes) but they also work towards the operator losing control skills. When I recently updated my car, I went for an older vehicle with a real gear stick (no paddle shift garbage) and a clutch because I don't want to lose the feeling of "driving".

    And 'ett', I've long said that all drivers airbags should be replaced by a steel spike. I'm glad I'm not the only one.

    As for bikes, you won't see me on electric or automatic. The warning labels are nothing more than bad decorations.


    cheers

    Robert
     
  7. Trout

    Trout GT Reference

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    Speaking of bells and whistles & more scary stuff: Google & the state of California will be testing cars equipped with a Google Auto Pilot feature in 2013 based on using GPS. Cars will also have the ability to "daisy chain" together on interstates & their computers will talk to each other leaving drivers free to sleep, watch video, read or ......
     

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