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Discussion Starter #1
Maybe there should be a thread of "I messed up" close calls, maybe it can prevent something worse.

I had a scare the other day that I'll know to watch out for now, maybe somebody else will as well after reading mine.

I was following a really tall truck, too closely I guess, and wasn't thinking how and where it was obstructing my view,
suddenly a traffic light that was already fully red came out from above the trailer, too late for me to stop.
No telling how long it had been red.

The lesson I will keep in mind isn't just to watch out for this same situation,
but also for the same hazard as a rider on the side street,
if I ever see a real tall truck go thru the intersection last before the light changes,
I'll remember to be watching for the vehicle 2 seconds behind him, unaware of the red light
Here you go:

Considering that human beings are resistant to change and do not easily learn from mistakes and/or near miss or crash experiences that quite possibly could have been avoided, have you had a near miss or crash and what did you learn from it?
FYI: Motorcycle Roadcraft, The Police Rider's Handbook to Better Motorcycling indicates that we are very much likely to repeat mistakes if we do not learn from them.

I'll begin:
I was coming up upon an green trafffic light at a "T" in the road. The side road abutted a gas station and a car was at the apron of the exit with a blinker on indicating he would turn left in the opposite direction of the light. I took all that in and continued on toward the light when out of nowhere the guy turns right and zooms around the bend into my lane of travel. No-one being behind me and traffic in the lane to my left I was able to safely stop and then resume travel.

Lesson learned:
LOOK AT THE WHEELS OF CARS!!!
 

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Official Ass Tweaker
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1,804 Posts
I'll play :D

(Does not apply to on ramps.)

When approaching a T junction or four way which has a Yield sign and limited visibility, plan on making the stop and don't think about rolling through.

When you get down to the last bike length, in first or second, and with the clutch pulled and brakes on is the time to decide. At this point it's easy to just stop as planned, or to let off the brakes and dump the clutch to roll through.

It's not necessarily so easy to convert an intended roll through to a stop, as I found some years ago when I first started riding again.

At this point I had maybe a hundred miles under my belt, and of course the head was filled with everything I was trying to remember.

I came to a four way Yield, which had good visibility except to the right. Confidently anticipating a roll through, I approached in second gear. About two bike lengths from the line, a cage appeared from the right.

Changing my mind, I hit the brakes hard, and stopped safely.

Unfortunately, I forgot to pull the clutch, so the bike stalled out, and stopped even faster than I had intended.

As I was thinking 'Sheiss', I noticed the bike was starting to lean. I'd also forgotten to put a foot down :D

I got a foot down fast enough to step off the falling bike, but not fast enough to stop it gently rolling over.

All of which would not have been nearly so embarassing had there not been about 200 bikers at the filling station wetting themselves with laughter :rofl::rofl::rofl:

So plan to stop. It's a lot easier to change your mind and roll through than it is to do it the other way around :D
 

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Just passing thru
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6,636 Posts
I was on a road trip and pulled into a town that I have been to before. I was looking for the Diner where I was to meet up with some people. It was dark and I was in a part of town that I was not familiar with so I pulled up to a car that two women just got into and asked for directions to the diner. They knew where it was and proceeded to tell me with a smile that it was the opposite direction,so feeling good that the cuties were all smiles and I knew where to go I pulled up a bit and proceeded to cut a U-turn. Well with the handlebars at full lock I tapped my front brake due to a pothole in the road and my bike started to fall over in the middle of main street in front of the girls I had just impressed. Shear embarrassment gave me enough strength to hold her up with the engine screaming because I had no time to readjust my grip (clutch was in at this point) and went on my way mad at myself for being overly confident. I would like to clarify my point. Motorcycles have a way of putting you in your place and humbling the most brazen people. Ride safe! Pete and Lil, great tips.
 

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......My Title......
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I was once fairly close to being rear ended, I happened to look in the mirror and saw a van not slowing down while I was stopped waitiing to turn left (no turning lane) It's a good think I saw him coming up because he never did slow down, he would have just plowed over me. I was sitting there in nuetral and quickly slammed er in first and took off down the road.

lesson learned: while waiting to turn with no turning lane, make sure and check your mirrors and keep it in first gear
 

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On a ride
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4,996 Posts
I'm a re-entry rider, giving up two wheels for almost 15 years while raising the four young'ns. Back in '98 when I re-entered, I got caught unprepared for a sharp left-hander and fixated on the right shoulder where I was heading. I scrubbed off enough speed to be at 10mph before hitting some deep shoulder sand. The heavy Valkyrie sunk in the sand and dropped to the left super fast, with the left handlebar slamming into my thigh. No bike damage but a nice deep bruise/knot in the thigh from the handlebar.

Lessons... 1). Dont snooze at the controls and 2). Look where you want to go, not where you are going. Of course #1 is valuable, but #2 is taught at all rider courses and is perhaps one of the best tips for anyone riding a motorcycle, whether on the street or track.
 

