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Defensive driver = defensive rider

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by dcart3r, Jan 30, 2008.

  1. I just bought my first bike last weekend after selling my car. I've been driving for over 10 years and have always been a very defensive driver. Never had an accident, very few close calls.

    On my first ride through some back streets, I was approaching a car that had just turned across my path into a driveway. My assumption at the time was this person did not intend to park, but was in fact turning around. I slowed down slightly in response and sure enough, the car suddenly reverses quickly out of the driveway right in front of me. Being prepared, I was on the brakes with plenty of time to spare and there was no chance of an accident.

    My question is, who has made the transition from cars to bikes and either realised your defensive driving skills helped you on a bike or realised you were not at all defensive in the car and now had to be?
  2. I think all people should ride bikes for a while to make themselves better drivers. (and maybe it would make them realise what we're up against out there!)
  3. I started on a bike before i was in a car.
    when I was in a car with friends, i noticed that they were no where near as prepared or observant as I was.
    I had a friend who wanted me to teach him to ride (After I had been in the car with him) and my first advice was "don't get a bike, you are going to die!" this wasn't a statment about motorbikes, but a statment about his observation and preperation skills for encountering potential issues.
    If every one road before they drove, we would have less F#$knuckles on the road. but i fear that would be because most of em would be dead instead of having learn't something.
  4. No.

    The first vehicle I owned was a Hilux 4WD.
    Next was a Yamaha FZR250.

    Now I drive a Mazda3 or another (bigger) Hilux4WD when I'm not on the ZX6R and I have learnt this:

    The bigger you are, the more 'polite' people are to you, on the road.

    People whinge and biatch about how inconsiderate 4WD drivers are, but the simple fact is they don't like being lower on the food chain of physics - and most are happy to push around a smaller vehicle.

    So, expect the complete worst treatment from drivers when on the bike:
    1) To some of them, we are invisible [true].
    2) To some of them, we're just smaller and they feel like being arseholes.
  5. Defensive driving/riding

    I have been driving a car for 35 years but have been riding less than 6 months. (wish it was the other way round!) I always used to think I was a defensive car driver, but since riding, when I have HAD to drive a car, I have found myself driving far more defensively than I ever did in the past.

    I agree that all motorists should have to learn to ride, or at least be taken on a few trips as a pillion passenger, as part of their driver training, so they can see what things are like from the other side.
  6. As yet to be on a bike I can comment about things from the bike side, but since deciding to get a bike and a lot of reading I've been doing I've noticed that I pay better attention to what is happening around me while driving.

    Good practice I reckon LOL :p
  7. Re: Defensive driving/riding

    Amen !! :nail:
  8. I'd held a car licence for more than four years before getting on my own bike.

    Fortunately I'd been mentored by an expert and defensive driver (Roadcraft had been his bible for 40 years) and had also gained much experience from driving many miles in an assortment of dreadful and unpredictable old heaps. It's amazing how you learn to increase your survival space when you're used to having to stop 4 tons with unservoed, single circuit drums, only three out of four of which work :shock: .

    I was also taught about proper observations very early on, developing the habit of headchecking long before a bike became an option, and generally attempting to remain aware of what is going on both behind and in front of me, not to mention 500 yards up ahead.

    Overall though, I always took pride in an accident and conviction free record (still do, apart from my one and only point). There was also the small matter that this was the UK, where insurance is both compulsory and cripplingly expensive, with substantial penalty loadings if you're deemed to be a high risk. Any claims or convictions and I'd have never been able to afford to legally ride anything more than a moped again.

    So, all in all, I didn't have to make too much of an adjustment to my driving/riding when I set out on two wheels. I just had to bear in mind that the stakes were now much higher than simply being unable to afford insurance.

