Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

bar-end mirrors, riderscan, technique?

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Masakali, Jul 2, 2012.

  1. Was wondering if anybody else has this problem?

    I find that because I'm a learner, riding slow, and not as fast as traffic, particularly on wet days, that cars/bikes in my lane behind me, accelerate quickly behind me, then change to right/left lane at last second, and pass me very quickly.

    This hasn't caused any problems so far, as my head checks tell me they are there so I haven't merged into them. BUT, I don't like being surprised like that, and it feels like they have come out of nowhere. This never happened while in a car, because I could usually see them in my rear-vision.

    Do many others have this problem?

    I was thinking of either bar-end mirrors or a riderscan to help. Or is there a technique I'm missing.

  2. Just look in your mirrors and try to be aware of the cars around you, including behind. That or start being faster than everyone else and you'll never get passed :p
  3. 1. You have a LOT more grip than you think, in the wet. Make a point of practising in the rain in quiet areas to build your confidence. Smooth inputs (throttle, brake and steering) are the key...

    2. Moving "slightly faster than the traffic" will stop people sneaking up on you, obviously, and is a VERY safe way to ride - I believe motorcycle police are taught this way... A mentor and good friend of mine calls it "Making progress", and that's how I think about it when I'm commuting. You don't have to blitz traffic, just move a little faster - 10-15Km/h tops...
    Even then, you need to buffer like a madman and keep a couple of exits up your sleeve at all times. But since you're the one "sneaking up", you have the perfect opportunity to get yourself OUT of their blind spots and IN to their mirrors, etc...
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Masakali, I had the same issues when I started riding. My first bike was a VTR250 and no matter what I tried I just couldn't get the mirrors in the right position to give me a view of cars behind me.

    On my current bike the mirrors are much better and I position them so I just catch the tip of my elbow in them. I find this helps me get a good understanding of where I stand relative to the car behind me. I also tend to ride off center in the lane. I find this helps me see the cars behind me much better as I get the view of the entire lane. Sometimes when I ride in the center I still get the occasional sneak attack because my mirror configuration creates a blind spot.

    So try fidling with the mirrors first, if they are just not good enough maybe investigate bar ends.

    Mirrors are just half the story however, the above posts cover riding strategies which are just as important.

    oh yeah and remember head check and then head check again before making a move.

    Good luck
  5. The wet road isn't likely to give you any dramas taking off from lights, unless you hit a very treacherous spot or a painted line. And even then, the rear wheel will spin for a sec.
    Of course, braking is a different story altogether.

    So ride off from the lights positively. That'll keep them off your Rear.

    Once they finally get back up to you, they may not feel the need to pass you as often.

    What you are experiencing is typical. Nothing new....and you'll get used to it. :)
    • Like Like x 1
  6. "Bingle's Bingle".
  7. This is very good advice, but there are still times when you can't or don't want to be going faster than the traffic. This could be due to your confidence (which will improve), skills (which will keep improving, hopefully at least as fast as the confidence), conditions, speed cameras, etc. You still want to be safe, and you can't stop other people being dickheads.
    I just bought a bike with bar-end mirrors, and they do help a lot. But before you give up on your current mirrors, make sure they're adjusted properly. I find that for best visibility of what's behind, they need to be pointed in more than you would expect - i.e. with your body actually blocking 1/3 to 1/4 of the mirror. And get in the habit of checking your mirrors every few seconds, even when you "know" there's nothing there.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Stay in the left lane and always scan your mirrors and look around you at all times, so you know whats behind you/next to you/in front of you.

    then you won't be so surprised when someone decides to overtake.

    of course you're going to be slower as a learner, and wet roads aren't always great.. but you shouldn't be surprised when someone passes you if you're always scanning your mirrors etc.. and looking.
  9. Thanks everyone. Trying different mirror positions daily, have got the left mirror in a place I really like, but can't get the right to match #@$%!, mirror adjustment seems to be a complicated science on a bike!

    I do try to ride a little faster than everyone else, this problem usually only occurs I guess in the wet when there is more distractions, and a car is very quickly accelerating behind me and overtaking at the last minute. It's a minimal issue, I just don't like experiencing, "where-t-f did they come from!".
  10. Im a newbie myself and didnt like not being able to see behind me either.. and my mirrors really limited it...
    I went to supercheap and bought a $4 2inch diameter blind spot convex mirror which takes 1/4 of the space of my left mirror on the outer most edge..
    ITS A WHOLE NEW WORLD! i can see directly behind me from the left mirror but also am able to push the left mirror out a bit more as well gaining more view again..

    If your mirror has the space i suggest taking the dive and investing $4 on one of these.. if it doesnt work.. or causes a new issue for you that you dont like then it will only take a dig in the back of the couch to recoup your costs :)
  11. I have something similar. They don't substitute for a head check, but they give you a glimpse of what you're checking for. I've had a few cars sneak under my guard and the sub-mirrors have picked them up when they're about two or three metres behind me in the adjacent lane. Cheap safety aid.
  12. No. wont sub for a head check any day.. but im more looking at getting that "bend" around my shoulder and directly behind me.. cant head check there unless you are starring on the exorcist :)
  13. I'm wondering if anyone experienced with bar end mirrors and normal mirrors on the same bike can give a clear opinion of whether the bar end mirrors give better visibility around your elbows/shoulders??? There are lots of different bits of advice, including the idea of the blind spot add-on, but I'm struggling to find something clear about whether the bar end mirrors solve the problem.

  14. I have tried both the bar end mirrors and blind spot stick ons. Not a fan of either. I agree with the threads that say, practice your riding in the rain, adjust your mirrors to the point that you can see by just scanning with your eyes and check your mirrors and blind spots frequently. The more that you practice this, the better you will get at this. Also, make sure that your helmet is just on top of your eyebrows. Alot of new riders have the chin up too high and this makes it hard to see. Cheers and good riding.
  15. The mirrors on my ER6n are an unusual shape that happens to fit a round blind spot mirror quite neatly in the outer edge. I stuck on a couple today and tried them out. I'd rather the image was bigger, but I can definitely get the field of view behind me now, and at night it should be enough to easily pick up headlights.

    Certainly the cheapest first option to try anyway.
  16. Bar end mirrors are shit and usually illegal. Just move slowly in your lane and it will be fine
  17. I adjust my mirrors so that I can barely see my elbow. When I need to look behind I just move my head to the side and tuck my arm in. Don't try and adjust your mirrors so that you can see what's behind you while you are sitting inline with the bike, you increase your blindspot that way.
  18. Possibly.

    You may not be using your peripheral vision.

    Please note, this is not a substitute for actually "looking" in your mirrors, but, while you are looking straight ahead, if you can take a "wide angle" view, you can actually see, as in, be aware of, your mirrors. (Obviously assuming the mirrors are reasonably set up.)

    You won't see detail doing this, but you will notice changes and movements, which you can then look directly into the mirror to establish what is happening.

    This is in addition to head checks and looking in the mirrors.
  19. Is the problem mainly that you can't see behind you?
    I had that problem with my newer bike an considered bar end mirrors in addition to the main ones but ended up fitting mirror extenders instead. Problem was solved and it's a huge difference riding knowing what's behind me.
  20. I don't know how this got resurrected, it was almost 2 years ago!

    Got over the problem pretty quickly within a month, just a combination of experience and learning where you need your mirrors positioned on each bike. Actually had this issue for a few days of the new bike trying to adjust to the new angles of the bike.