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STAND AND FIGHT!
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13,182 Posts
Nearly the last hazard on my commute home may be the worst, sitting on a busy two lane 70 mph rural hwy trying to turn left, day after day after day. The biggest risk isn't the first car behind me who sees me clearly and swerves around me at the last minute, in the 2 ft wide emergency lane, the guy who worries me is the second or third car, especially if it's behind a truck that obscures the driver's view. It worries me a lot that somebody will plow into me. A half mile earlier up the road is a gas station on my side of the road. So that I have some choice in this matter, and not rely on dumb luck, I am in the habit now, if there is traffic close enough behind me that they will overtake me while I wait for my turn, I pull over in that gas station entrance, and then pull back out when the road is clear for a while, so I don't have a squadron of high speed cars swooping close past me every day.

Lesson is anticipate the hazard,
try hard to be somewhere else when the pinch point comes together.
 

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He was in the left hand lane of a 3 lane road and i was in the right side of the right hand lane ,he made a right turn into me and as I saw him I stood on the back brake out of old habit then released the brake and grabbed the front and then stood on the rear.he stopped at the entrance into the gas station he was headed for and hit his lt bumper corner with the right middle of my bike,Had I hit the front brake first and swerved left I would have missed him totally,instead of crushing my rt leg and totaling my scoot.lesson learned always hit the front brake while driving so it becomes habit.Works for me ,I have been practicing this driving style for 6 months now and can stop 7-10 feet quicker than before as a result of braking practice.
 

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Official Ass Tweaker
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You are drunk.

No - I don't mean what you think. I mean you are still drunk in the morning.

80% of all DUI stops happen between 8 and 11 o'clock in the morning.

If you have had a good night you are drunk in the morning.

If you have had a really good night - spirits till the early hours - then you are drunk all day next day.

Trust me on this. I drank with a Canadian cousin who I hadn't seen for 30 years till God knows when in the morning.

The next day I got up feeling perfectly OK and drove off.

Four hours later I was stopped for speeding, breath tested and arrested for DUI.

Twice over the limit.

I'll repeat the statistic - 80% of all DUI stops happen between 8 and 11 in the morning.

If you have had a good night - leave the bike home.
 

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STAND AND FIGHT!
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13,182 Posts
Twice while riding in pretty dense commuter traffic, but still at 60 or 65, I signalled to change lanes, checked my mirror to see that no vehicles are there or approaching within a reasonable distance, glanced briefly over my shoulder to assure myself nobody's in my blind spot, and gone to make the lane change only to very nearly get smashed into by a vehicle travelling twice the speed of traffic, that has approached so fast, and/or cut across so many lanes, that my inspection of what I thought was my zone of concern did not include them. They would probably have been visible, but at a range of more than quarter to a half mile back, and/or 2 lanes off to one side or the other, so that unless I had watched traffic way back there for longer than I usually want to divert my eyes from the front, I would have had a very hard time realizing they were closing in on me that fast.

If I could wave my magic wand and shazam high-tech motorcyclin' gadgets into life, a couple I'd like to see are a small, LCD rearview closed circuit camera, like 3x4" out of my line of vision just for an ongoing subliminal awareness of what's behind me, and a sensor of some kind with a warning signal, a light that would flash in the corner of the screen to warn that something was approaching at way above my speed.

While I'm daydreaming about gadgets, If I did have a small screen to mount out of direct line of sight, but in a place where I could see it peripherally, I'd like to have another one adjacent to it that would be a telefoto view of the road in front, about twice as far ahead as I have clear discernment, but it would not be a realtime video feed, jumping around, but a still image slideshow updating every second, so subtle hazards, potholes, low lying road junk the same color as the road, critter moosh, etc would be an image standing still for an instant, to give an extra chance of threat recognition, and at an extra distance away. That view could be black & white, or even better, an infra-red type view like I've seen a new Mercedes has, it gives a wierd B&W image even in total darkness, but the image isn't distorted by hot spots, like an infra-red projection beam must be modulated and the returning image filtered so the warm objects aren't white.
 

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2007 Ultra Classic
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This whole rolling through a stop bit me in the butt a couple of weeks ago. A friend and I were riding and he pased me on the right, slowed to make a right turn and then started going. I looked to the left and it was clear so I kept rolling slowly.

Yep. He stopped again when he got the sun in his eyes and couldn't be sure. I got his taillight and saddlebag when I couldn't stop quick enough.

Practice the stop first and then roll, like Pete suggests; rather than the roll first and then stop if needed.
 

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COB
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1,984 Posts
This whole rolling through a stop bit me in the butt a couple of weeks ago. A friend and I were riding and he pased me on the right, slowed to make a right turn and then started going. I looked to the left and it was clear so I kept rolling slowly.

Yep. He stopped again when he got the sun in his eyes and couldn't be sure. I got his taillight and saddlebag when I couldn't stop quick enough.

Practice the stop first and then roll, like Pete suggests; rather than the roll first and then stop if needed.

I get lazy and start rolling stop signs. It is sure to bite you eventually.
 

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COB
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I habitually focus too much on what is right in front of my bike when I am riding hard. I know I do this and have to force myself to scan. I have almost hit things at a high rate of speed (for the road) many times.
 

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......My Title......
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I habitually focus too much on what is right in front of my bike when I am riding hard. I know I do this and have to force myself to scan. I have almost hit things at a high rate of speed (for the road) many times.
being that I ride thru a state park to get home and there are many deer I've learned awhile ago in a car or bike to scan for deer and other animals.
 
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