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.

How not to die, and other useful advice, from a novice.

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by jekyll, Feb 26, 2007.

  1. Disclaimer: I'm not an expert. However, I'm reasonably smart and I'm not dead yet. I think all of the following qualifies as good advice, and is generally a summary of smarter, more expert pieces of advice I've culled from the internet over the last couple of months. I just completed my pre-Learner training.

    As it's a summary, I won't necessarily connect all the dots. Investigate for yourself. Use google or your search engine of choice to mine the Internet, and read a couple of books. Get all the training you can.

    Firstly, I'm assuming like me you've decided to buy a motorbike, and you don't want to die. Dying on a motorcycle is easy. My uncle was killed by a drunk driver. Another lost an arm in a motorcycle accident.

    In order not to put yourself at more risk of dying than is unavoidable, you need a little bit of luck, and good measures of skill, paranoia, and education.

    Find out about the statistics and studies which are available - particularly the Hurt report (US) and MAIDS (European - see http://www.motorcyclecruiser.com/streetsurvival/maids_motorcycle_accident_study/). These studies tell you how people die and are injured. By understanding how it happens, you'll be in a better position to avoid death and dismemberment yourself.

    Budget at least $1000 and preferably $1500 or so for protective gear. Take this out of what you were going to spend on your bike if necessary, and remember to leave enough over to insure yourself. Also leave enough to buy at least one or two good books on how to ride (eg "Proficient Motorcycling: The Ultimate Guide to Riding Well") and think about setting aside some cash for non-compulsory training 6 months after you start riding.

    Your best bet for not dying is not getting in an accident, and the easiest way to help the odds is to be seen. Buy a white or yellow, solid coloured helmet. Don't buy a black one. Think about adding reflective tape. Get a leather jacket with armour and some draggin jeans, and maybe some leather pants for more serious riding than your daily commute. Also, you'll need MC boots and gloves with armour. A $300 helmet will do as long as its comfy. Make sure you've got gear for all weather conditions you plan to ride in, because othewise you'll come off the one time you were wearing shorts and a T shirt, and you'll be grated like a carrot.

    Buy as cheap a set of wheels as you can stand riding for the term of your L & P plates and then get something nicer later, when you're less likely to drop / crash / need to upgrade again soon. Think about learning enough to do simple maintenance yourself. Maybe buy something like the book "The Essential Guide to Motorcycle Maintenance".

    Scour the internet for information. Studies show the more informed and educated you are, the less chance you have of dying. Read netrider, www.msgroup.org, and anything which turns up when you google 'motorcycle safety'. Read more about the Hurt report to make sure it sinks in.

    Understand what countersteering is because they won't necessarily tell you in the Ls course and you *should* know.

    Plan to stay alive for the first 6-24 months. Learn enough to be afraid, and then to channel the fear into razor-sharp survival skills. Plan to keep learning.

    Good luck out there ...[/b]
  2. No disrespect dude, but if they can’t see your always on headlight or your tail light,
    what makes you think wearing a xmass tree on your head will change things?
  3. None taken.

    A NZ study (google will turn it up) cited a white helmets made significant contributions to rider conspicuity:


    Reducing your change of being in an accident by one quarter is, in my book, a pretty good reason to choose white. It doesn't look any worse than anything else, and might keep you alive.

    Also, "Three quarters of motorcycle riders had their headlight turned on during the day, and this was associated with a 27% lower risk [of an accident]" - so that's a definite bonus as well, for free.

  4. Why stop at a white helmet?

    How bout wearing a white racing suit, white gloves, white boots.. f*ckit, you have to ride a white bike as well. [​IMG]

    BTW. only joking dood. [​IMG]

    Good post. :wink:
  5. Well, seriously though, we all gotta work out where to draw our own line ..

    I'm currently trying to work out if I wanna get a jacket that is
    a) sweet, pure black leather, or
    b) some hideous fashion Chernobyl of irridescent yellow and 3M refector piping

    Currently leaning towards both. I'll swap depending on how paranoid I'm feeling and how the weather is - and who I'm seeing after the ride :)
  6. I'm all for the safety message...

    I'm all for the education of riders so that they can make informed choices...

    Kudos to you for putting up an educative post... however, in the pursuit of your apparently purely defensive riding stance, I hope you don't miss some of the other real aspects and passions of riding...

    And since you brought it up, I reckon one of the pitfalls of new rider education is the misleading of new riders to think that countersteering is only about obstacle avoidance or emergency swerving.

    When you say, "understand countersteering", what do you understand it to mean?
  7. To be honest with ya, I've never based the colours of anything I wear
    on whats more visible to others on the road.


    Maybe its because I've got a young family so have never done much night
    riding at all. Maybe that wouldnt have made any difference. Who knows.

    I'd rather buy something based 100% on what I like, & if you want to be
    that safety conscious, chuck on a flouro workers vest or something similar. :wink:
  8. +1 on this point.
  9. That when steering a bike at speed, you "push right to go right" - that the initial steering impulse (unless steering solely with your weight) is counterintuitively away from the intended direction of travel; this puts the bike into a lean, which is what actually turns the bike.

    Like you said, not purely an evasive move - more a handling characteristic.
  10. Nice work. I want as much info as possible. Just bought my bike today. Pick it up on thursday. Can't wait!
  11. Dont like that way of thinking.... :shock:
  12. Having a white or bright helmet is not a bad idea as this is above the traffic a lot of times but I got a red one with cool graphics cause I liked the look. :cool: :cool:
  13. Above ~20km/h, a bike can't steer effectively any other way. But let's not turn this into another steering thread. There are loads of them in the bike forum world.

    cwliew - check the link in my sig and check out the rest of the msgroup site for a lot of practical road advice/tips/knowledge. Be aware though, that the info is tourer bike biased, so it can be on the conservative side, but it's top notch info and the bottom lines are NOT wrong (there's some disagreement though about the nitty gritty on just how some of the bottom lines are arrived at... )
  14. THanks buddy. Will definitely check it out.
    Bought the Aprilia RS125. So anyone around in Adelaide who is up for a bit of a ride to show me how to actually ride around better, let me know!
  15. I got a white helmet cos it matches my white car. Now I've got a bike I'm a winner. :D :D :D

    I am seriously thinking of painting the bike white though.

    I'm a new rider too and I found that a weeks worth of commuting in sydney with as much lane splitting as I felt confident with has improved my riding hugely. Obviously I will continue to get better but when the weekend came I could really tell that I had improved from the previous weekend.
  16. I was believing it till he said the bit about Kiwis studying.

  17. Countersteering topics are a load of bullsh!t started by car drivers who never rode a pushy as a youngster.


  18. Yeah, me too. But, I bought a "lollipop man" safety vest off ebay I'll put over my jet black leathers while I'm a learner.

    Got my Spada today, btw, and been riding it gradually further from home all day. Fun! Fun!
  19. h0nd@

    that pic is hilarious.

    I rode a pushbike as a kid too. But, its been a while, and I found it really useful to have what we do subconsciously pointed out; while I was out on the road for the first time today I found it a lot easier to turn well if i consciously gave the bars a shove to get started rather than just leaning in.

    I haven't followed the threads though so can't comment on those.

  20. Good shit! :cool: :wink: