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Dark or Light Colored Bikes - SMIDSY? Which Ones?

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by mjt57, Sep 5, 2006.

  1. I have a black bike (Blackbird). I have a black, white and grey graphic painted helmet (AGV) and a black and grey DriRider "Highway" jacket. My wife arc'ed up when I put together this "ensemble". She keeps in insisting that I should at least wear a high visibility jacket.

    Now, this begs the question: how many car/bike crashes occur between light and dark colored bikes? The poll below is for riders who've been clouted by cars whose drivers muttered the infamous "SMIDSY".
  2. Forgive the ignorance, but what is SMIDSY?

    EDIT: DOH! Sorry mate I didn't see you. The very large penny just dropped. I wouldn't have thought it wasn't a problem with lights wired on. People who nearly hit me did so because they simply didn't look. Doesn't bloody matter what you are on if they dont actually look at you.
  3. Dont worry about the colour of your gear. Just grab a bubble wrap suit.
  4. Ok, now back when I flew airplanes for the Queen, there was a study done by the military on which colour of lifejacket/raft would be more visible from the air. Historically it had always been yellow. They put a whole bunch of divers in the sea in different coloured jackets and were surprised to find it made no difference at all. That is until someone figured out that the black/white quartering on the top of the aqualung cylinder was being spotted before any of the colours. It proved irrelevant what colours were used, as it was contrast that the human eye sees first, not colour. I reckon therefore that a light and dark bike would be safest.
  5. I've never had an actual hit this way (and I hope I never do), but I wear black gear on a olive green/pearl & very shiny bike, which has 3 headlights, a loud exhaust and is about as large as a small bus.

    it doesn't make any bloody difference!
  6. I'll go with the "it doesn't make a difference" argument too. I've never been hit on the bike either, but the amount of cars almost merging into me when I'm in the Commodore says to me that they just aren't gunna look, no matter what you're driving/riding.
  7. I am unsure about the colour not making a difference.

    When I bought my first 600, it was all black and I wore black gear.

    :roll: Without a doubt every day going home cars would turn infront of me at intersections and not see me. I thought it was usual having no other experience to draw on.

    ** Until ** I bought my '00 Red White & Blue CBR 600 (very Bright). Cars turning infront of me almost dropped to never.

    It was such a dramatic change. I am sure colour/ contrast in colour made a big difference.
  8. I've seen cars pull out in front of fully-laden b-doubles before on a number of occasions (former work used to share a dead-end road with a supermarket carpark). If a driver can miss one of those then I don't think colour is going to make them notice a bike. Even emergency vehicles seem to be invisible to some drivers, despite the flashing lights.
  9. I agree, some people will never see, because they just are not looking. Always ride like every driver has your photo taped to the dashboard, there is simply no other way....
  10. +1 to that :!:
  11. So, if I say, get a spray painter to add some white graphics to my black bike and add in, I dunno, a graphic of a magpie, do you reckon that the bike would stick out like dog's balls? (or maybe, people may see it as a target that needs destroying, particularly those from Footscray....)
  12. I don't have the links on hand (if anyone asks I can try to dig them up), but a study in Auckland showed that riders wearing white helmets had a statistically significantly reduced chance of being involved in a multi-vehicle crash.

    Another source I read said that a study had shown that wearing a bright jacket improved visibility, but only against contrasting backgrounds. Can't remember any more specific details on that one, I think it was less definite.

    So I'm wearing a white helmet on a black jacket, sounds like a reasonable choice from incitatus's post and the Auckland study :)
  13. possibly the best quote re riding i have seen thus far.
  14. There should be another choice: "Any colour"

    Get a solid white helmet. It's cheaper [than one with fancy graphics] and probably as effective as getting a yellow bike.

    Yeah, if a driver doesn't bother to look, colour/contrast wouldn't matter anyway.
  15. maybe drivers TARGET motorcyclists subconsciously because they are jealous, and therefore heavily coloured helmets etc act as the bait. :shock: :LOL:
  16. Me, no accidents, black/dark grey bike, full black leathers, black/grey helmet.

    I don't think it matters if you are riding with the assumption that they didn't see you.
  17. Mate I would have to take you out!

    Nah it would look ace on a the blackbird lots of blank space to work with!