    I do get worried, though, when I see the majority of drivers so unaware of their surroundings that they are startled by a risky situation that I spotted building up kilometers earlier. And then fail to learn by the experience and repeat it 5, 10, 15 km down the road ad nauseum. It appears that anything more than 2m from the front of their car is invisible. And forget about awareness of anything behind :shock: .
  9. I've always driven calmly and defensively, always maintaining situational awarness. A mate says of me that I do not take off from the lights, I 'proceed'.

    Interestingly enough I have found that on a bike I need to be more aggressive to get the best out of the ride and find the safer line - and that has changed my driving to be a bit more aggressive.
  10. I prefer the Institute of Advanced Motorists phrase of "making progress". Particularly since following an IAM instructor on a K100RT from Birmingham to Bristol down the winding, bumpy A and B roads. We "made progress" to such an extent that our time for the trip was....er....quite a lot less than might have been expected if travelling at legal speeds on the straight, billiard table smooth motorway. That was FUN.
  11. maybe they need to change the driver test that all are tested on in front of the computer at vicroads be as you are sitting on a bike and not behind the wheel of a car
  12. After riding a bike for a while, my car driving has actually gotten worse I think. I'm just a lot more carefree in there, some new comparatively safe feeling of geez...how could you possibly get hurt in this? On the bike my eyes are everywhere though.
  13. A few times after constantly riding the bike for a week and a half or so without ever going in a car, I've taken off from the drive way in the car and gone, "Oh S#!7! where's my helmet?"

    But yes. I was a fairly cautious driver before I got my bike license and now I have become more defensive. I think cautious and definsive are different things though. The key difference being recoginition and perception of threats. You can go as slow as you want through corners but if your not already braking when that semi wants the space your in, it's no good.
  14. I agree 100%.

    I have driven a 4wd (Toyota RAV), my bike and my partners little coupe all in one week.

    The "respect factor" is directly absolutely related to the size of vehicle.
    People who would sneer/ gesture / ignore my bike, give way to a 4wd.
  15. See this is one of the key reasons I say humanity sucks.
    When people simply defer to the law of the jungle (Might makes right) then the whole world is F#$ked.
  16. i have also made the transition, and now drive and ride, and have noticed i have become more defencive than i was previously. Too many people not interested in concentrating on driving.

    i like the fact that us - motorcycle riders stick together on the road. I also think you can tell those who do both - ride and drive, by their statue/movements on the road.
  17. classic example of this last friday night, as the mogo sealing crew began the run home, down the clyde mountain to the bay.
    i was behind my trucks, as i had designs etc. to do on the way home so it was no surprise for me to come through the 90km/h section at the top of the clyde to find a crawling snake of traffic trying their bestest to get down the hill.
    (over uhf)
    me: is that you troy?
    troy: yeah dude, but i'll pull over and let some pass me soon.
    the slow vehicle turn out is about 6-7km from where i was, and we were already in first gear at walking pace.
    me: fark, this must be one hell of a long line, i wouldnt bother, you'll never get back out!
    troy: watch me :cool:
    troy pulls over and a bunch of cars are relieved to get past then he spots me in his mirror and i see him indicate to come back out
    me: i'll make a hole, daddy's got you ( :LOL: im always a comedian)
    troy then pulls out with about 4 cars between myself and him, not taking advantage of my the gap i created just to prove the point.
    cars brake, he gets back out, steam is clearly coming out peoples ears to not have been one of the lucky few to get past. i laugh to myself.

    me: you crazy bastard
    troy: (laughter) {i never understand why people transmit laughter over the UHF}
    kenno (another truck further down): there's nothing coming for ages joel!

    i pull out and overtake them all, possibly breaking one or two laws and to the disgust of other road users, but they dont know that i have 20kms in front and 20kms behind under surveillance :cool:

    moral of the story, size does matter :grin:
  18. I'm finishing up on my car L's, going for p's shortly.

    I get tailgated constantly in mum's Impreza. Though it's a much slower vehicle, everyone avoids me by a mile when I drive dad's Mazda Bravo ute.